Auntie's house. Paulie watches Sal struggle with the gardening, as the aunt tells him that poor Sal can't even afford to keep his kid in college anymore. Aww. I guess it's too bad the kid never had the makings of a varsity athlete. He could have earned a scholarship. Paulie promises once again to take care of things.
In keeping with David Chase's ongoing plan to throw a shout-out to every single show airing on the Home Box Office network, Tony and Johnny Sack have decided to hold one of their usual late-night meetings in front of giant Ferris wheel that's lit almost identically to the one from Carnivàle. They're also in the shadows of a large baseball stadium, but Sars would hunt me down and skin me alive if I said it was Yankee Stadium and turned out to be wrong, so I'm not even going to hazard a guess. I will, however, tell you that Tony reveals the details of his sit-down with Angelo and Lorraine. He's diplomatic about it, but he also suggests that smacking Lorraine around might not have been the best idea. Johnny, however, is more interested in the fact that Tony once slept with Lorraine, many, many years ago. Yeah, I can see that. Like I said last week, Tony's got a thing for dark hair and questionable fashion sense. And after hearing her beg to suck cock, I think it's safe to say that Lorraine's definitely got herself a dirty mouth. Johnny, on the other hand, feels exactly the opposite about her. "No one likes that cunt, anyway," he gripes. Then he turns, looks directly into the camera so we all know who he's REALLY talking about, and adds, "Any problem, she's all whack this one, whack that one. Never enough body count for Lorraine. Fuck her. Let her taste her own medicine." Oy. David, David, David. WE! GET! IT! It's enough already. And yeah, anyone who thinks this show is just about malaprops and mob hits is missing the point. But anyone who honestly thinks it's a serious examination of post-modern suburban ennui or the cross-generational effects of dysfunctional family relationships is missing all the fun. The genius of The Sopranos is that -- without ever banging an anvil -- it can give us Tony sitting in his mother's favorite chair while he angrily mocks "poor Janice" and announces that Uncle Junior is dead to him. The greatness of The Sopranos, however, is that it can follow that moment of sublimely subtle subtext with Artie taking an elbow to the eye and a perfectly played joke about Janice blowing roadies. Wanting the show to occasionally lighten up and stop taking itself so seriously shouldn't be a capital crime, and this episode is the perfect example of that. It's the best they've had in years (although, with this show, that's admittedly not saying much), precisely because it strikes the ideal balance between Tony's hunger for honest acceptance and Paulie's knocking guys out of trees. So stop your damn bitching, already. It was never just about the body count, and I think we all know that. In short: Shut up, David.