The Sopranos episode
Ep68 06.jpg
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 68
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by Matthew Weiner
Production code 603
Original air date March 26, 2006 (HBO)
Guest stars

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"Mayham" is the sixty-eighth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the third of the show's sixth season. It was written by Matthew Weiner, directed by Jack Bender and originally aired on March 26, 2006.


Guest starring

Episode recap

On a tip from Vito Spatafore, Paulie Gualtieri and a member of his crew, Cary DiBartolo, attempt to burgle the apartment of Colombian drug dealers. When the pair arrive, however, they find the apartment is not empty as expected. After murdering the superintendent and two drug dealers, they find a large amount of money hidden in the dishwasher. During his struggle with one of the drug dealers, Paulie is kicked hard in the groin, and later seeks medical attention.

Back at the hospital, Christopher Moltisanti and Bobby Baccalieri confront A.J. about his attempt to purchase a gun. They tell him that if they were in his place they would want to do the same thing, but that he cannot go after Junior, who is in custody. They assure him that Tony would not want him involved. A.J. reacts as though he feels they are talking down to him and treating him like a kid. He afterwards accuses Carmela of putting the two up to the talk, though she has no idea what he is talking about.

Tony's dream sequence from the previous episode continues: at his hotel room he receives a court summons from the Buddhist monks addressed to Kevin Finnerty, and he begins to question his actual identity. He seeks answers from the bartender as well as from the monks who initiated the summons, but does not get any answers.

Back in real life, tension is surging within the Soprano crime family. Although Gabriella Dante flatters husband Silvio and suggests he could replace Tony, the pressure of being acting boss makes his asthma worse to the point where he too ends up in hospital. In addition, his performance does not go down well with several associates. He makes rulings on how Bobby and Vito are to split Eugene Pontecorvo's former revenue and on the cut to be given to Carmela on behalf of Tony from Paulie and Vito's score. None of the parties involved like his decisions. Paulie and Vito delay giving the money to Carmela, since they do not want to part with it in the event Tony does not recover. Vito quietly starts a campaign to position himself as a potential new leader, pointing to his recent weight loss, which he has been discussing a lot since the season began, as a sign of better health. He also happens to be in the hospital when Meadow's fiancé Finn turns up, and quickly makes a rather threatening pass at him.

Carmela bumps into Dr. Melfi at the supermarket, and gratefully receives an offer of help. Carmela later becomes livid when she and Tony's gang saw an A&E special hosted by Bill Kurtis which gave his own account of the Soprano shooting, including interpreting A.J.'s cursing at the media (from the previous episode) as a threat towards them. Carmela rushes home and drags A.J. out of bed, berating him for putting the entire affair on national television, and tells him that he is a cross that the rest of his family has to bear. The next day, she has a session with Dr. Melfi in which she reminisces on her attraction to Tony, her regret for insulting A.J., and expresses horror at having reared children into a crime family, giving them no option.

Despite orders to allow only family to see Tony, Silvio and, later, Paulie are smuggled in by Carmela and Meadow. Silvio is quiet, standing at the doorway staring at his boss before walking over and clutching his hand. Paulie on the other hand is incapable of following Meadow's instructions to stay positive, and exclaims "he looks terrible" as he enters the room. Left alone with Tony, he then proceeds to treat his unconscious boss with an interminable and profanity-laden update of his current state of affairs, including the details of his injury and his big score. Tony's heart-rate escalates steadily, but Paulie appears not to notice it until he goes into cardiac arrest. Hospital staff rush in and attempt to revive him.

In Tony's dream, Paulie's voice appears as muffled sounds from an adjoining room at his hotel, prompting him to bang on the wall and ask for some calm. Having found a flier for the Finnerty family reunion in his briefcase, he is greeted outside the venue by a man who looks like his cousin Tony Blundetto. The man tries to get Tony to enter the light-festooned house, assuring him that "everyone's here" and that he is "coming home"; but he also tells Tony that he must first let go of his briefcase. Tony is reluctant, replying that his whole life is contained inside. Standing at the steps of the house, Tony hesitates for some time. With the figure of someone similar to his mother standing by the doorway in front of him, and the faint voice of a little girl coming from the trees behind him pleading with him not to go (in the hospital Meadow is calling to her father), Tony chooses not to enter the house and awakes in the hospital. His first words, after beckoning Carmela to come closer, are "I'm dead, right?"

Later, heavily sedated and still largely unable to talk, Tony sits in a chair at the foot of his bed and listens as Christopher tell him of his next attempt at entering the movie industry. Christopher has threatened J.T. Dolan and forced him to write the script of a film he wants to produce with financial backing from Little Carmine and others. Christopher wants to make a low-budget digital film marrying the two genres of slasher and mob films, a cross between Saw and The Godfather II, and a presentation to his associates descends into farce.

With Tony now conscious, Paulie and Vito rush to get their cuts to Carmela. In the hospital lobby, when they hand over the cash, Carmela is initially grateful. However, before the elevator doors close, she turns around in time to see their facial expressions turn sour. While she is perplexed for a few seconds, she eventually sees through the timing of their generosity. In the final scenes of the episode, Christopher asks Tony to invest in his movie project just as soon as he recovers. Eventually, Carmela arrives and the episode closes with her tending to Tony's chapped lips.

First appearances


  • Building Superintendent: shot by Colombian #1
  • Colombian #1: shot by Cary DiBartolo and Paulie
  • Colombian #2: shot by Cary DiBartolo and then stabbed by Paulie


Title reference

  • After Vito gave Paulie bad information about the stick-up job (saying the place was empty), Paulie does not want to give him his full cut of the money, saying that the job was "mayham", which is an apparent malapropism of the word "mayhem."
  • The members of the Soprano crew jockeying for position and Silvio's ineffectual leadership results in mayhem.


  • The instrumental piece played over the end credits is "The Deadly Nightshade" by Daniel Lanois.
  • Sheryl Crow's rendition of "The First Cut Is the Deepest" can be heard playing on Tony's stereo during his coma.
  • A rendition by The Mystics of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is being played while Carmela is wetting Tony's lips.
  • In one of the episode's first scenes "La Gata" by Nicky Jam is playing in the Colombians' office when Paulie enters.
  • The mariachi music played in the country house when Tony Blundetto is welcoming Tony Soprano is "La Feria de las Flores" by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.

References to other media

  • J.T. Dolan is discussing Beowulf when kidnapped from his writing class.
  • When pitching Cleaver, Sil, Chris, and J.T. Dolan compare and contrast the film to The Ring, the Friday the 13th franchise, and Freddie Kruger movies, and Halloween as well as to The Godfather II, Saw and Ghostbusters franchises.
  • Vito greets Finn as "Phineas Fogg" at the hospital.
  • When confronted over his attempted purchase of a gun and told that he cannot get to his Uncle Junior anyway because he is in police custody, AJ says it's "difficult, not impossible" - these same words are spoken by Rocco Lampone in Godfather II in reference to assassinating Hyman Roth.

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