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"Whitecaps" is the 52nd episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos, and the 13th and final episode of the show's fourth season. Written by the series creator/executive producer David Chase, and executive producers Robin Green, and Mitchell Burgess, it was directed by longtime series director John Patterson and originally aired in the United States on December 8, 2002. The episode attracted 12.5 million viewers[1] and is regarded by multiple critics as one of the series' best.

The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep413.jpg
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 13
Directed by John Patterson
Written by David Chase
Robin Green
Mitchell Burgess
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 413
Original air date December 8, 2002 (2002-12-08)
Running time 75 minutes
Episode chronology
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Episode chronology



Episode recapEdit

Tony gets a call from Patsy, who reports that Christopher has graduated from rehab. In a meeting with Agent Sanseverino, Adriana reveals that Chris no longer wants children because he feels he is unfit to be a father. Elsewhere, Tony and an unwell Carmela visit Dr. Cusamano, who diagnoses her as having monovirus. Cusamano inquires about any significant changes in her life that may have brought on the illness.

Tony takes Carmela to a surprise trip to "Whitecaps," a house on the Jersey Shore he is thinking of buying for the family. The Sopranos are told the house has been sold to another couple, but it seems likely they won't be approved for the home loan. Carmela encourages Tony to buy Whitecaps as an investment. Tony and Chris visit the house's owner, attorney Alan Sapinsly, and offer cash in the shortest possible time allowed by law. Sapinsly calls the current buyer and negotiates his way out of their contract by promising full return of the deposit, threatening litigation if the buyer moves in. With the Esplanade project shut down, Johnny is worried about the lost revenue. Tony declines to a move against Carmine, but this proves to be a negotiating tactic. When Johnny promises to relinquish his claims to the HUD scam and gives him a favorable split on all future projects, Tony agrees to go ahead.

On the return trip, Tony asks Chris to contract the job out and make it look like a random act. Chris delivers a pre-payment to Credenzo Curtis and Stanley Johnson, a couple of heroin dealers, and delivers instructions for the planned hit on Carmine. Tony and Chris attend a sitdown in a park in Queens, settling on 15% for Carmine. Carmine asks Tony to remember his son, Little Carmine, when he "is gone." Later, Tony changes his mind and tells Chris to call off the hit and ensure the hired guns don't talk to anyone. At Chris' behest, Benny and Petey execute the would-be hitmen. An angered Johnny expresses treasonous feelings about Carmine and his son, which Tony states that he shouldn't be hearing about. They part ways after an embrace, but eye each other as Johnny drives away. Elsewhere, thanks to juror intimidation, Junior is freed following a mistrial. Upon returning home, Bobby and Janice dance together, but an irritated Junior breaks up the moment by ordering Bobby to check for Murf's payment envelope.

Irina drunk dials Carmela and brags about Tony's adulterous relations with her and Svetlana. When Tony returns home, he sees Carmela hurling his possessions from an upstairs window. Carmela tells Tony that he has embarrassed her for years with his infidelity and demands that he leave the house. After trading recriminations with his wife, Tony confronts Svetlana and spends the night at Whitecaps. In the morning, Sapinsly advises Tony to meet with all of the top divorce lawyers so that none of them can take Carmela on as a client. Back at the Soprano household, Meadow argues with her mother about the separation, asking her how she could "eat shit" from Tony for so many years. Tony dines at Nuovo Vesuvio and Artie offers consolations. Paulie fervently supports Tony's position in the argument with Carmela, telling him he should have kicked her out of "his house."

Tony returns home and becomes violent when Carmela demands that he leave. She threatens to call a lawyer and get a restraining order. Tony dares her to and hands her his phone which she bats away with her hand. Carmela tells him that she doesn't want him sleeping in her bed anymore and that she no longer loves him. Carmela runs upstairs in tears. Later, A.J. helps Tony clear the pool house so that he can stay there. Tony tells his son that he will be taking a bigger hand in his life now that he is right outside. Tony has a difficult night's sleep.

Tony lies in the pool and Carmela asks him to move the chairs he has put on the lawn. Tony thinks she is looking for an excuse to nag him and they get into another argument. Carmela tells Tony it might not have come to this if he had a more loving attitude while at home. Tony brings up Carmela's telling him he was going to hell when he was first being examined for an MRI for his collapses (in the pilot). She follows him out to the home theater room and apologizes, telling him he was her man and was sweet to her. Tony asks her what she expected from their marriage, as she knew everything about him when they met, including the fact he and his family were gangsters, and that gangsters keep "women on the side." He also accuses her of materialism. Carmela calls Tony hateful and reveals she harbored feelings for Furio, telling Tony that her happiest moments for months have been her mornings with Furio. Tony again becomes violent and charges at Carmela and almost punches her but stops himself and punches holes in the wall beside her head instead, smashing it in. She turns away while Tony keeps punching. He tells her he looked for women with different qualities from her in his affairs. She reminds him that he hardly knew most of the women he slept with and walks out, calling him a "fucking hypocrite." Later, Tony calls Dr. Melfi but hangs up when she answers. She tries to call him back using *69 but the recording says that the number was blocked to that service.

