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The Sopranos

S5 Episode 8: Marco Polo

Screened Monday July 26th

Family politics of two different kinds are explored in this episode as Carmela prepares for her fathers surprise birthday party and the New York rivalry between Johnny Sacks and Little Carmine continues to heat up.

Carmelas father Hugo is about to turn 75 and she is planning a surprise party for it with her mother. The only question is whether to invite Tony. On her mothers advice Carmela visits Tonys bachelor pad to ask him to stay away and a visibly hurt Tony pretends he had already decided not to attend.

Bobby Baccalieri visits Junior and mentions Carmelas fathers party- but Junior doesnt have an invite. Miffed, he calls Hugo to say hes not coming and ruins the surprise.

Soon after the call from Junior, Carmelas father reveals he knows about the surprise party. They discuss the guest list and he refuses to attend the party if Tony doesnt come.

Carmela calls Tony to say her father wants him at the party - Tony plays it cool, but makes plans to go.

However, in the party lead-up, birthday business takes a backseat to Tony sorting out the damage he caused to Phil Leotardos car in their dispute over a race track deal.
Johnny Sack suggests that in return for his supporting Tony over Phil in the deal, it would be a good idea if Tony took care of Phils car repairs.

Tony agrees to fix the car and cashes in a favour by taking Phils car to the body shop now run by Pussys wife Angie. He makes it clear that repairing the car would be repayment for his allowing her to run the business.

The deal is not so straight-forward, however, when Phil visits the body shop to inspect the work on his car and is not happy. He claims the paint colour is duller than before, the front seat is off kilter and the work is unacceptable.

Angie calls Tony to complain about having to do the extra repairs and Tony tells her to do them anyway. He asks Tony Blundetto to attend, and act as muscle if neccesary, when Phil picks up his car from the shop.

But Tony B, has bigger fish to fry as following his return to mob work, he is becoming a little impatient with his place in the family business.

He visits Tony S at Bada Bing to bring in takings and talk business. Tony B says the airbag business is doing okay, but he could take on more responsibility. Tony S shoots the suggestion down, telling him to settle into what hes been given before asking for more.

The knockback sets the scene for a lunch meeting between Tony B and Little Carmines associate Angelo, where he receives an interesting job offer. The New York rivalry between Johnny Sack's and Little Carmine has continued to heat up, with the mysterious sinking of Carmines boat. But it is the unresolved issue of the Johnny Sack's hit on lady mobster Lorraine Calluzzo that is the real subject of this meeting.

Angelo asks Tony B to do a hit on a New York friend of Johnny Sack's in retribution for Lorraines killing. Tony B says Tony S doesnt want his people involved in the New York problems and that he wants more time to see what business Tony will throw his way.

As the night of the party arrives, Tony B comes over with his boys to help Carmela prepare for the party, but ducks out of the preparations to supervise the collection of Phils car from the panel beaters. Phil is still refusing to accept the condition of the car, wanting a new seat from the manufacturer, making Angie irate.

Tony S arrives at the party and is introduced to Carmela's parents' friend, the posh Dr Fergoli and the pair proceed to take snipes at each other for the rest of the evening.

It is a happy evening for Tony as he gives his father-in-law a prized Baretta gun and spends quality time with Carmela and Meadow.

At the end of the evening, Carmela catches her mother apologising to the Dr Fergoli about the evening. An argument ensues when it becomes clear her mother was aplogising for Tony's crass behaviour and Carmela defends him.

Meanwhile, the evening has proved a strain for Tony B. Already sensitive about his ambitions, Carmela has made the situation worse by ordering him around brusquely all evening. To cap things off he catches his son stealing an album of AJ's. When he asks them why they stole, they say they don't have as much as Tony S' kids, wounding Tony B's pride.

As the episode draws to a close, Carmela and Tony are the last ones left in the pool. AJ's young love and the warm feelings the party produced result in Tony S and Carmela locking in a passionate embrace that ends in the bedroom.

As the separated couple temporarily recall domestic bliss, a determined Tony B calls Angelo to say hes in on the hit.

As Johnny Sack's offsider Joe leaves a New York brothel with a hooker, Tony B makes the hit, killing them both, getting his foot run over and finally putting to rest his dream of a straight life.