The Sopranos

Episode Report Card
The Sopranos

Melfi's office again. Tony says, "This situation came up; it involves my uncle," and says he "can't go into details on this one," and Melfi holds up a hand and says with audible relief, "That's -- fine." Tony says he can tell her that his uncle "adds to [his] general stress level."

Back at Centanni's, Silvio tells Tony that word down at the club has it that Tony's Uncle Junior is planning to whack a guy named Pussy Malanga. Tony makes a "so what" face. Silvio goes on to say that Junior's going to do it at "your friend Artie Bucco's restaurant." Tony frowns.

After a shot of the Lexus cruising some rainy streets, we cut to the interior of Vesuvio, Artie's restaurant. Tony and Christopher walk through the dining room greeting various people, and Tony comes up behind an older man and puts his finger at the base of the guy's neck and says, "Don't move." The old guy, Uncle Junior, freezes for a second until Tony says, "Uncle June, how are ya?" Junior "Magoo" Soprano gets up; hugs and handshakes all around. Junior asks about AJ's birthday, and Tony warns him not to get AJ "anything big." Artie "Hey Boo" Bucco comes out of the kitchen and he and Tony greet each other with a big bear hug; Artie's wife Charmaine, clearing plates, sees them hugging and rolls her eyes before going back into the kitchen. Tony and Christopher sit down. Christopher asks if Tony knows what it means for Artie "if one of these old mutts gets wet in here," and Tony unfolds a napkin and says yeah, it'll ruin Artie's business. Christopher advises Tony to sit down with Junior. A waiter pours wine into their glasses as Tony stares wearily over at Junior's table and says in voice-over that "Uncle Junior's my father's brother. Good guy, just -- gettin' old. Cranky." He adds that Junior used to take him to Yankees' games as a kid, and he loved his uncle.

The Lexus pulls up in front of a white frame house as Tony VO continues, "At the same time, when I was young he told my girl cousins I would never be a varsity athlete and frankly, that was a tremendous blow to my self-esteem." Tony knocks on the front door with a boombox under his arm. He has to knock several times before a frail voice asks, "Who's there?" "It's me, Ma," Tony nearly shouts. "Who are you?" the voice wants to know. Oh, Lord. And so it begins. Tony tries to keep his temper, looking up and saying, "Ma, open the door." "Anthony?" quavers the voice. Tony repeats that she should open the door, and finally Livia "Kind Of Blue -- Except For The 'Kind Of' Part" Soprano lets him in. He leans down to kiss her and she shrinks away, and he kind of sniffs around her pink housecoat before making a fanning motion and telling her, "Jeez, Ma, get some air in here." Livia is definitely sporting the nappy dishevelment look of the chronically depressed. ["As I recall, in this scene the housecoat is buttoned wrong, which is a detail they pick up in subsequent episodes; Livia's housecoat is always off by a button, usually near her neck. I just always thought that attention to detail was cool." -- Wing Chun]

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