Sunday, March 08, 2015

Binge Watching: Sopranos, Season 2

Los Angeles, CA

I am in the middle of binge-watching one of my favorite series that is included among the Mount Rushmore of TV. I wrote about Season 1 of The Sopranos last Friday.

If you are like the only person in the world who never saw The Sopranos, consider this your only disclaimer about plotline spoilers.

Here are my half-baked thoughts on the second season of The Sopranos...

Season 2, Episode 1:  Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office... Good to see someone getting whacked in the first act of the first episode: Tony straightened out one of Junior's guys who was talking smack about Tony's mother wanting to have him whacked... The introduction to the prodigal sister Janice with a hippie-dippie name change. After spending time in Seattle finding her spiritual self, she emerged with a new name and a new scam. She returned to Mobtown, USA to ensure a cut of Moma Soprano's house/fortune... The episode also marked the return of Big Pussy, who disappeared at the end of Season 1 when everyone thought he was the FBI rat. Tony thought he was getting whacked while picking up his morning paper in the driveway, but it was only Big Pussy. Tony had to make sure Pussy wasn't wearing a wire before he gave him a proper "Welcome home, you're lucky we almost whacked you!" hug... Tony had his "spells" again. He lost his shit when his Smoke on the Water CD started skipping and he passed out while driving.... Chris hired someone to take his Series 7 (stockbroker's exam) so he could have a cushy job as a so-called SEC compliance officer in a suburban boiler room pushing a bullshit penny stock -- Webistics -- in a classic Pump-N-Dump scheme. Chris' firm included a couple of his mook friends -- nothing more than low-level car thieves masquerading as stock brokers... Dr. Melfi kept seeing patients but her office hours were hosted at a no-tell motel. She refused to speak to Tony, but he assured her that she was safe and could finally go home. She told him to fuck off, even after he had another spell/panic attack... Supposedly, a Rockette once dosed Silvio with LSD.

S2, Episode 2: Do Not Resuscitate... Uncle Junior's high-priced lawyer got him sprung from jail for health reasons but he was under house arrest and forced to wear an ankle bracelet after he mad a Nazi crack to the Jewish judge... Tony decided to leave Junior in place as the family's "figure head", but the old boss lost the majority of his now-fallen empire and can only earn a modest salary (pipe fitters union) in order to pay his mounting legal bills. The last man standing in Junior's crew was soft-spoken Bobby Bacala and the crew hurled fat jokes and other insults at him... Janice let Meadow drive while she scored some weed. After kissing up to Moma Soprano with CDs of old-school Italian crooners, Janice belted out Paul Simon's Mother and Child in the car while smoking a doobie... Moma Soprano discovered that Tony and Janice were discussing a DNR order after AJ asked his grandma what it meant... Angle-shooting Janice realized that her plan to score some quick cash is going to take a lot of effort and headaches, but she had visions of pushing cantankerous Moma Soprano down the stairs... Big reveal for Big Pussy -- he really was a RAT working with the Feds, but he's feeding bunk intel to his FBI contact... Tony and the Reverend got a nice scam going. The Rev sent protestors to a construction site, and the owner paid off Tony to rough up the protestors. Tony and the Rev split the shakedown cash. Thinly veiled shot at the unscrupulous corruption of protest leaders across history who, despite the bloodshed, were blinded by greed and lined their pockets through the social injustice du jour.

S2, Episode 3: Toodle Fucking-Oo... Enter the foil: Richie Aprile released from jail. The hothead older brother of former boss Jackie Aprile (and Adriana's "uncle") finished a 10-year stint in the joint and he's become a boil on the ass of Tony and his crew. Richie felt he should be head of the DiMeo family upon his release, but Tony was the current King after Junior got pinched... On his first night back, Richie fucked up Beansie the pizza shop owner and smashed a coffee pot over his head. Rchie later ran over Beansie after chasing him down the street with a gun... Richie also told Chris that he had to stop smacking Adriana around, unless he married her, then he could do whatever he wanted. You can't beat girlfriends, but you can beat wives... Richie was bitter and bitchy about safety protocol (surveillance) because he could not discuss business at Satriale's meat market, and had to talk to Tony through Silvio, unless he schlepped to the mall and chatted with Tony inside the Sharper Image store... Tony's crew threw Richie a welcome home party at the Bada Bing, but he was still a nasty sourpuss who turned the lights out to get blowjobs from top-heavy strippers because he was used to prison-head-in-the-dark... We found out that Richie used to bang Janice back in the day and he coincidentally showed up at her yoga class... Tony claimed that Janice is like a circling vulture ready to pick at the bones of their mother's carcass.... Meadow threw a raging rave at Grandma's empty house, but it got busted when one of their idiot friends OD'd on "designer drugs" and an Ecstasy/Ketamine cocktail. Damn, I missed the 90s... Dr. Melfi is in therapy herself and revealed to her shrink that she was haunted by a wacky dream about Tony dying in a nasty wreck because she stopped seeing him as a patient... Paulie Walnuts should be "Paulie Jokes Two Times" because he loved to repeat punchlines of lame jokes.

