Calling All Cars (The Sopranos)

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"Calling All Cars"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep411.jpg
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 11
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Teleplay by
Story by
Production code 411
Original air date November 24, 2002 (2002-11-24)
Running time 46 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Strong, Silent Type"
Next →
"Eloise"
Episode chronology

"Calling All Cars" is the fiftieth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and is the eleventh of the show's fourth season. It was written by David Chase, Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess and David Flebotte from a story by Chase, Green, Burgess and Terence Winter. It was directed by Tim Van Patten and originally aired on November 24, 2002.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Tony Soprano has a dream in which he rides in the back of his father's old Cadillac: Carmela drives while Ralphie sits in front of him and a caterpillar appears on his bald head that changes suddenly into a dark butterfly or moth. Sitting next to Tony is Gloria Trillo at first, but changes to Svetlana Kirilenko. Tony discusses the dream in therapy and Dr. Melfi suggests that it means that Carmela is in control and Tony wants to square the changes in the lives of the others in the car with her. Dr. Melfi also asks in reference to Ralph "Has your friend changed recently?" Tony frustratedly stresses that they were only business associates and replies, "Hmm..no.." Tony expresses a dissatisfaction with his therapy and that his lack of impulse control still leads him to make mistakes in his life and work. He makes a sarcastic reference to the fact that the money he spent on therapy could have gone towards a Ferrari and at least he "would have gotten a blowjob out of that."

Bobby Baccalieri drops his daughter, Sophia, off at a baseball game and she notices a birthday-like cake in the back of the car. Bobby later takes the cake to his wife Karen's grave and buries it next to her. While burying the cake he has a "conversation" with his dead wife, confiding in her that he "would have been with [her] already if it wasn't for the kids." Later at dinner, an upset Bobby is followed upstairs by Janice, who questions him about the cake. He initially lies, but then tells her why he did what he did, because it would have been their 14-year anniversary. In Bobby Jr.'s room, the children talk about ghosts; Sophia is afraid, but Bobby Jr. tries to reassure her that there are no such things as ghosts. Janice visits Carmela at the Soprano household to discuss her difficulties in getting Bobby to "move on."

Tony has a sitdown in New York City with Carmine Lupertazzi and Johnny Sack. They demand 40% of his HUD business as it is linked to Assemblyman Zellman, who is in the pocket of both families and any profit made by using Zellman should be split, though not equally but fairly. Carmine comments on the missing Ralph, but Tony asks them the same question, gets up, and leaves. Carmine and Johnny look at each other and concede that Tony's reaction was about what they expected. Tony phones Johnny on his way home with a counter offer of 5.5%, which Carmine rejects. Instead, Carmine dispatches Joey Peeps to attack Tony's appraiser on the HUD scam. He takes Anthony, an associate, with him and catches up to "Vic the Appraiser."

Later, Johnny meets with Paulie and suggests that a change in leadership might be needed. Paulie is quick to put himself forward, reminding Johnny of his good relationship with New York. Johnny assures him that Carmine will always keep him in mind.

Tony visits Junior at home to discuss getting to a juror in the RICO trial, but Junior seems distracted and looks disheveled. Branca Libinsk, the new Russian nurse, and Junior are not getting along very well.

Later, Tony has a meeting with Silvio Dante, Vito Spatafore, and Paulie Gualtieri to discuss the assault and disappearance of the appraiser. Eugene Pontecorvo arrives to pick up Vito and Paulie also reluctantly leaves. Once he is alone with Silvio, Tony raises the possibility of reaching out to Little Carmine Lupertazzi in Florida through their old friend Beansie Gaeta. "Vic the Appraiser" gets beaten down again later — this time by Vito and Dogsy to convince him to work for the Soprano family.

At the Soprano Sunday dinner, the De Angelises and Baccalieris are visiting. After dinner, A.J. disappears to his room with his girlfriend, Devin, but Carmela insists that he play a game with Bobby Jr. and Sophia. A.J. pulls out a Ouija board, and this progresses into a mock and prank séance that terrifies the Baccalieri children. Carmela and Tony scold A.J. for being insensitive to the kids who have lost their mother.

