At the Bing, Paulie finds Tony in the back room. Tony's at the desk, bent over paperwork, but Paulie makes a point of going for a hug and a backslap. Then he hands Tony a fat envelope. Tony asks if he robbed a bank. Paulie shrugs, "Back in business, T," and attempts to chat Tony up about going to the track (Tony says he's "thinking about it," which I guess means he's trying to put Pie-O-My behind him). Patsy comes in to say that Johnny Sack is on the phone. Paulie snaps, "What's that prick want?" Tony doesn't know. Paulie stands there. When the hint finds no purchase in the rocky soil of Paulie's "social" "graces," Tony tells him, "Let me take this," and waits for Paulie to leave. Paulie does so
and promptly presses his ear to the door from outside. Heh. Tony's side of the conversation: "Hello thought we did all right, I'll meet ya." Paulie shudders and walks away from the door.
Soprano Manor. Tony asks Meadow if she said goodbye to her mother. Apparently, Carmela went to the store before Meadow got out of the shower. Tony sits on the stairs and watches Meadow get ready, then tells her that Carmela loves her: "You know that, don't you?" Meadow makes a "yeah, yeah" face and says she knows. She goes to sit by Tony, who asks her to cut Carm some slack: "She's goin' through a tough time right now." When Meadow asks why, Tony theorizes that maybe it's menopause or empty-nest syndrome. Shot of Meadow regarding him sadly as he mentions that he and Carm talked about it in counseling. Meadow, surprised: "You guys went to counseling?" Tony shrugs that it's part of the therapy for his panic attacks. "You? Were in therapy?" Okay, so AJ knew about Tony's therapy as far back as the first season, but Meadow didn't? That seems unlikely, but I can't recall a scene contradicting that, so okay. Anyway, Tony thought she knew about it; Meadow's all, "Oh. My. God," but she seems proud of him. Tony goes on that maybe Carmela feels "unfulfilled" on some level, and when he uses the word "unfulfilled," Meadow starts to look sad again, and a little bit afraid, too. "Switch on Rosie O'Donnell, that's all these women bitch about," he grumps, but as Meadow continues to regard him worriedly, he admits that that's probably his fault. "It's an epidemic right?" he concludes. We can see Meadow trying to decide if she should say what she thinks she knows. Whether she does it to spare Carmela or Tony is open to debate, but she opts for a relatively neutral, "You really think that's it?" "Yeah," Tony shrugs. Meadow's eyes fill up. Tony turns to look at her, and she looks down, bites her lip, and agrees softly that "it's probably the beginning of menopause, like you said." Tony kisses her on the forehead and tells her to have a good time and goes into the kitchen. Meadow sits a minute longer and looks worried some more. Good scene between those two, as always.