S2, Episode 4: Commendatori... Tony goes to discuss the family's car "export" business with the Don Vito... Chris and Paulie Walnuts tagged along with Tony to Naples. Enter Furio, the pony-tailed henchman and their contact guy. Chris noticed that Furio's buddy had trackmarked arms. It takes a junkie to spot a fellow junkie!... Paulie Walnuts was visiting Italy for the first time and he acted like a childish, boorish tourist instead of trying to be a well-mannered businessman. He also refused to take a dump in the less-than optimal restaurant facilities... Tony didn't know the Don was swimming in senility and muttering names of America streets and highways. Don Vito's number two was serving life in prison, so his daughter Annalisa was really in charge... Tony witnessed  Furio's tenacity and loyalty when he jumped on top of Don Vito's body when they thought they heard gunshots. It was only a kid with firecrackers, but Furio whooped the stupid kid and even beat the kid's mama. At that point, Tony was impressed with Furio's astute and ruthless professionalism. He knew he was going to make Furio his number 1 draft pick. It's like when NBA teams started drafting players from Europe. Consider Furio the Vlade Divac of the Soprano crew and their first round pick from Naples University... Tony super surprised at the depth of Annalisa's paranoia that she burned her toenail clippings for fear of her enemies getting hold of her DNA... Tony butted heads with Annalisa when he asked to draft Furio in the first round, but she was incredulous because he's her cousin and best lieutenant... Tony visited Sibil's Cave, where over the last few centuries, people made a pilgrimage to hear their future. Analisa told him that he's his own worst enemy (she's spot on) and that they should knock boots. Tony felt the same carnal urges but he wouldn't fuck the Boss, not because she was married but because he felt it was bad business ethics. They ultimately sealed a deal that includes Furio and boosted cars for 75K a pop... Chris' entire Italian vacation consisted of shooting smack in his hotel root with nodded-out hookers. He never left his hotel room and said he had food poisoning. He bought Adriana souvenirs at Newark airport... Meanwhile, back in the Kingdom of NoJer: Big Pussy was spotted talking to his contact with the Feds at the Party Box by an old friend who is an Elvis impersonator. He later whacked Elvis with a hammer to cover his tracks... CATTY CARMELA: After Janice judged her hypocritical nature looking the other way of Tony's indiscretions in exchange for a McMansion and life of luxury, she gave Janice shit for shacking up with Richie Aprile. Janice explained that Richie Aprile has a special sensitivity toward women because of his time in prison playing hide the salami... Loved that the yuppie dog named Churchill ran away after the Mercedes SUV got carjacked at the start of the episode.... This end credits music is that same song that is played at the Bellagio fountains in Vegas.

