Kaisha

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For Japanese business associations, see Kabushiki kaisha, Mochibun kaisha, and Yūgen kaisha.
"Kaisha"
The Sopranos episode
Ep77 01.jpg
A.J. with his girlfriend Blanca and her son Hector at the Soprano family's Christmas dinner.
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 12
Directed by Alan Taylor
Written by Terence Winter
David Chase
Matthew Weiner
Cinematography by Alik Sakharov
Production code 612
Original air date June 4, 2006 (2006-06-04)
Running time 59 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"Kaisha" is the twelfth episode of the sixth season of the HBO television drama series The Sopranos and seventy-seventh episode overall. It served as the midseason finale to the first part of the sixth season, the broadcast of which was split into two parts. It was written by executive producer Terence Winter, series creator/executive producer David Chase and co-executive producer Matthew Weiner; it was directed by longtime series director Alan Taylor. It originally aired in the United States on June 4, 2006. It was watched by 8.9 million American viewers upon its premiere.[1]

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Tension with New York[edit]

Carlo Gervasi disposes of "Fat Dom" Gamiello's head down a sewer inlet in Connecticut, while Silvio Dante arranges for the body to be dumped at the shore. Phil Leotardo arrives with his mistress at the wire room in Brooklyn. As they approach the building, it explodes, knocking them to the street. Watching from his car nearby, Benny Fazio calls Tony Soprano to let him know the operation was a success. Tony is pleased to hear that Phil was so close when the bomb went off.

As in the unrest between Carmine Sr. and Tony back in 2002, Little Carmine once again serves as the intermediary between New York and New Jersey crime families during a truce meeting with Tony, Silvio, Phil, Gerry Torciano, and Butch DeConcini. Phil curses at Vito Spatafore, which seems to offend Tony. Tony reminds Phil that Vito was one of his highest-earning captains. Phil brings up "Fat Dom"'s disappearance, and Silvio and Tony feign ignorance. Little Carmine offers truce indicating that the dispute is costing both families, and him, money. Tony and Phil agree to stop the hostilities, but it all falls apart when Little Carmine continues to talk and mentions Phil's murdered brother Billy, which sends Phil into a rage about Tony Blundetto. Phil storms off, after insulting both Tony and Little Carmine. Later, Phil discusses Tony with his captains Albie Cianflone, Gerry, and Butch. The latter is particularly critical of Tony and even suggests killing him. Phil refuses to consider this and Butch then suggests picking "somebody over there."

Tony, Julianna and Christopher[edit]

Tony completes the Jamba Juice real estate deal and apologizes to realtor Julianna Skiff about his behavior when they last met. He makes another pass at her, but she turns him down. Meanwhile, Christopher and his wife Kelli discuss decorating a nursery for their expected child. Kelli asks him to put aside superstition and enjoy the time, reminding him she does not have the health worries of his ex, Adriana La Cerva.

While Tony, Christopher, Bobby, and A.J. watch football on Thanksgiving, Tony questions Christopher about his secret phone calls, and Christopher admits having a new mistress, "Kaisha." Tony criticizes Christopher's timing in starting an affair while he has a pregnant wife at home, but Christopher complains that the "playground is closed" and he has unmet sexual needs. When Bobby asks why Christopher has not brought Kaisha around, Christopher explains that she is black, and cites Paulie Gualtieri's racism as the reason he has kept her away.

However, Kaisha does not exist and Christopher is actually seeing Julianna Skiff. It is revealed that Christopher met her at an AA meeting, remembering her from her visit to Satriale's. The two started their relationship by having sex on their first date. Julianna asks Christopher how he could like a person who would sleep with a married man. He tells her he rushed into marriage with Kelli and does not want a family with her, as she "has no idea who [he is]". Oblivious to the situation, Tony continues to make passes at, and is rejected by Julianna. She continues her affair with Christopher, and the two relapse into drug use. Christopher is at times concerned about his new girlfriend having had a relationship with his boss Tony, even though Julianna insists she never had sex with him; according to Christopher, it does not matter as Tony "was there in his mind."

Eventually, near Satriale's, Tony notices Christopher talking to Julianna in her car down the block. He questions Christopher, who asks for Tony's version of what happened between them, and then pretends that Julianna is friends with Kaisha, the black mistress he made up at Thanksgiving. Christopher and Julianna continue smoking heroin, and discuss their, what they perceive to be, ability to control their use of drugs and integrate it into their lives. Both Christopher and Julianna seek advice on their relationship from their sponsors. "Murmur" calls Christopher's secret affair "movie of the week" and criticizes Christopher for seeing Tony's former mistress, as he could face severe punishment for such actions. "Murmur" additionally tells him how difficult it is to recover from substance abuse relapses and that the pair could be enabling each other to use drugs, but eventually still calls Christopher a "lucky cocksucker" for getting such a girlfriend. Julianna's sponsor, on the other hand, expresses her serious concern about the affair, especially after learning Christopher is "connected."

