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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"Army of One"
List of The Sopranos episodes

"Amour Fou" is the 38th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the 12th 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 and Meadow are spending time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art when Carmela has to go to the restroom to use a tampon. When she comes back, she is brought to tears upon seeing 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 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, even as her erratic behavior continues. When he tells Dr. Melfi about his passionate love-hate relationship with Gloria, she uses the term "amour fou" (crazy love). The situation escalates when Tony tries to gently break up with Gloria and she responds by threatening to tell Carmela and Meadow about their affair. When an enraged Tony starts strangling her, she begs him to kill her. Tony is able to stop himself long enough to leave her gasping but alive, and warns her to never contact him again before he drives away.

Jackie Jr. and his friends Carlo and Dino decide to rob Eugene's poker game, after Ralphie tells them about how Tony and Jackie's father gained recognition for a similar heist. The dealer, Sunshine, keeps heckling the would-be robbers and is fatally shot by a panicking Jackie. In the ensuing firefight, Furio is shot in the thigh while Carlo is killed. Jackie and Dino find that their wheelman, Matush, has fled and left them at the mercy of Christopher and Albert. Jackie flees in a carjacked vehicle while Dino is shot after telling Chris and Albert that he and Jackie are with Ralphie. Chris asks Tony to put a hit on Jackie.

At Satriale's the following morning, Ralphie meets Tony to discuss Jackie. Ralphie wants to give him a "pass," but Tony tells Ralphie it is his decision because the game was under his protection, and that he should not feel guilty if he decides that Jackie should die. Ralphie blames Jackie Sr. for "spoiling" his son, embraces Tony, and leaves. Outside, his internal conflict is apparent on his face. Meanwhile, Patsy and Gloria go for a test drive in a new Mercedes. Patsy pulls the car over on a deserted side street, holds Gloria at gunpoint, and threatens to kill her if she contacts Tony again.


  • "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.


  • 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.
  • 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.



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]