Carmela is way too nice. Really, doesn't Catholic guilt only go so far? Maybe she's going for sainthood? Visiting Livia is certainly a stop on the road to beatification. Like wearing hair shirts or keeping your virginity or self-flagellation. Anyway, Carmela's bringing Livia a ricotta pie and a big ol' helping of pop psychology. She tells Livia that she's driving Tony into an early grave with all her drama, manipulation, and self-imposed isolation. Carmela knows the power a mother wields, and she tells Livia that enough is enough. Livia's having none of it and lobs it right back at her by insinuating that Carmela's insinuating that she and Junior are more than friends and starts crying about being abandoned. Game. Set. Match.
Tony stops over at Pussy's house, allegedly to bring him some cannoli. Pussy's son is home from college, and Pussy is concerned about being able to keep up the tuition payments. He's losing money because his back is hurt, and now he thinks he's getting hooked on Percocet. Tony reassures him that whatever corner he's in, he always has options because he has friends. Friends with guns. And here's a question -- does Pussy pay tuition in cash? Wouldn't it be kind of hard to set up a bank account with money you earn by moving heroin? I don't understand these things. ["I think this is where money laundering comes in, but I have to confess that I'm a bit vague on how that works myself." -- Sars] Anyway, Tony gives Pussy the opportunity to tell him that he's wearing a wire, but both of them back down from the moment without admitting or accusing, and Tony calls him a beached whale. Ah, friendship.
Tony meets Paulie at a bar. He's smoking, drinking, and very serious. He tells Paulie that he's ninety percent sure that Pussy's wearing a wire. Paulie can't believe it. He won't believe it. He mustn't believe it. But he tells Tony that he'll do what's necessary if the rumors are true. Because Tony's earned the right not to pop his friends himself. Ah, friendship. But he still can't believe it. He still won't believe it. He still mustn't believe it. They hug.