S2, Episode 5: Big Girls, Don't Cry... With the Feds closing in on Tony and Furio now on the team, Tony re-organized his crew. Paulie Walnuts got a promotion to Capo, while Silvio got bumped up to Consigliere. Meanwhile, Big Pussy and Furio report to Silvio/Paulie... Chris was late to his first class "Acting for Writers", which was a birthday gift from Adriana to help solve his writer's block. She thinks that revealing feelings is how you turn into a better writer. It turns out Chris is better at improv than actual writing. He can even cry on cue much to the amazement of his classmates and teacher. But it all went to hell during an exercise when Chris beat up his acting partner... Chris finally gave up on his aspirations as a screenwriter and threw away his old scripts ("You Bark, I Bite") and his old floppy discs... Tony confided in Hesh that he was having anxiety attacks/fainting spells, despite the fact business was doing awesome. Hesh revealed that Tony's old man, Johnny Boy Soprano, also had similar issues and once split his head open on a cigarette machine... Johnny Sack had a meeting with Paulie and Furio, but Pussy was asked to step away from the table while the adults discussed business. Pussy whined about his "demotion" to his FBI contact. Even the FBI mook was full-blown emo complaining about being passed over for a promotion. "Whole society is fucked... world is full of scumbags,"  the jaded emo-Fed remarked...  CATTY CARMELA: At Furio's welcome party, Uncle Junior showed up with cookies and Carmela slammed the door in his face... BEATDOWN of the EPISODE: Tony sent Furio on his first mission: collecting at a tanning salon where the owner was holding out on Chris & Tony. Furio went full-blown cowboy when he busted into tanning salon. He whooped the the owner's wife and beat the owner with a lead pipe before shooting him in the kneecap.... DUCKS REFERENCE: On Tony's boat, Stugots, his Russian side piece Irina fed cheeze doodles to ducks and Tony scolded her. When Irina cussed at Tony in Russian, the guy in the boat next to him was also Russian and told Tony's lady friend she should date Russian men. Tony flipped out and nearly ripped off the testicles off the Ruskie who wouldn't mind his own fuckin' business... After consulting with her own therapist about feeling guilty dumping Tony, Dr. Melfi decided it was time to start seeing Tony again as a patient. She told him to read Sun Tzu's Art of War to become a better gang leader.

S2, Episode 6: The Happy Wanderer... Tony told Dr. Melfi that he hated happy wanderers, people walking down the street smiling because they have a clear conscience. Hence the title of this episode. Dr. Melfi dropped a Carlos Castaneda quote, but Tony dismissed it because he thinks he's a boxer... Ah, my wheelhouse with the poker episode. The Big Game. Uncle Junior and Tony's father used to host the Executive Game that often ran for a couple of days straight. They hosted the return of the Big Game at the no-tell motel run by the Hasidic jews... Among the players were the "prick doctor", Johnny Sack, and Frank Sinatra, Jr. who flew out to just play in the Big Game... One of Tony's old high school friends, Davey Scatino, owned a sporting goods store and his son went to school with Meadow. He's also a degen gambler who owed Richie Aprile 8K before he got cut off. Scatino begged Tony to let him sit in the Big Game even though he showed up with no cash. Tony floated him "five boxes of ziti" for the buy-in... As the game went late, Tony fell asleep and woke up to discover that Scatino was stuck 45 boxes of ziti. Tony was going to close game before his friend lost any more cash, but Richie Aprile showed up and had words with Scatino and started punching him. Frank Sinatria, Jr. decided to leave, so the game broke on account of hotheaded Richie... Tony was wicked pissed with Richie and told him he had to wait until Scatino paid Tony back first before Richie got the money Scatino owed him... Meanwhile, Tony told Scatino he had two days to come up with the cash, otherwise he'd have to owe 5 points weekly juice... "My luck is gonna change!" exclaimed the degen broke dick. They all say that... Scatino hit up Artie Bucco to borrow $20K. Probably $10K to pay back some to Tony and the other 10K to go to Atlantic City! Instead, brokedick re-possessed his son's SUV and handed it over to Tony as partial payment for the 45K he owed. Tony, in turn, gifted the SUV to his daughter. Meadow refused the new car when she realized it belonged to her (boy)friend. She protested to Tony and those two had a blowup. Tony explained that brokedicks eventually have to pay for their brokedick ways. Tony put the spoiled Meadow in her place. Sure, she loved the luxury of being a mafia princess, but she had no right to complain. She can't have her cake and eat it too... Meadow's friend told her that Tony needed to give him his car back, but Meadow pretty much told him she did not have that kinda of influence over adjudicating gambling debts. The kid flipped out and called her out for being a mafia princess... Chris always the angleshooter! He tried to rig the scale at the fish store. He hired his two mook underlings to work the Big Game as waiters. He reminded them to watch out for Silvio, who is usually cool and calm under pressure, but he goes on mega-tilt when he starts losing at cards... Janice planted seeds in Richie's head. She told him that her father gave a wiseguy $50,000 when he got out of the joint almost 30 years earlier. Tony gave Richie the same amount, but Janice felt that adjusted for inflation, her brother shoulda gave Richie $500,000.

