Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sopranos episode guide #9: Boca

US Transmission Date: 7 March 1999
UK Transmission Date: 9 September 1999

Writer: Jason Cahill and Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess • Director: Andy Wolk
Cast: Robyn Peterson (Bobbi Sanfillipo), Kevin O’Rourke (Coach Don Hauser), Richard Portnow (Attorney Melvoin), Cara Jedell (Ally Vandermeed), Candace Bailey (Deena Hauser), Jaclyn Tohn (Heather Dante), Danna Marie Recco (Bebe), Nell Balaban (Receptionist), Moises Belizario (FBI Man), Mary Ellen Cravens (Taylor), Steve “Inky” Ferguson (Moldonado), Brian Guzman (Delivery Boy), Mark Hartmann (Capman), Patrick Husten (Waiter), Marissa Jedell (Becky), Joyce Lynn O’Connor (Shelly Hauser), John Nacco (Contractor), Bill Winkler (Soccer Ref)

Storyline: Everyone is getting excited about the success of the Falcons, the soccer team at Meadow’s school. Coach Don Hauser gets the plaudits for the team reaching the sectional playoffs. Detective Vin Makasian tells Tony that Uncle Junior’s sidekick Mikey Palmice has hired a private investigator to follow Tony. Junior is getting stressed about the forthcoming federal indictments. Mikey believes that any leak to the government is coming from Tony’s crew. Meadow finds her friend Ally trying to cut her wrists with a penknife. It is not the first time she has attempted suicide. Junior skims $20,000 from the Jointfitters’ Union development fund to take his girlfriend Bobbi Sanfillipo on holiday to Boca Raton in Florida.

Tony meets with Larry Boy Barese and Jimmy Altieri at Green Grove. All the captains are moving their mothers into the retirement community, to use it as a front for secret meetings and hiding contraband. A newspaper reveals that Coach Hauser is shifting to the University of Rhode Island. Silvio Dante and Artie Bucco confront him but Hauser says Rhode Island has doubled his salary. The Falcons are surly with their coach. Junior and Bobbi enjoy their break at the Waldorf Towers hotel. Bobbi praises Junior’s prowess at oral sex but he warns her not to talk about this. Cunnilingus is considered a sign of weakness among mobsters.

Paulie delivers a fifty inch television to Coach Hauser as an inducement for him to stay with the Falcons but he refuses to accept it. At a Soprano family dinner Meadow says she has quit the soccer team. Carmela makes jokes about Junior’s liking for giving oral sex. Later Tony tickles his wife into revealing the truth about Junior and cunnilingus. Tony steps up the pressure on Coach Hauser, having Christopher steal and then return the Hauser family dog. Next day Meadow tells her parents that the coach had sex with Ally. Ally is in love with Coach Hauser but he won’t leave his wife. Tony decides the coach must die and Silvio agrees to make the hit. Artie hears what has happened and agrees that Hauser deserves to die.

Tony and Silvio have a round of golf with Junior and Mikey. Tony infuriates Junior by teasing him oral sex. Junior hints about knowing that Tony is seeing a psychiatrist. Artie and his wife argue about Tony dispensing justice on Coach Hauser. Charmaine says any vigilante action would only make the men feel better, not the people actually involved. Junior tells Mikey that Tony is seeing a psychiatrist. Junior is worried what Tony tells the therapist and whether it could be raised in court. Junior is seriously contemplating having Tony murdered. Tony and Dr Melfi argue about his plans to punish the coach. Later Artie asks Tony not to go ahead with the hit because it would not be just.

Junior confronts Bobbi about letting slip his liking for cunnilingus. He rubs a lemon meringue pie in her face and sacks her from the union job. Tony calls off the hit. On the late news Coach Hauser is arrested after an anonymous tip-off to the police. Tony arrives him, drunk and dazed thanks to a combination of drink and prescription drugs. Carmela beds him down on the floor of the lounge, watched by Meadow…

Mobspeak: Tony says Coach Hauser doesn’t have the coglione (balls) to finish what he started with the soccer team.

Mamma Mia: Livia warns her grandson against playing with dogs at the cemetary. She says they could take his hand off or start foaming at the mouth. She complains to Junior about Tony seeing a psychiatrist. ‘My son, the mental patient.’ At a family dinner Livia complains that nobody tells her anything. Tony tells his mother to butt out of family problems so Livia stomps out, saying she will not eat in the house and demanding Junior take her home.

