The Sopranos: Season 3, Episode 5

Another Toothpick (25 Mar. 2001)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Crime, Drama
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Tony and Carmela try a therapy session together, which ends in an angry dispute. Artie, meanwhile, tries to move in on Adriana.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Silvio Dante (credit only)
Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri (as Steven R. Schirripa)
Charmaine Bucco (as Katherine Narducci)


As Tony requested, Carmela goes with him to one of his sessions with Dr. Melfi. It starts off okay, but suddenly Carmela feels she's the one on the hot seat and it quickly degenerates into name calling and anger.On the way home Tony gets speeding ticket from a no-nonsense policeman who isn't at all impressed that he stopped Tony Soprano. Tony approaches his crooked Assemblyman, Ronald Zellman, to get the ticket fixed but there are unexpected consequences. When one of the Spatafores is beaten by Mustang Sally, who is having a argument with his girlfriend, Gigi Cestone gets the green light from Tony to take action. Tony clears it with Mustang Sally's godfather, Bobby Bacala Senior, who is visiting from Miami. He's not well and Bobby Junior is worried when he hears that it's his Dad who will make the hit. Uncle Junior gets Johnny Sack to talk to Tony but his intervention is not welcome. Now that he's a made man, Christopher insists that Adriana quit her job at Artie Buco's restaurant. It... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gangster | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama


TV-MA | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 March 2001 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mustang Sally (Brain Tarantina's) real life wife Amy Madigan is seen in the background after he beats Bryan Spatafore with a golf club, she is the red headed lady wearing the tan trench coat. See more »


When Tony shows his driving license to the police officer, he folds his wallet to show him the "Policemen's Benevolent Association" card. When it's seen again the wallet is unfolded. See more »


Manager: Leon, take your break at 2.
See more »


Features Sally Jessy Raphael (1985) See more »


Jim Dandy
Written by Lincoln Chase
Performed by La Vern Baker
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User Reviews

A pause for breathing
27 April 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

After the emotionally loaded Employee of the Month, the series calms down a little, with a simple, lean episode that contains nothing really exceptional, apart from the birth of two new subplots. However, the show is so great even the "irrelevant" moments are unmissable.

The overall darkness of the previous chapter is graciously compensated by the opening sequence, with Tony and Carmela trying a therapy session together and the whole thing ending in the least friendly of ways. To top everything, Tony receives a speeding ticket from a rigorous cop (Charles S. Dutton) and discovers Uncle Junior has stomach cancer. Meanwhile, Artie Bucco is heartbroken after learning Adriana is quitting her job at his restaurant, and makes a few bad decisions that result in his wife filing for divorce.

Normally, a show like this would be sub-par compared to the rest of the season, given the really important stuff occupies less than half of the running time. But hey, this is The Sopranos, which means the writers know how to exploit every plot thread, no matter how thin, to the best possible effect. So while Dominic Chianese's swearing is as show-stealing as ever, and John Ventimiglia gets a chance to bring back the dramatic stamina he showed in the Season One finale, efficiently backed up by on-screen spouse Kathrine Narducci, the best scenes in Another Toothpick belong to the conflict between Tony and the policeman, all thanks to the great chemistry that Gandolfini shares with Dutton. HBO aficionados might recognize him from Oz (he was Emmy-nominated for his appearance in the Season Two premiere) and therefore expect more of the same, only this time the actor tones down the anger, adding a layer of subtlety to the already high tension. His work qualifies as a superior guest spot: the one where it's the character that matters, not the guy playing him (although a famous face can help occasionally).

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