S1 Ep 3: Denial, Anger, Acceptance
Written by Mark Saraceni
Directed by Nick Gomez
Junior Soprano has not been smiling much lately.
Although Christopher and Brendan returned the stolen goods to Comley Trucking like he demanded, Comley thanked Tony for it, not Junior. Now Mikey Palmice is telling him that if Tony won't do something about those two guys, somebody else should - and Junior's starting to agree with him.
But Tony's got other things on his mind. He's worried about Jackie Aprile, who's in the hospital with inoperable cancer. He feels guilty about Artie and Charmaine Bucco, who are broke and going through a second arson investigation for the Vesuvio fire. And he's uneasy about Carmela using their home to host a big hospital benefit.
If that weren't enough, he's having trouble with a new business partner: a Hasidic man who agreed to give Tony 25 percent of his motel in return for "persuading" his son-in-law to give his daughter a divorce. After Tony, Silvio, and Paulie spent the better part of the night getting the old man what he wanted, he tried to renege.
Meanwhile, Christopher and Brendan's judgment is put to the test again when Meadow and Hunter ask them for some crank to help them study for the SATs. Christopher's rationale is that to protect the girls from strangers, he'll give them some "just this one time."
But here we go again - this is exactly the kind of thinking that got Christopher and Brendan into trouble with Junior.
Speaking of Junior, he visits Livia at Green Grove and tells her about his problem with Christopher and Brendan. While Livia goes to bat for Christopher - Tony loves him like a son, and he once put up her storm windows - she tells him "she doesn't know" Brendan. Those few words from Livia result in a mock execution for Christopher and a real one for Brendan.
And a smile on Junior's face.