Welcome back, my friends, to the show that soon will end. And now I apologize for putting an Emerson, Lake & Palmer earworm in your heads. My husband is (sadly) a big prog rock fan, and the things I have to suffer through for the sake of my marriage would amaze you! I've actually seen ELP in concert. Then again, he watched an entire season of Dancing With The Stars for me and pretended like he cared, so I guess we're even.
Anyway, it's the penultimate episode, and it opens with a man grabbing a newspaper from the end of his driveway. Tony? In a robe? Nope. Burt Gervasi (brother to Carlo, made at the same time as the late Gerry the Hairdo) is the man seeking out the news of the day. He's wearing white shoes, which is a theme of the episode, apparently. Or maybe mobsters just like to wear track suits with white shoes. Or maybe Paulie is a fashion role model for everyone. Anyway, Burt's split-level ranch is not nearly as nice as Tony's house. Silvio skulks up behind Burt and says they need to talk, and some things can't be discussed over the phone. Burt invites Silvio inside and warns him to look out for his wife's dog, because "her fucking toy terrier's a shit machine." Once they're inside, Silvio says he "talked to some of the guys about [Burt's] misgivings." Burt, walking in front of Silvio, flips through the newspaper. He doesn't notice Silvio pulling out a piece of wire, which Silvio slips around Burt's neck. After a struggle of a few minutes, and lots of broken furniture and barking from the dog, Burt dies. The camera pans down to his white shoes. I told you it was a theme.
Phil meets with Albie and Butchie in his bar. He yells into the other room and tells the guys hanging out in there to get lost, then launches into a speech about how "the Sopranos are nothing more than a glorified crew" and don't deserve to be considered in the same league with the Five Families of New York. Phil proposes that they "decapitate" the New Jersey crew and deal with whoever is left. Albie thinks that's crazy, but Butchie thinks it makes good business sense, since they won't lose so much money as it gets kicked up through the levels. Phil isn't even worried about the money; he reminds them of Coco, Fat Dom, and his brother Billy, and adds that Tony has never been to prison and didn't really earn his position. Phil thinks Tony was handed the job. He also thinks the Sopranos have no respect for the Mafia traditions. Phil's final argument is that Tony harbored Vito even after he knew Vito was gay. Phil concludes, "There's no scraps in my scrapbook." He orders his guys to make it happen.