University (The Sopranos)
|The Sopranos episode|
|Directed by||Allen Coulter|
|Cinematography by||Alik Sakharov|
|Original air date||April 1, 2001|
|Running time||49 minutes|
"University" is the 32nd episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the sixth of the show's third season. The teleplay was written by Terence Winter and Salvatore J. Stabile from a story idea by David Chase, Terence Winter, Todd A. Kessler, Robin Green, and Mitchell Burgess. It was directed by Allen Coulter and originally aired on April 1, 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
- and Joe Pantoliano as Ralph Cifaretto
* = credit only
- Ariel Kiley as Tracee
- Suzanne Shepherd as Mary De Angelis
- Tom Aldredge as Hugh De Angelis
- Ari Graynor as Caitlin Rucker
- Patrick Tully as Noah Tannenbaum
- Sharon Angela as Rosalie Aprile
- Jason Cerbone as Jackie Aprile, Jr.
- Maureen Van Zandt as Gabriella Dante
- John Fiore as Gigi Cestone
- Dan Grimaldi as Patsy Parisi
- Frank Santorelli as Georgie Santorelli
- Joseph R. Gannascoli as Vito Spatafore
- Michael Garfield as Len Tannenbaum
At the Bada Bing, Tony receives homemade datenut bread from one of the strippers, Tracee, in gratitude for helping her out with her sick son. Tony graciously refuses the gift, partly because Tracee is having an affair with Ralphie. Meanwhile, at Columbia University, Meadow is becoming intimate with Noah when they are interrupted by her roommate, Caitlin, who is in the midst of an anxiety attack. After Caitlin calms down, Meadow goes to Noah's room and loses her virginity to him.
Later, Noah and Meadow plan to cheer Caitlin up by taking her out for her birthday. They spot a babbling homeless woman, who causes Caitlin to become upset again and flee to her dorm room. Tired of dealing with Caitlin, Meadow visits Carmela and talks about her relationship with Noah. When Noah gets a C- on a term paper, he blames Caitlin's repeated interruptions and his father, Len, files a restraining order against her. Meadow meets Len for dinner, where the topic of Tony's profession comes up. The following day, Noah breaks off his relationship with Meadow, telling her that she is too negative and cynical. She is left shocked and upset.
One afternoon, Tracee tells Tony that she is pregnant with Ralphie's child and asks whether she should get an abortion; he advises her to do so and not tell Ralphie about it. Ralphie becomes obsessed with the film Gladiator, and roughhouses with Georgie at the VIP lounge. Things become tense when Ralphie finds a length of chain and swings it at Georgie, severely injuring his eye. Tony angrily makes Ralphie take Georgie to the emergency room. Later, Silvio is shocked to find that Tracee, who has missed work for a few days, is at Ralphie's townhouse. He forces her to get into his car while Ralphie watches from the window in amusement.
During an early-morning party at the Bing, Tracee insults Ralphie in front of the other mobsters. Their argument escalates in the parking lot, ending with him brutally bashing her head into a metal guardrail, killing her. In violation of Mafia code, Tony assaults Ralphie, a fellow made man. Tony takes Tracee's death badly and becomes emotional during a therapy session with Carmela and Dr. Melfi. The other Bada Bing strippers ask amongst themselves where Tracee went. Georgie, sporting a bandaged eye, trains a new stripper in place of Tracee.
- Tracee: Bada Bing stripper murdered by Ralphie in the parking lot.
- Much of the episode revolves around Meadow's university experiences.
Other cultural references
- In the first scene, Silvio points to "Yo Yo Ma" as evidence that the Chinese, like his fellow Italians, also have "nicknames."
- After being introduced to Meadow, Noah's father says he sat next to a talkative Tim Daly of Wings fame on his flight from Los Angeles. Noah also mentions that his father did Daly's deal for the short-lived TV series remake of The Fugitive. Daly would later play the role of television writer J.T. Dolan on The Sopranos, beginning with the episode "In Camelot."
- Caitlin references the Lindbergh kidnapping while expressing to Meadow how she was worried about her missing.
- Noah's father says he worked with Dick Wolf, the creator of Law & Order. At first, Meadow mistakes him for a sportscaster, possibly meaning Warner Wolf.
- During a scene in the family kitchen, A.J. wears a Nine Inch Nails Fragility tour T-shirt.
- After dining out with Noah's father, Noah and Meadow see the Francis Ford Coppola film Dementia 13.
- Ralph watches Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, starring Kirk Douglas, which Christopher recommended as a good gladiator film.
- The song played during Tracee's introduction and during the end credits is "Living on a Thin Line", from The Kinks 1984 album, Word of Mouth.
- The song playing in the background during the first scene between Noah and Meadow is "The Dolphin's Cry" by Live.
- When the stripper (Kelly Kole) is trying to get into the VIP room of the Bada Bing, "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC is playing in the background.
- The song playing when Tracee shows Tony her new braces is Minnie Riperton's "Inside My Love" (1975).
- The song playing when Silvio is informed that Tracee had missed three days of work is "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman–Turner Overdrive.
- The song playing in the background when Meadow and Noah have dinner with Noah's father is "Everybody's Jumpin" by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.
- "Powder Your Face with Sunshine" by Dean Martin is used in a scene at the Bada Bing, where Ralph is telling the Custer joke.