The Sopranos: Season 1, Episode 7

Down Neck (21 Feb. 1999)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Crime, Drama
8.7
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Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Anthony has disciplinary problems at school, prompting Tony to recount memories of his childhood with Dr. Melfi.

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Title: Down Neck (21 Feb 1999)

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Dr. Peter Galani
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Storyline

When AJ gets into trouble at school - he and two other boys steal sacramental wine from the church - Tony and Carmela are told he my have ADD. He's suspended from school for three days and is told to visit his grandmother where he lets it slip that Tony is seeing a psychiatrist. The situation causes Tony to reflect on his own times at that age. It was in 1967 that he learned something about his father when he sees his Dad and his brother Uncle Junior beat someone up to collect a debt. As a child, Tony thought his father also showed favoritism to his sister Janice by taking her to a fun fair every Sunday. He decided to find out what exactly they were doing. In fact, his father was conducting business with other mobsters who were also taking their daughters with them as a cover. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama

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21 February 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title refers to a Newark, New Jersey neighborhood known as The Ironbound. It is also referred to as "Down Neck" because of how the Passaic River curves around it looking somewhat like a neck. See more »

Goofs

In the flashback to Tony's youth where he sees his father beat up a man, young Tony is carrying a black-and-white composition book with a UPC barcode on the front. The flashback is set in the mid-1960s, but UPC barcodes were not introduced until 1974. See more »

Quotes

Tony Soprano: But I'll tell ya somethin', I was proud to be Johnny Soprano's kid. When he beat the shit outta that guy, I went to the class, I told them how tough my father was.
Dr. Jennifer Melfi: Do you think that's how your son feels about you?
Tony Soprano: Yeah, probably. And I'm glad. I'm glad if he's proud of me. But that's the bind I'm in 'cause I don't want him to *be* like me.
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Connections

References South Park: Cartman Gets an Anal Probe (1997) See more »

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I've Been Lonely Too Long
Composed by Edward Brigati, Felix Cavaliere
Performed by The Rascals
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User Reviews

 
Painful memories
26 February 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.". It's hard not to think of that classic line from Goodfellas when Tony Soprano starts recounting childhood memories to Dr. Melfi: unlike Herny Hill, the New Jersey boss's ambitions were entirely different, but fate decided to intervene.

The source of this reminiscing is a family problem: after being caught drunk in class (he and his friends stole some church wine), A.J. faces expulsion from school, and is punished by his parents by being forced to spend time with his grandmother every afternoon. While discussing the matter with his therapist, Tony recalls his own upbringing: Livia being a huger pain in the ass then than she is now, his dad and Uncle Junior going out regularly to collect money from people, and the old man getting arrested one nice day while having fun at a carnival.

Aside from exposing the parallels between father and son, Down Neck serves another important purpose: to show Livia's firm and authoritarian personality, which will reemerge in later episodes to shocking effect. But this story is also riveting for how it deals with an old stereotype (you join the mafia 'cause you were born into it) without pandering to conventions: Tony may have had it in his DNA (though he concedes in another episode that perhaps he was too lazy to seek a different occupation), but the look on his face when he sees who his father really is indicates everything but happiness or pride. Then again, he might have reconsidered when he learned how much you can earn...

Exceptional


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