Happy birthday, Mom!
Much as my Biblical namesake once wandered forty years through the Egyptian desert with his brethren, I have now wandered almost forty episodes through the suburbs of New Jersey with David Chase and company. And what, pray tell, was my reward in the promised land of shout-outs? Yeah. A sleepy fucking folk singer with bad taste in music and even worse taste in women. Kim, on the other hand, has recapped precisely one episode of this show. And how do they thank her? By opening the very next episode with a shot of a giant sign that reads "Kim's." Now don't get me wrong, because Kim rocks and she deserves every second of acclaim, but really? How is that fair? I mean, I didn't even get the vibrator treatment out of this deal, for God's sack. ["I think all that is by way of saying, 'Thanks for doing such a great job last week, Kim!'" -- Wing Chun]
Anyway, the "Kim" in this case is Mr. Kim, of Kim's Dry Cleaning, who is Diet Tony's erstwhile employer, and owner of the truck on which this shout-out sign is currently emblazoned. Just as Tony B. tries to load in a stack of dirty laundry, however, the truck squeals away down the street, dumping Tony right on his bony ass. He gets up to give chase, but then trips and falls in a shot featuring the worst usage of an ankle double I've ever seen. And people bitched about Carmela's ass. Please. The truck rounds a nearby corner and disappears out of sight, and then we cut to Diet Tony, trudging back into the dry-cleaning operation with a skinned knee and a surly mien. The boss greets him in exactly the same way my boss greets me every morning -- by asking, "So, Blundino, why you fuck me like this?" Admittedly, it makes a lot more sense coming from Mr. Kim. Tony protests his innocence, noting that he spent an entire afternoon with the cops, and also that he's got "a whole leg covered with Neosporin." Hee hee. Diet Tony is also upset because he lost his "study guide and flashcards" when the truck was stolen (an excuse I'm frankly shocked AJ hasn't tried to use yet), but Mr. Kim couldn't care less. ["Aw, the flashcards broke my heart!" -- Wing Chun] He shows Tony the gun he keeps in his desk drawer, and angrily tells him that he'd be out on his (bony) ass by now if Mr. Kim didn't need Tony Soprano's help with the union.
And speaking of Tony Soprano, here he is. And! He's! Wearing! A! Robe! Woohoo! It's a new model this year, sort of a nice dark wine or burgundy color, with gold pinstripes. I'm not exactly sure what the material is, although it's definitely not terrycloth. I am sure, however, that you'll be able to get all the details when the HBO Merchandising Department starts selling them on the web any day now. I can only assume they front-loaded the robe shots in this episode because they knew how I'd feel about an hour dedicated to Carmela's love life. We're at Livia's place, and Tony is enjoying his breakfast when AJ comes downstairs to join him. In less than thirty seconds, the kid manages to accomplish the following: complain that Tony ate all the good cereal, whine that there's no juice in the fridge, chew out his father for not knowing the difference between a Fruit Roll-Up and a Pop-Tart (for shame, Tony. For shame!), and refuse to go grocery shopping -- even with an offer of full reimbursement -- better to accommodate what Tony describes as his busy schedule of spending "most of [his] time on the phone, or sitting on the couch perfecting that pissy look on [his] face." "And coming home drunk," adds AJ. "Sounds like you." Oh, no he di-in't! Tony bolts across the kitchen in about two steps, and slams AJ up against the wall with a meaty-looking forearm. ["God, finally." -- Wing Chun] AJ wriggles and writhes, but he can't get away. "One of these days, you wait," snivels the kid. "I'm gonna kick your ass!" Yeah, right. You and what army of bears and eyebrow waxers? "What's wrong with right now?" wonders Tony, who actually seems to be a bit pleased that his son is sticking up for himself, no matter how ludicrous the idea might be. AJ slinks back to the table, and then -- believe it or not -- actually has the gall to bitch about the cereal again. Oy. Smack! Tony, however, has a much better idea. He grabs the bowl right out from in front of AJ, and pours the contents into the sink with a flourish. Heh. As noted in the forums, we just saw Janice pull almost exactly the same stunt, so who wants to bet that Ma used to do that to them when they were kids? It's definitely a very Livia thing to do.