For All Debts Public and Private

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"For All Debts Public and Private"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep401.jpg
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 1
Directed by Allen Coulter
Written by David Chase
Production code 401
Original air date September 15, 2002
Running time 58 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"For All Debts Public and Private" is the fortieth episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos. It is the first episode of the show's fourth season. Written by David Chase and directed by Allen Coulter, it originally aired on September 15, 2002.

Starring[edit]

Guest starring[edit]

Episode Recap[edit]

A.J. Soprano has started at a new private school and Carmela is trying to help him by reading him excerpts from The New York Times, provided by his school for his social studies class, which lay unopened in his room. Tony Soprano collects The Star-Ledger at the end of his driveway and, once back to the house, asks about A.J.'s grades and clips his ear when A.J. tells him he has "revealed his own ignorance" by asking about grades only a few days into the term.

Carmela's mood visibly brightens when Tony's driver arrives but her smile fades when she sees it is Christopher Moltisanti, rather than Furio Giunta. Christopher is none too pleased to be driving Tony, but claims not to question his decision. While driving, they both check rear view mirrors for car models known to be favored by the FBI.

Tony and Uncle Junior meet in the office of Dr. Douglas Schreck (Junior's physician). Christopher, Bobby Bacala and Murf Lupo remain in the waiting room. Before entering the room, Junior flirts with a nurse by inviting her to Atlantic City, but she declines. The nurse later informs him that it's her last day at the office as she is going back to school.

Tony and Junior discuss the latter's need for more money to cover his mounting legal costs, being short on cash ever since his house arrest, and requests changing of their terms. Tony tells him of "a shortage" and angrily refuses to change the percentages. Tony suggests that Junior gets his "shy (illegal money-lending business) running right." Junior later decides to demote a noticeably confused Murf to soldier, and replace him with Bobby Bacala. Tony approves, and proposes they tell Bobby of the news right in the doctors office. Later that night, at Junior's home, his lawyer calls and speaks to Murf, who relays information that the FBI apparently has had a mole in Dr. Schreck's office who has been pulled to testify at his trial.

Carmela notices widow Angie Bonpensiero handing out free samples at a Pathmark supermarket, but does not approach her. This prompts Carmela to worry about her own financial security, as Tony is careful to always separate her from his professional contacts. When she asks Tony to provide money so she can make an investment, he tells her they need to belt-tighten and that there is no longer large amounts of money kept in the house. He then removes a large bag of cash from under his car seat and takes it into the pool house to store it in a hidden hole under a stone floor tile.

Tony has Chris take him to the Bada Bing where he vents his frustration by beating up hapless barman Georgie for wasting ice and talking out of turn. Chris, Silvio and Tony depart the Bing on foot to attend a meeting with the family's capos—Carlo Gervasi, Ally Boy Barese, Ray Curto, and Ralph Cifaretto in a neighboring industrial garage owned by the family (Ralph is still persona non grata at the Bing). Tony uses the meeting to harangue them about the lack of growth in the family's business as of late, telling them that the family's boss, Junior, desperately needs their financial support. Christopher is left outside with fellow soldier Vito Spatafore while the senior family members have their discussion.

Chris believes his return to driver status may be punishment for questioning Tony's judgment about the Jackie Aprile, Jr. situation. At home, Adriana is with Danielle, who unbeknownst to her is an FBI agent Deborah Ciccerone living with her husband, fellow FBI Agent Mike Waldrup, and their infant son. Christopher arrives home with several pieces of high-quality luggage, which Danielle asks about since "it looks like Gucci" and has transport tags still in place. Christopher is rude to Danielle, who then leaves against Adriana's wishes. He complains about his sudden demotion to Tony's driver and prepares to inject heroin between his toes (as to avoid noticeable tracks on his forearms). He offers Adriana to join him, but she declines.

Later, Tony buys bags of duck feed. When he gets the bags home, he uses them to store cash amongst the feed. Carmela notices that it is an odd time to buy duck feed. While out buying the feed, Tony meets with Assemblyman Zellman at a nearby café to discuss the Esplanade project and talk about real estate. Zellman tips him off that prices near the new project are likely to see a huge jump. Tony recalls that Junior owns a large warehouse on Frelinghuysen Avenue in Newark that could potentially be a gold mine.

