Where's Johnny?

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"Where's Johnny?"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep503.jpg
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 3
Directed by John Patterson
Written by Michael Caleo
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 503
Original air date March 21, 2004
Running time 54 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Rat Pack"
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"All Happy Families..."
Episode chronology

"Where's Johnny?" is the 55th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the third of the show's fifth season. Written by Michael Caleo and directed by John Patterson, it originally aired on March 21, 2004. It is the only episode of the entire series in which Edie Falco does not appear.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

Feech and Tony B confront a local gardener, Sal Vitro, who has been cutting grass in a particular neighborhood for decades. Feech claims that his nephew, E. Gary La Manna, reserves the right to this area. When Sal acts dismissive, Feech breaks his arm before Tony B, horrified, pulls Feech away. Paulie learns from his aunt, one of Sal's customers, that he will not be gardening the area anymore because of the assault. Meanwhile, Junior finds Curb Your Enthusiasm on TV and, in his dementia, confuses the characters with himself and Bobby and thinks it's his trial.

Tensions rise in New York as loan shark Lorraine Calluzzo and her boyfriend, Jason Evanina, collect debts. They are attacked by three competitors, including Phil and Joey Peeps, for giving their collections to Little Carmine instead of Johnny. Phil stages a mock execution with Lorraine, threatening that "next time, there'll be no next time." Lorraine, Jason, and Angelo meet Tony and Junior at Harold Melvoin's office to discuss the problem. Tony recommends that New York form a triumvirate of bosses with Johnny, Carmine and Angelo. Angelo says that he doesn't need the stress since he is semi-retired and wants to enjoy his grandchildren. Meanwhile, Paulie visits Feech's bakery and confronts him about assaulting Sal. Feech becomes irate with Paulie and demands that he leave.

Tony tries to mend fences with Artie Bucco, who is still holding a grudge over the loan incident. He offers Artie one of the bedrooms in his mother's house, since Artie has run into problems with his living arrangements; Artie reluctantly agrees. During Sunday dinner, Junior repeats a comment that Tony "never had the makings of a varsity athlete." Tony takes offense, reminding Junior how those comments made him feel when they were said in front of female cousins and warning him to not make the comment again. When Barbara Giglione arrives with her family, she asks her brother about NFL season tickets. Their discussion of a possible draft pick leads Junior to make the comment again. Furious, Tony storms out of the dinner with A.J..

Paulie's aunt tells him that Sal is tending her lawn for the last time. Tony meets Johnny at the Shea Stadium parking lot, telling him that Lorraine reached out to him. It is revealed that Tony and Lorraine previously had an affair. Tony raises his power-sharing idea from the previous meeting, but Johnny responds with contempt, accusing Tony of empowering Little Carmine when he reached out to him for help during Tony's disagreement with Carmine over the HUD scam. Meanwhile, Junior wanders from his house in his bathrobe and drives to Bloomfield Avenue where his brother, Johnny Boy, once had a Soprano family hangout. Junior finds that the hangout is now a storefront church and is kicked out. Befuddled, Junior forgets where his car is and walks in the opposite direction. Janice and Bobby argue about what to do when they find out Junior is missing.

Paulie pays a visit to Gary and asks him to give back his area to Sal. When Gary refuses, Paulie hits his brother Jimmy in the head with a shovel, causing Gary to fall out of the tree he was trimming. Paulie threatens and robs Gary, takes his lawn mower as a down payment, and demands that Gary pay Sal's medical bills and let him take a cut of Gary's profits. Bobby informs Tony that Junior is missing, but Tony replies that he doesn't care and that Junior is dead to him. Later, Tony and Christopher have a sit-down with Johnny. When Chris butts into their argument, Johnny shouts at them and leaves. Afterwards, Tony lashes out at Chris, advising that he keep his ears open and mouth shut in order to avoid getting drawn into the brewing war in New York.

