The Sopranos

Season 6 Episode 7

Luxury Lounge

6
Aired Unknown Apr 23, 2006 on HBO

Episode Recap

Corky meets the Italians and instructs them on where to find Rusty and what to do when they've completed the hit. After the job has been completed, Phil passes along thanks to Tony from Johnny Sack, but Tony plays dumb. Phil knowingly plays along, complimenting his cautiousness. At a banquet at Vesuvio to celebrate Gerry Torciano and Burt Gervasi entering the families, complaints about service and quality abound, as Artie has let things deteriorate. Everyone raves about the competition: Da Giovanni's. With thoughts of simply leaving Vito be as long as he stays away, Tony grudgingly gives Christopher his blessing to try to get his movie started, as manpower can be spared. Little Carmine and he hope to attach Sir Ben Kingsley to the project, and head out west to make their pitch. Phil Leotardo chooses Da Giovanni's to host a confirmation party for his grandson. While the food is exquisite, Tony can't help but feel like he's betraying Artie. Meanwhile, Vesuvio has become a ghost town, though Benny Fazio has become a bar fixture due to his new goomar: the Albanian hostess, Martina. Artie gripes to Tony at 'The Bing,' refusing to think he could have any blame in his business' downturn. Charmaine suggests Artie do less chatting and more cooking, as he's let a Zagat guide's description of him as, "warm and convivial," go to his head. Tony suggests offering 2-for-1 specials, but claiming it would cheapen Vesuvio's good name, Artie declares, "I'll give it back to the bank before I turn it into a fucking IHOP!" In Los Angeles, Christopher indulges in alcohol, drugs, and prostitutes while waiting for his meeting with Ben Kingsley. At the meeting, a polite Ben is very cool to what they are offering, barely paying attention and spending most of the meeting chatting with a passing Lauren Bacall, though Little Carmine and Chris don't really get his lack of interest. They follow him to a 'luxury lounge,' where free merchandise is handed out to celebrities. Christopher is floored that such a thing exists, and fixates heavily on obtaining swag for himself. Ben tells them he will meet with them in New York to continue their conversation. The true reason for Benny's continued presence at Vesuvio becomes clear when AMEX fraud investigators visit Artie, and are stopping his ability to take their cards. After a staff meeting asking whoever is doing this to stop, Martina warns Benny that AMEX has found them out, but he assures her that the companies make a lot of noise, but eventually just have to "eat it." When the coatgirl rats out Martina for sporting very expensive sandals, Artie heads to Benny's, where a fight erupts and Benny is badly beaten. Artie is so filled with rage, he later shoots a rabbit in his garden with a hunting rifle. Still in Los Angeles, a heavily doped-out Christopher presses Ben to get him into the luxury lounge, but Ben says there's nothing he can do. Things get worse for Chris when Little Carmine announces Ben has passed on the project. On the Stugots II, Tony chastizes Artie for his beating of Benny. Artie declares that his belief in hard, honest work is being severely tested, and is surprised Tony would allow fraud to happen at Vesuvio. Tony assures him that had he known, he would've never allowed it. Back at the Bada-Bing, Tony confronts Benny, who wants Artie dead. He tells him that Vesuvio is off limits for his mob activity, tells him to leave Artie alone, and forces him to hold a Fazio family dinner planned for Da Giovanni's at Vesuvio instead. But at the dinner, Artie subtly insults Benny, instead of giving the promised apology, in front of his family. Benny follows him to the kitchen, where he gets revenge, holding Artie's hand in a vat of hot spaghetti sauce. In Los Angeles, Lauren Bacall heads to her limo with an extravagant gift basket. She is assaulted by a masked Christopher, who runs into night with his bounty. On the plane ride home, he and Murmur snicker at a headline in Variety detailing the crime. Ben Kingsley boards the plane, bemoaning this fateful sharing of first class with Chris. Tony and Carmela dine at Vesuvio, and Tony confronts Artie. He offers a number, presumably Dr. Melfi's, suggesting he get some help. He also suggests he stay in the kitchen, where he's "a star." As usual, Artie trusts Tony's judgment though he had earlier rebuffed the same notion from his wife. Back home, Chris shares the goods with Tony, though Tony has little interest in them, which are not of the quality as those from the luxury lounge. Tony mentions that the whole Artie situation if Christopher had been home, dealing with his crew, instead of off in California. Back at Vesuvio, a very late-arriving couple brings back memories of a years-past visit from the Soprano family. With little else to prepare, Artie gets out a hand-written cookbook, takes the now-skinned rabbit from the refrigerator, and sets to work, seemingly re-energized to focus on cooking.
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