Carmela invites Rosalie Aprile and Ralph Cifaretto over for dinner, despite Tony's instructions not to. Rosalie is withdrawn and quiet over dinner, presumably on mood-altering drugs. In contrast, Ralph exuberantly tells stories to A.J. and a friend about a Harley-Davidson motorcycle he owned in his youth. Hugh and Mary De Angelis also attend. Ralph excuses himself to use the bathroom and Janice soon follows him, finding him snorting cocaine. She joins him and, after some initial hesitancy on Ralph's part, they have sex in the upstairs bathroom. While they are away, Tony notices their long absence by looking at both their empty chairs and his wristwatch. During the dinner, Adriana, accompanied by Danielle, visits to borrow a samovar from Carmela for Adriana's cousin's bridal shower. Tony is introduced to Danielle and is visibly attracted to her. Rosalie then shows her around the Soprano house. Meadow does not attend the dinner. Since Jackie Jr.'s death, she has not signed up for new classes as her sophomore year at Columbia University approaches.

Tony throws a party in a hotel suite preceded by a quick meeting with New York boss Carmine Lupertazzi. Christopher, Ralph, and Silvio also attend. Carmine discusses the success of the Esplanade, asks about Junior and chastises Tony for wearing shorts ("a don doesn't wear shorts") after hearing this from Johnny Sack, who is also present. Carmine and Johnny Sack leave while Furio Giunta arrives with a bevy of Icelandic Air stewardesses. Christopher smokes a heroin-laced joint in the bathroom with one of the girls; Ralph sleeps nude on a couch wearing a stewardess' pillbox hat. Christopher is worried when Tony bangs on the bathroom door and has him leave the party early. Tony has Christopher drive out to a Hooters restaurant in Wayne, New Jersey where Bobby Bacala soon pulls up behind them. Tony has been talking about "Dickie" Moltisanti, Christopher's late father, all day. Tony suddenly tells Christopher that the man who killed his father, Detective Lieutenant Barry Haydu, is in the restaurant having his retirement party from the police force. Tony said that Dickie and a gangster named Jilly Ruffalo had served time together. Jilly killed Dickie's cellmate, so Dickie later took out one of Jilly's eyes. Haydu murdered Dicky for Jilly, outside the Moltisantis' house. Christopher was always told it was a police officer that killed his father, but he believed that the man was dead. When asked why this hasn't been dealt with already, Tony answers that "he was useful," but that this ended today with his retirement. Tony gives Christopher Haydu's address "a house bought with cash" wishes him luck, and drives off in Bobby's car.

Christopher waits inside Haydu's home and knocks Haydu unconscious when he walks in. Christopher takes his gun holster, service weapon, and badge, and handcuffs him to a banister on the staircase. When Haydu regains consciousness, Christopher questions him about his involvement with his father's death. Haydu denies all knowledge and says that Christopher is being set up. Christopher replies that it doesn't make any difference because "he wants you dead." Christopher turns up the volume on the television. Haydu panics, breaks the wood banister, and scrambles across the floor yelling, "I'm sorry." Christopher then shoots Haydu with his own weapon. Before leaving, he takes the cash from Haydu's wallet (expecting more than the twenty-dollar bill there), wipes off the gun, and places it in Haydu's hand. Later that morning, Christopher goes to visit his mother, Joanne, and looks over the old photos of his father, including a Navy picture. Christopher asks if she ever misses his father. She replies, "Did I ever saddle you with a step-father?" As he leaves, he uses a magnet to attach the twenty-dollar bill to his mother's refrigerator.

Meanwhile Bobby and Tony eat dinner at a local diner and discuss Bobby's promotion, and how he has coped with his own father's death. Afterwards, they go to Junior's house where Murf meets them in the basement and tells of the FBI mole. Bobby's wife, Karen Baccalieri, has come over with their children to prepare a meal for Junior. Existence of the mole has deeply upset Junior. He believes it must have been the nurse with whom he flirted and now regrets the humiliation that he "will have to face her across the courtroom." They discuss what the FBI may have learned from the ploy. Tony offers Junior one-hundred thousand dollars for his warehouse on Frelinghuysen Avenue, lying to him that it's to help him with his financial difficulties. Junior accepts the offer. But, he is despondent about his life, telling Tony he is an "old man who is going to trial."

