Members Only (The Sopranos)

"Members Only"
The Sopranos episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 1
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Written by Terence Winter
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 601
Original air date March 12, 2006 (2006-03-12)
Running time 52 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology

"Members Only" is the sixty-sixth episode of the HBO series The Sopranos, and the first of the show's sixth season. Written by Terence Winter and directed by Tim Van Patten, it aired originally on March 12, 2006.


Guest starring

Also guest starring

Episode recap

Nearly two years have passed since the end of the previous episode. Two FBI agents drive in a car, and the agent driving states: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public", paraphrasing a line by H. L. Mencken. The other FBI agent, Dwight Harris, is immediately affected by a bout of severe nausea and vomiting, during which an accompaniment soundtrack starts. The music, "Seven Souls" by Material, begins the opening narration, a shortened version of a spoken word essay ("The ancient Egyptians postulated seven souls...") by William S. Burroughs from his novel The Western Lands.[1] The narration is accompanied by snapshots of some of the characters' current lives, and each ancient Egyptian soul is ascribed to a certain character: Vito Spatafore (Ren, the Secret Name) has lost a great deal of weight and has become a spokesperson for Thin Club; Janice Soprano is breast feeding her and Bobby Baccalieri's daughter Domenica Baccalieri; Eugene Pontecorvo and Bobby (Sekem: Energy, Power, Light) - Eugene and his wife become joyous after reading an inheritance letter, while Bobby has taken up model railroading as a hobby; Meadow (Khu, the Guardian Angel) is sexy dancing for her fiancé Finn DeTrolio; Ray Curto (Ba, the heart, often treacherous) is exercising on a treadmill; Anthony Junior (Ka, the Double) is now attending college and snaps a picture of himself resembling his aunt Janice's tattoo; Adriana La Cerva (Khaibit, the Shadow, Memory) is remembered by a worrying Carmela Soprano; and Uncle Junior (Sekhu, the Remains) is being helped by Tony to locate the large amount of money Junior thinks he buried in his backyard 30 years before.

Phil Leotardo is now the acting boss of the Lupertazzi crime family, running the day-to-day tasks for Johnny Sack while John is in jail. After dining at a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn, Hesh Rabkin and his son-in-law Eli, who had been working as a shylock in the area for Hesh, are assaulted by some New York Family associates. They force them to leave their car, break Hesh's nose, and beat up Eli, who, while trying to escape, is hit by a car. At the hospital, Hesh asks Tony for help settling the conflict. Tony tries to reach out directly to Johnny Sack through John's optometrist brother-in-law, Anthony Infante, but Johnny is too concerned with his immediate family's financial troubles (IRS asset freezes). Tony, Christopher Moltisanti, who has now become a caporegime in the family, and Vito then meet Phil and Gerry "The Hairdo" Torciano behind the Bada Bing!. Tony and Phil also had a disagreement about their respective cuts from their latest building project, but both incidents are resolved. Turns out the New York men were protecting Gerry's area and did not know Eli was working for Hesh and the Soprano family; therefore, they agree to compensate Eli $50,000. After the meeting, Tony observes to Christopher that Phil has impressed him a lot, as Phil changed greatly when he became the acting boss - no longer expressing the direct hostility he'd shown previously for his brother's death and showing willingness to make compromises. Christopher, however, remains wary and hostile, remembering Phil once wanted him dead.

Vito is not shy telling select people that he would be a competent candidate for the crime family boss' position if anything were to happen to Tony, since he is the best earner.

Eugene Pontecorvo has inherited a little over two million dollars from his aunt, and he and his wife Deanne wish to use the money to move to Fort Myers, Florida. Eugene goes to Tony with a gift of expensive watches and a request to retire to Florida. Tony tells Eugene he took an oath (as seen in the episode "Fortunate Son"), and retiring is not an option, but he will consider it. Eugene's wife is becoming restless, as they have found a desirable house for purchase in Florida, which could be soon bought by someone else. After Eugene kills a Boston man named Teddy Spirodakis, who was in debt to Christopher, and gives Tony his cut of the inheritance, Silvio Dante informs Eugene that Tony has denied his request. Unknown to the crime family, Eugene is a reluctant informant for the FBI, which has increased its pressure on Pontecorvo to produce information, having lost an asset when informant Raymond Curto died suddenly of a stroke while talking to Agent Robyn Sanseverino. The FBI also denies Eugene's plans to move to Florida where he will be less useful to them. Eugene and Deanne argue about Florida; Deanne refuses alternatives to moving to Florida (such as buying a vacation condo or finding a better place to live in New Jersey) and even suggests that Eugene kill Tony. She also reveals that their son has been using heroin. Eugene looks over a family photo album, touches a few sea shells, then hangs himself in the basement of his house.

Agent Dwight Harris shows up at Satriale's Pork Store and tells Tony he has been in Pakistan because he was transferred to counter-terrorism. It was also how he contracted a "parasite", which causes him to vomit at times, but he has missed the Italian foods offered by Satriale's.

Carmela's construction of her spec house is suspended, due to a "stop order" issued by the building inspector for the use of improper lumber. Her father, Hugh, protests and asks about an inspector he used to work with to have him waive the criteria, only to learn that his contact had retired. Carmela asks Tony to see if he can get the stop order lifted, but he puts it off.

Artie Bucco has reunited with his estranged wife, Charmaine. He tends to the table of Carmela and Angie Bonpensiero, who have patched up their quarrel. Both of them show off their new cars to each other: Carmela's, a Porsche Cayenne, which Tony had recently given her as a gift, and Angie's, a Chevrolet Corvette, which she bought from the money she made at the auto body shop she runs and her side jobs for Tony.

Junior's mental state has deteriorated significantly. He is convinced "Little Pussy" Malanga (who was killed six years ago) is out to get him, and Junior is afraid to answer his phone or go out. Tony talks to Dr. Melfi about him, and she suggests considering assisted living, which Tony rejects, saying it is the family's duty to look after Junior and not put him in a "nursing home". One afternoon, when Junior is particularly agitated, Tony's sister Barbara is unable to take care of her uncle due to a family emergency, whereas Janice and Bobby claim to be too busy applying to a pre-school for Nica, and so Tony ends up personally paying his uncle a visit. Tony begins to cook pasta for Junior and sends him upstairs to look for his misplaced dentures. Tony yells up to Junior dinner will be ready soon. Junior, confused who is in his house, asks "who's down there", with Tony responding "Artie Shaw." Junior finds a gun and returns downstairs with it yelling, "Cazzata Malanga!" ("Stupid move, Malanga!"), and shoots Tony in the abdomen. Junior then runs up the stairs, hides the gun under his bed, and hides in a closet. Tony drags himself across the floor and manages to dial 9-1-1 on the kitchen phone, just before losing consciousness.

First appearances

The episode marks the first appearances of:


Title reference


References to prior episodes

Other cultural references




  1. 1 2 Martin, Brett (2007-10-30). ""This Thing of Ours": Creating The Sopranos Universe". The Sopranos: The Complete Book. New York: Time. pp. 168, 169. ISBN 978-1-933821-18-4.
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