In a hotel suite somewhere, Tony and Gloria are dancing. She marvels at his evident self-confidence, saying, "You really are in love with yourself, aren't you?" "What do you mean, conceited?" replies Tony, and she's forced to explain what she meant. She pushes him down onto the sofa, rephrasing, "You deprive yourself of nothing," which elicits a cocky grin from Tony. They mack for a moment, and then she stands and pulls off her dress. I don't care what anybody says, she's hot. She starts to pull off his pants, but stops short when she encounters his gun in an ankle holster. Tony manages to keep a straight face when he claims that "some of [his] accounts are in bad neighborhoods." I, on the other hand, snickered a bit at that one. Gloria stares up at him for a beat before revealing that she's perfectly aware of what he really does for a living. "I know why you lie, and you don't have to," she tells him, causing Tony to look nervous and concerned. He can't be too concerned, however, because when she asks to hold the gun, he readily agrees. She plays with it for a few moments before asking if it's loaded. Tony declares that there's "nothing more useless than an unloaded gun" as he pulls her up for a kiss. As a great writer not named Imperioli once declared, if you show a gun in the first act, it must be fired in the third, and I think this week we've been shown exactly how Tony and Gloria's relationship will reach its denouement. And no, she's not an FBI agent.
Melfi's office. Tony is complaining about the lack of punishment handed out by AJ's school, but Melfi is barely even listening. She's leaned back all the way in her chair, bobbing her legs and looking completely like the jilted other woman she feels she is. She starts right in with the leading questions, asking him about Carmela and noting how happy he's looked lately. Tony blames his happiness on a trip to the zoo, because "every now and then you gotta stop and smell the gorilla shit." He's also willing to throw a little credit Melfi's way, as he almost flirtatiously thanks her for all the time she's invested in him. These two give great subtext. I've also noticed that I almost always love the lighting they get on this set. Even in her dream sequences, Melfi's office always looks great. When Melfi stresses that he can only make progress by being honest with her, Tony replies that he's decided to "joyfully participate in the suffering of the world." Melfi instantly recognizes the source of that particular koan, pointing out that Tony's thoughts have "a kind of Eastern flavor to them." "Well I've lived in Jersey all my life," he replies. Bwah! She presses some more, wondering where he came by this new Oriental mantra, but he adroitly parries her interrogative thrust with "Sun Tzu. I told you about him, remember?" "We have to stop now," she snits, and Tony agreeably stands to leave. He pulls out another wad of bills, describing it as "the co-pay I owe you from last month." Do therapists take cash? I guess they have to, but that still seems kind of weird. Anyway, she protests that he gave her too much, but he says it's just extra "for the good results this week give it to your favorite charity." With her phone ringing incessantly, Melfi has no choice but to accept as Tony heads out the door.