Season 1, Episode 10:
A Hit Is A Hit
A drug dealer is walking to his apartment in Manhattan when he is taken hostage by Paulie, Pussy and Chris, who have dressed up as movers. Paulie puts tape over the man's mouth and holds him at gunpoint, while threatening his crew to stay away from their operations at Port Newark. When the dealer agrees to tell them, Paulie says he'll do it himself and executes the dealer. They subsequently discover a large stash of money in the dealer's bedroom and take it when they leave.
Tony meets with his friend Bruce Cusamano, who referred him to Dr. Melfi. When Tony gives him a box of cigars in appreciation for his referral, Bruce invites him to the golf club. Afterwards, Tony goes to celebrate the recovery of the stash with Paulie and Chris, and tells the latter that they should look at investing the money into stocks and initial public offerings.
That night, Chris takes Adriana out on the town for dinner and a theatre show. Afterwards, they wait in line at a burger joint and Chris loudly insults the chefs, while a man in a purple hat eyes them quizzically. When they get up to the register and order, one of the patrons tells a man that Chris is acting bold because he's connected to the Soprano crew. Outside, Chris is accosted by the same man, who reveals that he works on behalf of a Gangsta Rap mogul named Massive Genius, and that they're interested in doing business with Tony. He invites both of them to a party before leaving.
When they arrive at the party soon after, they meet with Genius, who tells Chris that he's interested in working out a deal with Hesh Rabkin to get back lost royalties for one of the artists Hesh represented during his time as a record executive in the past. Afterwards, Chris tells Adriana about the Soprano crew's history with the record business. He reasons that they could do the same thing again, and Adriana spurs him on to take up a part-time role as a music producer. She offers to put him in contact with a band called Visiting Day, which is helmed by her ex-boyfriend, Richie Santini.
Chris organizes a meeting between Hesh and Genius to discuss the situation, and they subsequently meet at Hesh's farm. After going over Hesh's history, Genius attempts to coerce Hesh into giving a $400,000 payment to the aggrieved artist's mother and gives them a day to write out a check.
Bruce attends a dinner with his family and Melfi. He and his wife, Jean, tell her about Tony's gift to him, and he tells them that having a gangster living in the neighborhood is great. Melfi also unintentionally reveals herself to be very invested in the Italian lifestyle by pointing out that she shares the same love of Italian glass as Tony. During a break in the meal, Melfi goes to the washroom and scopes out the Soprano home through a window.
Chris takes Adriana and Genius to see a Visiting Day show. Afterwards, she introduces Chris to Richie and he agrees to help them produce a demo, but is leery about Richie's attitude towards Adriana. Chris pays for three days of recording time at a local studio, but becomes incensed after seeing the studio producer and the bandmates get fed up with Richie hogging the vocal parts for himself. Chris goes off on him, while Richie counters that he's tired of recording and has to go an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Chris eventually picks up a guitar and beats Richie over the head with it before telling everyone to get back to work.
Tony and Carmela are invited to a barbecue by Bruce. Carmela learns from Jean that they invest in the stock market, and subsequently uses a tip from Tony (who overheard a stock tip about a company that's set to go public soon) to place a stock order with a broker.
Chris takes the completed demo to Hesh for his advice, but is coldly rebuffed. Hesh tells him that the band doesn't have what it takes, and tells him to get lost. Afterwards, Chris and Adriana get into an argument about the competency of Visiting Day, and he tells her that Genius supported only because he wanted to sleep with her. He abrasively points out how she's letting emotion cloud her judgement, and she storms out of the apartment after claiming that he doesn't respect her enough.
Afterwards, Chris sits in the Bada Bing listening to The Beatles. Hesh comes in to pick up some items, and pointedly tells him that the song on the radio is a true hit before walking off. Chris continues to contemplate what wrong with his efforts...
- Actor Allusion: Chris tells Adriana that he's played the Visiting Day demo for Silvio, who used to own rock clubs in Asbury, New Jersey. Silvio's actor, Steven Van Zandt, also grew to prominence in the Asbury music scene.
- As You Know: Tony briefly explains the concepts of IPOs (initial public offerings) and stock investment to Chris, seemingly for the audience's benefit.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Adriana expresses a desire to run a restaurant/social joint of her own while waiting in the burger joint with Chris. As Chris questions her on this, she relates she doesn't want to end up just another Mafia wife like Carmela who does little else besides housework and hitting the gym. In other words, she wants to be more hands on involved in Chris' mafia activities. This ends up really coming back to bite her in the ass, and sets her up as a Foil to Carmela, who ends up protected from the legal and physical dangers of Tony's work precisely because she has no involvement with Tony's activities.
