Directed by: Danny Leiner
Written by: Matthew Weiner
“In business, shit happens-playing field changes, whatever. You gotta do what it takes to somehow keep your dick up.”
Corky instructs the Italians on their job. They take care of Rusty and his driver. When Phil passes along a thanks from Johnny Sack to Tony, T denies he had anything to do with it. “Madon’ are you a cautious man,” says Phil.
Tony hosts a banquet at Vesuvio’s to celebrate “new blood” (Gerry Turciano and Burt Gervasi) in Jersey and New York. There are grumblings that Artie’s game is off as they wait for their meal-and rumors about the incredible food at a new place: Da Giovanni’s.
Vito’s still missing but Tony wants to take a break from the search, which is good news for Chris who wants to take time off for a trip to LA with Little Carmine-they want to attach Ben Kingsley to “Cleaver.” Tony balks, but lets him go.
Phil holds his grandson’s confirmation lunch at Da Giovanni’s and though the food has everyone raving, Tony feels like he’s betraying Artie: “I feel like some kind a traitor.”
Meanwhile, Vesuvio’s is nearly empty-except for Benny making moves on the new hostess Martina. Artie, jealous, calls her aside and tells her he can’t help her with green card after all.
At the Bada Bing, Artie laments that the most he can get from the strippers is a lap dance–and chides Tony for having lunched at Da Giovanni’s. “It was a business obligation for Christ’s sake,” says Tony.
Charmaine and Artie, back together, discuss the foundering business. Charmaine suggests Artie shouldn’t talk to the customers so much and Artie blows up. “You know better than NJ Zagat: ‘Arthur Bucco, warm and convivial host’?”
Tony tries to offer some business suggestions to Artie-two-for-one specials-and Artie hits the roof. “I’ll give it back to the bank before I turn it into a f%$#ing IHOP.”
In LA, Chris falls off the wagon waiting for the Ben Kingsley meeting- with lines of coke and a prostitute.
At their poolside meeting the next day, Ben Kingsley tells Little Carmine and Chris his interest is “script dependent.” Growing wary of their director choices (“We could go A list down the horror janra with Ridley or Tobe Hooper or try and find that next James Wan-he did ‘Saw,'”) Sir Ben jumps at the chance to say hi to Lauren Bacall. “BettyÃ¢â‚¬Â says she’s in town to present at an awards show: “Sho-west. Some bullshit.” Sir Ben suddenly recalls he’s supposed to stop by the Luxury Lounge before his next meeting and Christopher and Little Carmine tag along.
At the Luxury Lounge, Chris is dumbstruck by the free shopping spree available to celebs. Sir Ben begs off their meeting, vowing to finish it in New York.
Artie gets a visit from American Express fraud investigators. Someone’s been stealing the customer credit card numbers. Artie can’t use Amex until it’s cleared up and has to resort to two-fers after all. Martina calls Benny, who’s dining at Da Giovanni’s with his pregnant wife, to alert him.
Meanwhile, Artie and Charmaine have a staff meeting to talk about the fraud and Artie has a meltdown, accusing his staff of stealing from him. Later, the coat girl tells Artie that Martina’s been sporting $600 sandals, raising suspicion. Artie confronts Martine, firing her. In a rage, he heads to Benny’s house and beats the crap out of him
When Chris, strung out on coke, champagne and hookers calls to see if Sir Ben’s publicist can get him into the Luxury Lounge, he demurs. “I don’t know how my publicist could help you.” Mumur arrives just in time to snap Chris out of his downward spiral. Little Carmine calls Christopher to report the bad news: Kingsley passed on the script.
On the Stugots II, with Tony, Carm, Artie and Charmaine, Tony lectures Artie about taking on Benny. “Life’s not fair,” says Artie “But somehow I believed my dad about honest work.” Tony feels for Artie. “I don’t like seein’ you like this, you know that.”
Tony has a talk to Benny, forcing him to have his parent’s anniversary at Vesuvio’s-and not kill Artie. When Benny shows up with his wife and parents at Vesuvio’s Artie offers him a “Martina…apparently they go down real easy.” Benny excuses himself and busts in on Artie in the kitchen and shoves his hand in boiling spaghetti sauce.
Lauren Bacall, heading to her limo with her gift basket, is jumped by a masked thug. Flying home, Chris and Murmur smile at the Variety headline on the swag grab. Sir Ben is uncomfortable to see he is sharing their first-class cabin to New York.
Tony and Carm dine at Vesuvio’s, offering sympathy to Artie for his injured hand. T heads to the kitchen to talk to his friend, offering him Melfi’s number: “You go about in pity for yourself.” Tony finally tells him no one wants to hear him talk: “Just stay in the kitchen, that’d be a start.”
When Chris brings Tony some swag, T suggests maybe Benny and Artie wouldn’t have gotten into it if he hadn’t been in LA. Chris argues not many have had to sacrifice what he has. “How many times you gonna play the Adriana card?” demands Tony.
Artie cooks rabbit for late arriving customers-enjoying the aromas of his grandfather’s recipe. Meanwhile the Italians, heading home, compare the gifts they’ve purchased for their families back home.