Rat Pack (The Sopranos episode)

Rat Pack (The Sopranos episode)

Infobox Television episode | Title = Rat Pack
Series = The Sopranos
Season = 5
Episode = 54
Guests = "see below"
Writer = Matthew Weiner
Director = Alan Taylor
Airdate = March 14, 2004
Production = 502
Episode list = Episode chronology


Prev = Two Tonys
Next = Where's Johnny?
"Rat Pack" is the fifty-fourth episode of the HBO original series "The Sopranos" and was the second of the show's fifth season. It was written by Matthew Weiner, directed by Alan Taylor and originally aired on March 14 2004.

Guest starring roles

* Ray Abruzzo as Little Carmine
* Rae Allen as Aunt Quintina Blundetto
* David Copeland as Joey Cogo
* Patti D'Arbanville as Lorraine Calluzzo
* Robert Desiderio as Jack Massarone
* Vanessa Ferlito as Tina Francesco
* Lola Glaudini as Agent Deborah Ciccerone
* Tony Lip as Carmine Lupertazzi
* Robert Loggia as Michele "Feech" La Manna
* George Loros as Raymond Curto
* Frank Pando as Agent Grasso
* Frank Pellegrino as Bureau Chief Frank Cubitoso
* Joe Santos as Angelo Garepe
* Matt Servitto as Agent Harris
* Vinny Vella as Jimmy Petrille
* Frank Vincent as Phil Leotardo
* Karen Young as Agent Sanseverino

Episode recap

Tony meets with contractor Jack Massarone at a small diner to discuss their work together. Massarone presents him with a painting of Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. and tries to get Tony to open up about his connections with government officials. Tony avoids direct questioning to his benefit as, unknown to Tony, Massarone is wearing a microphone in his cap, having joined Adriana and Raymond Curto as FBI informants. Raymond spends time at FBI headquarter correcting inaudible words that were mistranscribed from a meeting he recorded.

As Tony and Uncle Junior reminisce at Uncle Junior's, word comes from New York City that Carmine Lupertazzi has died. Uncle Junior is distraught over so many of his friends dying. During the funeral service, conflict arises between Little Carmine and Johnny Sack over rosary beads placed in Carmine Senior's coffin. Little Carmine asserts that Ginny Sack placed Opus Dei beads in the coffin without his knowledge. Little Carmine regards Opus Dei as a "fundamentalist cult" and gives Johnny Sack heated words about it. Despite bonding with Johnny Sack while his father was dying, Little Carmine announces that he didn't mean the kind words he once said to him. Tony and other bystanders overhear.

Tony is more concerned with the return of his cousin, Tony Blundetto. He meets Tony B. at his mother's house. Tony B. greets him in a clam-colored suit and shoes, a relic from the 1980s complete with plum-colored collarless T-shirt and the suit sleeves scrunched up to the elbows. At his welcome-home party, Tony tells the group how important his cousin was in his life growing up and explains how the family called him "Tony-Uncle-Johnny" and called his cousin "Tony-Uncle-Al," a way of distinguishing the two boys by their fathers. Tony-Uncle-Al is not as eager to get back in the business as his cousin wants. Blundetto informs Tony that he was able to get an associate's degree in prison and is on his way to becoming a massage therapist. This is his chance to start over. Tony B. wants to be truly legit. He wants to try to live a normal life and takes a job delivering linens. Although seeming somewhat let down, Tony supports his cousin's decision.

Adriana later watches the 1941 drama "Citizen Kane" with Orson Welles in the Sopranos' home theater with Carmela, Rosalie, Janice, Gabriella Dante and another one of Carmela's friends. The FBI warning notice against illegally copying and distributing the movie at the beginning of the video tape makes some, including Adriana, slightly uncomfortable. Afterward the women discuss the movie, and Adriana finds out what Rosebud meant to the protagonist. It transforms to a discussion of Carmela's possible divorce and their own tepid marriages, including Janice's, who is the comparative newlywed of the group, and how the romance has gone out of her marriage. She complains that her husband hasn't found her "rosebud." The women laugh in personal recognition of Janice's situation.

Adriana later meets with her handler, Agent Sanseverino. She has a hard time dealing with informing on others and that Sanseverino only talks about business. Sanseverino tells Adriana that she is with the good guys now and then reveals why she became an FBI agent. Her sister's boyfriend traded their TV for six guns. He sold five of them to teenagers and used the sixth to crack open a coconut. The gun discharged and her sister was hit, leaving her a paraplegic. She became an FBI agent to deal with people like her sister's old boyfriend. Adriana dries her tears, realizing perhaps her predicament was not that bad.

