In Camelot

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"In Camelot"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep507.jpg
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 7
Directed by Steve Buscemi
Written by Terence Winter
Cinematography by Alik Sakharov
Production code 506
Original air date April 18, 2004
Running time 55 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Sentimental Education"
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"Marco Polo"
Episode chronology

"In Camelot" is the 59th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the seventh of the show's fifth season. Written by Terence Winter and directed by Steve Buscemi, it originally aired on April 18, 2004.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Also guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

While having a meal with Janice and Bobby, Tony is informed that his Aunt Concetta has died. While at the cemetery for her funeral, Tony meets Fran Felstein, his father's longtime comare. Over a matter of days, Tony spends time with Fran and learns more about his father's life through her stories, he also learns that his childhood dog, "Tippy," was given to Fran under false pretenses to placate his mother Livia. Fran further recalls resisting Junior's advances and having a one-time fling with President John F. Kennedy.

Tony and Fran tour a midget car racetrack, where she explains that Tony's father had promised to leave her a share of the racetrack, but that Phil and Hesh Rabkin cheated her out of the investment. Tony tries to collect the money on her behalf and has a sitdown with Phil and Hesh, mediated by Johnny. While Hesh agrees to pay, Phil is discontent at the decision to pay 25%. When Tony spots him buying Italian water ice, the two get involved in a car chase that results in Phil crashing his car into a Boar's Head truck. Later, Tony is able to collect $150,000 for Fran.

Junior, with his mental health and memory now improved due to new medication, goes stir crazy while still under house arrest, he begins going to every possible funeral he can, even when he knows the deceased only slightly, just to get out of the house. However, while at the funeral of Concetta's husband, Uncle Zio, he begins crying uncontrollably and has to be helped away by Bobby and Janice. Junior later breaks down in his physician's office when he mentions the lack of purpose in his life, since he has no children and is "trapped." The doctor says they have to find a well-adjusted combination of medicine to successfully regulate his condition and minimize any side-effects the drugs may have.

Christopher begins to spend time with J.T. Dolan, a television screenwriter he met in rehab. The two offer to support one another when they get the urge to use, after losing a sports bet to him, Chris introduces J.T. to the family's high-stakes poker games despite the potential for his friend to channel his addiction problems into problem gambling. After J.T. runs up $60,000 in debt and starts missing payments, Chris and Little Paulie come to his apartment and give him a beating. J.T. loses some writing jobs, causing him to turn to heroin. Chris helps direct him back toward rehab.

Tony's friendship with Fran begins to sour as he learns that his father was often with her when he was needed at home, including the night Livia was hospitalized for a miscarriage. Furthermore, Fran starts to openly disparage Livia in front of Tony, and uses the money he collected for her to buy expensive attire despite previously claiming to be broke. When Tony discusses these revelations with Dr. Melfi, she suggests he could have more sympathy for Livia, forgive her, and forget. Tony remains unsympathetic, remarking that Livia did make his father give Tippy away, as the episode closes, Tony starts regaling his buddies at the Bada Bing with exaggerated accounts of Fran's involvement with JFK.

First appearances[edit]

  • J.T. Dolan: Christopher's Alcoholics Anonymous friend, who is also a screenwriter.

Deceased[edit]

This episode had five deaths, the most of the series, although they all happened offscreen and none of them were murders.

  • Aunt Concetta: died of a heart attack
  • Vincent Patronella: Uncle Junior's dry-cleaner
  • Mrs. Crilli: cousin of Uncle Junior's
  • Unnamed Boy: 7 years old, died in a jacuzzi; Uncle Junior and Bobby attend his funeral
  • Uncle Nicolo "Zio" Concetta: died of natural causes; 15 days after the death of his wife, Concetta

Production[edit]

  • Although the seventh episode of the season, it was produced as sixth, due to scheduling availability of previous episode director Peter Bogdanovich, as episode director Steve Buscemi wanted to direct an episode that his character was minimally featured in.[1]

Title reference[edit]

  • Fran Felstein claimed to have had an affair with President John F. Kennedy, whose administration was nicknamed "Camelot."
  • Tony refers to Fran as a "princess."
  • Fran calls the waiter who tops off her wine glass her "knight in shining armor."
  • Tony comes to the aid of Fran when she is financially mistreated by Hesh Rabkin and Phil Leotardo.

Connections to prior episodes[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

  • The Baccalieri children are watching Beethoven on TV when Tony pays the family a visit.
  • Aunt Concetta reportedly had a heart attack and died after watching Meet the Press.
  • During Tony's flashback scene to 1975, as he talks with Dr. Melfi, his teenage self is watching Cannon on television in his mother's house, when his father calls.
  • J.T. Dolan mentions he wrote for Nash Bridges and That's Life, and Christopher comments he thought the latter show was unrealistic. Christopher also makes disparaging remarks about director Jon Favreau who is featured in the second-season episode "D-Girl."
  • Dolan says his agent is working to get him a job writing for Law & Order, created by Dick Wolf.
  • Dolan has a framed poster of Dr. Strangelove hanging in his apartment, which Christopher and Little Paulie later smash over his head when they beat him up.
  • Dolan later tries to sell his Emmy Award at the pawnshop for some money, but the clerk only offers a few dollars for it, saying it is no Academy Award.
  • Fran Felstein mentions going to see Enzo Stuarti sing at Manhattan's famous Copacabana in the 1950s.

Music[edit]

  • Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" is playing when Chris and J.T. are in the gym.
  • The song blaring from Tony's stereo as he pursues Leotardo is "Rock the Casbah" by The Clash.
  • When Tony takes Fran Felstein to dinner, the title track from John Coltrane's album My Favorite Things can be heard.
  • The song played at the Bada Bing at the end of the episode, when Tony is exaggerating Fran's exploits with JFK, is "Session" by Linkin Park, from their album Meteora.
  • The song played over the end credits is "Melancholy Serenade", the theme from The Jackie Gleason Show, which was composed by Gleason. Fran said that Gleason was present at the March 1961 party at which she met President Kennedy. Other references to Gleason are made throughout the show (e.g., at Tony B's homecoming party at the Bing).

References[edit]

  1. ^ DVD audio commentary for "In Camelot" by Steve Buscemi

External links[edit]