Isabella Season 1 Episode 12

The Sopranos - Original air date: March 28, 1999 | Genres: Crime | Drama | Directed by: Allen Coulter - Previous EpisodeNobody Knows Anything” - Next EpisodeI Dream of Jeannie Cusamano

Isabella is the twelfth episode from Season One and primarily deals with Tony's realization that Big Pussy has flipped to the feds and he must execute someone he saw as a brother. The underlying story to the episode is Tony's puppy love crush with his neighbor Isabella who he finds igniting a passion within him that he desperately longs. Tony's gut wrenching decision with regard to how to deal with Big Pussy is manifest by the his bout with food poisoning through out the entire episode. What one notices after reflection is that unlike most episodes with the trade mark music, the wind plays a supporting element role through out the episode.

Episode Recap


Tony meets his neighbor

The episode begins with Tony running into his beautiful italian neighbor Isabella as he is coming out a store in town. The wind blows Isabella's cover off of her head and Tony, being the gentleman strikes a polite conversation with her as he picks it up. Isabella charm's Tony with her elegant italian voice. Tony feels swept away by Isabella's grace and charm and the scene is underscored by the gusting wind which is first heard then seen throughout the scene. Tony charms Isabella to lunch and throughout it is clear that Isabella sweeps Tony away as his imagination drifts to an imagined life with Isabella nursing a young baby in a old world style villa living room next to the fire place. Tony is locked in an hypnotic gaze as Isabella speaks; until she snaps Tony out of his trance as she calls his name.

Dinner Time

Later in the episode Tony shows the physical wear on his body and nerves as he fights food poisoning and weighs whether Big Pussy has been turned by the feds and has betrayed the family. The dinner scene is set with the family neatly seated at the table upon the entrance of a disheveled Tony, unshaven and in a bath robe. Tony immediately finds that he cannot enjoy the meal nor the company of his mother and excuses himself to his bedroom where the next morning Carmella finds a still disheveled Tony gazing out of the bedroom window at the wind dancing the clothing around his neighbor Isabella. Carmella without words, identifies Tony's lustful betrayal and berates him. Tony, too weak to argue back and weighed by the decision he has to make if he determines that Big Pussy has in fact betrayed the family. He passes out on the bed into a coma like sleep.

Execution and death of Big Pussy

Tony awakens from the bathroom floor dazed but resolved that he as to determine if Big Pussy has in fact betrayed him and the family. Despite Carmella's warnings Tony dresses and proceeds with Sal over to Big Pussy's house. Tony want's Pussy's advise on a boat he plans to buy. While at Big Pussy's house Tony and Sal find more than a slumbering Big Pussy, Tony finds Pussy's concealed wire and tapes. Tony, shocked, exhales and proceeds with what he knows needs to be down.

The trio proceed to the docks and upon venturing out into the bay, Tony confronts Big Pussy with his betrayal. Big Pussy melts into a slump asking for forgiveness and trying to persuade Tony and company that he did not do any damage by his “ratting” out to the feds. Tony lets Big Pussy indulge with one final drink with the fellows upon which Tony and company summarily executes Big Pussy with gunshots to the chest. Big Pussy is wrapped in plastic and chained and dumped overboard as the wind, which has been ever present from the beginning of the episode whips the waves over Big Pussy's body as he sinks beneath the waves.

Special Sound Element

The major feature sound element in this episode is ironically, the wind. It is how Tony and Isabella originally meet in the town as the wind blows Isabella's hat of and Tony being the gentleman returns her cover and asks her to lunch. It animates the contrasting stale reality of Tony's life in a number of ways. A poignant scene is when Carmella catches Tony in a boyhood daze staring out of his bedroom window at Isabella wind bathing in her yard as the wind wraps her clothing tightly against her body.


Previous EpisodeNobody Knows Anything” - Next EpisodeI Dream of Jeannie Cusamano

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

Television Episode

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