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The Sopranos – Season One

Written by Lauren Schweitzer

Episode 1: ‘The Sopranos’
Meet Tony Soprano, a “Waste Management” consultant and family man with Mafia-related extracurricular activities. So, he’s more of a “family” man than some think. At home, Tony has developed a bizarre fixation with a family of ducks that have found refuge in his pool, leaving his wife Carmela concerned. After passing out at his son’s 13th birthday party – due, in part, to the abrupt departure of the ducks — Tony decides that it’s time to see a therapist. His new psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, believes Tony is suffering from depression — but what does Tony Soprano have to be depressed about? Where to begin& . His nagging mother, Livia, gives him a daily migraine, his wife and daughter don’t get along, he’s having nightmares about ducks flying away with his penis and to top it all off, nobody in the business has any values anymore. Prozac anyone?

Episode 2: ’46 Long’
Stolen trucks filled with Italian suits, teachers with stolen cars and a mother who can’t drive place Tony squarely back in Dr. Melfi’s office. Reluctantly. His nephew, Christopher, is partially to blame. When Chris discovers that stealing trucks is a lucrative business, Tony finds out just how forgiving Uncle Junior really is.

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Elsewhere, Tony’s conscience gets the best of him; he starts to feel guilty about not taking care of his sick mother. When he tries to put Livia in a retirement community she is defiant. That is, until she accidentally runs over one of her friends and breaks her hip. Then, the decision is made. No doubt this stress contributes to Tony’s latest panic attack, which occurs while he is packing up his mother’s belongings.

Episode 3: ‘Denial, Anger, Acceptance’
Tony’s childlike anger and frustration towards death becomes apparent when Jackie Aprile, the current mob boss and Tony’s close friend, begins to lose his battle with cancer. This experience troubles Tony so much that he becomes delusional — convinced that an innocent painting in Dr. Melfi’s office is actually a symbol of death.

Meanwhile, Meadow, Tony’s daughter, turns to Christopher in desperation for some speed. She needs the drug so she can stay awake studying for the SATs, the passing of which will allow her to go off to college and get as far away from Tony and Carmela as she can. At first Christopher says no, for obvious reasons, but then he reconsiders.

As a result of Christopher’s recent bad behavior, Uncle Junior has Russian gangsters take Christopher out to the Meadowlands to perform a mock execution. However, his friend Brendan, an accomplice in the aforementioned truck theft, is then murdered by Uncle Junior’s order. Guess Junior doesn’t like to be ignored?

Episode 4: ‘Meadowlands’
With an undeniable attraction for Dr. Melfi looming over his head, Tony’s intuition tells him to have her checked out — partially, because he’s afraid someone will discover he’s in therapy. Tony’s had a few close calls already, so he has a degenerate ex-cop do a background check on her.

The youngest Soprano, Anthony Jr. (A.J.), finally gets the hint that Daddy lives a double life: After a few fights ensue between A.J. and another kid at school, A.J.’s rival soon gives in unexpectedly and A.J. cannot figure out why. Big sister Meadow then clues him in that Tony is a feared mobster.

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Christopher finds Brendan’s body in the bathtub of his apartment, making Tony realize that the problems with Uncle Junior need to be solved.

Jackie Aprile dies soon thereafter and Uncle Junior is made the new Boss. Only, he has no real power. Tony is widely assumed to be the definitive Boss for the north end of New Jersey.

Episode 5: ‘College’
During a drive through Maine to scope out possible colleges for his daughter, Tony and Meadow have an open conversation about his involvement in the Mafia. At first Tony emphatically denies her accusation, but he eventually gives in. This father-daughter bonding experience continues at dinner, when Tony tells Meadow how proud of her he is. In return, Meadow shares with her father that she has been doing speed.

In an attempt to become a higher ranking mob man, Christopher offers to help catch a well-known rat, whom Tony believes he spotted at a gas station in Maine. Declining Christopher’s help, Tony takes matters into his own hands – literally – and strangles the snitch to death.

Meanwhile Carmela, at home with the flu, receives an unexpected phone call from Dr. Melfi – who Tony had previously said was a man. Carmela’s curiosity goes into overdrive at the sound of the female doctor’s voice.

A local priest, Father Phil, later visits Carmela at home. She confesses her sins to him-and nearly kisses him–before the priest rushes away, nauseous.

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Episode 6: ‘Pax Soprana’
Uncle Junior is taking his new title to extremes. He’s altering the organized-crime guidelines just to show everyone that he is the true Boss. By doing so, he aggravates some important people, and Tony has to intervene and play peacemaker. Unfortunately, these proceedings occur on his 18th wedding anniversary, which leaves his already angry wife feeling neglected.

Meanwhile, Tony is having erotic dreams about Dr. Melfi. His infatuation has grown stronger. He secretly has her car repaired and even attempts to kiss her, though she refuses his romantic gesture. Rejection is a direct insult to Tony, and he does not take it well.

Junior’s actions continue to stir up bad feelings, and at his initiation dinner, FBI agents discover that the rules of the game have changed – and so have the players.

