Christopher (The Sopranos)
The Sopranos episode



Episode no. Season 4
Episode 42
Directed by Penis
Teleplay by
  • Joe Rockenbach
Story by
  • Michael Imperioli
  • Matt Gemerek
Production code 403
Original air date September 29, 2002 (HBO)
Guest stars

see below

Episode chronology
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"No Show"
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"The Weight"
Episode chronology

"Christopher" is the forty-second episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and was the third of the show's fourth season. Its teleplay was written by Michael Imperioli, from a story idea by Imperioli and Maria Laurino. It was directed by Tim Van Patten and originally aired on September 29, 2002.


Guest starring roles

Episode Recap

Silvio, intensely proud of his Italian heritage, wants to take action against protests for the Columbus Day Parade by Native Americans, believing it to be an insult to Italian-Americans. Without Tony's approval, Silvio and Artie Bucco, along with a few others, attempt to break up the demonstration where a Columbus effigy is to be burned. Silvio threatens them not to do so and sends Patsy Parisi to take it down. As they leave after being warned by the police, Little Paulie Germani has a glass bottle thrown at him and several others are injured. Tony learns about this and blames Silvio for intervening. Ralph Cifaretto meanwhile tries to threaten the protest leader, Del Redclay, to reconsider since Iron Eyes Cody—a popular Native American figure—is actually an Italian-American (which is true). Tony tries to pacify the situation by talking to an Indian chief to convince Redclay not to protest during the parade. Although this fails, the chief invites Tony and his crew to his casino to gamble. However, they do not realize it is Columbus Day until they drive off from the casino. Both the parade and protest occur without mob intervention, which upsets Silvio. Tony tries to calm him down by telling him how proud he should be for being who he is and not just his heritage.

Meanwhile at a luncheon meant to enforce Italian pride in women, the "mob wives" are singled out when the speaker discusses the stereotypes of being an Italian in America. After the luncheon, Gabriella Dante lectures Father Phil Intintola on how much the wives, especially Carmela, have given to the parish, and that he had no right to bring in a guest speaker who intended to shame them about how they make a living.

In addition to Uncle Junior's RICO trial beginning, Paulie Walnuts begins to create tension between the two mob families when he tells Johnny Sack about the joke Ralph told about his wife's weight and how Tony sold Uncle Junior's warehouse on Frelinghuysen Avenue near the Riverfront Esplanade. Johnny Sack contacts Tony and demands a share of the profit since both crime families share the Esplanade and that it would be only fair if they shared the Frelinghuysen Avenue profit. Johnny is also conspicuously rude and stand-offish toward Ralph, going so far as to tell Tony to keep Ralph away from him. It is clear to Tony and Silvio that Johnny is angry with Ralph, but they are mystified as to why.

While stuck in traffic, Bobby Baccalieri receives a phone call from his son, who relays a message from his wife Karen asking him to buy some food on the way home. Bobby is upset about being asked to do the errand. He then ask his son "She can't do it?" and complains about being stuck in traffic. He then say to his son that "Your mother is a real pain in the you know what sometimes". He later feels great remorse after discovering his wife has died in the car accident that was causing the traffic problems he had complained about.

At the wake, a devastated Bobby kneels in front her casket and loudly sobs. The wives have pity on Bobby since he supposedly never took a comare. Janice Soprano continues to see Ralphie Cifaretto, who splits with Rosalie Aprile in order that he can be more open about his new relationship. However, after spending time with the widowed Bobby while on "ziti patrol," Janice breaks up with Ralphie, and pushes him down the stairs of her mothers house, he then threatens to kill her, causing her to run into a bedroom and lock the door, while he hobbles back to his car, outside.

First Appearances

The episode marks the first appearance of:

  • Pie-O-My: The horse that Tony befriends.


Title Reference

  • The title refers to the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, the first European in several centuries to land in the Americas, in 1492. The controversy surrounding Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day parade protests are referenced repeatedly in the episode.
  • Michael Imperioli, who wrote the episode, plays Christopher Moltisanti throughout the series.
  • Also, this is a reference to Saint Christopher, who helps travelers bear the burdens of misfortune, sudden and otherwise, by his example. This alludes to the tragedy of Karen's death, as a St. Christopher Medal supposedly protects travelers.

Connections to Other Episodes

References to other media and events

  • Tony Soprano refers to the movie High Noon where Gary Cooper, playing a sheriff, faces the Miller gang.


  • The episode created a controversy when cast members of The Sopranos (specifically Dominic Chianese and Lorraine Bracco) were banned from marching in the Columbus Day Parade in New York City, despite an invitation to participate in the event by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.[1][2]


  • The song played over the end credits is "Dawn" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Valli himself portrayed Lupertazzi capo Rusty Millio in seasons five and six.
  • "Elevation" by U2 and "Waiting for Tonight" by Jennifer Lopez are both heard when Carmela and Rosalie are in the gym.


External links

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