Moe n' Joe

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"Moe n' Joe"
The Sopranos episode
Ep75 07.JPG
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 10
Directed by Steve Shill
Written by Matthew Weiner
Cinematography by Alik Sakharov
Production code 610
Original air date May 14, 2006
Running time 53 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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"The Ride"
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"Cold Stones"
Episode chronology

"Moe n' Joe" is the seventy-fifth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the tenth of the show's sixth season. It was written by Matthew Weiner, directed by Steve Shill and originally aired on May 14, 2006.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

With a mountain of evidence against his client, attorney Ron Perse floats the possibility of Johnny "Sack" cooperating with the FBI. When that offer is met with passionate scorn, the attention turns to a plea agreement. Since such a deal would involve the government confiscating most of "Sack"'s assets, he sends his brother-in-law Anthony Infante to ask Tony Soprano to meet with two brothers from New Orleans, who have Johnny as a silent partner in their heavy equipment leasing company, and convince them to sell it so he can get his share. Tony would also get a cut from the deal. Tony reluctantly meets with them but Paul Calviac (the brother who had initially gotten into debt with Johnny) is unwilling to sell because of the potential profits of the influx of government money that will soon come to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans and walks out of the dinner.

Janice Baccalieri appeals to her brother to make her husband Bobby a captain and accuses her younger brother of treating her and Bobby unfairly, and blaming them for his shooting by Uncle Junior. Carmela is also not pleased with Tony for the way he has handled her house-building project. She pushes him again to meet with the building inspector to make him lift the work-stopping order. Tony finally hands the job to Silvio Dante.

In therapy sessions with Dr. Melfi, Tony discusses his difficulties with Carmela, and sees the spec house as a distraction for her. He describes their reconciliation as an understanding where he backs her project, and she turns a blind eye to his work and infidelity. He also brings up his conversation with Janice. He agrees that he is cruel to her and Bobby and that he takes pleasure in any misfortune that befalls them. Melfi points out that Tony has never gotten along with his sister. He then recalls moments of happy childhood with her, sneaking around, stealing cigarettes, playing house and he also remembers Janice standing up to his abusive mother, Livia, which he respected. Tony goes on to say a childhood Janice was smart, beautiful and attracted older boys who would suck up to Tony in order to get closer to Janice. When Melfi raises the possibility of an attraction between them as kids developing sexually, Tony becomes angry. He then recalls Janice using a tape recording of him fighting with his sister Barbara to painfully extort favors from him for a whole month. Melfi suggests to Tony that Janice's "misery" reminds him of Livia and Tony admits he is mistreating her in revenge for her leaving Jersey and leaving him alone to deal with his mother for many years.

Bobby goes to make collections in a particularly dangerous section of Newark. He is mugged by a gang of youths as he leaves a betting shop. They take his collections money and gun, and one of them fires Bobby's gun at him while looking away. The bullet hits the pavement in front of Bobby, sending concrete fragments into his right eye. Paulie Gualtieri calls Tony to give him the bad news, which he has already heard, and also reveals that he is having radiotherapy for early stage prostate cancer, but remains optimistic. Tony's initial reaction is to criticize Bobby in front of the guys at the Bada Bing!, despite Bobby's passing on his payments through Carlo Gervasi, but, when Silvio gives him a look, he stops. Later, Tony visits Bobby at his and Janice's home and watches a Giants game. Tony observes Bobby's broken furniture, his son's disappointment that they could not afford the "satellite package" for football, and Janice's commanding presence at the house, aggressively handling her husband and Bobby, Jr.

Ginny Sacrimoni's friends visit her home in Jersey to celebrate her birthday. Janice admires the house greatly.

Tony renegotiates the deal with Johnny "Sack" over the New Orleans company sale: Tony will guarantee the brothers will sell it, and in exchange, Tony will take a light cut and Johnny will sell his house at a discounted price to Janice and Bobby Baccalieri. Johnny reluctantly agrees, realizing he has few options left.

Tony finds a distressed Meadow - she is concerned about the souring of her relationship with Finn. Tony seems uncomfortable discussing this with Meadow. Tony makes the mistake of telling her she is "living in sin" with a man, which prompts her to curse at him and storm off. This leaves Tony irritated that Carmela is not around, as he yells at her to "talk to [her] mother about this shit!".

