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Sars: B+ | Grade It Now!
Mambo Italiano

A car pulls into a parking lot. Focus pull to Tony, smoking a cigar and waiting in the Suburban. Johnny gets into the front seat beside him; he's all fidgety, and Tony waits him out for a moment before asking, "Well, here I am, what is it?" Johnny reminds him that they go back a long way, and they've "come way too far to let it all go to shit." Tony rolls his eyes and tells him, "With all due respect, uh, you wanna go down memory lane, put it in second gear, huh?" Heh. Johnny makes a "yeah, okay" gesture with his head and says he wishes Carmine would "ease off" on the whole Esplanade thing, for his own sake. Tony dryly suggests that Johnny tell Carmine that. Johnny sighs, "He's so easily upset these days…his teeth." Hee. The restaurant thing didn't help either. Tony impatiently reminds him of The Appraiser Incident: "What was I supposed to do? It's on page four of the boss manual, John, Jesus." Hee! Johnny finds that funny too, laughing ruefully that Tony's "preaching to the choir" -- Tony has no idea how many of Carmine's decisions lighten Johnny's pockets. Tony thinks that over, then asks why Johnny's telling him all this. "Because at heart I know you're a pragmatist, as I am. I'm telling you now, Carmine won't bend." Tony, in a "yeah…and?" tone: "And I just told you I won't."

Johnny then ruminates that, "if Carmine's health were bad -- if something were to happen to him, [meaningful look at Tony] God forbid -- all of this unpleasantness would just…" Tony's not sure what he's hearing: "John, Carmine's fine." "Yes," Johnny sighs, "he's very healthy. [another pointed look at Tony] Thank God." Tony can't quite believe that Johnny basically just suggested offing Carmine. Johnny wraps it up with a strangely chipper, "Call me," and gets out of the car. Message received -- Tony, almost smiling, mutters to himself in disbelief, "Holy shit."

A peaked Carmela is propped up in bed, watching How To Marry A Millionaire. Yep, I think we get it. When Tony comes in, she comments that he's home early, and asks if she has a fever, and he flops across the bed backwards to feel her forehead -- deft ironic touch, that little gesture of familiarity. After a little back-and-forth about her temperature, we cut to a shot from Carm's side of the bed as she rolls over on her side. Tony says he talked to Meadow that morning, and she left on her ski trip. "Oh?" Carmela forces out. Tony says Meadow's a good kid. "She hates my guts, Tony," Carmela says flatly. Tony says Meadow doesn't hate her: "She's gonna call you! C'mon. You know how that works." He undresses and curls up beside Carm, adding, "Finn'll go, she'll forget all about him in a coupla weeks. In a few years she'll find somebody else…settle down." He strokes the ends of Carmela's hair, with a tenderness we usually see him reserving for his mistresses; Carm just lies there, staring into the middle distance. Tony: "Maybe she won't, who knows. She can do whatever she wants." Carm, staring, listens to Tony as he lists all the things Meadow is and can become, things Carmela envies in Meadow and wants in herself -- things she wants Tony, Furio, anyone to tell her about herself, not about her daughter. Tony fiddles with her hair some more, saying that Meadow's becoming a "smart, beautiful, independent woman that you created. Isn't that what you dreamed about?" Carm blinks slowly before droning, "Yes." As Annie Lennox's "Little Bird" kicks up on the soundtrack, she stares a moment longer, then finally closes her eyes, and we go to credits.

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