Directed by: Rodrigo Garcia
Written by: Toni Kalem
“They go around complimenting you on your new shoes, tell you you’re not going bald. Do you think they really care? You’re the boss. They’re scared of you. They have to kiss your ass and laugh at your stupid jokes.”
The burgeoning turf battle between Johnny Sack and Little Carmine has claimed its first casualties: Lorraine Calluzzo and her strongman, Jason Evanima. With Phil Leotardo acting as lookout, Billy Leotardo and Joe Peeps coldly and efficiently shot them to death. When Little Carmine learns of the hit, Angelo Garepe counsels restraint; but another associate, Rusty Millio, adamantly disagrees. “We’ll steam roll right over John,” he tells Little Carmine, “And I predict the guys on the street…they’ll welcome us as fuckin’ heroes.”
In New Jersey, Tony is faced with his own nascent power struggle. Although he’s been trying to help Feech – he gives him stewardship of the “executive” poker game, which was Feech’s before he went to prison – it’s clear that the old capo resents kowtowing to someone he thinks of as “a kid.” Feech smirks at Tony in front of his other subordinates and tries to withhold Tony’s taste of his earnings. The witholding of pay relates to Feech green lighting a raid on the Jewish wedding where boosted all the expensive cars then took them to Johnny Sack’s shops because he gave him a good deal. This was total disrespect and the second time Tony is having to play catch up with Feech. Tony can’t help but see parallels to another ex-con. “Did I learn nothing from Richie Aprile?” he asks Silvio, who sadly agrees that it may become necessary to get rid of Feech.
There are struggles on the domestic front as well. Carmela resents Tony’s relationship with Anthony, Jr, complaining, “I get to be the prison warden over here while you indulge him.” Against her own instincts, Carmela permits A.J. to attend a concert in Manhattan and spend the night there. He promises to bunk at Meadow’s apartment, but stays in a hotel with his buddies instead. When he returns home late, hung over and without eyebrows, Carmela decides she’s had enough and sends A.J. to live with Tony.
Carmela is deeply worried about her son, however. At a meeting with his school counselor, Mr. Wegler, she and Tony are warned that “…we’re rapidly approaching crisis mode here grade-wise.” A few days later, Mr. Wegler and Carmela continue their discussion over lunch. He listens sympathetically as Carmela voices one of her greatest fears: that unless A.J. succeeds in college, he’ll end up following in his father’s footsteps.
Meanwhile, a decision is reached regarding Feech. Tony, who’s lately come to question his underlings’ affection for him, senses that Feech’s popularity is genuine and on the rise. While he can’t let the old-timer continue undermining him, neither can he forget that Feech once gave him a pass for robbing his card game. So what does Tony do? He arranges for Feech to violate his parole, so that instead of disappearing, he’s loaded onto a Department of Corrections bus and taken back to prison, which is the safest thing for everybody.