For All Debts Public and Private

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"For All Debts Public and Private"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep401.jpg
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 1
Directed byAllen Coulter
Written byDavid Chase
Cinematography byPhil Abraham
Production code401
Original air dateSeptember 15, 2002
Running time58 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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The Sopranos (season 4)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"For All Debts Public and Private" is the 40th episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos and the first episode of the show's fourth season. Written by David Chase and directed by Allen Coulter, it originally aired on September 15, 2002.


Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Christopher Moltisanti drives Tony Soprano to a meet with Uncle Junior at his doctor's office. Junior asks for more money to cover his mounting legal costs, and requests changing their terms for an allowance. Tony tells him of "a shortage" and angrily refuses to change the percentages. Junior also wants to demote Murf Lupo to soldier and replace him with Bobby Baccalieri. Later that night, Junior's lawyer tries to call him and speaks to Murf, who relays information that the FBI apparently had a mole in the doctor's office who has been pulled to testify at Junior's RICO trial.

Carmela Soprano notices widow Angie Bonpensiero handing out free samples at a supermarket, and becomes worried about her own financial security. When she asks Tony to provide money so she can make an investment, he tells her they need to be tighter with money and that there is no longer large amounts of money kept in the house. He then removes a large bag of cash from his car and hides it in the pool house. Tony has Chris take him to the Bada Bing, where he vents his frustration by beating up Georgie Santorelli. Tony, Chris, and Silvio Dante then attend a meeting with the family's caposCarlo Gervasi, Ally Boy Barese, Ray Curto, and Ralphie Cifaretto. Tony harangues them about the lack of growth in the family's business as of late, noting Junior's financial situation.

Chris believes his return to driver status is punishment for questioning how Tony dealt with Jackie Aprile, Jr.. At home, Adriana La Cerva is with Danielle who, unbeknownst to her, is FBI Agent Deborah Ciccerone. Chris arrives home and is rude to Danielle, who then leaves against Adriana's wishes. He complains about his sudden demotion and prepares to use heroin. He offers Adriana to join him, but she declines. Later, Tony uses bags of duck feed to hide more cash. While out buying the feed, Tony meets with Assemblyman Ron Zellman to talk about real estate. Zellman tips him off that prices near a new project are likely to see a huge jump. Tony recalls that Junior owns a large warehouse in Newark that could potentially be a gold mine.

Carmela invites Ralphie and Rosalie Aprile over for dinner, despite Tony's instructions not to. Janice Soprano follows Ralphie to the bathroom and joins him for cocaine and sex. During the dinner, Adriana, accompanied by Danielle, visits to borrow a samovar from Carmela. Tony is introduced to Danielle and is visibly attracted to her. Later, he has a meeting with New York boss Carmine Lupertazzi. During the party afterwards, Chris uses heroin with an Icelandic air stewardess. Tony and Chris leave the party early to drive out to a Hooters restaurant. Tony tells Chris that the corrupt cop who killed his father is in the restaurant having his retirement party. Tony says the cop was kept alive because he was "useful," but that this ended with his retirement. Tony gives Chris the cop's address.

Tony and Bobby go to Junior's house, where Junior and Murf inform them of the FBI mole. They discuss what the FBI may have learned from the ploy. Tony gives Junior $100,000 for his warehouse, lying to him that it's to help him with his financial difficulties. Junior is despondent about his life, telling Tony he is an "old man who is going to trial." Meanwhile, Paulie Walnuts is arrested in Youngstown, Ohio while en route to Steubenville to visit Dean Martin's birthplace. From a jailhouse payphone, he calls Johnny Sack and complains that no one has asked why he was arrested. Johnny cultivates Paulie's feelings of dissatisfaction with Tony.

In therapy, Tony discusses Carmela pressuring him over the family's future and Junior's situation. When Tony discusses his future in terms of two endings, death or prison, Dr. Melfi is initially shocked by his candor and asks him why he doesn't "just give it up." Tony tells her there is a possible third option and that he has a plan to avoid either outcome, by relying solely "on blood relations," using Chris as a buffer between himself and others to avoid future prosecutions. Melfi is baffled by Tony's unexpected frankness, to which he replies that he now trusts her "a little." That night, Chris ambushes the cop at his home and accuses him of killing his father. The cop makes pleas that he is innocent and that someone is telling him lies. Chris replies that it does not matter as someone wants him dead either way. He executes him with his own weapon, staging it as a suicide. He removes the cop's wallet and finds only a crisp $20. Later that morning, Chris goes to visit his mother, Joanne, to look over the old photos of his father and puts the $20 on the fridge as he leaves.

First appearances[edit]


Title reference[edit]

  • The episode's title is taken from a phrase found on American paper currency: "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private". The episode ends with a close up of a twenty-dollar bill that Christopher takes from Lt. Barry Haydu after he kills him.
  • Money is a worry for Tony, Carmela, and Junior in the episode.
  • Christopher is now indebted to Tony for the information Tony provided about Christopher's father.


  • This episode was the first to be produced and aired after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. From this episode on, the shot of the World Trade Center towers in the opening credits is absent, replaced by additional shots of industrial scenery before reaching the toll booth.
  • Vince Curatola (Johnny Sack) is now billed in the opening credits, but only for the episodes which he appears in.
  • Paulie's prison stay was written into the series to allow more time off for actor Tony Sirico, who was recovering from major back surgery.[citation needed]
  • The wrestler Johnny Valiant appears in this episode as Carmine Lupertazzi's bodyguard.
  • A comment made by Carmine Lupertazzi to Tony Soprano, "A don doesn't wear shorts", was added into the show after series creator David Chase was contacted by a supposed real-life mafia associate who praised him on the authenticity of the show, with the exception that Tony often wears shorts, which he said a real don would never do. [1]
  • "For All Debts Public and Private" is one of only two Sopranos episodes in which the end credits roll on top of a picture (the eye of the twenty dollar bill in this case) instead of a black background (the other episode is "Cold Cuts" from Season 5) and the only episode in which they do so for the entire duration of the credits.
  • This episode had the highest ratings of the series, with an estimated 13.43 million viewers.

References to other media[edit]

  • Junior is shown watching the movie Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison.
  • During the scene in which Carmela approaches Tony about finances, the movie playing on the television is Rio Bravo, a 1959 Western starring John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson. In the scene that Tony is watching, Martin and Nelson sing a duet, "My Rifle, My Pony and Me". This song is also used at the end of the future episode "Pie-O-My."
  • At Lt. Haydu's house, Chris is shown watching the Magnum P.I. episode "No More Mr. Nice Guy".
  • When Paulie is on the payphone in county jail, The Jerry Springer Show is seen on the television in the background.
  • During the scene in which Janice and Ralphie are snorting cocaine in the bathroom, Janice comments "Oh Bartleby, Oh Humanity" a reference to the drama surrounding Jackie Jr.'s death. This is the last line from Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener.
  • The scene in the Doctor's office ends with a shot of Tony, Junior and Bobby in the door opening, with Tony closing the door in a near direct parallel to The Godfather 's final scene.


External links[edit]