S2, Episode 7: D-Girl... Chris is usually the gangster cheating anyone in his path, but he got starry eyes and let his guard up when Hollywood scensters came to town. His cousin was dating a development executive a.k.a. D-Girl (short for Development Girl... a moniker for female executive in Hollywood. Yes when I first met Nicky, she was a D-Girl) who worked for Jon Favreau and he told her about Chris' script. It turned out they were really interested in beefing up their own mafia project. During their first meeting in a NYC club, the D-Girl developed the hots for Chris after he told drunk banksters to leave them alone... AJ got busted for stealing his mom's car and he got into a minor accident. When confronted he spouted off emo-existentialist: "Death just shows the absolute absurdity of life." Meadow dropped a Madame de Stael quote: "One must choose in life between boredom and suffering." Alas, the malaise of suburban druddery... AJ went to talk to Moma Soprano about his existentialist angst. She did not console him, rather, she told him the cold harsh truth: "Don't expect happiness, you won't get it... you die alone."... Big Pussy took AJ and his own son to the batting cages to discuss AJ's emo-existentialist phase. Big Pussy's son told him to check out Keirkagaard, but AJ responded by dropping a Master P quote. Big Pussy's son was surprised, "You still listen to rap? It's all about marketing now!"... D-Girl took Chris to a film set to meet Jon Favreau. He gave them dialogue tips when one of the actresses did not want to say "bitch." Chris suggested "pucchiaca", which is cunt in Italian in case if you ever wondered where pussy was derived from. Chris took them out for pizza at a local joint and he revealed some insider wiseguy stuff in order to kiss up to his new Hollywood friends. Chris told them about the shemale acid story and how a wiseguy stumbled upon his own personal Crying Game... Chris banged D-Girl a few times and she asked him if he was ever with a Jewish girl from Yale before... D-Girl told Chris that his script needed work, but she was just using him for a booty call and needed help punching up Favreau's mob script... Chris got gacked to the gills in Favreau's room, who seemed fascinated with Chris the Wiseguy and asked if he was strapped. Favreau got scared after Chris pulled out his gun and the two were horseplaying around. Favreau wiped his fingerprints off gun but gave Chris a tip for his fledgling screenplay.... Chris flipped out when he discovered Favreau's screenplay included the wiseguy shemale acid story. D-Girl said they changed some of the details, but Chris was convinced he could get whacked for revealing insider secrets... D-Girl dropped William Inge reference when Chris got all stalkerish with her... It was AJ's Confirmation Day and Pussy was his sponsor (along with being AJ's Godfather). The Feds wanted Pussy to wear a wire and he almost got busted by his wife when he was in the bathroom shaving his chest... During the party, Tony busted AJ for smoking reefer in the garage. He was also livid that Chris didn't show up to the church because he was out trying to impress his new Hollywood friends. Chris was dejected at the thought of being used by the "West Coast Entertainment Mafia." Tony gave him an ultimatum: pick his path -- the family business or Hollyweird. Chris chose the family business... The D-Girl storyline was an indictment on Hollywood Jews stealing and profiting off Italian-American mafia life. Chris was blinded by fame and didn't realize he was getting used by ruthless showbiz types, who were criminals of a different breed.

