Tony is still dealing (or not dealing) with the asbestos dumping. He gets a visit from Agent Harris and identifies photos of his Arabic friends, but the Feds won't tell him why they wanted to know. Tony and Phil have a sit-down, but Phil won't budge. Things escalate when some of Phil's guys beat up some of Tony's guys. One of Phil's guys, Coco, insults Meadow while she's on a date. Meadow reluctantly tells Tony about it, and also confesses that she's dating Patrick Parisi, Patsy's son. Meadow adds that she's decided to ditch medical school in favor of law school. Tony gives Coco a curb job (on the edge of the bar, but still) right in front of Butchie. Somehow, Coco lives. Little Carmine visits Tony to try to convince Tony to beg Phil to patch things up. Tony and Little Carmine go to broker peace with Phil, who refuses to see them and even insults them from his bedroom window.
AJ is still depressed, and he's turning into a typical college student who thinks he knows everything. Meadow tries to urge AJ to take some positive steps. AJ reacts to this by attempting suicide by drowning himself in the backyard pool after tying a cement block to his leg and putting a plastic bag over his head. Then he has second thoughts and has to tread water until Tony comes home and rescues him, after which Tony and Carmela have AJ committed. Carmela blames the Soprano family curse of depression for AJ's problems. Tony and Carmela go to therapy with AJ, where he blames them for all of his problems.
Okay, so you may have forgotten the asbestos-dumping subplot from last week, given the far more interesting "Tony murdering Christopher" plot and the "Tony taking peyote" plot. But the asbestos-filled construction debris is still being dumped in the wetlands of Jersey. Meanwhile, Tony is slumbering in his bed. AJ is trying to sleep, like his father, but keeps tossing and turning. The writers have definitely been establishing a parallel between Tony and AJ, and I think the opening scene here underscores that once again. Both are sleeping, Tony peacefully, and AJ not so much. AJ wakes up and turns on his clock radio to listen to "Ridin' Dirty," which ends up waking Tony up.
Tony heads downstairs in his robe. Carmela opens a "mysterious package" that is "postmarked Las Vegas" in the kitchen. Tony smirks to himself as Carmela opens the package to find a Baume and Mercier watch, and I looked it up online out of curiosity to find it retails for thousands of dollars. I'm sure Tony didn't pay retail, but still. Carmela is touched that Tony bought it for her and also had it engraved: "You are my life. Love, T." Carmela slips it on and hugs her husband, who apologizes again for having to go out to Vegas when he did. Carmela rationalizes that Tony had to take care of "Christopher's business interests," and it meant more money for Kelli and the baby. Yeah, if by "Christopher's business interests," you mean Tony's own sexual needs.
At an abandoned hospital, a group of guys are tossing debris into trucks. Bobby Bacala pulls up and greets John Stefano, the construction guy Tony talked to on the phone last week. Bobby refuses to shake the guy's hand at first, afraid of asbestos contamination. Bobby wonders why the workers aren't wearing "spacesuits" and Stefano (which makes me think of Days of Our Lives) says that the safety clothes are a union rule, and these guys aren't union. He adds that if they were, the job wouldn't make any money. He hands over a wad of cash, and Bobby insists that he put it in an envelope. Bobby's going to have to open the envelope eventually anyway, right? I don't see these guys heading down to the local credit union to make a deposit with this money.
AJ has finally told his shrink about the beating he witnessed and how it sent him spiraling back down into depression. After saying there's nothing he could have done to stop the beating, AJ wonders why the Lexapro isn't working for him, adding, "Why can't I catch a fucking break?" Look, I know depression is a chemical imbalance and all, but AJ has caught plenty of breaks in his life, starting with being born to rich parents who give him pretty much anything he wants. AJ finds his classes boring and depressing, especially since the conflict in the Middle East will never be resolved. The shrink suggests that AJ write about his feelings, but AJ doesn't seem interested. Instead, he talks about the contrast between the poverty in some countries and the affluence in ours. He says this while wearing expensive clothes and living off his parents' money -- I don't know how the shrink avoids pointing out his hypocrisy. The best way to appreciate your parents' sacrifices is to move out on your own and realize how much it costs to pay the bills. I'm not saying Tony and Carmela are model parents or even model citizens, but come on. The shrink tries to draw a parallel between AJ's feelings about Blanca and the kid that was beaten by his friends, and AJ protests, "She's not black. [pause] She's pretty tan." Ha!