Irregular Around the Margins
Written by Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess
Directed by Allen Coulter
"Everybody knows you been the biggest fuckin' cooze hound around the last four or five years. Your mid-life crisis. You'd fuck a catcher's mitt."
Adriana and Agent Sanseverino are taking one of their clandestine car rides when Adriana mentions that Tony has been spending a lot of time at her club, Crazy Horse. "You think it might be because of you?" Sanseverino asks. Offended by the implication, Adriana tersely replies, "I am not going to blow this guy for your sick purposes." Then she gets sick herself, clutching her abdomen and telling Sanseverino that she has go to the bathroom - "number 2" - NOW. The interrogation ends abruptly as Sanseverino pulls up to a gas station and Adriana bolts for the ladies room.
Despite Adriana's denial, she and Tony have been growing closer. When Adriana's illness is diagnosed - Irritable Bowel Syndrome, probably stress-induced - Tony is far more sympathetic than Christopher. And Tony confides something to Adriana he's told no one else, that he recently had a cancerous lesion removed from his forehead. Then, one night at Crazy Horse, after sharing some lines of coke, Tony and Adriana have an awkward, sexually charged moment. During a dart game in the office, Adriana stoops to pick up some of the darts from the floor. Tony helps her up, holding onto her a little longer than necessary...and Adriana lets him. The tension is finally broken when Phil Leotardo and Joe Peeps knock on the door.
Tony is sufficiently troubled by his feelings to schedule an appointment with Dr. Melfi, who tells him that his desire to resist a destructive impulse is a breakthrough. So he quickly moves to re-establish the platonic nature of his and Adriana's relationship, to their mutual relief. Then, with Christopher in North Carolina on business and Adriana's car on the fritz, Tony offers her a ride home from work. Despite the fact that it's 2 AM, they decide to drive to Dover to score some coke and, swerving to avoid a raccoon, Tony flips his Escalade on its side. Although Adriana is briefly hospitalized, their injuries are relatively minor - but a scandal ensues that has potentially lethal consequences.
By the time the wise guys have finished spinning the story, the widely accepted - albeit false - version of events is that Tony and Adriana were engaged in oral sex at the time of the accident. Christopher, believing the rumors, goes on a rampage. He physically confronts Vito Spatafore, who outranks him; he beats Adriana and literally throws her out of their apartment; then shows up armed and drunk at the Bada Bing, looking for Tony.
Tony, Silvio, Paulie, Tony B. and some miscellaneous muscle are waiting for him. They quickly overpower Christopher and hustle him to a lonely back road, where Tony points a .38 at his nephew's head and delivers an ultimatum. "Either you tell me now that you can take it into your heart that I never did this shit," he says grimly, "or we've come as far as we can together." Christopher remains silent. Just then, Tony B. intercedes, suggesting, "Try it my way."
The two Tonys take Christopher to see the doctor who treated Adriana. He explains that Adriana's injuries support Tony's story and a mollified Christopher believes him. Later, in a display of solidarity, Tony and a reluctant but resigned Carmela, as well as Christopher, Adriana, Tony B. and his mother, Quintina, arrive together at Vesuvio, in view of several of Tony's guys. As they study their menus, Vito Spatafore stops by their table, extends his hand to Christopher and wishes him a pleasant evening. After a moment, Christopher shakes Vito's hand and replies, "You too."