The Strong, Silent Type

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"The Strong, Silent Type"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep410.jpg
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 10
Directed by Alan Taylor
Story by David Chase
Teleplay by
Cinematography by Alik Sakharov
Production code 410
Original air date November 17, 2002
Running time 53 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Whoever Did This"
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"Calling All Cars"
Episode chronology

"The Strong, Silent Type" is the 49th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the 10th of the show's fourth season. Its teleplay was written by Terence Winter, Robin Green, and Mitchell Burgess from a story by David Chase. It was directed by Alan Taylor and originally aired on November 17, 2002.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

One week after Ralphie's "disappearance," Christopher walks into the Bada Bing with a large parcel as Tony phones Ralphie in front of his crew, feigning ignorance about his fate. The parcel turns out to be the portrait of Tony and Pie-O-My that Tony had ordered previously. Distraught, Tony leaves the Bing and calls back to order the painting destroyed. Later, Paulie sees Benny and Little Paulie trying to burn the painting and rescues it from destruction, saying it would be an honor to have a painting of Tony hanging in his house. Paulie hangs it in his living room, but later takes it down to have it modified to garb Tony in a "Napoleon-like" uniform.

At a dinner with Silvio and Patsy, Albert verbalizes the crew's suspicions that Tony killed Ralphie because of a horse. After Silvio leaves the table, Albert states that any boss who kills a member of his crew over a horse should be eliminated. Meanwhile, Tony visits Ralphie's comatose son in the hospital and later has a session with Dr. Melfi. As Tony relates his pain over losing Pie-O-My, Melfi comments that he seems to grieve more for animals than for humans. Further, she reminds him that his sadness about the ducks leaving his pool was an inner metaphor for his fears about losing his family. Melfi questions whether the death of the horse can be attached to another internal conflict.

When Furio returns from Naples, he has gifts for A.J. and Meadow but nothing for Carmela. Later, Carmela visits Furio under the pretext of giving interior decorating tips and receives an improvised present of a jar of homemade balsamic vinegar brought back from Italy. When Carmela tells Rosalie about her feelings, the widow advises that if Carmela hasn't had sex with Furio yet, she shouldn't, if only to keep Tony from exacting revenge on Furio. At a meeting, Johnny demands that Tony let New York in on the HUD scam. When Tony refuses, Johnny threatens him.

Tony calls a meeting of Paulie, Silvio, Vito, Carlo, and other key family members. Tony asserts Johnny had Ralphie killed over the HUD scam. To Paulie's alarm, others speculate whether Ralphie's joke about Johnny's wife had any bearing on Ralphie's disappearance. Meanwhile, Adriana breaks down in tears when she finds that Chris, in a heroin-induced stupor, sat on her dog and killed it. Later, she meets her FBI handler, Agent Sanseverino, and feeds her as little information as possible. Sanseverino, knowing about Chris' habit, suggests that Adriana push for him to go into rehab. Chris is carjacked and robbed while attempting to purchase heroin in a low-income barrio. When he returns home beaten, Adriana gives him a pamphlet for a rehab clinic, but he beats her.

Carmela is visited by a bruised Adriana and hears about how Chris' addiction has left him increasingly unstable. Tony rejects Junior's advice to kill Chris. Instead, family and friends organize an intervention. The opening exercise involves everyone telling Chris specific moments of how his drug use has affected their lives. Tony becomes enraged when Adriana reveals that Chris had accidentally killed her dog. Chris verbally attacks those speaking to him, including making veiled references to Paulie's Pine Barrens fiasco and Silvio's infidelity. When Chris starts to disrespect Tony and insults his own mother, he gets a beating from the men in the room. The intervention ends with Chris being taken to the emergency room with a hairline skull fracture.

Tony arranges for Chris to go to a rehab clinic in Pennsylvania and demands that he not leave until he is clean, telling him that Patsy will be watching him. Later, while visiting a napping Junior, he finds Svetlana is there. Svetlana discusses the differences between Americans' and others' worldviews: Americans don't expect anything bad to happen and are surprised when it does, while the rest of the world expects the worst and are not disappointed. Tony remarks that Svetlana reminds him of "Greta Garble". They end up having sex on Junior's couch. Afterwards, Tony is upset when Svetlana suggests they not see each other again. The episode closes with juxtaposing scenes of both Tony and Furio preparing food and eating alone at their respective homes without Carmela. Paulie, also home alone, hangs the modified painting of Tony and Pie-O-My over his fireplace. Paulie sits with his back to the painting while watching a Yankees game, but Tony's eyes still seem to bother him.

Deceased[edit]

  • Cosette: killed when Christopher, high on heroin, sits on her while she was lying on a sofa. Cosette appears in a dream sequence in the season 6 episode Cold Stones.

Production[edit]

  • Carmela (Edie Falco) sports a new, shorter hairdo beginning with this episode.

Title reference[edit]

  • The episode's title refers to Gary Cooper, who Tony has described as a perfect model of a man. Tony mentions Cooper several times during the series, describing him as "the strong, silent type". He first said it during therapy in the series pilot, and again in the 4th season episode "Christopher." The concept finds value in strength through keeping silent, an American model of Omertà.
  • Tony's unknown rival for Carmela, Furio, could also be described this way.
  • Tony keeping Ralph's murder a secret.
  • Tony mentions to Svetlana that she "doesn't talk much" while admiring her tenacity and spunk, finding beauty in her strength; meanwhile Svetlana tells Tony she doesn't want to "prop him up" all the time saying she has her own problems when he mentions calling her some time after they sleep with each other.

Other cultural references[edit]

  • At the start of the episode, as Christopher gets high on heroin before sitting on the dog, Cosette, the television was showing an Our Gang short film Bear Shooters.
  • When Adriana comes home Christopher is asleep in front of the TV, on which the 1966 movie The Oscar is being shown.
  • Paulie tells Silvio he watched On the Waterfront in HD and was impressed, saying "Karl Malden's nose hairs looked like BX cables".
  • The baseball game Paulie watches near the end of the episode is a Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game played at Yankee Stadium on September 4, 2002, and won by the Yankees, 3-1. The play shown is Yankee designated hitter Jason Giambi's fourth-inning two-run home run off Red Sox starter Derek Lowe. Then-Red Sox left fielder Rickey Henderson is also referred to by the game's announcer. This also represents a discontinuity, as earlier in the episode Svetlana had said her fiancé was in Florida for Mets' spring training, which would be held in March. (The game was being played on the YES network as a Yankees classic).

Music[edit]

  • When Adriana is talking to the FBI agent, the other car stereo is playing the song "Analyse" by The Cranberries.

External links[edit]