Christopher tells Julianna that he must reveal their relationship to Tony in order to prevent him from finding out that he is using again. Christopher catches up with Tony at the Bada Bing!, and tells the truth about his relationship with Julianna, saying the reason he concealed it was that he was not sure how things had ended between him and Julianna. Tony acts indifferent and says Christopher can do whatever he wants with her.

However, in therapy, Tony discusses his anger at being "rewarded" for his fidelity by Christopher's relationship with the woman Tony desired for himself. Dr. Melfi is pleased that Tony did not react to the situation violently, and that it is a corollary to Tony's view that each day is a gift—he does not need to sleep with every woman he meets. Tony brings up his realization that all the women he has pursued, including Dr. Melfi, share certain qualities, and that this must be the reason he continues seeing her, since "nothing changes with the therapy part."

Christopher and Julianna break up at a diner. They talk about the "higher power" that should motivate them to be sober, and Christopher says that he always thought the oath of the omertà, that he took, was his higher power, but that he is now disillusioned as no one is following it anymore. They agree to attend an AA meeting close to their location, taking separate cars to get there.

A.J. and Blanca[edit]

While working at the construction site, A.J. watches Paulie make a collection from a Dominican woman Blanca Selgado who works in the office at the site. A.J. is struck by her and introduces himself. Later, while out having drinks with his coworkers, A.J. notices Blanca dancing. She seductively approaches him and encourages A.J. to take her out, though warning him that she has a three-year-old son, Hector. She writes a part of her phone number on a napkin, stating that he will have to find out the last digit himself and work for a date with her. On their date, while they watch television at her apartment and her son sleeps, a group of youths begin playing loud music outside. She asks them to move, but they respond with profanity. She tells A.J. her ex used to beat them up, which prompts him to resolve the dispute in his own way; he bribes them with an expensive mountain bike that was a gift from his parents, which the youths calmly accept before leaving. Afterwards, A.J. and Blanca have sex. During pillow talk, A.J. asks whether their age difference bothers Blanca. She laughs it off, and asks him whether her having a son bothers him, to which A.J. responds that he loves kids.

Phil becomes ill[edit]

At the Leotardo house, Phil and his wife Patty discuss Christmas dinner and Phil becomes disgusted when his wife once again becomes emotional when she remembers Vito's death and his fatherless children. It is also revealed Phil's mistress is actually his maid. Phil complains of feeling ill. Phil and Patty go to the emergency room, where the doctor diagnoses Phil with gas, not a heart attack. However, that night, Phil wakes up hyperventilating, thinking he is dying and is rushed back to the hospital. "Murmur" brings news to Jersey that Phil has had a heart attack. Tony is pleased and orders a round of drinks, but Silvio and Paulie are critical of his joy, pointing out that Phil had been a manageable pain, and any replacement could mean further unrest. Tony disagrees, citing the insult-laden exchange at Little Carmine's.

Agent Harris invites Tony to have a conversation at Satriale's and tells him that his inside sources in the FBI say that someone in Tony's organization may be in danger from retaliation from the Lupertazzi family. The news seems to make Tony genuinely concerned and he thanks Harris. Tony later surprises the New York mobsters by visiting Phil at the hospital. When alone, Tony tells Phil about his coma, revealing that he went to a place that he never wants to visit again. Tony tells Phil to take his time recovering and enjoy his grandchildren and the good things in his life when he is better, at which point Phil begins to tear up. Tony then proceeds to leave the hospital, but is taunted by Butch DeConcini on his way out.

Junior's Christmas[edit]

Bobby visits Junior Soprano at his mental care facility and returns his Christmas gift (an envelope of money), saying he cannot accept it after his shooting of Tony. Junior is clearly not in his right mind, as he says the money was for Bobby's (dead) wife Karen and his kids, suggests he may not have been acting alone in the shooting, and that he is "mounting [his] case" with the help of an ex-lawyer, another patient in the institution. After Bobby leaves, Junior gives the envelope to an orderly, saying to him: "one hand washes the other."

Carmela's concerns[edit]

Carmela visits Liz La Cerva at the hospital to find that she is restrained in her bed, having apparently attempted suicide. Carmela returns home and tells Tony that Liz was set off by a letter from the Salvation Army, an organization to which Adriana donated each year. Tony suggests that Liz is an alcoholic who cannot accept the reality that Adriana moved away because she could not stand her mother. Carmela takes offense at that suggestion, on the heels of Meadow's moving to California two weeks prior. Carmela again complains about her spec house being stalled and her life in general, and Tony attempts to comfort her by pointing out that A.J. is doing better. Carmela disturbs Tony by suggesting they hire a private investigator to track Adriana down; Tony attempts to dissuade her, but she is not easily swayed. Tony's only recourse is to meet Silvio at the Bada Bing! and tell him to lean on the building inspector after all, in order to restart Carmela's spec house project, which he hopes will distract her. When the stop-work order on the spec house is lifted, she immediately realizes that it is Tony's work, and thanks him for the "Christmas gift" profusely.