The next time Tony meets Silvio, he tells him to not speak to Carmela's building inspector after all. Tony lies to his wife that Silvio went and got no results and tells her it is time to walk away and sell the house once and for all. Carmela is dissatisfied.

Johnny "Sack"'s lawyer has negotiations with the prosecutor over the assets that would be left for Johnny's family and how much prison time he would get for a plea deal. Johnny learns he would also have to enter an allocution. In an agonizing decision, he chooses the plea deal over his chances at the court and also for his family to be provided for over staying firm to the Mafia principles of never accepting guilt or acknowledging its existence to outsiders. "Sack" receives a 15-year sentence and has to publicly admit that he was a part of a New York chapter of La Cosa Nostra. His statement is met with disdain by the New York mobsters, especially by Phil Leotardo, who stoically served 20 years in prison himself without ever pleading guilty. Tony and Silvio similarly discuss Johnny in disgust, although defending his name when talking in the presence of a gardener. Christopher Moltisanti is furious when a U.S. Marshal takes the Maserati Coupé that "Sack" sold to him. The purchase was not legal because Johnny's assets were frozen at the time.

Landscaper Sal Vitro has been taking care of the gardening at Johnny "Sack"'s house for free for over two years as payment for being allowed to continue working for his existing customers. At the beginning of the episode, Tony denies Sal's request to remove this obligation, citing the dire straits faced by Johnny's wife Ginny, while her husband is in prison, and derides him for being selfish. At the end of the episode, Sal is released from the obligation by Tony, after Johnny's trial plea.

Meanwhile, at Dartford, NH, Jim discovers Vito Spatafore (known as Vince to him) is not really a sports writer, and Vito confesses he left a family and a job in "contracting" in Jersey. Their relationship develops further, Vito moves in with Jim, helps his firefighter team on one rescue operation and gets a job working as a local handyman. In his home life, Vito starts cooking Italian food and says how much he misses it. He also seems to miss the faster pace of nightlife - while he is at the bar with Jim, everyone leaves to go home early when he is ready to gamble, drink and stay up. The following morning, Vito tries to stay focused at his handyman job, but is frustrated when he finds only an hour has passed. The morning after, Jim wakes up to find Vito has left with his belongings and car.

Drinking vodka and teary while driving, Vito rounds a blind corner on a wooded country road and crashes into a parked Jeep Wagoneer. When the owner refuses to take cash as compensation and walks towards his home to call the cops, Vito shoots him in the back of the head and drives away. Soon, he is back in New Jersey and slowly drives through the old neighborhood, stopping momentarily in front of Satriale's before speeding off.

The gift from Tony of being able to buy the Sacrimoni house cheaply leaves Janice in tears of gratitude when she visits her brother to thank him. Tony remains unemotional.

Deceased[edit]

  • Car accident civilian: Shot in the back of the head by Vito while walking to his house in an attempt to call the police after Vito damages his car.

Title reference[edit]

  • While playing with his model train set, Bobby asks his son to watch the "Moe 'n Joe action." The term "Moe and Joe" is in reference to a model flatcar from Lionel (which includes the Moe and Joe characters, a pair of workman) that, as shown in the episode, unloads wooden boards. [1] A model train reference as an episode title will be used again for the penultimate episode of the series, "The Blue Comet."
  • The title could also refer to Vito Spatafore who tries to be a workman in this episode. He works with lumber in a blue-collar construction job but ultimately finds it intolerable and quits it.

Production[edit]

  • This episode marks the final appearance of the character Finn DeTrolio.
  • This episode marks the first time we see Tony getting the newspaper at the end of his driveway this season. The "newspaper shot" is usually featured in the first episode of each season.
  • Following a love scene between Vito and Jim, the director cuts to the image of a train entering a tunnel (Bobby's Lionel) and later Vito sawing wood, metaphors for sex.

Connections to prior episodes[edit]

Other cultural references[edit]

Music[edit]

  • The song played in the Dartford bar where Vito, Jim and the firefighters are drinking is "I Love This Bar", by Toby Keith.
  • The song played as Vito makes dinner for Jim is "That's Amore", by Dean Martin.
  • The song played on Vito's car radio as he crashes into the civilian's Jeep Wagoneer is "My Way", by Frank Sinatra.
  • The song played over the end credits is "Let It Rock" by Chuck Berry. It is about a hard work on a railroad as a train is headed down the tracks.

References[edit]

External links[edit]