Episode Report Card
Aaron: B- | Grade It Now!
No One Is To Blame

Well, well. Ask, and you shall receive, I guess. Here's Melfi, wandering into her home with ex-hubby Richard LaPenna in tow. Dick, being the dick that he is, wants to watch the news, and looks utterly flabbergasted when he sees Italians and Indians screaming at one another at the parade protest rally. Heh. What's an ethnic identity-obsessed liberal to do? On the other hand, I can't believe Lorraine Bracco only gets ten seconds of screen time this week, and nine of them involve watching her ex-husband being pretentious. She doesn't even get to roll her eyes at him, for God's sake.

Janice's house. Joey arrives, massive suitcase in tow, and finds Janice waiting for him at the top of the stairs. He barely makes it ten feet into the house before she starts harping on him to take off his shoes. Perhaps having expected nothing more than a rousing evening of role-playing and analingus, Joey is totally confused by her sudden anger. He's even more surprised when, for no apparent reason at all, she suddenly shoves him down the steps and starts screaming "Get out!" over and over again. Yep. That's certainly the "respect and compassion" Janice is so rightly famous for. Oh, and while we're here, would adding a quick "now" after one of those "get outs" really have killed them? I'm just saying. Joey lies crumpled at the bottom of the steps, variously moaning about his injured back and threatening to kill Janice. Finally she runs off and locks herself in the bedroom, and Joey manages to struggle to his feet and get out. Now.

And finally, we join the boys in the car on the way home from the casino. Silvio tunes in a news station on the radio, and is dismayed to learn that he missed the entire Columbus Day parade. "I forgot this was a Monday," he sighs. So let me get this straight. We spend an entire episode (of which we only get thirteen, and those only once every other year) on a complete throwaway plot-line, and then the characters themselves forget all about it? I'm not sure I understand the dramatic logic behind that decision. I mean, yeah, I laughed my ass off all episode long, so I guess I shouldn't complain, but still. If all I wanted was a good laugh, I could watch network TV and mock the production values. It certainly works for the rest of TWoP's staff. Anyway, there's only a few minutes left in the episode, and also in my time to write the recap, so let's all put on our protective anti-anvil headgear and dive right in. Tony starts chewing Silvio out, because his obsession with ending the protest has now put Tony in Big Chief Donnie's debt. And Donnie wants to cash in by getting Frankie Valli to come up and play the casino for a week. He then launches into a lecture on his own version of pod theory, bemoaning that all anyone can talk about anymore is what group they belong to. He also longs for the days of Gary Cooper, and the "strong, silent" hero-type. Silvio responds by saying that anyone named "Cooper" has no idea of the suffering Italians have had to endure. Tony, however, still insists on belaboring the point that everyone but the occupants of this car grasped by the end of the opening scene: "If [Gary Cooper] was around nowadays he'd be a member of some victims group. The fundamentalist Christians, the abused cowboys, the gays…" Christopher pipes up from the back seat with, "He was gay, Gary Cooper?" Heh. At least Mike wrote himself one good line this week. There's still more speechifying and point-making, and I'm reduced to checking out the somewhat distracting effects of the day-for-night blue filter they’re shooting with. Tony finally suggests that Silvio take up all his complaints with Frankie Valli when he makes the call to get him to play at Big Chief Donnie's casino. And just like that, the credits kick in, and Frankie Valli himself starts wailing on the soundtrack. It took way too long to get there, but I'm always sucker for a good end-credits joke.

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