"The Sopranos" (Pilot) Season 1 Episode 1

The Sopranos - Original air date: January 10, 1999 | Genres: Crime | Drama | Directed by: David Chase - Next Episode46 Long

In the pilot episode of the legendary, award-winning HBO series “The Sopranos”, the audience is introduced to a gang of Italian-American mobsters from New Jersey which is led by Tony Soprano played by actor James Gandolfini. The show documents the emotional and personal struggles of Tony Soprano as he fights to create a balance within his family life while heading a criminal organization. His struggles are brought to the surface through out the show by Tony's sessions with his psychiatrist, Jennifer Melfi played by actress Lorraine Bracco. The story is given a twist with his professional relationship with his psychiatrist with the life stories he shares with her being down played in order to keep in secret the fact that he actually runs a Mafia, as opposed to the “waste management business” that he describes when talking with his doctor. The show features the rocky relationship with Tony's wife Carmela played by actress Edie Falco, as well as his Mafia colleagues most notably his cousin and protege, Christopher Moltisanti, played by actor Michael Imperioli.

Episode Recap

the-sopranos-s01.jpg The pilot of The Sopranos introduces us to Tony Soprano, an American Italian mobster heading up a Mafia who is struggling to meet the needs of his family life as well as run his criminal organization. In the beginning, we meet Tony in psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi's office. We learn that Tony has unexpectedly passed out while barbecuing at home with the family, and upon visiting the hospital, doctors were unable to find anything physically wrong with him and his collapse is ruled an anxiety attack. Doctors send Tony to see a psychiatrist.

Upon entering Melfi's office, it is obvious that Tony is very reluctant to the visit and feels as though he is perfectly fine and has no need to see a psychiatric doctor. Still, Jennifer Melfi coaxes Tony to discuss what he felt was the cause to his collapse. Although Tony expresses scorn to the notion that he would need any type of psychiatric evaluation, he eventually gives in to the process and begins to explain his line of work to the doctor, which he presents as “waste management”. Still somewhat uncooperative, he goes on to explain the events of the day that had followed up to his “panic attack”. He gives Dr. Melfi insight on the difficult relationship he has with his daughter, Meadow, as well as his friend Hunter Scangarelo, who his wife believes is a bad influence in Tony's life. Tony's family struggles are increased with the burden of caring for his mother, Livia, who is resentful and unpleasant. He also opens up to Melfi about one of the small joys in his life: a group of ducks that hang out in his backyard swimming pool. Dr. Melfi manages to get Tony to admit that he is depressed by the end of the session. However, the session is quickly ended with Tony leaving in anger when Melfi brings up the topic of Tony's ducks.

Tony goes on to suffer a second panic attack when he attempts to place his mother in a retirement home resulting in an angry outburst from her. He returns to Dr. Melfi after this to be prescribed to Prozac. Tony begins to take the drug, and believes he is feeling better. He believes the anti-depressant is to credit for his improved mood until he learns from Melfi that the medication takes two weeks to go into effect, and she believes their therapy sessions are the reason.

As the story progresses, Christopher Moltisanti, Tony's nephew and mob apprentice, goes on to settle a dispute on his own with a rival waste management business that goes by the name of Triboro Towers garbage. Christopher tricks the company's heir, Emil “Email” Kolar, into meeting him at Satriale's Deli where he kills the Triboro Towers heir. He then goes on to bury the body and avoid a police investigation.

Special Occurrences

This episode gives us a full introduction to Tony and the conflicting worlds of his family life and business. We learn that he has been guilty of having affairs in his marriage and has a sub-concsious fear of losing his family which he learns from his odd obsession with a family of ducks living in his outdoor swimming pool. Tony's nephew Christopher makes a big move by luring the rival company's heir out and killing him.


Next Episode: 46 Long

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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