Johnny Cakes (The Sopranos)

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"Johnny Cakes"
The Sopranos episode
Ep73 01.jpg
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 8
Directed byTim Van Patten
Written byDiane Frolov
Andrew Schneider
Cinematography byAlik Sakharov
Production code608
Original air dateApril 30, 2006
Running time54 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Luxury Lounge"
Next →
"The Ride"
The Sopranos (season 6)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"Johnny Cakes" is the 73rd episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the eighth of the show's sixth season. Written by Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, and directed by Tim Van Patten, it originally aired on April 30, 2006.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

Uninterested in his job or in going back to college, A.J. spends most of his time hanging out in New York nightclubs with his high school buddy Hernan O'Brien and his new friends, some of them underage girls. To afford more clubbing, A.J. sells the drum kit Tony gave him as a gift. He asks his parents to provide him a nightclub to manage, a suggestion they scoff at: he is still below the legal drinking age. Carmela wants him to study event planning and Tony offers to get him a place at Beansie's pizzeria. In session with Dr. Melfi, Tony says that A.J.'s presence is "like a bad smell in the house. It's always hanging there."

A.J.'s club acquaintances are impressed with him because of who his father is. Bragging to one of the girls, he implies he will take revenge on Junior for shooting Tony. Out on Tony's boat, A.J. asks what they are going to do about Junior; Tony says he should not concern himself with the matter. One evening, after slumping at home all day, A.J. takes a knife and visits Junior in the mental hospital. When Junior sees him, he begs him to take him home. Unnerved, A.J. drops the knife before even attempting to use it, and is tackled by orderlies as he tries to escape. Using his influence with Assemblyman Zellman, Tony gets his son released from custody without charge. He furiously throws him against the car; he achieved nothing, he could have been charged with attempted murder, he is too nice for such things, he must grow up. A.J. cries, Tony almost cries. He tells A.J. he must never tell his mother what happened. During A.J.'s next night out clubbing, one of Hernan's friends asks him to get Tony to help him in a dispute with his landlord. Retreating to the restroom, A.J. has a panic attack.

Vito, pretending to be a writer named "Vince", spends more time at Jim's diner in New Hampshire. One evening, he witnesses Jim performing a heroic rescue of a young child while working as a volunteer firefighter and later compliments him on his heroism. Jim, who is revealed to also be a father, takes an interest in Vito's book and questions him about the lonely life of a writer. Vito steals the cell phone of a fellow guest at his bed-and-breakfast and calls his wife, Marie. She begs him to come home and tells him that Phil wishes to put him through "treatment" for Vito's homosexuality. Vito tells her not to trust Phil, and instructs her where to find $30,000 cash in the house. Marie puts their son on the phone and, suppressing his emotions, Vito has a brief conversation with him. Vito spends an evening with Jim and other firefighters at a local roadhouse. Later, after Vito admires Jim's motorcycle in the parking lot, they appear to kiss but Vito angrily shoves him off. They throw punches and Jim leaves Vito beaten.

Days later, Vito goes back to the diner. "Sometimes you tell a lie so long, you don't know when to stop," he says. "You don't know when you're safe." "I hear you," Jim says. They take a motorcycle ride together. In a field, under the falling leaves, they have sex. Back in Jersey, Tony is under pressure, especially from Phil, to find Vito and kill him.

Tony manages to make love to his wife for the first time since his injury. But he is attracted to another woman: Julianna Skiff, a real estate agent who approaches him with an offer from Jamba Juice, which wants to buy the building he rents to a long-established company, Caputo's Poultry. Tony rejects the deal, stating that the poultry store is part of the neighborhood. He rejects a second offer; she declines his invitation to dinner. He accepts the third offer, nearly half a million dollars, and she agrees that they should meet in her apartment to complete the paperwork. In his bedroom, while Tony is dressing for the encounter, Carmela helps pick out a shirt for him and helps him to button it up. At Julianna's, after Tony signs the paperwork, the two start kissing passionately, and Julianna starts unbuttoning his shirt. Tony makes her stop and abruptly departs, heading home to Carmela where he goes on a tear, saying he's angry because there's no smoked turkey in the fridge.

Burt and Patsy make collections in the neighborhood of the property Tony sells. They find they cannot extort money from a branch of a major coffee chain which has just opened. "It's over for the little guy," Patsy says. Caputo furiously tells them Tony Soprano has sold his store premises. "What the fuck is happening to this neighborood?" Patsy says.

First appearances[edit]

  • Julianna Skiff: a real estate agent with whom Tony almost has an affair.
  • Rhiannon: an ex-girlfriend of Hernan O'Brien, hanging out with A.J. and others at the nightclub.

Title reference[edit]

  • The episode's title refers to a jonnycake, type of pancake that is a local specialty at a diner frequented by Vito.
  • "Johnny Cakes" also becomes Vito's pet name for Jim.

Production[edit]

  • The setting for the East Haledon Police Department was filmed at the police headquarters in West Orange, New Jersey. It was filmed in the back of the building to give the look of a more rural and suburban town in Northern New Jersey.

Other cultural references[edit]

  • The film A.J. and his co-worker are watching and studying for the knife fight is The Hunted.
  • Jim's diner patron asks Vito what the year was when Rocky Marciano fought Joe Louis. Jim correctly identifies the year as 1951.
  • In a scene where Julianna Skiff enters the Bada Bing! to meet with Tony, a UFC event is playing on the TV.
  • One of Jim's firefighter friends teases another about emitting an "Yma Sumac scream" when a roof fell in.
  • The girl massaging A.J. and Dr. Elliot Kupferberg both erroneously reference the Omertà, the Mafia code of silence. The girl believes it instructs who exactly should carry out a revenge hit for an attacked Mafia member and Elliot thinks the Omertà precludes mobsters speaking out about their personal feelings.
  • In a scene where A.J. spends the afternoon being lazy at home (despite asking his mother to wake him at 10 AM), he watches Aqua Teen Hunger Force on the living room TV. A poster of American metal band Tool (band) can be seen in A.J.'s room.

Music[edit]

External links[edit]