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The Sopranos
The SopranosRTÉ Two, Thursday, 10.00pm

Episode 8: The Blue Comet

"I just want to make sure somebody knows there could be a line at Cozarelli's a mile long."

Early on a Sunday morning, Silvio surprises Burt Gervasi alone at home. "Some things you don't get into over the phone," he explains as he follows Burt inside. Once in the front door, Silvio pulls out a length of wire and strangles Burt, cutting his own hand in the process. As he reports to Tony later, Burt was "playin' both sides of the fence." And not only that, but guys were getting squeezed to sway them towards new management. "And he thought you'd be part of it?" asks Tony. "And he got an answer," replies Silvio, as Tony notes his bandaged hand.

Phil Leotardo gathers his crew and gives the order: "Plain and simple, it's over. We decapitate and we do business with whatever's left." He's had it with Anthony Soprano and his crew; in his view, he doesn't respect the business.

At the Mountainside Hospital psych ward, AJ spots Rhiannon, a friend of Hernan's. She's in for "food issues" and depression, on a break from her modeling jobs.

At Satriale's Tony spots Agent Harris and tries to get information about the Arabs but Harris shuts him out. Instead, he offers a warning - he's heard that "wheels have been set in motion" for movement against Tony and his crew.

Bobby joins Tony and Silvio for a talk about how to handle Phil. Tony declares it's over and they have to hit first - taking out Phil. Tony makes the call to Italy and it's decided that Paulie should run the job - contact the guy to contact the guys. Paulie in turn taps Patsy Parisi who taps Corky Caporale to give the Italians their instructions.

Meanwhile, Phil's crew is strategizing who to target in Tony's crew. Butch declares they need to hit the three top guys: Tony, Silvio and Bobby.

At a dinner party, Dr. Melfi sits a few seats away from Eliot Kupferberg. When the hostess brings up the study that indicates "the talking cure" actually helps sociopaths become better criminals, Melfi bristles. She accuses Eliot of putting her up to this and he counters that she should reevaluate her work with "leadbelly." When the guests want to know who that is, Eliot gives them a clue: "The answer is - a female opera singer and gangster." Melfi is furious at the betrayal, but later pours over the study with growing concern.

At Tony's next therapy session, Melfi listens with cool detachment as he complains about Meadow dropping out of med school and AJ's depression, offering rote replies. When Tony finally confronts her on her tone she loses her cool and suggests he needs another type of treatment and offers to give him a referral. Enraged and in disbelief, Tony refuses to believe she's ending things, but Melfi stands strong: "Since you are in a crisis, I don't want to waste your time."

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