Second Opinion

Episode Report Card
Aaron: B- | Grade It Now!
Answer: Life, the universe, and everything

At the Bing, Christopher has just beaten Paulie in another game of pool. At least they've found a better use for the cues than Joey Pants did last week. When Paulie refuses to pay up, Chris is pissed at getting stiffed. Of course, given the way this scene ends, being "stiffed" might not be the worst thing that could happen to him. Wow, I can't believe I just made that joke. That one belonged in Tomcats. Anyway, Paulie does his best JFK impersonation, saying, "Ask not what your Paulie can do for you, ask what you can do for your Paulie." Okay, so he doesn't use those exact words, but I'm working a theme here, people. Speaking of which, the incredibly fat, sweaty woman next to me has just rolled up her sleeves to reveal a tattoo most Navy SEALS would be embarrassed to display. And while the horrifying-airline-seatmate genre of comedy has already been well strip-mined to death by now, I gotta tell you, it's funny because it's true. And just because the matzoh, the turbulence, and the fifteen pounds or so of flabby, exposed flesh draped on my armrest weren't upsetting my stomach enough, Paulie now orders Christopher to strip, so they can search him for a wire. Chris obviously has some reservations about this new employee policy, but is told that "New York" is insisting on it because lately "too many people are doing a simulcast." Speaking of which, who else watched the Masters on Sunday? Tiger Woods is my hero. Of course, so are Cat Stevens, Pussy Galore, and Eartha Kitt(en). Okay, so that's not strictly relevant, but I was working a theme there, people. Chris finally disrobes (and would that the show could do the same -- but more on that later), and Paulie is quick with the dick jokes. Not as quick as I was in this (incredibly bloated (and now overly parenthetical)) paragraph, but quick nonetheless.

Das Sopranohaus. It's Sunday dinner with Tony, AJ, Carmela, and the suddenly ubiquitous DeAngelis clan. Carmela and AJ are arguing over whether or not he should go on his high-school trip to Washington DC. Hey, I went on a high-school trip to Washington DC. Shout-out? Or perhaps it's a product placement for the DC Board of Tourism. Who knows anymore? Anyway, Tony insists that AJ make the trip. "You're gonna pay attention. You're gonna learn something for a change." When I sat down to watch the tape of this episode with my sister, those were my exact words to her. Wanna see my bruise? Incidentally, she lasted through exactly seven minutes of pause, rewind, replay, pause, rewind, make one sentence note, pause, and replay again before heading to the other room to watch Guiding Light. AJ's reason for not wanting to go: "We're visiting FBI headquarters." Heh. Although that is a pretty cool tour. Anyway, Tony gets paged and has to leave, and Carmela and her parents have a four-hour argument about "balsamic" without ever once using the word "vinegar," which I found impressive. Then again, I have no doubt that one of our intrepid forum readers will inform me that balsamic is in fact some sort of spice or oil or meat-like product of its own, and therefore not always associated with vinegar. It's nice to be in the company of people who appreciate obscure and utterly useless trivia as much as myself. Ma DeAngelis starts moaning about Tony, and reminds Carmela that "Angelo Stanford" (of Stanford's Supermarket fame, apparently) was begging to marry her before she hooked up with Tony. Wow, Carmela's mom and my mom sound an awful lot a like, except my mom is begging me to marry just about anyone. Anyone Jewish, that is. In fact, she'd probably rather see me with a Jewish guy than a non-Jewish girl, which I've always found to be simultaneously both very weird and somehow endearing. All this is by way of saying that Carmela's parents in fact do know what Tony does for a living, and they don't much care for it. In the kitchen, however, Carmela snarks back at them, pointing out all the myriad ways in which they've benefited from Tony's largesse. In a nod to the fact that this episode airs right smack in the middle of Passover, Ma DeAngelis recaps the story of Exodus: "Oh, like the waters don't part for you wherever you go." Carmela insists she gets special treatment the old fashioned way: "[She earns] it."

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