"Luxury Lounge" is the 72nd episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the seventh of the show's sixth season. Written by Matthew Weiner and directed by Danny Leiner, it originally aired on April 23, 2006.
|The Sopranos episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6|
|Directed by||Danny Leiner|
|Written by||Matthew Weiner|
|Cinematography by||Phil Abraham|
|Original air date||April 23, 2006|
|Running time||55 minutes|
- James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
- Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi *
- Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano
- Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
- Dominic Chianese as Corrado Soprano, Jr. *
- Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante
- Tony Sirico as Paulie Gualtieri
- Robert Iler as Anthony Soprano, Jr. *
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Meadow Soprano *
- Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano Baccalieri *
- Steven R. Schirripa as Bobby Baccalieri
- Frank Vincent as Phil Leotardo
- John Ventimiglia as Artie Bucco
- Ray Abruzzo as Little Carmine Lupertazzi
- Kathrine Narducci as Charmaine Bucco
- Dan Grimaldi as Patsy Parisi
* = credit only
- Ben Kingsley as Himself
- Lauren Bacall as Herself
- Frankie Valli as Rusty Millio
- Edoardo Ballerini as Corky Caporale
- Denise Borino as Ginny Sacrimoni
- Elizabeth Bracco as Marie Spatafore
- Max Casella as Benny Fazio
- Manuela Feris as Martina
- Arthur J. Nascarella as Carlo Gervasi
- Artie Pasquale as Burt Gervasi
- Suzanne Shepherd as Mary De Angelis
- Wilmer Valderrama as Himself
- Maureen Van Zandt as Gabriella Dante
- Lenny Venito as James "Murmur" Zancone
- Nick Annunziata as Eddie Pietro
- Carlo Giuliano as Italo
- Peter Allas as Salvatore
- Taleb Adlah as Ahmed
- Donnie Keshawarz as Muhammad
- Brian O'Neill as Detective Hollings
- John Rue as Kloski
- Merel Julia as Gianna Millio
- Kristen Cerelli as Jen Fazio
- Mario D'Elia as Benny Fazio, Sr.
- Judy Prianti as Connie Fazio
- Dierdre Friel as Sandy
- Abigail Marlowe as Sarah
- Enya Flack as Janine
- Alicia Lorén as Eden
- Sig Libowitz as Hillel Teittleman
- John Bianco as Gerry Torciano
- John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia as Albie Cianflone
- Frank Borrelli as Vito Spatafore, Jr.
- Paulina Gerzon as Francesca Spatafore
- Ariana Delawari as Shelly
- Jose Sanchez as Hector
- Filippo Bozotti as Giovanni Coppito
Tony has a meal at Da Giovanni, a highly successful rival restaurant to Nuovo Vesuvio, to celebrate Phil's grandson's confirmation. Artie faces problems at Nuovo Vesuvio: the restaurant is losing money and there are tensions with Benny over his flirtatious relationship with Artie's new Albanian hostess, Martina. While nursing a drink at the Bada Bing, Artie confronts Tony about dining at Da Giovanni; Tony makes excuses. When he offers some tips to increase the restaurant's popularity, Artie angrily rebuffs him and suggests he settle his outstanding tab if he wants to help. Later, Artie rejects his wife Charmaine's suggestions to stop bothering his guests with anecdotes.
Nuovo Vesuvio's financial woes continue when Artie gets a visit from fraud investigators for American Express. They inform him someone has been stealing credit card numbers from his customers, and that they must suspend the restaurant's card usage as a precaution. After an emotional staff meeting, Artie learns Martina helped Benny steal credit card numbers from the restaurant and fires her. Furious, Artie goes to Benny's house in the middle of the night and they get into a fistfight. Artie leaves a bloody Benny lying on his porch. Tony meets separately with the two men and compels them to make peace. At Tony's insistence, Benny's parents have their anniversary dinner at Nuovo Vesuvio. Artie makes a table-side visit during their meal. In front of his pregnant wife Jen, Artie offers Benny not a Martini, but a Martina. Benny follows him into the kitchen and forces his right hand into a boiling pot of tomato sauce, badly burning him.
Tony has dinner at Nuovo Vesuvio with Carmela and her mother. Tony urges Artie to enter therapy, but Artie will not accept help. Tony tells him that customers do not like his table-side chatter and suggests to the shocked Artie that he stay in the kitchen. Charmaine seats a young couple just before closing time. The staff have gone home and there are barely any supplies left. With his right hand heavily bandaged, Artie methodically prepares a rabbit dish from his grandfather's weathered hand-written cookbook.
