I Dream Of Jeannie Cusamano

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Psychiatry pays for itself

Tony is going to visit his mom at Green Grove. Oh, look, he brought her a pillow. He's fluffing it for her. How sweet of him. Oh my. What's that look on his face? It looks like an evil, determined grin. Hmm. The nurse rushes out. Mr. Soprano, I'm so glad to see you. Have you spoken with your wife? No. Oh, well, your mother had a stroke after she saw the news last night. The EMTs are taking her to the hospital. Tony looks downright gleeful at the diagnosis. He ditches the pillow and rushes up to the gurney. He leans over to his mother and tells her that he knows. And now Junior's in jail, so he has only one loose end to tie up. Her. He keeps whispering at her while the EMTs yell at him and finally call security to get him off of her. They swear she can't understand him, that she has no language function. He swears she's smiling under her oxygen mask, and as they pull him away and cart her off, you can see that Livia is indeed smiling. Damn, she's creepy. Ooh, I hate her.

Tony runs to check on Dr. Melfi. Her office is empty. She's gone on vacation, a cleaning man tells him. Tony looks pleased. As he stands there, surveying her vacant office, the lights go out. Storm's a-comin'.

Tony, Carmela, Meadow, and AJ are in the car. The weather is rainy and grey and they can barely see the road ahead of them. If I weren't so sleepy, I'd use the weather as a metaphor for this past season of The Sopranos. But, like I said, I'm sleepy, so insert your own. C'mon, I know you can do it. I have faith in your inner snark. Tony is trying to make it to his sister's house, but as Meadow so helpfully points out over and over again, they'll never be able to make it. The rain's coming down too hard and they can't see the road anymore. Carmela agrees, and Tony comes up with an alternate plan. They unload at Vesuvio's and stand in the rain, trying to convince Artie to let them in. His power is out, he says, and they're closing up shop. They tell him pointedly that they can just go to McDonald's, and Artie relents. Chefs and their damn egos, Charmaine and I think in unison. As the Sopranos pile into the restaurant, the camera pans out to reveal that not only are Adrianna and Christopher there making out at the bar, but Paulie, Little Stevie, and his hair are all there too. Um, Charmaine? If you want to keep the wiseguy riff-raff out of Vesuvio's, you'll have to try just a teensy bit harder. Artie seats them at a table and confesses that the gas is still on, so he can cook most anything on the menu. Tony says that anything will be fine. As Meadow and AJ head to the kitchen to talk to Artie and Charmaine's kids, Paulie and his calamine lotion and Stevie and his hair hold a short roundtable discussion about Tony's psychiatric visits. Paulie is bothered not that Tony was seeing a psychiatrist, but that he was seeing a lady psychiatrist. I'm bothered by Paulie's use of the word "lady." He makes it sound really sleazy. Of course, Paulie could make "chicken sandwich on rye" sound really sleazy. He's a gross, gross man and he has that effect on words. Artie's just bringing the food out to the table when the camera returns to the Sopranos. It's some yummy-looking pasta dish. Before they dig in, Tony stops them all for a toast. He knows that soon enough the kids will be out of the house and building families of their own. He hopes that they will look back and remember these moments of family closeness. As opposed to all those fucked-up I-tried- to-kill-Grandma-after-she-tried-to-have-me-whacked me moments. But whatever -- salut!

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