Sopranos
To Save Us All From Satan's Power

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Aaron: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Ho ho ho and a barrel of fun

Kris Kringle: Yeah, and you've got writers, directors, and editors all over the place. What the hell do YOU do besides walk around moaning "What am I gonna do?" all day?
David Chase: That's a good point.

Melfi's office. Tony is relating the news of his panic attack. "I was feeling good. Now all of a sudden, I'm back to square one." Actually, slightly before it, if my readings of the flashback chronology are accurate. They discuss whether or not he's been taking his medication regularly (he hasn't), and then the conversation moves to his log. It took a mighty big effort, but I'll restrain myself from making yet another inappropriate log joke this time. Tony shows her all the errands he has in there, and Melfi interjects and refers to Christmas as "Stress-mas." I'd criticize the writers for using such a crappy pun, but as I've already said, I can certainly sympathize, having been long since introduced to both the pot and the kettle on that one. Anyway, Tony was looking forward to Christmas this year, but now here he is, "right back down the rabbit hole." Say hi to Alice for me, would you? She doesn't live here anymore, you know. At this point Melfi sighs, and apparently also forgets that she's not on Boot Camp as she commands Tony to "run the drill again." Tony relates that the attack started when he was thinking about a past event that he can't really explain. "I see," said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw. Okay, actually it was Melfi who said it, but that one was too easy to pass up. Plus it's totally a shout-out to my dad. Hi, Dad! "Shout-out" doesn't mean I'm talking back to you, by the way. "We're at one of our favorite junctures," continues Melfi, and Tony finally manages to get his story across "without going into specifics." See, there was this friend of his, whom he discovered was "working for the federal government." He gives Melfi a hard stare as she absorbs this news. "Enough said?" he asks. "Am I ruining your Christmas?" Given that it's May, I'm guessing the answer to that one is "no."

Janice's Joint. She and Aaron the Narcoleptic Doppelganger are jamming on the sofa. He's on keyboards, and she's on guitar and lead vocals. And while Janice and The Narcoleptics doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Josie and The Pussycats, the Narcoleptics are probably better at playing their instruments. But just barely. Janice is certainly strumming away with fury. Remember that in a few minutes when Tony arrives. They start arguing about the lyrics, and Aaron describes the line "his blood cleans every stain" as "a great mother-jumping lyric." Well, I guess that kills the shout-out theory. I would never, ever (ever, ever, ever) say "mother-jumping." Ever. Janice doesn't like it, though. "Yeah, but what? Are we selling Ajax here? His blood cleans every stain?" Heh. The doorbell rings, and Janice hops up to let Tony and Carmela in. Aaron passes out almost immediately. Okay, that I would do. Janice explains that they're working on a demo, and "trying to attract some major-label interest here." Dude, just call Gerald Levin. I'm sure Warner Brothers Records is just lusting after all the cross-promotional opportunities. Aaron, by the way, has also spilled his drink all over the floor. I do that a lot, too. As they move into the kitchen, both Tony and Carmela raise an eyebrow at how filthy it is, and -- oops, guilty again. At this exact moment my fridge contains two boxes of Chinese food, some Thousand Island dressing, and several small colonies of those tiny aliens Lisa raised in a The Simpsons Halloween special a few years back. They all say "Hi" too, Dad. Anyway, Tony refuses to come to dinner unless the place is cleaned up, but Janice blames the mess on her wrist, which is still bothering her. It doesn't seem to be affecting her guitar-playing ability (although with Janice, could you even tell?). Carmela asks if Janice has any rubber gloves (and again with Janice, do you even have to ask?), and proceeds to start cleaning up herself. Tony interrogates Janice about her wrist, which is now suffering from "nerve involvement." "From the Russian?" he asks, and Janice admits that while it was "the worst night of [her] life, at least it led [her] to Jesus." Tony snorts and asks when she last visited a prayer group. "I know," she confesses, "and Aaron and I don't even sleep together anymore." Wow. I guess "mother-jumping" was the exception that proves the rule. Janice explains about Christian Contemporary music, and how it's the fastest growing segment of the music industry not featuring artists named Britney, Christina, or Eminem. As Aaron finally manages to rouse himself, Janice heads back to the kitchen with one final wince of pain. Tony obviously feels for his sister, and adds "Janice's Russian" to his to-do list. Meanwhile, The Narcoleptic Doppelganger starts noodling on the keyboard. I'm not sure, but it sounds like this "blood cleans every stain" song will be plagiarizing Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" rather heavily.

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Sopranos

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