Episode no.Season 3
Episode 10 Cinematography byAlik Sakharov Original air dateApril 29, 2001
Directed byJack Bender Production code310
Written byRobin Green
"...To Save Us All from Satan's Power" is the thirty-sixth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and is the tenth of the show's third season. It was written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, directed by Jack Bender and originally aired on April 29, 2001.
Joe Badulucco as Jimmy Altieri (flashback sequences)
Jason Cerbone as Jackie Aprile, Jr.
Matthew Cerbone as Young Jackie Aprile, Jr. (flashback sequences)
Andrew Davoli as Dino Zerilli
John Fiore as Gigi Cestone (flashback sequences)
Dan Grimaldi as Patsy Parisi
George Loros as Ray Curto
Vincent Pastore as Big Pussy Bonpensiero (flashback sequences)
Turk Pipkin as Aaron Arkaway
Michael Rispoli as Jackie Aprile, Sr (flashback sequences)
Alik Sakharov as Agron
Maureen Van Zandt as Gabriella Dante
Before meeting Paulie Walnuts on the boardwalk at Asbury Park, Tony flashes back to the winter holidays of 1995 when he first discovered Pussy was acting strangely. When Tony asks if Paulie feels guilty about murdering him on the boat, Paulie claims he does not regret it for a second and would do it again. When Tony brings the topic up again at the pork store, Silvio Dante begins having nightmares regarding Pussy. Further reminiscence is prompted when Silvio and Paulie have to find a replacement for their former friend to play Santa Claus at the Satriale's Christmas party, a tradition set up by Tony's father when he took over Satriale's to entertain and give back to the kids of the neighborhood. The mobsters at the pork store first try to get Tony to play Santa on account of his girth, but, when he refuses, they pick Bobby "Bacala" for the part. Unlike Big Pussy, who back in his day could play Santa Claus at the Christmas party to everyone's liking, Bobby's shyness and bluntness do not go well with his role. After a child swears at Bobby, Tony tells Bobby to be more cheerful.
When Tony is mulling over Pussy's betrayal and death, he remembers the time when Pussy missed a sitdown to mediate peace between Jackie Aprile and Junior Soprano he himself had previously set up in Boca Raton. Tony thinks it was the night when the FBI coerced him into cooperation after catching him selling heroin and later, at Christmas, made him wear a wire when he dressed up as Santa at Satriale's (and refused to let anybody touch his costume).
Meanwhile, Janice Soprano announces that she will cook Christmas dinner since she feels guilty about always being served by Carmela. When Janice tells Tony that her wrist is becoming hard to manage, she reminds him about her encounter with the Russian thugs who arrived to take back Svetlana's prosthetic leg. Tony adds to his Christmas "to-do" list an entry: "Janice's Russian." As a favor to Tony, a member of the local Russian mob, who launders money for him, gives Tony the name of Janice's attacker (Igor) and his place of employment (a taxi firm for which he drives a cab). The following evening, Tony and Furio get into Igor's taxi, beat him and throw him through a glass window of a mall display where the beaten Igor is later found wearing a Christmas hat and lying under a Santa's sled decoration. The following day on the news, the reporter presenting the story says a youth street gang is suspected to be responsible. When Janice sees this on television, she becomes emotional, wakes up her narcoleptic boyfriend, Aaron, and mentions that what's missing from their Contemporary Christian music song they are trying to write is the "brother concept."
At Nuovo Vesuvio, the newly separated Charmaine Bucco has started to wear revealing clothing, attracting compliments from several mob members. As Tony, Paulie and Silvio eat dinner, Charmaine walks over to the table where she jokes to Tony that she believes the people at the next table are FBI. Silvio becomes offended by this, and Artie apologizes. The following day, Tony meets up with Charmaine at the coat check where she tells him that she does not want him and "his boys" there all the time and that he ruined their marriage. Tony becomes angry and he, Silvio and Christopher leave. Silvio indicates that they go to a new spot (strip club), the "competition" as he calls it; the next scene is the three of them downing a tequila shot at the competing strip club; Silvio spots something and immediately grabs Tony's attention: It's Jackie Aprile, Jr. getting a lap dance from a stripper. Infuriated, Tony drags him into the bathroom where he shoves, punches and slaps him, drawing blood from his nose. After confiscating Jackie's gun (which he got from Ralph Cifaretto), Tony finally knees Jackie in the groin and tells him "You bottomed out."
On Christmas morning, the Sopranos open their gifts when Jackie Jr. arrives with presents from Rosalie. He then gives Meadow a necklace with the engraving "To M.S. from J.A.: I will always be true...," to Tony's irritation. As Tony goes to the kitchen, Jackie follows. Jackie confesses to him that he "flunked out" of Rutgers University but that he wants to enter the men's fashion business and that he still wants to be supportive and loving to Meadow. Jackie then leaves saying he has to drive his mother to visit his grandmother. Returning to his family to continue unwrapping presents, Tony has to fake a happy face when he finds that Meadow has bought him a Big Mouth Billy Bass, the singing fish looking so similar to the one in his dream he had earlier that year, the dream that made him first realize Pussy had been a turncoat.
Tony's deductions about Big Pussy's betrayal timeline conflict with prior information: in Season 2, FBI Agent Skip Lipari reminds Big Pussy that he's been working for them since 1998, not 1995 as suggested in this episode by Tony. Also, just before his execution in 2000, he admits to Tony (perhaps truthfully) that he has been working for the FBI for a year-and-a-half. It is possible that Tony was just being paranoid about the events of 1995.
In his only cameo-like appearance in the series, director of cinematography Alik Sakharov plays Russian-mob bookkeeper Agron. Like the character, Sakharov is also of Russian heritage.
The song played over the end credits is "I've Got a Feeling" by the American Sacred Steel gospel group, The Campbell Brothers with Katie Jackson.
During the 1995 Christmas flashback at Satriale's, the jukebox was playing "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)", by The Chipmunks.
The song Silvio has turned off in the Bada Bing is "The Cycle" from Virgos Merlot's Signs of a Vacant Soul album.
"Funky Drummer Boy", a remixed version of "The Little Drummer Boy" from Thornetta Davis plays at the rival strip club where Tony beats up Jackie Jr.