Directed by: Allen Coulter
Written by: Todd A. Kessler
“Life is essentially meaningless.”
Tony talking to Dr. Melfi?
Livia to anyone who’ll listen?
No, this time it’s Anthony, Jr. to his parents, upon being caught driving — and crashing — his mother’s car. An unrepentant A.J. has been reading Camus and Nietzsche and come to the conclusion that God is dead, existence is pointless and his upcoming confirmation in the Catholic Church is an exercise in absurdity. And while Tony can put the fear of God into an unruly cugine as easily as putting on his socks, A.J.’s affront to his and the Almighty’s authority has the capo di tutti capi poleaxed.
Dr. Melfi advises Tony that A.J.’s angst is a typical reaction to the discovery that he’s responsible for his own actions; Pussy’s assessment is that “at age thirteen . . . they start getting broody.” Regardless of what’s causing A.J.’s dark adolescence of the soul, Tony wants him to be a God-and-Tony-fearing Catholic again ASAP. So he assigns the task of enlightening his namesake to Pussy, who, coincidentally, is A.J.’s confirmation sponsor.
But A.J.’s not alone in giving Tony agita. Christopher has been shirking his responsibilities again. He’s been flirting with filmmaking — and a beautiful redheaded filmmaker — and thinking that he’d rather be a player in Hollywood than New Jersey. When Tony finds out, he accosts his nephew at A.J.’s confirmation party and gives him ten minutes to make a choice: “I’m gonna look up and if you’re not here I’m gonna assume . . . that I will never see you again. If you are still here, then I’m gonna assume you have no other desire in the world than to be with me and your actions will show it every fucking second of every fucking day.”
And Christopher’s not the only one with a difficult decision to make. Pussy is being pressured by Agent Lipari to wear a wire to A.J.’s confirmation party. Some choice: do thirty years in prison or betray a man who, as he tells A.J., “would catch a bullet for you.” A.J.’s not the only one hearing Pussy’s testimonial to his father — it’s coming in on Agent Lipari’s headphones.
As Carmela and Tony see to their guests, Christopher sits on the front steps and makes up his mind. In ten minutes, he re-enters the house; he’s made his decision and he’s at peace with it.
Meanwhile Pussy’s upstairs, sobbing in the bathroom; he’s made his and he’s not.