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.
Melfi answers the phone to find her son on the other end. She immediately launches into a rant about how she hates her patients. All of them. They're all "lying to my face, full of shit, with no concern for what I do or the position they put me in." I just figured it was because, except for Tony, they're all wacky. That'd put a strain on anyone. Once she's fully vented, she asks why he's calling, and Jason, ever the caring and understanding offspring, informs her that he needs to buy "a couple of expensive textbooks." Who didn't use that line on their parents when they were in college? I could have bought a car with all of the "expensive textbook" money I weaseled. ["Hee. My dad was always like, 'Another class on MGD and Camel Lights, eh?' Sorry, Dad." -- Sars] Melfi glances down at the cash in her hand and considers what keeping it would mean.