Christopher (The Sopranos)

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"Christopher"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep403.jpg
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 3
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Story by
Teleplay by Michael Imperioli
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 403
Original air date September 29, 2002
Running time 54 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"Christopher" is the 42nd episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the third episode of the show's fourth season. Its teleplay was written by Michael Imperioli, from a story idea by Imperioli and Maria Laurino. It was directed by Tim Van Patten and originally aired on September 29, 2002.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Also guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Silvio wants to take action against Native Americans protesting the Columbus Day parade, believing their actions are insulting to Italian-Americans. Without Tony's approval, he, Patsy, and Artie attempt to break up the demonstration. As they are being warned by police, Little Paulie has a glass bottle thrown at him, and several other members of his party are injured. Tony blames Silvio for intervening. Ralphie threatens the protest leader, Professor Del Redclay, with publicizing the fact that Iron Eyes Cody, a popular Native American figure, is actually an Italian-American. Tony appeals to Assemblyman Ron Zellman and an Indian chief to convince Redclay to cancel the protest. Although this fails, the chief invites Tony and his crew to his casino. Both the parade and protest occur without mob intervention, which upsets Silvio. Tony tries to calm him down by telling him how proud he should be for what he has achieved in his life, and not just his heritage.

Meanwhile, at a luncheon meant to instill Italian pride in women, the "mob wives" feel singled out when the speaker discusses stereotypes associated with Italian-Americans. After the luncheon, Gabriella lectures Father Phil about how much the mob wives, especially Carmela, have given to the parish, and says he had no right to bring in a guest speaker who intended to shame them about how they make a living. Meanwhile, Paulie begins to create tension between the Soprano and Lupertazzi families when he tells Johnny about Ralphie's joke about his wife and Tony's sale of Junior's warehouse. Johnny contacts Tony and demands a share of the warehouse profit, and warns to keep Ralphie away from him.

While stuck in traffic, Bobby receives a phone call from his son, who relays a message from Bobby's wife Karen asking him to buy some food on the way home. Bobby is annoyed about the errand, but later feels remorse after discovering his wife died in the accident that was causing the very traffic jam he had complained about. The mob wives feel sympathy for Bobby during Karen's wake and quietly discuss his having never taken a comare. Ralphie leaves Rosalie in order to move in with Janice. However, after spending time with the widowed Bobby, Janice is touched by his sincere grief for his lost wife. After discussing her relationship problems with her therapist, who recommends that she not choose partners who are similar to her brother or father, Janice hastily breaks up with Ralphie. Their argument ends with her causing him to lose his balance and fall down half a flight of stairs, injuring his back. Janice locks herself in her room as Ralphie hobbles back to his car, bags in hand.

First appearances[edit]

  • Dan Castleman: the prosecutor in Junior's trial
  • Pie-O-My: The race horse that Ralph Cifaretto buys and Tony admires
  • Marty Schwartz: an associate of Hesh Rabkin's who organizes the meeting between Tony Soprano and Chief Doug Smith

Deceased[edit]

Title reference[edit]

  • The title refers to the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, the first European in several centuries to land in the Americas, in 1492. The controversy surrounding Christopher Columbus and the Columbus Day parade protests are referenced repeatedly in the episode. Also the episode was written in part by Michael Imperiolli, who plays Christopher Moltisanti.

Production[edit]

  • The judge presiding at Uncle Junior's trial, first appearing in this episode, is played by Randy Barbee, who also serves as an assistant director on the series.
  • Dan Castleman, who plays a prosecutor with the same name on the series, first appearing in this episode, also acts as a consultant for the show's writers, giving them expert advice on their questions about legal matters dealing with the Mafia. In his real-life career, Castleman spent 30 years in the Manhattan District Attorney's office as chief of the Rackets Bureau and then of Investigations.[1] Castleman would be credited for his contributions and given the title of a technical adviser starting with the second part of Season Six.

References to past episodes[edit]

  • Tony, in a rant chastising Silvio's vendetta against the Native Americans' opposition to Columbus Day, talks about Gary Cooper, who epitomizes "the strong, silent type", and predicts if Cooper were alive today he'd probably be a part of some victims' group. Tony went on a similar rant, directed at Dr. Melfi, in the pilot episode.
  • During a therapy session, Janice's therapist tells her she should stop dating her brother (Tony Soprano)'s employees, citing the last time Janice did, her fiancé ran out on her to enter the witness protection program. This is in reference to Janice's former fiancé Richie Aprile, whom Janice killed in the episode "White Satin Armor".

Controversy[edit]

The episode created a controversy when cast members of The Sopranos (specifically Dominic Chianese and Lorraine Bracco) were banned from marching in the Columbus Day Parade in New York City, despite having received an invitation to participate in the event from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.[2][3]

Music[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin, Brett (2007-10-30). ""Got Myself a Gun": Theft, Murder, and Other Assorted Violent Tendencies". The Sopranos: The Complete Book. New York: Time. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-933821-18-4. 
  2. ^ "The Sopranos out of tune with parade". The Age. Melbourne. October 15, 2002. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  3. ^ "'Sopranos' Banned From Parade". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 

External links[edit]