Meanwhile, Paulie Walnuts has been arrested in Youngstown, Ohio on a gun charge (hence his absence from the earlier meeting with Tony, Silvio and the other family capos), while en route to Steubenville to see Dean Martin's birthplace. From a jailhouse payphone, he calls Johnny Sack who tells him that nobody has mentioned to him why Paulie was imprisoned, just that he was. Paulie is bothered by this and relates the story: he was visiting a friend, Lenny Scortese, and they got caught with a gun from an unsolved homicide in their car. Johnny seems keen to cultivate his friendship with Paulie that began after Paulie started to feel neglected by Tony in favor of Ralph and the Esplanade project. Johnny reached out to Paulie through his nephew to request the phone call.

In therapy, Tony discusses Carmela pressuring him over the family's future and Uncle Junior's current situation. When Tony discusses his future in terms of two endings, death or prison, Dr. Melfi is initially shocked by his candor and asks him why he doesn't "just give it up." Tony tells her there is a possible third option and that he has a plan to avoid either outcome, by relying solely "on blood relations," bonding Christopher ever stronger to him (using methods he can not disclose to Melfi), so as to use his nephew as a buffer between himself and others to avoid any potential future prosecutions. Dr. Melfi is baffled by Tony's unexpected frankness to which he replies that he now trusts her, "a little."

First appearances[edit]

Deceased[edit]

Title reference[edit]

  • The episode's title is taken from a phrase found on American paper currency: "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private". The episode ends with a close up of a twenty-dollar bill that Christopher takes from Lt. Barry Haydu after he kills him.
  • Money is a worry for Tony, Carmela, and Junior in the episode.
  • Christopher is now indebted to Tony for the information Tony provided about Christopher's father.

Production[edit]

  • This episode was the first one to be made and aired after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. From this episode on, the shot of the World Trade Center Towers in the opening credits is absent, replaced by additional shots of industrial scenery before reaching the toll booth.
  • Vince Curatola (Johnny Sack) is now billed in the opening credits, but only for the episodes which he appears in.
  • Paulie's prison stay was written into the series to allow more time off for actor Tony Sirico, who was recovering from major back surgery.[citation needed]
  • The wrestler Johnny Valiant appears in this episode as Carmine Lupertazzi's bodyguard.
  • A comment made by Carmine Lupertazzi to Tony Soprano, "A don doesn't wear shorts", was added into the show after series creator David Chase was contacted by a supposed real-life mafia associate who praised him on the authenticity of the show, with the exception that Tony often wears shorts, which he said a real don would never do.[citation needed]
  • "For All Debts Public and Private" is one of only two Sopranos episodes in which the end credits roll on top of a picture (the eye of the twenty dollar bill in this case) instead of a black background (the other episode is "Cold Cuts" from Season 5) and the only episode in which they do so for the entire duration of the credits.
  • This episode has the strongest ratings of any episode, with an estimated 13.43 million viewers.

Cultural References[edit]

  • The city where Paulie Walnuts was arrested, Youngstown, OH, has the nickname "Mobtown, USA"

References to other media[edit]

  • Junior is shown watching the movie Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison.
  • During the scene in which Carmela approaches Tony about finances, the movie playing on the television is Rio Bravo, a 1959 Western starring John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson. In the scene that Tony is watching, Martin and Nelson sing a duet, "My Rifle, My Pony and Me". This song is also used at the end of the future episode "Pie-O-My."
  • At Lt. Haydu's house, Chris is shown watching Magnum P.I.
  • When Paulie is on the payphone in county jail, The Jerry Springer Show is seen on the television in the background.
  • During the scene in which Janice and Ralphie are snorting cocaine in the bathroom, Janice comments "Oh Bartleby, Oh Humanity" a reference to the drama surrounding Jackie Jr.'s death. This is the last line from Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener."

Music[edit]

  • The song played at the episode's beginning and over the end credits is "World Destruction" by Time Zone (with John Lydon).
  • The song played while two women make out on a hotel bed is: "Do You Wanna Get Heavy?" by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
  • The song played while Christopher shoots up is "My Rifle, My Pony, and Me", sung by Dean Martin in Rio Bravo (1959).
  • The song playing while Det. Lt. Haydu pulls into his driveway is Lady Marmalade by Labelle.
  • The song playing when Carmela sees Angie in the supermarket, is "Saturday In The Park" (1972) by Chicago from their album, Chicago V.

External links[edit]