Down Neck Season 1 Episode 7

The Sopranos - Original air date: February 21, 1999 | Genres: Crime | Drama | Directed by: Lorraine Senna Ferrara - Previous EpisodePax Soprana” - Next EpisodeThe Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti

Episode Recap


The Young and Un-Pious

The episode begins when Tony Soprano's son, A.J., steals wine from his school's church with his cronies. The gang then get drunk during gym, and mayhem ensues. A.J.'s parents are called when the boys are caught. Tony and Carmela are told by the school's principal and counselor that he might have ADD. School administrators believe he should be placed in a class for special needs children. As a result, A.J. gets a slight slap on the wrists before being sent home for a three day suspension.

A Step Back in Time

The situation causes Tony to reflect on his own childhood. The show then flashes back to decades earlier to show his struggles with accepting his family's mafia connections. The flashbacks are triggered when he begins telling the story to his therapist. The earlier scenes show Tony's father wanting to move to Reno in order to manage a restaurant for a supposed mafia friend, Rocco Alatore. However, Tony's mom does not want to move because she believes it would be a bad idea.

The show then flashes forward to Tony visiting with his elderly mother, Livia, in a nursing home. She reveals that Mr. Alatore is now quite wealthy, and that she was not the reason for the cancelled move.

A Fitting Punishment

A punished A.J. is forced to visit his grandmother in the nursing home with Tony. It is bad enough that he cannot do anything he wants like play video games or surf the Internet. However, A.J. complies with his punishments and begins to visit Livia. Unfortunately, one visit he lets it slip that he is in therapy. His grandmother becomes upset at the news. In his defense, A.J. tells Livia that Tony also sees a therapist. This is not something that A.J was privy to as he only found out by listening to a private parental conversation. Livia has it in mind to tell Junior, but Tony enters the room before she is able to do so.

A Soprano History Lesson

The show introduces a few members of Tony's family who have yet to appear in the series. It also gives insight into Tony's family drama and character. He reflects on his son's troubles and what he was like at that age. We then learn that Tony witnessed his dad and uncle beat somebody up for being late on a debt when A.J.'s age. It is at that moment that he realizes everything is not as it seems in his family.

Tony begins to investigate his father secretly. He always thought it was unfair that his sister got to visit the fun fair on weekends with their dad. Tony decides he wants to see what is really going on with this situation. As it turns out, Tony's father is using his daughter as cover. Other mobsters all meet at the fun fair with their daughters in tow as a cover story.

If it were not for the subtle clues and a chance encounter, Tony might not have found out for a long time about his father's true business dealings. However, the surprise realization shaped his childhood and his future relationship with A.J.

Special Occurrences

The title of this episode references a district in Newark that is called the Ironbound. Locals also call it the “Neck” because of how the Passaic River curves around this section of the city.

This episode is the only one in the show's eight seasons to have a woman director, Lorraine Senna Ferrara. Ferrara has a 30 year long directing career that spans a number of hit television shows and movies.

The episode also features a young black kid being chased by a young Tony Soprano. This is one of the actor's first roles, and he (Michael B. Jordan) would eventually grow up to be the lead in 2013's Fruitvale Station.

Music on this episode was reminiscent of the late 1960's when the flashbacks took place. One song featured during these scenes was a live performance of “(I've Been) Lonely Too Long” by The Rascals and “Don't Bring Me Down” by The Animals.


Previous EpisodePax Soprana” - Next EpisodeThe Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti

Seasons: Season 1 - Season 2 - Season 3 - Season 4 - Season 5 - Season 6


Season 1: The Sopranos - 46 Long - Denial, Anger, Acceptance - Meadowlands - College - Pax Soprana - Down Neck - The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti - Boca - A Hit Is a Hit - Nobody Knows Anything - Isabella - I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano

Season 2: Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office... - Do Not Resuscitate - Toodle Fucking-Oo - Commendatori - Big Girls Don't Cry - The Happy Wanderer - D-Girl - Full Leather Jacket - From Where to Eternity - Bust Out - House Arrest - The Knight in White Satin Armor - Funhouse

Season 3: Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood - Proshai, Livushka - Fortunate Son - Employee of the Month - Another Toothpick - University - Second Opinion - He Is Risen - The Telltale Moozadell - ...To Save Us All from Satan's Power - Pine Barrens - Amour Fou - Army of One

Season 4: For All Debts Public and Private - No Show - Christopher - The Weight - Pie-O-My - Everybody Hurts - Watching Too Much Television - Mergers and Acquisitions - Whoever Did This - The Strong, Silent Type - Calling All Cars - Eloise - Whitecaps

Season 5: Two Tonys - Rat Pack - Where's Johnny? - All Happy Families... - Irregular Around the Margins - Sentimental Education - In Camelot - Marco Polo - Unidentified Black Males - Cold Cuts - The Test Dream - Long Term Parking - All Due Respect

Season 6: Members Only - Join the Club - Mayham - The Fleshy Part of the Thigh - Mr. & Mrs. John Sacrimoni Request... - Live Free or Die - Luxury Lounge - Johnny Cakes - The Ride - Moe n' Joe - Cold Stones - Kaisha - Soprano Home Movies - Stage 5 - Remember When - Chasing It - Walk Like a Man - Kennedy and Heidi - The Second Coming - The Blue Comet - Made in America

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