Where's Johnny?

Episode Report Card
Aaron: A | Grade It Now!
Uncle Jun's Clan

The next day, Tony is chairing a meeting between Paulie and Feech to resolve the landscaping conflict. Feech gives a fairly accurate description of Paulie's encounter with Gary La Manna, but Paulie has a slightly different take on the event, claiming that Gary "jumped out of the tree, and came at [him] with a chainsaw." "I got a right to defend myself," he adds. Heh. The last time Paulie tried to defend himself, he almost got beat up by an old lady. Tony listens to both sides, and then applies the wisdom of Solomon by dividing the neighborhood in half and letting Gary and Sal share it. He also orders Gary to pay $1,000 for Sal's pain and suffering, even though Paulie already promised the guy $1,200. He then demands his own retroactive taste of the action, and doesn't even pretend to believe Feech when he claims he was going to start kicking up any day now. Paulie further sweetens the pot by announcing that Sal will cut Tony's grass free of charge from now on, and Tony gets sly grin on his face when he tells Paulie they'll talk more about that later.

Flush with the good news, Paulie rushes off to inform his pal Sal. There's an odd moment here when Sal introduces Paulie to his assistant, and Paulie very slowly enunciates that Paul is just his middle name. Um, okay. Sal isn't exactly thrilled to hear that he's only getting to keep half his old route, and even the $500 that Paulie turns over for his arm doesn't do much to cheer him up. Imagine how he'd feel if he knew that Paulie pocketed the other five hundred. Sal still isn't stupid enough to complain, though, so he just pretends to be grateful until Paulie starts to leave. "Oh, one more thing," remembers Peter Paul Gaultieri. "You're going to have to cut a couple of lawns on the comp. Some friends of ours." Uh oh.

And speaking of "uh oh," here's Tony on a golf course. In the interests of limiting my hate mail, I won't speculate on what kind of clubs he might be using. On the other hand, I can confirm for everyone that his playing partner is Gene Pontecorvo, otherwise known as Thin Guy. I thought it was Cousin Brian at first, too, but it definitely isn't. Anyway, the whole point of this scene is that Tony somewhat unbelievably runs into a doctor who tells him that Junior is suffering from "infarcts" or "mini-strokes" that would explain why he keeps repeating things. You know, things like how Tony never had the makings of a varsity athlete. As the realization begins to dawn that Junior's rudeness may have a credible medical explanation, you can start to see Tony feeling sorry for getting so angry about it. James Gandolfini's acting here is almost good enough to overcome the ham-handed way they've decided to cram in this exposition with three minutes left in the episode. Yeah. I said "almost."

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