Sopranos
All Happy Families…

Episode Report Card
Aaron: B+ | Grade It Now!
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He May Walk Like A Man, But He Ain't No Gigolo

The Executive Game. We'll start with a run-down on the players: We've got Lawrence Taylor (the greatest defensive player in NFL history, and a convicted former crack addict), Dr. Fried (a.k.a. "The Prick Doctor", who for the purposes of this recap will be known as "Dr. Rosenburgsteinwitzgold"), Wide Guy (the worst defensive player in NBA history), Unknown Guy (um…he's the dealer), Hesh (producer of four hit singles), Bernie Brillstein (producer of, among others, ALF, News Radio, and The Lyon's Den), Silvio (producer of five gold records), and Steve Buscemi (directed "Pine Barrens" and "Everybody Hurts"). Also present as observers are Paulie, Chris, Little Paulie, and Feech, who is telling a rather lengthy story about -- I kid you not -- the time he stuck his toe into the nether regions of a Braniff Airlines stewardess. Next to arrive is Tony, with Vinnie Delpino in tow. Tony makes a big show of greeting everyone, calling LT "Sir Lawrence of the Meadowlands," mocking Steve Buscemi for being too poor to play, and giving Silvio a few playful slaps on the face. And there he is, getting handsy with the help again. That's got to mean something. Feech wants to get back to his crotch-toe tale, so he complains loudly about Tony's need to say hello to every single person in the room. Tony: "What, did I interrupt one of your impermeable stories?" Heh. Well, I guess that depends on whether or not he had a condom on that toe, doesn't it? Tony steps on the punch line of Feech's story by suggesting that the stewardess died of asphyxiation brought on by his stinky feet, and then Silvio folds his cards with the memorable (if meaningless) line, "Fuck it, this hand is from Thalidomide." It had flippers? Tony takes Silvio's place at the table, and asks Dr. Rosenpenis about the upcoming wedding of his daughter Suzy Rosenpenis. Dr. Rosenrosen replies that his wife and daughter are obsessed with becoming the featured couple of the week in the "Vows" column of the New York Times. Tony can sympathize, and recalls that Carmela "calls the Times wedding section the 'ladies sports page.'" Then he mentions that he never got his invitation. This is greeted with awkward silence from everyone, and for a moment it's difficult to tell whether or not Tony was being serious. Then everyone laughs it off, and Tony indicates that he was just joking, but I'm not so sure.

Verbum Dei. Tony, AJ, and Carmela are waiting outside the guidance counselor's office, and AJ is wearing khaki pants. I wouldn't mention that sort of thing ordinarily, but it's going to be relevant in a moment or two. Mr. Wegler escorts some snooty kid named Lem out of his office, extolling his grades and SAT scores all the while. And seeing as how I've already had to relive junior high gym class, I'd just like to further cement my uber junior-nerd status by pointing out that I kicked Lem's ass on the verbal. Wegler, by the way, is played by David Strathairn, who'll always be blind to me. He welcomes the Soprano clan into his office, and AJ is still wearing khaki pants. After some discussion of AJ's declining grades, the kid tries to distract everyone's attention by proudly reminding them that he turned in his list of colleges, like that's the one thing that'll make a difference at this point. His choices? Ramapo and Trenton State as safeties, and Arizona and Arizona State as reaches. ["Hee. Trenton State. Okay, everyone still calls it Trenton State, but about ten years ago it changed its official name to 'the College of New Jersey.' All well and good, except that in a sign on the front lawn, they misspelled the word 'Jersey.' Not kidding. 'Jeresy.' Anyway, all this by way of saying that it's a perfect school for AJ." -- Sars] Tony mentions that he plans on taking AJ for a tour out in Arizona later in the year, and I can only assume that he's planning on whacking Sammy "The Bull" Gravano while he's out there. Oh, and check out AJ's SAT scores: 505 verbal and 440 math. Um, 505? Are you sure those aren't his jeans we're talking about? He's still wearing khakis, though. Mr. Wegler thinks AJ could improve those scores if he can just "bear down and focus," but Tony points out that AJ's always had trouble with the focusing. And the bears, for that matter. In fact, Tony and Carmela even used to think that their son had A.D.D., which is news to AJ. Perhaps not surprisingly, he's actually thrilled to hear it, because if he's "learning disabled," it means he gets unlimited time on his SATs. Moron. Wegler sends him back to class, and when he stands up, he's suddenly wearing black pants. Oops. Once he's gone, Wegler asks Carmela if she's reviewed the results of AJ's meeting with the school shrink. She pulls out a folder, and reads off a list of diagnoses which basically say that AJ is a normal teenager and handling their separation pretty well. Wegler still suggests that he get regular therapy in any case, but Tony says no. "People use it as a crutch," he explains, with no irony whatsoever. "And I always wonder, whatever happened to Gary Cooper? The strong, silent type?" Um, yeah. He's probably down in Boca with Christopher, Eloise, and Isabella. Carmela actually agrees with Tony on this one, believe it or not, because she remembers that horrible "adolescent developmentalist" they sent Meadow to. I'm not sure that's really a reason to worry, though, because Linda Lavin seems to be spending her time out in The O.C. these days.

Outside the office, AJ is talking to a friend, and he's actually stoked that he might be learning disabled. Oh, AJ. You're too stupid to be that stupid. Some random kids in the office suddenly start crying, and the secretary reports that two other random students were just in a car crash. One is dead, and the other is in a coma, but since we've never heard of them before and they're really just a cheap plot point to justify an upcoming product placement, I think it's safe to say that no one cares.

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Sopranos

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