The Sopranos Toodle-Oo: What Was that? The Veal was Excellent.
Old Habits Die Hard on The Sopranos
First, The Sopranos “Toodle-Oo” is best known for introducing the classic Richie Aprile. I should say right off the bat that Richie Aprile was an acquired taste. What I mean is, it’s hard to fully appreciate the shiver up your spine until you look back in hindsight. It probably goes without saying that I was quite amused by both Richie’s and Janice’s claims of growth and enlightenment. I’m not saying Richie doesn’t know how to do downward dog. I just somehow don’t believe that he’s really Mr. Zen after seeing him turn Beansie Gaeta into a paraplegic soon after his arrival.
Next, we turn to the episode’s namesake, “Toodle-Oo.” After Dr. Melfi told Tony to get out of her life in “Guy Walks Into a Psychiatrist’s Office,” he respected her wishes. That is, until she bumped into him at a local restaurant. Although not much conversation took place, Dr. Melfi was mortified by what she referred to as actions of a “ditzy young girl” who had regressed into the “girl thing” to escape her responsibility for abandoning a patient.
Similarly, I can’t forget to mention the post-Toodle-Oo table chatter amongst the guys. Paulie Walnuts had one of his Paulie Walnuts “repeat the line” moments. Here, it was in reference to a joke he made about Sil and his first blowjob. Good news! Even though Puss doesn’t work at the body shop anymore, I’m sure his wife would be happy to pop those dents.
The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Toodle-Oo Tree
In addition to Janice, The Sopranos Toodle-Oo demonstrated that Meadow really was Tony’s daughter. By that, I mean she knew just what to say to manipulate her parents into thinking they’d actually “punished” her. Tony knows this, as evidenced by his comment to Carmela that “they’re f*cked” if Meadow knows they’re powerless. Oh, the irony!
For example, When I heard Meadow say she “could have taken ecstasy but didn’t,” I say to myself, “But you did take speed last year!” I don’t even mean that in a judgmental way. It’s just interesting that Tony never brought that up, although I guess he wanted to keep it a secret from Carmela. He wasn’t really worried about Meadow, so perhaps it just wasn’t top of mind.
Another interesting moment in “Toodle-Oo” takes me back to Junior and also ties in Richie. At Junior’s cardiologist appointment, Dr. Schreck assured him the “little fibrillations” he was feeling were psychosomatic. You know, the mind-body connection!
As a matter of fact, it becomes increasingly difficult to know where that dividing line is with Junior. At a certain point, I started wondering whether his behavior was from trying to seem sick as opposed to what were actual manifestations of his dementia. Though in early season two, we were still very far away from that point.