Last night’s “Sopranos” episode, “The Fleshy Part of the Thigh” was filled with religiously themed moments, including the mysterious appearance of a quotation from Native American spirituality posted at Tony’s hospital bedside.
Paulie also finds out that his mother is actually a nun whom he’s always thought was his “aunt.” When she was young, the nun urgently confesses to Paulie on her deathbed, there was “this sailor,” along came Paulie, and no one wanted a scandal, which is why she is telling him this now, so late in her life, when it no longer matters–at least to her. Paulie handles this news with all the grace we’ve come to expect of his character: He becomes incensed and violent.
But my favorite religious moment from last night’s episode was when an old evangelical buddy of Janice (Tony’s sister) comes to the hospital to protest on behalf of a doctor who was fired for refusing to prescribe birth control pills. He visits Tony, bringing along another evangelical friend. They show up to witness for Christ by Tony’s bedside, trying to convince Tony to accept Jesus as his personal savior. Tony’s response, of course, is that he’s Catholic, so he’s already good, but they explain that God doesn’t want anybody in the way of Tony’s relationship to Christ–namely priests–so as a Catholic he’s not in that great a shape with God (insert Tony’s eyes rolling here).
The best part of all, though, is when Tony finds out why these two are at the hospital in the first place. They show him a sign that says, “Womb is God” (what does that mean anyway?). Tony’s immediate response–much to Carmela’s embarrassment–is whether they’re going to be saying next that “God doesn’t like Viagra.” Following Tony’s accidental shooting, he’s a little concerned about having potential “issues” in the bedroom. Well, no, the evangelists answer, Tony has nothing to worry about, because God loves anything that promotes procreation, which includes Viagra!
How high of an endorsement can a product get? Maybe soon we will start seeing commercials that say: “Take Viagra! It’s what God wants you to do.”