Christopher asks Tony's permission to fly to Los Angeles with Little Carmine to cast actors for Cleaver, and Tony reluctantly gives his permission. While he is away, Murmur makes rounds for Chris that include delivering numbers to Ahmed and Muhammad, who operate in stealing money via the Internet. Benny takes over Chris' credit card operation and gives a cut to Tony.
In Los Angeles, Chris and Little Carmine have a scheduled meeting with Ben Kingsley. Now away from his AA sponsor, Chris starts drinking and taking drugs again, as well as using a female escort, before calling for Murmur to come out and help him get back on the wagon. At the meeting, Kingsley is not interested in Cleaver and interrupts Chris and Carmine to speak to Lauren Bacall, who is to be a presenter at an awards show. Chris and Carmine tag along with Kingsley, and Chris is astounded by the great quantity of free expensive luxury items offered to the actor. Chris later phones Kingsley asking him if he could get him his own entry into their hotel's Luxury Lounge, but the actor says he doesn't handle such arrangements.
Kingsley turns down Cleaver. Murmur arrives in L.A. and finds an intoxicated Chris in his hotel room. Once he sobers up, the two find Kingsley in an elevator and try to subtly intimidate/convince him to gain access into the Luxury Lounge. Kingsley admits lavish presents for celebrities are “obscene”, but says he gives most of them to charity. He blurts out that award presenters get free goods worth around $30,000. Outside of the awards show, a masked Chris mugs Bacall, punching her and stealing her gift bag. He flies back to New Jersey. Coincidentally, Kingsley is on the same plane, to the latter’s dismay. When he gets home, Chris offers Tony some of the stolen goods. Tony is more concerned with Chris' lack of focus, blaming his absence for the feud between Artie and Benny.
- Burt Gervasi: newly made DiMeo/Soprano family soldier and cousin to Carlo Gervasi.
- Christopher and Little Carmine follow Ben Kingsley through a celebrity Luxury Lounge where many free gifts are offered to celebrities.
- The title could refer to a luxury restaurant. Artie's fight for his restaurant against competitors and through hardships is one of the main storylines of the episode.
- The title could refer to the higher status of free luxury, enjoyed by people such as Tony Soprano and Benny Fazio, that comes to be resented by Artie Bucco who tries to make a living by "honest work," as did his father.
References to prior episodesEdit
Other cultural referencesEdit
- Italo and Salvatore talk about visiting the World Trade Center site.
- Christopher refers to Vito Spatafore as "La Cage aux Fat." La Cage aux Folles is originally a French comedy play later turned into a movie about gay lovers. An American film remake of it is the 1996 The Birdcage.
- Tony says he saw CSI when Carlo starts talking about techniques that could track Vito.
- When Tony denies having anything to do with Rusty's murder, Phil Leotardo says the deed can then be credited to The Headless Horseman.
- Artie says the New Jersey Zagat described him as a "warm and convivial host."
- Artie tells Tony he would never allow his restaurant to turn into an IHOP.
- Potential directors for Cleaver were mentioned as Ridley Scott, Tobe Hooper or "the next James Wan" (Saw).
- Little Carmine mentions Ben Kingsley's role as a villain in Sexy Beast.
- Christopher lists J.T. Dolan's screenwriting credits to Ben Kingsley, which include Nash Bridges, Hooperman, and Law & Order: SVU (mistakenly referring to it as "Law & Order: The SUV").
- Lauren Bacall says she will give awards at the ShoWest.
- Christopher tells Lauren Bacall that she was great in "The Haves And Have-Nots" (To Have and Have Not).
- In the Luxury Lounge, some of the displayed items were: an iRiver MP3 player, Oris watches, and the video game True Crime: New York City on a television.
- Christopher tells Tony he and Little Carmine met Lindsay Lohan in LA.
- Italo and Salvatore examine a Montblanc pen.
- The song being played at Nuovo Vesuvio when Artie surveys his mostly empty establishment is "La-La (Means I Love You)" by The Delfonics.
- The song being sung by Murmur when making the credit card collection from the Jewish-owned hotel is "Daniel" by Elton John.
- The song playing at the Bada Bing! where Ahmed and Muhammad get the stolen credit card numbers is "Dazz," a 1976 hit song by Brick.
- The song playing at the Luxury Lounge when Christopher looks around at the swag is "Welcome to New York City" by Cam'ron, from the True Crime: New York City's intro, briefly shown in the TV.
- When Artie meets the Benny Fazio party in his restaurant the song playing is "Whispering Bells" by The Del-Vikings.
- Closing credits music is a classical guitar piece called "Recuerdos de la Alhambra," composed by Francisco Tarrega and played by Pepe Romero.