Tony gets a call from Beansie to confirm the Miami trip. He later speaks to Silvio and tells him he suspects Paulie of being the leak through which Johnny is getting information on their business and Silvio believes it could be a possibility. Tony asks Silvio to keep the trip to Miami quiet from Paulie.

Svetlana calls Tony to thank him for sending her the diamond horseshoe brooch (previously rejected by Valentina La Paz). Tony seems eager to continue the relationship but Svetlana again turns him down and hangs up. In therapy, Tony tells Dr. Melfi that he has broken up with Svetlana on his initiative. He makes a Freudian slip, saying after a while he "had to cut off the leg." He eventually admits that it was actually the other way around and she broke up with him. He blames his lack of progress in therapy and mentions Svetlana calling him "high maintenance". Tony again tells Dr. Melfi that he wants to leave therapy, but she insists that now that his symptoms are under control they can make real progress, but Tony decides that her time is up. Tony kisses Dr. Melfi on the cheek and thanks her before he leaves. Afterwards, Dr. Melfi calls her therapist, Dr. Kupferberg, and leaves a message on his answering machine to let him guess who is no longer her patient, adding "calling all cars" to the important news.

At Junior's trial, the judge throws out Attorney Melvoin's motion for a mistrial due to Junior's head injury and claimed dementia because government psychiatrists have ruled out him being incapable of standing trial. Bobby reassures the frustrated Junior that they will get to a juror.

Bobby and Janice get into a fight at a movie theater over Bobby's continuing reluctance to let go of his late wife. Later, Janice uses an internet chat program to deceive and secretly direct Bobby's children to a Ouija board in their home. When Bobby arrives home, his children are in a terrified state and he calls Janice for help. She tells him she had heard them with the Ouija board earlier in the day but didn't want to get involved because of their argument. Janice uses her manufactured situation with the children as a reason that Bobby needs to move on and again asks him to eat his wife's last frozen ziti. Bobby reluctantly agrees.

Tony arrives in Miami Beach and meets up with Beansie. Later they meet with Little Carmine at a restaurant. Carmine agrees to travel home and talk to his father and he seems eager to place the blame for the situation at Johnny's feet. Tony mentions that Carmine has tried to reach Maurice Tiffen, as well as having the appraiser jumped. Tony threatens action against the New York family should negotiations fail to yield results.

Tony has another dream where he follows a bald Ralph to an old house, which Ralph enters. Tony is dressed in trousers, suspenders and a sleeveless undershirt —- like a workman. He knocks on the door. After a few moments of no one answering, he knocks again and announces he is there for the "masonry job". After a few more moments, a female figure with a shadowy face resembling Livia Soprano appears upstairs from around the corner. She walks slowly downstairs in shadow but stops halfway staring at him. He sees her and then opens the door to let himself in. The door creaks. Tony says he is there for the masonry job and that he does not speak English. She remains silent. Just as Tony enters the house he wakes up short of breath, sweaty, and startled. He is still in Miami Beach, in the Fountainebleau hotel. He goes out to the balcony to catch some air.

First appearances[edit]

Title reference[edit]

  • Dr. Melfi uses the phrase "Calling all cars" when trying to reach Dr. Kupferberg after Tony quits therapy. The phrase is an old police radio dispatch call for all radio patrol cars to assist a fellow officer or to look for a suspect or situation.
  • Tony seeks assistance from Beansie and Little Carmine in Miami Beach when trying to solve the sour relationship between his and New York's mob families.

References to past episodes[edit]

  • In his dream, Tony says he is present for a masonry job — his grandfather was a stonemason.
  • After A.J scares Bobby Baccalieri III and his sister by faking a séance at the Ouija board and squeezing water on his head, Bobby reveals to both his father and Tony that A.J. had locked him in Furio Giunta's garage at Furio's housewarming party, in the episode "The Weight".

References to other media[edit]

  • When Janice tells Bobby she noticed cemetery mud on his shoes, irritated, he calls her "Marge Hingenbrender," a malapropism of Marg Helgenberger, the actress who plays a crime scene investigator on CSI.
  • Bobby Jr. is seen playing the computer game Max Payne. However, the sounds heard from the computer are not those associated with the game.
  • Janice talks to Bobby Jr. through AOL Instant Messenger.

Music[edit]

External links[edit]