The Sopranos (1999–2007)
8.5/10
2,248
3 user 1 critic

To Save Us All from Satan's Power 

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

Director:

Jack Bender

Writers:

David Chase (created by), Robin Green | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Gandolfini ... Tony Soprano
Lorraine Bracco ... Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Edie Falco ... Carmela Soprano
Michael Imperioli ... Christopher Moltisanti
Dominic Chianese ... Junior Soprano
Steven Van Zandt ... Silvio Dante
Tony Sirico ... Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri
Jamie-Lynn Sigler ... Meadow Soprano
Robert Iler ... A.J. Soprano
Drea de Matteo ... Adriana La Cerva (credit only)
Aida Turturro ... Janice Soprano
John Ventimiglia ... Artie Bucco
Kathrine Narducci ... Charmaine Bucco (as Katherine Narducci)
Steve Schirripa ... Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri (as Steven R. Schirripa)
Federico Castelluccio ... Furio Giunta
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 April 2001 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

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

The morning after his night out, Tony sets a jug of apple juice on the counter. Between shots, the jug goes from being capless, to having a cap, to being capless again, to completely disappearing, and then back to being capless. See more »

Quotes

Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri: [to Bobby Baccalieri] The boss of this family told you you're gonna be Santa Claus, you're Santa Claus. So, shut the fuck up about it!
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Little Drummer Boy (Carol of the Drum)
Written by Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone
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User Reviews

 
Pussy's back (sort of)!
28 April 2008 | by MaxBorg89See 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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