Walk Like a Man (The Sopranos)

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"Walk Like a Man"
The Sopranos episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 17
Directed by Terence Winter
Written by Terence Winter
Featured music "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 617
Original air date May 6, 2007
Running time 55 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Chasing It"
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"Kennedy and Heidi"
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, the 17th episode of the season overall. It was written and directed by executive producer Terence Winter in his directorial debut, originally aired on May 6, 2007, and was watched by 7.16 million viewers upon its premiere.[1]


* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

A.J. Soprano struggles with depression over his breakup with Blanca. She quits seeing him completely after he breaks down in tears every time they have a conversation, saying this embarrasses her. A.J. quits his job at the pizza parlor, sulks around the house, and disturbs Meadow with suicidal comments that remind her of a girl from college who threw herself off a library balcony. Tony and Carmela have disagreements about how to help A.J. They each try to have encouraging and consoling talks with him but to no avail.

In a psychotherapy session with Dr. Melfi, Tony tells her he has been once again seriously contemplating finally quitting therapy for good, saying he concluded it is useless. Melfi disagrees. Tony says he, in fact, intended to quit it in this meeting, but the situation with A.J.'s suicidal behavior has come up and stopped his plans. Tony gets teary as he tells Melfi he blames himself for what he believes is a hereditary condition of depression in his family he passed over to his son.

For lack of better options, Tony and Carmela assign A.J. to a therapist who prescribes an antidepressant. After Tony notices mobsters Carlo Gervasi and Patsy Parisi proudly talking about their sons, he tells the young men to invite A.J. to hang out with them. On his father's orders (and to the chagrin of his mother), A.J. goes to a party at the Bada Bing! with "the two Jasons" (Jason Gervasi and Jason Parisi) - fraternity members who are his age. As he accompanies them from one party to another, he begins to associate with their sports betting business they are running at school, from which they are profiting considerably. At one frat party, they use A.J.'s SUV to take a gambler who fails to pay his debts into the woods to beat and torture him by pouring sulfuric acid on his toes while A.J. helps hold him down. Carmela and Tony are content to find that A.J. is becoming more outgoing and spends less time at home.

Christopher Moltisanti and Paulie Gualtieri are selling stolen power tools via Al Lombardo's (Christopher's father-in-law's) hardware store at a discounted price which rakes in satisfying profits. Paulie, however, takes offense when Christopher cannot toast to the successful venture with alcohol and berates him for his weakness handling addictive substances. Christopher leaves, resenting his judging.

Tony finds FBI agents Harris and Goddard at Satriale's. Agent Harris mentions Phil Leotardo has become the boss of his crime family but comments he does not like him, as he once attempted to set up his colleague for a rape. Tony decides to provide them info on Ahmed and Muhammad, Christopher's Middle-Eastern associates he got suspicious of, after Harris tells him that if he is ever brought to trial, his aid to the FBI fighting terror could be reciprocated by arranging a reduced sentencing or the like. Tony passes the men's names and cell phone number to the agents.

Christopher and Kelli organize a barbecue party at their house, to which they invite various family members. As Chris and Tony talk, Tony tells Chris how his frequent absence from the crime family gatherings could be seen as his lack of commitment to it. Christopher reminds him he is avoiding the presence of alcohol and his absence from the strip club and Satriale's is what keeps his sobriety. He also adds he believes that he inherited his addiction from his parents. Tony disagrees with this, but Chris insists that his father Dickie Moltisanti (Tony's hero) was nothing more than a junkie and a drunk. Tony stays silent.

Little Paulie Germani begins breaking into Al Lombardo's hardware store along with Jason Molinaro and stealing his products, deceiving Al they are doing this with Christopher's knowledge, while in fact they are selling the goods to Paulie's Cuban contacts from Miami on his orders. After Christopher learns of this, he confronts Paulie at his house and demands an immediate compensation, but Paulie becomes likewise furious and throws him out of his home for his hostile and disrespectful tone. Christopher protests Paulie's actions to Tony, but he brushes him off, labeling his problem a minor concern when he is dealing with much bigger business matters.

