Calling All Cars

Episode Report Card
Aaron: B | Grade It Now!
Dream On

Back in New York, Johnny and Carmine have moved out to front room of their little social club. Tony calls from his car to counter-offer their demand of forty percent with a proposal to share a mere five and a half percent. Damn. That's quite a drop. On the other hand, I imagine the advertising director for Outback Steakhouse placed a very similar call to Chris Albrecht after hearing Janice's comment on their pricing policies. Anyway, Carmine feels that's too low, and Johnny informs Tony that his offer is "unacceptable." Then he hangs up on him, which is also similar to what Chris Albrecht does whenever I try to call him. Carmine decides to try a different tactic, and asks for the name of the guy Tony uses to do the phony housing appraisals. "Vic the Appraiser, they call him," replies Johnny. Wow. Nothing like applying a little creativity to your mob name, huh? Of course, according to this, my mob name is "Aaron the Bastard." Aww. Mom will be so proud. (Fun recapper's note: I've actually been sitting on that joke since I found out I would be recapping this show. This is the first chance I've ever had to use it.) Carmine calls over Random Thug #1, and orders him to pay a little visit to Vic the Appraiser and apprise him of the fact that the he'll now be working for Johnny and Carmine.

Back at the Baccalieris', Bobby Jr. is curled up in bed, dreaming of sugarplums and blooming onions. His little sister Sophia comes in, and wakes him up to ask why Daddy would have bought a cake for their dead mother. It's an eminently reasonable question, but if my sister had ever pulled a stunt like that, she'd have been picking pieces of Barbie out of her backside for a week. Even then, I valued my sleep. Anyway, Bobby Jr. assures his sister that ghosts aren't real, and that even if Mom were haunting them, she would only be doing it for their own good. Sophia doesn't seem all that relieved by this information, but she does slowly return to her own bedroom. Bobby Jr. thinks for a minute, and then decides to pull the covers up over his head, just in case. If Calvin and Hobbes have taught us anything, it's that monsters and ghosts can only grab you if something is hanging out from under the blanket.

The next day, Johnny and Paulie go for a little walk along one of New Jersey's more scenic garbage-strewn alleyways. Johnny continues his masterful job of manipulating his dumber, hairier friend, and even goes so far as to suggest that if the HUD thing gets really out of hand, "there could be a change." Paulie is shocked to hear that Tony is treading on such thin ice, and maintains that all he's trying to accomplish by meeting with Johnny is to "bring good relations between the families." Oh, yeah. Paulie is all about the diplomatic altruism. Next thing you know, he'll be offering hair-care tips to Kofi Annan. Johnny reminds him to keep their conversations secret, and once again suggests that Carmine won't forget about him. Oh, please. Carmine can't even remember something as simple as "Vic the Appraiser," and besides, we all know Johnny has never mentioned Paulie to his boss. Paulie wraps things up with a casual mention that he could potentially be the next boss, and we cut to a two-shot just in time to catch Johnny rolling his eyes. Heh.

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