S2, Episode 8: Full Leather Jacket... Carmela is hung up on dying institutions like the Catholic church, marriage, and college... especially college. Carmela thinks a good education will elevate Meadow from Mafia Princess into the One-Percenters. Bit Carmela wanted Meadow to attend a good Catholic college like Georgetown and one that's not Berkeley. Tony did not want Meadow to go to Berkeley because there's a ton of fudgepackers out in the Bay Area.... Carmela asked her neighbor if her twin sister (Georgetown alum) could write a letter of recommendation for Meadow... Carmela showed up with a pie and Meadow's transcript and she wouldn't take no for an answer. Carmela's neighbor freaked out and told her sister to write the recommendation otherwise everyone gets WHACKED!... CATTY CARMELA: Carmela nearly sabotaged Meadow's Berkley application, which was incomplete according to a letter for Meadow that she opened. Berkley requested more transcript info, but Carmela threw it in the trash. She had second thoughts and fished it out in the middle of the night... Chris finally popped the question to Adriana. Her mother was not keen on her daughter marrying a mobster, but Adriana was thrilled he finally asked... Silvio and Paulie requested that Richie Aprile build a ramp for Beansie, the guy he ran over who was confined to a wheelchair, but he was being a prick about it... Richie gave Tony a goomba jacket that looked cool circa 1979. Tony didn't want anything to do with the jacket. Richie was personally offended and got extra salty when he noticed Tony gave the jacket away to his Polish maid's husband... Richie Aprile even quoted the Tao: "Close one door before you open another"...  Janice and Richie came to Sunday dinner and Janice looked more like gangster wife than a hippie from Seattle... Chris' mook underlings were obsessed with mafia lifestyle, but they were impatient and wanted to get in good with the top brass. They kissed up to Richie Aprile and then followed Tony into the toilet at Bada Bing to discuss business. Tony wigged out on them for being mooks and trying to talk shop in a place that was most likely bugged... Furio showed up at the mooks apartment to collect money for Tony and he shook them down for another 1K... The mooks decided that they needed to whack Chris in order to gain respect. Of course, because they were mooks they botched the hit and one of them got killed in the firefight. The other mook got away and ran to Richie Aprile's house seeking protection. The mook claimed they did the hit as a favor to Richie because he hated Chris. Richie chased the kid out of his house... The episode ended with Chris in a coma in the hospital.

S2, Episode 9: From Where to Eternity... Chris woke up from his coma but told Paulie and Tony that he crossed over into hell when his heart stopped. Chris saw his father (also a wiseguy) and other guys who were whacked. He told Paulie and Tony a message: "Three o'clock." Tony dismissed it as a drug-induced dream, but Paulie became obsessed with what Chris told him... Paulie kept pestering Chris about his hell experience. He wanted to make sure it was not Purgatory because if it was hell, then "you'd notice the heat." Paulie figured out between his venial and mortal sins, he had about 6,000 years in Purgatory coming to him, which he felt he could do standing on his head... Paulie's conscience was irking him and keeping him awake at night. He decided to consult a psychic in Nyack, who told him he had a cast of whacked wiseguys haunting him... Paulie flipped out and went to speak to a Catholic priest who told him that psychics were charlatans doing the devil's work... Carmela was convinced she saved Chris by praying to Jesus... Chris' near-death-experience freaked out Tony because he realized that if he died, his only male heir was AJ who was a soft sloth yet shielded from the wiseguy life in their gigantic suburban castle... Big Pussy got back onto Tony's good side by helping find the mook on the lam who shot Chris... Tony made sure that the attempted hit on Chris was a "spec hit" and not an assassination ordered by any of his enemies. Tony shot the mook first, and then Big Pussy and Tony emptied their clips into him... After killing the mook, the two went to the same steak joint where Big Pussy took Tony on the night be popped his cherry with his first execution.... CATTY CARMELA: She asked Tony to get a vasectomy because Ralphie knocked up his Brazilian side piece. She has been reading Memories of a Geisha... Tony told Dr. Melfi that he's not going to hell because he's a soldier just following orders and that hell was not for wiseguys, rather, it was for supreme evil like Pol Pot or Hitler. If things got ugly, it's because they were chasing the American Dream. Why shouldn't Italians get a piece of the pie?