Adriana is told she could be forced to act as an FBI informant for as long as seven years. Junior sits on a park bench and is accosted by a homeless woman. He is discovered by police walking across a Newark bridge; he trips over and cuts his knee when he tries to flee. After Junior is driven home, Janice and Bobby tell Tony about his situation, but Tony believes Janice is merely trying to dump her problems on him, mentioning her prior drug habits and wild lifestyle. When Janice slaps Tony, he starts choking her. As Bobby and Artie try to break up the fight, Artie gets hit in the eye by Janice's flailing elbow. Janice runs out of the house crying. Tony tells Bobby that if he wants more responsibility in the family, he should start by "controlling his wife." Later, Tony mediates a sit-down between Paulie and Feech at Satriale's, where it is ruled that Sal and Gary divide the contentious neighborhood in half. Sal is disappointed, but Paulie insists he should be grateful for getting this much. He then adds that Sal will have to provide free services at the homes of "some friends of ours," including Tony's and Johnny's lawns.

After running into Junior's neurologist on the golf course, Tony realizes that Junior's insults may have been due to his infarcts. Tony visits Junior to reconcile, and recommends that he take his medication to help with his memory loss. Junior reveals that Feech complained to him about the ruling against Gary. Tony is upset about Feech going behind his back, but Junior reminds him that he is still the official boss of the family "despite arrangements." Tony asks why he always repeats mean things and not something nice. When Tony asks Junior if he loves him, Junior doesn't answer, and they both quietly tear up.

First appearances[edit]

  • Sal Vitro: a gardener helped by Paulie who becomes indebted to the DiMeo crime family.
  • Billy Leotardo: Soldier in the Lupertazzi crime family and Phil's younger brother. He was seen along with Joey "Peeps" and Phil during Lorraine Calluzzo's mock execution.

Title reference[edit]

  • Junior wanders away from his home looking for his brother, Johnny Soprano, and utters the question in the episode.
  • Tony tries to scout where Johnny Sack stands on the idea of sharing the Lupertazzi crime family boss position with Little Carmine and Angelo Garepe.

References to previous episodes[edit]

  • In the pilot episode, when Tony describes Uncle Junior to Dr. Melfi, he says his uncle embarrassed him by telling all his girl cousins he didn't have the makings of a varsity athlete. Junior greatly annoys Tony by repeating this once again to the Sunday dinner guests in this episode.
  • The audiobook that Paulie listens to in his car is The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Paulie's curiosity about Sun Tzu was brought up in the previous episode, "Rat Pack".

Cultural references[edit]

  • When Tony B. delivers laundry to the Bing, he talks with Tony S. about his new working status and says he once told Feech that it had been a "long, strange trip," which is possibly a reference to the Grateful Dead's song "Truckin'", which includes the lyrics "What a long, strange trip it's been." Grateful Dead also released a "best of" album titled "What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been," in 1977.
  • Uncle Junior is seen watching the HBO television series Curb Your Enthusiasm (featuring a scene between Larry David and Jeff Garlin) and is confused because he thinks he's watching himself and Bobby on TV. The scene in question is from the season 2 episode "The Doll" (2001).
  • When Janice stops by her late mother's house to tell Tony about Uncle Junior, he's watching the 1940 movie His Girl Friday. The TV screen isn't seen, but a snippet of dialogue between Abner Biberman, who plays a small-time thug, and Rosalind Russell is heard: Hi, Hildy. / Oh, hello, Louie. How's the big slot-machine king? / Oh, I ain't doin' that no more; I'm retired.

Music[edit]

  • The music played over the end credits is "Earth, Wind, Water" by Mitch Coodley, from The Metro Music Production Library.
  • When Paulie meets with Sal Vitro to discuss Sal's problem with Feech, the song playing in the background at the bar is "Let Your Love Flow" by The Bellamy Brothers.
  • When motivational speaker Tony Robbins is shown on television, the song playing is "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project.

External links[edit]