Sopranos
College

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Sars: D | 7 USERS: A-
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College

Church bells. Fade up on the back of Tony's head; he's standing outside, smoking a cigar, and the camera circles to show him on the steps of an college-y looking building. Meadow comes out holding a manila envelope, and when Tony asks her how it went, she starts reeling off stats about the male-female student ratio, the music program, and the year-abroad programs in China and India, at which point Tony interrupts, "You're just applying here -- already you're leavin'?" "It's just an option, Dad, junior year," she says impatiently. Tony asks what she'd study in India, "how not to get diarrhea?" which makes me laugh, and then makes me hungry for Indian food. Mmmm, lamb tikka masala. Meadow doesn't dignify this, saying instead that they don't require SATs "but mine'll help, 'cause they're high," so I guessed they renamed the SATs the Scholastic Attitude Test, and then she says that "socially, I don't know," and apparently one girl relayed the received wisdom around campus that "Bates is the world's most expensive form of contraception." "Hey, what kind of talk is that?" Tony snaps, and as Meadow starts to roll her eyes, he asks, "You mean the girls at the other colleges we been to, they just put out?" Speaking of nice talk. Jeez. Meadow groans, "Oh my God," and keeps walking. Tony frowns. "Pretty, huh?" Meadow says, trying to change the subject. "Yeah," Tony sighs. "Two to go. Colby up." Meadow, obviously leading the witness, asks Tony why he never finished college, and Tony says he had "that semester and a half at Seton Hall" (quick aside here: in my day, Seton Hall guys had a reputation for dating younger girls. Much younger. Like, fourteen-years-old younger. Gross. Anyhow, back to the show), and adds that Meadow's grandparents "didn't stress college. They were workin'-class people." Meadow wonders why they "were anti-education," but Tony puts an arm around Meadow's shoulders and says that they weren't, exactly: "I can't lay it all off on them; I got into a little trouble as a kid." Meadow jokes that yeah, she heard, and Tony smiles, "You did?" and Meadow smiles back, "Uh huh."

In the car, Tony drives and Meadow stares out the window; a twee advertisement for a local seafood restaurant plays on the radio. Meadow tries to find another station, then switches the radio off and, after much eye-flicking and lip-biting, she asks Tony straight out, "Are you in the Mafia?" Tony, stunned, stares at her in disbelief: "Am I in the what?" Meadow rolls her eyes: "Whatever you want to call it -- 'organized crime.'" Tony looks like he might start laughing: "That's total crap -- who told you that?" Meadow points out that she's "lived in the house all [her] life," and she's seen the police come with warrants and Tony going out at three in the morning. Tony says so what, and hasn't she also seen Dr. Cusamano go out at three in the morning on a call? Meadow blocks that: "Did the Cusamano kids ever find fifty thousand dollars in krugerrands and a .45 automatic while they were hunting for Easter eggs?" Ouch. Advantage: Meadow.

Tony snaps that he's in the waste-management business, so "everyone assumes you're mobbed up. It's a stereotype, and it's offensive! And you're the last person I would want to perpetuate it." "Fine," Meadow shrugs coldly, looking out the window again. Tony shoots a nervous glance at her before grunting, "There is no Mafia." Meadow turns back to him. Tony checks to see if she's buying it; Meadow, fixing him with a level but almost indulgent stare, isn't. Tony rolls his eyes and tries not to smile and tells her, "All right, look. Mead, you're a grown woman. Almost. Some of my money...comes from illegal gambling and, and whatnot." Meadow does the "tell me something I don't know" eye-roll and tries not to laugh at her father. Tony asks, "How does that make you feel?" Heh. Meadow shrugs and says mildly that "at least you don't keep denying it like Mom." She adds that "kids in school think it's actually kinda neat." Tony asks dryly if that's because they've seen The Godfather, and Meadow says they like Casino better -- "Sharon Stone, seventies clothes, pills" -- but Tony interrupts, "I'm not askin' about those bums, I'm askin' about you." Meadow thinks for a moment, then confesses that sometimes she wishes that Tony "were like other dads," but advertising executives and lawyers -- she rolls her eyes yet again and snorts, "So many dads are fulla shit." "And I'm not," Tony mutters sarcastically. Meadow tells him sweetly, "You finally told the truth about this," and Tony smiles ruefully, and she smiles back. Tony can't let it go, though, trying to convince her that "part of my income comes from legitimate businesses," but Meadow cuts him off: "Look, Dad -- please, okay? Don't start mealy-mouthing." She turns the radio back on.

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