Episode 81 - Chasing It
Tony hits an unlucky stretch; AJ makes a life-changing decision; Vito's widow Marie turns to Tony for help with her troubled son.
At the Borgata Casino, Tony with his whole crew watching (Bobby, Christopher, Silvio and Paulie) plays 23 on the roulette table one time too many and continues his losing streak.
Meanwhile, Sid Vicious wannabee Vito Spatafore, Jr is at a graveyard overturning tombstones and enjoying a vandal's life. Which brings his mother Marie to interrupt Tony at his daily racehorse picking at Satriale's. Little Vito's been accused of hanging the Petruso's cat on the garage door. Tony tries to comfort her saying that it's to be expected "with Vito passing and all that that entrailed." The malaprops seem to be increasing with each episode. Marie thinks that the solution is to move away from that house and the kids at school. For a hundred grand she could move to a place where no one knows him or what happened. Her friend Sheryl lives in Orono Maine, and there's a two-storey cape cod that she'd like to move to.
Tony tries to deflect the problem by pointing it at Phil, who he thinks is Little Vito's Uncle. But Marie says that Phil is not his uncle, she and Phil are second cousins. Tony, short on cash and feeling Phil is to blame for her problems, suggests that before she makes any drastic moves, he should talk to Phil about her problem.
Sil is in the back of Satriale's fixing a lamp. Sil says that a change of scenery never works, she should just get little Vito a dog. Tony wonders why she came to him, just because he's the Boss of the Family. Duh, yeah. Phil should take care of this because he caused the problem in the first place by clipping Vito Sr, Tony's best f*ing earner. "Now second time around I'm getting my pocket picked.
At the Bing, the football game goes bad for Tony and we can see in his face that he is now way over his head with his gambling losses. We hear a customer cheering Buffalo and I expected Tony to go over and just shoot him. In the back room he smashes up the furniture.
At the Queens' party celebrating Phil's takeover as Boss of the New York Family, with all the other families there as well, Nancy Sinatra with Southside Johnny's band as backup sings to Phil's success. Tony says he has to leave early, it's a long hike to Jersey. Phil agrees, "Sure I used to drive it myself... no more though."
Tony: "Listen, I gotta bring this up..."
Phil: "A favor already?"
Tony: "Scuse me?"
Phil: "Anthony, you always have business on your mind. Take a night, smell the cognac."
Tony: (Ignoring Phil) "Marie Spatafore came to see me, she wants a hundred grand to relocate on account of Vito Jr has his own social worker."
Phil: "Patty told me there was doings, I guess the turd doesn't fall far from the faggot's ass."
Tony: "It's beautifully put, but you're family, right? Cousins..."
Phil: "What can you do, throw money at the problem?"
Tony: "Well somebody's gonna."
Phil: "I'll talk to the kid, set him right."
Tony goes to see Hesh. He tells Hesh his cut on the MRI Centers is on its way. Tony confides to Hesh that things are not good between him and Phil, that what happened to his brother Billy is still gnawing away at him. Hesh said he thought that got buried with Tony's cousin.
Tony then says he wonders what his crew is thinking about, after all they are all murderers. He presents Hesh with a Cleaver Hat from the film. Actually Hesh was expecting something else, like the $200,000 he lent Tony. Hesh figured after a while with no vig, he should have gotten it by now. Tony glibly blurts out he lost track and offers a three grand vig instead of paying off the loan, "Don't want you eatin' catfood.". Hesh refuses at first then accepts it.
Hesh complains to his black goomar that Tony never listens to his advice, that boat, 3.2 mil and no resale value whatsoever. Hesh knows once the chiseling starts, "Ooh - I forgot, who forgets? F* him!" Now the only money Hesh will see is three grand a week (called a point and a half vig), and who knows how long that will last?
At Dr. Melfi's Tony, upset with himself that he has to pay vig to a Jew, complains about Jews and their propensity to making money. Melfi says that's only a stereotype. Tony: "You tie a Krugerrand to a fishing line - you gonna land 'em. woosh - right on the dock." Melfi: "Doesn't sound like you think of him as a friend." Tony dismisses it with "Come on - we go way back." Although the fact that Hesh complained about the money annoys Tony. Melfi asks why Tony doesn't just stop, but he says it's a big part of his life. She wants to know what he's chasing, money or a high from winning.
Melfi also complains of Tony's continually missing appointments. Tony notes that he hasn't had a panic attack since Uncle Junior shot him. He says his visits to Melfi are an oasis to his week.
Carmela shows the spec house to her relative Brian Cammarata.
Phil has a sitdown with black-lipped Vito Jr. "You look like a Puerto Rican hoor... make me sick." Vito Jr wants to know why it bothers Phil. "Your family has had enough shame, you should set things right."
Back at home, Tony announces that Carmela has sold the spec house. Blanca is surprised that only two people are moving into such a big house, while she and A.J. live like rugrats.
Carmela calls her father late at night when it rains worrying whether the house will hold up; her father had used substandard building materials and the house only passed inspection because Tony duked the inspector. Her father says he's built loads of houses that way and he's not going to lose any sleep over it.
