Later, the family is sitting at the dinner table, while Tony leafs through a brochure for the Hudson Military Institute. "Now this I like," he says, "a 'highly-structured environment.'" AJ snots that he hasn't agreed to go yet, and Carmela tries to mollify him, but Tony is insistent. Before yet another argument can develop, the phone rings, and Carmela gets up to answer it. She talks to a "Marie" for a few moments, making frequent (and vehement) usage of the phrase, "Oh my god!" Finally she asks, "Where's Rosalie?" and we cut to the mysterious Marie, with Rosalie wailing and crying out-of-focus in the background. Carm hangs up and slowly turns back to Tony, who looks as if he already knows what's happened. "Jackie Jr. was shot to death in the Boonton housing project. By drug dealers," she tells them, and then tearfully runs off to the Aprile Abode. Tony and shell-shocked AJ sit quietly at the table for a beat, and then Tony catches his eye and almost whispers, "You see?" AJ does, and hangs his head a bit as the scene ends.
At Columbia, Meadow is (believe it or not) actually studying when AJ calls to say there's something he needs to tell her. "I already know. Like mom's not totally going tell to me that you got expelled…I heard you cracked and copped to everything." AJ insists that they had his DNA, but big sis sets him straight on how that works, causing him to feel even dumber. She tries to hang up, but he still has to deliver the news. "It's Jackie. He was doing a drug deal with some black dudes, and they shot him. Like, dead." The phone falls from Meadow's hand, and her face morphs from shock to sobbing.
Smash cut to Melfi's office, where Tony is explaining the situation to her, making sure to mention that "fortunately, they weren't girlfriend and boyfriend anymore." He's all jittery and nervous, but Melfi is a picture of cool composure as she asks, "You certainly saw it coming with this boy, didn't you?" Tony nods, and admits that "in the end, [he] failed him." Then he puts an exclamation point on it by combining my two favorite Sopranos sayings into "What the fuck are you gonna do?" He goes on to add, "I'll tell you one thing, though. I'm not gonna make the same mistake with AJ…him we're sending to military school." Melfi moves the conversation to Tony's hopes for his children, and his main concern seems to be that they not end up like him. He's happy that Meadow has expressed a desire to be a "professional woman," which is apparently not what it sounds like here. In fact, he says he'd like to see her be like Melfi. "A psychiatrist?" she asks, and he comes back with "What, and have to listen to guys like me whine all day?" Actually, it's not as bad as you'd think, despite the fact that I'm on page nine and not even halfway through the episode. He boils it down to "the important thing is that she get far away from me," before adding that she "could live close." Melfi understands what he's saying, and even smiles a bit before asking about AJ. "AJ?" wonders Tony. "In my line of work? Forget it. He'd never make it." Then they both break into a rousing chorus of "Only the dumb die young" as the scene ends. Feel free to sing along: