Close-up of an unfortunate-looking teenage girl making a "whatever" face out the window at Tony as Tony VOs that his teenage daughter's friend had come to drive his daughter, Meadow "Bratso Rizzo" Soprano, to school. The friend makes a snide comment about Tony and the ducks and walks over to the breakfast bar, and Meadow gripes that the whole yard "smells like duck poo, it's, like, embarrassing." Shut up, Meadow. From the sink, Carmela "Drama" Soprano nags the girls -- ironically, in light of the recent revelation that Jamie Lynn Sigler suffered from anorexia during the first season -- that they have to have something besides cranberry juice for breakfast. The girls roll their eyes at each other. Enter Anthony "New Jersey Fats" Soprano, Jr., a.k.a. "AJ." Carmela croons, "Happy birthday, handsome," and kisses him on the cheek and says disbelievingly, "Thirteen!" Meadow with the zinger: "Yeah, he doesn't act it." "Shut up," AJ sulks, dipping a pastry into an entire pitcher of milk. Meadow's ugly friend asks if the ducks "just made a home in your pool and did it," like, get over it, Ugly Friend. Meadow tells AJ to "get out of here, you're so gross," and AJ makes a face at her. Carmela offers the girls leftover sfogliatelle (yum!), and Meadow sneers, "Ugh, get outta here with that fat." "One bite," Carmela says. "Shut up, Meadow," I say. Ugly Friend sucks up to Carmela by asking how she stays "so skinny"; Carmela wanders over to the window and watches Tony in the pool and says, half to herself, "Him. With those ducks."
Outside, Tony tells the ducks that he can build the ducks a new ramp into the pool if they'd like. ["Heh. Which is more than he'll offer his incapacitated mother in thirteen episodes." -- Wing Chun] ["Oh, he'd offer her one -- one that fed right into a merge lane on the Garden State Parkway. Hey, why am I in brackets here?" -- Sars] Tony, dude -- step back. The ducks swim around and quack. Then one of the baby ducks attempts a water take-off, and Tony gets all excited and yells to the kids to come take a look -- "the babies, they're trying to fly." Inside, Meadow and AJ and UF all roll their eyes before slouching outside to the pool, and Meadow sighs all put-upon, "National Geographic, Dad," and AJ grouses that "you showed us yesterday." They file back inside. Tony continues to enthuse over the ducks even though nobody else cares.
Melfi's office; Tony explains in a whatever tone that Carmela feels Ugly Friend "is a bad influence" on Meadow. Cut again to the kitchen and UF blathering about how "it's so cool" that Meadow can come with UF and her family to Aspen, and how UF saw Skeet Ulrich in Aspen last year, like, get over it again, Ugly, because Skeet Ulrich is so '96, but Meadow is all impressed and "oh my god." Shut up, Meadow. Carmela just stands there stirring something and looking annoyed, and finally she reminds Meadow that they have a deal: she has to keep her grades up and make curfew between now and Christmas or she doesn't get to go. Meadow curls her lip and spits, "I know that," and walks away; UF follows her. Carmela seems used to Meadow's lip and doesn't react, but -- as you may have deduced from the fact that I've told her to shut up like five times already -- I cannot abide Meadow and I'd have smacked her upside the head with that big wooden spoon. ["You, me, my mom, AND your mom. And I would like to add that my Italian great-grandmother, God rest her soul, would have busted Meadow's jaw for less than that. Not that I condone child abuse. But it was a different time -- a time when teenagers knew how and when to SHUT UP." -- Wing Chun] Anyway, Tony comes in and says hello to the girls and wishes AJ a happy birthday, and Carmela nags him about whether he'll be home for AJ's birthday party that night, and when he doesn't answer, she drones, "Bird man, hello?" and he says he'll come home early from work, and Carmela snips, "I'm not talking about work," and walks away, and Tony shoots her a "not this again" look . . .