House Arrest (The Sopranos)

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"House Arrest"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep211b.jpg
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 11
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Written by Terence Winter
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 211
Original air date March 26, 2000
Running time 57 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Bust Out"
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"The Knight in White Satin Armor"
Episode chronology

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


* = credited only

Guest starring[edit]

Also guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Uncle Junior and Richie Aprile begin selling cocaine on the Barone Sanitation garbage routes in an attempt to obtain extra money. When Tony learns about this, he takes Richie aside and warns him to stop, explaining that such action will only serve to draw FBI and DEA attention to the family's involvement with the garbage industry, which is one of their legitimate business operations. When informed of his nephew's decision, Uncle Junior decides to go against Tony since the cocaine has supported him tremendously through his recent personal expenses and legal fees.

Tony's attorney, Neil Mink, advises Tony that the FBI is making attempts to indict him after the failed accusation with the Matthew Bevilaqua murder. Neil suggests that Tony begin reporting to Barone Sanitation, and fulfill his nominal job as a waste management consultant instead of spending huge amounts of time acting as "the boss" at the Bada Bing. Tony does as he is told but becomes increasingly bored on the job as the days drag on. Tony begins to pass time by flirting — and later having vigorous sex — with the receptionist and making a company betting pool for sports. After lecturing Richie at a banquet for the company, Tony suffers an anxiety 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 poor treatment. Dr. Melfi's stress continues to worsen as she begins drinking between patient 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 asks a restaurant patron to put out her cigarette. When the patron refuses, Melfi uses force to put out the cigarette and is asked to leave. Dr. Kupferberg grows increasingly worried and escalates his therapy with Melfi.

Uncle Junior goes to Dr. Douglas Schreck after having difficulty breathing. Dr. Schreck recommends that he uses a CPAP machine at night for his sleep apnea which will help with his excessive snoring and to take pressure off of his heart. As he prepares to leave the hospital, a court officer places an electronic bracelet on Junior's leg. In the hallway, Junior reunites with a widow of an old friend, Catherine Romano. When Catherine asks him what he has been up to, he tries to cover up his restrictive legal and medical situations. Back at home, Junior is quickly forced to make excuses when Catherine drops by with a tray of manicotti and suggests they go out. In the days following, Junior continues to be tired of his restricted lifestyle due his house arrest. After an incident with his sink's garbage disposal unit where his hand got stuck and he was left stranded for over six hours until he was discovered by Janice and Richie, he elects to call Catherine. They begin to regularly see one another socially and Junior finally admits that he cannot leave his home under the terms of his house arrest. Junior tells her that the house arrest greatly affects his life, Catherine understands and tells Junior that she enjoys spending time with him despite the fact that he got into trouble. Catherine demonstrates her affection for Junior by massaging him and helping him put on his CPAP mask at night.

During an appointment with Dr. Melfi, Tony is introduced to the idea that he may exhibit some symptoms consistent with a condition known as alexithymia. Melfi raises the subject by asking Tony if he knows why sharks were always in motion and going on to explain that this is 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 Pork Store after being overcome by boredom at Barone Sanitation. Tony is welcomed back to work by his underlings, as well as Agent Harris who is in the neighborhood to introduce his new partner. Tony and his crew idly relax in the store, but are soon occupied by a car crash outside. 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. Tony is in a similar, albeit self-imposed, situation when he tries to curtail his interactions with his crew.

Cultural references[edit]

  • 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.
  • When Corrado's doorbell rings and Bobby asks who it is, Junior replies, "Judge Crater. How should I know?" Joseph Force Crater was a New York City judge who vanished in 1930 while out on a night on the town.
  • 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 programme Uncle Junior and Catherine Romano are watching when he falls asleep is Diagnosis: Murder starring Dick Van Dyke.


External links[edit]