Whitecaps (The Sopranos)

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The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep413.jpg
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 13
Directed byJohn Patterson
Written byDavid Chase
Robin Green
Mitchell Burgess
Cinematography byPhil Abraham
Production code413
Original air dateDecember 8, 2002 (2002-12-08)
Running time75 minutes
Episode chronology
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The Sopranos (season 4)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"Whitecaps" is the 52nd episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos, and the 13th and final episode of the show's fourth season. Written by the series creator/executive producer David Chase, and executive producers Robin Green, and Mitchell Burgess, it was directed by longtime series director John Patterson and originally aired in the United States on December 8, 2002. The episode attracted 12.5 million viewers[1] and is regarded by multiple critics as one of the series' best.


Guest starring[edit]


After accompanying Carmela, who is unwell, to the doctor, Tony takes her on a surprise trip to "Whitecaps," a house on the Jersey Shore he is thinking of buying. The Sopranos are told the house has been sold to another couple, but it seems likely they won't be approved for the home loan. At first Carmela is hesitant about the cost, then she encourages Tony to buy it as an investment. Finally, she is delighted; she and Tony walk hand-in-hand on the beach and kiss. Tony visits the house's owner, attorney Alan Sapinsly, who lives next-door, and offers cash in the shortest possible time allowed by law. Sapinsly calls the current buyer and negotiates his way out of their contract by promising full return of the deposit, threatening litigation if the buyer moves in.

With the Esplanade project shut down, Johnny is worried about the lost revenue. Tony declines to move against Carmine, but this proves to be a negotiating tactic. When Johnny promises to relinquish his claims to the HUD scam and gives him a favorable split on all future projects, Tony agrees to go ahead. Chris has come back from rehab in very good shape; Tony asks him to contract the job out and make it look like "an outside job", for example a car-jack. Chris delivers a pre-payment to Credenzo Curtis and Stanley Johnson, a couple of heroin dealers, and delivers instructions for the planned hit. Carmine unexpectedly changes his mind and offers to negotiate; at a sitdown he agrees to accept 15% and asks Tony to remember his son, Little Carmine, when he "is gone." The hit is still on, but Tony finally decides not to go ahead and tells Chris to ensure the hired guns don't talk. At Chris' behest, Benny and Petey kill the would-be hitmen. When Tony and Johnny meet again, Johnny plainly expresses his resentment against Carmine and his son, and his anger at Tony for letting him down. Tony says twice, "I shouldn't be hearing this." They part ways after an embrace, but eye each other as Johnny drives away.

Thanks to juror intimidation, Junior is freed following a mistrial. Celebrating upon returning home, Bobby and Janice dance fondly together, but Junior finds a pretext to stop them..

Irina drunk dials Carmela and brags about Tony's relations with her and tells her he also had sex with Svetlana. This causes Carmela extreme distress because Irina spoke first to one of her children, AJ, and because she knew Svetlana and liked her. When Tony returns home, Carmela is hurling his possessions from an upstairs window. She tells Tony that he has embarrassed her for years with his infidelity and demands that he leave the house. After trading recriminations with his wife, Tony goes to Irina's home. He finds Svetlana, who explains that soon after Tony thrashed Zellman in front of Irina, humiliating him, the relationship ended. Tony spends the night at Whitecaps. Back at the Soprano household, Meadow argues with her mother about the separation, asking her how she could "take shit" from Tony for so many years.

Tony returns home and becomes violent when Carmela demands that he leave. She threatens to call a lawyer and get a restraining order. Tony dares her to and hands her his phone which she bats away with her hand. She tells him that she doesn't want him sleeping in her bed anymore and that she no longer loves him, and runs upstairs in tears. Later, A.J. helps Tony clear the pool house so that he can stay there.

