[S5E4] Let's Get This Party Started
I saw this episode in a private screening, and it's amazing. Ilene is right in saying that it's the best episode so far. I loved it.Not a huge TiBette fan, but the after they started kissing I burst into tears because it seemed so soooo right. Sorry Jodi, you don't compare.I'm not happy with Alice, at all.
[S5E4] Let's Get This Party Started
The girls go to Karma to arrange a surprise party for Pauly (and Mike). They meet with a guy who solicits strippers. Snooki outright asks if he bangs the girls. They get done with planning this important party detail and put decorations all over the place.
Tropes featured Alas, Poor Villain: Feech was certainly due for some kind of comeuppance. But it's still saddening to see him carted off to prison on the bus. He takes every second he can to view the free world outside of prison during the bus ride, fully aware he's doomed to spend what's left of his life in prison.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Carmela outright admits to Mr. Wegler that she married Tony for this reason.
The Bait: Feech insists on a fee for storing the stolen plasma TVs in his garage. It's all part of Framing the Guilty Party that Tony has arranged for Feech.
Bait-and-Switch: Tony initially acts like he's offended that Ira Fried never invited him to his daughter's wedding, but then quickly reveals he's just breaking Ira's balls. Could also double as a Shout-Out to a very similar and well-known scene between Tommy DeVito and Henry Hill in GoodFellas.
Be Careful What You Wish For: A.J. is excited to finally get his wish of leaving Carmela and moving in with Tony, on the assumption that he'll have a free ride under Tony's Hands-Off Parenting. He finds out the hard way that Tony only zigzags his Hands-Off Parenting style, and is perfectly willing to dish out Tough Love too.
Big Bad Wannabe: What Feech ultimately becomes, as Tony found him even easier to deal with than Richie. Not only that, Feech becomes barely a footnote in the narrative arcs of the last two seasons of the show, thereby paling in comparison to the threats posed to Tony by members of the New York family as the Greater-Scope Villain.
Blatant Lies: A.J. never had any intention of going to Meadow's after the concert and instead goes to his Wild Teen Party. And of course, there weren't any cabs available after the concert ...
Meadow covers for A.J. against Carmela.
And of course, A.J. wasn't doing any drugs either.
Book Dumb: Tony may be a savvy mob boss, but his letter to Dr. Melfi is filled with grammar and spelling mistakes.
Boom, Headshot!: Jason Evanina, but offscreen.
The Cameo: Bernie Brillstein, who plays himself at the card game, is the business partner of executive producer Brad Grey. Also appearing in the card game is former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor and, in a separate card game, David Lee Roth.
Leon Wieseltier, longtime literary editor of The New Republic, plays car-theft victim Stewart Silverman.
Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Tony can't outright have Feech killed. Feech still has enough respect in the Jersey mob that getting rid of him that way risks either A House Divided or The Mutiny. So Tony decides to Take a Third Option and set him up for a parole violation that will ensure he spends the rest of his life in prison.
The Consigliere: Silvio pointedly advises Tony that Feech is becoming The Starscream. The conversation sees Silvio veer into also becoming The Lancer when Tony remains willing to give Feech some benefit of the doubt.
Continuity Nod: Tony once again holds up Gary Cooper as the standard of The Stoic to live up to, like in the Christopher episode.
Did You Get a New Haircut?: AJ's friends shave his eyebrows off while stoned. It takes Tony a minute to catch on the first time he sees him.Tony: (stares blankly) What's different about you? Carmela: He has no eyebrows, Tony!
Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Principal Wegler brings up that A.J. may have a learning disability. A.J. enthusiastically embraces the idea of it giving him an ongoing pass for being an eternal Dumbass Teenage Son and Spoiled Brat.
Dumbass Teenage Son: A.J. of course.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Tony and Feech feel this way about each other, 100% mutually so. Tony feels that he's owed more respect as the recognized boss of the family, even if Feech has been around longer and has seniority. Feech in turn feels Tony is not respectful enough of his own seniority, either in his treatment of Feech or in decisions that affect Feech.
Drugs Are Good: A.J. certainly enjoys himself after the concert.
Establishing Character Moment: Feech gets another one, the first of many times that he'll reminisce about how things were better in his day.
Exact Eavesdropping: Ira Fried, thinking only to talk about his daughter's upcoming wedding, unknowingly gives Feech all the info he needs to plan a mass carjacking at said wedding.
Foreshadowing: Lorraine desperately tries to crawl away on all fours before getting shot to death. Remember that image for the rest of season 5 ...
Framing the Guilty Party: Chris and Benny show up at Feech's place, and use Reverse Psychology to reel him in to storing stolen TVs as The Bait. A parole officer, who's been conveniently tipped off by an anonymous source, shows up very shortly thereafter and busts Feech for storing contraband. Tony thereby Takes a Third Option and neutralizes any threat Feech might have posed.
Hates Their Parent: A.J. has this going on towards Carmela.
Hey, You!: Feech addresses Tony as "Don Antonio" as an intentional Stealth Insult.
And again with "Godfather", although that one's a little too obvious to qualify as an actual Stealth Insult.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Feech loves to go on and on about stories from his day. Silvio turns it around on him with an invitation to talk about his own card game getting robbed. Doubles as a Continuity Nod to when Jackie Jr. tried a similar stunt.
Hypocrite: Tony refuses to let A.J. see a therapist, likening it to encouraging A.J. to glide by on a crutch. Talk about Dramatic Irony...
I Control My Minions Through...: Johnny Sack continues with the fear angle and ramps it up by having Phil, Billy and Joey take out Lorraine.
I Have No Son!: Carmela decides she's had enough of A.J., and outright demands he moves in with Tony and leaves her house.
Ineffectual Loner: Carmela comes home to an empty house at the end of the episode, emphasizing she has become an example of the trope.