Hesh, dropping his son-inlaw off for physical therapy, stops by to visit Tony. Tony flips Hesh his vig over the table in front of the whole crew. Hesh is taken aback by Tony's bad manners and attitude.
Back at home, Hesh has his blood pressure taken, and blames the high reading on Tony Soprano. Hesh: "Never lend friends money, Eli." Hesh worries that something other than gambling is bothering Tony, that perhaps he, Hesh, is marked for a hit. He wonders at what point it becomes cheaper for Tony to settle his debt with a hit.
Back at the casino, just as Tony is having a good streak at black jack they change dealers, and Tony wisely sees it's time to leave. While walking to the chip cage Tony sees Meadow Gold at 2-to-1 odds on the Batavia Downs horse racing tote screen and bets all his winnings on the race, which Christopher speculates is 18 to 25 grand. But Meadow Gold loses by a nose and the scene turns to slow-motion meltdown for Tony.
A.J. takes Blanca to dinner and orders her a special dessert. Rather than being pleased, she displays her usual bitchy self, deprecating his offer with "You know I'm trying to watch my weight." Until she discovers it's a marquise engagement ring. I'm taking a guess it cost A.J. less than 2 grand. He boasts that in three months he'll be day manager of the pizza parlor, in a couple of years he'll have restaurants and clubs. She says yes.
Phil's sitdown with Vito Jr didn't take. He got in trouble in school, so now it's Tony's turn to take a shot at Vito Jr. Seems he did something with a developmentally disabled girl. Young Vito complains that Tony doesn't know him, that he sometimes calls him Carlo Jr.
Tony: "And now I'm gonna say some things - you gonna look at me."
Vito Jr: "I'm not moving to f*ing Maine!"
Tony: 'Think anybody wants that? You know how much that's gonna cost?"
Tony yells at him to get the crap off his face or he'll introduce his face to a plate glass window.
Tony: (harking back to when he was in the hospital) "You go around in pity for yourself, what about your mother, what she's been through?"
Vito asks what's he supposed to do about it. Tony leaves in frustration.
Carmela finally closes on the spec house. Hooray. Tony asks how much Carmela finally netted after everything. It's about 600,000 bucks. Tony suggests she should take a chunk of that and put it on the Jets. Tony is in on a sure thing, the Charger Quarterback has a hairline fracture in his right leg, and even Vegas doesn't know about it. Tony wants her to take a part of his half of the profits. It doesn't go over well with Carm, she thought it was all her money.
Hesh sees Tony coming over with Bobby Bacala, and tells Renata to go to the bedroom and lock the door. They came over to invite him to join them at the boat show, but Hesh declines. He sees Tony reaching into his jacket and expects to get whacked right there and then, but it is only the weekly vig. Hesh tells him to forget the vig, just pay it all whenever he can. Tony insists on paying the vig.
Bobby tells Tony he should forget paying Hesh, after all, what can he do? But Tony says that as head of the family it wouldn't look good not to pay the debt. When Carlo makes a suggestion, Tony tells him that perhaps he should suck cock since Vito brought in three times the money from construction as Carlo does, and he didn't have these money problems when Vito was alive.
Back at home, Tony explodes when he sees the headline "Jets Bomb Chargers 42-10". He's upset that Carmela didn't let him double her bullshit profits and turn it into a million bucks. They argue that it was her money for her future. Tony tears into her about her stealing 40 grand and that it was his money for the down payment and the bribing of the inspector.
At the school showers the kids are razzing Vito Jr, calling him a spaz and a fag. Vito Jr drops a turd and steps on it sending all the kids out in disgust. Recall Phil earlier, "...I guess the turd doesn't fall far from the faggot's ass."
At Artie's Tony is asking for progress on all the various boostings and hijacks when Bobby says, "Speaking of loads, hear the latest on Vito Jr.?" Tony: 'Marie called, he got expelled cause he took a shit in the shower in gym class." But Tony reflects that it's not right, "Vito was one of us." It looks like Tony is going to pony up the 100,000 grand. He says he's going to the Russian, Slava to liquefy some offshore moneys.
A.J. takes Hector to a Latin Day Parade. Blanca brings A.J.'s clothing to him and returns the engagement ring. She really doesn't feel any love for him, or she really sees him for the loser he is. Imagine, a poor Hispanic girl looks down on A.J. What kind of a jerk must he really be?
Tony decides to place a bet using Marie's 100,00 grand, but it turns bad for him as well. How bad of a streak can a guy have? But since he lost the money he suggests Marie take Vito Jr. to a camp in Idaho that handles kids like him. But Marie worries that those camps allow corporal punishment. It costs $18,000 but Tony said he would foot the bill. Tony: "There's no geographical solution to an emotional problem."
Tony sees Ahmed, a former Bing regular, with a group of Muslims on a street corner and starts musing about the offer the Feds made in episode 79.
Vito Jr's sleep is interrupted by men who cart him off to the tough-love camp.
Tony loses another bet. Tony apologizes to Carmela about the argument over the spec house and admits he's been on a losing gambling streak.