Bright Lights, Baked Ziti: There’s a feast of food scenes in this episode. Junior and his crew have sandwiches delivered to them at the offices of Junior’s law firm. Mikey has peppers and eggs, which Junior wishes he had ordered. Livia is eating lunch with another resident at Green Grove when Tony arrives for a meeting with Larry Boy Barese and Jimmy Altieri. Jimmy is carrying a sandwich. In Boca Raton Junior and Bobbi sip champagne. Bobbi feeds Junior red peppers from a plat eof cold meats, cheeses and other antipasto. Artie and Tony are eating desert in a restaurant when Tony pauses to intimidate another diner into removing their baseball cap. Meadow and Ally are having diet drinks and popcorn while they watch music videos at the Sopranos’ house. Livia and Junior join the Sopranos for a family meal of pasta, cold meats, salad and bread. Next morning at breakfast AJ and Meadow have cereal and orange juice while Tony drinks coffee. Later Tony has scrambled eggs, bacon and toast at the Bada Bing, but he hardly touches his food. Tony also ignores a sandwich of meat and cheese at the strip club while he contemplates whether to go ahead with the hit on Coach Hauser. Bobbi has bought a dinner of barbequed chicken, some salad and lemon meringue pie for her and Junior, but he shoves the pie in her face.

Mobbed Up: Coach Hauser invokes ‘The Godfather’, saying the University of Rhode Island made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Junior rubbing the lemon meringue pie in Bobbi’s face is an homage to 1931 gangster film ‘The Public Enemy’, where James Cagney’s character rubbed a grapefruit in his girlfriend’s face.

How Do You Feel?: Tony tells Dr Melfi that his life is putting Prozac to the test. He would rather talk about the problems with his daughter’s soccer coach than the stress caused by the impending indictments. Tony vaguely apologises for calling Dr Melfi a whore in the previous episode. He says he might have been overstating the case a bit. At a later session Dr Melfi wants to know why Tony feels he should always be dispensing justice. Her question goes unanswered.

Always with the…: Artie and Charmaine Bucco argue about Tony trying to intimidate Coach Hauser. Charmaine demands to know what the next step in a campaign of harassment will be. ‘Always with the extreme scenarios,’ Artie protests.

Quote/Unquote: Dr Melfi tells Tony small cutting is the clinical term for a suicidal gesture ‘What’s “large cutting”, O.J. and the missing track suit?’ he retorts. Later Tony has a string of euphemisms for cunnilingus: ‘The old man’s whistling through the wheat field? He’s a bushman of the Kalahari?’ Junior loses patience when everyone is talking on the golf course: ‘You yap worse than six barbers.’ Dr Melfi says the judicial system has gotten much better in dealing with sexual predators, but Tony is unimpressed: ‘Oh yeah, let’s impeach him.’

Soundtrack: Tony sings ‘Camel Walk’ to Carmela at the end of the episode. ‘Buena’ by Morphine. 'A-Hoy' by B-Tribe. 'Can't You Feel the Fire' by Little Steven. 'Frente a Frente' by Rocio Durcal. 'Little Joe' by The Spaniels.

Surveillance Report: Silvio Dante offers his daughter $100 if she scores a goal. Junior’s law firm is Melvoin, Frolov, Schneider and Arkadie. Junior and Bobbi have been going to Boca Raton on holiday for 16 years.

The Verdict: ‘They think if you suck pussy you’ll suck anything.’ Uncle Junior’s bedroom secrets are revealed while Tony contemplates bloody vengeance against Meadow’s soccer coach, who is sleeping with one of her team-mates. Sexual taboos dominates this episode. Don Hauser is lucky to escape with his life when Tony’s crew learn about the coach’s liking for teenage girls. But the real shocker is all the talk about oral sex in an American television show. Cunnilingus would never be mentioned on a major network drama but HBO’s subscription status enables ‘The Sopranos’ to push the boundaries. Tony and his uncle have been at peace since Junior became acting captain. But all the teasing about eating sushi leaves him contemplating the murder of his own nephew. The storm clouds are gathering…

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