Second Opinion Episode 33

Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: Lawrence Konner

“SOPRANO WINS FREEDOM, INDICTS NEPHEW – STAR WITNESS WEDS ANGIE DICKINSON”

Is that headline for real?

Did Junior actually rat Tony out and hook up with Police Woman?

No, no and not in this universe.

But while undergoing surgery for his stomach cancer, Junior did have some very interesting dreams. In addition to the nuptials, the FBI offered him a complete cure for his cancer – if he’d testify against Tony. And where was Tony while Junior’s subconscious was ratting him out? He was dutifully sitting in the waiting room – with Bobby Bacala and three of Junior’s cardigan-wearing cronies – worried sick.

Thankfully, Junior comes through the operation with flying colors. According to his surgeon, Dr. John Kennedy, “The news is all good.” Tony is grateful, but when he tries to express that gratitude to the good doctor, he’s administered a big dose of atttitude: Kennedy barely listens to him and walks away.

But who’s got time to worry about some snotty surgeon? Tony’s got human resource issues demanding his attention. Paulie’s breaking the world’s record for breaking Christopher’s balls: he loses money to Christopher playing pool, then refuses to pay up. Then he made Christopher strip naked to prove he’s not wearing a wire. And to top it off, he showed up at Christopher and Adriana’s apartment at two A.M. to search for money he thinks Christopher is holding out on him.

In addition to the inter-staff squabbles, Tony also has to deal with Angie Bonpensiero. Since Pussy’s disappearance, Angie has been receiving a stipend from Tony; lately she’s been hinting she needs more. She claims Cocoa, her osteoporotic French poodle, needs an operation, to the tune of $1,200. But when Tony goes to see Angie he finds her with a healthy-looking Cocoa and a brand new Cadillac. After taking a baseball bat to the Cadillac’s windshield, Tony warns Angie against any further shakedown attempts: “Think of that fat fuck husband of yours and what he did to you. Not me, him.”

It sounds like Tony still has some Pussy issues to work out. Unfortunately, he’s been skipping therapy. When Carmela goes to the session alone, Dr. Melfi can’t help but notice that Carmela is seriously depressed. Melfi would like to help Carmela, but tells her, “… your husband is my patient.” So she refers Carmela to a colleague, Dr. Sig Krakower. Carmela sees Dr. Krakower, expecting him to advise her on how to cope with Tony. But Krakower’s advice regarding Tony is as unexpected as it is blunt: leave him. “You’ll never be able to feel good about yourself,” Krakower tells her, “never be able to quell the feelings of guilt and shame….as you’re his accomplice.” While Carmela sits in stunned silence, Krakower adds for good measure, “One thing you can never say …that you haven’t been told.”

And now Junior’s not feeling so great either. It turns out that Dr. Kennedy may not have gotten all of the tumor. But before his uncle submits to the knife again, Tony insists he get a second opinion. Immediately suspicious of his nephew’s motives, Junior wonders whether Tony just wants him to have whatever treatment will get him out of the way sooner. But he reluctantly agrees and ends up having chemotherapy. Despite this, Junior still worships Dr. Kennedy, telling Tony, “He has the hands of an angel. And don’t forget his name.” Tony takes a more jaundiced view of Junior’s hero: “All the Micks named their kids that after he was killed.” Nonetheless, Junior keeps trying to contact Kennedy, even though the heavenly-handed doctor won’t return his – or Tony’s – calls. Annoyed, Tony has Furio assist him in persuading the doctor to be more attentive. To Junior’s delight, Dr. Kennedy soon pays him a personal visit and even gives him his home phone number.

So now that he’s been assured he’s getting the right treatment, Junior ought to be able to sleep at night. The question is, when he does, will he have the dream about Angie Dickinson…

…or the one where he hands Tony to the Feds?

Posted in Season 3, Sopranos.

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