Large Ham: Feech and Tony take turns at it during the card game.
The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Tony wonders if Feech's seeming contrition is for real. He then remembers back to one of the poker games. As the camera slowly pans over the players, almost every mobster in the game is intentionally laughing at Tony's deliberately corny joke in order to suck up to him. The one exception is Feech, who's boring holes into Tony with a Death Glare. That's how Tony realizes that Feech is just another Richie waiting to happen.
Literary Allusion Title: The episode's title is taken from the famous opening sentence of Anna Karenina: "All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." It refers to the breakup of the Soprano household. It could likely allude to the growing strife and impending civil war within the New York crime family as well.
Living Lie Detector: Silvio points out that Feech didn't let Tony off for the years ago card game robbery just because Feech was being nice. The only thing that stopped Feech from seeking Disproportionate Retribution against Tony was that Tony was himself backed by several influential mobsters that Feech couldn't afford to cross.
Malicious Misnaming: Feech names the rest of the mobsters as "kids" to Adriana, to convey that he views himself as possessing superior claims to authority within The Mafia hierarchy.
Man Behind the Man: Rusty Millio's ambition is to be the real power of the New York family, while Little Carmine is recognized as the official boss.
Playing Nice for Now: Feech tries it when he realizes that he's antagonizing a recognized Boss who still has enough support to make an open challenge suicidal. Tony sees right through it, and reciprocates the ploy to buy himself time to rid himself of Feech in a non-fatal way.
Political Overcorrectness: Bernie Brillstein is of the opinion that Black and gay couples are ahead in line for wedding announcements in the New York Times.
The principal at A.J.'s school also laments the perceived possibility that one of his top students may fall just a little short of a scholarship owing to affirmative action policies.
Pragmatic Villainy: Tony shows it multiple times. He's willing to protect Ira Fried, a civilian with no mob ties, against a senior made man like Feech because Fried is valuable as a Back-Alley Doctor.
He resists the urge to have Feech killed as The Starscream, recognizing that Feech is still well-respected in the Jersey mob. So he finds a way to get rid of Feech without killing him.
Precision F-Strike: The Jewish wedding guests are not above swearing when they realize their expensive foreign cars have been robbed.
A.J. drops one on Carmela after coming home from his Wild Teen Party.
Professional Butt-Kisser: Carmela tells Tony that he doesn't have actual friends in the true sense of the word, just a legion of sycophants who go through the motions to stay in The Mafia game. The argument itself becomes Foreshadowing.
Real Person Cameo: Lawrence Taylor and Bernie Brillstein, both during the poker game.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tony pulls rank on Feech with one, capped with a Big "SHUT UP!" and a Precision F-Strike to boot in the same breath.
The Resenter: Feech, towards Tony.
Reverse Psychology: Chris and Benny initially give Feech a You Do Not Want To Know when they start discussing the supposed action they need help with. It works exactly as intended, as it only makes him that much more eager to take The Bait.
Sadist: Billy takes perverse pleasure in whipping Lorraine naked with her own towel before shooting her dead.
Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: How Tony sees Feech's antics, despite Silvio's warnings, at least to begin with ...
Skewed Priorities: Black Comedy variation, mixed with All Jews Are Cheapskates. After discovering the cars have been stolen, the wedding party begins to yell at Ira over the loss of the cars. One man, in particular, is irate over his Mercedes convertible being stolen as he was on the wait list for over "a fucking year." Keep in mind that one of the valets is laying on the ground with a serious head wound from the robbery (that Ira is trying to treat).
Snark-to-Snark Combat: Tony B may be the all-series champion, but Tony S is no slouch himself and shows up Feech.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Edison Lighthouse's "Love Goes (Where My Rosemary Goes)" is playing on the radio in the background while Billy and Joey are in the middle of killing Lorraine.
Spoiled Brat: Carmela feels Tony is turning A.J. into one, and that was at the start of the episode. That feeling goes up to eleven when Tony buys A.J. a brand new SUV.
Stalker with a Crush: Tony still has the hots for Dr. Melfi.
The Starscream: Feech, at least until this episode.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Tony recognizes that Feech is another Richie waiting to happen.
Take a Third Option: Tony can't let Feech hang around much longer after deducing that Feech is only Playing Nice for Now while actually being The Starscream. But Tony can't openly have Feech killed either since Feech still has a lot of respect in the Jersey mob. To do so risks either A House Divided or The Mutiny. So Tony finds a non-fatal option by setting up Feech for a parole violation that ensures he will spend what's left of his life in prison.
Wedding Smashers: Feech has his crew rob cars belonging to several guests at the wedding of Ira Fried's daughter.
When I Was Your Age...: Feech just loves to go on and on and on about the Golden Age he came from and still remembers. So much so that it overlaps with him also being a Large Ham, especially during his hosted poker game.
Why Couldn't You Be Different?: The principal heaping praise on a Scholarship Student just before A.J.'s appointment painfully reminds both Carmela and Tony that they desperately wish A.J. wasn't such a Dumbass Teenage Son.
Undignified Death: Billy takes off Lorraine's bath towel, chases her and whips her with it naked, and then shoots her while she tries to crawl away on all fours.
What Did I Do Last Night?: A.J. and his friends. A.J. wakes up with his face glued to the carpet, and his eyebrows shaved off, while his friend is on the receiving end of some Face Doodling. And all this is after the...
Wild Teen Party: A.J. and three of his friends hang out drinking, smoking weed, watching porn, and pulling pranks on each other once they have passed out
You Know I'm Black, Right?: Lawrence Taylor lets out a quick "hmm" when Bernie Brillstein expresses the opinion that Black and gay couples would be shoe-ins ahead of other couples for wedding announcements in the New York Times.