There are times when it feels like Leary, Tolan and company wrote a bunch of scenes and then edited them together at random -- subplots popping in and out of the show, with Tommy's mood inconstant from minute to minute -- but rarely has it been as glaring as it was tonight. The scene with Johnny and Katy takes place at least a couple of days into the episode's timeline, yet Johnny refers to "the stuff that happened last night." I don't even care much about continuity flubs like that, but it was the symbol of an episode that was disjointed in every way, from time to tone. It's the next day, then it isn't, Tommy's the psycho who beat his brother to a bloody pulp, then he's the goof who asks Mrs. Turbody for a sandwich, etc., etc., etc.
The writers were definitely trying to share the wealth, with about the bare minimum of Tommy and a lot of everyone else. In particular, this was the most screen time devoted to Garrity, and the big non-Tommy-walking finish revolved around Probie/New Mike, who may consider himself lucky if his new nickname is Gay Mike. I like Mike Lombardi and especially Steven Pasquale, but I'm not sure you want to hang so much of an episode on either one of them, or really on anyone other than Leary, John Scurti or Jack McGee. I loved the entire sequence with Garrity and the horse -- the monologue about summer camp, Lou raving about the sturdiness of city buses, Chief's "Take a minute if you need it" -- but all those scenes of Tommy trying to intimidate Sean fell very flat.
And the Gay Mike development? Could be great, like some of the stories with Reilly and his son, or it could be awful and offensive. We'll see.
The one part of the episode that felt consistent throughout was the continuation of The Decline and Fall of Kenny Shea, from his argument with the Chief at the top of the show to him calling Tommy a hypocrite near the end.
Other random notes and quotes:
- The Uncle Teddy in jail scenes are always gold. "He got a great recipe for toilet wine from his homies in Chino!"
- Random guy talk: Franco's "You ever sneeze while you're pissing?" Isn't that a line from "The Deer Hunter"?
- Not sure I care about Franco's anxiety about being a kept man, even if it does involve Susan Sarandon wandering around in a bathrobe. And I know I don't care about Mrs. Turbody, even if it involves Paige Turco writhing all over the screen.
- "I was like, a forte free safety?"
- Does Sheila have a job? We're coming on five years since 9/11; would Jimmy's death benefits be enough to keep her going? I did like Tommy defending the presence of roofies in Damien's room: "He's not doing the dating or the raping. He's just doing the selling... to the guys who are doing the dating and the raping."
- If I had more energy, I would've transcribed Tommy's "We're real Irish. We're not like the fake, faggoty your generation Irish" monologue to Sean, because that was some funny stuff, yo.