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 by Terence Winter
Written by Terence Winter
Featured music

"Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse

"The Valley" by Los Lobos
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"
Next →
"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, 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]

Episode recap[edit]

A.J. struggles with depression over his breakup with Blanca. He quits his job at the pizzeria, sulks around the house, and disturbs Meadow with suicidal comments. Tony and Carmela disagree 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 quitting therapy for good, but the situation with A.J.'s behavior has 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 Carlo and Patsy proudly talking about their sons, he tells the young men to 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 gambler into the woods 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 and Paulie sell stolen power tools through Chris' father-in-law's hardware store. However, Paulie takes offense when Chris refuses to toast to the successful venture with alcohol and berates him for his weakness handling addictive substances. When FBI Agents Harris and Goddard visit Satriale's, Tony decides to provide them info on Ahmed and Muhammad after being told that aiding the Bureau in fighting terrorism can earn him a reduced sentence at trial. At a barbecue, Tony tells Chris how 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. Tony disagrees with Chris' belief that his addiction was handed down from his parents, but Chris insists that his father was a junkie and a drunk.

Little Paulie and Jason Molinaro 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 Tony, saying that that exact moment was when his and Tony's relationship became permanently poisoned. When Little Paulie continues to steal 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. Tony harshly reprimands Chris, while Paulie vandalizes his front garden with his Cadillac CTS. Chris' wife Kelli is shaken by the ordeal.

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 takes alcohol to mark the occasion. Chris becomes drunk and rambles about his daughter, causing an amused Paulie to make some off-color jokes about her. Chris believes the group is mocking him and abruptly leaves. Looking for someone to pour his heart out to, he decides to visit J.T.. However, J.T. is unenthusiastic about listening to Chris and is offended when he mentions that he "let" him write Cleaver. He attempts to tell J.T. about Adriana and Ralphie, but J.T. requests that he be kept in the dark because Chris is "in the Mafia." With this remark, Chris shoots and kills J.T. before leaving. Tony and A.J. both return home late and find Carmela and Meadow having a late night snack. Meanwhile, Chris arrives at his residence, walks through his ravaged front yard, and staggers into the 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.

Deceased[edit]

  • "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.

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.
  • 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. 

External links[edit]