The Strong, Silent Type
Written by Terence Winter, Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess
Directed by Alan Taylor
Where is Ralph Cifaretto?
If there were a "New Jersey Wiseguy's FAQ," that's the question that would top it. Ralph hasn't been seen in days - not even at the hospital, where his son is still on a respirator - and not everybody's convinced that Tony's as equally in the dark as they are. In fact, while sharing a meal with Silvio and Patsy, Albert Barese dares to say out loud what the others won't: "What next? We get clipped for wearing the wrong shoes?"
So while Ralph remains officially AWOL, but Tony's Neapolitan soldier is back from his father's funeral. Furio shows up at the Soprano house, bearing souvenirs for A.J. and "Maedo," but, to her great disappointment, nothing for Carmela. Even though Furio's trying to keep his distance, Carmela finds herself ever more drawn to him. "He looks at me like I'm beautiful," she tearfully confesses to Rosalie Aprile. But having been down that road herself - she once cheated on her late husband - Rosalie gives her friend some sage, if unwanted, advice: "If you haven't slept with him yet, don't."
Carmela's not the only one being told what she doesn't want to hear. Christopher's heroin habit can no longer be ignored. Junior, considering what Christopher might tell the FBI if they got hold of him, advises Tony to "put him out of his misery." But Tony opts instead for an intervention, led by an old acquaintance who is a recovering alcoholic. When the confrontation ends up in a brawl, Tony takes on his nephew alone. He explains to Christopher that the only reason he's still alive is because, "you're my nephew and I love you...anybody else would've had their fuckin' intervention right through the back of their head." Christopher promptly checks into a rehab center in Pennsylvania.
And what about Ralph? Tony eventually comes up with a plausible and adroit explanation - courtesy of Johnny Sack. The New York under boss tries to shake Tony down for a share of the proceeds of the H.U.D. scam. Tony, in response, gathers his guys together and tells them that he thinks he knows who's responsible for their missing capo:
"It was New York."