Cut to Chez Soprano, where an equally undressed Meadow wanders through the kitchen in a bikini and low-rise cut offs. Shut up, Meadow. That one was preemptive. You know, in case her bellybutton starts singing. Oh, and speaking of preemptive, am I the only one cynical enough to think that W is just holding off on the Iraq invasion until November sweeps? After all, Fox is bound to have a few holes in its schedule by then (and yeah, girls club, I'm looking at you), so I'm sure a few chic shots of smart bombs would be just what Dr. Murdoch ordered. Think about it. And by the way, can you tell I'm trying to avoid recapping this scene? What's that? You can? Shut up, Meadow. Anyway, she and Carmela immediately start bickering about Meadow's lack of a job this summer, and Meadow reminds her mother that there was "no stagecraft whatsoever" involved in her intern position at the local playhouse. Ack! Too many intern jokes. Not enough cigars. Over the course of the scene, Meadow whines about the death of Little Lord Fuckpants and the excessive burden of having to take "twelve credits" two semesters in a row. She also busts out words like "reductionism," "duplicitous," "canon," and "shitcan." And therein lies my problem with this episode. I'd love to snark on every word she says (twelve fucking credits? Try fifteen and a full-time job, bitch), but there just isn't time. So instead I'll leave you with this: Shut up, Meadow. Shut up, Meadow. Shut. Up. Meadow (∑ SuM = 9).
Eventually the argument is interrupted by the arrival of Furio, and after much primping and preening, Carmela dashes to the front door to let him in. They banter about his plans to buy a house in the area, and Furio admits that he's decided to live in Nutley, presumably because it sounds like "Napoli" when he says it with that Italian accent. Then Tony comes downstairs and the boys depart, leaving Carmela with nothing but her bratty daughter and a few unfulfilled Furio fantasies.
Vesuvio. It's a party, and the gang's all here. And I do mean "all." With the exception of the imprisoned Paulie, pretty much every member of the Soprano "family" is present, along with what appears to be a significant number of vaguely ethnic extras. And for those of you who enjoy looking for hidden meanings in every little scene, this shot's resemblance to da Vinci's "Last Supper" is simply too obvious to ignore. For the record, it's Silvio who's sitting in the Judas spot. Make of that what you will. Meanwhile, the crew has somehow gotten onto the unlikely subject of Harry Potter, and Bobby Bacala opines that kids enjoy the books so much because they "give all the ninety-eight-pound weaklings some hope." This provides Joey Pants with an excellent set-up for a joke which the previews tell us will likely have lasting significance. "Speaking of ninety-eight pounds," he says, "I hear Ginny Sack is getting a ninety-five pound mole taken off her ass!" Everyone laughs and laughs, even though it's clearly not as funny as last season's Ragu blood-type bit. Perhaps realizing this, Tony gets up and excuses himself, but not before instructing Silvio to conduct some business in his absence. Once the boss is gone, Sil convenes a meeting, and yields the floor to Patsy Parisi and Little Paulie. They explain that Big Paulie is still stuck in prison, and upset that he hasn't been receiving his fair share of perks from the esplanade project. There's some back-and-forth negotiation between Joey Pants and Patsy Pees-A-Lot, and Silvio eventually decrees that Tony has decided to award five "jobs" to Paulie. That's more than Joey was prepared to give, and less than Paulie wanted, but it does seem to be a pretty fair split. These "jobs," by the way, fall into two categories: "no work" and "no show" (StTM = 349). I'll just skip the obligatory pun about my having no work if there were no show, and report that Silvio also announces that Christopher has been promoted to acting capo in Paulie's absence. Patsy looks somewhat discomfited by this revelation, but I suppose it's also just possible that his Depends are leaking.