Amour Fou (The Sopranos)

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

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.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Carmela Soprano and Meadow are spending time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art when Carmela begins spotting blood. She asks for a tampon and goes to the restroom. When she returns, Meadow is 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 something sentimental on television, Carmela begins to cry but quickly regains her composure when she realizes it is only a commercial for dog food. She later takes confession with a priest who is pursuing a doctorate degree in psychology, who tells her to learn to live with "the good" of her life and ignore her husband's sins, and also to visit an OB-GYN.

Tony continues to see Gloria Trillo, even as her erratic behavior continues. When he tells Dr. Melfi about his passionate love-and-hate relationship with Gloria, she uses the term "amour fou" (crazy love). The situation escalates when Tony gently breaks up with Gloria and she responds by threatening to tell Carmela and Meadow about their affair. When an enraged Tony tackles her and starts strangling her, she begs him to kill her. But Tony is able to stop himself long enough to leave her gasping but alive, and he warns her to never contact him again before he drives away.

Jackie Aprile Jr. and his friends Carlo Renzi and Dino Zerilli decide to rob Eugene Pontecorvo's game after Ralph Cifaretto tells them about the time Tony and Jackie Aprile Sr. robbed a connected game and earned a lot of respect (and money) in the process, bizarrely claiming that he (Ralph) had been invited on the heist but couldn't go due to a bout of gonorrhea. The three don ski masks and enter the Aprile crew hangout where the poker game is taking place. The dealer, "Sunshine", keeps heckling the would-be robbers and is fatally shot by a panicking Jackie. A firefight breaks out: Furio is shot in the thigh by Jackie, and Christopher shoots Carlo in the forehead, killing him instantly. Dino and Jackie Jr. run for the street, but their getaway wheelman, Matush, had fled out of fear after hearing the gunshots. Jackie boosts an oncoming car and high-tails it out of the area, leaving Dino to face an angry Christopher and Albert. Dino tries to level with them by mentioning he's with Ralph, but that does not help. Chris and Albert promptly shoot Dino in the face, killing him. In the waiting room of the doctor operating on Furio, Christopher warns Tony that he knows Jackie Jr. was the escaped robber and that he has to be killed.

At the pork store the following morning, Ralph meets Tony to discuss the fate of Jackie Jr. Ralph wants to give him a "pass" (meaning Jackie would receive little or no punishment). Tony tells Ralph it is his decision because the game was under his protection, but strongly implies that Ralph will never get the respect he so desperately wants if he declines to kill his stepson. Tony also reminds Ralph that he (Ralph) had given Jackie every advantage and should not feel guilty if he decides that Jackie should die. Ralph blames Jackie Jr's mother Rosalie for "spoiling" her son, embraces Tony, and leaves. Outside, his internal conflict is apparent on his face.

Patsy Parisi and Gloria go for a test drive in a new Mercedes. Patsy pulls the car over on a deserted side street and holds a horrified Gloria at gunpoint. When she tries to talk, Patsy tells her to shut up and lays down the law: if she ever tries to contact Tony or his family again, they will end up "scraping her nipples off these fine leather seats" and pointedly adds that the last face she ever sees will be his, not Tony's, adding that her death will "not be cinematic".

Deceased[edit]

  • "Sunshine": a card dealer for the mob who was shot during the poker robbery by Jackie Jr.
  • 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."
  • This could also been seen as a reference to the conflicted relationship between Tony and Christopher. During this episode, Christopher expresses his frustration with Tony's application of Omertà which he perceives to be "hypocritical" after Tony denies him the approval to kill Jackie Jr. even though Jackie shot Furio, a made man.

Production[edit]

  • 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".
  • Jackie and Dino are also seen watching a documentary on Vanilla Ice.

Music[edit]

Awards[edit]

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

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]