U2 Pop Culture Database

The Sopranos

Television Show
First Aired September 29, 2002. Episode "Christopher", Season 4, Episode 3.
Michael Imperioli [Lean On Me; Goodfellas; Jungle Fever; Malcolm X; The Night We Never Met; Bad Boys; The Basketball Diaries; Flirt; Dead Presidents; I Shot Andy Warhol; Girls Town; Girl 6; Trees Lounge] and Maria Laurino
Tim Van Patten
Principal Cast:
Tony Soprano.....James Gandolfini [True Romance, Mr. Wonderful, Money For Nothing, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, The Juror, Night Falls On Manhattan, She's So Lovely; The Man Who Wasn't There; The Last Castle]
Carmela Soprano.....Edie Falco [MichaelVox's Favorite Drama Of All Time: Homicide: Life On The Street (TBDSOTV), Trust, Bullets Over Broadway, The Funeral, Private Parts, Copland, A Price Above Rubies, Hurricane Streets; Sunshine State]
Adriana La Cerva.....Drea De Matteo [Made]
Rosalie Aprile.....Sharon Angela
Karen Baccalieri.....Christine Pedi
Gabriella Dante.....Maureen Van Zandt
It's October and at long last, time for opening arguments in the case of the United States v. Corrado John Soprano. But even though it's the first Soprano family trial in sixteen years and Junior could very well be sent away for the rest of his life, Tony's crew is preoccupied with charges being leveled against another Italian: Christopher Columbus. Columbus Day is only days away and the New Jersey Council of Indian Affairs is planning to disrupt the annual parade. At Satriale's, the feeling is unanimous: indignation at the Native Americans' effrontery. Silvio pretty much speaks for everybody -- even Furio, who dislikes Columbus because he was northern Italian -- when he asserts, "Ultimately, it's anti-Italian discrimination, " he says, "Columbus Day is a day of Italian pride, it's our holiday, and they want to take it away."

But while Silvio orchestrates a campaign to disrupt the disruption, Bobby Bacala is suddenly faced with a far more personal crisis: his wife, Karen, is killed in a car accident. A devastated Bobby weeps inconsolably at Karen's casket, a fact that's not lost on the wives who are present. That kind of naked emotion -- especially towards a wife -- is an anomaly in their world. Awestruck, Gabriella Dante whispers that she once overheard Silvio on the phone, "talking with somebody about how Bobby was the only one of them who didn't have a goomara. They were laughing at him."

Rosalie Aprile is hit especially hard by Karen's death. "There's no release," she tells Ralph, "I'm surrounded by death . . . my husband, my son, my friend . . . " Ralph, ever the caregiver, responds by telling Rosalie that he wants out of their relationship. In short order, he shows up at Janice's, happily declaring, "Now I can devote myself completely to you. Now there can be no guilt, no fear . . . just sex." But Janice has been having misgivings about her relationship with Ralph and a visit to the grief-stricken Bobby only confirms them. She tells her therapist, "I was so moved by him. Then I look at Ralph . . . " So the next time Ralph shows up at her house, she breaks up with him -- by shoving him down the stairs.

Ralph's popularity is taking a lot of hits lately. Johnny Sack is openly hostile towards him, even going so far as to knock an envelope of cash -- a nursing school graduation gift for Johnny's daughter -- out of Ralph's hand. "Stick it in your ass," the normally unflappable Johnny hisses at him. Why the animosity? During one of his clandestine collect calls to Johnny, Paulie informed him of a disparaging remark Ralph made about Ginny Sack's weight. He also let Johnny know about the money Tony made re-selling Junior's old warehouse. Carmine wants a taste of those profits, since, as Johnny puts it, "the property's hot because of the Esplanade, (and) we share the Eslpanade." Tony agrees to "work something out," but he's clearly furious, at one point telling Silvio, "Somebody's talking too much. And it's costing me money."

Meahwhile, back on the cultural heritage front, Tony's guys try everything they can think of to rescue Columbus from the red man's revenge. Ralph threatens to expose Iron Eyes Cody as an actor of Sicilian ancestry, but that turns out to be unfounded. Tony tries to get Councilman Zellman to intervene, but he begs off. Chief Doug Smith, CEO of a Mohonk casino, tells Tony he'll stop the protest, but he also fails. Ultimately, both the parade and the protest take place. And where was Silvio?

Enjoying the blackjack tables at Chief Doug's casino.

U2 Pop Culture Reference:
[Showtime 3:40] We cut from a scene with the whole crew sans Tony outside the meat market to a posh health club where the wives and girlfriends of the crew are enjoying a less-than-stenuous workout. Each and every woman is wearing a gold crucifix as well as pounds of other gold jewelry. Adriana is skittish because last week she was coerced into working for the Feds rather than spend 20 years in prison for cocaine possession. The health club speakers are playing the beginning of Elevation.
Carmela Soprano finishes with the lat pull-down bar and says: Ro, gonna go to the, uh, church luncheon tomorrow? It's on the subject of Italian-American women and pride. I guess 'cause of Columbus Day.
Gabriella Dante: Who's the star?
Carmela: A woman professor from Montclair State.
Karen Baccalieri: Oh yeah. Father Phil says she's very good. You should come Adriana.
Adriana La Cerva is wearing a tight-fitting, animal print half-shirt: Me? Karen Baccalieri: Yeah, come with us. Noon in the bingo room of St. Peter and Pauls. They have a series of Ladies Luncheons every week. The food is good and the speakers have been fantastic.
Scene ends at showtime 4:08 when we cut to the women on Lifecycles while J. Lo's "Waiting For Tonight" is played.

Besides U2, is it worth watching?
The Sopranos is the best show on television.

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copyright © 2002 Michael Warner Cummins
Most recent update: 9/30/02 1:10:24 PM
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