Two Tonys

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"Two Tonys"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep501.jpg
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 1
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Written by David Chase
Terence Winter
Production code 501
Original air date March 7, 2004
Running time 54 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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"Whitecaps"
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"Rat Pack"
Episode chronology

"Two Tonys" is the fifty-third episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and is the first of the show's fifth season. It was written by David Chase and Terence Winter, directed by Tim Van Patten and originally aired on March 7, 2004.

Starring[edit]

** = photo only

Guest starring[edit]

** = photo only

Episode recap[edit]

The season picks up about one year after Tony and Carmela's separation. Tony has moved into his mother's former home. As the family is about to sit down for dinner at the now-married Janice and Bobby Bacala's home, a news report airs regarding the release of many mob associates who were convicted during the 1980s. The parolées include, Michele "Feech" La Manna, a well-respected and greatly feared former capo of the now defunct La Manna crew, Tony Blundetto, Tony's cousin, a former "rising star" in the mob, linked to known mob assassinations who was very close to Tony growing up, Angelo Garepe, Carmine Lupertazzi's elderly consigliere, and Phil Leotardo, a long-time captain in the Lupertazzi crime family. Tony is very excited about his cousin's release and is planning a lavish welcome home party for him. During breakfast at Uncle Junior's house with Tony, Bobby Bacala, and the newly released Feech, La Manna talks about his days in prison and entertains the others. He also voices his interest in returning to work as a shy and sports bettor, something Tony and Junior appear to take into consideration with the caveat that Feech "not step on anyone's toes."

One evening, while A.J. is in his parents' backyard retrieving a vacuum cleaner, he discovers a large American Black Bear and, petrified with fear, calls his mother for help. The bear does not make any threatening moves and even seems to ignore A.J. as a piece of patio furniture breaks under its weight. Carmela manages to shoo the bear away by banging two pots together. She calls the police who, in turn, call the New Jersey Fish and Game Department. They tell Carmela that it was probably the scent of the duck feed that attracted it in the moist fall air and that she should lock it up in the garage. The next day, the bear comes back but leaves shortly after. Tony arrives at the house and overhears Carmela talking on the phone to the New Jersey Game and Fishing authority about the bear's reappearance. Tony expresses his concern for the welfare of Carmela and A.J., Tony and Carmela are talking civilly to each other at first, but the conversation becomes acrimonious when Carmela suggests that Tony buys A.J. too many gifts since he feels guilty about the separation, including going to New Jersey Nets basketball game on a school night and a $5,000 drum set with which A.J. now loudly practices. As Carmela and Tony further argue, Tony reveals that he has been calling Italy and threatening Furio's life to all who would listen, mentioning there are hitmen ready to kill him should he be found. After the bear's appearance at Carmela's becomes common knowledge amongst his associates, Tony tasks Benny Fazio and Little Paulie Germani to guard the backyard in case the bear returns. Although Carmela is reluctant about the idea, she unlocks the house's weapon cache, hidden in a hollowed-out column in the foyer, and gives them an AK-47. The men prove not to be particularly enthusiastic in their guard duty, with Benny chatting with his girlfriend on the phone from Tony's office and Little Paulie retreating to the house's restroom after being spooked by noises outside.

Meanwhile, Christopher Moltisanti and Paulie Walnuts have a feud when their humorous retelling of the "Pine Barrens" story to other gangsters turns into accusations against each other and a fight between them almost ensues. Later, at "goomah night," after Adriana had pointed out earlier that he is always being saddled with the checks, Christopher forces Paulie to pay for the dinner, having refused to do so himself. At Satriale's the following morning, Paulie demands that Christopher pay him the cost of the dinner or begin to pay points. Tony orders Christopher to keep paying the tabs for the dinners, explaining it as a Mafia tradition of respect shown by its younger members to their older colleagues. Tony explains how he had to pay for years when Richie Aprile and Jerry Anastasia racked up huge tabs at Benihana and Peter Luger Steak House which included steak, brandy, cigars, and champagne. In Atlantic City, Paulie, having learned of Tony's decision, has everyone get steaks, 3-pound lobsters, shrimp cocktails, Lyonnaise potatoes, and also sends over a bottle of Cristal to a group of women at a nearby table, in order to inflate the bill for Christopher. The bill, which amounts to $1,184, is given to Christopher, who leaves the waiter $1,200. Paulie and Christopher continue to bicker in the parking lot. Just when they are about to come to blows, the waiter comes out complaining about only receiving a $16 tip. He insults them when Christopher refuses to pay more. This causes Christopher to throw a rock at his head after the waiter turns to go back inside. The waiter is struck and collapses, convulsing on the ground. A fearful Paulie finishes him with a gunshot. Paulie grabs the money, as they hurriedly leave in separate vehicles. The next day, Paulie and Christopher both agree to split the tab and "bury the hatchet."

While Tony lunches at a golf course with Johnny Sack, Carmine, and newly released Angelo Garepe, Carmine suffers a massive stroke and collapses at the table. He's rushed to the hospital still alive, but in critical condition. Johnny soon notifies his son, Little Carmine in Miami Beach, who hurriedly rushes to New York on the next available flight. At the hospital, Johnny reminds Tony that he still has not forgotten about him dropping his support for Carmine's assassination last year, which Johnny believes could have averted the current situation.