Being an informant doesn't work out so well for Jack Massarone, however. Tony becomes suspicious about him after he gets a tip from Patsy Parisi that their earlier meeting had been under FBI surveillance; Tony is certain that he wasn't the one being followed. Tony arranges a meet with Massarone to feel him out, quite literally as it turns out. At the meet, Tony hugs Massarone in greeting while feeling for recording or listening devices, not realizing the device is in the sky-blue baseball cap Massarone is wearing. He feels Massarone's chest for bugs. This gives Jack an uncomfortable feeling. Tony reassures him. Later Tony tells his crew he couldn't tell if Massarone was an informant. A few moments later Tony remarks about how Jack had mentioned that Tony had lost weight, which the rest of the crew seem (quietly) skeptical about. During the council with his crew, Tony gets a call from Tony Blundetto's boss at the linen company, who wants permission to fire Tony B. (Tony Soprano had gotten Tony B. his job there). Tony angrily gives his consent, and Christopher floats the idea of using Tony B. to hit Massarone. Tony is frustrated and tells Chrissy that Tony B. wants to go straight. Tony says that in any case he is done with Jack Massarone and he leaves. Silvio and Chris wonder if this comment implies that Tony wants Massarone killed; they question whether the comment was a purely rhetorical remark not intended to be taken seriously or a heavily-veiled order.

Tony is having major anxiety problems, expressed at the Rat Pack picture Massarone gave him. He repositions the painting on the wall and then on the fireplace mantel piece at the home he is staying at while he is separated from Carmela. He calls Tony B. at 3 a.m. for small talk and to complain about his separation to relieve his anxiety about the painting. He finally breaks and takes a drive with the painting. On the Pulaski Skyway, Tony tosses it out his car window, into the river beneath, and drives away. The next morning Massarone is found in the trunk of his car, a bullet hole in his head and a golf club cover in his mouth. There is no indication of who actually killed him and no information on what new revelation came through for that action to take place. It could have been Tony's crew acting on his possibly veiled order, or he could have later given them a direct order, but the subtext is that Tony did it himself, to be on the safe side given his display of deep anxiety in private, and it also seemed to be Tony's golf clubs, the same ones he accidentally ran over when Carmela threw them in the driveway when their marriage broke down, that Massarone was found with. Adriana meanwhile is racked with guilt and paranoia. It was inflamed by Rosalie Aprile telling her how Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero's wife Angie Bonpensiero was not welcome in their group anymore because Big Pussy, they believe, went into witness protection. She condemns him as Judas-like. This brings Adriana to tears with Rosalie being befuddled and concerned about why. Later, Adriana comes very close to telling her girlfriends about her being an informant but she keeps her tongue and flees the get-together in tears. An expression of dawning realization on Rosalie's face indicates that she has some idea what Adriana was about to reveal in light of their previous discussion. As an upset Adriana runs off in the darkness she falls on her face when she steps off a curb she didn't see, skinning her knee and scrapping her face. She refuses her girlfriends' offer of first aid and flees in her car.

The next morning, Adriana discovers an upside to being a government informant. When Tina Francesco (her purported best friend) flirts with Christopher one time too many, Adriana has a unique solution: she tells Agent Sanseverino that Tina is an embezzler.

First appearances

* Lorraine Calluzzo: loan shark in the Lupertazzi family.

* Tony Blundetto: (first physical appearance) Tony's cousin and Soprano crime family associate who was sent to jail in 1986 for hijacking a truck

Deceased

*Joseph "Joey" Cogo: killed prior in a payment dispute and deceased photos confirmed by Adriana.
*Carmine Lupertazzi: died of stroke
*Jack Massarone: killed for being an FBI informant.

Music

* The song played over the end credits is "Undercover of the Night" by The Rolling Stones.

References to other media

* Paulie quotes from Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", mispronouncing the author's name as Sun "T" Zu, confusing Tony B. until corrected by Silvio.
* In one scene, Tony is shown watching "Points", the final episode of the HBO-produced mini-series "Band of Brothers".

Title reference

* Jack Massarone gives Tony a painting of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., who were members of the Rat Pack.
* The episode shows Adriana, Jack Massarone, and Raymond Curto all working with the FBI (and later Jimmy Petrielle). Such informants are often called "rats".


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