Tony has surgery to close up his wound, which starts him on the road to recovery and going home. Unfortunately, it's not happening fast enough for his insurance company. While in the hospital, Tony makes friends with some of the other patients, and has various visitors. One such visitor is Janice's ex, Aaron, and his religious friend, who tries to get Tony to consider becoming born again. Tony seems to consider it. A rapper named Da Lux is brought to the hospital after being shot. Bobby befriends Da Lux's protÃ©gÃ©, who worries that he's being overlooked while Da Lux recuperates. Bobby empathizes, and accepts cash to shoot the guy in the leg for the rapper's publicity and street cred. Paulie finds out that his aunt, dying in a convent, is actually his mother. She got pregnant and gave Paulie to her sister before taking her vows. Paulie feels betrayed, so he tells the woman he thought was his mother that he's cutting her off financially and emotionally. Meanwhile, the owner of Barone Sanitation, Tony's business front, dies, and his son wants to sell the business â to Cinelli Sanitation, Johnny Sack's business front. Tony spends the episode trying to broker a deal on the sale so that he will continue to get a W2 and health insurance from the company, as well as a financial piece. Paulie goes so far as to threaten the son, a civilian named Jason Barone, if he can't work out a deal where Tony still gets his share. Jason's mother comes and begs Tony not to hurt her son. Tony gets released from the hospital and seems to realize how lucky he is even to be alive. With his new mellow attitude, Tony accepts a deal on Barone from Johnny Sack, through Phil. Paulie is still pissed, and kneecaps Jason Barone and forces him to pay Paulie $4K every month -- coincidentally, the same amount Paulie's "mother"'s senior residence costs him -- and also never to tell Tony about it.
Outside of a scuba shop is a sea creature kitted up in scuba gear. The door to the shop opens, and out walks Paulie. Really? Can you even imagine Paulie in a wetsuit? Also, I think the sea monster kind of looked like Paulie. So the symbolism has begun: Paulie = monster. I think that theme will continue through the episode.
Tony sweats rivers in the hospital as a nurse cleans out and repacks his wound. The nurse says that Tony is scheduled for one last operation to close up his wound, and that it's a good sign, because it means that the doctor doesn't anticipate needing access to Tony's innards anymore. As the nurse finishes up, Tony clicks his morphine button a few times, and the nurse tells him to watch it. Which doesn't really make sense, because any ER viewer knows that the machine puts a cap on how much morphine can be delivered over a given time span, in order to prevent accidental overdose, unless of course George Clooney is your doctor. Tony glances at the Ojibwe saying pinned to the wall: "Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky." I know last week I said that I thought it meant, "Poor you," but the more I think about it, the more it seems like the Ojibwe version of that Footprints "poem" where Jesus gives someone a piggyback ride. The nurse comments on the saying, and Tony says that his sister put it up, and acts like he doesn't like it, but just keeps it pinned up because Meadow likes it. The nurse tells Tony that he's lucky, and that no one thought he would pull through. Tony can't believe his own uncle shot him.
Out in the hall, another patient is wheeled in, and the nurse says that it's a rapper named Da Lux, who was shot seven times coming out of a club. The nurse finishes up, and Tony hesitantly tells her that he hasn't been feeling himself since he woke up, and that his thoughts keep running away from him. The nurse assures him that it's common in surgical patients, and offers to get him a social worker to talk to. Tony doesn't respond, probably realizing that he can't really talk to anyone, given his profession. I wonder if he's thinking about Melfi.
Carmela walks in and hands Tony a book about dinosaurs. She apologizes for the crappy selection that the candy striper had to offer. The old Tony would have already checked out everything the candy striper had to offer, if you know what I mean. ["Also, Carmela couldn't go down to Borders and get Tony a book on Hitler or something? I think there are a few in print." -- Wing Chun] Tony cracks the book open, and tells Carmela about his upcoming surgery.