After a long wait, a Soprano has finally become the boss of the DiMeo crime family, and it’s Tony’s Uncle Junior. But as his lead henchman, Mikey Palmice, says when he busts up Sammy Grigio’s card game, Junior “ain’t respecting old arrangements”. He changes old deals and attempts to have more money funneled toward him, while allowing less to trickle down to his capos.
Tony allowed Junior to gain control of the family in the hope that he himself would be able to be the de facto boss, while leaving Junior to deal with the headaches associated with being the boss. Thus, the captains come to Tony to complain, letting him know they are unhappy with the way Junior “eats alone” and that Mikey should have let the card game proceed after Sammy brought up Jimmy Altieri’s name.
Junior makes another rash decision when he finds out one of Larry Boy Barese’s top earners, Rusty Irish, had sold drugs to the 14-year old grandson of Junior’s elderly tailor, causing the boy to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge above the Great Falls of the Passaic. He decides that Rusty should be killed for this infraction, to be made an example of. The next day, Mikey Palmice, with the help of “Joey Eggs” Marino, abduct Rusty and throw him off the same bridge to his death. After they throw him over, they notice some witnesses sitting on the other side of the bridge and pay them off to say it was a suicide.
Livia convinces Junior to tax Tony’s Jewish associate Hesh Rabkin, even though Hesh’s arrangement has been in place for decades, dating back to Hesh’s relationship with Johnny Boy Soprano—Livia’s husband and Tony’s father. When Hesh approaches Tony with the news and threatens to leave the area, Tony aligns with Johnny Sack, the Underboss in New York’s Lupertazzi crime family, and helps Hesh and Sack present a disingenuous proposition for Junior to accept. Tony has made the decision himself, but he allowed Junior to think he was in charge.
After more persuading from the other capos, Tony meets with his uncle at a local Little League Baseball game to try to convince him to share more of his new found wealth. With historical evidence related to the leadership skills of Augustus Caesar, Tony is successful. Junior decides to divide the money he received from Hesh and give it to his capos, fifty-thousand dollars apiece. Tony later returns his share to Hesh personally.
Meanwhile, Tony is having difficulty with his libido, and is fantasizing about Dr. Melfi, through intrusive thoughts and dreams. At his therapy session he professes his love for Dr. Melfi, who tries to explain what he feels is not love, but positive feelings as the result of his progress in therapy. Carmela expresses a jealousy towards Melfi that she’s never felt about Tony’s comares. Later, Carmela tells Tony that she wants to be the female in his life to help him, and Tony agrees.
Even though Tony really controls the family, Junior becomes the main focus of the FBI. At a banquet to honor the new boss, the Feds are in attendance, disguised as servers. With the photographic information they gather from their button cameras, they move Junior up their hierarchy board, to replace the late Jackie Aprile, Sr as “Boss”. Tony’s position as “captain” remains unchanged; he is on the same level as the other capos.
Starring in “Pax Soprana”
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano
Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
Dominic Chianese as Corrado Soprano, Jr.
Vincent Pastore as Pussy Bonpensiero
and Nancy Marchand as Livia Soprano
John Heard as Vin Makazian
Jerry Adler as Hesh Rabkin
Also guest starring
Al Sapienza as Mikey Palmice
Paul Schulze as Father Phil
Oksana Lada as Irina Peltsin
Tony Darrow as Larry Boy Barese
George Loros as Raymond Curto
Joe Badalucco, Jr. as Jimmy Altieri
Vince Curatola as Johnny Sack
Freddy Bastone as Batman
William Conn as Old Man
Maurizio Corbino as “John” the Waiter
Sylvia Kauders as Old Woman
Salem Ludwig as Mr. Capri
Prianga Pieris as Mechanic
Salvatore Piro as Sammy Grigio
Christopher Quinn as Rusty Irish
Dave Salerno as Card Player
Frank Santorelli as Georgie
Donn Swaby as Guy on Bridge
Sonny Zito as Joseph “Joey Eggs” Marino