Sopranos
The Blue Comet

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The Blue Comet

Cut to Vesuvio, where Tony explains to Bobby and Silvio that they have to hit New York first, because what Silvio revealed dovetails with what Tony got from Agent Harris. Tony asks Bobby's opinion; Bobby says that he knows he has advised Tony to let things slide in the past, but he realizes now that "with a fuck like Phil, appeasement don't work." Tony and Silvio start slow-motion boxing like in Raging Bull as Bobby smiles.

Butchie, all business, talks to Phil's crew about their plans. He wants "three pops" and confirms that they plan to take out Tony, Silvio, and Bobby, but not Paulie. He explains that they feel Bobby is now number three. One guy is shocked that Bobby has moved up so far, since he started out as Junior's driver. Well, that's what marrying the boss's sister will do. Also, contrast this scene, where the hit is discussed quickly and efficiently, with how the New Jersey guys handle it.

AJ's home! He comes downstairs and is greeted warmly by Meadow and Carmela. He cuts through their false cheer by asking for his belt, but he immediately realizes that Carmela hid it from him to prevent another suicide attempt. AJ slumps into the living room and starts watching a PBS special about the war in Iraq. Meadow and Carmela share a look and don't say anything.

Tony walks into the Bing back room and says that he's decided they should call in some guys from Italy to whack Phil. Meanwhile, Silvio is buffing his white shoes. Seriously, what's with the white shoes? They're most closely associated with Paulie, who survives the episode, but who knows what will happen next week. Bobby asks who Tony wants to run the thing, and Tony just looks at Bobby and nods. Bobby! Stepping up! Taking responsibility! I'm sure he has a bright future with the organization.

Melfi and Elliott are having dinner with a bunch of shrinks. One shrink brings up a client of hers who is dating someone in prison, which leads to a discussion of the same study by Samenow and Yochelson that Elliott brought up to Melfi in their last session. The one that claims that sociopathic criminals aren't helped by talk therapy; in fact, it allows them to practice their con so that they can become more effective criminals. The only problems I had with this storyline are that A) no self-respecting shrink would use Google to find academic articles – maybe Google Scholar, but not just plain old Google, and B) the study was published a long time ago so I'm not sure why it's news to these people just now. Melfi tries to dismiss the findings. Another shrink agrees that sociopaths can only mimic empathy. Melfi angrily accuses Elliott of setting this up. Everyone else at the table feels awkward. Elliott won't drop it and refers to Tony as "Leadbelly." Of course, now that he's mentioned it, everyone else wants to know what he's talking about. Elliott gives the easiest hint ever about a female opera singer. Melfi is shocked that he would commit such a breach of ethics, but Elliott doesn't see the big deal. One guy tries to change the subject and asks Melfi what she thinks about the wine; another guy says, "All Italians have big noses." Melfi, feeling attacked, thinks the guy is making an ethnic slur, but it turns out he was just talking about the wine. Man, she must feel dumb ten ways to Sunday.

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Sopranos

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