Iâ€™ve got to start this week by giving props to BF, the reader who pointed out last week that I failed to mention Tonyâ€™s gambling. Clearly itâ€™s become a serious problem, as BF predicted, to the point that Tony considered clipped Hesh rather than having to pay him the $200k he owed him. But then Heshâ€™s girl Renata died and Tony, ever the caring friend, showed up to offer Hesh his condolences and a paper sack filled with cash. Of course, Iâ€™m sure I wasnâ€™t the only one who thought Tony had Renata killed up until he showed up to pay Hesh his money.
This is the first episode of the new pseudo-season that fell a little flat for me. Obviously, Tonyâ€™s gambling has suddenly become a big storyline, and youâ€™ve got to wonder just how big of a role it plays in these final five episodes. Tony was out of control this week, losing $20,000 on a horse named Meadow Gold and then, after caving in and deciding to give widow Spatafore the $100k she asked for to give her and, more importantly, her deranged son (more on that later) a fresh start, he took that money and bet it (and lost it) on the Eagles because the Dolphins had to rely on a rookie kicker. The interesting note about all of this was the reaction Chris had when Tony decided to throw that money at the Eagles; if anybody knows dangerous addictive behavior, itâ€™s Chris. Is he going to try to help Tony? Will that drive a wedge even further between the two?
Of course, the central problem was the fight between Tony and Carm after Carm refused to roll her earnings from the spec house into a bet on the Jets over the Chargers. Tony had inside info on the game and wanted to turn her windfall into a million-dollar payday but she refused, saying itâ€™s her money and that sheâ€™s determined to not end up like Ginny Sack once Tonyâ€™s gone. Well, the Jets roll 42-10 and Tonyâ€™s pissed because he â€śonlyâ€ť put $10,000 on the game. â€śWhen Iâ€™m gone, you can live in a fucking dumpster for all I care,â€ť Tony says after Carm chucked a vase at him. Yikes. He smoothed things over later, at least temporarily, but as well as things seemed to have been going between Tony and Carm so far, you knew something was bound to happen. I just figured it would be the Adriana questions, though Iâ€™m sure those will crop up again soon enough.
As for little Vito Spataforeâ€¦dude, that kidâ€™s screwed up. Going hardcore Goth is bad enough, but taking a dump in the school shower? And then stepping in it?! Ewwww! As is often the case with this show, Iâ€™m not entirely sure where this storyline is going to go or what its purpose will be, but it may be as simple as the added tension itâ€™s added to Tonyâ€™s relationship with Phil. If somebody should be stepping up to set the kid straight, it probably should be Phil since heâ€™s Vitoâ€™s uncle or cousin (or whatever), and since heâ€™s the one who offed papa Vito last season. But since Tonyâ€™s the one cleaning up the mess, you can bet he wasnâ€™t lying when he told his guys he wouldnâ€™t forget that Phil refused to step up.
Then thereâ€™s AJ, who finally looked to be getting his life in order. Heâ€™s got a woman he loves, a decent job (pizza shop manager, baby!) and, finally, some motivation. He asks Blanca to marry him and when she hesitates, he tells her that heâ€™s going to keep moving up the ladder at work and in a couple of years, heâ€™ll own his own restaurant. You had to feel sorry for the guy when she turned around and dumped him a couple days later, but I think another reader made a great observation a couple of weeks ago: Blancaâ€™s pregnant. This one is obviously a guess but sheâ€™s been acting strange all season and, when Meadow mentioned that someone was expecting a baby, she looked very uncomfortable. Hmmâ€¦.
Finally, two small notes. First, it looks like the two Arabs from the Bada Bing are going to finally come back into play. Iâ€™ve been waiting for this for a while. And Tony had a nice little callback to last season when he was talking to Vito, saying, â€śYou go about in pity for yourself.â€ť If you remember, that was a saying someone pinned to the bulletin board in Tonyâ€™s hospital room after Junior shot him, and he said the same thing to Artie a few episodes later. With the gambling issues and the general problems heâ€™s been having recently, it seems Tonyâ€™s the one indulging in a bit of self-pity.