After watching The Prince of Tides with Valentina, Tony wants to reunite with his therapist, Dr. Melfi. He sends her flowers (along with a gallon of Tide detergent, in reference to The Prince of Tides) to her office with a calling card. When he calls her to set up a date, she tells him that she cannot go out with him due to their previous clinical relationship, feeling it is unprofessional. Tony says he is "not undeterred" by her refusal. Melfi has a sex dream about Tony. Tony makes an appointment with her, but only to confess his love to her in person. He grabs her and kisses her impulsively. She tells him to stop. He then leaves. Later on, in a therapy session with her own psychiatrist Dr. Kupferberg, she describes the encounter. Elliot suggests calling the police because she is dealing with a sociopath who is not used to being rejected. She confesses that she at first found him sexy but, after learning more about his life, the attraction disappeared. Later, after a group therapy session she is overseeing, Tony comes to visit and makes a third desperate attempt to take her out by giving her cruise tickets; once again, she refuses. Tony asks Dr. Melfi what the real reason for her refusal is. When she begins to list his characteristics that do not appeal to her, including disrespect of women and people in general, and his use of force and the threat of force to get what he wants, he storms out, calling her a "cunt," leaving Dr. Melfi stunned. Tony then returns to the Soprano residence where he relieves Benny for the night as bear lookout and starts his watch puffing on a cigar and holding the AK-47, staring into the darkness.

First appearances[edit]

  • Michele "Feech" La Manna: former capo of the now defunct La Manna crew who was incarcerated during the 1980s
  • Angelo Garepe: former Lupertazzi family Consigliere
  • Phil Leotardo: (image only) Capo of the Lupertazzi family who was sent to prison in the early 1980s
  • Tony Blundetto: (image only) Tony's cousin and DiMeo/Soprano crime family member who was sent to jail in 1986 for hijacking a truck

Deceased[edit]

  • Raoul: an Atlantic City waiter who complained to Paulie and Christopher about a poor tip. Christopher hit him in the head with a rock, sending him into a fit, and Paulie shot Raoul dead.

Title reference[edit]

  • Tony attempts to demonstrate to Dr. Melfi that there are two Tony Sopranos, one of whom she has never seen before and he wants to show her.
  • Tony Soprano's cousin, Tony Blundetto, is getting released from prison.

Production[edit]

  • The new addition to the series writing staff beginning with Season 5, Matthew Weiner, plays the Mafia expert on the news broadcast who introduces the new gangster characters. Previously, series writers Terence Winter and David Chase also made cameo appearances on the show, as Dr. Melfi's patient and a man in Italy, respectively.[1][2]
  • Steve Buscemi joins the main cast as Tony Blundetto and is now billed in the opening credits, although he doesn't appear in this episode other than in the form of photographs during the "Class of '04" news report. Buscemi previously directed two Sopranos episodes, "Pine Barrens" (Season 3) and "Everybody Hurts" (Season 4), and he continues to direct for the show, as well as act.
  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler is billed as "Jamie-Lynn DiScala" during this season, due to her marriage.[3]
  • The character of Sophia Baccalieri is now played by a new actress, Miryam Coppersmith, who replaced Lexie Sperduto from Season 4.
  • Toni Kalem, who plays Angie Bonpensiero on the series, becomes a story editor for the show starting with this episode. She will also write an episode, "All Happy Families..." (season 4, episode 5).
  • This episode is the first season opener wherein Tony is not featured picking up The Star-Ledger at the foot of his driveway. Instead, Meadow runs over the newspaper with her car.
  • The preface to an April 10, 2002 Star-Ledger article titled, "Jersey mob soon to get infusion of old blood: Lawmen are wary as jail terms end", reads: "(EDITOR'S NOTE: Sopranos creator David Chase revealed that the story arc of Season 5 was inspired by a Star-Ledger article on the RICO trials of the '80s. We've combed our archives and believe this may be the article he was referring to.")[4]

Other cultural references[edit]

  • The opening sequence of various shots of the Soprano home with autumn leaves blowing in the wind is an homage to the opening shots of The Godfather Part III, which portrayed the rundown Corleone compound in Lake Tahoe.[citation needed]
  • Tony gets angry upon learning Carmela did not inform him of a bear sighting, saying this is not Little House on the Prairie.
  • Tony greets Feech La Manna with: "You go straight from the joint to Earl Scheib?" when telling him he has a tan.
  • Tony observes that Junior's house is like the Bowery Boys, with secret codes.
  • Feech La Manna calls himself Fred Astaire when told not to "step on anyone's toes".
  • Carmela tells Benny, whom Tony has sent to "protect" her and A. J., that he shouldn't sit outside like A Fistful of Dollars.
  • Christopher is shown reading My Search for Bill W. by Mel B., the biography of the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • When trying to persuade Dr. Melfi that it is ethically permissible for her to date him, Tony references information that he learned from the Dr. Phil show.

Connections to prior episodes[edit]

Connections to The Rockford Files[edit]

  • Robert Loggia, who plays Michele "Feech" La Manna, and Joe Santos, who plays Angelo Garepe, both had roles on The Rockford Files, the television show for which David Chase wrote several scripts in the 1970s.
  • Carmela retrieves the keys to the weapons closet from a cookie jar, which is the same place where P.I. Jim Rockford would often hide his gun.

Music[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office...", The Sopranos, originally aired January 16, 2000 on HBO
  2. ^ "Commendatori", The Sopranos, originally aired February 6, 2000 on HBO
  3. ^ "Jamie-Lynn DiScala, Husband Split Up". People. September 25, 2005. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ Rudolph Robert; Sterling, Guy (April 10, 2002). "Jersey mob soon to get infusion of old blood". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved May 8, 2012. 

External links[edit]