Aaron Sorkin: As if. I'm signed with NBC through 2007, buddy. I mean, Jesus Christ. Some loyalty?
MBTV Aaron: What about me?
Gerald Levin: Oh, please. I'd rather have the sleepy guy.
At Vesuvio, everyone is gathering for the wake. Tony comes in and hugs Paulie, who has to leave immediately to be with his mother. Much as he did with Chris earlier in the show, Tony shakes it off and sits down beside Junior, who doesn't share my compunctions about speaking ill of the dead. "The kid was always a dumb fuck, though, wasn't he? Didn't he almost drown in three inches of water?" Tony nods, and adds that it happened at "the penguin exhibit." Another shout-out? I don't know, but I'm giving it twenty StFIC points just to be sure. They bemoan the low turnout, with Junior claiming that if Jackie Sr. were still boss, Vesuvio would be "filled to the rafters. Flower cars up and down the block. No matter what the boy had done." After a long sip of wine, Tony changes the subject to a happier one, that being Junior's recovery and the subsequent end to his house arrest. Junior's glad to be out of the house, but he does admit that he still has the RICO trial coming up. "Fucking illness changed my whole viewpoint," he says. "I'm gonna stop and smell the roses." Thirteen straight weeks of these recaps have left me feeling the exact same way, largely because I haven't been outside since the season started.
Outside, Johnny Sack accosts Paulie on his way to the car. Apparently, despite being the under-boss of the five families, Johnny still has to hide the fact that he smokes from his wife. "Ginny can get pretty heavy," he tells Paulie, and like almost everything else he says in this scene, that one's got a cute little double meaning to it. With barely any prompting at all, Paulie unloads all his problems with Tony and the money for mom's nursing home on Johnny, including the fact that Tony "fundamentally doesn't respect the elderly." Johnny listens like the eager sleaze that he is, blowing smoke up Paulie's ass (and by the way, get the cute little double meaning?) by telling him that Carmine and the other New York bosses ask after him. Paulie, just like his arch-nemesis Joey Pants, offers to do anything he can to help out the New York side of the family. I'm taking bets starting now on whether or not that one actually becomes a storyline in season four. I make it three-to-one against.
In the car, Meadow and Carmela are making their way to Vesuvio. Carmela mentions that Meadow had a few drinks back at the Aprile Abode, but quickly adds that "we all could use it," when Meadow starts looking snotty. Once assured that Carmela wasn't being critical, Meadow looks out the window and says, "I was thinking before, about what you once said. About how you have to max out the good times with the people you love." Carmela reminds her that, "actually, your father said that," and Meadow's face scrunches up at the thought of her hated Mafia father saying something so insightful. Meadow feels that no one in Jackie's family was ever there for him. Rosalie is sweet but not all there, and Jackie Sr. was never around, and she "think[s] it hurt his feelings inside." "I'm glad you see," says Carmela, but Meadow takes it totally the wrong way, and gets (surprise!) snotty about it: "Yeah, right. You're glad I see. What you take from this is an excuse to get intrusive and controlling. That's not what I'm talking about." I don't think it was really what Carmela was talking about either, which is exactly what she says. They argue some more, and what was almost a nice mother-daughter bonding moment goes by the wayside. There was some great acting in the scene, though.