Melfi's office. Tony enters and makes a big production out of shutting off his cell phone. Since she never mentioned her discomfort from last week, I can only assume that Tony was sensitive enough to notice himself. Or something got cut. Melfi seems ready to run with the determination she gained from her last session with Dr. Bogdanovich, and quickly moves to refer Tony out to a behaviorist. At the first sign of disappointment from Tony, however, her resolve fades, and she quickly backtracks to just offering to bring in some literature for him. Knowing he's won (yet) another battle, Tony smiles.
Later, Melfi is heading down a stairwell, talking to Richard on her cell phone. They discuss her attempts to drop Tony as a patient, and while they chat, a nondescript guy in a red hat wanders past. Eventually, she hangs up the phone and heads out into the underground garage. Just as she reaches her car, the guy jumps out and grabs her, threatening to cut her with a knife. Melfi has obviously taken self-defense courses, because she slams her heel right into his foot and breaks free. He's too quick, however, and quickly subdues her and drags her into the stairwell. He throws her down, rips at her clothing, and, well, rapes her. It's painful and uncomfortable and it goes on seemingly forever, and I really have no idea how you recap a scene like this. They've got a wide-angle lens on. The wall in the background needs a new coat of paint. Lorraine Bracco gives a phenomenal performance. And finally, just as you're about to change the channel because it's too uncomfortable to keep watching, the guy runs off, leaving Melfi crying in the stairwell.
Sidebar: When you've seen as much TV and as many movies as I have, it's pretty hard to get emotional about what you see on the screen. When you've worked behind the camera or in an editing bay, it's even harder, because once you know how the magic trick works, it's never quite the same. The last movie I cried at was E.T., and I was seven. The last time I was surprised was Keyzer Soze, and I was stoned. Scant few tales have since managed to stir an emotive response in this blackened, jaded heart of mine, but there's been two in the past six months that both left me feeling like I'd just been kicked in the gut. One was Requiem For A Dream, which was so far superior to Traffic that it's not even funny. The other was this episode, and I just want to congratulate David Chase, this week's director, and especially Lorraine Bracco for their work here. I didn't see this coming, and it hit like a freight train when it did.
Cut to the hospital, where Melfi and some nurses are doing a rape kit. Richard bursts in and exclaims, "For God's sake, Jen," and I'm already getting a bad vibe off this guy. She shows him the injury to her knee, and…ow, and also the rest of her looks beat up pretty bad too. She's quick to point out that the guy has already been apprehended, and the detective in the room quickly gives a rundown on him, noting especially his name, Jesus Rossi. Richard is shocked to learn that the guy was Italian, and struggles to play it off by saying he was told that the guy was Puerto Rican. Pretty much everyone (including both Melfi and myself) looks at him like he's a total asshole, but before it can get any worse, it gets worse, and their kid Jason appears. After a brief hug for Mom, he and his nasty hair launch straight into a high-decibel rant about how the "world is a fucking sewer" and the animals are winning. Richard shushes him and pushes him out the door, and who wants to bet that's the last time we ever see him? Some people think that little tantrum of his was out of character, but as far as I can tell, the sum total of his characterization on this show has been the bad attitude and the Bard sticker on his backpack, so who can really say how he'd behave? ["Exactly like that, from what we've seen. He's in college and thinks he knows everything. That rant hit just the right note for him, in my opinion." -- Sars] And not to get sidebar city on you, but I've found there's few things on this Earth that will provoke a man's rage more than someone harming a woman he loves. It's protective and patriarchal to be sure, but it's also primal and incredibly powerful. I can't even think about that being my mom.