The Sopranos: Season 1, Episode 3

Denial, Anger, Acceptance (24 Jan. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
9.2
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Ratings: 9.2/10 from 1,745 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

Tony encourages an unwanted son-in-law to divorce, Carmela learns another secret of Tony's, Meadow experiments with speed to study for the SATs, and Chris and Brendan find out the price of disrespecting Junior.

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Title: Denial, Anger, Acceptance (24 Jan 1999)

Denial, Anger, Acceptance (24 Jan 1999) on IMDb 9.2/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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A.J. Soprano (credit only)
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Charmaine Bucco (as Katherine Narducci)
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Storyline

Christopher and Brendan return the truckload of stolen suits but Uncle Junior wants to send a clear message. Jackie Aprile is continuing with his chemotherapy and Tony has a special present for him. Meadow has been working hard at school and tries to get Christopher to supply her with crystal meth to keep her going. while she studies for the SATs. A local hotel owner seeks out Tony's help in dealing with his son-in-law who is refusing to give the man's daughter a divorce unless he gets half of the family business, a hotel. Silvio and Paulie pay him a visit but he's proving to be just a little hard to convince. Carmela hosts a fund-raiser catered by their friends Artie and Charmaine Bucco, who still haven't been able to collect on the insurance from the restaurant fire. Charmaine has something interesting to tell her. Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

24 January 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

In this early trial-and-error period of the series, this is one of the very few, if not the only one, of all 86 The Sopranos (1999) episodes in which both the writer (Mark Saraceni) and the director (Nick Gomez were one-time contributors. That is, neither man worked on the show again, though both went on to write/direct numerous other TV shows in their careers. See more »

Goofs

Paulie and Silvio meet with the Chassid, Ariel. He is shown wearing a wedding band on his left hand. However, Chassidic men do not wear rings. Also, Ariel does not have a full beard, but only has a few days' growth. See more »

Quotes

[Tony calls Hesh]
Hesh Rabkin: Yeah.
Tony Soprano: I'm here with my non-shellfish eatin' friend. I gotta tell you somethin', I'm tapped out. This guy won't listen to reason.
Hesh Rabkin: Didn't I tell you, huh? Didn't I warn you to keep away from those fanatics?
Tony Soprano: He's leaving me no options. This guy's willing to go down with the ship like no man I've ever seen.
Hesh Rabkin: Here's a thought... Maybe he's willing to go to the world to come, but if he's stuck here on this earth, I know one thing that no man wants to go through life without.
Tony Soprano: What? Oh....
[...]
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Connections

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

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Complicated Shadows
Composed and Performed by Elvis Costello
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User Reviews

 
"Take it easy! We're not making a Western here!"
2 February 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Damn right, Uncle Jun': this is a gangster epic that just won't let complacency or conventional film-making rules take over - it's too good for that to happen.

Episode 3 goes on with the development of three subplots introduced in the previous show, 46 Long: Uncle Junior seeks revenge for being humiliated by Christopher, the resentful Livia, angry at her son for placing her in a nursing home, gives some advice on the matter, and the medical condition of Tony's boss Jackie Aprile (Michael Rispoli) doesn't seem to get any better. In addition, Meadow asks Chris for some speed so that she can stay awake all night preparing for her SATs, and a friend of Tony's Jewish associate Hesh Rabkin (Jerry Adler) asks for help with a son-in-law situation.

The main pleasure of watching Denial, Anger, Acceptance originates from the fact that this is the first episode to draw parallels between the Soprano family and the Roman empire. Though most of Tony's crew is originally from Avellino, in the South of Italy, they have always felt a closeness to the greatness and violence associated with the once almighty Rome. The most obvious reference, from the pilot onwards, is the name David Chase chose for Tony's mother: Livia. Okay, so Chase claims it is based on his own mother, but it is hard not to be reminded of another Livia, the woman who married emperor Augustus and, according to Roman historians, plotted to keep the imperial power on her side of the family. She had a very sharp mind and conspired with subtlety, a characteristic Livia Soprano has obviously inherited - her conversation with Uncle Junior is a masterclass in restrained nastiness, and it leads to an inevitably brutal outcome.

The best in-joke, though, remains the scene where Tony, Paulie and Silvio confront the Jewish son-in-law and the latter mentions the battle of Masada, in which the Jews chose death ahead of slavery. "Where are they now?" he asks, referring to the Roman oppressors. "You're looking at'em, a**hole." is Tony's straight-faced reply. It is not a mere sign of Italian pride: there is something very ancient in Tony's code of honor and use of violence. No wonder the HBO-produced Rome continued in that direction: sex, blood, power and paranoia. Of course, The Sopranos did it first and, obviously, best.


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