Walk Like a Man (The Sopranos)

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"Walk Like a Man"
The Sopranos episode
Walklikeamansopranos.jpg
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 17
Directed byTerence Winter
Written byTerence Winter
Featured music"Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse "The Valley" by Los Lobos
Cinematography byPhil Abraham
Production code617
Original air dateMay 6, 2007
Running time55 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Chasing It"
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"Kennedy and Heidi"
The Sopranos (season 6)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"Walk Like a Man" is the 82nd episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos, the fifth episode of the second half of the show's sixth season, and the 17th episode of the season overall. Written and directed by executive producer Terence Winter in his directorial debut, it originally aired on May 6, 2007 and was watched by 7.16 million viewers upon its premiere.[1]

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

A.J. struggles with depression after his breakup with Blanca. He quits his job at the pizzeria, sulks around the house, and makes suicidal comments. Tony and Carmela do not know how to help him.

A.J.'s therapist prescribes an antidepressant. After Tony notices Carlo and Patsy proudly talking about their sons, he suggests the young men invite A.J. to hang out with them. On his father's orders, A.J. goes to a party at the Bada Bing with "the two Jasons" – Jason Gervasi and Jason Parisi. As he accompanies them from one party to another, he begins to associate with a profitable sports betting business they are running at school. At one frat party, they use A.J.'s SUV to take a kid who owes them money into the woods. They pour sulfuric acid on his toes while A.J. helps hold him down. Carmela and Tony are pleased; they think A.J. is becoming more outgoing, and spending less time at home.

Tony tells Dr. Melfi he was going to quit therapy for good but, "My son is talking suicide. So now I'm trapped here for ever." He becomes teary as he speaks of his children: "My rotten fucking putrid genes have infected my kid's soul. That's my gift to my son."

Tony speaks to FBI Agents Harris and Goddard about Ahmed and Muhammad, who have stopped visiting the Bada Bing, and gives them the cellphone number one of them had used. "That's a real prize," Goddard says.

Christopher and Paulie are selling stolen power tools through Chris' father-in-law's hardware store and dividing the take, but Chris is seeing the others in the crew less than before. He and Kelli host a barbecue. Tony tells Chris there that his absence from Soprano family gatherings could be seen as a lack of commitment. Chris reminds him that he is avoiding such meetings to keep his sobriety: there is always drink around.

Little Paulie and Jason Molinaro are sent by Paulie to break into the hardware store and steal some items, which they sell to Paulie's Cuban contacts from Miami. Chris confronts Paulie and demands compensation, but Paulie throws him out of his house. Tony brushes off Chris' protests. Chris finds himself increasingly sidelined in the family, with Bobby apparently taking his position in Tony's inner circle. After venting his frustration at an AA meeting, he tells another AA member that there was a woman he had to sacrifice for his boss, saying that was when their relationship became permanently poisoned. When Little Paulie steals again from the hardware store, Chris finds him at a poker game and throws him out of a window. Little Paulie survives the incident with six broken vertebrae. Paulie vandalizes Chris's landscaped front garden with his Cadillac CTS.

Though at first very angry, Tony mediates peace between Chris and Paulie, and the money situation is worked out between them. The two reconcile their differences at the Bing, where Chris drinks with Paulie to mark the occasion. Chris becomes drunk and rambles about his daughter, causing an amused Paulie to make some off-color jokes. Chris thinks everyone is laughing at him, Tony most of all, and abruptly leaves. He goes straight to J.T.'s place. But J.T. cannot help him much: he is no longer Chris's sponsor, he has work to do, and it is dangerous for him to hear the things Chris is starting to tell him. Rebuffing him, he says, "You're in the Mafia." After a few seconds, Chris says quietly, "Fine," and kills him with a single shot. [2]

First appearances[edit]

  • Jason Parisi: son of Patsy Parisi and a friend of A.J. Soprano and Jason Gervasi. He attends Rutgers University and is part of a small-time crew that runs sports book operations at his college. He and Jason Gervasi are known as "The Jasons".
  • Walden Belfiore: soldier in the Gervasi crew, seen at the Bada Bing! with the other mobsters.
  • Dr. Richard Vogel: A.J.'s psychotherapist.

