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

Michael Imperioli: I know. I'm sorry. I just really wanted to see the look on Pantoliano's face when I handed him the script.
Aaron: Yeah, well I hope it was worth it.
Michael Imperioli: Oh, it was. Trust me.

When I stumble back to the TV after gargling with mouthwash and extracting the hot pokers from eyes, Paulie is on the prison phone to Johnny Sack. He makes a big show of not wanting to tell him about Joey's Ginny joke, even though it's totally clear that's exactly what he wants to do. Sack screams with the righteous fury of a man whose wife has been called fat by a guy who's sleeping with Janice Soprano.

Vesuvio. It's a sit-down between the Sopranos and the New York family. Johnny Sack explains that New York hasn't been getting enough of a cut from the esplanade project, and when Joey interrupts with a potential solution, Johnny immediately bites his head off. Not literally, of course, although it's just possible Joey Pants might enjoy that sort of thing. Tony smoothes the dispute over with a promise to make the cut 65/35, and everyone clinks their glasses in celebration. Then Carmine asks Sack to explain "the other thing" he wanted to talk about, and Johnny proceeds to gently chide Tony for profiting on the Frelinghuysen Avenue deal when they're supposed to share everything that comes out of Boon and the esplanade. Tony looks peeved, but agrees that they can "work something out." There's more toasts, and Tim Van Patten does an excellent job of framing shots to hide the completely random guy they've got filling a seat next to Tony, Joey, and Christopher.

Maison de Soprano. And just when I was about to compliment the show for reining in the rampant product-placement that took place last year, we're now treated to a full-length Charles Schwab ad, complete with THE FUCKING 800 NUMBER. Now that's just wrong. And what's really embarrassing is that Edie Falco and Federico Castelluccio have to remain completely silent and engage in fake stage business for like three hours until the commercial finally ends. I mean, is HBO not making enough money in monthly subscription fees? Do they need a referrers link to on their web page? Is this show just so damn expensive to produce that we can't even enjoy thirteen hours of commercial free programming, especially given that we've ALREADY PAID FOR IT? Then again, I've seen AOL Time Warner's stock price, so maybe they need all the money they can get. Anyway, Furio's brought over some cookies and pictures of his new house, and he and Carmela share a fairly flirtatious conversation. And aw, he likes her too. Mob love is so cute. Once the commercial stops running on the TV, we get an episode of Montel featuring Native-American activist "Dr. Del Redclay" and Italian-American activist "Phillip L. DiNotti" arguing about the upcoming Columbus Day parade. Dr. Redclay's position is that Columbus was a "genocidal colonial general." Phil DiNotti's position is that Columbus was a great explorer who discovered the New World. And also that he was an admiral, not a general. DiNotti then launches into a long speech about how his ancestors braved the "perilous Middle Passage" lo these many years ago to reach America, which of course infuriates Montel, because the Middle Passage was actually the route used for the slave trade. See what they did there? Pointing out how, historically speaking, pretty much everyone has oppressed pretty much everyone else? Yeah. Get used to it. It happens in every scene for the rest of the episode. Well, except for that one where Joey licks Janice's face. That one just oppressed me. Now Tony comes downstairs, just in time to share a cute moment with Carmela and exposit for us that Uncle Junior's trial is about to start.

And here it is. Junior and Melvoin sit at the defendants table, and Junior bitches about his legal fees while the judge drones on with procedure. As near as I can tell, Wacky Old Guy and Bobby Bacala are the only family members in attendance. And that's pretty much the whole scene. So much for plot development in that neck of the woods.

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