The Knight in White Satin Armor

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"White Satin Armor"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep212.jpg
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 12
Directed by Allen Coulter
Written by Robin Green
Mitchell Burgess
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 212
Original air date April 2, 2000
Running time 60 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"The Knight in White Satin Armor" is the 25th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the 12th of the show's second season. It was written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, and directed by Allen Coulter, and originally aired on April 2, 2000.

Starring[edit]

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Tony attempts to break up with Irina, who threatens to commit suicide if he leaves her. Tony later receives a call from Irina's cousin, Svetlana Kirilenko, informing him that Irina attempted to kill herself by drug overdose. Tony visits her in the hospital and suggests that she seek a therapist. When Carmela accuses him of continued infidelity, Tony tries to cast himself in a positive light by explaining Irina's suicide attempt to her, which only enrages his wife further. To make amends with Irina, Tony has Silvio present her with a parting gift of $75,000. Silvio, along with Svetlana, seem to persuade her to move on with her life.

While Janice beams at the prospect of marrying Richie, Carmela comments that within a year, she will have to accept a comàre. Janice looks at Carmela smugly and tells her Richie will never stray, as there would never be anyone else who would let him hold a gun to their head as they have sex. At their engagement party, Richie professes his love for Janice and his gratitude for entering a great family. Witnessing the pair's affection and happiness, Carmela escapes to the kitchen and sobs uncontrollably. The following day, she finds Victor at a paint store and she thanks him for not showing up to their intended luncheon, since she would have done things that she would have later regretted.

Pussy begins to take to his job as an FBI informant seriously, beginning to feel even more resentment towards Tony. He wears a wire to Richie and Janice's engagement party and elicits useful information about Tony's business with Davey. However, Pussy begins to develop an unrealistic image of his new role. When he learns that Christopher is planning to hijack a shipment of Pokémon cards, Pussy's attempts at surveillance cause a car accident that puts a man in coma and injures Pussy's knee. At the hospital, his handler Skip Lipari reminds Pussy that he is not a government employee and that he should focus solely on providing information on Tony.

Richie's contempt for Tony grows when he is again ordered to stop selling cocaine on his garbage routes. Richie approaches Junior and suggests having Tony killed, but Junior is reluctant due to his own past dealings with Tony. When Richie insists that he can muster support from other dissatisfied crews, Junior gives his approval. Richie visits acting capo Albert "Ally Boy" Barese to win his allegiance, but Albert refuses. Junior subsequently suggests to Richie that they should wait and consider their options, but once Richie departs, Junior concludes Richie's inability to "sell" the plan to Albert reflects upon his lack of respect and influence. Junior ultimately tips off Tony about Richie's plans to eliminate him. After weighing their options, Tony and Silvio plan a hit on Richie.

Richie returns home and only becomes more infuriated when Janice informs him that Tony doesn't want his children near him after the situation with Beansie. Richie expresses disgust for his son Richie, Jr.'s possible sexual orientation. When Janice takes offense, he silences her with a punch to the mouth. Janice walks out of the room and comes back with a gun, fatally shooting Richie. In a panic, Janice contacts Tony, who enlists Chris and Furio to dispose of the body. They dismember Richie's corpse with the meat-cutting equipment at Satriale's.

In the morning, Tony encounters his mother, Livia, for the first time since her stroke. Tony explains that Richie has left; Livia smiles at a distraught Janice and says she knew it wouldn't last. The mother and son exchange hurtful recriminations. On his way out, Tony stumbles down the stoop and falls on the front walk with his gun also falling out of his jacket, which instantly changes Livia's crying into soft laughter. Tony buys Janice a bus ticket back to Seattle, gently mocks her when she asks how Richie was buried, and they briefly reflect on the nature of their family. During conversation, Tony hints to Carmela that Richie will not be coming back. Understanding his implication, a shocked Carmela changes the subject.

First appearances[edit]

Deceased[edit]

  • Richie Aprile: shot by Janice after he punched her in the mouth for defending his son being a ballroom dancer.

Title reference[edit]

  • The episode's title is a quote made by Irina about her cousin Svetlana's American fiancé, Bill, who treats her well, a mixed metaphor of "knight in shining armor" and the Moody Blues song "Nights in White Satin". Irina first says this in the season one episode "College".
  • Janice is seen wearing white satin when trying on wedding dresses. She later acts as Tony's savior (albeit inadvertently) when she kills Richie, who had been planning on killing Tony.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Tony mentions Flying Down to Rio when referring to Richie's son's dancing talents.
  • The FBI agents reference Patty Hearst and her Stockholm syndrome as an example for Pussy Bonpensiero's co-operation and disillusioned feelings towards his role as an informant.
  • Pussy follows Christopher and another associate who are planning to hijack a shipment of Pokemon cards, where at the time the franchise had just become popular in the United States.
  • When advising Irina to accept Tony's parting gift of cash, and to not squander her youth by pining after any one dream that is not panning out, Silvio cites Gail Sheehy's New York Times bestselling book, Passages.[1]
  • When phoning his FBI handler Pussy gives himself the codename 'Fatman', an injoke referring to the 80s TV series Jake and the Fatman starring Joe Penny as the eponymous hero. Penny makes a brief appearance in this episode playing Vic Musto.
  • Tony sarcastically comments that Uncle Junior is a counter-agent like Matt Helm, a fictional character from books and a 1970s TV series starring Tony Franciosa.
  • Carmela is seen watching the 1950 film Champagne for Caesar after Tony learns of Irina's suicide attempt.

Music[edit]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Commentary on Sheehy's book Passages". Butler-Bowdon.com. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 

External links[edit]