Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: Teleplay by Frank Renzulli, Story by David Chase
“We’re like leather and lace.”
That’s how Tony’s describes his relationship with Gloria to Dr. Melfi. He tells her tha
ile Gloria is dark and dangerous and quite possibly a “full-blown loopty-loo,” he just can’t stay away from her.
“Amour fou,” Melfi replies. That’s French for “crazy love,” she tells Tony – love that’all-consuming. But no matter whether you quote the French or Stevie Nicks, it all boiling down to one thing: Tony’s got it bad…and it’s about to get worse.
One day, Carmela is at Globe Mercedes, having some work done on her wagon. Since the courtesy van isn’t available to give her a ride home, a member of the sales staff – a nice young woman named Trillo – offers her a lift. So Carmela ends up being chauffeured by, and chatting amiably with, the Other Woman. Gloria compounds her transgression a few days later by phoning Carmela to chat about a new car. Gloria sweetly suggests, “Maybe your husband will treat you (to one).” What she doesn’t realize is that Carmela’s husband is sitting right next to her, and when he finds out who called, he’s not in the mood to dole out treats.
Seething, Tony tracks down Gloria and tells her he never wants to see her again. But later when she phones him, sobbing and hysterical, Tony ends up at her house. Not surprisingly, they start to argue. Tony decides he’s had enough and turns to leave, and that’s when Gloria makes a huge mistake: she threatens to go to Carmela.
Few people have experienced the full force of Tony Soprano’s anger and Gloria finds herself suddenly among the elite. In a moment of simultaneous epiphany and rage, Tony realizes that Gloria’s self-pity and vindictiveness are exactly like Livia’s. Screaming, “I didn’t just meet you, I’ve known you my whole fucking life!” Tony chases Gloria, overturning furniture and eventually hurling her to the floor. With Tony’s hands almost crushing her windpipe, Gloria has just one thing to say to him: “Kill me.”
But he doesn’t. ony leaves her there and has Patsy Parisi give her a message later. While taking a test drive, Patsy pulls a gun on Gloria and tells her to stay away from the Sopranos, “my face will be the last one you’ll see. Not Tony’s.” In case she needs further clarification, he adds, “It won’t be cinematic.”
Carmela, meanwhile, has her own concerns. She hasn’t been feeling well, physically or spiritually. While her physical ailment is quickly diagnosed as a slight thyroid imbalance, her spiritual wound is more difficult to salve. She sees a new priest, Father Obosi, who counsels her to live off what’s earned by “the good part” of Tony. Later, when Carmela and her gal pals – Rosalie Aprile, Angie Bonpensiero and Gabriella Dante – meet for lunch, they all agree they should be more self-sufficient. Shortly thereafter, Carmela stops wearing the sapphire ring Tony gave her and starts reading about the real estate license exam.
Carmela’s not the only one thinking about self-improvement. Jackie, Junior – whose relationship with Meadow is “SO over” – decides to make his mark on the world by robbing Gene Pontecorvo’s card game. He convinces his buddies that the score will earn them respect. But when they do the job, everything goes horribly wrong. Christopher and Furio are there. Flustered, they kill the card dealer and shoot Furio in the leg. Their get-away driver leaves them. Jackie manages to escape, but Christopher wants to find him and kill him right away. When Tony tells him no, Christopher angrily accuses him of being a hypocrite who’ll let Jackie get away with shooting a made man.
But Tony’s got another plan. Since Gene is part of Ralphie’s crew, the robbed game was officially Ralph’s. And Jackie and his cohorts claimed to be “with Ralph.” So Tony declares that Jackie’s fate is Ralph’s to decide. So, will Ralph let Jackie’s string play out a little longer?
Or will he snip it off?