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Synopsis

Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: David Chase & Terence Winter & Mitchell Burgess & Robin Green

You can talk about each day's a gift and smelling roses, but regular life has a way of picking away at it.

News breaks about Vito's secret life. At an AA meeting, an acquaintance from Yonkers spots Christopher and tells him someone saw Vito at a gay bar. When Christopher announces this to Tony and the others, no one can believe it. Tony and Silvio try to track Vito down to get to the bottom of it. "Enough with the rush to judgment," warns Tony.

At the law clinic, Meadow helps a Muslim family whose son was arrested by the Feds and is being held with no explanation. When she voices her outrage to her family, she doesn't find any allies. Tony tells her "You oughta chill out about some of this."

Benny and Terry Doria track Vito down at the shore where he's laying low with his goomar (who hasn't been serviced in over a year and is sexually frustrated). When they try to bring him in for a talk, Vito screeches off in his car. He stops by his house to pick up some cash and kiss his kids goodbye-then takes off in a rain storm. When Phil calls his cell, Vito tosses it out the window. His car breaks down in the storm, and Vito checks into an inn in New Hampshire, slipping his gun under his pillow.

Meanwhile, Tony and Christopher have lined up the Italians to take care of Rusty for Johnny Sack. Christopher enlists heroin addict Corky Caporale, who speaks Italian, to relay the necessary information on the hit on "the little guy in Ozone Park." Corky's already heard the rumors about Vito.

Carmela's spec house has been ransacked. She confronts her father about it but he blames her for not taking care of the permits. She reminds Tony again about talking to the building inspector, but he keeps forgetting.

With Vito gone AWOL, Silvio goes to see Vito's wife to suss out how things are "in the romance department." She refuses to talk about it. "Vito is a good father and a loving husband." Silvio leaves, and tells Tony. "My business, I'm around a lot of women. That one ain't getting laid."

Carmela, Rosalie and Gabriella have a lunch meeting at Artie's to discuss the Silent Auction they're planning for charity. Angie arrives late, takes charge, and then has to get back to work, irritating Carmela. Later, Carmela walks in on Angie having a suspicious business meeting with Patsy and Benny at the body shop. Rosalie tells her that Angie's putting money on the street: "She's one of us; now it's like she's one of them."

At Melfi's, Tony vents about Vito being gay-and the pressure of his top earner losing everyone's respect. Melfi points out that many in his circle have done jail time and can't be strangers to "male-male contact." "They get a pass for that," says Tony. Tony ultimately admits Vito may deserve a second chance, like he's gotten. "Part of your new outlook," notes Melfi.

As Angie and Carmela gossip about Vito, Meadow walks in and spills her own secret about Vito: "Finn saw him giving a guy a blow job." Tony drags Finn in to the Pork Store back room to tell what he saw. Paulie, who'd been defending Vito against the "slander," now wants his head. Tony still wants to think about it.

Phil goes to see Marie to console her about Vito and to fish for where he might have disappeared to.

Tony gives Carlo a promotion-replacing Vito in all construction business. Carlo confides that the guys in Vito's crew won't work with him if he returns. Other captains want him found and "put down" for the honor of the family. Tony argues Vito's his best earner: "Let's be honest with ourselves here. We all know Vito's not the first." Silvio counsels Tony not to cut Vito any slack.

Meadow and Finn argue about her disgust over the injustice of Johnny Sack's humiliation by the Feds at his daughter's wedding, vs. the white collar criminals she's investigating at her internship. Finn, still shook up from his own interrogation about Vito points out that her family will likely impose a stiff penalty for being gay. "This is untenable," says Meadow, leaving.

With all the discord over Vito, Tony can't turn the other cheek. "He's gotta go. Tell everybody I said so."

Meanwhile in New Hampshire, Vito tries to track down cousins who live somewhere in the state but can't find any listings. Taking in the small town ambience, he finds himself at home with the peace and quiet and friendly interactions-not to mention the antique shops.

Tony Soprano handing money to Corky Caporale

71: Live Free or Die

Season 71

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