Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office...

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"Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office..."
The Sopranos episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 1
Directed by Allen Coulter
Written by Jason Cahill
Cinematography by Phil Abraham
Production code 201
Original air date January 16, 2000
Running time 49 minutes
Guest actors

see below

Episode chronology
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"I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano"
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Episode chronology

"Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office..." is the fourteenth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the first of the show's second season. It was written by Jason Cahill, directed by Allen Coulter and originally aired on January 16, 2000.


Guest starring

Also guest starring

Episode recap

Several months after Mikey Palmice's execution and Livia Soprano's hospitalization, things appear to be returning to "normal". Tony Soprano begins to self-medicate as he is no longer receiving therapy from Dr. Melfi, who begins working out of a motel after being warned that her office is no longer safe. Christopher Moltisanti hires someone to take his stockbroker's licensing exam. Uncle Junior is in prison. Carmela Soprano continues to play the role of housewife. Livia begins receiving physical therapy. Ray Curto continues to bring in the money for Tony - as do Paulie Gualtieri and Silvio Dante, who indulge in designer shoes and Bada Bing strippers. Tony continues to sleep with his Russian mistress, Irina, and hides that he was out all night by burying his clothes in a load of laundry. He then sneaks into bed and falls asleep. The following morning when Tony goes to fetch the paper, he sees an old Buick Riviera parked just outside his driveway. Tony starts to cautiously walk away, thinking this may be another hit, only to have Big Pussy emerge and ask if they can talk.

Tony and Pussy then go down to Tony's basement, where they discuss Pussy's absence. Pussy tries to explain that he was in Puerto Rico for back therapy and medical assistance, and did not want to tell his wife, since he started sleeping with his acupuncturist. He also no longer felt safe in New Jersey because of the impressions previously caused by Tony and his crew. Tony still does not trust Pussy completely, and pats him down while giving him a hug. Pussy becomes offended at this but Tony pulls him in for another hug; a real one. At the Bada Bing!, the associates welcome Pussy and Silvio entertains the group with impressions from The Godfather.

Tony assigns former Junior Soprano crew soldier Gigi Cestone (who was brought over to Tony's crew after Tony became street boss because Tony knew he could control him) to take out active Junior Soprano crew soldier Philly "Spoons" Parisi after it was discovered Philly had been spreading rumors that Tony wanted his mother dead, which was actually true. Tony believed if Gigi performed the hit on a soldier from his own crew it would look less obvious. Gigi, putting on the pretense of returning home from a trip to visit the family's imprisoned emeritus boss Eckley Dimeo, has Paulie Gualtieri drop him off at the airport only to be picked up by the unsuspecting Philly. After Gigi gets all the specific details out of Philly, he shoots Philly in the head yelling "You big mouth fuck!" Tony calls Melfi on a pay phone informing her "it's over" and that she can come home.

Christopher is made the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compliance officer (actually the "head") of an investment firm and is pressuring people to push a new worthless stock, Webistics. When Christopher takes a "meeting" down the shore (with Adriana La Cerva), he places Matt Bevilaqua, a fellow stockbroker, in charge. While Matt is doing his rounds with friend Sean Gismonte to make sure people are advising the purchase of Webistics, they discover one broker is not doing as he is told. Instead, he is providing general investment advice based on the needs of the customers. They proceed to pour hot coffee on him and administer a savage beating. The former manager tells them to break it up but is threatened by Matt to go back to his office. The following day, Silvio informs Tony that Christopher is not doing his job well and that two employees left because of an "incident." Tony tells Christopher to be careful, to wise up and to make himself available at the firm instead of being a "no-show."

Tony then receives a phone call from Carmela, who informs him that his long-gone sister, Janice, has resurfaced and is looking for a place to stay. Perturbed, he invites Janice to stay but knows that when she leaves he will be "$5,000 lighter." Tony suggests to Carmela that they have a big family reunion with Tony's younger sister, Barbara Giglione, and all of the children. He makes it clear that Livia is not to be invited.

While driving, Tony has a panic attack and runs off the road. He is not hurt since his airbag deploys after he runs into a barricade surrounding a utility box. He meets with another psychiatrist (under the alias of "Mr. Spears") to discuss his panic attacks and his mother. The psychiatrist tells Tony that he recognizes him and has seen Analyze This, and informs him that he is not taking new clients at this time.

