Amour Fou

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For the film, see Amour Fou (film).
For other uses, see Mad Love.
"Amour Fou"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep312.jpg
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 12
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Teleplay by Frank Renzulli
Story by David Chase
Cinematography by Alik Sakharov
Production code 312
Original air date May 13, 2001
Running time 60 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"Amour Fou" is the thirty-eighth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and is the twelfth of the show's third season. Its teleplay was written by Frank Renzulli from a story idea by series creator, David Chase. It was directed by Tim Van Patten and originally aired on May 13, 2001.


* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Carmela Soprano meets Meadow in an art museum when Carmela begins spotting blood. She asks her for a tampon and excuses herself to go to the Ladies' Room, then returns to find Meadow looking at paintings. Carmela is brought to tears when she sees Jusepe de Ribera's The Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Later, while watching a commercial on television, Carmela begins to sob but quickly regains her composure when she realizes it is only a commercial for Pedigree dog food. She later takes confession with a priest who is pursuing a doctorate degree in psychology. Carmela tells the priest that she is worried that she has ovarian cancer and of her encounter with Dr. Krakower. The priest asks Carmela if she loves Tony, to which she replies, "I do". He then advises her not to leave him but to help him grow, to be more loving to him, and to "live on the good and forgo the bad". Over lunch with the other mob wives, Carmela tells them she has a clean bill of health and that she was worried she was pregnant, but it turned out to be a thyroid problem. Rosalie Aprile tells them that they should all admire Hillary Clinton, not for her personality but for the way she handled herself when Bill Clinton admitted his affair, which included her ultimately "setting up her own thing". Carmela believes that this is true and that "she should be a role model to all of us".

Tony continues to see Gloria Trillo, even as her erratic behavior continues. She apologizes to him in the parking lot of Jennifer Melfi's office, but Tony reminds her that if she were a guy "I wouldn't have to tell you where you would be right now." Gloria apologizes and wants the relationship to work but Tony needs time to think. When he tells Dr. Melfi about his passionate love-and-hate relationship with Gloria, she dubs it "Amour Fou" - crazy love. Melfi then tells Tony that Gloria did love him. Tony decides to give the relationship another chance but when Gloria blows up at Tony when her tires get slashed, and he finds out that she drove Carmela home from Globe Motors after Carmela dropped off her Mercedes-Benz station wagon for service (and later called Carmela), he calls the relationship off permanently. During a heated argument with Gloria, he slaps her and she mockingly says, "Poor you", and that she should "...sit back like a mute". These are phrases that Livia used to say to Tony, and he suddenly realizes that she is a lot like his mother ("I've known you my whole fucking life"). Gloria also derides Carmela as a "goombah housewife" who puts up with anything in exchange for a big "gaudy" ring. When he goes for the door, Gloria threatens to tell Carmela about the affair if he leaves. Enraged, he attacks her, upending her dining room table and throwing her across the room. The fight continues and he begins to choke her. She begs him to kill her but he leaves instead.

Jackie Aprile, Jr. and his friend Dino Zerilli want to get ahead in life and become more than mere associates. After hearing Ralph Cifaretto's story of how Tony and Jackie Aprile, Sr. got on the fast track to getting made after robbing "Feech" La Manna's Saturday night card game, the two later spontaneously decide do the same during Eugene Pontecorvo's game, asking Carlo Renzi to join them, because he has a shotgun. Arriving at the spot, Jackie hesitates and tries to back out, even though he was the one who initiated the idea. But Dino convinces him to go through with it "before the crank wears off." The three don ski masks and enter the Aprile crew hangout where the poker game is taking place, but are alarmed when the players include some familiar faces: Christopher Moltisanti, Furio Giunta, and Ally Boy Barese. Carlo and Dino demand that the players give them their money and to be quiet while Jackie stays silent for fear his voice will be recognized. The dealer, "Sunshine", keeps heckling the would-be robbers and is shot and killed by a panicking Jackie. As the mobsters draw guns, a firefight breaks out: Furio is shot in the thigh by Jackie, and Christopher shoots Carlo in the forehead, killing him instantly. Matush, who is Jackie's getaway driver, abandons the robbers as soon as he hears the gunshots, and when Jackie and Dino flee into the street, Jackie resorts to carjacking a passing vehicle, deserting Dino, who is caught and executed by Ally Boy and Christopher. Furio is rushed to the office of Dr. Fried, a urologist, for a clandestine emergency operation. In the waiting room, Christopher warns Tony that he knows Jackie Jr. was the escaped robber and that he has to be killed. However, Tony seems troubled, due to his long history with Jackie Jr.'s father.

At the pork store the following morning, Ralphie meets Tony to discuss the fate of Jackie, Jr. Ralphie wants to give him a "pass" because of Ralph's relationship with Jackie's mother, Rosalie, but because of what happened with Furio and Sunshine he cannot easily let it go. Tony tells Ralphie that since Pontecorvo is a member of Ralphie's crew, and it was his game, it is his decision, but to make sure that it is the right one, and that he will understand if Ralphie gives Jackie a pass. However, Tony hints to Ralphie that if he does give Jackie a pass, he may lose the respect of the other captains and Tony himself, but advises him not to be concerned about what they think. Ralphie later tells a sobbing Rosalie that Jackie probably went to Florida, and that he has a substance abuse problem, which deeply upsets her.

Patsy Parisi is then shown taking a test drive with Gloria in a Mercedes-Benz. He pulls over in an isolated area and brandishes his gun, telling her it's over between her and Tony. When she tries to protest, he bluntly tells to shut up and listen: she can either stay away from Tony or the story will go to where they are "scraping [her] nipples off these fine leather seats". He also says to her that her dreams of a "cinematic" death are never going to happen, as her pain and torture-filled demise will conclude when she dies while looking into his face. He then gets into his Cadillac, which was already parked at the scene, leaving her stunned and shaking in the test car. Patsy is later shown having a mundane conversation on his cell phone about groceries, and driving off uneventfully in his car.


  • "Sunshine": a card dealer for the mob who was shot during the poker robbery.
  • Carlo Renzi: shot by Christopher in the face during the poker robbery.
  • Dino Zerilli: shot in the head outside of the Aprile hangout by Christopher and Ally Boy Barese.

Title reference[edit]

  • The translation from French is "crazy love", a term Dr. Melfi uses to describe the conflicted relationship between Tony and Gloria. Tony later mispronounces it "Our mofo".


  • The working title for this episode was "Stepping Up".
  • On the commentary on the season three DVD, David Chase affirms that this episode features "the biggest gunfight we ever shot."[1]
  • The tiny shell casings which can be seen striking the pavement after Chris executes Dino outside the card game were added into the scene in post-production using CGI.[1]

Other cultural references[edit]

  • Jackie and Dino are seen watching the famous "leg cross" scene from the film Basic Instinct on television.
  • During a violent argument, Gloria Trillo grabs a corkscrew to use as a weapon in self-defense against Tony, reminiscent of a scene between James Gandolfini and Patricia Arquette in True Romance, wherein his character is stabbed in the foot with a corkscrew.
  • Tony tells Dr. Melfi that Gloria reminds him of a princess in a Spanish painting, a "Goyim." He means to refer to Goya.
  • Tony calls Gloria's Buddha statue "a real Captain Marvel".



James Gandolfini won his second Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode.


  1. ^ a b The Sopranos: The Complete Third Season — DVD commentary

External links[edit]