Second Opinion (The Sopranos)
|The Sopranos episode|
|Directed by||Tim Van Patten|
|Written by||Lawrence Konner|
|Cinematography by||Phil Abraham|
|Original air date||April 8, 2001|
|Running time||59 minutes|
"Second Opinion" is the 33rd episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the seventh of the show's third season. It was written by Lawrence Konner and directed by Tim Van Patten, and originally aired on April 8, 2001.
- James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
- Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi
- Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano
- Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
- Dominic Chianese as Corrado Soprano, Jr.
- Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante
- Tony Sirico as Paulie Gualtieri
- Robert Iler as Anthony Soprano, Jr.
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Meadow Soprano
- Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva
- Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano *
- Federico Castelluccio as Furio Giunta
- Steven R. Schirripa as Bobby Baccalieri
* = credit only
- Tom Aldredge as Hugh De Angelis
- Sully Boyar as Dr. Krakower
- Dan Grimaldi as Patsy Parisi
- Tony Hale as RN Collins
- Toni Kalem as Angie Bonpensiero
- Sam McMurray as Dr. John Kennedy
- Suzanne Shepherd as Mary De Angelis
- Frank Wood as Dean Ross
While under anesthesia during surgery, Junior hallucinates about FBI agents offering him a cure to his cancer if he cooperates with them. His physician, Dr. John Kennedy, informs Tony and his crew that Junior's tumors have been removed. However, on a later visit, Kennedy informs Junior and Bobby that they have found more malignant cells and would once again like to perform surgery. Junior agrees, but Tony doesn't: he believes Junior is too much impressed that his doctor happens to have the same name as President John F. Kennedy.
Tony and Junior visit another doctor in New York City, who recommends that Junior receive chemotherapy treatments. Eventually, a tumor board review is called and they reach the same conclusion. Junior undergoes chemo and suffers unpleasant side effects. Not satisfied with the treatment, Junior waits to hear from Kennedy, who is not returning his calls. To appease his uncle, Tony and Furio visit Kennedy on his golf course and intimidate him into being more receptive to Junior. Kennedy appears at the hospital and warmly greets Junior, acting supportive of the treatment and encouraging him to stay the course along with providing his home phone number.
Carmela attends a session alone with Dr. Melfi, on a day when Tony does not want to go.. She breaks down as she realizes her ignorance about Tony's job. Melfi recommends Carmela to see Dr. Krakower, a colleague in Livingston, as her own regular therapist. After she details her life with Tony to Krakower, he recommends that she leave the marriage since Tony's life is dangerous and his income is derived from blood money. He advises Carmela to use only the legitimate funds she can muster to survive on and raise her two children alone.
Carmela visits Meadow, who is still sour over Noah's breakup and Tony's attitudes. Carmela defends Tony and challenges Meadow to explain herself, but she does not respond. Later, Carmela has lunch with Columbia's dean over a donation. Carmela is receptive to funding a student center, but Tony angrily balks and only agrees to go as high as $5,000. Later, she tells Tony that she has already told the dean she will give $50,000. Tony initially objects, but when Carmela tells him that he must do something nice for her, he reluctantly agrees and suggests they go out to dinner.
Christopher is aggravated when Paulie asks him if he is wearing a wire during a pool game at the Bada Bing. Paulie forces Chris to strip naked to prove it and makes fun of his penis size. Later, at 2:00 a.m., Paulie and Patsy arrive unexpectedly at Chris' apartment and comb his belongings looking for swag and wiretap equipment. Chris is disgusted when Paulie sifts through Adriana's clothes and sniffs her panties. Tony dismisses Chris' complaints, and Paulie warns him to never go to the boss again about an argument between the two of them. They settle by bonding over a Big Mouth Billy Bass that Paulie plans to give Tony.
Meanwhile, Carmela spots Angie Bonpensiero at a supermarket and invites her to dinner. Angie explains her dog is very sick and that, though Tony is helping her financially, she cannot afford veterinarian bills after Pussy's disappearance. Carmela tells Tony, who visits the Bonpensiero residence and spots a new Cadillac in the driveway. Because she had mentioned grievances that were not Carmela's business, and still has enough money for an expensive car, he angrily damages it with a baseball bat. He tells Angie that, if she needs money, she should come directly to him.
- The scene wherein Carmela waits in Dr. Melfi's waiting room, gazing at the green statue, is almost identical to the opening scene of the very first episode, with Tony in the waiting room.
- Mike Nichols was originally cast to play the role of Dr. Krakower. However, the role eventually went to Sully Boyar. During the episode's original broadcast, Nichols was credited instead of Boyar; this was corrected for repeats and the DVD release; Boyar died of a heart attack on March 23, 2001, two weeks before the airing of the episode.
- Uncle Junior seeks a second opinion from another doctor for his cancer treatment.
- Carmela gets a second opinion from a psychotherapist.
Other cultural references
- Adriana tells Christopher that she once performed oral sex on Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame in a public restroom.
- The episode features the toy Big Mouth Billy Bass, a popular singing animatronic fish from the late 1990s that most of Tony's crew gets a kick out of. However, Tony is reminded too strongly of his best friend whom he was forced to kill (and more specifically, the dream where Pussy appeared to him as a talking fish).
- The song played when Carmela visits Meadow at Columbia and, again, over the end credits is a live version of "Black Books" by Nils Lofgren.
- A remix of "Mysterious Ways" by U2 is playing in the Bing when Tony beats up Georgie with the Billy Bass.
- Songs sung by the Big Mouth Billy Bass are "Take Me to the River" by Al Green and "Y.M.C.A." by The Village People. "Y.M.C.A." was a specially-recorded version for the toy by The Sopranos prop department after the originally planned song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin, was not allowed to be licensed for the show by McFerrin, who disliked the adult content of the TV series.
- Bach's Goldberg Variations can be heard when Carmela has lunch with the dean of Columbia University.
Edie Falco won her second Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in this episode.