Directed by: Jack Bender
Written by: Terence Winter
Forget the Feds. Never mind marital problems, Meadow’s meltdowns and Junior’s RICO trial. Right now, the biggest problem facing Tony is . . . Ginny Sack’s rear end. Not literally, but Ralph’s now–nfamous remark about Ginny’s weight* has created a situation that could have the direst of consequences.
It all starts with Johnny Sack accosting Donny K. – a member of Ralph’s crew – on a dark street in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Johnny saw Donny laughing in a bar and assumed it was about Ginny. His self-control diminished by several cognacs, Johnny attacks Donny, beating him with his fists until he crumples to the pavement. “Lemme buy you a drink,” Johnny snarls at the unconscious Donny; he then unzips his pants and urinates on him.
When Tony meets with Johnny the next day, the New York under boss initially dances around the issue. Accusing Ralph of cooking the books for the Esplanade, Johnny complains that he’s “more creative than Spielberg” and that the “cute cocksucker could wind up dead.” But Tony knows that Johnny wouldn’t clip a guy over a few thousand dollars. Something else is eating him, and eventually Johnny reveals what it is: “That woman is my life, to think she’s being mocked…I don’t know if I can get past this.”
In short order, Johnny asks for – and is denied – Carmine’s approval for a hit on Ralph. He then walks out on two sitdowns about the situation. After the second walkout, Tony gets a phone call from Carmine. The old Boss tells him that Johnny’s not listening to reason, and the Esplanade deal could be threatened because of it. “I don’t want that apple cart upset,” Carmine warns Tony. When Tony suggests, “someone should do something,” Carmine’s response is as chilling as it is brief: “I appreciate your thoughts.”
So now Tony’s in the position of having to kill one of his best friends in order to save a guy who, “If he was drownin’, I’d throw him a cinder block.” But Ralph is one of Tony’s captains and he has no choice but to protect him. On Junior’s advice, he sends Silvio and Christopher to engage the services of Lou DiMaggio and the Atwell Avenue Boys, some old pros who can dispose of a guy “as silent as a mouse pissing on cotton.”
It may seem like it, but open season on wise guys is not the only thing going on in Tony’s world. Although Meadow is safely back at Columbia, she’s started volunteering at the South Bronx Law Center, an organization that provides legal help to the underprivileged. Tony’s concerned that she’ll abandon her – that is, his and Carmela’s – plan to become a pediatrician in order to help “indigenous types who got plenty of money to gamble and buy crack.”
And while Tony’s keeping an eye out for Ralph and Johnny, maybe he should be paying closer attention to Carmela and Furio – who seem to have eyes for each other. One afternoon, with A.J. in tow, Carmela “drops by” Furio’s new house. Furio, sweaty from yard work and ponytail askew, looks like he stepped off the cover of a romance novel. He tells a rapt Carmela that he once worked as a landscaper, and he was never happier than when he was digging in the dirt and growing olives. “Sometimes,” he says, “I get the smell of olives, in a restaurant, in the store maybe. It makes me very sad.” Carmela’s decision to have A.J. accompany her may have been smarter than she knows.
Johnny’s vendetta against Ralph is eventually resolved in a way that makes things easier for Tony. After catching Ginny with contraband Twix bars, Johnny decides to call off a hit he ordered on Ralph. And not a moment too soon – Ralph gets on an elevator with the hit man just as he gets the call canceling the contract. Johnny tells Tony that a simple apology from Ralph will close the books on the incident.
What could she be thinking about?
(* Ralph joked to some wise guys that Ginny Sack had a 90-pound mole removed from her derriere.)