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

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Plot Keywords:

gangster | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

25 March 2001 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the show's creator David Chase had a rule about no camera-movement in the therapy scenes with Dr. Melfi, at the start of this episode the camera slowly moves to the right revealing Carmela sitting next to Tony for their first joint therapy session. See more »


When Junior is throwing stuff around his living room after he hears about Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri, Sr. dying, there is a quick scene of him throwing something with his glasses off, and then it flashes back and he's still wearing his glasses. See more »


[at the hospital, visiting Bryan Spatafore who has been beaten into a coma by Mustang Sally]
Tony Soprano: All right, obviously you told the cops you don't know who did this?
Vito Spatafore: I'm upset, but please... I know how to keep my mouth shut.
Ralph Cifaretto: Unless of course there's a salami sandwich around.
See more »


Features Sally Jessy Raphael (1985) See more »


Woke Up This Morning (Chosen One Mix)
Written by Alabama 3
Performed by Alabama 3
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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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