Yet another great shot of the Bada Bing sign reflected on a tinted windshield leads us into the next scene. In the back, Tony is discussing the Feds (hey, remember them?) on the phone when Patsy Parisi comes in and informs him that there's a call for him on line two. "It's a woman. I think she's crying," he adds before backing out. Tony breathes deeply for a moment, and then reluctantly switches over to hear a sobbing Gloria, who can't even get out a coherent thought. She finally manages to start babbling in sentence fragments instead of word fragments, and Tony just pulls the phone from his ear and looks disgusted.
Cut to Gloria's house, where she and her black robe answer the door. Tony comes in and stands silently in the center of the living room, waiting for her to speak her piece. "I just want it to be the way it was," she says. "I love you." Tony doesn’t want to hear her crying anymore, and remains emphatic that they're broken up. "You bring it on yourself," he tells her. "You're a beautiful, talented woman, but you push guys away." Gloria tries to convince him that it won't happen again, but Tony repeats that it's over. "We had our mo-fo, or whatever, and it was great. But now it's time to put it to bed." This time, that's not what Gloria wanted to hear, and she starts swearing at him, which prompts Tony to haul off and hit her across the face. "You think my life's a picnic?" he asks, standing over her. "Oh, poor you," she spits back, and I guess there was one other person who pushed Tony's buttons like Gloria does. "I didn't just meet you," he mutters in a rare display of depth. "I've known you my entire life." He goes on to explain how she's just like his mother, and turns to walk out. When she insults Livia, however, he comes back, grabs her arms, and pushes her to the floor. "When you see me," he yells, "you better cross the street, because you're dangerous and I don't want you in my life." He tries to leave again, and this time Gloria actually begs him not to go. Now we all know that violence against women (or anyone for that matter) is wrong, but I don't really think you can dispute that Gloria is goading him on purpose. She's suicidal, and this scenario is precisely what she envisioned when she called him over. As Tony finally gets the front door open, Gloria screams out her last-ditch effort, threatening to call Carmela. Tony goes nuts and throws her around the room, finally ending up on top of her on the floor as he grabs her throat. You know, while all you guys in the forums were going on about the complex psychological motivations and moral implications at work here, all I could think was that as much as I'm loving Annabella Sciorra in this part, I still liked this scene better when it was Patricia Arquette. On the other hand, I'm also still reeling from my film-geek faux pas of not mentioning the Miller's Crossing homage last week. Although, in my defense, I've never really been that much of a Coen Brothers fan. I just find them to be overly pretentious (and believe me, I know from pretentious). Incidentally, here's where Sars gets mad at me: ["When you see me, you better cross the street, because you're pretentious and I don't want you in my life." -- Sars] Anyway, Tony explains in no uncertain terms what will happen if she calls Carmela, but Gloria just wheezes and begs repeatedly for him to kill her now. There's a brief, spittle-spraying shot of Tony attempting to do just that, but then he backs off and makes his way out of the house, leaving a battered and depressed Gloria alone on the floor.
Cut to the only exterior street scene in New Jersey (or at least the only one they ever bother filming on), as The Little Lord, TFTSNBN, and Carlo pull up in front of the card game. They've even got Matush The Ecstasy Dealer as their getaway driver. This is seriously the worst crew I've ever seen, and as a one-time college coxswain, I've seen a lot of bad crews. Jackie tries to get the gang pumped up, but Carlo seems to be the only one with any confidence. It must be the shotgun. LL"TPA"FP expresses some reservations, thinking that maybe they should just go down the shore, but he finally decides that he wants to go through with it "before the crank wears off." Inside, Chris, Furio, Sunshine, A Guy Who Isn't Hesh, and also Thin Guy and Wide Guy are playing poker. The kids burst in and start the stick-up, with Chris calmly assuring them that everyone will cooperate. Sunshine, who's played by yet another in a long line of old-time directors (this time it's Paul "Moon Over Parador" Mazursky), spews forth a number of witty proclamations as the boys clear the cash from the table, including the ever trenchant "victory has a hundred fathers, while defeat is an orphan." Chris asks if they know who they're robbing, and you can almost see Jackie Jr. blanch behind the mask. All the wisecracks in the face of potential gunplay make me think of the "What-a-Burger" scene in Pulp Fiction, and when some random guy emerges from the bathroom and prompts Carlo to blow a hole in the door with his shotgun, the homage is complete. Upon hearing the gunshots, Matush bolts from out in front. Back inside, Sunshine starts with "If you can keep your head while those around you can't…" but Jackie Jr. suddenly loses his own head and shoots Sunshine right in the chest. Everyone dives for cover, and random gunplay ensues. Chris nails Carlo right between the eyes, but Furio catches a bullet in the leg from Jackie Jr. Fuckpants and the Sidekick run outside, and Jackie quickly car-jacks a passing vehicle. TFTSNBN waits in the middle of the road to be picked up, but Little Lord Fuckpants just leaves the now newly anointed Little Lord Fucked-Over to face the tender mercies of Chris and Thin Guy, who've arrived to point their guns at his head. It figures. I finally give him a nickname, and they immediately blow him away. Christopher, who's managed to look quite manly and professional this week, stands over the body and fires a few last shots. You can also easily tell that these guys are the adults, because they've got the whole getaway car thing down to a science. You can even hear Furio swearing in Italian in the back seat as they drive away.
Cut to The Prick Doctor, filming a Bob-Dole-esque commercial for his services. He's interrupted to take a phone call, and despite his protests, Tony orders him to come help treat Furio. Cut to a back room somewhere, where the Doc digs deep into Furio's leg to remove the bullet. Furio, still fresh off his Florida-thin victory over Bobby Bacala in last week's polling, solidifies his grip on your collective hearts by doing that which the Little Lord has thus far failed to do: taking off his Fuckpants. Heh. He's wearing blue skivvies. Man, even this guy's underwear is funny. Not that I was looking, or anything. Oh, to hell with it. My love for Furio transcends conventional gender boundaries, and I'm secure enough in my masculinity to admit it. Heck, I even feel the same way about Mario Lemieux. Not Jagr, though. I just can't bring myself to love a man with a mullet. Anyway, The Prick Doctor triumphantly removes the bullet, leaving Furio to swear some more as the pain overtakes him. Outside, Chris demands retribution, saying that if he finds Jackie Jr., he's "doing him tonight." Tony says that's not going to happen, and Chris demands to know why. "Because he's Jackie Aprile's son?" he asks, demonstrating his previously exposited willingness to get in Tony's face. Tony delivers a line of bull about not exposing themselves to Feds, and Chris calls him on it, reminding him that "[he] preach[es] this wiseguy bullshit, and then the only ones that gotta follow the rules are us." There should probably be about a hundred [sics] in that last sentence, but I can't even figure out where to start. Tony grabs him by the lapels and presses him against the wall, demanding that while Chris "doesn't have to love [him], [he does] have to respect [him]." I hope that my excessive use of brackets in that one will make up for the previous lack of [sics]. Chris storms off into a time-laps