Funhouse (The Sopranos)

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"Funhouse"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep213.jpg
Tony in his dream
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 13
Directed byJohn Patterson
Written byDavid Chase
Todd A. Kessler
Cinematography byPhil Abraham
Production code213
Original air dateApril 9, 2000 (2000-04-09)
Running time59 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"The Knight in White Satin Armor"
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"Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood"
The Sopranos (season 2)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"Funhouse" is the 26th episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos, and the 13th and final episode of the show's second season. It was co-written by series creator/executive producer David Chase and co-producer Todd A. Kessler, and directed by frequent The Sopranos director John Patterson, and originally aired in the United States on April 9, 2000, attracting about 9 million viewers.[1]

It was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.

Starring[edit]

Guest starring[edit]

Also guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Shortly after Janice's departure, Tony and his younger sister Barbara arrive at Livia's home to discuss her permanent living arrangements. When Barbara says her husband won't allow her to live with them, Tony hands Livia two stolen airline tickets to Arizona and warns her to leave for good. Later, Tony discusses a telephone card scheme with Silvio and Pussy at Artie's restaurant. That night, Tony dreams about meeting Silvio, Paulie, Christopher, Hesh, Philly "Spoons" Parisi, and an oddly silent Pussy in Asbury Park. Tony tells them that he is dying of terminal disease and, accepting his fate, has decided to commit suicide. He douses himself with gasoline while Paulie ignites a lighter. Chris suddenly asks whether the doctors are wrong just as the gasoline ignites, causing Tony to wake up. After falling ill with food poisoning, Tony has a fever dream where he sees himself through a tower viewer playing cards with Paulie inside the old Asbury Park Convention Hall. When Paulie says something, Tony shoots Paulie in the chest, killing him.

The following morning, Artie comes over with the menu for Meadow's graduation party, only to learn about Tony's food poisoning. He and Tony argue about the quality of his food. When Artie learns that Tony ate at an Indian restaurant, he believes that to be the cause. Artie calls up Pussy to see if he is sick as well, but learns he is fine. Tony becomes delirious after receiving a house call from Dr. Cusamano, but falls asleep and dreams about having sex with Dr. Melfi during a therapy session. Tony then dreams of speaking to Pussy, who has taken the form of a dead fish and makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to "sleeping with the fishes" - and tells Tony he knows inside that Pussy has been working with the government. Against Carmela's wishes, Tony and Silvio invite Pussy to check out a new boat with them. Feigning diarrhea, Tony searches Pussy's bedroom and finds a wire hidden in a cigar box.

While driving to meet Paulie at the docks, Tony has a final fever dream in which Meadow announces over dinner she is planning to attend Columbia University and Tony tells his family he has bought a new boat. After setting out for a ride on a yacht, Tony confronts Pussy about when he "flipped". Pussy initially denies the accusation, but quickly confesses under pressure. He claims to have supplied them with disinformation, but Tony does not believe him. To break the mood, Pussy shares tequila and brags about the girl he used to have sex with at the clinic in Puerto Rico. The others laugh, but then Tony asks if she even existed. Pussy retreats to a corner, resigned to his fate. After telling him he was like a brother to all of them, Tony, Silvio, and Paulie pull out their guns. Pussy then becomes lightheaded and asks to sit down with Tony instead taking the first shot. Paulie and Silvio follow suit and shoot Pussy to death. Paulie removes his identifying jewelry, and together they bind his bagged body in chains and weights, throw him off the back of the boat, and watch his body sink into the ocean.

Carmela receives a phone call from Livia, who is being detained at Newark Airport for possessing stolen airline tickets. Within minutes, FBI agents arrive at the Soprano home with a search warrant. Tony is handcuffed in front of Meadow. He becomes unbalanced at one point and almost falls, appearing weak in front of the FBI agents. The agent in charge, Chief Frank Cubitoso, notes that Tony is "weak in the knees," but he angrily responds that he's got food poisoning and is led into a holding cell. Soon after, Neil has him released on bail, in time to attend Meadow's graduation the next day. Later, at Dr. Melfi's, Tony blames Indian people for his food poisoning and rants against his mother. Melfi challenges him to confront the recent sorrow which she suspects he may be harboring underneath his pose. Tony stubbornly refuses to delve into his state of mind, and continues with distractions by bluntly talking about his sex dream with her before smugly leaving the session.

At Meadow's graduation ceremony, Tony proudly watches his daughter accept her high school diploma. He also tells Chris that he is putting him up to become a made man. Tony then sees Davey, who tells Tony that his wife is divorcing him, that he has moved to Nevada, and that his son won't go to Georgetown University after Davey gambled away his college money. Later, Tony and Carmela throw Meadow a party at their house, and the episode ends with a montage of Tony's two "families" celebrating together. Carmela sees Tony standing by himself in a corner of the living room, slowly lighting a cigar and blowing out the smoke, with a faraway look on his face.

First appearances[edit]

Deceased[edit]

Title reference[edit]

  • In Tony's dream, he is on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, near the Palace Amusements funhouse with the famous wide-eyed clown painted on it known as "Tillie".
  • In the scene when Tony's mother calls his home for help about the stolen airline tickets. Carmela answers the phone. When she hands the phone to Tony, she says: "Here, the fun never stops".

Production[edit]

References to past episodes[edit]

  • Tony's dream where Pussy appears as a fish, saying that the other fishes around him are "asleep" mirror a quote from The Godfather which Pussy corrected to Christopher while helping to dispose of Emil Kolar's corpse in the pilot episode : "Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes".

Music[edit]

  • The song played throughout the episode, including the end credits, is "Thru and Thru" from the 1994 album Voodoo Lounge by The Rolling Stones (and is sung by Keith Richards).
  • The song played on the radio of Tony's car and in his last "fever dream" is "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty.
  • The song that Pussy puts in the CD player and plays in the background while he confesses to being an informant is "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" by Frank Sinatra.
  • The song Meadow listens to on the radio in her room, while she is sulking after Tony is arrested in front of her friends is "Diamonds & Rust" by Joan Baez.
  • Tony deliriously sings the theme song from "Gilligan's Island" as he falls asleep after Dr. Cusamano visits his house to diagnose his illness.
  • When Tony leaves Dr. Melfi's office after retaliating when he feels she insulted him, he sings "Maybe Baby" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets.
  • After killing Pussy Bonpensiero, Tony watches a 1960s broadcast of The Temptations on television, performing "Ain't Too Proud to Beg".

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Entertainment Weekly placed "Funhouse" #5 on their list of the 10 greatest The Sopranos episodes;[2] TIME placed it at #9.[3]

Awards[edit]

  • This episode was one of two viewer's choice winners on A&E, along with "Pine Barrens".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2006-03-14). "The comeback". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  2. ^ Snierson, Dan. "The Hit Parade - 5. FUNHOUSE (Season 2)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  3. ^ Poniewozik, James (2007-04-04). "Funhouse - The Sopranos - TIME". TIME. Retrieved 2008-02-26.

External links[edit]