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Whitecaps (The Sopranos)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep413.jpg
AJ and Meadow react to the news that Tony has decided to move out.
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 13
Directed byJohn Patterson
Written byDavid Chase
Robin Green
Mitchell Burgess
Cinematography byPhil Abraham
Production code413
Original air dateDecember 8, 2002 (2002-12-08)
Running time75 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
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"Two Tonys"
The Sopranos (season 4)
List of episodes

"Whitecaps" is the 52nd episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos, and the 13th and final episode of the show's fourth season. Written by the series creator/executive producer David Chase, and executive producers Robin Green, and Mitchell Burgess, it was directed by longtime series director John Patterson and originally aired in the United States on December 8, 2002. The episode attracted 12.5 million viewers[1] and is regarded by many critics as one of the series' best.


Guest starring


With the Esplanade project shut down, Johnny is worried about his lost revenue. Tony declines to move against Carmine, but when Johnny offers generous concessions, he relents. Christopher returns from rehab in very good shape; Tony asks him to deal with Carmine and make it look like "an outside job". Christopher delivers a pre-payment to two heroin dealers, and delivers instructions for the hit. However, Carmine unexpectedly changes his mind and offers to negotiate; at a sitdown he agrees to accept just 15% and praises Little Carmine for his role in the negotiations. Though Johnny still intends to go through with the hit, Tony decides against it and orders Christopher to silence the hired guns. After Christopher meets with and pays them, they are ambushed and killed by Benny and Petey. When Tony and Johnny meet again, Johnny expresses his resentment against Carmine and his son, and his anger at Tony for letting him down. They embrace before parting, but eye each other warily as Johnny drives away.

Thanks to juror intimidation, Junior is freed following a mistrial. As Bobby and Janice celebrate, Junior, distrusting Janice, finds a pretext to stop them.

Tony takes Carmela on a surprise trip to "Whitecaps," a house on the Jersey Shore he is thinking of buying. At first hesitant, Carmela is finally delighted; she and Tony walk hand-in-hand on the beach and kiss. Tony meets the house's owner, attorney Alan Sapinsly, and offers cash in the shortest possible time allowed by law. Sapinsly calls the current buyer, who is having difficulty obtaining a mortgage, and negotiates and threatens his way out of their contract.

Irina drunk dials Carmela and brags about Tony's relations with her and tells her he also had sex with Svetlana. This causes Carmela extreme distress, and Tony returns home to find her hurling his possessions from an upstairs window. She tells Tony that he has embarrassed her for years with his infidelity and tells him to leave the house. Tony retorts that she stole from him by taking the cash hidden in the birdseed. He goes to Irina's home and finds Svetlana, who explains that soon after Tony humiliated Zellman in front of Irina, their relationship ended. Tony then spends the night at Whitecaps. He explains to Sapinsly that he no longer wishes to buy the house, but Sapinsly declines to release him from the contract.

Meadow argues with her mother about the separation, asking her how she could "eat shit" from Tony for so many years. Tony returns home and becomes violent when Carmela tells him to leave; she threatens to call a lawyer and get a restraining order. A.J. helps Tony clear the home theater so that he can stay there.

As Tony lies in the pool, Carmela confronts him about a minor annoyance, leading to another argument where she finally reveals her feelings for Furio. Tony, at first incredulous, again becomes violent and almost hits her, but stops himself and strikes the wall beside her head instead. He tells her he looked for women with different qualities from her in his affairs. She reminds him that he hardly knew most of the women he slept with and walks out, calling him a "fucking hypocrite."

Tony calls Dr. Melfi but hangs up when she answers. She tries to call him back but his number is blocked. He finally tells the family he has decided to move out completely. He embraces his children.

Sapinsly calls Tony and tells him that he will release him from the sale but will keep the $200,000 deposit. He offers to negotiate, but Tony declines. Benny and Little Paulie take the speakers out of Tony's home theater, install them on Tony's boat, anchor it just offshore from Sapinsly’s house and, at lunchtime, play a Dean Martin concert at high volume. The Sapinslys close the patio doors and try to ignore it. At night, as they sit peacefully on the patio, the music starts again.


Title reference

  • "Whitecaps" is the name of the property Tony plans to buy for his family.
  • Whitecaps also refer to the crest of waves which break into sea foam. Like the choppy waters, Tony and Carmela's marriage has become unstable.


  • "Whitecaps" is the longest episode of the series, running 75 minutes.

References to past episodes

  • Tony brings up Carmela's telling him he was going to hell when he was first being examined for an MRI for his collapses (this occurred in the show's pilot episode).

Cultural references

  • When Johnny Sack and Tony meet at an OfficeMax to discuss potentially assassinating Carmine Lupertazzi, Johnny paraphrases a line from The Beatles' song, "Hey Jude," saying, "I'll take a sad song and make it better."
  • Johnny Sack intimates that with Carmine's assassination there would be "differences between this and Castellano," in reference to the assassination of New York Gambino Crime Family Boss Paul Castellano by John Gotti, who subsequently became boss in 1986.
  • When Tony first sees Christopher after the latter's release from rehab, he says, "Hey, Jack Lemmon! How's Lee Remick?" This refers to the film Days of Wine and Roses (1962), which deals with alcoholism and recovery.
  • While in the pool, Tony responds to Carmela's complaint about the seats being left on the lawn being bad for the grass by quoting the Mulwray's Chinese groundskeeper's line about "very bad for grass" from the film Chinatown.
  • When fighting with Tony in the pool house, Carmela says angrily, "Who knew? All this time, you really wanted Tracy and Hepburn."
  • Johnny Sack says to Tony angrily, "Creeps on this petty pace...", misquoting Shakespeare's Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, line 20).
  • When explaining his decision to call off the hit on Carmine, Tony warns Johnny Sack they need to avoid causing a "shootout at the OK Corral," referencing the infamous 1881 gunfight.



Critical response

Entertainment Weekly placed "Whitecaps" #3 on their list of the 10 greatest The Sopranos episodes;[2] TIME placed it at #4.[3]



  1. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2006-03-14). "The comeback". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  2. ^ Fonseca, Nicholas. "The Hit Parade - 3. WHITECAPS (Season 4)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  3. ^ Poniewozik, James (2007-04-04). "Whitecaps - The Sopranos - TIME". TIME. Archived from the original on April 8, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-26.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 November 2021, at 22:43
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