Sopranos
The Test Dream

Episode Report Card
Aaron: A | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
T Didn't Start The Fire

We fade up on Tony fucking Valentina. Or, to be somewhat more precise, we fade up on a spot approximately six inches above Tony fucking Valentina. And for that small courtesy alone, I already love this week's director (Allen Coulter) way more than Mr. Mike "Fuckwit" Figgis. The very instant that he's finished, Tony rolls over, sits up, pulls on his boxers, and heads straight for the bathroom. For her part, Valentina also sits up, and then flashes some nipple before pulling on a robe (why? Because whores show their tits. Madonnas show their asses). "Are you hungry?" she asks, heading for the kitchen. As he does with everyone, Tony replies by insulting her, and then immediately pulls back with an apology (see: way too many examples to link). Valentina, however, remains undaunted, offering to cook up some "egg beaters and Tabasco." Then she suggests that they spend a few fun-filled days at a Sandals resort in the Caribbean. Except Tony totally thinks the place is called "Sneakers." Heh. He's also not real thrilled with the idea, even after Valentina gives the following foreshadowing-heavy description of the place: "The air is the same temperature as your body, so you don't even need to wear clothes." Isn't that how burn wards are set up? Noting that Tony's about to be divorced, Valentina whines in a highly unflattering fashion that all she wants is a little attention. Valentina's sleeve has been hanging over the gas burner throughout all of this, and with a quick poof, her robe suddenly bursts into flame (see: kitchen fire, which will be important in a minute). Because she's wearing a cheap kimono and not an officially licensed terrycloth bathrobe, the fire soon engulfs her entire body. She screeches and wails and runs around the apartment until Tony finally remembers his third-grade fire-safety course and manages to throw a blanket over her. Hey, has he always had that tattoo on his hand?

Elsewhere in New Jersey, Angelo has decided to pay Diet Tony a visit at his casino. He's also brought along his eldest son, presumably because we're not allowed to whack people on this show anymore unless we humanize them first. Diet Tony escorts them both into a back room where we learn that the son is into "architectural salvage," just like Sanford & Son. Heh. Angelo proceeds to hand over an envelope filled with cash, explaining that it's yet another chunk of the money they owe him for the Joey Peeps hit. "It's embarrassing," he explains, in reference to the partial payment. "But that's the way Little Carmine and Rusty are doing things over there now. I'm sorry, but Rusty? I think he bangs his wife in installments." Hmm. Let's see. 6% interest, compounded monthly since late December back in '63, that comes to...oh. Sorry. Never mind. Diet Tony insists that he did a "clean job," and then gives an Angelo a hug and tells the kid that the best part about being in prison was hanging out with his old man. Wow. That's definitely one of the weirder compliments you're ever going to hear. But Angelo hasn't quite finished yet. He pulls a little wooden plaque out of his pocket and presents it to Diet Tony. It reads, "Because I'm the boss, that's why." Now is that a Gleason reference of some kind, or just a subtle hint that Little Carmine's crew would like to see Diet Tony take over out in New Jersey? I guess it doesn't really matter either way. Diet Tony loves his new tchotchke, and promises to place it "in a position of prominence." Which turns out to be a dark corner in the back room, between the water heater and a bottle of cleaning solution. I thought that was sort of odd, because it makes it seem like he's snarking on Angelo's gift, and sort of undercuts the murderous rage we're supposed to assume he'll be feeling later in the episode. You know what else was odd, by the way? There's the constant sound of someone coughing and hacking just outside the room throughout this entire scene. I can only assume that's because they couldn't get Burt Young to come back for the dead guy montage.

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