Cut to a door opening, which reveals a well-dressed and apparently alive Gloria Trillo. She looks thrilled to see Tony, who's decked out in a suit himself. "Dinner's almost ready," she says as he comes inside. Such was the craftiness with which this episode's promo was assembled that I actually spent the better part of the week assuming that Tony's next line would be, "You're not going to throw it at me, are you?" For those viewers who were slow to pick up on the whole alcohol-induced dream sequence thing we've got going here, Steve Buscemi cranks up the melancholy opera on the soundtrack and provides a long, lingering shot of the black scarf which is wrapped around Gloria's neck. Tony takes yet another swig from his bottle of armagnac, and then suddenly we're at the kitchen table, with Gloria cuddled softly in Tony's lap. There's some kissing and grabbing of breasts, and then the oven timer dings, and she jumps up to check on dinner. And now I'm almost willing to forgive all the exposition they had to cram into twenty minutes just to get here, because the shot of Gloria's long scarf trailing from her neck all the way back to wrap around Tony was perfect. Because -- do you get it? She hung herself on him? Nice one, Steve. She opens the oven to baste dinner with a few disgusting sound effects, but Tony is distracted by some plaster that's fallen into his drink. He looks up to see the chandelier pulled halfway out of the ceiling, and then Gloria is right back in front of him. "Which do you want to see?" she asks, putting one hand between her legs. "This?" The other hand reaches for her scarf. "Or this?" She slowly pulls the fabric away from her neck, and
Tony jerks awake in bed. You know, if he'd been wearing a comfortable robe, he'd be a lot less likely to have nightmares, don't you think? He stumbles out of bed, and as I laugh at his bald spot in the bathroom mirror, he downs a Prozac and Advil cocktail. Only the Prozac gets a product placement. From downstairs, Carmela hollers that Cousin Brian has arrived, and Tony tries to pull himself together.
And he apparently succeeds, because now he's in the living room with Brian and Carmela. She's delighted that Tony has agreed to sign a living trust, which presumably includes the modifications his accountant suggested last week. "You have made me so happy, Tony," she gushes. "And if I was, like, obnoxious about this, I'm sorry." Wow. A Melfi scene and a Carmela apology, all in the same episode? I guess this is what happens when you let insiders like Michael Imperioli wrote your episodes for you. An oven timer dings in the background, and while Tony's eyes flicker ever so slightly in recognition, Carmela jumps up to fetch the "lava cookies" she's making for a bake sale. Before she leaves, however, she does manage to exposit that Brian and his wife will be joining them at a Billy Joel concert the following week. She also expresses disappointment that Tony couldn't get enough tickets for Furio and the dental hygienist to come with them. "Hesh's guy could only get six [tickets]," explains Tony, without looking too upset about it. And I should give credit yet again to this show's unerring ethnic accuracy. Nobody knows Billy Joel like the Jews. On the way out, Tony compliments Brian's suit, and gives him a card with Patsy Peesy's phone number on it. Uh oh. This isn't gonna end well. Something tells me Brian is going to Oz.