Bing. Bobby calls Paulie into the back room, where Silvio tells him that there's a hit out on Phil, and it'll happen when he's at his goomar's on Friday night. Paulie asks if Tony knows about it, and Silvio and Bobby are offended that he would even ask. Paulie explains that he made it through the last gang wars "by the skin of [his] nuts," and he wants to make sure the boss knows what they're getting themselves into. Paulie does agree that Phil has to go. Silvio notes his concerns and asks if Paulie has a problem. Paulie just walks out. Does Silvio suspect Paulie of going over to Phil's side? That was a weird scene.
Melfi sits in bed, finally reading the study by Samenow and Yochelson. The key sentences that the camera focuses in on are: "The criminal's sentimentality reveals itself in compassion for babies and pets. The criminal uses insight to justify heinous acts. Therapy has potential for noncriminals; for criminals it becomes one more criminal operation." Melfi grimaces and puts the papers down sharply, as if they might harm her.
Bing. Corky, the addict that helped arrange the hit on Rusty Milio, comes in and tells Paulie that the Italians are outside. Paulie yells at him for his lack of discretion. In the bathroom, Paulie passes responsibility for the hit over to Patsy. So this thing has gone from being Tony's problem, to Bobby, to Paulie, to Patsy, to Corky, to the Italian guys. Meanwhile, Phil gave the order and Butchie informed the rest of the crew in one sitting. Is that an indictment of the unprofessional and untraditional ways the Soprano Family does business, or an indictment of the modern corporation with all its delegation and ineffective middle management? Who wrote this episode, Tom Peters? Outside, Patsy meets with the Italians. Paulie drives by, and then peels out quickly. Are we supposed to assume that everyone keeps passing the buck because no one wants Phil's blood on their hands in case things go wrong?
Tony sits in Melfi's waiting room, reading a magazine. He finds a steak -grilling recipe he likes and tears out the page. I used to work in the library in college, and I HATED it when people did that instead of paying for the copies. Assholes. Melfi calls him in, and they take their familiar positions. Tony starts out by asking how much money she makes, then explains that he's wondering because Meadow has announced she's not going to be a doctor. Melfi just glares at Tony and gives short responses, especially when Tony mentions babies (JUST LIKE THE STUDY!). Tony explains that Meadow is interested in civil rights right now, but he hopes she'll end up at a big firm handling white-collar crime. Tony senses that Melfi is pissed and starts buttering her up by talking about how Melfi has helped a lot of people, just like the people who are helping AJ. Tony tears up while talking about his son, and then gets angry and says that maybe he was too soft on AJ. Melfi mutters things under her breath and gets bitchy with Tony. He notices and asks what her problem is. Melfi changes the subject, and Tony asks why she's taking on a hostile tone. Melfi thinks he might be projecting, and continues picking a fight and pushing Tony's buttons. She even brings up that she saw Tony ripping a page from the magazine in her waiting room. Tony blows it off, and Melfi says, "I don't think I can help you." Tony asks what she means, and thinks this is all because he missed some appointments. Melfi launches into a rehearsed speech about how she can give him a referral to another shrink. Tony backpedals and makes excuses about why he's been a bad, bad boy. Melfi stands up to end the session (and the relationship). Tony stands up and says that he "chalks this all up to female menopausal situations." Melfi says he's not her gynecologist, and Tony responds with one of my favorite lines of the whole season, "You don't need a gynecologist to know which way the wind blows." I think Bob Dylan said that, right? In "Menopausal Homesick Blues"? Tony accuses Melfi of being immoral for cutting him loose while his family is in crisis. He exits her office, and then he unfolds the magazine page and puts it back with a flourish before walking out.