Pax Soprana

Episode Report Card
Pax Soprana

Junior at the tailor's, standing ramrod straight on the measuring block in a new shirt and jacket and a giant pair of old-man's boxers. The tailor tells Junior he's lucky; he stayed slim, so he can buy suits "right off the rack." Yeah, and how. Junior smiles that he wanted something special: "The boys are having a little time for me." Mikey, leafing through a magazine, asks if Junior's wearing a suit to the dinner; Junior snorts that "these guys today, they wanna be buried in a jogging outfit." Oh, God -- amen to that. I think that's what I like best about The Sopranos; they acknowledge these little things, these bits of received wisdom about the Mob. Anyway, Junior asks after the tailor's oldest son Ralphie; the tailor sighs that Ralphie lost his oldest son. "What do you mean, 'lost'?" Junior asks. Dead, the tailor says, getting upset: "Just -- just a fuckin' kid, a baby!" "Whoa whoa whoa, what're we talkin' about here -- you lost your grandson?" Junior asks, stepping down from the measuring block. The tailor rants angrily about these "fucking animals, these drug dealers," and Junior remembers that "that little kid used to run around here breakin' balls," and the tailor weeps, "Domenic…my namesake." Junior turns to Mikey and asks if he knew about this; Mikey shakes his head. Junior gets back up onto the block and asks rhetorically, "What'd I say about this fuckin' poison," and says how he reads in the paper all the time about kids overdosing, but the tailor interrupts to say that Domenic didn't overdose, "he killed himself -- fourteen years old." "Jesus!" grunts Junior. Mikey stands up: "Was this at Paterson Falls?" The tailor nods. "Holy shit, that was your grandson?" Mikey asks. "What?" Junior wants to know. Mikey tells the story: "The kid, he took one a those…designer drugs, right? Goes to the falls, takes a header right off the fence. They said the, the current whirled so much that his head was bashed on the rocks for days before he even came up." A born diplomat, that Mikey. Kee-rist. ["Is it wrong that my first thought was, 'How does a fourteen-year-old afford designer drugs?'" -- Wing Chun] Junior agrees with me and grimaces, holding up a hand to shut Mikey up: "Shhht!" The tailor laments that meanwhile, "this piece a shit, he gets to walk the streets and sell more a this stuff to young kids." Junior gets that furious beetle-browed look on his face: "Oh, really? What's this motherless fuck's name?"

Cut Of Great Irony to Livia gazing fondly at Junior, who sips from a china cup and scowls, "Even the coffee's old in here." Heh. Livia shrugs that what can you do, "eventually they find you with a broken hip." Junior bitches some more about getting Livia some decent coffee, but she's moved on: "What are you wearing? Ya smell like a French puttan' [whore]." "It's Canoe. Johnny wore Canoe." An elderly man makes his way past them with a wheeled walker: "Mornin', Livia." "Oh, morning," she says semi-brightly. "Morning," the man says to Junior. "New arrival?" "Go 'head, keep movin', fella," Junior grunts, insulted. After the man has made himself scarce, Livia tells Junior quietly that she's happy for him; she knows how long he waited for the job: "Just don't let certain people take advantage of your good nature, like they did to Johnny." "What certain people -- nobody got over on Johnny!" Junior snaps, then smiles complacently, "Nobody's gonna get over on me," and he gets up to go. Livia asks after Hesh. Junior asks, what about him. Livia snorts, "Who ever heard of Jew riding horses?" Huh? Junior shrugs that Hesh owns a horse farm; Livia does the hand wave, and Junior points out that "he's Tony's friend, not mine. Whaddya got against him, anyway?" "Who, me? Nothing," Livia says disingenuously, adding that Johnny liked Hesh, and Tony "thinks every word that comes out of his mouth -- is pure gold." Junior squints at her suspiciously: "Are you telling me that, since I'm the new boss, I should tax Hesh?" Livia looks purposefully blank, of course; Junior grins gleefully. "Boy, Anthony really musta gotten under your collar -- admit it. You're lookin' to crack his coglioni for puttin' you in here." Livia says mildly that she doesn't know what he's talking about. "Yeah. And I'm playin' shortstop for the Mets," Junior says, giving Livia a look I can only describe as admiring.

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