Christopher finds himself increasingly sidelined in the criminal organization, with Bobby Baccalieri now apparently replacing his position in Tony's inner circle. He vents his passionate frustration about Tony's ingratitude and insensitivity at an AA meeting. In a private conversation with one AA member, Christopher adds that there was a woman he had to sacrifice for Tony (alluding to the murder of Adriana) and that his boss never appreciated this most painful act he did for him, saying that that exact moment was when his and Tony's relationship became permanently poisoned.

When Little Paulie continues to steal from Al Lombardo, this time conning one of his employees, Christopher gets fed up and, enraged, finds him at a poker game where he punches him before throwing him out of a window. Little Paulie survives the incident but suffers six broken vertebrae. Tony is furious about Christopher's move and harshly criticizes him in his office. Also, in retaliation, a visibly irate Paulie destroys Christopher's front garden by running over flower beds, crushing bushes, and doing doughnuts in the grass in his Cadillac CTS. Kelli is shaken and scared by the ordeal.

Tony mediates peace between Christopher and Paulie, and the money situation is worked out between them. The two then reconcile their differences over at the Bada Bing!. Going to toast, Paulie orders a club soda for Christopher, but he decides to have an alcohol drink to mark the occasion after all. Throughout the night, Christopher becomes drunk and begins to ramble about his daughter, causing an amused Paulie to make some off-color jokes about her to the gathered mobsters, including joking about Caitlin working at the Bing in twenty years. Christopher believes the group is mocking him, and he gets especially hurt when he notices Tony laughing at one of Paulie's jokes. Christopher abruptly leaves. Looking for someone to pour his heart out to, he decides to visit J.T. Dolan, whom he originally met in AA. J.T. is annoyed to receive a very drunk Christopher in the middle of the night when he has a Law & Order episode deadline to make. He is unenthusiastic about Christopher's problems and only takes further offense when the mobster mentions that he "let" him write Cleaver. Christopher then makes veiled references to the sacrifices he has made for the sake of his crime family, and implies that he knows sufficient information to bring it down if he wanted to. He attempts to tell J.T. about Adriana La Cerva and Ralph Cifaretto, but Dolan does not want to hear the details, telling him to get sober, see a sponsor and requests that he be kept in the dark, shouting that it is because Christopher is "in the Mafia." With this remark, Christopher appears to have had just about enough didactic from him, and, when he turns to leave the apartment, he suddenly pulls his pistol out and shoots J.T. in the head, instantly killing him. Christopher then leaves.

A.J. returns home as late as Tony and, by quickly driving up the driveway, even startles his father into thinking it is an ambush on his life, as he pulls a sawed-off shotgun from his truck's secret compartment. Tony conceals it back in its place when he recognizes it is A.J.'s car. The two walk into the house together to find Carmela and Meadow having a late night snack and they join the table. Carmela tells them Meadow had a new mystery date. A.J. teases her, causing warm smiles for his parents who share a look.

With "The Valley" by Los Lobos playing in the background, Christopher arrives at his home, the front yard still completely ravaged by Paulie. He stops to prop up one of the partially destroyed trees and then staggers into his house.

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.


  • "J.T." Dolan: shot dead in the head by Christopher Moltisanti, apparently for angering him at a very wrong time.

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 breaking up with Blanca throughout the episode. 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 title could refer to the act of trying to embolden someone to be "a man," to toughen him up, as done in this episode by Tony urging A.J. to get over Blanca and by Tony, Paulie and J.T. Dolan all telling Christopher to overcome his weaknesses, comments he deeply resents and which ultimately even get J.T. killed.


  • 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.
  • 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.



  1. ^ "TV Ratings". Los Angeles Times. May 9, 2007. 

External links[edit]