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


Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Tony Soprano attempts to break up with Irina Peltsin and insists to her that she deserves better than being his lover. Irina refuses to accept the breakup, saying that she loves Tony and will commit suicide if he leaves her, but he walks out. Tony later receives a call from Irina's cousin, Svetlana Kirilenko, informing him that Irina attempted to kill herself by consuming sleeping pills and vodka. Tony visits her in the hospital and tells her that she needs help. Tony then discusses Irina with Dr. Melfi and asks if she can find her a suitable therapist. In an attempt to cast himself in a more positive light when Carmela accuses him of continued infidelity, Tony confesses the Irina suicide situation to her, but Carmela only gets more enraged. To make amends with Irina, Tony sends Silvio Dante to her house to present her with a parting gift of $75,000. Silvio, along with Svetlana, seem to persuade her to move on with her life.

At a bridal shop, while Janice is beaming over her upcoming marriage to Richie, Carmela comments that within a year, Janice 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 Richie Aprile and Janice's engagement party, which Tony reluctantly hosts, Richie professes his love for Janice and his gratitude that he is entering a great family. Witnessing the pair's affection and happiness, Carmela escapes to the kitchen where she sobs uncontrollably. The following day, Carmela finds Vic Musto at a paint store, where she thanks him for not showing up to their intended luncheon since she would have done things that she would have later regretted.

"Big Pussy" Bonpensiero begins to take to his job as an FBI informant seriously, beginning to feel even more resentment towards Tony. First he wears a wire to Richie and Janice's engagement party and then elicits useful information about stolen airline tickets and Tony's business with David Scatino. However, Pussy begins to develop an unrealistic image of his new role. When he learns that Christopher Moltisanti is planning a hijacking with another associate, targeting a shipment of Pokémon cards, Pussy attempts to conduct his own surveillance and follow them to the heist, but winds up in a car accident that puts a man in coma and wounds his 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 shut down a sideline operation distributing cocaine along his garbage routes. Richie approaches Junior Soprano and suggests having Tony killed, but Junior is reluctant, being mindful of his own failure to do so last year, and his tentative reconciliation with his nephew since then. When Richie insists that he can muster support from other dissatisfied crews such as the Bareses, Junior finally offers his approval. Richie visits Albert Barese, acting-capo of the Barese crew since his cousin Larry Boy's indictment, to try to win his allegiance, but Albert balks at the idea of a hit on Tony and refuses. Junior subsequently suggests to Richie that they should wait and consider their options - but once Richie departs, Junior mulls his loyalties once more and concludes Richie's inability to "sell" the plan to Albert reflects upon his lack of respect and influence. He ultimately decides that having Richie in power would cause him more trouble, and tips off Tony about Richie's plans to eliminate him. After learning of this, Tony asks for Silvio's advice on what to do with Richie, and Silvio concludes that there is no further benefit to keeping Richie around. Silvio is ordered to plan the hit.

Vexed, Richie returns home to dinner with Janice. He only becomes more infuriated when Janice informs him that Tony refuses to have his children near him after the situation with Beansie Gaeta, and believes Richie is a bad influence. Richie expresses disgust for his son Richie, Jr.'s career path as a ballroom dancer and his possible sexual orientation. When Janice takes offense, saying she does not care if "Little Ricky" is considered gay, he silences her with a punch to the mouth. Janice walks out of the room and suddenly reappears with a gun and shoots Richie in the chest at the dinner table. He falls backwards out of his chair and lies on the ground, stunned. She then finishes him off by shooting him in the head. Starting to panic, she calls Tony to help her. Tony arrives and sees Richie's dead body and then enlists Christopher Moltisanti and Furio Giunta to dispose of Richie's body, which they do by dismembering Richie's corpse with the meat-cutting equipment at Satriale's.

In the morning, Tony encounters his mother for the first time since her stroke at Green Grove. 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, and Livia tells Tony he is cruel, but her son refuses to show her any compassion and leaves. On his way out, he stumbles down the stoop and falls on the front walk, which instantly changes Livia's crying into soft laughter. Tony then 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.

Tony and Carmela discuss Richie and Janice's sudden disappearances, and he hints that Richie will not be coming back. Understanding his implication, Carmela is shocked, but soon moves the conversation on and informs Tony that she and Rosalie Aprile want to travel to Rome to see the sights and, hopefully, the Pope. Carmela asks that Tony be a "chauffeur" to A.J. and find Meadow a suitable tennis camp while she is away, mockingly suggesting that she "just might commit suicide" unless he agrees to let her go.

First appearances[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, apparently a confused paraphrasing of the term "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.




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

External links[edit]