The Sopranos: Season 3, Episode 13

Army of One (20 May 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
8.8
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Ralphie issues his final decision on the fate of Jackie Jr., and Anthony faces military school after getting expelled.

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Title: Army of One (20 May 2001)

Army of One (20 May 2001) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Charmaine Bucco (as Katherine Narducci)
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Storyline

AJ gets into trouble at school yet again, this time for stealing an exam. The result is expulsion and Tony decides he has to go to military school. The three of them soon troop off to the Hudson Military Institute for interviews but Carmela is against the idea. AJ's reaction gives Tony pause for thought. Jackie Jr. is hiding out and Ralphie comes under pressure to do something about him. Everyone will soon have a funeral to attend. Paulie's mother has a tour of the retirement residence but is upset that Ralphie hasn't paid him $50,000 that he's owed. It takes a formal sit down to solve the problem but Paulie's not pleased with the outcome. The FBI are again looking at prosecuting Uncle Junior and hopefully Tony as well. They decide to send in someone undercover to cosy up with Ariana. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama

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20 May 2001 (USA)  »

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Trivia

When this episode originally aired on HBO Fairuza Balk played Agent Deborah Ciccerone / Danielle Ciccolella. According to Balk, as a fan of the show, she wanted to appear on one episode only and at the time the character of Agent Deborah Ciccerone / Danielle Ciccolella was not intended to be a recurring role. However, the writers later decided to make Agent Deborah Ciccerone / Danielle Ciccolella a recurring roll and recast the part to Lola Glaudini. They re-shot the scenes from this episode with Glaudini replacing Balk. See more »

Quotes

Kelli Aprile: Jesus Christ, look at who our father was! My brother wasn't killed by some drug dealer! He was killed by some fat fuck in see-through socks!
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Connections

References The Phil Silvers Show (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Core 'ngrato
[Ungrateful Heart] (uncredited)
Written by Salvatore Cardillo and Riccardo Cordiferro
Sung by Dominic Chianese
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User Reviews

Season 3: As engaging and satisfying as ever
19 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure if the death between seasons 2 and 3 of actress Marchand caused a drastic rewrite of season 3 but, if it did then it doesn't show as season 3 delivers another splendid thirteen hours of television that is as consistently riveting as the two seasons that have gone before. We open with an episode mostly focusing on the FBI putting a bug into Tony's house in an attempt to bring down the family in a thread that remains in the background while we return to the normal day-to-day pressure of the business family and the family family.

Yet again this makes each episode to be engaging and satisfying. There are overblown moments, funny moments, dramatic moments, revealing moments and reflective moments but the key to the success of the show is that they all flow together into one overall narrative – season 3 did not have scenes or moments that made me consider fast-forwarding them, just the opposite. During the season I didn't think it would totally be that way. Ralphie being dropped in out of nowhere and positioned the way he was with the character he had put me in mind too easily of Richie from the previous season. Likewise Gloria being introduced into the story seemed to be too obvious as to where it was going – giving Tony more drama from a part of his life that had been done before. To a lesser extent Jackie Jr also seemed to be a thread that had been covered in season 2 with a young man trying to break his way into the organisation by attacking it and getting a name; this was not helped either by how the young man in this season also relates to the "disruptive Capo" character in this season. These seemed like problems at the time but, as these characters and threads settled in, while they may have had a familiar feel, they were all made as engaging and intelligent as I would have expected and they were certainly not just mirror images of what had gone before.

I focus on these things because of them sticking in my mind but the season has a lot going on and in particular makes good use of the wide array of characters that it now has. Tony is still the focal point of course but more and more his family and associates are as well developed and rounded as he is as a character. Meadow and AJ are fuller characters than before while Paulie, Silivio, Christopher and Bobby are all reliable for solid turns whenever they are on the screen. Carmela and Dr Melfi both have improving characters and the threads led by them are as engaging as they main thrust. The show uses all these characters well and delivers many revealing moments without making a big show of them – even though we have plenty of violent, bloody moments which makes for easy hooks the best scenes are often the more subtle and subdued.

The cast continue to benefit from the strong material. Gandolfini is tremendously at the mercy of his own character, his delivery is spot on and he is a great central presence. Falco plays her more tragic figure equally well. At times her material lacks the variety given to her on screen husband but she is still very good. Imperioli adds to the Greek tragedy feel to the show but in this season his character is a bit too simple and he is not given as much to do. I'm not a massive fan of Turturro although it is mostly because I don't like Janice that much – her turn is good though. Chianese's Junior is reliable and does well with each moment he is given. Schirripa's Bobby steps up to join Sirico and Zandt as great characters. Iler and Sigler both do better than previous seasons although Iler doesn't seem totally up to at some points. Cerbone, Sciorra and Pantoliano all do well by joining the cast for this season.

Season 3 gave me a few niggling problems in regards some of the threads echoing earlier threads but these turned out not to be a problem. This left season 3 to be yet another strong, engaging and satisfying season in this amazingly consistent series. The hype around it may put some people off but pure and simple this is just a well-written and engaging show with lots of characters and threads that all work equally well to make a great whole.


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