Season 2, Episode 07:
While driving his friends around in Carmela's car, AJ bumps into another vehicle and knocks the side view mirror off. Despite his attempts to cover up the damage, Carmella immediately discovers it when she next starts the car. When she and Tony attempt to berate AJ for his irresponsibility, he shows indifference and muses about the absurdity of life, revealing that he has been reading Nietzsche (which he pronounces "Nitch") in class. Tony and Carmella attempt, unsuccessfully, to shut down AJ's newfound philosophy and reaffirm his Catholic upbringing, as his confirmation is approaching. Tony later discusses AJ's existentialist thoughts with Dr. Melfi. Tony initially maintains his rejection of AJ's new beliefs, but as the conversation turns to his alienation from his mother, he changes his tune and comments that "maybe the kid's got the right idea".
Pussy, who is AJ's godfather and confirmation sponsor, takes him to the batting cages along with his own son, Matt, a college student. Matt criticizes AJ's existential views, suggesting he read Kierkegaard, and is also critical of AJ's taste in music, claiming to have outgrown rap because it's too "commercialized". AJ next visits Livia in the nursing home, and when he mentions his discovery of existentialism it inspires a nihilistic tirade from her, where she asserts that "it's all a big nothing" and everyone dies alone.
In another subplot, Christopher is introduced to his cousin Greg's fiancee Amy Safir, who is involved in Hollywood. Adriana is pleased with Chris' renewed interest in filmmaking, revealing that she saved the screenplay he threw away in "Big Girls Don't Cry". Chris is invited to the set of a film being shot in New Jersey. While on set, Chris resolves a dispute about one of Janine Garofalo's lines, by giving her a Jersey Italian slang term as an alternative to the word "bitch", which she was dissatisfied with. Later, Amy and Jon Favreau accompany Christopher on a "tour" of New Jersey. Upon seeing a disfigured homeless woman outside the pizza parlor where they are eating, Chris relays a story about how a mobster poured acid on her face upon discovering she was transgendered. This appears to fascinate Amy and Favreau. After going home, Chris gets into an argument with Adriana, who is upset that he didn't invite her to lunch with his new Hollywood friends. Later, Chris begins a sexual affair with Amy. At one point, while discussing screenwriting with Jon Favreau, a coked-up Chris begins waving a gun around and behaving erratically. Favreau is shaken by the experience.
While Tony and Carmella have dinner with Chris and Adriana, the topic of marriage comes up. Chris, feeling pressured into marrying Adriana, storms out, and she begins to cry. She mentions how she was supportive of Christopher's screenwriting - Tony is surprised and angered to learn that Chris is writing a screenplay.
After Chris has sex with Amy again, she remembers her engagement to his cousin and locks herself in the bathroom, upset. Chris starts reading Jon Favreau's script about mobsters, and discovers his anecdote about the transsexual prostitute has been used. Chris tries to track down Jon Favreau, only to find that he has left town. He confronts Amy again and their relationship ends on a sour note, with Chris disparagingly calling her a "D-girl".
With AJ's confirmation approaching, Agent Lipari demands that Pussy wear a wire at the occasion. Pussy is extremely hesitant to do so. At his home, his relationship with Angie is shown to have grown even more tense. As Pussy shaves his chest to attach the wire, Angie attempts to get into the bathroom, and Pussy flies into a rage and attacks her. Matt sees his father assaulting his mother and pulls him off.
The separate plots converge at AJ's confirmation. Carmella catches AJ smoking weed with his friends in the garage and berates him. Hearing about this, Pussy - now wired for sound - talks to AJ about his friendship with Tony, revealing that his little sister died of cancer when he was little, and Tony was there to comfort him. Lipari is shown listening to this exchange. Pussy then hugs AJ, covering his microphone and causing audio issues.
Meanwhile downstairs, Tony confronts Christopher with an ultimatum, that in five minutes Tony will check if he's still in the house. If Chris has left, Tony will assume he is gone permanently to follow his dreams, but if he is still there he must stay with Tony and remain loyal. Chris steps outside, pondering this choice, but eventually goes back inside. The Soprano family search for Pussy, AJ's sponsor, to pose with them in the family photo of the confirmation, but they cannot find him - Pussy is in the bathroom upstairs, crying alone.
- Acid Attack: Chris tells Amy and Jon Favreau that a mobster scarred the homeless person's face with one.
- All for Nothing: Chris' efforts to get a script made into a movie only got him played for a fool and worried that he said too much about his mob life.
- Bilingual Bonus: Chris attempts to find Jon Favreau at the production set, only to find out from Janeane Garofalo that he's already flown out to L.A. That prompts Chris to call Jon a "mezzofinook", "half a faggot".
- The Cameo: Subverted with Jon Favreau, who becomes more of a supporting guest star in the episode. Played straight with Janeane Garofalo and Sandra Bernhard.
- Classified Information: How Amy regards Jon Favreau's draft script. Strange that she left it in plain view right next to Chris after their second romp. Chris starts to peruse it, and panics when he sees the script including the story of the mobster and the transgender person despite his express demand that it not be. He's naturally worried that he's going to suffer Loose Lips repercussions if the other Jersey mobsters find out.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Pussy reveals that his little sister died of cancer when he was younger.
