There was a fine new episode of "The Sopranos" last night, with two neatly paired stories.
Tony and Paulie go on a road trip. Yes, a reason is trumped up, but the idea is basically to get them on a road trip, where there's lots of comedy (beginning with Paulie packing and revealing his impressive collection of white slip-on shoes) and with that slowly accumulating feeling that something violent is about to wipe that smile off our face.
Meanwhile, Junior is in the cuckoo's nest and his counterpart is a guy named Carter (who is reminding us -- by strange accident -- of the Virginia Tech shooter, Seung-Hui Cho). This is the opposite of a road trip, as the patients are cooped up in room doing things like playing poker with white and red buttons (and Junior will be pissed off at you if you say you think "red buttons" is amusing). Here, too, we love the comedy even as we dread the impending violence.
Only one of the parallel stories ends in violence, though, and we end with Junior accepting the medication that "numbs him down" and Carmela accepting the $2000 Williams Sonoma espresso machine.