TV Club

How Does a Mobster Organize His Address Book?

Good morning, Jeff

Even after a pretty good night’s sleep, I still feel that the best thing about last night’s episode was that it led into a star-studded season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm that included cameo appearances by Anne Bancroft and Jerry Seinfeld.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed the show, but after an engrossing start that alerted the viewer to the main theme of the episode—the FBI is on the case and gunning for Tony Soprano with a vengeance—the show seemed a little disjointed to me. It just didn’t seem to hang together as well as episodes usually do. Maybe I’m nitpicking and being overly critical here. What did you think?

It took Tony a while to make the correct decision—from the mobster’s point of view, of course—to whack the wired-up, cap-wearing cooperating witness we saw in the first scene, but the way he arrived at this decision got me thinking about onetime Luchese underboss Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso. Gaspipe was a quick-witted psychopath (now serving life). In one back-and-forth conversation about the methods they used to place telephone numbers of their mob associates in their address books, in order to throw off the FBI; he told his trusty cohort George Zapolla that he filed Zapolla’s name not under “Z” but under “U for useless.” Gaspipe often decided to kill associates without a shred of evidence—even by mob standards—that the thought of becoming a turncoat had ever crossed his target’s mind.

Last night, after patting down suspected cooperator Jack Massarone, Tony admitted to his cronies that he was unsure (“What am I, a f–king mind reader?”) about Massarone’s intentions, but eventually, we see a half-dressed Tony in a drunken state, grabbing his oversized stomach while looking in a mirror. We realize that he has decided to kill Massarone because he had complimented Tony by saying he looked like he was losing weight, and that meant he must have been a lying cooperator. That’s a hell of a reason to die.

I would not be surprised to see Tony, sometime soon, start needing the professional attributes of Dr. Melfi, as opposed to her physical ones.