Another Toothpick

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"Another Toothpick"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep305.jpg
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 5
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by Terence Winter
Cinematography by Alik Sakharov
Production code 305
Original air date March 25, 2001
Running time 60 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

"Another Toothpick" is the 31st episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the fifth of the show's third season. It was written by Terence Winter and directed by Jack Bender, and originally aired on March 25, 2001.


* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

In their first session together with Dr. Melfi, Tony listens as she asks Carmela if she is aware of the "root causes" of Tony's problems. Carmela becomes defensive at what she thinks is an attempt to make her a scapegoat, prompting her and Tony to trade recriminations. While Tony is driving a tearful Carmela home, he is pulled over for speeding. After attempts at using charm and bribery all backfire, Tony gives in and lets the traffic cop, Officer Leon Wilmore, write up a speeding ticket. Tony contacts a corrupt New Jersey assemblyman, Ronald Zellman, to get him out of the ticket.

Days later, while visiting a lawn ornament store, Tony sees Wilmore selling pottery. Tony sarcastically antagonizes Wilmore, who was transferred to the property room and forced to take a second job thanks to Zellman's influence. Feeling guilty, Tony calls Zellman, who relates that Wilmore is thought to be battling depression. Despite this, Tony asks if Zellman can let Wilmore have his job back. Tony argues with Meadow about his racist attitudes, causing her to take the FBI-bugged lamp back to her dorm at Columbia University and inadvertently set back the Bureau's investigation. Tony contacts Zellman again and tells him to forget his request. When he returns to the garden store, Tony offers Wilmore a bribe to ensure that his expensive order arrives in one piece. Wilmore looks at him and walks away.

After attending a funeral for Carmela's uncle, Tony meets up with Bobby Baccalieri and his father, Bobby, Sr. Tony learns that Bobby, Sr. has lung cancer. When Vito's brother Bryan is assaulted by a jealous Mustang Sally, Bobby Sr. agrees to kill him since he is Sally's godfather. Bobby fears for his father's health and asks Junior to convince Tony to get someone else. Junior attempts to make Tony change his mind, eventually turning to Johnny and Ralphie. Tony angrily informs them that the matter is no longer up for discussion. Tony, Johnny, and Paulie realize that Ralphie resents Gigi for being promoted as capo of the Aprile crew over him.

Bobby Sr's hit almost goes awry and ends with a struggle, but Bobby Sr. succeeds in shooting Sally and his friend, Carlos. However, after leaving the scene, Bobby Sr. has a coughing fit and loses consciousness, resulting in a fatal car accident. Bobby is extremely upset at the news. Later, Junior informs Tony that he has been diagnosed with stomach cancer and asks him not to tell anyone. Tony, however, tells Janice, and they both meet at Livia's house and discuss the deaths in their family. When Bobby comes to get Junior for his father's wake, he admits he has cancer and pretends to be too sick to go.

Artie becomes upset as Adriana leaves Nuovo Vesuvio after Christopher has gotten made. A drunken Artie insults Chris in front of Tony, which almost leads to violence. After Chris leaves, Artie tells Tony that he is in love with Adriana, but Tony tells him to sober up and to never utter those words again. The next day, Tony suggests that he and Artie go into business together selling Italian food products under the Satriale's brand name. Charmaine nixes the idea, believing Tony only wants another business to use as a front. During the ensuing argument, Charmaine tells Artie that their marriage is over. Later, Artie has an awkward dinner with Adriana, who realizes that he is romantically interested.


  • Febby Viola: died of cancer; Carmela's uncle
  • Mustang Sally: shot and killed by Robert Baccalieri Sr. on orders by Tony Soprano and Gigi Cestone
  • Carlos: Mustang Sally's friend; shot for being a witness to his murder
  • Bobby Baccalieri, Sr.: Crashed his car while suffering a coughing fit brought on by his lung cancer

Title reference[edit]

  • Janice claims that Livia often described a person who was dying as "another toothpick."

Cultural references[edit]

  • As Bobby Sr. visits Mustang Sally and Carlos, before their deaths, the two were watching Sally Jessy Raphael's talk show on TV.
  • After confessing his love for Adriana to Tony, Artie muses that he'd have a better chance with her if he weren't bald. Tony states that the older, married Artie wouldn't have a chance with that young girl even if he had hair like Casey Kasem. In real-life, the actor who plays Artie is only 38 and Adriana is 29.
  • In the scene where Junior tells Bobby he has cancer, the movie playing on the television is The Devil at 4 O'Clock with Frank Sinatra.


Going into the third season, this episode marks the first time the show's leading ladies, Lorraine Bracco and Edie Falco as Dr. Melfi and Carmela Soprano, spoke to each other face-to-face. Their two previous conversations had taken place over the phone, while they had only caught a glimpse of each other in season 1, when Carmela drove Tony to meet Melfi for a session in her car.


  • The song played over the end credits is "Shuck Dub" by R. L. Burnside.
  • Meadow Soprano sings along to The Corrs' "Breathless", while listening to headphones.
  • The song playing on the radio in Bobby Baccalieri Sr.'s Chevy as he is driving away from the murder scene is "Sister Golden Hair" by America; Bobby Sr.'s car crashes as the line "I just can't make it" was sung in the main chorus.
  • The piece played while Artie Bucco and Adriana have dinner is "Concierto de Aranjuez" by Joaquin Rodrigo.

External links[edit]