alot of the episode "members only" dealt with power. who has it, who doesn't, and what that means for both parties.
Tony visits Anthony Infante (johnny sac's brother in law) at his glasses store, picks out a pair of expensive Armani sunglasses and walks out without paying. "I left me wallet in the car, ill get you next time". This scene irked me alot because in real life the majority of us are not tony soprano...we are Anthony Infante, who can do nothing but sit and watch as tony walks out with his sun glasses.
the same idea is at the very center of Eugene's dilemma, and is perfectly summed up by gene's wife'
"Its not HIS money, it has NOTHING to do with him.
I am sure you all felt the same way I did when you heard her say that. of course it has something to do with tony, in fact it has everything to do with tony. like gene said "all tony and sil understand are appearances" well, how would it appear if tony let gene retire to Florida...it would appear weak and result in a loss of power and control for tony. and he would never allow that.
Nice observations stonedcrazyguy. It's funny, but ths scene didn't resonate with me until I read your post.....Tony tells Carm that he had a "great" year (financially) and yet he doesn't give a second thought about taking anything he wants from anybody, even someone he is asking, as a favor, to be his "back channel" to Johnny Sac in the can. You'd think that Tony would be the one "greasing" the brother-in-law for doing the favor for him. Just illustrates further the "what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine" attitude of the powerful men in this world.