Monday, July 21, 2008

Head Honcho

It took a full five episodes this season, but I think Weeds has finally completed it's rebirth, and fittingly enough, it centers around Nancy's latest occupation, managing a maternity store. It's no ordinary maternity store, naturally, as if anything Nancy's associated with can be at this point in the series, instead serving has an appropriate front for a giant hole, continuing the birthing metaphor. The canal between Mexico and the new world is fittingly backed by Devotchka's inspired song "New World," which in this context comes off as a song of immigration. "It's the perfect day we should get away come on let's go," and with that, Nancy's down the rabbit hole and in smuggler's land in no time.

At the other end we finally meet 'El Jefe,' the invisible suit backing the operations, and it's actor Demian Bichir, who we'll soon see playing Fidel Castro in Steven Soderburgh's Che films (broken up as The Argentine and Guerrilla. Castro was known as 'El Jefe' as well, fittingly enough. He's no ordinary suit, though, as Bichir recently dished to TV Guide about his character Esteban Reyes:
He's the mayor of Tijuana. He's a pretty powerful politician. But this type of politician that are well-educated. He went to Harvard, he drinks the best wine, he loves opera. He's very sophisticated. So that's the interesting [truth] about this type of character, because you could always go to a stereotype, you know? But this guy is like the devil: he's powerful and charming and dangerous, and hopefully sexy.
El diablo indeed. His threatening to give Nancy a serious spanking was both sinister and sexy -- thanks, in part, to Mary-Louise Parker's read of Nancy's reaction. She's not sure whether it's her life or her libido that's being threatened, here, and when she discovers that el jefe is in fact the Mayor of Tijuana, the libido angle seems to win out. Backing the discovery is Devotchka once again, with the more-than-appropriately titled "Head Honcho." The mariachi-fueled track fit the mood perfectly, as does the whole album that it and "New World" come from, this year's A Mad And Faithful Telling. It's mix of Mexico and Eastern European Folk (ie, Gypsy) speaks to this season's immigration themes. There's another song on the album, however, which I'm surprised they didn't use. "Along the Way" features mariachi-style trumpets and lyrics like "the gringos block the roads, inside your head," and "so this is the city, so this is progress? How can something so pretty, become such a mess?" which are spot on for the context of this season.

Elsewhere, Andy and Doug have their own ideas about trafficking Mexico - going the way of the coyote. "A nicer coyote... the Jet Blue of Coyotes... sun chips and bottled water, competitive pricing without the rape trees and extortion." After Doug connects with an illegal, Maria 'Meremex,' who he initially thinks is some hippy swimming in her clothes, he jumps on board with the venture. At some point, you have to think those two are going to discover Nancy's secret underground railroad and try to exploit it for themselves. Lately, though, Andy seems to want to get into Nancy's other maternity hole, going where her dead brother has gone before. Both holes now, seem to have 'El Jefe' watching closely, so coyote beware.

Songs: Weeds Ep 4.06 - "Excellent Treasures"
1. "New World" - Devotchka - Nancy goes down the hole and follows it to Mexico
2. "Head Honcho" - Devotchka - Nancy discovers 'el jefe' is Esteban Reyes, Mayor of Tijuana

Previously: Sitting Shiva (Episode 4.04)


bumpershine said...

I pray this is the last season for Weeds, it has gone completely off the rails this year. (It jumped the shark last season for sure, but this year they are looking at the fountain at Caesar's Palace.)

Tofu Tara said...

If you don't like it, don't watch it. Problem solved.

drake leLane said...

Weeds was renewed for two more seasons by the time this episode was aired, so your prayers are in vain ;)