At home, Carmela is going through paperwork and preparing Christmas dinner. Tony's hope that the spec house will distract her pays off, as she discards the business card of the private investigator she had wanted to hire to find Adriana and instead calls the roofing subcontractor. The Baccalieris, DeAngelis, and Moltisantis join the Sopranos at their home for the Christmas Eve. A.J. arrives with Blanca and Hector and introduces them to his family. Hugh remarks on Blanca's necklace, which A.J. bought for her. In another room, Carmela and Tony discuss Blanca. Carmela does not approve of her age or race, but Tony seems more accepting. When Tony suggests to A.J. that he could have helped with the necklace because he "[has] a guy," A.J. assertively dismisses him by saying, "I have a job." Meadow calls her family from California with the well wishes. Blanca compliments Carmela on their beautiful home, and she thanks Blanca and agrees. The entire extended family is gathered peacefully around the tree with Christmas music playing.

First appearances[edit]

  • Blanca Selgado: A.J.'s new Dominican girlfriend.
  • Butch DeConcini: a Lupertazzi family capo who is in favor of most aggressive action against the Jersey crime family, such as the murder of someone close to Tony or Tony himself.

Title reference[edit]

  • The episode's title, "Kaisha", is the name of Christopher's imaginary black girlfriend.

Production[edit]

  • "Sentimental Journey" was the working title for this episode.[citation needed]
  • The episode is dedicated to director John Patterson, who directed every season finale for the first five seasons and worked regularly on the series, but died after its fifth season.
  • The exploding storefront is an actual location in the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood on Fresh Pond Road (one of the two main local shopping streets).

Connections to prior episodes[edit]

  • Christopher says Paulie would act racist if he were to mention his black girlfriend Kaisha to him. However, Paulie, in fact, had a black girlfriend himself in the season 2 episode "From Where to Eternity".
  • Christopher tells Julianna about the oath he took getting into the crime family, as seen in the season 3 episode "Fortunate Son."
  • High on heroin, Christopher starts caressing Julianna's hair in the same manner as he was stroking a stray dog in "The Ride," also in a drug-induced stupor.

Other cultural references[edit]

  • Christopher's comments about penguins spending a long time guarding an egg only to lose the chick inside refers to the documentary film March of the Penguins.
  • During his sit-down with Tony, Phil notes the disappearance of "Fat Dom" Gamiello and surmises that the Sopranos family killed him because Dom was last seen in Jersey. Tony denies that claim, emphasizing the lack of evidence to support it, and adds: "The Hindenburg was last seen in Jersey, too". The actual cause of the Hindenburg disaster remains unknown, although a variety of hypotheses have been put forward.
  • Patty Leotardo calls the grumpy Phil Ebenezer Scrooge when discussing Christmas dinner with him.
  • Julianna questions Christopher's intention to title his film "Cleaver" because of the possibility that people will think of Beaver Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver TV show).
  • Christopher mentions Saw and Hostel as examples of successful one-word horror movie titles.
  • A.J. and Blanca are watching the comedy film The 40-Year-Old Virgin before the noise outside wakes Hector up.
  • Blanca says A.J. was born on the same day as Jesse Ventura.
  • Christopher and Julianna are watching Hitchcock's Vertigo at the cinema after smoking heroin in the car.
  • In what appears to be a joke towards writer Terence Winter, Christopher mentions that the "50 Cent movie" aka Get Rich or Die Tryin' was being given away free at the car wash. Winter wrote the script for that film and co-wrote this episode.
  • Christopher tells Tony he told Julianna to buy a Luther Vandross boxed set for Kaisha for her birthday.
  • Christopher mentions The Jerry Springer Show when he walks and talks about his AA meetings. He tells "Murmur" that there is nothing but "white trash and narcotics" who talk about their problems, he recalls it as a "Fucking Jerry Springer Show!".
  • Junior references the JFK assassination when he says he "didn't act alone" in the shooting of Tony.
  • Carmela says the Christmas toy drive charity she participated in gave children an Xbox.
  • Bobby Jr. watches the film Scrooge on TV before starting to flip through channels. Scrooge was previously featured in the season 5 episode "The Test Dream."
  • Bobby Jr. is later prominently watching Casablanca. A reference to the film could be when Blanca admires Carmela's house ("casa" in Spanish or Italian). Additionally, romantic relationships is the main theme of this episode.

Music[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collins, Scott (2006-06-07). "`Sopranos' season finale takes a hit in the ratings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 

External links[edit]