|Season 1, Episode 4 #4|
|Air date||January 31, 1999|
|Written by||Jason Cahill|
|Directed by||John Patterson|
"Denial, Anger, Acceptance"
"Meadowlands" is the 4th episode of Season One of the HBO original series The Sopranos. It is the 4th overall episode of the series. It was written by Jason Cahill, directed by John Patterson and originally aired on January 31, 1999.
- James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
- Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi
- Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano
- Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
- Dominic Chianese as Corrado Soprano, Jr.
- Vincent Pastore as Pussy Bonpensiero
- Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante
- Tony Sirico as Paulie Gualtieri
- Robert Iler as Anthony Soprano, Jr.
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Meadow Soprano
- and Nancy Marchand as Livia Soprano
- John Heard as Vin Makazian
- Jerry Adler as Hesh Rabkin
- Michael Rispoli as Jackie Aprile, Sr.
- Mark Blum as Randall Curtin
Also Guest StarringEdit
- Al Sapienza as Mikey Palmice
- Anthony DeSando as Brendan Filone
- Drea de Matteo as Adriana
- Tony Darrow as Larry Boy Barese
- George Loros as Raymond Curto
- Joe Badalucco, Jr. as Jimmy Altieri
- Sharon Angela as Rosalie Aprile
- John Arocho as Kid #2
- Oksana Lada as Irina Peltsin
- Michael Buscemi as Lewis Pantowski
- T.J. Coluca as Jeremy Piocosta
- Michele DeCesare as Hunter Scangarelo
- Guillermo Diaz as Salesperson
- Daniel Hilt as Kid #3
- Ray Michael Karl as Teacher
- Theresa Lynn as Stripper
- Shawn McLean as Yo Yo Mendez
- Annika Pergament as News Anchor
- Sal Petraccione as George Piocosta
- James Spector as Kid #1
- Corrine Stella as Woman
- Anthony Tavaglione as Lance
Tony Soprano suffers increasing paranoia over his secret psychiatric sessions, especially after a near-encounter with Silvio Dante, who was visiting the dental office just opposite Dr. Melfi's suite. However, Tony is in no hurry to abandon therapy: he has also been developing feelings for the doctor, even to the point of having a detective in his employ, Vin Makazian, secretly follow and photograph her. Unfortunately, Makazian assumes Melfi is a mistress of Tony's, and oversteps the mark; when he sees Melfi with a date, he pulls the pair over on a false accusation of crossing the double yellow line, and after the date admits to having wine with dinner, proceeds to conduct a field sobriety test and then brutally beat the helpless man and take him into custody, stating to a confused Melfi, "You got prime rib at home, and you're going out for hamburger?" Tony's dangerous feelings even lead him to consider quitting therapy, but Carmela insists he continue, although she is still under the impression that Tony's psychiatrist is male. In fact, Carmela goes so far as to warn Tony that without continued therapy, their marriage will be at serious risk.
A.J. is left confused when a physically bigger classmate, Jeremy Piocosta, backs down from a fight with him and pays for a shirt he ripped in a previous scuffle. With some guidance from Meadow, A.J. comes to realize that Jeremy was intimidated by the reputation of his father. Tony had coincidentally met Jeremy's father the day before at a plant nursery as Tony was seeking pesticide for his garden corn. Tony's friendliness while holding an axe confused Jeremy's father, and probably provoked Jeremy to quit the fight. A.J. then learns from Meadow about what exactly their father does for a living.
Christopher, meanwhile, is running scared after his mock execution, which has left him in a neck brace, and is even more unnerved when he and Adriana discover Brendan Filone lying dead in his bathtub, shot clean through the eye. Convinced that Tony is exacting vengeance on him for giving drugs to Meadow, his fears are only allayed when he questions her and discovers that she has not revealed the transaction. However, finding that Junior is responsible, and has also assumed collection of protection money owed to Tony's crew, he is keen for vengeance. Upon bringing news of Brendan's demise, Christopher also implies that he will take out Mikey Palmice. Tony does not allow Chris to go forward with his plans because Mikey is a made man. Instead, Tony takes a ride to the luncheonette, beats Mikey and proceeds to staple into his chest through his suit with a staple gun. He then confronts Junior about his extreme actions against Brendan and Chris.
Although Tony chastises his uncle, the prospect of war with Junior also looms large for him, especially after the abrupt death of his friend and acting DiMeo Family boss, Jackie Aprile, Sr., creates uncertainty over who will be his successor. Although Tony has the backing of the other capos and is irate over the unauthorized and extreme punishments meted out to Christopher, he seeks a diplomatic resolution with his uncle. After some unwitting inspiration from Dr. Melfi about giving the elderly the "illusion of control", Tony concedes leadership of the family to Junior, with several advantages: he can avoid a war and obtain income-earning properties and contracts as payment from Junior in exchange for his recommendation. Junior, being the Boss, would also bear the brunt of any investigation from the authorities. Content with his decision, Tony opts to remain in therapy.
The episode marks the first appearances of:
- Vin Makazian: A corrupt detective in the Essex County police force whom Tony employs.
- Larry Boy Barese, James "Jimmy" Altieri, and Raymond Curto: Capos in the DiMeo/Soprano crime family who all have a "Captain's Dinner" with Tony and later attend the funeral.
- Jackie Aprile, Sr: stomach cancer
- Jason Cahill won a "Writers Guild of America" award for his work on this episode.
- The song played over the end credits is "Look on Down From the Bridge" by Mazzy Star.