The Sopranos: Season 3, Episode 10

To Save Us All from Satan's Power (29 Apr. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 1,038 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Tony starts having flashbacks about Pussy's betrayal, and then later discovers that Jackie Jr. has been failing in his responsibilities.

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Title: To Save Us All from Satan's Power (29 Apr 2001)

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Adriana La Cerva (credit only)
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Charmaine Bucco (as Katherine Narducci)
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Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri (as Steven R. Schirripa)
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Storyline

Christmas is coming and it all proves to a stressful time for Tony who has another panic attack. Tony keeps thinking about his old friend Pussy - he usually played Santa at the Christmas party - and recalls a past meeting Pussy missed, perhaps to meet with the FBI. He also begins to wonder about one particular Christmas where Pussy was not himself and thinks he may have been wearing a wire. Janice wants to host Christmas dinner but Carmela ends up doing most of the work because of a sore wrist from her encounter with the Russians. Which reminds Tony of another chore he has to take care of. When Tony sees Jackie Jr. getting a lap dance at a strip club he teaches him a lesson and begins to doubt Jackie Jr.'s reliability. On Christmas day Tony isn't quite prepared for the gift he receives from Meadow. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama

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29 April 2001 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The very brief cameo-like role of the Russian-mob accountant Argon is played by Alik Sakharov, one of only two men who served as directors of cinematography (DP) for all The Sopranos (1999) episodes. Alik was DP on 38 episodes, but this is the only one he also acted in. Born in Tashkent, he, like his character, is also of Russian heritage. See more »

Goofs

About thirty-eight minutes into the (unedited) program, "Bacala" comes into the back room of the Bada-Bing, after having played Santa Claus earlier, and he and Tony and Paulie sit around and have some drinks along with some other people. If you look closely at Paulie Walnuts early in the scene, his gray/white side hair is completely uniformly brown with the rest of the hair on his head. Later in the scene, he has his "tail fins" back in place. See more »

Quotes

Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri: [to Bobby Baccalieri] The Boss of this Family told you you were going to be Santa Claus. You're Santa Claus, so shut up about it!
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Connections

References The Godfather: Part II (1974) See more »

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The Cycle
Written and Performed by Virgos Merlot
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User Reviews

 
Pussy's back (sort of)!
28 April 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

One of the things I like the most of The Sopranos is its frequent use of flashbacks and dream sequences: not only are they powerful dramatic moments, they also enable deceased characters to return in a quite meaningful way.

In fact, director Jack Bender tricks us into believing the opening sequence is a dream, given it takes place in the harbor where Tony "torched" himself in the Season 2 finale. Instead, we learn it's a memory, more specifically of one of T's first encounters with Pussy Bonpensiero (Vincent Pastore), who had just caused Junior some trouble in Boca (no, not that kind of trouble). The reason Tony thinks of that moment, we learn, is related to the fact Christmas is approaching and with Pussy out of the picture a new Santa has to be found, plus he wants to know at what specific point his best friend became a rat. Adding to the stress is the discovery of Jackie Jr. getting a lap dance from a stripper, flunking out of college and supposedly not being entirely honest about his possible criminal activities.

The second part of the episode implies the show's dark streak will reach its blackest shades come the season finale, but it's the first half that really grips. Why? Because Pastore was a fundamental part of the first two years of the series, and seeing him come back, albeit for just a short period of time, is a heartwarming experience. Additional power comes from the brief presence, also in the flashback, of Jackie Aprile Sr. (Michael Rispoli), who famously succumbed to cancer in the show's fourth episode. No doubt his cameo serves as a parallel with might happen to his kid (premature death) if the situation doesn't get back on track soon, and provides loyal fans with a real treat by evoking memorable images from past seasons. As a matter of fact, the emotional impact of one such moment is almost unbearable as Tony receives a surprise in the last scene: cruelly funny, but also mercilessly heartbreaking.


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