Marco Polo

Episode Report Card
Aaron: B- | 1 USERS: A+
Happy Birthday To Hugh

Continuing with our weird shot selection, we're suddenly out in front of the house, as Chris and Adriana lead his mother out to a car. She's complaining that she wasn't drinking (which is totally not true), and Chris looks pissed off like only a recovering addict with an alcoholic mother and a dyspeptic fiancée can. Also in the driveway are Carmela and her parents, as the drunken Pa is loaded into the backseat of his car. Tony puts the shotgun in the trunk (without bothering to put it back in its case first), while Ma makes apologies to the Fegolis for this shocking display of bad manners. Once they've left, presumably to attend a kegger at the Vatican or some such, Carmela immediately tears into her mother for apologizing to the guests. "Oh please," whines Ma. "The off-colored jokes, the sausage twirling...." Carmela realizes that Ma is talking about Tony, and if anything, this gets her even madder. "These are cultured Italians," explains Ma. "He's a success, a diplomat. This was a shock to him." Oh, please. This guy was working in a country that elected a porn star to Parliament. He's a snob, not a shrinking violet. Although I do suppose Ma wouldn't exactly see it that way. Carmela reminds her mother that Dr. Fegoli not only insulted his hosts, but also grew up on "Arthur Avenue," which I have to assume is in some shady Italian neighborhood, and not in any way adjacent to the entirely fictional Frack Avenue by my house. "Whatever we are," she snarls, "I am proud of it. Unlike you, obviously. I remember you telling Aunt Rose you were glad 'DeAngelis' didn't end in a vowel. And when Meadow came out, 'Oh my God, she's so dark!'" Ma tries to leave, but Carmela isn't finished. "There are Italians all around with their closet self-loathing. I just never wanted to believe my mother was one of them." And yeah, you should probably feel free to substitute "Michael Imperioli" for "Carmela" and "people who didn't like 'Christopher'" for "my mother" in that sentence.

Even later that night, the last few guests are playing Marco Polo in the pool. In case you're keeping score, the players include Tony, Artie, AJ, Meadow, Finn, and, I think, Cousin Brian. Artie is it, but when Tony spots Carmela wandering by, he quickly jumps out of the pool. "Fish out of water," shouts Artie, proving that even Marco can be meta. Tony, however, is taking a break, and he walks over to help Carmela with the clean-up. Or at least that's what he's pretending to do. What he's really after is a chance to throw her into the pool, and within about ten seconds, he's got her arms and AJ has her legs, and just like that, Carm is taking a swim. I was totally expecting her to be furious, and she does seem a bit peeved at first. But then Tony and AJ celebrate by executing matching cannonballs into the water, and she seems to get into the spirit of things just a bit. Never one to let an opportunity to grate go unannoyed, Artie immediately taps Carmela and declares that she's it. Reluctantly, and with a pitch-perfect tone of exasperation, Carmela sighs, "Marco." Hee! That's totally my new start-up sound.

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