Of course, it's not like The Sopranos's own editorial stance isn't made clear when Tony, without any sense of irony, says "that lesbian thing" with Jennifer Beals is pretty good. He thinks about it a moment, and then asks, "She a dyke in real life?" Melfi has the good grace to demur. And don't forget, Tony says, he's a "strict Catholic." Again, no irony. Pretty much the only person who'd ever get to quote the Bible to me to make a point about how others should comport themselves is Mother Teresa. Tony pays some lip service to not caring what consenting adults do behind closed doors, but he agrees with that Senator "Sanitorium" (we're with you, Chase) that you go too far down this road, we'll be fucking dogs. Which is the other argument brought up a lot. Putting aside how odious it is to compare sex with another person to sex with an animal, it's like this weird fear that same-sex marriage won't be permitted, it'll be obligatory. For straight people too.
"I hear a lot of ambivalence," says Melfi, and I don't think she was being sarcastic; Tony's tone is that of someone who doesn't entirely believe what he's saying. He thinks for a moment: "The guys that work for me are asking for head." Pause. "His head," he says, rolling his eyes. Please stop this now? What it comes down to is dollars -- Tony says that a lot of the old-timers aren't going to want to work with Vito, and these are mega-dollar deals he's talking about.
Melfi changes the subject to men in Tony's profession going to jail, and how they can't be strangers to "male-male sexual contact." Tony's silent for a moment, before saying, "You get a pass for that." "Well, that's nice," she says flatly. Heh. Tony explains that with no women for five, ten years, what are you gonna do? Well, I went to college. Problem solved, my friend. Tony also takes great pains to let Melfi know that his own incarceration (?) was very short-term, so he never had any need for "anal, you know..." Thanks for that, Tony. And even when Melfi tries to ask what Vito says about the whole thing, Tony's worried that she thinks he's lying about not having any need for "anal, you know..." Melfi lets him twist a little bit.
And after a little introspection, Tony admits that some part of him says, "God bless, salud." After all, he got a second chance; why shouldn't Vito? It's part of the new, improved Tony, which Melfi herself salutes. "Tall fuckin' order, I tell you that," says Tony. "You can talk about every day being a gift, and stopping to smell the roses...but regular life's got a way of picking away at it." His kids, his things, his cell phone...what was he just saying about people going around in pity for themselves?