That was Gaspipe, all right. And Casso did have a pretty basic gangster reason for killing the architect (unlike with most of his 36 victims), as I recall—greed. It meant he wouldn't have to pay him for his services. And I don't mean to inject a sobering thought into our Monday morning talk—or maybe I do—but that architect left behind a wife and family.
Tony's cousin, Tony B. Blundetto—the character played by Steve Buscemi—might be the most interesting new character the writers have introduced into the show. He has already irked his Mafia boss cousin upon returning to the neighborhood after 15 years away "on a business trip," as he put it to Bobby Bacala's son at the welcome-home party the family threw for him. At this point, Blundetto's chances of making it through the season seem slim to none. But, as we have seen before, that could change next week.
Blundetto's character is still being developed, but so far, the writers have sent us mixed messages about whether Tony B is a "made guy." On the one hand, Soprano excoriates him for making fun of him in public since "things have changed" and he's now the Boss of the family. On the other, Blundetto's decision to go straight and be a licensed massage therapist isn't how it usually works in "the life." Once you've been inducted into the family, there's no resigning. Wiseguys who have served long stretches don't go straight and still live among old cohorts, not in Gangland, anyway. They behave more like the Robert Loggia character, Feech LaManna. And there's obviously something fishy about the relationship between Tony B and Feech, judging from the scene at the Bada Bing, in which Feech gives Tony B an envelope with cash to help him get on his feet as Tony Soprano looks on with keen interest from a balcony.
Speaking about the Bada Bing, I thought it was quite undignified for New York Mafia boss Johnny Sack to have to take a dump in a public toilet in a strip joint.
I thought you threw too many questions out for me to answer in this reply, but maybe not. The Sopranos stereotypes Italian American GANGSTERS, not Italian Americans in general, and I think most Americans are bright enough to understand the distinction. The feds use the phrase "La Cosa Nostra" instead of the grammatically correct "Cosa Nostra" because they rarely admit a mistake—even a grammatical one. I haven't seen Trees Lounge. Lorraine Bracco is not a friend of mine, although I did see her in the flesh once when she visited a friend of mine in the Daily News newsroom a hundred years ago, and as I mentioned, obviously not too forcefully, last week, I AM FROM BENSONHURST, BROOKLYN.