As expected, the next scene features Dr. Melfi in her office, receiving an anonymous bouquet of flowers. It would also appear that she spent most of her ample Season 4 down time consulting over at Oswald State penitentiary, because I don't think she's got a single functional light bulb anywhere in her office. Who works like that? She does, however, have a giant bottle of Tide, which was included with the flowers. That'll come in handy later on in the episode when she stains her sheets. The attached card reads "Thinking of you, your Prince of Tide," and judging from her expression, Melfi knows exactly who it came from. And I don't think it was Ranger Rick.
Bada-Bing. Paulie and Christopher are relating the epic story of the missing Russian to Patsy Peesy and Wide Guy, and I'm sort of surprised by how much I actually missed the old gang here. In fact, my favorite thing about this entire episode was how it managed to find time for just about every single person in the cast, without seeming like they were doing it gratuitously. Unless I'm missing someone, the only major player to not make an appearance this week was Artie Bucco, and that's certainly not an absence you'll ever hear me complain about. The boys are joined by Tony and (awww!) Vinnie Delpino, and the story gets interrupted just long enough for Tony to drop a line about "incidents" at the airport that may or may not be foreshadowing. Then Tony heads back into his office, and the Russian reminiscing continues. Well, actually, it doesn't so much "continue" as serve up a nice juicy opportunity for Patsy to ask about whatever happened to the Russian. This in turn gives Paulie the opportunity to reply, "Who fucking cares?" Hmm. Judging by the poll numbers from last season, about 58% of you fucking care. But let's not let that get in the way of David Chase telling you all just to shut up about it, okay? ["Unless the point of the question was to make it clear that no one knows where he went, in case he comes back." -- Wing Chun] "It never would have happened if Paulie hadn't initially overreacted," adds Christopher. This escalates what had been a friendly episode of Mob Time Story Hour into a full-blown argument, as Paulie and Christopher repeatedly trade blame for all their various screw-ups. Things almost come to blows, in fact, but Vinnie and Wide Guy step in to separate them. Although, given that Chris and Paulie have repeatedly demonstrated hand-to-hand combat skills that make Rodney King look like he should be fighting for Don King, I'm not sure that was really necessary. Once everyone calms down a notch, Christopher stomps out in a huff, and Paulie portentously announces that "it's finished" between them.