Weeds "Saplings" Review: Mother Knows Best?

Weeds S08E09: "Saplings"

When a good ol’ boy from a Big Tobacco family came knocking on the Botwin family’s door, Nancy was surprised and a little concerned that he was looking for Silas and not her. Maybe some of RJ’s live-and-love philosophy rubbed off Silas, because watching his precious plant be beaten to a pulp and squeezed into a little pill last week was a little too much for his delicate sensibilities to take. It’s not what the drug is about, man. Weed is a beautiful thing, man. Get it, man?

Despite her reluctance to team up with an industry that she considered to be a bona fide merchant of death (ex-drug lord Nancy, you’re so funny), Nancy accompanied Silas on his southern sojourn, in the name of looking out for his well-being. After all, marijuana cigarettes aren’t exactly legal, even in the TV vacuum Weeds portrays, so what interest could a cigarette company have in a pot farmer?

It turned out that our tobacco heir and our cannabis heir had something in common: a dream that someday, weed cigarettes will be legal. Crick Montgomery believed such a day was just around the corner and hoped to get a leg up on the competition by setting up shop ahead of time. Nancy pointed out that doing so wasn’t exactly legal either and urged Silas to go back to Old Sandwich with her. Silas called her out on her hypocrisy and everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. After all, it’s all well and good that Nancy wants to live on the right side of the law these days, but Silas is an adult and he’s been raised in this life for a large part of his life. He enjoys growing and selling weed and he’s not ashamed to do it. However, he’s also willing to be honest about the field in a way that Nancy isn’t. He’s sick of pretending that weed is a wonder drug and he’s sick of pretending that his family is somehow “better” than other drug dealers, or even the Big Tobacco companies, because of their flimsy moral standards. Nancy’s “no selling to kids” stance was all well and good, but the fact of the matter is that Nancy’s weed landed in teenagers’ hands regularly.

Nancy didn’t have much of a rebuttal, but continued to cling to her Mother of the Year aspirations. She claimed not to care about the weed or the tobacco or who Silas chose to align himself with. First and foremost, she only wanted Silas to be safe and happy. In the end, she stood by her eldest son’s side when he shook hands with Crick Montgomery.

Of course, after the confusion over handshakes and whether they can truly take the place of a contract drawn up in triplicate, with poor dumb Crick insisting that they can, I won’t be surprised if Silas—or, more likely, Nancy herself—finds a way to screw the tobacco company over for the benefit of House Botwin.

It was a big moment for Nancy to step aside and let Silas make his own decisions like a grown-up and everything. I’m consistently surprised whenever Nancy doesn’t go dark-side on us in her quest for redemption just because, after eight seasons, I truly believe that we’ve been trained to expect the worst from her. Even with all the progress she’s made, I still immediately peg her as the likely candidate to screw over her business partner, moreso than Silas. However, the fact that she allowed Silas to make a deal with a figurative devil, says a lot about Nancy’s acceptance of her past and the effect her special brand of providing for and parenting of her children has had on them. She could have very easily stomped her feet and forced Silas back to their home base north of the Mason-Dixon, citing her own regrets about life before her shooting and how many of the problems the Botwin family is currently experiencing can be connected to her past sins.

Nancy’s two oldest children, her “saplings,” are grown. She’s fertilized and weeded and offered as much sunlight and water as she can and she finally understands, in letting Silas go, that she can’t do anything else but stand aside and watch them bloom into whatever shapes they are going to be. It makes her extra efforts with Stevie—who is still, I think, young enough to avoid growing into a headcase like his brothers—more special and telling of her change.

It’s important to note that even though Nancy was unhappy with Silas’s decision, she didn’t abandon him. In fact, she was horrified that Crick’s own father, a man who lived in the same house with him, hadn’t spoken to his son in over two years out of disappointment in the man he grew up to be. Nancy didn’t take very good care of her eldest. So maybe that sapling grew up a little crooked, a little withered; but it's all due to Nancy’s handiwork. Maybe early on, there was a definite lack of commitment, but the new Nancy is firmly committed to her garden.

Meanwhile, I’m a little confused about the Andy situation. After a good run with regard to sound decision-making this season, Andy offered his rabbi some helpful advice about wooing Nancy and getting over his late wife, and talked to one of his students about handling sucky stepparents... then promptly married the sweet diner waitress who was so kind as to give him blueberries when he didn’t ask for them. Oh Andy, so close to functional human being. SO CLOSE.

He also claimed that it was Jill who left HIM, in contrast to Jill’s claim last week that he left her, heartbroken about not being a daddy after all.


Hash Tags

– Despite a slow start, I’m actually really enjoying Doug’s storyline.

– Shane’s rage against his job description was amusing, but I already feel like we’re treading water with him. I kind of wish we could have fast-tracked him to being a real cop. I think there would have been much more storyline potential available.

– Country music really isn’t my thing, but Dierks Bentley’s “Little Boxes” cover was some twangy fun, yes?

Like TV.com on Facebook