Army of One (The Sopranos)

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"Army of One"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep313.jpg
Paulie and Ralphie having a sitdown
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 13
Directed by John Patterson
Written by David Chase
Lawrence Konner
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 313
Original air date May 20, 2001 (2001-05-20)
Running time 60 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Amour Fou"
Next →
"For All Debts Public and Private"

"Army of One" is the 39th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the finale of the show's third season. It was written by David Chase and Lawrence Konner, and directed by John Patterson, and originally aired on May 20, 2001.

Starring[edit]

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Jackie Jr. is forced into hiding at a Boonton housing project after his failed robbery at Eugene's poker game. Jackie calls Tony and tries to plead for help. Tony refuses and tells him to stay where he is and talk to Ralphie, who will make the final call on what will happen. Tony pressures Ralphie to make his decision in a "timely fashion". Ralphie makes his decision; when Jackie leaves his apartment to get some air, he is shot in the back of the head by Vito. Meanwhile, A.J. is expelled from high school for stealing answers to a geometry test. Tony becomes enraged when he hears the news and decides to send A.J. to military school. Carmela receives a phone call from Marie, Rosalie's sister, informing her that Jackie has been killed by "drug dealers." Tony uses Jackie's death as an example for A.J. to straighten up.

Paulie demands that Tony have a sitdown with him and Ralphie, in which he states that he gave Ralphie valuable information about a job and feels entitled to half of the take ($50,000 out of $100,000). Tony orders that Ralphie turn over $12,000, much to Paulie's shock and dismay. When Paulie tries to convince Tony to reconsider, Silvio intervenes, stating that Tony has made his decision. Junior's cancer is in remission, leaving him physically competent to stand trial in his RICO case. With Pussy missing and presumed dead, Agent Harris recommends that the FBI start looking for any incriminating information on Christopher, who is moving through the ranks of the Soprano crime family. Bureau Chief Cubitoso enlists Agent Deborah Ciccerone on an undercover mission to befriend Adriana and report back on whatever she can find.

A.J. is taken to an appointment with the administrator of the Hudson Military Institute, who lays out the rigorous schedule for students. Carmela is concerned since she believes they are training him to be a "professional killer". Tony tries to convince her that their son would be learning discipline and respect, not violence. Later, at Jackie's visitation, Rosalie and her daughter Kelli are visited by the Sopranos. When Meadow sees Jackie lying in his casket, she cries uncontrollably. Tony and Carmela try to comfort her, but are embarrassed when Rosalie notes the low attendance rate; the funeral has coincided with Super Bowl Sunday, a busy betting time. When everyone settles down, Carmela views Jackie lying in his casket. That night, Carmela decides to support sending A.J. to military school.

As A.J. prepares to leave, he puts on his dress uniform but is resistant to putting on the hat. When Tony gets off the sofa and approaches his son menacingly, A.J. complies. A.J looks at himself in the mirror and, in tears, asks not to be sent away. When Tony tells him to stop and reaffirms his decision, A.J. suffers a panic attack and collapses. In therapy, Tony relates his dismay to Dr. Melfi that A.J. has inherited his psychiatric affliction. He says that he can no longer send him to military school and begins to lose hope that he can guarantee a safe future for him.

On the day of Jackie's burial, Chris and Silvio are arrested at the cemetery for illegal gambling. Junior witnesses this and promptly runs back to his car, almost leaving Bobby behind. During the reception at Rosalie's, Meadow argues with Kelli about the most likely causes of Jackie's death. During the wake at Nuovo Vesuvio, Paulie encounters Johnny and expresses dissatisfaction with Tony, offering his services to Johnny's boss, Carmine Lupertazzi. When Silvio, Patsy and Chris enter the restaurant, having quickly made bail, Junior begins to sing the Italian love song "Core 'ngrato" ("Ungrateful Heart"). An intoxicated Meadow begins to throw pieces of bread at Junior while he sings which catches the attention of her father, Tony. Meadow quickly leaves the restaurant and is confronted by her father outside; she tearfully denounces the funeral proceedings as "bullshit" and runs away. Tony returns to the dinner and puts his arm around A.J. as the three listen to Junior sing.

First appearances[edit]

Deceased[edit]

Production[edit]

  • In the original 2001 broadcast, Agent Deborah Ciccerone was played by actress Fairuza Balk. However, due to scheduling conflicts, she was not able to return for season four. For the repeats and DVD releases, Balk was replaced by Lola Glaudini, who went on to play the role permanently in 2002.

References to prior episodes[edit]

  • Tony and Carmela watch a commercial for Dr. Fried's urology clinic, whose production was featured in the previous episode, "Amour Fou". Dr. Fried tends to Furio's gun injury.
  • Although it is never explicitly mentioned in the episode, Jackie Jr., Vito Spatafore, and Adriana LaCerva are cousins, through their uncle Richie Aprile. When Vito's brother Bryan is injured in the episode "Another Toothpick", Jackie, Jr. says that Bryan is his cousin.
  • In a scene where Tony and Carmela are having a fight she says that "boys his age still kill frogs and small animals". Tony wonders if it could have been A.J. who blew up the Cusamanos' "Binky" with a Cherry bomb. A.J. admitted blowing up frogs with explosives in the season one episode "Meadowlands"

Music[edit]

  • When A.J. calls Meadow at Columbia, Creeper Lagoon's song "Wonderful Love" can be heard playing in the background.
  • During Jackie's wake, Junior's performance of "Core 'ngrato" ("Ungrateful Heart") was sung by Dominic Chianese himself.
  • The song sung by Junior before "Core 'ngrato", while he is at the table, is "Malafemmena".
  • The French song that follows "Core 'ngrato]" ("Ungrateful Heart") is "Parlez-moi d'amour" performed by Lucienne Boyer and written by Jean Lenoir.
  • The song in Spanish that follows the French version of "Core 'ngrato" ("Ungrateful Heart") is "La Enramada" a Bolero written by Graciela Olmos and performed by Los Tres Ases (The Three Aces).
  • The organ music played during Jackie's wake is "Ombra mai fu" from Handel's opera Serse.
  • The song played over the end credits is "#8" (unofficially titled [blur] aka [circles]) by Aphex Twin, from his album, Selected Ambient Works Volume II.
  • As Meadow is tossing bread at Junior, Meadow sings a line from Britney Spears' song, "Oops!... I Did It Again" (the original recording of that song was previously featured in "Employee of the Month").
  • The song that follows Lucienne Boyer's "Parlez-moi d'amour" is called "Wondering" by American music composer and director Nathan Wang.

External links[edit]