Tony's old school friend digs himself into trouble with his gambling, while Tony's family problems only continue to grow.

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Storyline

An old high school friend of Tony's, David Scatino, talks him into letting him play in a high stakes poker game. David's on a streak of bad luck and he's also in debt to Richie Aprile, who has banned him from his games until he catches up a bit. When Richie sees David at Tony's game there's trouble. David's problems grow when he can't pay Tony back and has no way out but to give him his son's four wheel drive as partial payment. It puts Meadow in an awkward situation. Richie continues to be a problem for Tony who sees him, Janice and his mother together at a family funeral. Janice eggs Richie on adding to the tension with her brother. Written by garykmcd

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gangster | See All (1) »

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Crime | Drama

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TV-MA | See all certifications »
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20 February 2000 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode features a very earnest appearance as Himself by Frank Sinatra Jr'. His sister Nancy Sinatra would also courageously play Herself as a close mob acquaintance in a final-season episode of the series eight years later (Season 6, Episode 16, "Chasing It".) See more »

Goofs

When Tony and Meadow are arguing in Meadow's room, the gold charm/medal on Tony's necklace is alternatively inside, then outside of his white t-shirt. See more »

Quotes

Tony Soprano: [Meadow refusing to accept a SUV from Tony as a gift] You don't want it? Fine, don't take it but I'll eat it before I give it back what am I a sucker? The guy owed me money and he did the right thing and offered the car as partial payment, you want to act holier than now? You right ahead but I'm not giving it back ,I'm going to take it and sell it to Pussy and use the money to buy clothes and food and shoes and cd players and all the rest of this shit I've been buying since the day you were born...
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Connections

References Titanic (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Happy Wanderer
Lyrics by Florenz Friedrich Sigismund
English lyrics by Antonia Ridge
Music by Friedrich-Wilhelm Möller
Performed by Frank Weir
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User Reviews

 
Friendship don't count no more...
31 March 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Remember Robert Patrick? Menacing guy, best known for squaring off with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2 (as well as reprising the same role in Wayne's World)? Not really the person you'd expect to play a vulnerable, desperate man, right? Well, he proves all the naysayers wrong in this poignant episode of The Sopranos, which is less about blood and more about psychological conflict.

Patrick plays David Scatino, a childhood friend of Tony Soprano. The two still hang out occasionally since their kids attend the same school, and one night David pops up at a poker game Tony has taken over from Uncle Junior and asks if he can participate. His old friend accepts, only to regret it soon after-wards: not only does David end up thousands of dollars in debt, it turns out he was trying to win just so he could pay Richie Aprile, who banned him from another game. At this point, Tony and Richie are reluctantly forced to cooperate, although this means Meadow Soprano could lose one of her few real friends (John Hensley, from Nip/Tuck).

Unusually, by the show's standards, the violence is practically absent, at least physically speaking. What really matters here is the psychological pressure Tony puts on his old friend, and the devastating effects of these actions are clearly written on Patrick's face: miles away from the coldness he is famous for, the actor conveys a genuine sense of tragedy with his eyes, setting the tone for future events (Scatino appears in two more episodes).

But while the blood-letting is rather low-key, the same cannot be said of the show's benchmark profanity. In particular, The Happy Wanderer gives Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt) the opportunity to stand out: a calm consigliere in previous episodes, he literally explodes when a dumb friend of Christopher tries to clean the floor (Tony suggested it 'cause he knew what would happen) while he is still playing poker. "I like f*cking cheese between my feet!" he rants. "I stick motherf*cking provolone in my socks at night, so they smell like your sister's crotch in the morning! Just leave the f*cking, c*cksucking cheese where it is!". Joe Pesci must be envious.


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