Directed by: Alan Taylor
Written by: Matthew Weiner and David Chase
“People just walk around like this is all something.”
Phil discovers Tony has been dumping asbestos at the Barone garbage transfer station. Phil wants 25% of the action-or no more dumping. As Tony and Christopher are driving home from their meeting with Phil, they debate what to do. Christopher thinks they should meet his price. “Regarding Phil-I gotta ask-what ever happened to ‘stop and smell the roses?'” he asks Tony. Tony agrees, “Each day’s a gift,”-but he’s not sure Phil is on the same page.
Driving through the night, Tony grows suspicious of Christopher’s behavior-cranking the music, fidgety. Suddenly Christopher drifts into the other lane and has to swerve sharply to miss an oncoming car. Their car flips and rolls off the side of the highway. As Tony struggles to get out Christopher appeals to him: “You gotta help me, I’ll never pass a drug test.” Tony looks at the destroyed children’s car seat in the backseat with rage. Christopher is coughing blood and Tony makes a decision: he pinches Christopher’s nose shut, and the two lock eyes as Tony suffocates him. Then Tony calls 911 for an ambulance.
From his hospital gurney, Tony calls Carmela to break the news of Christopher’s death. Over the next few days, as the mourning begins, news spreads that Christopher tested positive for cocaine and wasn’t wearing his seat belt.
Tony admits in a session with Melfi what he hasn’t been able to tell anyone: that he’s relieved. “The biggest blunder of my career is now gone and I don’t have to be confronted by that fact no more,” he says. But in fact, this session with Melfi is a dream.
Tony grows more frustrated and distant, not able to feel the same pain and grief that everyone around him is going through. He quizzes Carmela on whether he detected a note of relief in her voice when he phoned her from the hospital. Devastated by his implication, she insists the only relief was “that it was him and not you.” Trying to make her feel better, he tells her about the tree branch that went through the windshield and impaled the baby car seat-it would have mangled the baby. But Carmela just gets more upset. “In retrospect -maybe not the best approach,” notes Melfi, when Tony reports the exchange later. “Right. I’m the asshole. Again,” Tony replies. He continues to vent his anger at having to take up Christopher’s slack for so long. ‘Guess what pity produces in the recipient?” he reports. “They sh*t on your pity.”
At Christopher’s wake, Tony introduces Carmela to real estate agent Julianna Skiff, who tells her she’s a recovering addict and owes a lot to Christopher. Kelli Moltisanti shows up in sunglasses, and all of the men are taken with her dignified beauty. “Jackie Kennedy,” notes Tony. AJ is comforted by the two Jasons who urge him not to let his cousin’s death linger in his head too long.
Meanwhile, Paulie’s mother Nucci Gualtieri has died of a stroke and her wake is scheduled for the same day as Christopher’s. When Carmela pulls Tony away to pay respects to Nucci, they find a disgruntled Paulie, upset that no one is coming to collect the 500 prayer cards he ordered and that everyone is at Christopher’s wake instead.
At his therapist’s, AJ says he’s not obsessing about Christopher’s death, or Blanca anymore. “Perhaps the meds are working,” notes the therapist. Back at school, AJ and a girl compare the benefits of Lexipro and Wellbutrin. When the bet-welching Victor hobbles by, the girl reports that he had to have his toes amputated because of car battery acid seeping through his shoes-a story that triggers AJ’s and Jason’s laughter.
Needing to get away, Tony calls his Vegas connection, Alan, who sends a private plane to whisk him away for some peace and quiet. Melancholy, he looks up Sonya, a local friend of Christopher’s who’s working her way through college by stripping. The news of Christopher’s death shocks her. Tony leaves, and fields a call from John Stefano, who reports that the asbestos is backing up. Phil gets back to Tony but refuses to budge on his 25% demand.
AJ is hanging out at the frat house when Jason G. pulls up with dinner. As he opens his car door a bicyclist crashes into the front door and they get into an argument. Jason calls him a n**ger and the fight escalates until a group of guys are beating the hell out of the bicyclist as AJ watches, growing more disturbed. At his next therapy session he is back in a funk, angry and disgusted with the world. “Everything is so f**ked up,” he says. “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Tony escapes his problems with Sonya, having sex and trying peyote. They wander the casino stoned and Tony plays roulette, winning round after round. His losing streak is over. Tony drops to the ground, convulsing with laughter
One of Stefano’s trucks pulls up to a marsh and dumps a load of asbestos. Meanwhile, Tony and Sonya have driven out to park overlooking a stunning desert canyon. Standing at the edge of the world Tony shouts out: “I get it!”