Commendatori

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"Commendatori"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep204.jpg
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 4
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Written by David Chase
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 204
Original air date February 6, 2000
Running time 52 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Commendatori" is the seventeenth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the fourth of the show's second season. It was written by David Chase and directed by Tim Van Patten, and originally aired on February 6, 2000.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

While attempting to watch a bootleg version of The Godfather Part II, Tony announces to his crew that he, Paulie, and Christopher will be traveling to Naples to make a deal with a local Camorra family (distantly related to the Sopranos) over the smuggling of stolen cars. Although Tony is excited by the prospect of the trip, he downplays its appeal to Carmela, who is upset that he will go abroad with his mob associates but not his family. Tony tries to explain to Carmela that it's a business trip, and there will not be enough time for leisure activities.

Over lunch with Rosalie Aprile and Angie Bonpensiero, Carmela asks Angie how her relationship with Pussy is going now that he is home. Angie says she regrets having Pussy home, noting how he has been sick since his return. She tells the wives that she recently underwent a test for a tumor, and Pussy had little sympathy for her. As the other wives listen in horror, she confesses that she has contemplated suicide. After Angie's tests come back negative, she plans to file for divorce from Pussy. However, Carmela persuades Angie to stay for the sake of their children. When Pussy arrives home and silently presents flowers to Angie, she pauses for a moment and then swats him with them.

Pussy is becoming increasingly paranoid due to being an FBI informant. He is unnerved when he is spotted by Jimmy Bones, a Soprano made man, during a meeting with his handler, Agent Skip Lipari. The pair are forced to concoct a cover story on the spot, which Bones doesn't seem to believe. To ensure that Bones remains quiet, Pussy visits his house and beats him to death with a ball-peen hammer.

In Naples, Tony, Chris, and Paulie meet Furio Giunta, who informs them that Don Vittorio, boss of the family, will not be present at dinner. Instead, they learn that they are doing business with another made man, Nino, which angers Tony. It is further revealed that Don Vittorio has gone senile and that his son-in-law, Mauro Zucca, is serving a life sentence. Tony is surprised to learn that Mauro's wife and Vittorio's daughter, Annalisa, has assumed control of the family. On leaving the restaurant, Tony and Paulie are shocked to see Furio and his cohorts assault a young boy and his mother after the youth sets off firecrackers.

Tony meets with Annalisa, but has reservations about doing business with a woman. Tensions are further raised by the bosses' mutual sexual attraction. During another dinner, Tony reluctantly agrees to talk business with Annalisa, but states that Furio must be transferred to his family for the deal to work. When Annalisa scoffs at the suggestion, Tony agrees to trade her the stolen cars at a reduced price in exchange. After Annalisa agrees, the two visit several city landmarks. She comes on to Tony, but he reluctantly tells her that he wants to keep their relationship professional. Elsewhere, Chris secretly feeds his heroin habit while Paulie goes on a mission to rediscover his roots, only to uncover a distaste for Naples.

At Newark Airport, Pussy drives up to take the returning trio home. When Tony enters his house and announces his return home, Carmela is in their bedroom, seemingly reflecting on her own marriage struggles after having earlier heard Angie's troubles with Pussy. Carmela steels herself, then exits to greet Tony.

First appearances[edit]

Deceased[edit]

  • Jimmy Bones: an Elvis impersonator and Mafia associate, whom Big Pussy beat to death with a ball peen hammer, after Bones ran into Pussy talking with his FBI handler.

Title reference[edit]

The episode's title is a plural of the Italian language word commendatore, which is an honorable title in Italian society. Tony and his crew are given this greeting in Italy, which Paulie hears and then tries to use throughout the episode.

Production[edit]

  • Although the episode was the fourth of season two, it was the ninth to be produced.[citation needed]
  • Series creator and head writer David Chase makes a cameo appearance in the episode as an Italian man, sitiing at an Italian cafe with other men. Paulie says "commendatori" to the table, but the men look at Paulie and then turn away emotionless.
  • The scene wherein Paulie attempts to make conversation with the locals on the waterfront was not scripted; Tony Sirico was simply filmed interacting with passers-by. When Paulie tells a passer-by that he is from America, the Italian man asks Paulie if he is from NATO and if his planes cut their ski lift cable. This is a reference to the 1998 Cavalese cable car disaster.
  • Paulie tells an Italian prostitute that Sicilians are hot-headed. In reality, Tony Sirico, who plays Paulie, is Sicilian, not Neapolitan like his character.
  • Vittorio Duse, who played Zi Vittorio, also played Don Tommasino in The Godfather Part III.
  • The final exchange between Tony and Annalisa was filmed in the archeological ruins of Cumae.

References in popular culture[edit]

Music[edit]

  • The song "Con te partirò" by Andrea Bocelli is played three times throughout the episode.
  • When Tony is driven to Annalisa Zucca's villa the Napolitano song "Core 'ngrato" is played (without the vocals).
  • The song "Marco Polo" by Jovanotti is briefly played when Christopher is taking drugs the first time.
  • The song "Certamente" by the Italian rock band Madreblu is played when Christopher is taking drugs the second time.
  • The song played over the end credits is "Piove" by Jovanotti.

External links[edit]