Whoever Did This

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"Whoever Did This"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep409.jpg
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 9
Directed byTim Van Patten
Written byRobin Green
Mitchell Burgess
Production code409
Original air dateNovember 10, 2002
Running time56 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Mergers and Acquisitions"
Next →
"The Strong, Silent Type"
Episode chronology
 
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"Whoever Did This"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep409.jpg
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 9
Directed byTim Van Patten
Written byRobin Green
Mitchell Burgess
Production code409
Original air dateNovember 10, 2002
Running time56 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Mergers and Acquisitions"
Next →
"The Strong, Silent Type"
Episode chronology

"Whoever Did This" is the forty-eighth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and is the ninth of the show's fourth season. It was written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, directed by Tim Van Patten and originally aired on November 10, 2002.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

As Junior Soprano is leaving court, he is surrounded by media and accidentally hit in the head by a boom mike, making him fall down several steps. He is sent to the hospital with a concussion. Initially, Junior seems to be acting confused and a physician offers a theory Corrado may have had developing dementia and it could have been exacerbated by the concussion, but, later, Junior is found to be fine and enjoying his stay at the hospital as respite from the trial. Tony thinks the head blow could be a golden opportunity for Junior: Tony suggests to his attorney Harold Melvoin that they could use this in Junior's defense via an unstable mental capacity claim, and Junior is to act as if he has Alzheimers. Tony tells him all he has to do is "act oobatz" or crazy, and this will end his legal problems. The state appoints a psychiatrist to evaluate Uncle Junior's mental status in his home. She interviews him at his kitchen table. He pretends to not recall much of anything while Tony's sister, Janice, gives a thumbs-up on Junior's "performance" to Bobby Baccala. One morning sometime later, however, FBI agents posted outside Junior's house witness him being brought back to his house by his in-home nurse after idly wandering to the neighbors' house for ice cream; Junior seems to stand in his living room genuinely confused.

While Ralph Cifaretto's 12-year old son Justin and a friend are playing an unsupervised game of The Lord of the Rings with a bow and arrows, Justin is inadvertently shot in the chest by an arrow. The maid bangs loudly on Ralph's bathroom door when he is taking a bath, urging him to come to Justin's aid. Ralph rushes outside to see his son lying on the ground bleeding and unconscious, and is quickly rushed to the hospital where he remains in a coma. In the hospital waiting room, Ralph lashes out in rage against his ex-wife and her husband who were accusing him of failed supervision and at the boy who injured his son and has to be physically restrained by Tony. In the following days, Ralph is guilt and grief-stricken and claims he regrets his actions he has done throughout his life. He even goes and visits Father Phil Intintola to try to redeem himself, creates a $20,000-a-year scholarship at Rutgers University in Jackie Junior's name, apologizes to Rosalie Aprile for not being more sympathetic when her son died and proposes to her, but she declines.

Tony consoles Ralph when he breaks down in tears at the Bing after bringing Tony his share of recent earnings. Using the opportunity, Tony confesses to Ralph he is seeing Valentina La Paz. Although surprised, Ralph does not seem to protest the new relationship but passes on Tony's suggestion for him to spend therapeutic time at the stables with Pie-O-My. Paulie, however, still holds a grudge toward Ralph, especially since he knows Ralph prank called his mother earlier to get even with Paulie for telling Johnny Sack that Ralph made the Ginny Sack joke.

Tony and Ralph's racehorse, Pie-O-My dies in a stable fire, which was deemed as accidental by the fire department; however, Tony believes Ralph set the fire intentionally to collect on the $200,000 insurance policy he and Ralph had on the horse. After going to the stables the morning the trainer calls and delivers the bad news and seeing Pie-O-My's corpse wrapped up and dragged away by a tractor, Tony goes to Ralph's house. Tony delivers the news to Ralph that Pie-O-My is dead. Ralph expresses his condolences to Tony, but does not seem to be particularly moved by the horse's death. He and Tony go into the kitchen where Ralph is preparing eggs on the stove. Ralph seems to be more focused on informing Tony of Justin's improving condition, but Tony keeps bringing the conversation back to the dead horse. When Tony theorizes Ralph could have set the fire intentionally to collect the insurance, Ralph angrily assures Tony he had nothing to do with it. Tony asks him if he had heard from Corky Ianucci lately - an expert arsonist who was responsible for setting Artie Bucco's restaurant on fire. Ralph gets enraged, saying that Tony doesn't care about him having to beat up innocent people just as long as he gets his money, and then makes a snide remark about him caring so much about a horse while he eats meat at his desk. In a furious rage, Tony punches Ralph, knocking him across the kitchen. The two scuffle briefly, with Ralph unsuccessfully defending himself with pots, pans, a knife, and Raid spray. The fight culminates with Tony shouting at Ralph as he strangles him and bashes his head against the kitchen floor until he finally dies.

Tony enlists Christopher Moltisanti - at an untimely moment as Christopher has just shot up heroin and is nodding out on the sofa - to help dispose of the body, explaining that Ralph was already dead when he arrived. Even in a heroin-induced daze, Christopher does not seem to buy Tony's version but also does not mind what has happened much. Christopher cuts off Ralph's head along with his hands, placing them in a bowling bag, discovering in the process that Ralph is bald and wears a wig. When night falls, Christopher and Tony dispose of Ralph's body by throwing it over a cliff into a quarry. They take his head and hands to Mikey Palmice's hospitalized father's farm. Because the ground is frozen, Tony uses a backhoe to dig up a hole, while he scolds Christopher for his drug use. Christopher tells Tony that Ralphie "getting whacked" could be a problem, to which Tony replies, "You're the only other one who knows about it." The men shower at Bada Bing and get rid of their clothes which are to be burned.

Tony awakens at the strip club the next morning, calling Christopher's name, but realizes he has already left. Tony then sees a picture of Tracee on the mirror, the Bada Bing stripper who was killed by Ralph. Tony then throws open the back door of the club, and walks from the darkness into the blinding daylight of the next day.

Deceased[edit]

Title reference[edit]

Connections to prior episodes[edit]

Other cultural references[edit]

Music[edit]

True-crime inspiration[edit]

Jason Bautista was convicted of killing his mentally ill mother in Riverside, California on January 14, 2003, then dumping her decapitated body with its hands removed off Ortega Highway in Orange County. Jason's half-brother, Matthew Montejo, who was 15 years old when Jason killed their mother, testified in court that he helped dispose of her body, and that they got the idea to chop off her head and hands to hide the crime from this episode.[1][2]

Awards[edit]

"Whoever Did This" was Joe Pantoliano's 2003 winning submission for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Derrik J. Lang, AP Entertainment Writer (20 April 2012). "Boston Globe". articles.boston.com. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Son sentenced to 25 years for mother's murder". nctimes.com. Santa Ana, California: North Country Times. 9 April 2005. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 

External links[edit]