I Dream Of Jeannie Cusamano

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Psychiatry pays for itself

Anyway. Tony doesn't really want to go there. Dr. Melfi says that maybe he should go there, that it could be therapeutic. She starts to prod him to think it's a little strange that he was dreaming about Isabella, the idealized sweet protective mother, the day before he was shot. His subconscious was telling him something. Yeah, something like "dial down the dosage." Dr. Melfi says that, normally, a patient is guided to make his own conclusions about people and relationships, but since Tony's life is at stake, she's going to drop-kick him down the yellow brick road. She points out that, the day before he was shot, his mother was telling stories about infanticide, that those are her favorite topics of dinner conversation. She points out that, in his worst dreams, a duck flies off with his penis, and that while his mother never touched him below the beltway, a fear of castration still exists.

Tony wants Melfi to lay all her cards on the table. Does she really think that his mother, his *ahem* dear, sweet mother tried to have him whacked for putting her in a nursing home? Dr. Melfi knocks him upside the head with the DSM IV. She thinks Livia has all the high-tech features and functions of a borderline personality disorder: joyless, intense anxiety, internal phobias, no love or compassion, creating bitterness and conflict among family and friends. What I want to know is, what's so borderline about it? If anyone has an all-out personality disorder, it's Livia. Dr. Melfi describes the effect that borderline personality disorders have on the near and dear, without noticing the effect the description is having on Tony. Well, not until he knocks the glass top off her table with his fist and launches himself well into her personal space to point out, with his finger in her face, "That's my mother you're talking about and you're lucky if I don't break your face into fifty thousand pieces." I think she noticed that. As he storms out, Melfi rushes to lock and barricade her office door.

Carmela is having lunch with Jackie Aprile's widow, whose name I don't know, but who has obviously opted to wear lots of black eye shadow in lieu of a black armband. How very fashion forward. The lunching ladies are discussing how it was the work and all the agita that killed Jackie. Carmela agrees, but adds that Jackie's reign was peaceful and with the shots at Tony and everything, she just doesn't know what's happening. Jackie's widow (no, I can't remember her name) points out that if the cancer didn't take Jackie, sooner or later something else would have. And who knows what? Look at Mrs. Pussy; she has no idea what happened to her husband. Carmela nods in agreement as Artie comes out with a plate of bucatini, compliments of the house. The ladies gratefully accept it. And it really does look good. Hmm. Lunch break? Lunch break. Okay, I'm back. If anyone's curious, I did not have bucatini, opting instead for the vegetarian BLT. Can't beat fake bacon with a stick, no sirree. Carmela and the widow thank Artie for the food and tell him that the new Vesuvio is even better than the old one. He accepts their compliments and agrees that the insurance really paid off for him. I guess he's gotten over that whole arson issue and is just working with life's little lemons. He is a chef, after all. Not the Iron Chef, but a chef who probably makes some mean lemonade. I'll shut up now. Artie asks Carmela about Tony's mom. He heard a rumor. It must have been one of Liz Smith's slower days. Carmela confirms that it looks like it's Alzheimer's, and that Tony's awfully upset about it. Artie's upset too, since he's known "Mrs. S" since he was knee high to a macaroni and although she's somewhat of a character, it's still sad. I think by "somewhat" he meant "a whole big heckuva," and by "character" he meant "pain in the meatballs." He also feels bad for Tony because he already has a lot on his plate, what with the attempted carjacking and everything. Carmela nods her head in agreement as Artie excuses himself.

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