The Sopranos | Season 4 | Episode 3


TV-MA | 54 MIN

Written by Michael Imperioli and Maria Laurino
Directed by Tim Van Patten

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.