Deceased[edit]

  • "J.T." Dolan: shot dead in the head by Christopher Moltisanti, after refusing to hear his story about the Mafia.

Title reference[edit]

  • The episode's title refers to the song "Walk Like a Man" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, which is about a father telling his son to get over a woman who left him. Tony tries to pull A.J. out of his depression over the breakup with Blanca. Frankie Valli himself formerly had a role in the series as New York capo Rusty Millio, and an earlier episode ("Big Girls Don't Cry") was also named after a Valli song.
  • The phrase alludes to the belief that a man should be tough. AJ should get over Blanca, Chris should get over his weaknesses for drink and drugs. In the previous episode, both Phil and Tony told Vito Jr to be the man in his family.

Production[edit]

  • Carl Capotorto (Little Paulie Germani) is promoted to the main cast and billed in the opening credits but only for this episode.
  • "Walk Like a Man" is the directorial debut of Terence Winter, a Sopranos writer and producer since the second season, who also wrote this episode. Winter, along with creator David Chase is one of only two screenwriters on the show to have both written and directed a single episode at the same time.
  • Georgie the bartender of Bada Bing! returns in this episode for a brief final appearance, despite having been severely abused by Tony in "Cold Cuts", which led to Georgie's resignation, and his insistence for Tony to stay away from him. He was apparently later reasoned with and convinced to come back after a pay-off from Tony.
  • The scene where Christopher observes mobsters laughing in slow-motion and looks for Tony's reaction in particular is similar to the scene from "All Happy Families..." where Tony observes the slowly laughing Mafiosi and gives most attention to Feech La Manna's reaction. Both Tony and Christopher seem to look for how these important people genuinely value them in the difficult-to-fake situation of immediate laughter.

Connections to prior episodes[edit]

  • Christopher and Paulie have feuded many times in the past, most notably in episodes "Fortunate Son" when Christopher became made, "Second Opinion" when Paulie harassed Christopher and sniffed Adriana's panties, "Pine Barrens" when they got lost in the woods, "The Strong, Silent Type" when Christopher's drug intervention took place, and "Two Tonys" when Christopher had to pay for Paulie's outrageous restaurant bills.
  • Tony turns down Dr. Melfi's offer to recommend a therapist for A.J., saying her previous referral for Meadow was "incompetent," referring to the psychotherapist who encouraged her to take a gap year in college and go on a trip to Europe in "No Show".

Other cultural and historical references[edit]

  • At the start of this episode, A.J. is in the living room, watching a Tom and Jerry short, "Yankee Doodle Mouse" on TV.
  • Carmela quotes to AJ from In Memoriam by Alfred, Lord Tennyson: "better to have loved and lost".
  • A.J. is watching the movie Annapolis, when Tony comes downstairs at night.
  • While A.J. is switching channels, Tony spots the John Wayne movie Hellfighters.
  • Tony says A.J. could have died in Iraq (meaning he would have been old enough to be enlisted) when Carm protests about him going to a strip club.
  • Before Christopher murders J.T. Dolan, Dolan is writing a script for Law & Order. Michael Imperioli starred in five episodes of that show in a recurring role as Detective Nick Falco.
  • After Tony and A.J. arrive home to find Carmela and Meadow up, snacking, Carmela mentions that they stayed up to see Rachael Ray on Leno.

Music[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TV Ratings". Los Angeles Times. May 9, 2007.
  2. ^ Matt Zoller Seitz (May 7, 2007). "The Sopranos Recap: Season 6, Episode 17, "Walk Like a Man"". Slant Magazine.

External links[edit]