The SopranosThe Sopranos

S2 Ep 4: Commendatori

Written by David Chase
Directed by Tim Van Patten

This week Tony goes to the old country to conduct new business while Carmela stays home and contemplates the nature of marriage.

As part of the spoils of being Boss, Tony now controls the family's luxury car "export" business. This new responsibility takes Tony, Paulie and Christopher to Naples to meet with Zi Vittorio, head of the Neapolitan famiglia. An old associate of Junior's whom he last saw in 1961, Vittorio is, warns Junior, "a serious man" his nephew had better be ready for. But, he adds, at least "Vittorio don't listen to opera, which is a fuckin' break.

When they arrive in Naples, Tony and the guys soon discover that their Coppola-inspired images of their old world counterparts are disconcertingly inaccurate. Zi Vittorio is now a wheelchair-bound old man whose conversation consists of blurting out the names of American highways. And it turns out it ain't for nothing that "the Boot" is a high-heeled one: Zi Vittorio's organization is really run by a woman -- his daughter, Annalisa. Annalisa is tough enough to make Livia look like the singing nun, but Tony still finds it difficult to accept her as the head of a family. He's favorably impressed, however, by the ferocity and loyalty of the Italian cugines and so he strikes a bold deal with Annalisa: Tony will cut the price of the cars he supplies to Naples if she'll send her best man to Jersey to work for him. Thus Furio Giunta becomes the newest member of the Soprano crew.

Meanwhile, in the other hemisphere, Carmela is forced to re-evaluate her feelings about Tony when Angie Bompenserio tells her she wants to divorce Pussy. Since his return Pussy's been inattentiveness personified and she can't take it anymore. After all, what could be so heavy on Pussy's mind that he would completely shut out his wife of twenty-four years? (Maybe that he's lying to the FBI, or that he had to hammer to death an old acquaintance who spotted him with Agent Lipari.) Carmela insists that Angie has to stay with Pussy - marriage is a sacrament and a family has to stay together, whatever the cost.

But just who is it that Carmela's trying to convince?