A Hit Is a Hit

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"A Hit Is a Hit"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep110.jpg
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 10
Directed by Matthew Penn
Written by Joe Bosso
Frank Renzulli
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 110
Original air date March 14, 1999
Running time 53 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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"Boca"
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"Nobody Knows Anything"
Episode chronology

"A Hit Is a Hit" is the tenth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos. It was written by Joe Bosso and Frank Renzulli, directed by Matthew Penn and originally aired on March 14, 1999.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Also guest Starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Paulie Gualtieri, Christopher Moltisanti, and Big Pussy kill a drug dealer in a hotel room as a warning to his organization to stay away from the DiMeo crime family's territory around the ports in Newark. They steal cash from the scene, a big score that Tony states should be used legitimately, such as an investment in an IPO.

Tony gives Dr. Bruce Cusamano, his neighbor and family physician, a box of Cuban cigars as a gift for his referral to Dr. Melfi. As part of the follow-up conversation, Cusamano invites Tony to play golf with him and friends at the private country club where Bruce is a member. After some initial hesitancy, Tony does so. Later, at a barbecue with Dr. Cusamano and his friends, while Tony is looking for stock tips, Carmela receives one from one of the wives, and invests in the company. The company's stock soon splits 3-for-1 and Carmela is pleased.

Tony regrets his decision to play golf with Cusamano and his friends ask Tony about Al Capone's winter home in Biscayne Bay, the famous murder of Carmine Galante, and want to hear his stories about life in the Mafia. They even ask him if he has ever met John Gotti, which he jokingly says he has. He tells them a story, completely made up, about Gotti's fondness for a certain kind of ice cream truck. Cusamano and his friends are enthralled by the story. Later, Tony discusses the incident in therapy with Dr. Melfi, and how he felt used for the amusement of others, much like his speech-impeded high school friend with a cleft palate, Jimmy Smash, whom they made fun of because of his speech impediment. Tony learned years later that Jimmy was crying himself to sleep every night and is currently serving a 20 year prison sentence for robbery and was easily identified because of his speech impediment. As revenge, Tony, in reference to the scene in The Godfather Part II when a young Vito Corleone holds a bag of guns for a young Peter Clemenza, fills a parcel with sand and asks Dr. Cusamano to hold onto it, in an attempt to worry Cusamano and his wife. The box is a source of concern to the Cusamanos, who think it may contain drugs or a weapon.

Christopher and Adriana La Cerva dine at Le Cirque and attend the musical, Rent, in the theater in New York. After the show, while waiting for fast food, Christopher makes racist comments about the clientele of the restaurant. This draws the attention of rapper Massive Genius, who is also present at the burger joint. When it appears there might be violence, a cop tells Massive's friend, Orange J, that Christopher is an associate of the Soprano crew. Massive Genius dispatches Orange J to invite Christopher and Adriana to a party at his mansion in Englewood Cliffs. Adriana recognizes Massive Genius, respects his work, and urges Christopher to take her to the party. Christopher and Massive Genius talk business and while Christopher admires Massive Genius' gun collection, Massive Genius is similarly taken with Adriana. After the encounter, Adriana proposes that she should pursue a career as a music producer, and Christopher agrees, given her experience in listening to music. Her ex-boyfriend, Richie Santini, is the singer in a band called Visiting Day. Christopher agrees to put up the money for her to produce a demo for them.

Richie has some problems of his own: he's a recovering drug addict and never fully recuperated from an injury sustained while trying to use a downed power line to grill a trout (and is perhaps intellectually challenged as well). The demo recording progresses slowly and the producer and Richie argue, eventually leading a furious Christopher to beat the musician with his own guitar. Christopher starts to realize that the band may not be a wise investment. He nevertheless takes the demo to Hesh Rabkin, who has a history in the music business and tells Christopher that the song has no potential ("A hit is a hit, and that's not a hit", he says). Massive Genius meets with Christopher and Adriana to listen to the demo and claims to be impressed. However, Massive Genius seems more interested in Adriana than in the music, something Christopher notices and angrily mentions to Adriana. Adriana, in return, accuses Christopher of trying to hold her back and storms out of their apartment.

Massive Genius later has Christopher organize sit-downs with Hesh. Christopher tells Hesh that Massive Genius is a relative of a deceased artist with whom Hesh once worked and claims Hesh owes $400,000 in music royalties to the artist's elderly mother. When Hesh refuses to pay, Massive Genius responds with a threat of litigation. Hesh mentions a counter-suit over the unauthorized sampling by Massive Genius' music label of a song that Hesh's record label still controls, leaving them at loggerheads. As Massive fumes over the impasse, Tony and his crew comment on the irony of modern-day celebrities like Massive Genius being idolized as "gangsters", with Paulie summarizing it as "fucking depressing".

First appearances[edit]

Deceased[edit]

Title reference[edit]

  • The title refers to the slang term for a mafia-ordered murder, or a "hit". For example, while hosting Tony in a golf game at his country club, Bruce Cusamano refers to mobster Carmine Galante's assassination as a "beautiful hit".
  • "Hesh" Rabkin mentions to Christopher that he knows a hit song when he hears one, saying "a hit is a hit" and that the band Visiting Day's song is not a hit, and they are not particularly talented.

Other cultural references[edit]

Music[edit]

  • The song played when Tony, Christopher and Paulie celebrate their big score at a hotel with their goomahs is A Dreamer's Holiday by Ray Anthony.
  • The song played in one of the closing scenes, about which Hesh hears and then says to Christopher, "Now that is a hit", is "Nobody Loves Me But You" by Dori Hartley.
  • The song played when Christopher and Adriana come to a party at Massive Genius' mansion is "DJ Keep Playin' (Get Your Music On)" by Yvette Michele.
  • Earlier in the episode, while Christopher and Adriana talk about their tastes in music, she plays "You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi.
  • When Christopher and Adriana hatch their music management plan over dinner, the background song is "Decara a la pased" from Lhasa De Sela's album "La Llorona".
  • The song played when Christopher and Adriana take Massive Genius to a club to watch Visiting Day perform. Also later, when Visiting Day try to cut their record; and later still, when Adriana plays the song for Massive Genius, and Christopher plays the song for Hesh is "Erase Myself" by fictional band, Visiting Day.
  • The song played when Hesh looks over his mementos from his days running a record label is "Fools Follow Angels by Little Jimmy Willis.
  • The background song when Adriana is modeling her black dress for Christopher near the end of the episode is "Why" by Annie Lennox.
  • The songs performed by the episode's fictional band, Visiting Day/Defiler, were created and performed bespoke by Gregg Wattenberg and Nick Fowler, and "Defiler" is played over the end credits.

External links[edit]