You know the opening credits are old when you see the price of gas at the Sunoco station drives past is 97 cents.
But I digress.
While Tony getting shot by Junior certainly had its shock value, where this thread will head next is rife with predictability. Lots of goombahs kissing each other while they lay prostrate in front of Tony's hospital bed.
Then Tony busts his stitches more than once as he tries to whomp Janice with his bedpan, while Bobby's at home playing with his trains.
Meanwhile, Chriss-tuh-fuh and his AA sponsor go on a bender as he dreams the dreams that capos-in-waiting dream.
And so on.
I expect Tony Soprano to stay in his hospital bed longer than Tony Almeida of "24," (he who's able to help foil terrorists minutes after getting out of surgery), which means there'll be lots of machinations involving "our friend from New Jersey" and his future, rather than the more interesting personal dramas that have made these characters so endearing.
But then again, David Chase has been the comeback kid more than once when "The Sopranos" lost its creative footing. Nineteen more episodes to go to meld the hype with what the rest of us get to see Sundays at 9.
Get well, soon, Tony. And perhaps reconsider getting Uncle Joon into that assisted-living facility. I hear they don't allow guns there.