Chorus rehearsal. As the students butcher "All Through The Night," we pan across the chorus to Hunter "Ugly Friend" Scangarelo and Meadow "Bratizen Kane" Soprano, both singing along and looking utterly bored. Meadow then jumps the cue for her solo, and the chorus director makes a snide remark as the piano accompaniment stops and the other kids snicker. Hunter says in Meadow's defense that they stayed up "past two" the night before studying for the SATs. "Are you her lawyer?" the director asks mildly. Heh. "No," Meadow sulks, and the director starts to say that she doesn't know why "they" scheduled SATs the same week as the concert, but Meadow interrupts to brat, "Same day," and the director snaps, "What?" and all the kids start talking amongst themselves.
Walking down the hall, Meadow says pointedly to Hunter, "Get kicked out of Concert Singers and there goes our best extracurricular," and Hunter snarks, "Goodbye Berkeley, hello Glassboro State," and Meadow says that she can't wait to put the entire "North American land mass" between her and her parents. Yeah, a few of us on this side of said land mass can't wait for that either, Bratty Arbuckle. "New Jersey blows," Hunter agrees. Meadow moans that she wants to go to Berkeley "sooo baaaad," and Hunter says she can't deal anymore, and Meadow grumbles that they won't get any sleep until after the SATs.
"Don't Squeeze The" Charmaine Bucco tells Tony and Carmela "Our Lady Of Passive Aggression" Soprano not to mind the mess; she hadn't expected company. Tony asks where he can find Artie "Hey Boo" Bucco, and Charmaine says he's downstairs, so Tony goes to find him. Carmela looks around at all the boxes and stacked-up furniture, obviously judges them wanting, and arranges her face into its customary plastic smile before delivering the back-handed compliment, "I love the coziness." She hands Charmaine a brightly wrapped box and welcomes her to the neighborhood. "Well, the school district, anyway," Charmaine shrugs, then tells Carmela that she didn't have to get her a present; Carmela beams at her condescendingly. Charmaine says awkwardly that the two of them don't see each other "like we used to," and Carmela jumps in with an overly earnest "I want that to change." Huh? Charmaine doesn't approve of the Sopranos, but she's bummed about not seeing them socially? And does Carmela think she's doing Charmaine a solid by wanting to hang out with her?
In the garage, Tony tells Artie that "the place looks good." Artie, mucking around with the garage door, comments that it needs some work but they'll get it in shape. Tony lets Artie know that, if he needs start-up cash until the insurance settlement comes in...he trails off, gesturing toward himself. Artie chuckles bitterly and says that "there'll be an Italian president before I see any insurance money." Tony asks what he means, and Artie says that the insurance company's doing a second arson investigation. Tony snaps, "What do they think, you're mobbed up? You're a working stiff, for chrissake," and Artie says that it doesn't make any sense -- who would burn down a perfectly good restaurant? "Stupid! Insane," he grumbles; Tony looks down and fidgets. "I'm sorry, Artie," he finally says. Artie says that life goes on; he can always become a plumber. Tony gets up and jokes that there's "only one concept to master -- shit runs downhill." Artie laughs and offers Tony a beer.
Satriale's. Tony comes out into the sunshine with a cup of espresso and surveys the scene. The Teitelmans come down the street, and Tony introduces them to Silvio and Paulie, and with prompting by Tony, Mr. Teitelman introduces his son Hillel. Mr. Teitelman does not mention that he played Maury in GoodFellas, and it took me a minute to recognize the actor by his voice alone, since he doesn't have the hideous toupee going here. Anyway, Mr. Teitelman opens by asking if Tony knows the story with his daughter and her husband. Tony nods. Mr. Teitelman asks if Tony has a daughter; Tony says yes, and says again that Mr. Teitelman should call him Tony. Mr. Teitelman asks what Tony would do if his daughter were abused by her husband, and Tony says he'd talk to the husband. "Yeah, in ball-peen hammer," Silvio grumps. Mr. Teitelman starts to go off on a rant, saying that surely Tony can understand his anger, his son-in-law is harming his daughter and flouting Jewish marriage laws, blah bling blah. Tony breaks in to remind him that he's in the garbage business and he only agreed to the meeting because Silvio is a friend of both of theirs, so if he can help Mr. Teitelman with his family problem, he'll happily do so, and now Hillel breaks in by snorting and gesturing at Tony deprecatingly. Tony wants to know what's up with Hillel, and Mr. Teitelman bitches at Hillel in Yiddish to shut up and save his criticisms for when they get home, and he tells Tony in English to "please finish," so Tony confirms that the son-in-law wants half the hotel in exchange for the divorce. Silvio pipes up with the information that the "rabbi goon squads," who used to rough up son-in-laws resisting divorces, have gotten broken up by the DA's office. Mr. Teitelman nods sadly. Tony says that the son-in-law wants fifty percent, so they'll take twenty-five in exchange for taking care of the problem. Hillel stammers that he doesn't understand; Tony snaps that that's because he's not talking to Hillel. Hillel tells his father in Yiddish that "you're creating a golem," that Tony will wind up destroying him "just like the rabbi in the story," and he gets up to leave, but Mr. Teitelman leans in and says, "Get me what I want, Mr. Soprano, and you have a deal." "It's done," Tony says flatly. They shake hands. As the Teitelmans walk away, Hillel harangues his father that once they let "these people" into the motel, they'll never get them out. "That's a commercial, isn't it?" Paulie laughs. He and Tony high-five.