Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: Terence Winter
Watch out, New Jersey, Furio Giunta has arrived.
The latest addition to the Soprano crew is safely in the States and, as a favor to Tony by Artie Bucco, gainfully employed as a mozzarella maker at the Nuovo Vesuvio Restaurant. But make no mistake: Furio’s real boss is Tony. And now that his operation has some new talent, the Boss can make a few organizational changes. Paulie and Silvio are bumped up, reporting directly to Tony. Reporting to Paulie and Silvio are Furio, Christopher… and Pussy.
So how does everyone feel about the new pecking order? Obviously Paulie and Silvio have no complaints, and Furio’s just happy to be working for someone who doesn’t wear a skirt. But as for Christopher and Pussy, that’s another story.
But then, Christopher hasn’t exactly been acting like a guy who wants to be made. He has been acting, though. Unknown to Tony, Christopher has been taking a class called “Acting for Writers.” And while Christopher follows the dictates of his muse, the dictates of his Boss are being seriously neglected. So when the operators of a local tanning salon/bordello on Christopher’s collection route come up shy on their “security payment” for the 3rd week in a row, Tony decides to see how Furio handles the situation. Quite adroitly, it turns out. employing a Louisville Slugger, a few well-placed bullets and some vigorous Italian epithets to great effect.
As for Sal Bompensiero, he’s turned into one sour Pussy. The demotion sticks in his craw, and he’s not shy about showing it. He’s openly hostile to Furio and complains to Agent Lipari that “this thing of ours” has turned into “this thing of Tony’s.” If Pussy’s had reservations about ratting on Tony, they may well be dissipating.
But as far as Tony knows, things are going pretty well. He’s not under indictment, he’s firmly in control of the organization and business is good. So why, then, is he tearing the phone out of the wall and screaming at Carmela and the kids? Why is he so angry at reunited lovebirds Janice and Richie? Why is he picking fights with “civilians” half his size? In an attempt to find out, Tony seeks counsel from Hesh, who lets him in on an important piece of Soprano family history: Tony’s father, Johnny Boy Soprano, also had a “condition” that caused him to black out occasionally.
Fortunately Tony can now discuss this revelation with Dr. Melfi, as she phones Tony and tells him that she’s decided to resume his therapy. At first Tony’s inner Italian stallion gets the better of him, causing him to turn down the offer. But the following afternoon, there he is, sitting in Dr. Melfi’s waiting room. Why? Because, he tells her, “I want to be in total control.”
Sounds like Dr. Melfi’s got her work cut out for her.