Directed by: John Patterson
Written by: David Chase & Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess & Terence Winter
After four months as a guest of the Ohio State Correctional System, Paulie is once again a free man. As custom dictates, Tony and the guys throw him a “welcome home” party at the Bing, replete with booze, women and some cash to get him back on his feet. In addition to the regulars, Brian Cammarata is in attendance, enjoying the festivities so much that the following morning he wakes up on the stage, sans pants. Brian accompanies Ralph and Tony to breakfast, where Ralph asks the young financial adviser for investment tips. Brian lays out a way to use bogus real estate deals to con money out of the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, but he’s not serious about pursuing it.
It turns out, however, that Tony and Ralph are very seriously interested. They enlist the aid of State Assemblyman Ron Zellman and his old friend from his activist days, Maurice Tiffen, to create a federally funded windfall. During one of their meetings Zellman confesses to Tony, with trepidation, that he’s been seeing Tony’s old goomara, Irina. Tony surprises him by giving his blessing. “Frankly,” he tells Zellman, “I’m glad to have her off my payroll.” Later, Tony surprises the Assemblyman again by changing his mind and beating him with his belt. (Imagine what he’d do if he knew that Furio phoned Carmela to request that she look for his sunglasses – the ones he just put in his glove compartment.)
Carmela’s not the only one receiving furtive communications – Adriana’s still being contacted regularly by the FBI. But one night a television courtroom drama gives her what could be the solution to her problem: if she and Christopher were married, she couldn’t testify against him. So Adriana pops the question and, despite his concern that Adriana might not be able to have little Moltisantis, Christopher eventually consents. Adriana’s pre-nuptial bliss is short-lived, however, because she learns that there are circumstances to which spousal privilege doesn’t apply.
Paulie, too, has grown concerned about keeping his utterances private. Over lunch with Johnny Sack, Paulie complains that Tony and Ralph have an exclusive deal going with Zellman. But while he appreciates being able to air his gripes about Tony, Paulie wants Johnny’s assurance that “this shit don’t leave the table.” Johnny’s response is classic Sacramoni: “I’m hurt that you even have to ask.”
But is that “yes” or “no”?