Down Neck

Episode Report Card
Sars: D | 1 USERS: D
Down Neck

On with the show. Carmela responds to Tony's comment by snarling, "If he has an illness?" To Dr. G: "It's an illness, right?" To Tony again: "You'd hit somebody who's sick? You'd hit somebody with polio?" Dr. G and Father Hagy exchange an uncomfortable look, and Dr. G asks with a wince, "You...hit Anthony?" Tony says impatiently that "nobody gets hit in our house -- not exactly my idea," and goes on to say that he doesn't know "what the world's coming to if you can't do a little tarantell' on the kids every once in a while, when they step out of line." Dr. G looks dismayed. Carmela sucks her teeth and, ignoring this statement of purpose from Tony, asks, "So what happens now?" Dr. G says eagerly that AJ will undergo a battery of psychological, behavioral, and physical testing, but Tony breaks in: "Lemme ask you a question. These other kids -- you 'keepin' an eye on' them? Are you testin' them? The ones that aren't named Soprano?" Dr. G grudgingly admits that "there's no immediate plans [sic] for that," and Father Hagy interrupts to read from the school's admissions pamphlet: "We attend every child at Verbum Dei according to his own special set of circumstances." Tony asks sarcastically what they as the parents do, "nothin'?" Dr. G tells them patronizingly, "Oh, no -- I mean, Anthony's misbehaved. He should be consequenced." "Consequenced"? Shut up, Dr. G. Carmela nods. Tony also nods, but it's much more of a "wait until I get that kid alone" nod than Carmela's.

At the dinner table, Livia wails that "it's a crime" that AJ got suspended, especially "with all the money you give them." Don't put too fine a point on it, Liv. Carmela, whose hair has undergone a rather unfortunate Sam-The-Eagle-esque transformation for this scene, has that "must...resist...responding" look that snapped down over my mother's face every time my grandmother intimated that she might do things differently with us kids. Junior, wearing a fairly snazzy black Rat Pack-y shirt, says to AJ, "I bet that gym teacher shit a brick when your little friend puked on his boots, huh, Anthony?" Snerk. AJ and Meadow both chuckle. Tony tells Junior not to "encourage him," and Junior snorts, "Hey, what ever happened to 'boys will be boys'?" Carmela, passing him a bowl of potatoes, snaps, "He stole from the church. They don't make 'em any lower than that." "What a loser," Meadow smirks, but not unkindly. "That's enough outta you," Carmela tells her. Livia pokes listlessly at her fettuccine and sighs, "Oh, his father was the same way. I practically lived in that vice principal's office." Tony rolls his eyes: "Could we not, please?" "Well, you only remember what you wanna remember," she passive-aggressives. (I think I've had this conversation. "And then I come downstairs to find that you had carved your name into the table!" "Ma. Please." "Oh, right, I forgot -- it's Miss Revisionist History." "Ma. It was twenty-two years ago, and if you were that upset, how come you've still got the same table in the den?" "Eh. That's not the point." "All right, Ma? Can we drop this?" "[sigh] I suppose I should have been happy you could spell at such a young age." "MA!!") "I must have had another son who stole a car when he was ten years old," Livia groans, directing the comment to the heavens; a look of sheer delight dawns on AJ's face, as Livia adds, "You could barely see over the steering wheel!" Tony just chews his food and tries not to perforate his mother with a fork. Junior pipes up fondly, "He was a hellion, this one -- him and his little crew. They used to steal lobsters on the boats on the shore, and sell 'em for a buck apiece down on Bloomfield Avenue." "Really?" AJ asks excitedly. Tony plunks down his silverware and shouts that he doesn't want "that kind a talk" in front of AJ: "That stuff is wrong, and I don't condone it!" "Yeah. Sure," AJ snides, taking a sip of his soda, and Junior asks Tony, "Who do you think you're yellin' at?" and Carmela leans across the table and snaps at AJ, "What?" and Meadow turns to him and mutters, "You stupe." Ha! I didn't know kids still called each other that. Carmela: "What did you just say?" Livia wants to know what's going on, Junior bellows that Tony yells at him "like a miserabl' [shrew]," and AJ tries to make like he didn't say anything, but Carmela won't have it, saying in her bitterest voice, "Anthony, I thought this could wait till after dinner. But your father and I have talked." AJ starts to look afraid.

Carmela hands down the punishment: no playing Mario Kart, going skateboarding, or watching TV for three weeks. AJ makes a snotty face: "No." "No"? "NO"? Who says "no" to a punishment? If I'd said "no" to the terms of a grounding, my mother would have sent me to my room and then bricked me in there. AJ looks at Tony in an appeal for help, but Tony gives him a snotty look right back. And there's more -- AJ can't "sit on that Internet" either ("that Internet"?), and every day, he has to ride his bike over to Green Grove and visit Livia. "Oh, that'll be nice," Livia says, jamming a huge forkful of pasta into her craw. AJ, crying now, slams out of his chair: "It's not fair!" Meadow shoots a "HA ha" look at AJ's back as he huffs out of the room; Carmela takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. Tony pushes his plate away angrily.

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