Calling All Cars (The Sopranos)

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"Calling All Cars"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep411.jpg
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 11
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Story by
Teleplay by
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 411
Original air date November 24, 2002 (2002-11-24)
Running time 47 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"Calling All Cars" is the 50th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the 11th of the show's fourth season. Written by David Chase, Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess, and David Flebotte from a story by Chase, Green, Burgess, and Terence Winter, it was directed by Tim Van Patten and originally aired on November 24, 2002.


* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Tony has a dream in which he rides in the back of his father's old Cadillac, which is being driven by Carmela with Ralphie riding shotgun. He initially sees Gloria sitting next to him, but she changes to Svetlana. Tony discusses the dream with Dr. Melfi, who suggests that it signifies that Carmela is in control and Tony wants to square the changes in the lives of the others in the car with her. Melfi also asks if Ralphie changed recently; Tony stresses that they were only business associates and replies in the negative. Tony expresses a dissatisfaction with his therapy and notes his lack of impulse control still leads him to make mistakes in his life and work.

When Bobby drops off his daughter Sophia at a baseball game, she notices a cake in the back of the car. Bobby takes the cake to his wife Karen's grave and buries it next to her. Later at dinner, Bobby is followed upstairs by Janice, who questions him about the cake. He initially lies, but then explains that he buried it on what would have been their 14-year anniversary. In Bobby Jr.'s room, the children talk about ghosts; Sophia is afraid, but Bobby Jr. tries to reassure her that ghosts don't exist. Janice talks to Carmela about her difficulties in getting Bobby to "move on."

Tony has a sitdown in New York City with Carmine and Johnny, who demand 40% of the profits of his HUD scam as it is linked to Assemblyman Zellman. Carmine comments on the missing Ralphie, but Tony dodges the question and leaves. Tony phones Johnny on his way home with a counter-offer of 5.5%, which Carmine rejects. Instead, on Carmine's orders, Joey Peeps and an associate named Anthony track down "Vic the Appraiser", who is involved in the scam. Later, Johnny suggests to Paulie that a change in leadership might be needed. Paulie puts himself forward, reminding Johnny of his good relationship with New York. Johnny assures him that Carmine will always keep him in mind.

Tony visits Junior to discuss getting to a juror in the RICO trial, but he appears distracted and disheveled. Junior is not getting along with Branca Libinsk, his new Russian nurse. Later, Tony has a meet with Paulie, Silvio, and Vito to discuss the appraiser's disappearance. Eugene arrives to pick up Vito, and Paulie reluctantly leaves. Once he is alone with Silvio, Tony raises the possibility of reaching out to Little Carmine Lupertazzi in Florida through their old friend Beansie Gaeta. Vic gets beaten down again, this time by Vito and Dogsy, to convince him to work for the Soprano family.

After Sunday dinner, A.J. disappears to his room with Devin, but Carmela insists that he play a game with Bobby Jr. and Sophia. A.J. pulls out a Ouija board and engages in a mock séance that terrifies Bobby's children. Carmela and Tony scold A.J. for being insensitive to the kids, who have lost their mother. Later, Tony speaks to Silvio and voices his suspicion that Paulie is leaking information to Johnny. Silvio agrees to keep Paulie from knowing about the Miami trip. Svetlana calls Tony to thank him for sending her a diamond horseshoe brooch. Tony seems eager to continue their relationship, but Svetlana again turns him down. In therapy, Tony tells Melfi that he broke up with Svetlana on his initiative, but after making a Freudian slip admits that it was she who broke up with him. Tony again tells Melfi that he wants to leave therapy, but she insists that now that his symptoms are under control they can make real progress. Tony kisses Melfi on the cheek and thanks her before he leaves. Afterwards, Melfi calls her own therapist, Dr. Kupferberg, and leaves a message on voicemail implying Tony is no longer her patient.

At Junior's trial, the judge throws out Melvoin's motion for a mistrial over Junior's claimed dementia. Bobby reassures the frustrated Junior that they will get to a juror. Later, Bobby and Janice fight over his continuing reluctance to let go of his late wife. Janice uses an internet chat program to deceive and secretly direct Bobby's children to a Ouija board in their home. When Bobby arrives home, his children are in a terrified state and he calls Janice for help. She tells him she had heard them with the Ouija board earlier in the day but didn't want to get involved because of their argument. Janice uses her manufactured situation with the children as a reason that Bobby needs to move on and asks him to eat his wife's last frozen ziti. Bobby reluctantly agrees.

In Florida, Tony meets with Beansie and Little Carmine, who agrees to travel home and talk to his father. Tony mentions that Carmine has tried to reach Tiffen, as well as having the appraiser jumped. Tony threatens action against New York should negotiations fail to yield results. Tony has another dream where he follows Ralphie to an old house. Before Tony enters, he sees a female figure with a shadowy face resembling his mother walking downstairs. Just as Tony enters the house, he wakes up short of breath, sweaty, and startled. He goes out to his hotel balcony to catch some air.

First appearances[edit]

Title reference[edit]

  • Dr. Melfi uses the phrase "Calling all cars" when trying to reach Dr. Kupferberg after Tony quits therapy. The phrase is an old police radio dispatch call for all radio patrol cars to assist a fellow officer or to look for a suspect or situation.
  • Tony seeks assistance from Beansie and Little Carmine in Miami Beach when trying to solve the sour relationship between his and New York's mob families.

References to past episodes[edit]

  • In his dream, Tony says he is present for a masonry job — his grandfather was a stonemason.
  • After A.J scares Bobby Baccalieri III and his sister by faking a séance at the Ouija board and squeezing water on his head, Bobby reveals to both his father and Tony that A.J. had locked him in Furio Giunta's garage at Furio's housewarming party, in the episode "The Weight".

References to other media[edit]

  • When Bobby is lying in bed in the dark, grieving for Karen, the TV is playing The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934 film), in which a nobleman takes on a second/secret identity to save French aristocrats from the guillotine.
  • When Janice tells Bobby she noticed cemetery mud on his shoes, irritated, he calls her "Marge Hingenbrender," a malapropism of Marg Helgenberger, the actress who plays a crime scene investigator on CSI.
  • Bobby Jr. is seen playing the computer game Max Payne. However, the sounds heard from the computer are not those associated with the game.
  • Janice talks to Bobby Jr. through AOL Instant Messenger.


External links[edit]