Ever since Tony's close call, it seems that the female characters are becoming more invested in the business. For instance: Carmela, who for most of the years the show has been on the air has cried and lamented about the evil her husband commits, is now realizing the tenuous hold she has on her lifestyle and is becoming fully committed to this life. Case in point: when she mentions that Vito is someone to watch out for and that he shafted them on the package of money. Her interest in getting Tony back into power is obvious: she does not want to hand out free samples of polska kielbasa at the supermarket. However, I think her change is interesting because Carmela is a very smart and powerful character, despite the fact that she often hides behind the supposed innocence of the wife/mother role. This was also paralleled by Gabrielle Dante pushing Sil towards being the boss...it highlights the power these women have in the mob life.
There is also Meadow, who has been the most frequent decrier of the fact that this life is "bullshit." But she is also the most loyal and is the one that pulled Tony back from meeting his maker. I personally think that she's going to ditch Finn for someone more interesting, someone who is a little closer to the family business. (Like Jason from Barone Sanitation.)
But the most obvious (and shocking) example of this was from this episode: Dr. Melfi suggesting he fake his strength until he regains it. Melfi, like Carmela, has often cried about her qualms regarding the way Tony makes his money. However, she keeps taking him on as a patient, and it's clear that rehabilitation is not her only reason. She has a latent attraction to the "alpha male" and a genuine concern for his well being. I can't wait to see more scenes with these two, because up until now she has maintained her moral and professional code. Even when she could have told Tony she had been raped and had the guy dealt with, she didn't. But now that his life is on the line (and she does have a clue how ruthless this business is) she's giving him blatant advice...not even cloaked in her usual psycho babble.
Where can the Melfi/Soprano relationship go now that it has taken a darker turn? Will she apologize for crossing boundaries? Or will she continue to help him survive and hurt innocent people? I think this calls for a visit to Eliot's office...
I think Tony's shooting has shaken up Carmela and she has realized not too many people in his profession retire on their own terms.She has also seen first hand what happens to most ppl who are in Tony's profession and how the financial side of things are not so good. Granted a lot of them have not sat on the throne or been as successful as Tony. So she is trying to do the right thing by looking out for him in whatever way she can.