Season 2, Episode 08
Full Leather Jacket
Soprano crime family associates Matthew Bevilacqua and Sean Gismonte have settled into a routine of accompanying Christopher on regular jewelry store heists, which primarily consist of Matthew busting the safe open while Chris tells stories and Sean evacuates his bowels on the floor due to adrenaline. In one anecdote, Chris mentions that Big Pussy did similar jobs in the 80s, until the Unrest of '83 provided him with an opportunity to prove himself.
As Meadow applies to colleges, she shows an interest in UC Berkeley, a troubling prospect for Tony and Carmella, who would prefer she stay close to home. When chatting with next-door neighbor Jean Cusamano, Carmella remembers that her twin sister, Joan, is an alumna of Georgetown, which she would prefer Meadow attend. Carmella convinces Jean to contact Joan and ask her to write a letter of recommendation, but Joan is uninterested.
Meadow receives a letter from Berkeley warning that she must re-submit her application. Carmella finds this letter and throws it away, but later has a change of heart and removes it from the garbage. Meadow finds the letter and is suspicious that it is stained with dirt, but doesn't press the issue.
Chris confronts Adriana, who is staying with her mother after their falling-out, and proposes to her. Despite her mother's suspicion, Adriana says yes.
Tony demands that Richie have a ramp built on the home of Beansie Gaeta, who is a paraplegic after Richie ran him down with his car. When Richie sends his nephews Vito and Bryan Spatafore to build the ramp, Beansie's wife tells them to leave. They build the ramp regardless, but leave the job half-finished. Tony is unsatisfied with this, but Richie assures him they will finish the job later, and offers Tony a gift of a leather jacket he stole from a mobster named Rocco Di Meo. Tony politely accepts, but quickly pawns the jacket off on his maid's husband. Richie visits the Soprano house and sees the man wearing it, which irks him.
Carmella visits Joan Cusamano-O'Connell personally, offering her a ricotta pie and insisting that she write Meadow's letter to Georgetown. Joan suspects that she is being implicitly threatened, but Carmella denies this. Joan caves and writes the letter, and Jean returns the pie tray to Carmella later.
Sean and Matthew encounter Tony at the Bada Bing, but Sean fucks up by explicitly referencing their criminal connection, angering Tony. The two visit Richie at his office, where the disgruntled Richie suggests his hostility towards Tony, and specifically mentions Chris, who he resents for hitting Adriana (Richie's niece). Later, Furio comes to Sean and Matt's shared apartment to collect their kick-up. He disrespects them, suggesting they are homosexual lovers because of the state of undress he found them in, and squeezes them for double the amount of kick-up they owe. Feeling they are getting nowhere, Matthew suggests they take more drastic measures to climb the ranks of the Soprano crew. They carry out a drive-by shooting on Chris outside of a diner, shooting him multiple times. Sean is killed when Chris returns fire, and Matthew escapes, leaving Chris bleeding and unconscious on the pavement. Matthew goes to Richie, hoping for protection because he misinterpreted that Richie wanted Christopher shot. Richie chases him off, infuriated that Tony is likely to blame him for the shooting.
Tony is shown sitting by a comatose Chris in the hospital, completely blindsided by this turn of events.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Carmella very subtly makes Joan O'Connell an offer she can't refuse in the form of a very symbolically loaded gift of a ricotta pie.
- Boom, Headshot!: Chris gets a fairly impressive headshot on Sean Gismonte, considering he was on the ground riddled with bullets himself at the time and shooting with his non-dominant hand.
- Cliffhanger: A very rare instance for The Sopranos. Also unique in that it ends with the diegetic sound of Christopher's heart monitor over the ending credits, rather than a song.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Matthew and Sean feel increasingly marginalized as outsiders to the Soprano syndicate, and make a very rash decision as a result.
- Fatal Family Photo: When he suddenly wins Adriana back by impulsively proposing to her at the beginning of the episode, Chris is practically begging for a sudden disaster to befall him by the end of the hour. Subverted in that it doesn't actually wind up being fatal.
- Ironic Echo: In the previous episode, Livia mentioned a news story in which a group of teenagers burned to death after a car crash because their seatbelts trapped them in the wreck. During the shootout at the end of this episode, Sean Gismonte gets a bullet in the head while struggling with his seatbelt.
- Mama Bear: Adriana's mother acts as this when Chris barges into her house where Adriana is staying, even threatening to call the Police; she threatens to cut off Adriana if she agrees to marry Chris though.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Where Jean Cusamano is a bubbly housewife, her twin sister Joan is a no-nonsense professional woman.
- Wham Episode: After what had been a fairly low-key season up to this point, mostly just following characters around on little vignettes, Chris getting critically wounded at the end of "Full Leather Jacket" signals that things are kicking into gear.