The SopranosThe Sopranos

S5 Ep 3: Where's Johnny

Written by Michael Caleo
Directed by John Patterson

"He never had the makings of a varsity athlete."

Because Carmine Lupertazzi died without naming his successor, Johnny Sack is moving quickly and ruthlessly to take over the New York organization. When "lady shylock" Lorraine Calluzzo twice ignores instructions to kick up to him instead of Little Carmine, Johnny sends Phil Leotardo to set her straight. Leotardo binds Lorraine, places a phone book over her chest and then fires his revolver into it. "It's her lucky day," Leotardo proclaims as he flips pages looking for the bullet, "Only made it to the R's." Then he whispers in her ear, "Next time there'll be no next time."

Lorraine subsequently reaches out to Tony, who in turn goes to Johnny. Tony tells Johnny that Angelo Garepe - who, before he went to prison, spent thirty years as the elder Carmine's consigliere - suggests sharing power between himself, Johnny and Little Carmine. (In truth, it's Tony's idea, and Angelo only reluctantly went along.) "You're all equally in charge, but no major decisions can be made without a majority of two," Tony explains, "It's like a tri-lateral commission." Johnny's response is curt: "Fuck that!"

So Tony backs off, at least for the time being. Although he's interested in "any crumbs from the fallout" of the Sacramoni/Lupertazzi conflict, he has to attend problems within his own organization. Feech and Paulie have been feuding over a lawn cutting business, resulting in extreme ill will and some seriously injured landscapers. And Bobby wants to spend more time earning and less time taking care of Junior.

And then there's Junior himself. To Tony, he seems to be going out of his way to hurt his feelings and undermine his authority. At a meeting with Garepe, Junior makes a disparaging remark about Tony's athletic prowess. At Sunday dinner, he repeats the remark and, after Tony expressly forbids him to do so, says it yet again. Furious, Tony storms out and later declares that his uncle "is dead to me."

But it turns out that Junior wasn't deliberately antagonizing Tony. One day, he leaves home in his pajamas and ends up wandering the streets of Newark, looking for his long-dead brother, Johnny. The reason for his erratic behavior is soon discovered: he's suffered several infarcts, i.e., small strokes, and isn't entirely responsible for what he does - or says. When Tony learns this, he goes to Junior's house, where the two of them share some wine and watch T.V. Finally, Tony asks Junior that if he has to repeat something, "Why's it always have to be something mean? Why not somethin' good...Don't you love me?" Tears stream down Junior's cheeks, but he doesn't say a word.