No Show Episode 41

Directed by: John Patterson
Written by: David Chase and Terence Winter

Tony’s finding out that his plan to protect himself by shunting more responsibility to Christopher, while sound in theory, lacks something in the execution. The problems start when Tony decides that while Paulie is in stir, the Gualtieri crew needs an interim capo. Everyone agrees that this is a good idea, until Silvio announces that the guy getting the bump is going to be Christopher – not Patsy Parisi, who has seniority, or Little Paulie Germani, who is Paulie’s nephew. Blissfully oblivious to the mood of his new subordinates, Christopher jokingly tells Silvio, “The first thing I’m doing is getting wings in my hair.” But Silvio, who sees his place within Tony’s inner circle being usurped, is not amused. Neither is Paulie; since he went to jail, nobody’s been to visit his mother.

FYI, “capo” means “head” and Christopher had better start using his. He’s constantly busting the crews’ balls and in one of his first official acts, he gives Patsy tacit approval to boost some valuable fiber optic cable from the Esplanade construction site. When the contractor complains to Tony that he’s not getting the protection he pays for, Tony calls his new capo on the carpet. “You’re drawing heat to a quarter billion dollar job. Think, Christopher, think!”

But instead of setting Christopher on the right track, Tony’s rebuke makes him defensive and resentful. “Like he never heard of a learning curve, ” Christopher complains to Adriana, as he’s getting high. But Tony’s not the only one Christopher resents. His aversion to Danielle has been growing, and he warns Adriana, “She’s trying to fuck us up.” So when he’s in the back room of Crazy Horse, making out with Adriana, what’s his hand doing clamped on Danielle’s thigh?

Adriana chooses to believe Christopher’s version of that incident, i.e., that Danielle “took my hand and started rubbing it on herself.” So it’s the end of her relationship with Danielle Ciccolella, personal shopper – and the beginning of one with Deborah Ciccerone, Special Agent. Shortly after the disputed grope, Adriana is picked up by Agents Ciccerone and Harris. In an FBI meeting room, she’s told she can either become their informant or the defendant in a drug possession case. “And when you make bail,” bureau Agent Harris tells her, “you can explain to Tony Soprano why you brought an undercover federal agent into his home during Sunday dinner.” Adriana’s response, though non-verbal, is strikingly eloquent: she throws up on the FBI’s conference table.

Meanwhile, Tony and Carmela are having a serious problem with their firstborn. She’s spent the entire summer lying by the pool and now, five days from the start of classes, she still hasn’t registered. Whenever Carmela confronts her, Meadow stops the discussion by wailing, “My ex-boyfriend was killed.” But eventually she tells her parents the real reason she hasn’t signed up for classes: she’s going to go to Europe, where she hopes to work on a film for a friend of a friend who “hangs out with Dogma.” When a psychiatrist that Meadow visits endorses this plan, all hell breaks loose. During a nasty, knock-down-drag-out with her parents, Meadow makes the mistake of looking her father in the face and sarcastically calling him “Mr. Mob Boss.” Infused with equal parts of anger and hurt, Tony slowly walks to his daughter and dares her to say what she’s really thinking: “Are you inferring to me that I didn’t do everything I could to keep that kid from fucking himself up? That I didn’t try to protect Jackie Junior?” Caught in her father’s gaze and in a voice that belies her bravado, Meadow responds that she’s made her decision. She then leaves the house.

If that weren’t enough, Tony finds he also has to deal with his older sister – who was herself once a young woman who went to Europe “find herself.” Janice is now enjoying a budding romance with Ralph Cifaretto, despite Tony’s warning that he’s no good for her. While Janice informs her brother that her love life is none of his business, Tony thinks otherwise: “It is…considering I had to haul your last boyfriend out of the kitchen in a Hefty bag.”

As it turns out, when Meadow leaves home, it isn’t to head for the airport. So if Tony is afraid Meadow will become Parvati, Junior, he can breathe easy – for now, at least. Meadow ends up at Columbia, registering for classes. While all of her first choices are filled, she does manage to get into an especially pertinent philosophy course:

“Morality, Self and Society.”

Posted in Season 4, Sopranos.


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