Sopranos
Mergers & Acquisitions

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Mother should I check the mall?

Meanwhile, Carmela is home alone, reading The Mists of Avalon. Perhaps sensing that the book won't be any better than the TV movie, she throws it across the room and jumps out of bed. With a look of angry determination, she stomps outside in her robe and begins pounding on the storage bin where Tony hides his cash. She's not able to get the lock open, so she grabs a nearby shovel and tries to pry it off with that. Alas, nothing works, and she gives the thing one last tug in frustration.

Ways You Know You've Been Watching Too Much Television -- #4: You actually watched The Mists of Avalon.

Cut to the Bing's back room, where Tony is working when he gets a call on his cell phone. It's Valentina, and he's not happy to be hearing from her. She finally convinces him to listen for a moment, and then proceeds to tell him one of the most horrifying tales I've ever heard. And since I took a lot of flak for skimming over the details the last time we dealt with the perversions of Joey Pants, this time you get to experience the entire thing in its fully transcribed glory: "[Joey] does not have sex like other people," she says. "It's all some kind of kinky shit. And believe me, I am not hung up. I've done a lot. I've done girls, I've done threesomes. [Joey] is loco, for real. He just makes me do stuff, not really even sexual. Like last night. I just wanted him to fuck me, just so I could get back at you. But all he wanted me to do was drip candle wax on his balls. Then he went to the bathroom and jerked himself off. Now I don't call that having sex with someone. Last week, I swear to God, he told me to rub his dick raw with a cheese grater." There. Are you happy now? Because God knows I'm not. Thankfully, Silvio and Patsty show up, and Tony is forced to end the call. He turns to Silvio and asks, "Do you think [Joey] is a little weird about women?" "I don't know, Ton'," replies Silvio, in what I'm just sick enough to consider the funniest line of the night. "I mean, he did beat one to death just for, uh…I forgot. What was it again?" Hee! I'm telling you, there's nothing funnier than meaningless violence.

Melfi's office. I'm a bit more confident that you'll remember who Melfi is this week, so I'll dispense with the explanation. The good doctor is explaining that Tony probably feels guilty for "cuckolding" Joey, but Tony doesn't know what cuckolding means. And besides, he points out, Valentina is Joey's goomar, not his wife. "And thus has no status whatsoever?" inquires Melfi. "Goomars have status," replies Tony. "I mean, it's not like the old days, when a man had a wife, and then sort of a second wife. Used to be that men would take out their wives on Fridays, and their goomars on Saturdays. Or maybe it was the other way around." Hee! Instead of pointing out that she's already been through all this with Ray Liotta, Melfi just shrugs and says, "Sounds like a complicated arrangement." She also tells Tony that their time is up, but Tony says he just has one more question. He explains about Joey's predilections, and Melfi describes the guy as "a textbook masochist." "Like many other things," she continues, "we believe it's rooted in childhood." Tony still can't understand how that works, because, as he puts it, "I received regular beatings when I was a kid, but I'm not going around looking for some woman to hook up jumper cables to my private parts." He should be, though. It's more fun than it sounds like. Melfi explains that Joey probably had a "controlling and punishing mother," who "loved him, but showed it only in connection with some sort of violent and abusive act." "Is everything about everybody really about their mother?" wonders Tony, which simultaneously allows him to give voice to everything both Freud and David Chase have ever thought, while also giving Lorraine Bracco the opportunity to redeem her entire season with the sly, affirmative shrug she gives in response. Incidentally, I also like her new hairdo. I just thought you should know. Refusing to let the subject die, Tony has to ask one last question: "A guy like that…he could technically not have penisary contact with her valvo?" Bwah! "Penisary contact with her valvo." Now that's a keeper. And also an explanation for why the gangbangers were driving a Volvo last week.

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Sopranos

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