Maison de Soprano. Is it possible that Edie Falco's head is shrinking? I mean, the hair has always been big, but now it kinda seems like that's all there is. Maybe it was just a bad camera angle, but when she looks out a window and notices that Fozzie is back, it's almost like she's spent the off-season in that waiting room from Beetlejuice. Cranial shrinkage aside, however, she reacts to the return of Gentle Ben by dashing downstairs to lock the back door. She passes AJ's room on the way, and when he hears that Baloo is back, he bolts past the drum set and out of his room in what was hands down the funniest shot of the entire night. I've watched it a dozen times now, and even with the gratuitous foley effects, it's still perfect. Mother and son carefully peek out from behind the curtains, and then Carmela marches into the kitchen to call Fish & Game. I don't know if it's because she's frantic about the bear or just disappointed to not get Ranger Rick directly, but she heaves a huge sigh of disgust when she's told to press one for fish or two for game. Now, now Carmela. There's no need to be like that. The Integrated Voice Response unit, or "IVR" as we call it in the trade, is actually a highly efficient and cost-effective method for quickly resolving most basic customer requests. In fact, recent studies have shown that you...really want me to stop writing these recaps while I'm at work, right? Yeah. And besides, Tony shows up at the house just as Carmela finally gets through to a real person, and much cross-talking ensues. Carmela makes arrangements to have the roustie-wrangling rangers return, and then hangs up and explains the whole Pooky problem to Tony, who's shocked to be hearing about it. We're probably supposed to make something of the fact that AJ -- who wanted to call Dad immediately the last time -- ended up not saying a word about the subject when he and Tony went to a game the previous day. Before we can fully process that, however, we learn that Carmela is concerned that the Cusamanos' dog, who would apparently make quite a tasty little bear treat, might be tied up in their yard. The dog's name, by the way? "Esterhaz." That's presumably a reference to either psycho-screenwriter Joseph Eszterhas or the eighteenth century home of noted classical composer Joseph Hayden. And while I don't get the reference and have no idea what it's supposed to mean, I do at least have to give it up for any show that could force me to ponder the relative differences between those two Joes. And for what it's worth, the closed captioning (which is normally impeccable on this show) spelled it "Ezterhaz" and not "Eszterhas," so those of you with an inordinate fascination for bad movies or string quartets probably already know whom they meant.
Episode Report CardAaron: A- | 599 USERS: B-
YOU GRADE IT