|Season 1, Episode 9 #9|
|Air date||March 7, 1999|
|Written by||Jason Cahill |
|Directed by||Andy Wolk|
"The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti"
"A Hit Is a Hit"
"Boca" is the 9th episode of Season One of the HBO original series The Sopranos. It is the 9th overall episode of the series. It was written by Jason Cahill, Robin Green, and Mitchell Burgess, directed by Andy Wolk and originally aired on March 7, 1999.
Episode cast[edit | edit source]
- 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
- Nancy Marchand as Livia Soprano
* = credit only
Guest starring[edit | edit source]
Also guest starring[edit | edit source]
- Al Sapienza as Mikey Palmice
- Robyn Peterson as Bobbi Sanfillipo
- Kevin O'Rourke as Coach Don Hauser
- Tony Darrow as Larry Boy Barese
- Joe Badalucco Jr. as Jimmy Altieri
- Richard Portnow as Attorney Melvoin
- Cara Jedell as Ally Vandermeed
- Candace Bailey as Deena Hauser
- Jaclyn Tohn as Heather Dante
- Donna Marie Recco as Bebe
- Nell Balaban as Receptionist
- Moises Belizario as FBI Man
- Mary Ellen Cravens as Taylor
- Elaine del Valle as Waitress
- Steve "Inky" Ferguson as Moldonado
- Brian Guzman as Delivery Boy
- Mark Hartman as Capman
- Patrick Husted as Waiter
- Marissa Jedell as Becky
- Joyce Lynn O'Connor as Shelly Hauser
- Annika Pergament as TV Reporter
- John Nacco as Contractor
- Bill Winkler as Soccer Ref
Episode recap[edit | edit source]
Meadow's soccer coach, Don Hauser, has become well-liked by the fathers of the girls on his team including Tony Soprano, Artie Bucco and Silvio Dante, because of the success he produces on the playing field. The three fathers invite Hauser to the Bada Bing for drinks after a win. Soon, however, The Star-Ledger reports that Hauser is leaving for a college coaching job and the mob fathers begin trying to intimidate him into staying. Paulie Gualtieri delivers a 50-inch television to the coach's house and insists he take it. Christopher returns the coach's "missing dog" after apparently stealing it himself.
There is also unrest amongst the girls on the team. It's revealed that the coach has an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his players, Ally Vandermeed, who is a close friend of Meadow's. After Ally hears that the coach is moving on, Ally tries to kill herself while her teammates are drinking in a park. When Tony and Carmela learn of the suicide attempt, Meadow informs them about the inappropriate relationship between coach and player.
Meanwhile, Junior Soprano visits Boca Raton for a weekend with Bobbi Sanfillipo, his girlfriend of 16 years. We learn that Bobbi values Junior's skill at performing cunnilingus, but that Junior does not like her to discuss this as he feels it would damage his masculine reputation in the DiMeo crime family. He asks that she not speak about this part of their relationship with anyone. Bobbi has made the mistake of discussing her sex life at a hair and nail parlor, but then tells her hairdresser that they should be quiet on the topic from now on. Her friend, however, has already gossiped about Junior's particular talent to others. These remarks are heard by a contact of Carmela and the story gets back to Tony. When Junior pokes fun at Tony during a golf game, Tony retaliates with veiled jokes about cunnilingus, aimed at Junior. For his part, Junior responds with a reference to Tony's therapy. Later, an angry Junior storms into Bobbi's office. He is so furious that Bobbi pleads with him not to hit her. Instead, he mushes a lemon meringue pie in her face and then walks out, informing a tearful Bobbi that their relationship is over.
After Tony learns of the soccer coach's affair with his student, he contemplates murdering him in retaliation. After a visit with Dr. Melfi, who asks him why he would assume the burden of righting wrongs in society, and after hearing Artie's plea for legal justice, Tony calls off the hit and the coach is arrested by the police. After this, Tony arrives home after a night of drinking on Xanax and brags to Carmela (as well as to an eavesdropping Meadow) that "[he] didn't hurt nobody."
Meetings[edit | edit source]
(there were no meetings during this episode)
First appearance[edit | edit source]
Harold Melvoin- Junior Soprano's lawyer.
Title reference[edit | edit source]
- Junior takes a trip down to Boca Raton, Florida, every year with his girlfriend Bobbi Sanfillipo.
- The word "boca" in Spanish or the Italian "bocca" mean "mouth." This may be a reference to Junior secretly performing oral sex on his girlfriend, which plays a large role in the episode, or could refer to the many instances of gossiping in the episode.
- The title "Boca" (mouth) may also refer to the growing suspicion that Tony has become an FBI informer, as voiced early in the episode by Mikey Palmice to Junior Soprano, as well as to the worry that he is talking about the business to his psychiatrist.
Production[edit | edit source]
- This episode wrongly reports the location of the University of Rhode Island (URI), claiming that it is in Providence when, in fact, it is in Kingston on the other side of the state. While URI has a satellite campus (the Feinstein Campus) in Providence, URI's sports teams play in Kingston.
- Actor Steven Van Zandt wore his own golfing hat for a scene in which Silvio plays a round of golf.
- The Roxbury High School Girls' Soccer team (Succasunna, New Jersey) played the extras for both the opposing team and members of Meadow's team. The team used this opportunity as a fundraiser.
Cultural references[edit | edit source]
- Junior mentions the "Escobedo brothers" to Mikey Palmice when explaining how it is possible for a psychiatrist to testify against a patient. This is a reference to the Menendez Brothers in Beverly Hills, who killed their parents and were later turned in to the police by their psychologist, L. Jerome Oziel.
- Junior hitting Bobbi in her face with a pie when they break up was used as an homage to The Public Enemy, where the main character does the same to his girlfriend with a cut-in-half grapefruit when he says he is leaving her. David Chase has cited The Public Enemy as an enormous influence.
- Over dinner, while discussing Ally's suicide attempt, Tony, under influence of what Dr. Melfi told him previously how self-inflicted shallow cuts to the wrists are actually a cry for help, says how she didn't really want to kill herself: "It wasn't like frigging Cobain, it was just a little suicidal gesture." He was referring to the iconic rock musician Kurt Cobain, troubled lead singer of Seattle grunge band Nirvana, who committed suicide with a shotgun at the age of 27.
Music[edit | edit source]
- When Junior is dancing with his girlfriend in Boca, the Spanish song played is "Frente a Frente" written by Mexican singer Juan Gabriel and sung by Spanish singer Rocio Durcal. This song is also played again when Corrado Soprano breaks up with her.
- In an early scene, Meadow and her friend are watching the Morphine video for "Buena" and the song is played at the end of the episode and into the closing credits.
- When Coach Hauser visits the Bada Bing with Silvio Dante, the song played in the bar is "Can't You Feel the Fire" from Steven Van Zandt's album Freedom – No Compromise.
- The song played when Charmaine confronts Artie in the basement about Tony's attempted bribing of Coach Hauser is "Little Joe" by The Spaniels.
- The song Tony sings when he taunts Junior while they play golf is "South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)".
- The song played at the Bada Bing when Tony debates making the call to have Coach Hauser killed is "A-Hoy" by B-Tribe.
- The song played when Tony comes home drunk and singing to himself is "There Was a Time".
- When Tony ponders what to do with Coach Hauser in his office, the song in the background is "Woke Up This Morning (Urban Takeover Mix)" by Alabama 3, who also perform the song's Chosen One Mix in the opening credits.