Tony lies in the pool and Carmela asks him to move the chairs from the pool house that he has left on the lawn. Tony thinks she is looking for an excuse to nag him and they get into another argument. Carmela tells Tony it might not have come to this if he had a more loving attitude while at home. Tony brings up Carmela's telling him he was going to hell when he was first being examined for an MRI for his collapses (in the pilot). She follows him out to the home theater room and apologizes, telling him he was her man and was sweet to her. Tony asks her what she expected from their marriage, as she knew everything about him when they met, including the fact he and their family were gangsters, including Carmela's cousin Dickie Moltisanti and that gangsters keep "women on the side." He also accuses her of materialism. Carmela calls Tony hateful and reveals she harbored feelings for Furio, telling Tony that her happiest moments for months have been her mornings with Furio. Tony again becomes violent and charges at Carmela and almost punches her but stops himself and punches holes in the wall beside her head instead, smashing it in. She turns away while Tony keeps punching. He tells her he looked for women with different qualities from her in his affairs. She reminds him that he hardly knew most of the women he slept with, the strippers and cocktail waitresses, and walks out, calling him a "fucking hypocrite." Later, Tony calls Dr. Melfi but hangs up when she answers. She tries to call him back but his number is blocked.

A.J. asks to move in with his father because he is not getting along with his mother. Tony refuses and tells A.J. to support his mother. Tony finally tells the family he has decided to move out completely. Both children go to him and he embraces them. When Meadow gets upstairs, a flash of a moment from years before when she behaved like a brat to her parents runs through her mind and she begins to cry. A.J. and Carmela watch from the doorway as Tony leaves.

Sapinsly calls Tony to say he is going to let him out of the sale but will keep the $200,000 deposit. Tony says if that's the case, he will make Sapinsly's life hell. Benny and Little Paulie take the speakers out of Tony's home theater, install them on Tony's boat (The Stugots), anchor it just offshore from the Sapinsly house, and play a Dean Martin in Las Vegas concert at high volume, disrupting the Sapinslys' lunch party with friends. The Sapinslys close the patio doors and return to their lunch, trying to ignore the racket. This occurs again at night as they sit in lawn chairs facing the bay sipping libations. Sapinsly's wife urges him to settle the matter. She loses her temper and shouts at him that Tony could keep paying any fines forever, and goes into the house. Sapinsly sits there a few more moments, then gets up and goes inside, closing the doors and windows to try to block out the noise.


Title reference[edit]

  • "Whitecaps" is the name of the property Tony plans to buy for his family.


  • "Whitecaps" is the longest episode of the series, running 75 minutes.

References to past episodes[edit]

  • Tony brings up Carmela's telling him he was going to hell when he was first being examined for an MRI for his collapses (this occurred in the show's pilot episode).

Cultural references[edit]

  • When Johnny Sack and Tony meet at an OfficeMax to discuss potentially assassinating Carmine Lupertazzi, Johnny paraphrases a line from The Beatles' song, "Hey Jude", saying, "I'll take a sad song and make it better".
  • Johnny Sack intimates that with Carmine's assassination there would be "differences between this and Castellano", in reference to the assassination of New York Gambino Crime Family Boss Paul Castellano by John Gotti, who subsequently became boss in 1986.
  • When Tony first sees Christopher after the latter's release from rehab, he says, "Hey, Jack Lemmon! How's Lee Remick?" This refers to the film Days of Wine and Roses (1962), which deals with alcoholism and recovery.
  • When fighting with Tony in the pool house, Carmela says angrily, "Who knew? All this time, you really wanted Tracy and Hepburn."
  • Johnny Sack says to Tony angrily, "Creeps on this petty pace...", misquoting Shakespeare's Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, line 20).
  • When explaining his decision to call off the hit on Carmine, Tony warns Johnny Sack they need to avoid causing a "shootout at the OK Corral," referencing the infamous 1881 gunfight.


  • "Layla" by Derek and the Dominos is playing in Tony's truck when he runs over his golf clubs in his driveway.
  • The song played while Tony and Christopher are at Nuovo Vesuvio is "Oh, What A Night" by The Dells.
  • When Janice and Bobby are dancing in Junior's kitchen, they sing/hum part of Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe".
  • The song played over the end credits is "I Love Paris (Vegas)" by Dean Martin. It is followed by the instrumental piece, "I Have Dreamed", from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The King and I, performed by Fantastic Strings.


Critical response[edit]

Entertainment Weekly placed "Whitecaps" #3 on their list of the 10 greatest The Sopranos episodes;[2] TIME placed it at #4.[3]



  1. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2006-03-14). "The comeback". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  2. ^ Fonseca, Nicholas. "The Hit Parade - 3. WHITECAPS (Season 4)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  3. ^ Poniewozik, James (2007-04-04). "Whitecaps - The Sopranos - TIME". TIME. Retrieved 2008-02-26.

External links[edit]