House Arrest (The Sopranos)

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"House Arrest"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep211b.jpg
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 11
Directed byTim Van Patten
Written byTerence Winter
Cinematography byPhil Abraham
Production code211
Original air dateMarch 26, 2000
Running time57 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Bust Out"
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"The Knight in White Satin Armor"
The Sopranos (season 2)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"House Arrest" is the 24th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the 11th of the show's second season. It was written by Terence Winter and directed by Tim Van Patten, and originally aired on March 26, 2000.


* = credited only

Guest starring[edit]

Also guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Junior and Richie begin selling cocaine on the garbage routes to obtain extra money. When Tony learns about this, he warns Richie to stop, explaining that such action will only serve to draw FBI and DEA attention to the family's legitimate sanitation business. When informed of his nephew's decision, Junior decides to go against Tony, since the drug sales have supported him through his recent personal expenses and legal fees.

Neil advises Tony that the FBI is making attempts to indict him after linking him to Matt's murder. He suggests that Tony begin fulfilling his nominal job as a waste management consultant instead of spending huge amounts of time at the Bada Bing. Tony does so, but becomes increasingly bored on the job. Tony begins to pass time by having an affair with the receptionist and making a company betting pool for sports.

After lecturing Richie at a banquet for the company, Tony suffers a panic attack and is rushed to the hospital. Tony then discovers a rash on his arm, aggravated by stress and his scratching it, and continues to blame his condition on Dr. Melfi's treatment. Melfi's stress continues to worsen as she begins drinking between sessions on days when she is scheduled to see Tony. At a meal with her son, Jason, a drunken Melfi embarrasses them both when she rudely confronts another restaurant patron about a cigarette. Dr. Kupferberg grows increasingly worried and escalates his therapy with Melfi.

Junior sees a doctor about breathing problems and is advised to use a CPAP machine at night for his sleep apnea. As he prepares to leave the hospital, Junior reunites with a widow of an old friend, Catherine Romano, and tries to cover up his legal and medical situations. Back at home, he is forced to make excuses when Catherine drops by with a tray of manicotti and suggests they go out. After getting his hand stuck in his sink's garbage disposal unit for over six hours, he elects to call Catherine. When Junior opens up about his house arrest, Catherine understands and tells Junior that she enjoys spending time with him. She demonstrates her affection by massaging him and helping him put on his CPAP mask at night.

During an appointment with Melfi, Tony is told that he may exhibit symptoms consistent with alexithymia, a condition that affects people with antisocial personalities; if they aren't constantly engaged in activity and receiving requisite stimulation, they tend to crash because they then have time to confront the ways in which their actions have brought suffering on others. Tony decides to return to work at Satriale's and is welcomed back by his underlings, as well as FBI Agent Dwight Harris and his new partner. The episode ends with the agents and the mobsters amicably chatting outside Satriale's.

Title reference[edit]

House arrest is a sentence issued by a judge as an alternative to prison time and helps keep track of convicted criminals after or as an alternative to a prison sentence. The sentence states that the person cannot leave their main domicile and can only be released for important family functions, medical appointments, or funerals. Junior is also able to leave his residence when he needs to visit a supermarket. Junior's social life begins to dwindle under his sentence.

The title also applies to the increased amount of time that Tony spends at home, surrounded by mundane activities that do not interest him. In this way, Tony experiences a sort of "house arrest", isolated from his friends and the work that he enjoys. Although Tony's sentence is more self-imposed than his uncle's, it has been advised by his lawyer.

Cultural references[edit]

  • When Tony is reminded of the Bevilaqua murder case by his lawyer, Neil Mink, he remarks "I told you, I was home alone". Mink replies "You and Macaulay Culkin", referring to the 1990 film Home Alone.
  • One of the nurses in the hospital laughs at the U.S. Marshal sent to fix an electronic bracelet to Junior's ankle when he mentions his last name is McLuhan. His professional name is therefore Marshal McLuhan, similar to the name of Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan.
  • Catherine Romano shares a name with Nanette Fabray on the sitcom One Day at a Time, the same show Wilson was on in 1976–1977.
  • During a therapy session, Tony mentions he was watching a movie with Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow. Dr. Melfi guesses "Sliding Doors?". To which Tony corrects her with Seven.
  • While Junior is talking to Catharine, she mentions her husband died "almost 15 years ago, the week the shuttle exploded", referring to the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster.
  • At a meeting of Carmela's book club in her living room, her friends discuss the memoir Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. McCourt's follow-up memoir, 'Tis, lies on a nearby table.
  • Tony sarcastically rebuts Junior's nostalgic view of 1950s gangsters working together to settle their differences amicably, mentioning his memories of the picture of Albert Anastasia "lying there all amicable, on the barber shop floor". He's referring to the 1957 assassination of the Mafia boss in the barber shop of the Park Sheraton Hotel.
  • During a therapy session with Dr. Melfi, Tony, frustrated with his recent lack of progress, angrily mentions he's "ready for the George Sanders long walk", which refers to the suicide of the actor George Sanders in 1972.
  • The television program Uncle Junior and Catherine Romano are watching when he falls asleep is Diagnosis: Murder starring Dick Van Dyke.


External links[edit]