Isabella (The Sopranos)

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The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep112.jpg
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 12
Directed by Allen Coulter
Written by Robin Green
Mitchell Burgess
Production code 112
Original air date March 28, 1999
Running time 47 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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"Nobody Knows Anything"
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"I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano"
Episode chronology

"Isabella" is the twelfth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos. It was written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, directed by Allen Coulter and originally aired on March 28, 1999.


* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

At Mariolina Capuano's funeral, Jimmy Altieri mentions to Junior Soprano how sad Brendan Filone's mother was at his funeral. Once Jimmy leaves, Junior complains to Mikey Palmice about Jimmy's talking about the Filone hit. He also confesses that Mariolina gave him his first hand job many years ago, but then realizes that such discussion is inappropriate at a funeral.

Tony, now in a severe depressive state, and after taking lithium pills prescribed by Dr. Melfi, sees a beautiful Italian woman in a white dress, named Isabella, in the Cusamanos' garden next door. Isabella tells Tony that she is a foreign exchange dental student, and guesses correctly that Tony's family is from Avellino, Italy. Later, Tony takes her out to lunch and, while hearing her talk about Italy, has a daydream that she is breast-feeding a baby named "Antonio".

Junior continues his plan to assassinate Tony, using two outside hired goons — Rasheen Ray and William "Petite" Clayborn — contracted through Donnie Paduana. Ray and Clayborn follow Tony and wait for him outside a store near Dr. Melfi's office. Christopher Moltisanti, concerned about Tony, has also followed him to the store, and unknowingly prevents the assassination attempt. After the failed murder, Junior meets with Donnie and Donnie makes a joke about Tony and Livia. Junior decides that Donnie has a big mouth and says he does not feel right about him. Mikey then kills Donnie in his car after Chucky Signore calls him back as he is about to drive away.

The next day, Rasheen Ray and Petite Clayborn again wait for Tony near Dr. Melfi's office. Tony stops to buy a newspaper and orange juice, echoing a scene in The Godfather wherein Vito Corleone buys oranges before an unsuccessful attempt on his life. As Tony walks back to his car and as Clayborn approaches, Tony sees Clayborn's reflection in the window of his Chevrolet Suburban. Clayborn fires and the first shot shatters the juice bottle Tony is holding, while the second shatters the driver's window as Tony enters his vehicle. As Clayborn approaches the window, Tony quickly grapples with him while Rasheen approaches the passenger window and shoots at Tony, who moves his head back for dear life, and the shot accidentally hits Clayborn in the head, fatally wounding him. Tony manages to start the vehicle and pulls away, still holding Rasheen and his gun through the passenger window. Tony drops his assailant once he gets the vehicle moving faster. This momentarily invigorates Tony, but he takes his eyes off the road and crashes into a parked car. In the attack and the car crash, Tony sustains injuries to his ear and leg.

FBI Agent Dwight Harris shows up at the hospital to attempt to convince Tony and Carmela to enter the witness protection program because Tony is no longer safe in New Jersey. Tony declines and states that the incident was merely a carjacking, but Tony understands he has survived an assassination attempt. Silvio Dante, Paulie Gualtieri and Christopher suspect Junior's involvement, and discuss this among themselves when Junior visits Tony at home after Tony's release from the hospital.

Upon the Cusamanos' return home, Tony is surprised to find that there was never a foreign exchange student, and, moreover, nobody else ever saw Isabella in the neighborhood. Tony calls Dr. Melfi in alarm to report that he had hallucinated the whole thing, and, with Dr. Melfi's blessing, dumps his lithium medication down the toilet. Dr. Melfi theorizes that Isabella was an idealized maternal figure that Tony's subconscious produced because of his deep upset about his own mother's actions at the time, and asks if Tony has anything else worrying him right now. Tony responds that he is fine, and that he'll be even better when he finds out who organized the hit.



  • The song that is played twice during this episode (when Tony is in his bedroom) is "Tiny Tears" by Tindersticks.
  • The song that is played briefly after Tony's meeting with Dr. Melfi, when he runs into Isabella, is "Ballad of Tindersticks (instrumental)" by Tindersticks.
  • The song that plays while Mikey kills Donnie Paduana is "Temptation Waits" by Garbage.
  • The song that plays over the ending credits is "I Feel Free" by Cream.
  • The song that plays when Christopher follows Tony to the bookstand is "Cry" by Thornetta Davis.

External links[edit]