S2, Episode 10: Bust Out... Lost kid in mall gave Tony had a flashback to Chris' revenge killing when the mook cried out to his mommy... Janice and Richie indulged in freaky sex shit involving guns. Janice quoted Sun Tzu post-coitus. She pulled a Moma Soprano and tried to manipulate Richie. Planted more seeds in Richie Aprile's dense skull in order to knock her brother out of power. She was getting stoned and deep into a couch booty call while Moma Soprano was upstairs the entire time... Carmela had the hots for the Wallpaper Man. He wanted to paper her walls but got scared off because she's the mob boss' wife... Acceptance letters arrived for Meadow. Our little mafia princess got into Berkley and NYU, but much to the dismay of Carmela, she got wait-listed at Georgetown... Tony used Ramsey's sporting goods store to run up a huge tab after Broke Dick of the Year Davey Sactino essentially handed the store over to Tony after running up nearly 50K in gambling debts. Scatino blew his kid's college fund and considered suicide. He eventually told his brother-in-law (aka the Wallpaper Man) about his brokedick ways (donking off 45K in the Big Game plus other sportsbetting turds) and how deep deep into debt he was into Tony. Wallpaper man offered to pay for his nephew's college tuition if Sactino went back to Gamblers Anonymous. Wallpaper man called off a potential date with Carmela. Yeah, she got cockblocked by a brokedick... A witness came forward and he claimed he saw two men whack the mook. With the Feds closing in, Tony spent the majority of the episode in total freak out mode because he was five minutes away from life imprisonment. The FBI knew Tony clipped the mook but they don't know Big Pussy was also a part of the revenge killing. Late in Act 3, the so-called witness got cold feet when he found out the mook who got whacked was in Tony Soprano's crew. He conveniently mis-remembered the events from that evening.... Tony left his therapy session early after he told Dr. Melfi he met a woman in Italy he wanted to bang who reminded him of her. As he walked out he said, "I dodged a pretty big bullet and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I don't need any more psychiatry today"... The episode ended with a tender father/son moment with Tony teaching AJ how to drive a boat. Of course in the process they knocked over another boat as Journey's Wheel in the Sky played over the end credits.

S2, Episode 11: House Arrest.... U.S. Marshall re-attached an ankle bracelet on Uncle Junior. The Marshalls' last name was McLuhan. The nurses thought it was funny. Junior was clueless. He didn't know who Marshall McLuhan is... Tony's attorney suggested he actually show up at one of his no-show jobs in order to keep up appearances to the Feds who are sweating his every move... When Tony showed up at his waste management gig at Marone Garbage, he found out Richie Aprile and Uncle Junior were slinging coke on the side using garbage trucks to deliver the goods. Tony got irked because he didn't need to draw heat from the DEA, but Junior needed a lucrative venture to cover his mounting legal bills... Dr. Melfi went psycho at a restaurant when she was seated next to a smoker who refused to put out her cigarette because Melfi was rude and condescending. Oh, man, it was still 1999 and you could smoke in restaurants in the 20th Century... Junior got his hand stuck in the sink and could not reach a phone to get help. Richie and Janice showed up six hours later to get him out. Insert your own metaphor for what that hand in the sink meant.

S2, Episode 12: The Knight in White Satin Armor... Richie Aprile's nephew/Jackie Aprile's son spoke his mind in a meeting about sanitation contracts and Tony pretty much told him to fuck off because Richie insisted on being a boil on Tony's ass slinging blow on the sanitation route... Twas raining when Big Pussy talked to the FBI and fed them intel. They asked him to wear a wire for Janice/Richie Aprile's engagement party... Being a rat went to Big Pussy's head. Big Pussy lost his marbles and thought he was an undercover G-man. He ran over a cyclist trying to tail Chris and one of his mook pals en route to jack a truck-load of Pokemon cards... Tony's side piece Irina threatened to commit suicide if Tony left her. And she followed through. She was jealous that Svetlana lost her leg at the GAP and her white knight in satin armor rescued her... Carmela was wicked jealous that Tony was still deep dicking his Russian side piece. Carmela was in such a tizzy that she stalked the Wallpaper Man hoping she could initiate her own illicit affair and finally paper the inside walls of her vag... MOMA SOPRANO PARENTING TIPS: "Babies are like animals... no better than dogs"... Richie and his nephew told Junior that he was gonna take out Capo Larry and Tony. Junior shined him on, but realized that Tony is the lesser of two evils, so he was gonna side with Tony during that spat. Junior told Tony that Richie was making a move against Tony... and those two hugged it out. Junior also suggested that Janice might have a little something to do with it. Poor Tony. His mother, his uncle, and his sister all wanted him whacked. Yet, he allowed all three to live... Consigliare Silvio suggested that they take out Richie. Tony snap-called, "Get it done."... They were too late. Janice did the dirty deed and whacked Richie after he smacked her around at dinner. Janice grabbed a gun and Richie Aprile was dunzo. Janice called Tony to help dispose of the body... Furio and Chris chopped up the dead body in the back of Satriale's. Chris made a joke about not eating there for a while... Tony put Janice on a bus back to Seattle. I guess the wedding was called off... CATTY CARMELA: She always wore red when she was enraptured with envy, ire, and jealous. She was a thermo-nuclear mob wife all broken up at Janice's happiness and joy. She reminded Janice that it's only a matter of time before Richie got a side piece. Janice also revealed the little kinky gun fetish...
Janice: "He holds gun to my head during sex!"
Carmela: "I thought you were a feminist?"
Janice: "He usally takes the clip out."