Tony then talks to Janice about Livia and that he never wants her spoken of in the Soprano house again. Janice understands what is going on but will continue to see Livia and possibly occupy her house. Tony tells her that it is not possible since he is selling the house. Janice tries to convince him not to but goes unheeded. Tony and Carmela are soon asked to the house by a realtor who informs them that Livia's house was vandalized. Carmela then asks when Tony is getting back into therapy and tells him that her parents will be coming to the party as well. It is revealed that Carmela's parents avoided gatherings where Livia would be present, due to rude comments Livia had made to them.

At the party, everyone seems to be in good spirits except for Tony, who is angered about his mother and angered further when he discovers the For Sale sign from Livia's house inside Janice's car, implying that Janice is trying to prevent it from being sold. Carmela asks once again, "When are you getting back into therapy?" Tony states that he does not know but that he has been self-medicating. Carmela then suggests that he go have a good time with his friends and family and not worry about Livia. Tony does so and continues to joke around with Pussy. Meanwhile, Janice and Barbara are talking about Tony's handling of the situation. Janice thinks that no one is going to get their fair share from the house but Barbara believes that Tony is handling the situation very well and that he will give them both their fair share.

At a diner the following morning, Tony tries to apologize to Dr. Melfi, who is extremely upset that she could not help another patient who committed suicide. Tony feels bad but tries to ask her if he can come back, or for a referral. She refuses and angrily tells him to get out of her life, and he leaves the diner. Carmela, who is surprised that Tony is home early, fixes him leftover spaghetti. As Tony sits and eats, he tells Carmela to sit and eyes her as she looks through the mail.

First appearances


Title reference

  • The episode's title is intended to be the beginning of a joke (for example, "Guy walks into a bar and..."). It refers to Tony's therapy sessions.


  • Drea de Matteo (Adriana La Cerva) and Aida Turturro (Janice Soprano) are now billed in the opening credits.
  • During the opening sequence with "It Was A Very Good Year" playing, the shot that shows Junior's picture in FBI Headquarters being moved under Tony's clearly shows, next to Tony's picture, Johnny Sack as a capo in the DiMeo Family, which is obviously false.
  • Show producer/writer/director Terence Winter appears as minor character Tom Amberson, a Dr. Melfi patient in the first of his three series' appearances. Winter was filling in when no other actor pleased director Allen Coulter.[1]

References to past episodes

  • It is revealed in this episode that Carmela's parents have avoided family functions at the Soprano home that Livia attended for years. However, this contradicts Season One's episode "46 Long" in which Carmela mentions that Livia is personally picking up her parents to attend dinner at Tony and Carmela's house.
  • In Season One episode "Nobody Knows Anything" Tony tells Livia that her house, which he put up for sale, has an accepted offer, a move that angered Livia so much that she revealed to Junior about Tony and his capos secret meetings at Green Grove. However, in this episode Tony reveals to Janice that he just had the house put on the market.
  • Tony's sister Barbara reveals to Janice that she was horrified at what Livia tried to do to Tony, implying she knew about the Livia conspiring with Junior to have Tony hit. However, in the last episode of the season "Funhouse" Barbara seems not to know what happened between Tony and Livia.

Cultural references

  • Edward G. Robinson, playing a mobster, is briefly seen and heard as Key Largo plays on a TV in Christopher's apartment.
  • Phillip Parisi's death is a reference to The Godfather (1972), when Paulie Gatto is shot and killed in the driver's seat of a car because of his role in the attempted murder of Vito Corleone. Also, as Philly gets in his car to leave home, his wife tells him, "Don't forget the pastries", a reference to the scene where Peter Clemenza's also wife tells him, "Don't forget the cannoli", before he drives off to see that Paulie is killed.
  • At Tony's cookout, the crew chats about Shelley Hack (of Charlie's Angels fame), leading to Paulie Gualtieri singing the jingle for Charlie cologne.
  • Tony refers to his mother as a "streg" -- abbreviation for "strega," the Italian word for witch.



  1. Murphy, John. "One on One with Terence Winter". HoboTrashCan. HoboTrashCan. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 

External links

fr:S.O.S. Psychiatre