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The Sopranos
The SopranosRTÉ Two, Thursday, 10.00pm

Episode 7: The Second Coming

At breakfast after a fitful night, Tony watches Carmela opens a gift, a diamond watch, and Tony apologizes for having to go to Vegas to "settle Christopher's affairs."

AJ, who also had a bad night, has been sleeping a lot, and though Tony jokes that he's "his father's son," it's clear that his son is still in a bad way. In a session with his shrink, Dr. Vogel, AJ can't seem to shake the despair he feels over the beating of the kid from Somalia. Everything, from school to world affairs, seems to depress him.

"I know kids on Lexapro who say it's great, but I still feel like shit," he complains. "Why can't I catch a break?"

At the Pork Store, Tony regales the crew with tales of drugs and sex in the desert, but the boys quickly glaze over when the boss gets philosophical. Handing over money from Stefano on the asbestos job, Silvio informs Tony that there has been no breakthrough in the negotiations with Phil, and suggests a meeting, "as unappealing as it is."

Later, Tony gets visit from Agents Harris and Goddard, and he identifies a couple of men in pictures as Ahmed and Mohammed.

Awash in depression, AJ finally finds something in school that interests him, the morbidly apocalyptic poem "The Second Coming" by Yeats. In bed at night, he reads it again: "What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

Later, Meadow tries talking to him, and learns that he has dropped out. Her brother seems to be further and further out there, obsessing about world violence and watching Al Jazeera online. AJ rejects her suggestion that he find a job. He tells her, "In my condition? I can't hold a job. I'm ill, Meadow, I'm on medication."

At Phil Leotardo's social club, Tony's meeting doesn't go well. Phil won't budge, and coolly dismisses Tony's reference to their heart-to-heart talk after Phil's heart attack. Mentioning Phil's dead brother, Tony suggests that there is a limit to how much amends he can make, and asks for some compromise. But Leotardo feels he has compromised enough after 20 years in prison. He wants 25 percent of the asbestos abatement money, retroactive.

At a session with Melfi, Tony bemoans his failings as a father, but also defends himself, saying that for all the bad he has done, there is a balance. He also reveals that during his peyote trip out West, he saw things. "All I can say is... this? Is not all there is," he tells her. He realizes, too, that his mother had her own journey to contend with.

When Carmine and Tony arrive at Leotardo's house for the agreed-upon meeting, Butch informs them that the sit-down is off. As a confused Carmine and angry Tony leave, Phil's voice drifts out from upstairs, "That's right, c**ksucker, go back to New Jersey!"

The Sopranos was produced by HBO, written by Terence Winter and directed by Alan Taylor.

Tony
Tony