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"Denial, Anger, Acceptance"
The Sopranos episode
Ep03 brendan bathtub.jpg
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 3
Written by Mark Saraceni
Directed by Nick Gomez
Production no. 103
Original airdate January 24, 1999
Guest stars

see below

Episode chronology
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"46 Long" "Meadowlands"
Episode chronology

"Denial, Anger, Acceptance" is the third episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos. It was written by Mark Saraceni, directed by Nick Gomez and originally aired on January 24, 1999.



* = credit only

Guest Starring

Also Guest Starring

  • Sasha Nesterov as Russian Man
  • Bernadette Penotti as Nurse
  • Slava Schoot as Russian Man
  • Angelica Torn as Woman at Party
  • Joseph Tudisco as Trucker
  • Jennifer Wiltsie as Miss Marris

Episode recap

Christopher and Brendan Filone return the stolen truck to Comley Trucking, but Junior Soprano is not satisfied. Junior and Mikey Palmice discuss their options for dealing with the two guys and Tony, and Junior begins to agree with Mikey through his frustration.

Silvio Dante approaches Tony on behalf of hotel owner Shlomo Teittleman, a Hasidic Jew, and a friend of Silvio Dante's. The man agrees to turn over 25% of his business to Tony if he is able to force the man's son-in-law into agreeing to a divorce with no compensation. This is because the son-in-law wants 50% and the government has put an end to the "self-policing" Hasidics previously available to the hotel owner. However, Tony's Jewish friend Hesh Rabkin, warns Tony not to get involved with the Hassidic Jews. Paulie Gualtieri and Silvio accost Ariel, the son-in-law, but are unable to convince him to walk away from the marriage and the hotel with nothing. During a second encounter, where they kidnap him and fail to break him after a long fight where Ariel proves adept at defending himself and not submitting to their demands, they seek help from Tony. Ariel challenges the men to kill him, believing his death will bring spiritual harm to the hotel owner's family and to his assailants. He references Masada, site of a long siege between a small number of Jew and legions of Roman soldiers that ended in the mass suicide of the Jews who chose death over enslavement. Paulie and Silvio can't crack him so they call Tony away from time with his comáre Irina to help them. Tony cannot intimidate Ariel either, so he is forced to swallow his pride and call Hesh in the late night hours, admitting he refused Hesh's advice not to get involved. After taking Hesh's suggestion that the threat of castration is worse than death, Tony is able to get Ariel to agree to the divorce on their terms. Shlomo then refuses to give Tony his share, instead offering cash, because he believes he negotiated the solution through violence and threats, and he would offer Ariel 15% ownership of the motel. When Tony insists on the original 25% arrangement Shlomo says he has created a golem; when Tony asks what that means, he calls him a Frankenstein.

In therapy, Tony discusses the cancer diagnosis of acting boss, Jackie Aprile, Sr. Dr. Melfi tries to use it as an example to show Tony he is trapped in negative thinking. Tony becomes angry and storms out because he thinks psychiatrists try to manipulate people into feeling certain things. The crew visit Jackie in hospital where he is being cared for by his wife, Rosalie. Tony later returns with a dancer from the Bada Bing to give Jackie a private party. On a third visit, Jackie's condition seems to have worsened and he is too preoccupied with his illness to talk business. Tony discusses Jackie's downturn and the insult from Shlomo with Dr. Melfi. She asks him if he feels like a monster, i.e., lacking in feelings.

Carmela organizes a silent auction at the Soprano home to raise money for a pediatric hospital. She recruits Charmaine and Artie Bucco to cater the event while visiting their new home. Tony and Artie have a good natured food fight after Tony tells Artie to stop whining about the fire in his restaurant. Carmela offends Charmaine by treating her like a servant. Later, to avenge the insult, Charmaine reveals that she and Tony once slept together.

Meadow and Hunter are exhausted. The SATs and their choir recital fall on the same day, and they don’t have enough time to practice and study. They decide the best solution is to get some speed from Christopher and Brendan. Christopher rationalizes that it's better they get it from him than from street dealers on Jefferson Avenue and agrees to give it to Meadow "just this once."

Junior visits Livia at Green Grove and discusses the Christopher and Brendan situation. Livia points out that both she and Tony love Christopher like a son (her affection earned one year when Christopher put up her storm windows). She suggests that Junior give Tony's hot-tempered nephew a "talking to," but says that she "doesn't know" about Brendan. Junior compliments Livia on her wise decision-making. She scoffs, sarcastically remarking that she must be "a babbling idiot" for Tony to put her in a nursing home.

The "talking to" given to Christopher manifests as a mock execution at the hands of Russian goons. Brendan's punishment is a bullet through the eye via the gun of Junior's trigger man, Mikey Palmice. Both scenes are inter-cut with Meadow's recital, allowing her choir's version of the lullaby "All Through the Night" to decorate the violence.

First appearance


  • Brendan Filone: shot clean through the eye while in his bathtub by Mickey Palmice on orders from uncle Junior for hijacking trucks without permission and for the death of the truck driver in the previous episode which was believed to be Brendan's fault.

Connections to future episodes

  • With Tony as a co-owner, the Teitlemann hotel is seen many times throughout the series. A suite is used to host poker games, prostitutes use the rooms to service their clients, and Murmur collects credit card information from the front desk.
  • Chris tells Meadow he will sell her drugs to keep her from going to street dealers because they would rob her and leave her on the side of the road. This is exactly what happens to Chris while out trying to buy drugs in season four.


  • The song played over the end credits is "Complicated Shadows" by Elvis Costello.

External links

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