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No One Is To Blame

It's psychiatry time. And if you thought Linda Lavin was bad last week, wait until you get a load of Janice's New Age, neo-hippie, feminist shrink. After the Roma Maffia thing, I'm actually kind of surprised they didn't cast the actress who played Vera. In fact, let's just call her Vera, shall we? Janice has apparently told Vera all about Joey Pants, and she's bemoaning the fact that she seems to be repeating the mistakes of her past (although she does claim that Richie is in the "Witness Protection program," rather than in the sausage casings that are hanging on the back wall of Satriale's). "It brings me back to my childhood," she cries. "Where I had no love, and no support, and where I was shamed and ridiculed for being artistic." You know, as opposed to now, when she's also shamed and ridiculed for being artistic. Vera draws a connection between Janice's need to seek her father's approval with her need to seek Tony's approval, and then tells her she needs to make a change in her life. "God grant me the strength," laments Janice. "She will," replies Vera.

Hey! It's Dr. Del Redclay, live and in the flesh. And speaking of flesh, he's got his really hot assistant with him. They're sitting in a lounge somewhere, discussing his interview schedule (and also making it clear who's winning the PR battle at this point), when Joey Pants wanders in, carrying a rolled-up poster and wearing an ensemble that's quite subdued by his normal standards. He introduces himself as "Henry Caruso" (though the bad red hairpiece made me type that as "David Caruso" at least twice), and then takes a long, lingering look at Del's comely assistant. She introduces herself in turn as "Del's TA," causing Joey to sneer, "Yes. Yes, I can see that." Heh. If it weren't for what Artie says later on, that would totally be the best line of the episode. Joey sits down and launches into his spiel, saying that he represents the concerned Italian citizens of New Jersey. He's also sure to refer to them as "family people," just to get his point across. He then unrolls his poster, revealing a picture of "Iron-Eyes Cody," a famed Native-American actor from the early days of American cinema. Except it turns out that Mr. Cody wasn't really an Indian, but was instead a "second-generation Sigilian' from Louisiana." "You keep up your bullshit," threatens Joey, "and we're gonna go wide with this." Oh, yeah. I'm sure that'll be front-page news. Who cares what W and Saddam are up to when the relative ethnicity of a dead movie star is being called into question? Hell, not even Vin Diesel can make news with that story. Del puts on a brave face until Joey departs, but then quickly breaks down and calls the situation "a major PR boner." His TA assures him that Joey's claim is nothing more than a rumor, but also says that it wouldn't matter even if it were true. After all, she's part Italian herself. "My great, great something-or-other was a Pony Soldier. Well actually, he was a violinist, attached to Seventh Cavalry." Heh. And can someone please explain to me why Joey thought this ploy would work? I mean, besides the fact that he's Joey, of course.

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