S2, Episode 13: The Funhouse... Beware of the chicken vindaloo. Tony might have had bad shellfish at Artie Bucco's but he also ate Indian food with Big Pussy. Tony got super sick and had multiple fever dreams located on Asbury Park's boardwalk and each of those surreal moments were entwined with the entire episode.But during these dreams he uncovered the identity of the rat: BIG PUSSY...
Dream 1: Tony met up with his crew plus Hesh and Spoons (one of the guys he whacked). It was almost June, but snowing. Tony told them he had a terminal disease. He decided that  he was gonna burn himself alive so his family and friends would not have to suffer through his decline. At one point, Big Pussy disappeared. Tony woke up with an upset stomach and was blasting wicked farts.

Dream 2: Silvio approached him on the boardwalk and did a Pacino imitation from The Godfather... Tony watched himself shoot Paulie Walnuts through the fucking head.

Dream 3: He was in a therapy session with Dr. Melfi and told her about Dream 2 shooting Paulie Walnuts in the head. All of a sudden it was Annalisa from Italy sitting with him. He woke up and ran off to the toilet to blast a mud avalanche in the toiler.

Dream 4: Tony was riding shotgun in a red funny car with Furio, Chris, and Andriana (who was driving). Furio handed him toilet paper. He woke up and blasted another nasty wet fart.

Dream 5 (Tony fell asleep on the shitter): He wore a wifebeater to his therapy with Dr. Melfi. She asked him if Big Pussy was his friend because he was carried off by the ducks. At that point, Tony realized he was having a dream. He started bickering with Dr. Melfi showing a huge erection. They started going at it on her desk. He got woken up by his doctor neighbor, who informed Tony that he had E. Coli.

Dream 6: Tony was shopping for fish and Big Pussy appeared as an eight pound talking fish that was only $4 per pound. Big Pussy the fish admitted to Tony that he's been working for the Feds because he was passed over for a promotion. Tony knocked over the fish table after Big Pussy referenced The Godfather and sleeping with the fishes.

Dream 7 (in Silvio's car): Free Fallin' by Tom Petty played on the car radio but also on in the background of his dream at chez Soprano for a family dinner where Meadow revealed she's attending Columbia for college.
Meanwhile, in the real world that's not Tony's subconscious... Tony and Silvio showed up at Big Pussy's house. While Tony pretended to be on the shitter, he snooped around Big Pussy's bedroom and found a wire and tapes hidden in a cigar box. Tony told Pussy he wanted to show him his new boat... On the boat, Tony, Paulie, and Silvio whacked Big Pussy for being a rat. They let him drink a few shots of tequila before they shot him and then tossed his carcass overboard... Mama Soprano and her sister got pinched at the airport for using stolen plane tickets (Brokedick Scatino bought a slew of tix with his store's credit). The FBI used the stolen plane tix as a reason to arrest Tony. On the eve of Meadow's graduation, the Feds showed up at his house and hauled him off as a horribly embarrassed Meadow and her friends walked through the front door... CATTY CARMELA: Bathing in more hypocritical tears, she was wetter than Niagara Falls when Tony showed up with a mink coat... In a post-jail therapy session, Tony referred to his mother as a "Fucking demented old bat!" Dr. Melfi brought up the fact that Moma Soprano tried to have him killed a year earlier so Tony told her he fucked her in his fever dream and she liked it. He then walked out... Tony posted bail in time to attend Meadow's high school graduation at Verbum Dei (Latin for the "word of God"... see my high school Latin finally paid off)... Tony told Chris good news: he was gonna become a made man... The episode and Season 2 ended with the Stones' Thru and Thru and a montage of Meadow's graduation party intercut with all the illegal operations (waste management, boiler room, porn theatre, phone cards, Big Poker Game, and the no-tell motel run by the Hasidic Jews) that funded the Soprano empire.

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Season 2 is dunzo. Here's binge-recaps from The Sopranos Season 1.

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