- Dark Secret: Invoked when Pussy does his utmost to keep Angie out of the bathroom while he's trying to put his wire on. Angie may not be a Mafiasa (yet), but she's still a Mafia wife, and Pussy was worried that her discovering the wire could expose him as The Mole to the rest of the Jersey mob.
- Did You Actually Believe...?: Amy pulls an indirect and yet especially nasty one on Chris. She coldly informs him that the market for Mafia movies has gone cold. Although she doesn't explicitly tell Chris that no one in the movie business would take him seriously, her words are meant to convey that Chris just doesn't have his hand on the movie industry pulse.
- Fish out of Water: Both sides of the movie script arc. Amy and Jon are fascinated by the fear that Chris can command in an instant. Jon in particular becomes frightened when he sees that Chris can become violent in a flash, making it obvious that he could never cut it in the underworld. On the other hand, Chris is completely out of his depth when trying to immerse himself in the world of production sets and working out of hotel rooms, skycraper offices and restaurants in ways that are distinctive to the movie business. Amy and Jon ultimately get the best out of the bargain by maintaining only peripheral contact with the Mafia underworld through Chris and then cutting him off after they get what they want, while Chris desperately tried to immerse himself completely in their world without any prior knowledge.
- Foreshadowing: Chris' early efforts to crack into the movie business foreshadow the whole Cleaver arc, and more generally contribute to the growing distrust between Tony and himself as the series goes on.
- Gendered Insult: Combined with Title Drop. Chris calls Amy a "D-Girl" after realizing she played him, meaning that as a woman she'll always be lower down in the hierarchy of the movie business.
- Gonk: How Chris regards the homeless transgender person who walks into the pizza joint, although he acknowledges that the person was once quite a looker.
- Hannibal Lecture: Livia sits up in her hospital bed to deliver a startlingly nihilistic one to the young, impressionable AJ.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Tony frames his demand to Chris for Undying Loyalty (see below) in this way. Chris can either leave the confirmation party in the next ten minutes for something more legitimate (i.e. Tony already knows about the movie script effort) but will become persona non grata for the Jersey mob, or remain in the party and commit himself wholeheartedly to the family business. It's telling that Chris steps outside the house and silently struggles with the decision and comes back in just before the 10 minute deadline elapses. It's implied that his negative experiences with Amy and Jon Favreau, along with the realization that he can't cut it in the movie business, were a tipping point in the decision.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Tony admits to Dr. Melfi that AJ may be onto something with his newfound nihilism.
- Like Father, Like Son: Tony complains to Big Pussy about AJ becoming moody and questioning the universe and not giving a crap about the upcoming Catholic confirmation. Pussy in turn reminds Tony that he himself wasn't much different when he was a kid.
- Loose Lips:
- Chris realizes that the story of the mobster and the transgendered person showing up in Jon Favreau's script could get him in some really hot water with the rest of the Jersey mob.
- Adriana at the restaurant dinner table makes a brief and general reference to Chris working on a movie script. That by itself is enough to get the wheels turning in Tony's mind about how much is Chris revealing that he shouldn't. This particular point also doubles as Foreshadowing.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Big Pussy when he realizes that Angie is trying to break into the bathroom while he's trying to get his wire on.
- Chris when he notices the story about the mobster and the transgendered person has been included in Jon Favreau's draft script.
- Manipulative Bastard: Amy and Jon Favreau both pull this on Chris, in combination with being False Friends, leading him on with promises that his script will be made into a movie. They play the angle just long enough to get some insider info on the world of the Jersey mob, and the key nugget for a draft script of their own, the story of the mobster scarring the transgendered person with an Acid Attack. They cut him off completely after they get what they want.
- Run or Die: Suggested or at least hinted at. We don't know if Jon Favreau actually feared Chris would kill him or at least give him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, but it seemed awfully convenient that he already checked out of his hotel and flew off to L.A. by the time Chris found out that the transgender victim story was included in the script.
- Straw Nihilist: AJ ostensibly embraces this philosophy after reading about Nietzsche in his class. Carmela and Tony suspect he's using it as an easy excuse for being a Lazy Bum. They're not wrong either.
- The Dreaded: Chris invokes this when a small nearby party keeps disrupting his conversation with Amy and Greg. It's implied that merely whispering his mob connections into the ear of a particularly obnoxious partier is enough to cause them to depart for another club. The mere sight of it has Amy fascinated.
- Undying Loyalty: Tony confronts Chris at A.J.'s confirmation party with a demand for this, after hearing about Chris having worked on a movie script. He combines it with a threat to cast Chris out of the mob if he doesn't prove his loyalty by sticking around for the rest of the party.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Chris tells Amy and Jon Favreau that an unnamed mobster got it on with somebody who he thought was a really hot chick, only to find a penis and discover the person was transgendered. The mobster reacted by permanently scarring the person's face with an Acid Attack.
- Villainous Break Down: Big Pussy throughout the episode, from attacking his wife when she nearly walks in on him wiring up, to his bleak final scene crying alone in the Soprano bathroom.
- Your Cheating Heart: Both Chris and Amy cheat on their respective significant others. Amy actually seems to forget she is engaged to Chris's cousin, and immediately regrets the affair when she is reminded. Chris doesn't really care, as his relationship with Adriana is deteriorating.