Cold Cuts (The Sopranos)
|The Sopranos episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Mike Figgis|
|Written by||Robin Green
|Cinematography by||Alik Sakharov|
|Original air date||May 9, 2004|
|Running time||53 minutes|
"Cold Cuts" is the sixty-second episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the tenth of the show's fifth season. It was written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, directed by Mike Figgis and originally aired on May 9, 2004.
- James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
- Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi
- Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano
- Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
- Dominic Chianese as Corrado Soprano, Jr. *
- Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante
- Tony Sirico as Paulie Gualtieri
- Robert Iler as Anthony Soprano, Jr. *
- Jamie-Lynn DiScala as Meadow Soprano *
- Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva
- Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano Baccalieri
- Steven R. Schirripa as Bobby Baccalieri
- Vincent Curatola as Johnny Sack
- and Steve Buscemi as Tony Blundetto
* = credit only
- Frank Albanese as Uncle Pat Blundetto
- Sharon Angela as Rosalie Aprile
- Chris Caldovino as Billy Leotardo
- Max Casella as Benny Fazio
- Joseph R. Gannascoli as Vito Spatafore
- Dan Grimaldi as Patsy Parisi
- Arthur Nascarella as Carlo Gervasi
- Frank Santorelli as Georgie Santorelli
- David Strathairn as Robert Wegler
- Frank Vincent as Phil Leotardo
- Miryam Coppersmith as Sophia Baccalieri
- Angelo Massagli as Bobby Baccalieri III
- Chandra Wilson as Evelyn Greenwood
- Ron Castellano as Terry Doria
- Judy DelGiudice as Louise Blundetto
- Remy Auberjonois as Dr. Phillip Seepman
- Angelo Di Mascio Jr. as Security Guard
- Gino Cafarelli as Vinny Pitts
- Christian Corp as Janet Petit
- Dawn Evans as Cheryl Kolpeki
- Adam Grupper as Bela Kakuk
- Jennifer Rainville as Gillian Glessner
- Andrew Siff as News Anchor
Tony Soprano has a meeting with Johnny Sack about a missing load of smuggled Vespa scooters from a shipping container that were supposed to be received by Carlo Gervasi's crew and split between the two families. Sack denies any knowledge about the whereabouts of the Vespas and makes a pointed reference to Tony's continued denial that his cousin Tony Blundetto was involved in the murder of "Joey Peeps." Tony suspects Johnny seized the shipment for himself, as Silvio comments the New York mobster has been acting hostile towards them since Peeps' funeral and his private one-on-one talk with Tony. Tony Soprano sends Benny Fazio and a member of Carlo's crew to the port to investigate. The two find, beat up, and intimidate a security guard working there who divulges that Phil Leotardo indeed took the scooters. With a shipment of expensive Italian cheeses coming in, Tony and his crew worry about even more financial losses their strained relations with the Lupertazzi family could incur.
Janice Soprano makes the TV news after getting arrested for physically assaulting a parent who was disparaging her stepdaughter Sophia at a youth soccer game and for resisting arrest. Tony is infuriated over the unnecessary media publicity brought to his family and storms into the Baccalieri home late at night, demanding Janice to stop with her plans for any legal appeals but to contact Neil Mink and quietly plead guilty. Tony also again demands that Bobby "take control" of his wife. Citing her especially bellicose conduct lately, which even prevents her from shopping for food peacefully, Bobby gives Janice an ultimatum to either see an anger management specialist or their marriage will not work. Janice starts attending anger management classes and later informs Tony that she is very pleased with them and that they have helped her make tremendous progress; Tony says he is happy for her.
The "Soprano temper" becomes the focus of Tony's next session with Dr. Melfi. She observes that depression and anger are Soprano family traits and that depression can be a manifestation of rage turned inward.
Carmela Soprano continues to act hostile towards Tony and drains the water from their house's pool to prevent Tony from taking swims there. After another one of their fights, the two agree to eventually organize an engagement party for Meadow and Finn DeTrolio. However, when Carmela runs into Robert Wegler at A.J.'s school, she spontaneously announces to him she is moving back in with her husband. Later, she is quick to deny she has any such plans to her friend Rosalie Aprile.
Tony summons Christopher Moltisanti and Tony B to tell them they have a job to do at their retired mobster Uncle Pat Blundetto's farm in Kinderhook, New York. The farm is about to come under new ownership, so they must locate and move three bodies that were buried there over the years: Emil Kolar (Christopher's first murder victim) and the Johnson brothers (killed by Johnny Boy Soprano). Before the trip, Christopher once again complains about Tony B to Adriana, telling her how the two Tonys used to tease him when he was a kid when they all stayed at the farm, which always hurt, especially since he admired them both. His further complaints about his position in the crime family prompt Adriana to reapproach him with the suggestion to leave Jersey altogether and start a new life elsewhere, but Christopher replies that he is "a soldier" for life. Initially, Christopher acts rude towards Tony B, but they eventually bond while doing the work. They unearth Emil's skeleton at night, crush his bones into pieces, and throw them into a lake, but they cannot proceed with removing the dead brothers' remains since Uncle Pat has difficulty remembering exactly where the two were buried. Another day, while drinking some homemade wine together, Pat finally remembers the burial site. That evening, Tony pays them all a surprise visit and oversees the disposal of the final bodies. Once the two Tonys are reunited, they fall back into their old routine of picking on their younger cousin. Christopher takes the insults personally, especially the jabs aimed at his substance abuse recovery. He passes up the opportunity to go hunting with the two Tonys and leaves the farm early the next morning, driving home alone and teary.