A.J. goes to his father to ask if he can move in with him because A.J. is not getting along with his mother. Tony refuses and tells A.J. to support his mother. Tony tells the family he has decided to move out completely. A.J. becomes upset and asks if it was because he asked to live with Tony. Meadow takes the news hard as well, and suggests Tony and Carmela try counseling again. When Meadow gets upstairs, a flash of a moment from years before when she antagonized her parents runs through her mind and she begins to cry. Tony packs to leave and Carmela tells him to be careful. A.J. watches from the doorway with his mother as his father leaves for good.

Whitecaps deposit battleEdit

Sapinsly calls Tony to say he is going to let him out of the sale but will keep the $200,000 deposit. Tony says if that's the case, he will make Sapinsly's life hell. Benny and Little Paulie take the speakers out of Tony's home theater, install them on Tony's boat (The Stugots), and play a Dean Martin in Las Vegas concert at high volume, disrupting the Sapinslys' lunch party with family friends. The Sapinslys close the patio doors and return to their lunch, attempting to act as if the lunch is unaffected, but they can still hear the music through the closed windows. This occurs again at night as they sit in lawn chairs facing the bay sipping libations. Sapinsly's wife urges him to settle the matter. Sapinsly wants to call the Coast Guard again but she points out that they will only turn the music down again when the police boat comes close. She loses her temper and shouts at him that Tony could keep paying the $200 fines forever and goes into the house. Sapinsly sits there a few more moments. He gets up and goes inside, closing the doors and windows to block out some of the noise. It's clear that Tony Soprano has gotten the best of Sapinsly and he will surely return his deposit.


Title referenceEdit

  • "Whitecaps" is the name of the property Tony plans to buy for his family.
  • Whitecaps on water indicate rough sailing or trouble ahead.


References to past episodesEdit

  • Tony brings up Carmela's telling him he was going to hell when he was first being examined for an MRI for his collapses (this occurred in the show's pilot episode).

Cultural referencesEdit

  • When Johnny Sack and Tony meet at an Office Depot to discuss potentially assassinating Carmine Lupertazzi, Johnny paraphrases a line from The Beatles' song, "Hey Jude", saying, "I'll take a sad song and make it better".
  • Johnny Sack intimates that with Carmine's assassination there would be "differences between this and Castellano", in reference to the assassination of New York Gambino Crime Family Boss Paul Castellano by John Gotti, who subsequently became boss in 1986.
  • When Tony first sees Christopher after the latter's release from rehab, he says, "Hey, Jack Lemmon! How's Lee Remick?" This refers to the film Days of Wine and Roses (1962), which deals with alcoholism and recovery.
  • When Carmela asks Tony to bring the theater seats down to the garage so they don't ruin the grass, he jokingly exclaims, "Bad for the grass! Bad for the grass!" in an exaggerated, high-pitch voice, which is a reference to the film Chinatown (1974).
  • When fighting with Tony in the pool house, Carmela says angrily, "Who knew? All this time, you really wanted Tracy and Hepburn."
  • Johnny Sack says to Tony angrily, "Creeps on this petty pace...", misquoting Shakespeare's Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, line 20).
  • When explaining his decision to call off the hit on Carmine, Tony warns Johnny Sack they need to avoid causing a "shootout at the OK Corral," referencing the infamous 1881 gunfight.


  • "Layla" by Derek and the Dominos is playing in Tony's truck when he runs over his golf clubs in his driveway.
  • The song played while Tony and Christopher are at Nuovo Vesuvio is "Oh, What A Night" by The Dells.
  • When Janice and Bobby are dancing in Junior's kitchen, they sing/hum part of Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe".
  • The song played over the end credits is "I Love Paris (Vegas)" by Dean Martin. It is followed by the instrumental piece, "I Have Dreamed", from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The King and I, performed by Fantastic Strings.


Critical responseEdit

Entertainment Weekly placed "Whitecaps" #3 on their list of the 10 greatest The Sopranos episodes;[2] TIME placed it at #4.[3]



  1. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2006-03-14). "The comeback". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  2. ^ Fonseca, Nicholas. "The Hit Parade - 3. WHITECAPS (Season 4)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  3. ^ Poniewozik, James (2007-04-04). "Whitecaps - The Sopranos - TIME". TIME. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 

External linksEdit