Sopranos
Army Of One

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Aaron: B- | 1 USERS: A+
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Army Of One

You know it's the season finale when even the robe gets its own close-up. Tony is in the bathroom, getting ready for bed, while Carmela shrills behind him. "You want to train him to be a professional killer?" she shouts, and Tony yells right back. They argue about the wisdom of marching with rifles all day, and Tony seems to feel that it will help teach the boy respect. As the argument moves into the bedroom, Carmela worries that AJ would be "subjected to the discipline of kids hardly older than himself. Does that seem smart? Boys his age still kill frogs and small animals." Uh, no, no they really don't. At least, not unless they're going to grow up to be Ted Kaczynski, they don't. Coincidentally, Tobin Bell once played Ted Kaczynski in a TV movie. That's not relevant in the least, but if I'm gonna do all this research for you people, you'd better believe I'm gonna find a way to work it in, even it just amounts to chumming the already confused waters. Tony pauses when he hears the "frogs and small animals" bit, and then quietly asks, "The Cusamanos' Binky? The cherry bomb with the nails in it? You think that was AJ?" Carmela doesn't, but she does think that AJ's just a normal boy who still has a lot to learn about the way the world works. "He thinks the world owes him a fucking living," spits back Tony. "Well, what could have given him that idea?" answers Carmela, and for a second, I thought he was going to hit her, too. Instead he points his finger at her all Alicia-style, saying, "We've tried things your way for fifteen years now. With the Berry Brazelton and the validating his feelings." What the hell is a Berry Brazelton? Is that like the Sherry Netherlands or something? ["Dr. T. Berry Brazelton wrote a whole series of child-rearing books. My parents own one of them; to my knowledge, they never opened it. Grounding For Dummies got a workout, though." -- Sars] Carmela's position seems to be final, however. "I will not send him to that place," she says, grabbing a blanket and pillow off the bed, but Tony quickly grabs them away from her and storms out to sleep on the couch himself. He tries to slam the door behind him, but it won't stay closed, and we get an extended montage of AJ and Carmela listening to his fury through their tears.

Now there's a clever cut to Carmela carefully opening the door to a funeral home. The whole Soprano family files inside, where they're met by Paulie. Carmela leads the kids to the back, and Paulie starts straight in with the talk about his sit-down. "Jesus Christ, can I bury my best friend's kid?" is Tony's only response, and he too heads for the back, leaving Paulie alone. After taking a moment to steady herself and grab Meadow's hand, Carmela leads them into the chapel. She tries to greet an obviously sedated Rosalie, and we can see that the room is almost completely empty, except for a few relatives and the Aprile crew. Thin Guy is taking bets on his cell phone, and Joey Pants has apparently decided that he'd rather sit with the boys than his grieving girlfriend. Jackie's sister stands up to hug Meadow, and then introduces her cousin Mackenzie Collucio. Behind Mackenzie, however, Meadow spies Jackie's body lying in its coffin, and she breaks down sobbing. Carmela hustles her back to the seats, and Rosalie turns around to complain about the crappy turnout because of Super Bowl weekend. "What happened, Tony? Vegas moving the line?" Tony makes a gesture to get Thin Guy and his incredibly rude cell phone conversation out of the room, and then Christopher comes over and asks to speak to him outside.

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