And finally, we return to Das Sopranohaus, where Carmela is coming home with a big bundle of groceries. Because I haven't had a chance to mention it yet, I'll use this nice automotive symmetry with the opening scene to point out that this episode was written by Toni "Angie Bonpensiero" Kalem. I'm definitely impressed, and now I'm sort of wondering if Imperioli might actually be the worst writer in the entire cast. Well, okay, there's still Vinnie Delpino. And Drea de Matteo. And God knows I don't even want to think about what might happen if Iler or Jamie-Lynn picked up a pen, but even so, nice work, Toni. Anyway, as Carmela makes her way up to the front door in the ugliest pair of pants ever, she suddenly experiences a hallucination/flashback of a young AJ pedaling his Big Wheel down the driveway. When we cut back to Carmela, she's suddenly young herself, with the effect accomplished by pulling her hair back into a ponytail and putting her in jeans and a white T-shirt. In other words, imagine Olivia Newton-John, but from New Jersey instead of New Zealand or wherever the hell she's from. We hear the sound of AJ wiping out, and Young Carmela screams and runs after him. But then we're back in the present, and Middle-Aged Carmela slowly turns and heads into the empty house. And for the record, I mean "empty" in the "empty-nest" sense, and not in the "completely devoid of furniture" sense that some people on the forums seem to believe. All the furniture is, in fact, right where she left it, including my old favorite, that hideous wrought-iron musical staff that hangs over the fireplace. The point is that she's lonely and stuck in a big house all by herself. Where she'll have to stay for at least another week, because we fade to black on the end of the episode.
And that's it, kids. I'll be leaving you in the capable hands of Kim next week, as I jet off to sunny Florida to enjoy some matzoh with my family. If I get back and find out you all hot-boxed her, I'm going to be very, very angry.