- Best Served Cold: After Bruce and his golfing friends treat Tony like crap at a game (via mocking him for his association with the Mafia), Tony gives Bruce an unmarked package (which is actually filled with sand) and tells him to hold onto it, leading the latter man to become paranoid and fearful over what Tony might do to him.
- Brick Joke: Melfi hears what appears to be loud grunting and noises of pain coming from the Soprano home when she is over at the Cusamano residence for dinner. Later, it's revealed that this is from Tony doing weightlifting in the basement. Then Bruce and Jean hear the noise after Tony gives them the unmarked package in revenge for ragging on him at the golf club.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Bruce's wife, Jean, notes how much Tony's personality has rubbed off on her husband.Jean: He hangs out with Tony Soprano for 15 minutes, and all of a sudden, it's "fucking this" and "fucking that"!
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Chris' efforts to explain to Adriana that there's no merit to Richie scoring a breakout album, and that Massive Genius is only playing her long enough to get into her pants triggers this reaction from her. It makes her that much more determined to prove she can be more in the mafia underworld than just Chris' arm candy. Ties in with the Be Careful What You Wish For and Foreshadowing noted here as well.
- Epic Fail: It's revealed that Richie suffered debilitating back injuries from trying to grill a trout... with a downed power line. Chris is amazed after Adriana tells him this story.
- Foreshadowing: Adriana relates to Chris she wants her own restaurant / social hangout, and also wants in on his action. It offers our first glimpse of the whole Crazy Horse arc to come.
- Hope Spot: For a moment, it seems as though Paulie is letting the drug dealer in the opening scene off with a message warning him to stay away from Port Newark. Then Paulie says he'll tell the other dealers himself, and nonchalantly shoots the man in the head.
- Hypocrite: The entire plotline with Bruce and his wife knowingly runs into this. Bruce and his friends seemingly look down on Tony because of his association with the mob, and mock him openly. However, Bruce, Jean and their friends engage in White Collar Crime, but try to downplay their association with it (as opposed to Tony, who makes up stories so the Mafia seems more glamorous than it really is).
- Improvised Weapon: Chris uses an acoustic guitar to beat Richie after the latter tries to shirk his duties in the recording studio.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Tony honestly admits to experiencing this during one of his sessions with Dr. Melfi. He and his friends use to have fun at the expense of a kid with a speech disability named Jimmy Smash, by convincing him to sing Mack the Knife for their amusement. Tony later heard that Jimmy cried himself to sleep every night afterwards. He now knows exactly how Jimmy feels after Bruce and company humiliate him at the golf course over his ties to the Mafia.
- Manchild: Richie is implied to be this, as Adriana explains that he's still living at home at the age of 30. Richie is later shown to be belligerent and suffering from Small Name, Big Ego, while crowing about his day job working at a Kinko's copy store.
- Ms. Fanservice: Adriana, who spends most of her scenes in various states of undress.
- Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: Massive Genius expresses his admiration for the Cosa Nostra by saying he had watched The Godfather "like 200 times."
- Small Name, Big Ego: Richie. Despite being a Manchild and only working a day job at a Kinko's, he whines to everyone how good he is because he "recorded in Denmark" and has just finished his "most introspective song" in the studio.
- Spotting the Thread: Chris catches Massive Genius ogling Adriana multiple times and realizes that Massive's only going along with the prospective record deal long enough to get some from Adriana.
- Tempting Fate: Chris antagonizes the (predominately black) patrons at a burger joint by claiming that they're all on welfare and food stamps, and that his order is much more important. It appears that he'll get beaten up for his remarks, until an off-duty cop points out to one of Genius' men that Chris is with the Soprano family.
- Title Drop:Hesh: A hit is a hit, and that is not a hit.
- Toplessness from the Back: When Adriana gets dressed after coming back home with Chris after the party.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: While Massive Genius threatens to sue Hesh for keeping the royalties from his artist (and Hesh countering that Genius used an unauthorized sample to create said artist's song), the matter is never brought up again and Genius never appears for the rest of the series.
- White Collar Crime: Carmela uses a stock tip heard from Jean and her friends (who all play the stock market) to make an insider trade on a company that's set to go public. She subsequently nets a large profit off it as a result, and mentions to Meadow that she's just looking out for their future.
- Working with the Ex: Chris reluctantly allows Adriana to produce a song with her ex-boyfriend, Richie.