Mergers and Acquisitions
Written by David Chase, Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess and Terry Winter
Directed by Daniel Attias
By his own admission, Tony may not be the most moral man on earth, " . . . but I do have rules." And one of those rules is that you don't move in on another guy's goomara. So when he and Valentina La Paz, Ralph's latest, discover a mutual attraction, Tony makes it clear it can't go anywhere - well, anywhere beyond the hotel room where they've already spent an afternoon together. Besides, Tony tells her, "I don't like to go where Ralph Cifaretto has been." It's then that Valentina tells Tony something very unsettling about Ralph: he doesn't have sex - not as Tony defines it - with women. Creeped out but curious, Tony consults Janice. For three thousand dollars she confirms that Ralph doesn't have regular intercourse and "can't even get a hard-on unless he's in some kind of pain." So according to Tony's rules, Valentina is fair game.
Furio, in Naples for his father's funeral, is faced with a similar - but far more serious - situation. When he confesses to his uncle that he's in love with his don's wife, the old man bluntly tells him to stay away from her. "The only way you could have her is if you kill the man," he warns. But back in New Jersey, the object of Furio's affections finds that she likewise fantasizes about romance between the two of them. She also finds the cash Tony stashed in the duck feed bin and helps herself to enough to make some substantial independent investments.
Carmela's feelings for Furio aren't the only unrequited pangs in the Garden State. Paulie's mother, Nucci, moves into Green Grove and finds that despite her best efforts, she can't get the other "girls" to accept her. The clique's ringleader is Cookie Cirillo, a matron from the old neighborhood, and Paulie determines that she's going to be Nucci's friend. To that end, he pays a visit to her son, Chucky, and asks him to intercede. But Cookie hangs tough, forcing Paulie to get even tougher: he sends his nephew - Little Paulie - and Benny Fazio to break Chucky's arm. Shortly afterward Cookie sees the error of her ways.
The next time Tony opens the feed bin, he notices an error, too - an accounting one. And somebody's going to pay for it.