Hesh finds Renata died in bed while he was in the bathroom. She was alive only a few minutes before, so it's unlikely any foul play. The next morning Tony visits him with a large bag. He finally pays Hesh all of the $200 grand. (Perhaps Carmela felt for Tony when he admitted he had a gambling problem and gave him his half of the 600 grand? Or did he liquefy enough money from his investments with the Russians?)
Tony leaves a disheartened Hesh.
Fade to black.
I have to mention that at every turn, Sil encouraged Tony to place a bet or to let it ride. What Tony needed was some cautionary advice from his goombahs.
The following material was written before Episode 81 aired:
We've had a hit in each of the three episodes of this final season. The question here, then, is David Chase intending to give us a whacking in each of the final episodes, and if so, who will get it next?
Only 5 of the episodes (out of 12) had any decent murders in Season 6 Part A; here's a quick recap of who was whacked:
66 Members Only: Teddy Spirodakis: shot by Eugene in a restaurant in Boston
68 Mayham: 2 Colombians shot by Cary De Bartolo and then shot and stabbed by Paulie (technically not really a hit)
72 Luxury Lounge: Rusty Millio (and Eddie Pietro - again technically not a hit but collateral damage)
75 Moe N Joe: Civilian shot in the back of the head by Vito
76 Cold Stones: Vito Spatafore beaten to death by Gerry Torciano and Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello, who himself is stabbed to death by Carlo Gervasi and Silvio Dante in the back room of Satriale's.
In the previous episode, we saw Tony needing a 200 grand loan from Hesh to cover some gambling debts. Tony mentioned he's run into a bad streak the past few months. We can only guess that the teaser for this episode "Tony hits an unlucky stretch" refers to continued bad bets. Hesh cannot force Tony to pay up and is unlikely to ask anyone from the NY crew to help collect since we recall from the Season Six premiere "Members Only" that Hesh Rabkin and his son-in-law Eli were attacked by Phil Leotardo's crew because they thought Eli was making collections on their turf without permission. After they flushed Hesh and Eli out of the car by setting fire to Eli's gas tank they set about beating Eli. Eli became the victim of a hit-and-run driver and Hesh was punched in the face for which Hesh demanded and received restitution from Phil at a sit-down mediated by Tony. So we are left to speculate that the gambling debts are paid by Tony selling off assets.
But the only assets with value in the hundreds of thousands are the spec house and Tony's family home. Should make for interesting fireworks.
* So far no episode spoilers - this post will expand as we approach air date April 29, 2007.
Nancy Sinatra (Herself)
Dania Ramirez (Blanca Selgado)
Carlo Capotorto (Little Paulie Germani)
Arthur J. Nascarella (Carlo Gervasi)
greg antonacci (Butch Deconcini)
Southside Johnny (Himself)
Tom Aldredge (Hugh DeAngelis)
Suzanne Shepherd (Mary DeAngelis)
Matthew Del Negro (Brian Cammarata)
Heidi Dippold (Janine Cammarata)
Paulina Gerzon (Francesca Spatafore)
Joe Perrino (Jason Gervasi)
Geoffrey Cantor (Eli Kaplan)
Tracy Silver (Beth Kaplan)
Lanette Ware (Renata)
Jerry Adler (Hesh Rabkin)
Brandon Hannan (Vito Spatafore, Jr.) [Originally played by Frank Borrelli]
JohnCenatiempo (Anthony Maffei)
John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia (Albie Cianflone)
Anthony J. Ribustello (Dante Greco)
Clark Thorell (Steve)
A.J. Lambert (Backup Singer)
Carlos Morales (Jesus Selgado)
Taleb Adlah (Ahmed)
Donnie Keshawarz (Muhammed)
Mason Pettit (Ted Yacanelli)
Kobi & Kadin George (Hector Selgado)
Josh Kay (Jesse)
Dillon Wooley (Max)
Nicolas Marti Salgado (Dylan)
Colton Parsons (Boy)
James Lorenzo (Roger)
Drew Wininger (Fan)
Paul Mollo (Crouoier)
Jeanine Flynn (Dealer)
Kevin Garrity (1st baseball Announcer)
Charlie Minn (2nd Baseball Announcer)
Joe Anania (Waiter)
Poppy Cerqueira (Waitress)
Elizabeth Bracco (Marie Spatafore)
We're coming down to the wire:
Final Episode 86 - Made In America (With *** Spoilers ****)
The final chapter in the saga of the Soprano family
Episode 85 - The Blue Comet (57 mins)
The allegiance of those closest to Tony is put to the test; a case of mistaken identity has serious ramifications.
Episode 84 - The Second Coming (53 mins)
Phil turns down Tony's offer of compromise; AJ despairs about the world and his future; Tony takes umbrage over an affront to Meadow.
Episode 83 - Kennedy & Heidi
An asbestos-disposal impasse raises tensions between Jersey and New York; Tony has a revelation; Paulie gets upstaged.
Episode 82 - Walk Like A Man
AJ struggles with depression; Kelli's dad is the unwitting catalyst of a new feud between Christopher and Paulie.
Preview Episode 81 - Chasing It: Video
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