Sopranos
Pax Soprana

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Pax Soprana

Fade up on Vin Makazian chilling in a lumberyard with the newspaper. Tony's Suburban pulls up alongside. They go for a walk and Makazian fills Tony in on Melfi's activities: "girl stuff," dry cleaning, food shopping (she goes to the "fancy schmancy" Italian deli). Makazian goes on to complain that he doesn't know what he's supposed to look for. Tony, predictably, grunts that it's "none of your fucking business" and Makazian is on "need-to-know" status. He adds that he should beat Makazian down for what he did to Melfi's date the month before. Makazian shouts that he thought Melfi "was some goomah of" Tony's, so he threw a scare into the guy: "What's the big deal?" Tony, wearing a black-and-tan shirt that looks like seventies-vintage rec room wallpaper, lets that pass, then asks if the guy comes around anymore. Makazian scoffs that he doesn't and calls the guy a coward. Tony asks if he's got anything else; Makazian says that the night before, Melfi got off at nine and went to bed early. "That's it?" "That's it." Tony stuffs some cash in Makazian's pocket and tells him to "buy yourself an iron."

Melfi comes through the double doors to her waiting area: "Ready?" Inside, Tony rustles in a paper bag and sets a coffee cup in front of Melfi; he's either sucking up to or crushing on her. Melfi taps her hands on her knees uncomfortably, then asks, "So…how was your college trip with your daughter?" Tony jokingly describes his life as "like an episode of Provolonesomething." Heh. "What's going on?" Tony, futzing with his coffee, explains that all he and Carmela do is fight, and adds with a dismissive snort that "she's jealous a you." Melfi lowers her eyes before asking, "Is that something you feel, or has there been discussion with Carmela?" Tony says that Carmela didn't know Melfi was a woman. Melfi wonders why Tony hadn't told Carmela that before; Tony, missing the point, says that he didn't tell Carmela, that Melfi "spilled the beans" when she called to change their appointment. Melfi changes tacks, asking why Tony chose to come to a female doctor in the first place. That's an excellent question, actually. Tony smirks that Carmela "asked the same friggin' question…and I sometimes wonder myself." "And?" Tony says that, as he explained to Carmela, Dr. Cusamano gave him a choice between "two Jewish guys and a paisan' like me, so I picked the paisan'." Melfi changes tacks again, asking Tony, "What's the one thing -- your mother, your wife, your daughter -- have in common?" "They all break my balls," Tony cracks, and Melfi has to chuckle. Tony knows what she means, though: "They're all Italian, so what?" I can think of about a dozen answers I would have given before "Italian," starting with "passive-aggressive," but whatever ["and I would have led with 'whiny' or perhaps 'fashion-impaired'" -- Wing Chun] -- Melfi suggests that maybe by "coming clean with" her, Tony is "dialoguing" with the other women in his life. Tony doesn't think much of this theory and turns the tables, asking Melfi why she has him as a patient and pointing out in a rather fond tone that a lot of people "would go a hundred miles out of their way not to have eye contact with" him, "but you -- you didn't flinch." Melfi smiles tightly and looks away. Does that count as a flinch? I think it does.

Overhead shot of a poker game; "My Girl" plays in the background. I hate that song. I know you'll all sleep better at night knowing that. [Cough.] Anyway, a short, balding guy goes to the door, checks the peephole, and lets in Mikey Palmice and two of his guys. Short Balding Guy says they came just in time, he's about to make coffee, and he asks after Junior. Mikey jumps on SBG, knocks him down, kicks him in the ribs a few times, and tells him as he lies writhing on the floor, "That's how Junior is, Sammy." Mikey has that fugly International Male beige cabled sweater on again. Man, I can't wait till he gets killed off so I don't have to look at that eyesore anymore, not to mention the thinning-hair-non-disguising blow-dry he's got going on. Sammy gasps that he's with Little Jimmy Altieri, and Mikey, all out of breath from waving his dick around, asks if Sammy's paying Jimmy Altieri "for this game." "No," Sammy wheezes. "Are you paying someone for this game? Huh?" Mikey wants to know, punctuating the question with another boot to Sammy's ribs. Mikey announces to the room at large that "the party's over -- Junior Soprano is the new boss, and he ain't respectin' old arrangements."

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