Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood

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"Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep301.jpg
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 1
Directed by Allen Coulter
Written by David Chase
Cinematography by Alik Sakharov
Production code 302
Original air date March 4, 2001
Running time 49 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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"Proshai, Livushka"
Episode chronology

"Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood" is the twenty-seventh episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and is the first of the show's third season. It was written by David Chase, directed by Allen Coulter and originally aired on March 4, 2001.


* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Also guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

After the FBI loses another informant, Agent Skip Lipari recalls that Tony takes his associates down to his basement to discuss private matters that cannot be discussed away from home, counting on the noise of the vast 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) home's five central air conditioning units to mask any conversation. If the FBI were to obtain a search warrant, they would be able to maintain a high level of surveillance on the Soprano home. Chief Frank Cubitoso and Agent Harris go to obtain the court order but are warned by the judge not to linger there for too long. The FBI discover a one hour and forty-five minute period each Tuesday when nobody is home. When the Sopranos leave for their activities on Tuesday and the maid goes to English lessons and a picnic with her husband, the FBI then "breaks into" the Soprano home to look around. They discover in the basement a lamp which could serve as a decoy for a hidden microphone. They then hurry and plan to come back the following Tuesday to plant the device, hidden inside an exact replica of the lamp being replaced. However, the Sopranos as well as the FBI are soon shocked when the 120-gallon water heater explodes and the basement is flooded. They are then forced to gather old relics and boxes before they are destroyed by the water. Tony then calls on his plumber, Mr. Ruggerio to ask him to fix the mess. The following week, after the water heater is fixed and the basement is put back in order, the FBI agents plant the new lamp and quickly leave before the maid returns from lunch.

Meanwhile, Meadow is adjusting to life at Columbia University, where she meets her very energetic but homesick roommate, Caitlin Rucker. A.J. is cutting classes to smoke cigarettes with friends. Carmela begins taking tennis lessons with Adriana La Cerva. She is soon upset when she discovers her coach is moving away (and is married) and has been replaced with a woman who has more of an interest in Adriana.

Tony is still running his crew and is concerned about a possible garbage war involving his company, Barone Sanitation. He then gathers with his friends at Satriale's, where he finds a still-distraught Patsy Parisi mourning over his deceased twin brother (Phillip "Philly Spoons" Parisi) on their birthday. Tony acts as if he does not know what actually happened, but Patsy suspects Tony had something to do with it. The following day, while the FBI watches, a drunken Patsy aims a gun at Tony from his pool patio. However, he then puts the gun down and urinates in the pool instead, none of it seen by Tony. However, some days later, when Tony brings up to Patsy his favorable position in Tony's crew and all the money he has been earning which enables him to provide for his family and then inquisitively quizzes him whether he is still held back by his brothers death, Patsy seems to have settled his mind and pleads his allegiance to Tony.

First appearance[edit]

Title reference[edit]

  • Mr. Ruggerio is Tony's neighborhood plumber; one of the FBI agents says the Soprano house is in "Mister Ruggerio's Neighborhood."
  • Like Tony in this episode, real-life Mafioso Angelo Ruggiero had his house bugged by the FBI, yielding crucial evidence that led to the indictment of John Gotti.


  • Although this episode aired first in season three, "Proshai, Livushka" was the first to be shot.
  • The episode was part one of a two-hour season premiere when it originally aired in 2001.
  • Federico Castelluccio (Furio Giunta) is now billed in the opening credits as part of the main cast, but only in episodes in which he appears.
  • First episode in which Nancy Marchand (Livia Soprano) is not billed in the opening credits.
  • FBI Codenames for the Sopranos:
    • Tony - Papa Bing / Der Bingle
    • Carmela - Mrs. Bing
    • Meadow - Princess Bing
    • A.J. - Baby Bing
    • The Soprano residence - The Sausage Factory


  • The music playing when Tony walks down his drive-way in the first scene is the intro to "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlife"' by Alabama 3, who also perform the opening theme song.
  • The episode features the "Peter Gunn Theme" (by Henry Mancini) and "Every Breath You Take" (by The Police) mashed up by Kathryn Dayak from HBO. The music is played when the FBI are planting the bug in Tony's house.
  • While driving, Tony sings along with Steely Dan's "Dirty Work".
  • In the dormitory, when Caitlyn is telling Meadow about the man on the train, "Van Gogh" by Ras Kass is being played in the hallway.
  • When Anthony is being picked up for school by his friends, the song heard playing in the car is "Scud Missile" by Ganjah K.
  • Tony listens to "Hotel California" by Eagles while exercising at the end of the episode.
  • Elvis Costello's "High Fidelity" plays at the very end of the episode, as Tony and Carmela converse in front of the bugged lamp.

External links[edit]