Mergers and Acquisitions (The Sopranos)

Mergers and Acquisitions (The Sopranos)
"Mergers and Acquisitions"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep408.jpg
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 47
Directed by Dan Attias
Teleplay by
Story by
Production code 408
Original air date November 3, 2002
Guest stars

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"Mergers and Acquisitions" is the forty-seventh episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the eighth of the show's fourth season. Its teleplay was written by Lawrence Konner from a story by David Chase, Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess and Terence Winter. It was directed by Dan Attias and originally aired on Sunday November 3, 2002.


Guest starring roles

Episode recap

Paulie Walnuts is concerned about his mother's welfare when she finally makes the move to Green Grove Retirement Home. Quickly, Nucci is excited to reunite with old friends Cookie Cirillo and Minn Matrone, who warmly welcome her. While Nucci is in the restroom (which she called the "W.C."-the "Water Closet"), the ladies politely inform Paulie that Nucci will not be allowed to play cards with or eat lunch with them since they are a set group. Paulie insists that the girls make room and be respectful to his mother. On casino night, Nucci is ostracized by Cookie after Nucci ruins a game of blackjack. Nucci then confines herself to her room, which begins to worry Paulie. Paulie pays a visit to Cookie's son, Chuckie, a high school principal. Paulie discusses Nucci and Cookie's relationship and would like them to get along, since Minn Matrone is an instigator and a "malignant cunt", according to Paulie. Chuckie tries to convince Paulie that he cannot intervene in his mother's social life. The following day, Chuckie is chased through his high school's hallway by members of Paulie's crew (Benny Fazio and "Little Paulie" Germani) and is badly injured. When Chuckie's wife threatens to take Cookie out of the nursing home, Cookie reluctantly agrees to make peace with Nucci.

Meanwhile, at the stables, Tony Soprano meets Ralph Cifaretto's new girlfriend, Valentina La Paz, a Cuban-Italian beauty whom Tony immediately falls for. Valentina convinces Tony to have a portrait made of him with the horse, Pie-O-My, and soon Tony and Valentina retreat to a hotel room and passionately make love. Valentina plays a practical joke on Tony by loosening the top of a salt shaker, and then Tony, jocularly, threatens to throw her meal out of the window. Valentina continues to date Ralph, and Tony buys her an expensive diamond horseshoe pin as a parting gift. Valentina objects (she still wants to see Tony), and complains to him that her sex life with Ralph consists mostly of his masochistic fetishes. Dr. Melfi suggests that Tony is reluctant to "cuckold" Ralph, and in fact Tony continues to push Valentina away until he gets confirmation from Janice - by agreeing to pay her $3,000 for the information - that Ralph really does have unusual sexual tendencies.

Carmela, who is falling for Furio Giunta, empathisizes with him when he leaves for Italy to attend his father's funeral. While in Italy, Furio discusses his attraction to Carmela with his uncle. When Furio confides that the woman is the don's wife, he is warned to not pursue the relationship any further since it would be considered an act of treason and disrespect and would likely be discovered. At home, Carmela discovers a broken false fingernail in Tony's clothes, infuriating her. She vents her anger by stealing Tony's keys to the duck feed bin (while Tony was showering), taking two bound stacks of money he had hidden there, and investing it with several stock brokers in $9,900 segments (in order to avoid the $10,000 mandatory notification of the IRS). After recounting the hidden money, Tony discovers that there is some missing. Before having a chance to talk about it with Carmela, he discovers the false nail, which Carmela left on his nightstand next to his car keys. Tony walks downstairs, where Carmela is reading the newspaper. He asks for coffee, which she makes, and, noticing his demeanor, asks Tony if he wishes to discuss anything. He says no. A.J. comes downstairs and Tony asks if he had been in the backyard (tipping off Carmela that he knows the money is missing). After A.J. denies being in the backyard and leaves, Carmela again asks Tony if he wishes to talk about anything. He declines, and asks Carmela the same. She responds likewise and "it" is left hanging in the air between them.

First appearances

  • Valentina La Paz: An art dealer and Ralph's girlfriend, who quickly falls for Tony.
  • Minn Matrone: Friend of Paulie's mother, Nucci Gualtieri at Green Grove.


  • Furio's father: Cancer

Title reference

The phrase mergers and acquisitions refers to the aspect of corporate finance strategy and management dealing with the merging and acquiring of different companies as well as other assets. In the episode it alludes to:

  • Carmela's acquisition of Tony's cash, putting it into long-term investments (both for revenge and to support the family should Tony die)
  • Tony's acquisition of Cousin Brian as a financial advisor and involvement of Brian in secrets from Carmela and from Brian's wife, Janelle Cammarata
  • Tony's acquisition of Ralph's horse
  • Tony's acquisition of Valentina

References to other media

  • Janice watches Robot Wars on television, the commentator is Jonathan Pearce
  • Tony watches the 1993 film, The Fugitive (which includes cast mate Joe Pantoliano) on his new widescreen television
  • Tony references the movie Hud, which starred Paul Newman, when Carmela's cousin mistakenly references the HUD scam to Carmela at dinner.
  • Ade's girlfriend warns that marrying Christopher may not grant Ade immunity from testifying against him in court, according to a a Murder, She Wrote episode in which a butler's wife was required to testify against her husband.
  • When Tony shows Carmela the new media center he has installed in the pool house, she replies that she will pick up the movie, In the Bedroom, for them to watch.
  • In his meeting with Dr Melfi, Tony talks of how in the olden days mafia men would take their mistresses out on Fridays and their wives on Saturdays. This is a reference to Goodfellas, in which Lorraine Bracco (Melfi) plays gangster Henry Hill's wife. This is particularly relevant as The Sopranos creator, David Chase, refers to Goodfellas as his Koran.


  • The song played over the end credits is "When the Battle is Over" by Delaney & Bonnie.
  • Tony listens to "Bell Bottom Blues " by Derek and the Dominos in his new entertainment center. He comments that "it's like Clapton's sitting right there at your house."
  • The bagpipe music Tony listens to on the entertainment system is "The Inverness Gathering," performed by the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band.
  • Tony falls asleep in front of his home theatre and wakes up as Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon approaches its end. The closing track "Eclipse" is heard when he wakes. Later in the episode, when he is under the shower, he can be heard singing fragments from "Another Brick in the Wall part two" also by Pink Floyd.

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