Episode 7: ‘Down Neck’
When A.J. and two of his friends get drunk on stolen communion wine, Tony and Carmela discover that their youngest has a borderline case of attention deficit disorder. As part of the punishment for his sacrilegious deed, he is ordered to visit his grandmother at the retirement home. He tells Livia that he is seeing a psychiatrist, and he blows the whistle on his father’s regular visits to the shrink.

During one of his sessions with Dr. Melfi, Tony flashes back to a vivid childhood memory: the first time he ever saw his father and Uncle Junior beat somebody up. He also recalls his sister, Janice, serving as a key player in many of his father’s shady business affairs.

Episode 8: ‘The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti’
Meadow catches her parents red-handed while they are removing weapons and stacks of cash from the house. The next day, while Livia is at brunch, Tony hides all the goods in her closet at the retirement home.

Dr. Melfi arranges a family dinner with her son, ex-husband and parents. She refers to one of her patients when they begin talking about certain recently publicated indictment hearings. The Mafia’s responsibility for giving Italians a bad name becomes a topic for debate. Her ex-husband and a colleague think Dr. Melfi should abstain from seeing this particular patient.

Meanwhile, Christopher is having nightmares about a man that he killed, and realizes that he’s only happy when he’s working on his screenplay. When he loses his temper at a bakery for having to wait in line (he shoots the clerk in the foot), Tony steps in and questions his mental stability.

Livia tells Uncle Junior that Tony is seeing a psychiatrist and warns him that no action should be taken against Tony. That is, not yet.

Episode 9: ‘Boca’
Tony and his buddies are very supportive of their daughters’ active interest in the game of soccer — so much so that when the coach contemplates taking another position in Rhode Island, the guys attempt to bribe him to stay. When that does not work, of course, they threaten him. However, what they don’t know is that the coach is having sexual encounters with one of the girls on the team, a good friend of Meadow’s. Apparently, she is in love with him, but when he refuses to leave his wife, she slits her wrists in front of her girlfriends.

Uncle Junior is being watched closely by the FBI, so he decides to take a vacation to Boca Raton, FL, with his female companion, Roberta. The two spend a romantic week away from the hustle of New Jersey, but when they return, Junior learns that Tony has been spreading rumors about Junior’s sexual prowess. Junior confronts Roberta about leaking out too much information about their relationship, and ends up cramming a lemon meringue pie in her face.

Episode 10: ‘A Hit is a Hit’
After scoring a large sum of cash from drug addicts, Carmela and Tony decide it’s time to make new friends. Their upscale neighbor, Bruce Cusamano, invites Tony to play golf at the country club. Tony is not impressed by the offer, but Carmela finds it very exciting. While playing golf, Cusamano’s buddies hound Tony about mob stories and gangster talk, much to Tony’s annoyance.

While Christopher and his girlfriend Adriana are having a night out on the town, they run into an influential rapper named Massive Genius. Soon, with Christopher’s financial support, Adriana becomes a music manager-a less-than-average one at that. Massive Genius doesn’t care about her talent or lack thereof; he is interested in her in a purely non-professional way. This all becomes too much for Christopher to handle, so he attacks the lead singer of one of Adriana’s clients and puts an end to her brief career.

Episode 11: ‘Nobody Knows Anything’
When Pussy is arrested after the FBI raids a whorehouse, Tony is notified that one of his men has been secretly talking to the cops. He is suspicious of Pussy, but he doesn’t want to believe that his best friend is a rat.

Tony confides to Dr. Melfi that his intuition is telling him that something dreadful is going to happen. Fearing for his life, Pussy vanishes.

The degenerate cop that Tony employed as an investigator – the man who has information about the rat — owes Pussy a considerable amount of money, $30,000 to be exact. In an effort to end his “involvement” in the investigation and get out of debt, the cop commits suicide by jumping off of a bridge.

Out of revenge against Tony for selling her house, Livia tells Uncle Junior that Tony has been having business meetings behind Junior’s back. There is talk about Tony disappearing.

Episode 12: ‘Isabella’
Tony’s depression since the disappearance of Pussy has reached an all-time high. He has even become delusional about the women in his life. He begins to see visions of an exotic woman named Isabella, who does not exist.

Junior’s plan to whack Tony has gone into effect. It is supposed to happen at a newsstand, and Junior has put in a request that the hitmen keep in mind that he wants an open-casket funeral. Christopher ruins the first attempt on Tony’s life by obstructing the killers in the street.

Round two: Tony is finally attacked in his truck, but receives only minor injuries. Junior and Livia visit the hospital to play the dutiful relatives. Then Livia claims that she is forgetting things. How convenient.

Tony refuses to believe that his own mother could plan his demise, but he’s determined to find out who did.

Episode 13: ‘I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano’
During a session, Dr. Melfi points out that Livia’s loss of memory and the attempt on Tony’s life are too coincidental. Tony is so angered by this accusation that he becomes violent and threatens her. Carmela realizes that Father Phil is a bit of a fake when she sees him showing affection for another woman. She decides to end their friendship. Tony finally agrees to talk to the FBI about his attempted assassination when they tell him that they have the conspirators’ conversations on tape, voices that clearly belong to Uncle Junior and Livia. Before Tony can punish his uncle, Junior is arrested and given full protection. Tony finally confesses to his crew that he has been seeing a therapist. Afterward, he confronts his mother for the first time. She fakes a stroke and is given protection by the hospital.

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