See how it all started! Season One of HBO's hit series 'The Sopranos' takes a realistic, darkly humorous look at members of a suburban New Jersey family, whose patriarch Tony Soprano happens to be a mob boss. James Gandolfini stars.
Tony Soprano tries to be a good family man on two fronts - to his wife, kids and widowed mother - and as a capo in the New Jersey mob. The pressures of work and family life give him anxiety attacks, so Tony starts seeing a psychiatrist; which is not the kind of thing a guy advertises in the circles Tony moves in - it could get him killed. So he keeps it to himself.
What caused all this stress? On the home front his marriage is shaky and his mother needs to be put in a nursing home (he calls it a "retirement community" but she still won't go). Uncle Junior wanted to use Tony's childhood friend's restaurant to whack a guy named Pussy Malenga, but Tony prevented the hit by blowing the place up. When a Czech mob attempted to move in on the Sopranos' waste management business, Tony's hot-headed nephew Chris "handled the problem" by murdering their representative and dumping him on Staten Island without getting the permission of the administration. To top it all off, Tony is haunted by the feeling that the glory days of mob life are long gone, and that he might not measure up to the titans of the past.
Madon'! It's enough to make anyone want to see a shrink.
Giacomo "Jackie" Aprile, acting boss of the family, is deathly ill with cancer - and Tony's about to get into a power struggle with Uncle Junior he doesn't even want. Tony finally gets Livia to live in the retirement community after much fuss. When the car belonging to Anthony Jr.'s teacher is stolen, Tony sends lieutenants Big Pussy and Paulie Walnuts to work over the thieves and get the car back. After Christopher and his associate Brendan agree to pay Uncle Junior a 15K "tribute" for accidentally jacking a Junior-protected truck full of DVD's, the none-too-bright Brendan hits the same trucking company again -- this time ending up with a casualty and some gorgeous Italian suits.
Junior Soprano has not been smiling much lately.
Although Christopher and Brendan returned the stolen goods to Comley Trucking like he demanded, Comley thanked Tony for it, not Junior. Now Mikey Palmice is telling him that if Tony won't do something about those two guys, somebody else should - and Junior's starting to agree with him.
But Tony's got other things on his mind. He's worried about Jackie Aprile, who's in the hospital with inoperable cancer. He feels guilty about Artie and Charmaine Bucco, who are broke and going through a second arson investigation for the Vesuvio fire. And he's uneasy about Carmela using their home to host a big hospital benefit.
If that weren't enough, he's having trouble with a new business partner: a Hasidic man who agreed to give Tony 25 percent of his motel in return for "persuading" his son-in-law to give his daughter a divorce. After Tony, Silvio, and Paulie spent the better part of the night getting the old man what he wanted, he tried to renege.
Meanwhile, Christopher and Brendan's judgment is put to the test again when Meadow and Hunter ask them for some crank to help them study for the SATs. Christopher's rationale is that to protect the girls from strangers, he'll give them some "just this one time."
But here we go again - this is exactly the kind of thinking that got Christopher and Brendan into trouble with Junior.
Speaking of Junior, he visits Livia at Green Grove and tells her about his problem with Christopher and Brendan. While Livia goes to bat for Christopher - Tony loves him like a son, and he once put up her storm windows - she tells him "she doesn't know" Brendan. Those few words from Livia result in a mock execution for Christopher and a real one for Brendan.
And a smile on Junior's face.
When Jackie Aprile loses his battle with cancer, Tony and his crew agree to give Junior what he wants. However, they have ulterior motives. Christopher goes from fear to anger when he discovers Brendan's fate. Tony sends a cop on his payroll to investigate Dr. Melfi, while Carmela gives him an ultimatum about his therapy.
Tony takes Meadow to Maine on a college tour. While there, Tony stumbles across an ex mobster who went into the witness protection program after ratting out several of Tony's old comrades. Tony and the mobster begin stalking each other while Tony does his best to hide his activities from his daughter. Carmela receives a visit from Father Phil and the two have a close encounter.
Tony's crew is unhappy when Junior refuses to respect old arrangements. Junior shows reckless behavior by taxing long-time members and ordering hits on top earners. Tony brings in Johnny Sack from New York in hopes of tricking Junior into relenting. Already frustrated because Tony was hiding the fact that his therapist is a woman, Carmela's anger grows when Tony is rendered impotent by his medication.
After A.J. is suspended from school for drinking sacramental wine, Tony begins remembering his own childhood days when he learned of his father's unique lifestyle. Livia learns of her son's therapy during a visit from A.J.
The Soprano crew begins to do some frantic house-cleaning as rumors of FBI indictments begin to surface. Christopher gets depressed when he isn't named on the list and it results in some poor decisions. Livia tells Junior about Tony's therapy.
Tony and Silvio plan drastic action when they hear some disturbing news about Meadow's soccer coach. Tony learns of a secret that Junior would rather keep under wraps. Tensions flare when they begin needling each other during a golf game, and this results in Junior giving up a long term relationship.
Tony has a disheartening experience when he tries to strike up new friendships in the civilian world. Christopher and Adriana try their hand in the music recording business, but their plans backfire in their faces.
Tony is shocked to learn that his old friend, Big Pussy, may be a rat. He sends Paulie to investigate when Pussy acts suspiciously. Junior reaches the breaking point when he learns that Tony has been working behind his back. He and Livia begin conspiring to take action against Tony.
Tony is more depressed than ever over Pussy's disappearance. He increases his medication, and only leaves the house to visit a beautiful Italian girl living next door. His son has his own woman troubles, as A.J. stresses over his first formal dance. Meanwhile, Junior and Mikey send two hit men after Tony, but all doesn't go according to plan.
Tony begins to retaliate for the attempt on his life, but he is stunned when he learns that his mother and uncle were behind it. Junior tries to escape when he suspects that Tony will come after him, but the Feds intervene before Junior can get away. Livia pits Artie against Tony in a last-ditch effort to save herself. Carmela finally lays down the law with Father Phil.