Once back in New Jersey, Tony visits the Bada Bing and initiates a discussion of the terrorist threat tied to unexamined cargo containers at the ports, especially threats involving smuggled nuclear and biological weapons (a subject Tony learned about after watching a documentary at Uncle Pat's farm). When Georgie Santorelli remarks that "you have to live for today," Tony suddenly explodes in fury and gives him a beating that sends him to the hospital and makes him partially lose his hearing. Afterwards, Tony is remorseful, and gives Paulie a wad of bills and insists that he make sure Georgie receives the best care. Paulie then informs Tony that Georgie does not want to see him again and is quitting his job at the Bada Bing.
Tony joins Janice and Bobby for dinner at their house but gets highly irritated when he sees Janice deal calmly with a series of minor annoyances, having seemingly overcome her outbursts. He breaks the calm by provoking the newly docile Janice by making sarcastic and increasingly hurtful comments about her estranged son, Harpo. Janice soon gets enraged and chases Tony around the room with a fork in her fist. Satisfied, Tony leaves the house and walks away.
- Uncle Pat Blundetto: Tony S and Tony B's uncle who was given an early retirement from the DiMeo crime family because of health issues. He settled on a large farm in Kinderhook, New York where he was often visited by his nephews Christopher, Tony S, and Tony B during their childhoods.
- Tony tells Dr. Melfi that "revenge is like serving cold cuts" (inadvertently mangling the adage "Revenge is a dish best served cold"). In the episode Johnny Sack continues to interfere with Soprano business in retribution for the murder of "Joey Peeps."
- In a scene at Uncle Pat's farm, Christopher, Pat, and Tony B eat cold cut sandwiches for lunch.
- The title may also refer to the dead bodies Tony B and Christopher are looking for in this episode.
- Meat, specifically cold cuts, is a prominent symbol in the series that refers to Tony's past and anger issues.
- The title may also refer to the joking and taunting and insults that Tony, Tony B and Christopher exchange and who affect Christopher the most. Tony uses cold maleficent provocations (cuts) to break Janice's anger management and force her into a tantrum.
Connections to previous episodes
- Christopher and Tony Blundetto dig up and dispose of Emil Kolar's skeleton, moving his body for the second time. Christopher shot and killed Emil in the Pilot episode. Then, he and Pussy Bonpensiero unsuccessfully tried to put Emil's body into a dumpster. Later, they buried the body under a bridge somewhere. But, the burial was giving Christopher nightmares. So, Christopher and Georgie later dug up the body and relocated it in "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti."
Other cultural references
- Of Johnny Sack's belief that Tony Blundetto killed "Joey Peeps," Silvio comments that Sack should be "out looking for the real killers, instead of spending all his time on the golf course." This line is a not-so-subtle jab at O. J. Simpson, who in the years after his acquittal on murder charges claimed to be seeking "the real killers" while he was often criticized for spending much of his free time playing golf.
- Dr. Melfi quotes W.B. Yeats' "The Second Coming" during a session with Tony in this episode. This poem will later be used prominently in Season 6 (including an episode titled "The Second Coming").
- On the drive to Kinderhook, Tony B confides to Christopher: "that 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow' cartoon used to scare the piss out of me", and adds that "very sorry people" used to call Tony B Ichabod Crane. According to a notation by Washington Irving, the character of Ichabod Crane was based on a schoolteacher whom Irving befriended in Kinderhook, New York, in 1809.
- In the audio commentary, the episode's director, Mike Figgis, points out how the scene where Christopher and Tony Blundetto dig up the skeletal remains of a man Christopher knew (and killed) symbolically referenced the famous Yorick scene in Hamlet.
- Christopher, as in episodes before, once again mistakenly calls Emil Kolar a Czechoslovakian when, in fact, he was a Czech-American. Paulie Walnuts once confused Chechens with Czechoslovakians in "Pine Barrens."
- When Uncle Pat remembers where the missing bodies are buried, Christopher likens him to Johnny Mnemonic.
- At a diner, Tony B mentions to Tony that Christopher has the same car (Hummer H2) as Schwarzenegger. Tony then erroneously calls it "the Humvee."
- Tony misquotes the Phoebe Snow song "Harpo's Blues" (from her debut 1974 album) as "Harpo's Song" when he is deliberately attempting to provoke Janice during this episode's final scene.
- The piano song played at the wedding shop visited by Christopher and Adriana is "Music Box Dancer," originally created by Frank Mills.
- The song played at the Bada Bing! before Tony beats Georgie up is "Stop" by Joe Henry.
- The song played over the end credits is a live version of "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" by The Kinks, which is featured in their 1996 album To the Bone.
- "In Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Monument in Memory of Soldiers of the Revolution". The New York Times (New York: The New York Times Company). 1894-10-14. p. 17. Retrieved 2009-02-20.