I posted most of my thoughts in my longer review that was posted months ago. I rewatched the episode today, as I love idea of our "86 Long" viewing and hope more board members participate. I never really saw the car hunt that Pussy and Paulie go through as silly until now. I guess I just viewed it as the show still finding its footing.
It is obvious much of the comedy is just a tad out of place. There are some scenes which we can look back on and go, "that is SO Sopranos..." and others--not so much. The car hunt is part of the latter and it seems like something that would have come out of a poorer episode in the sixth season, but as I said, the show was still finding its footing. And I also think, as mentioned in the earlier post that it introduced us to characters like Paulie and Pussy in a fun and unassuming way. Livia hitting her friend, Fran (I think) with the car is golden (a member of the former, as far as comedy goes). It is the Soprano's dark comedy at it's best.
I love the reactions that Tony has to Livia. Those are the stand-out moments from this episode for me. The way Tony rubs his temples when discussing the nursing home and Livia's caretaker. Gandolfini just shines and we see him slip further Tony's skin. We get the great scene in the Bing, watching Tony juggling his mother, Chris and the dvd players, Georgie and the phones, and Serg on the phone, along with a quick phone call to Carmella (as she is doing her nails and looks disgusted at Tony's request. "Thanks Baby, I know you are busy!!!" another laugh-out-loud moment).
Not the best episode, by far, but certainly not a bad one either. The show is just really growing into what it would become by the end of these first four episodes.