Cut to what I first assumed was a doctor's office, because Carmela is seated in front of a long wall of those color-coded folders doctors always seem to have. But then Gloria shows up in the background asking for the "paperwork on a pre-owned C-5," and I realize we're at the Mercedes dealership. I don't know if anybody saw it, but USA Today had a great article about product-placement on The Sopranos this week. Apparently, Mercedes and Cadillac don't actually pay for the privilege of being featured, but do provide free cars for use on the show. They also don't seem to have any sort of script approval, with the mandatory Cadillac spokesman making the de rigueur joke about learning that a DeVille's trunk is big enough to hold a body. While Gloria waits for her documents, the bastard love child of Foreshadowing and Contrivance (no doubt the result of a drunken coupling after the season finale of pretty much any show left on the WB) enters and calls for a Mrs. Soprano, which certainly pricks up Gloria's ears. Connie Jr. (a.k.a. Little Lord Forepants) tells Carmela that the courtesy van won't be ready for another twenty minutes, and Gloria instantly offers to give her a lift. Cut to the two ladies in the car, with Carmela telling Gloria that "this is very sweet of [her]." "Don't believe it," replies meta-Gloria, before going on to amend that with "Everyone's a potential sale." They make small talk, and Carmela is sitting with her hand held at just the right angle to put her ring into the shot. She's also wiggling her fingers and squirming a bit to try to direct Gloria's attention to it, and I'm finding it extremely distracting. Gloria asks if Carmela is married, and is told that she in fact is, with two kids to boot. "You?" asks Carmela, and Gloria sourly replies, "No. To both." Carmela describes the kids, and then tries to cut the awkward silence by babbling about Meadow and her college experience. Gloria makes a joke about the "[Columbia] School of Broadcasting," and Carmela is virtually horrified to think that Gloria's never heard of the Ivy League. Gloria tells her tartly that she's kidding. There's a quick cut to an exterior shot of the car, and when we get back inside, Subtle Sciorra has been replaced by Strident Sciorra. Gloria floors the accelerator (causing Carmela to grip the door with alarm) and then offers that Meadow probably won't have to "latch onto to a man to be successful." She finally deigns to notice the ring (which, for those who haven't seen it, occupies about a third of Carm's hand), and strikes again by asking, "So what does your husband do?" Carmela pretty much describes Tony as a captain of industry, and then admits that Meadow calls them "bourgeois." Uh, okay, whatever. Just dont let Gorb-o hear you say that. Eventually, they arrive at Das Sopranohaus, and we get a Bizarro-world version of the end of the credits as Carmela climbs out of Gloria's car.
Episode Report CardAaron: A | 724 USERS: B-
YOU GRADE IT