The Sopranos: Season 3 (2001)


Season 3
The Sopranos

Critics Consensus

Deftly using its complex characters to delve into thorny moral quandaries, the third season of The Sopranos continues to deliver consistently compelling, albeit controversial, viewing.



Critic Ratings: 11


Audience Score

User Ratings: 391

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Air date: Mar 4, 2001

The third season of the popular HBO crime series opens with the FBI trying to devise a method of bugging the home of New Jersey mob boss Anthony Soprano (James Gandolfini). In the meantime, Tony's daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) adjusts to life as a freshman at Columbia University, his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) takes tennis lessons, and his son Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler) is more concerned about his skateboard and cigarettes than schoolwork. Tony is also worried about Patsy Parisi (Dan Grimaldi), twin brother of the slain Philly, who was murdered on Tony's orders. His erratic behavior and heavy drinking seem an indication that Patsy knows who's responsible for his brother's death, causing Tony and his lieutenants to keep a close watch on the embittered soldier. "Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood" was written by series creator David Chase.

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Air date: Mar 4, 2001

Some computer-generated imagery summons the ghost of a departed cast member for one final appearance in this turning point episode of the hit crime drama. After learning that his daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) is dating a half Jewish, half African-American student at Columbia, New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) has a stress-related anxiety attack and blackout. His problems are compounded when, after a contentious visit with his mother Livia (Nancy Marchand), he receives word that the manipulative matriarch has died of a stroke. Tony's flower-child sister, Janice (Aida Tuturro), insists on a memorial service but gets more than she bargained for when assembled family members share their true feelings about the less-than-dearly departed. At a session with his therapist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), Tony about sums it up by confiding that he's glad his mother is gone. A key witness against him in a case involving stolen airline tickets, Livia is now silenced forever, and her emotional passive-aggression is no longer a part of his life.

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Air date: Mar 11, 2001

New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) makes a breakthrough in his therapy with Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) in this episode of the hit drama series. Remembering that his first "spell" occurred when he was 11 years old, Tony suddenly realizes that all of his blackouts have occurred when he was preparing meat. This revelation forces him to confront a painful memory about his father and recently deceased mother. Meanwhile, Tony's nephew, Christopher (Michael Imperioli), bungles his new responsibilities of a "made man" and is forced to hold up a Rutgers University box office to pay his weekly payment to Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico). A feud between Tony's sister, Janice (Aida Turturro), and their late mother's housekeeper, Svetlana, heats up, resulting in a stolen artificial leg, while Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) gives her dad Tony the silent treatment, and Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler) excels on the football field. When he's promoted for his gridiron performance, however, A.J. blacks out under the pressure, just like his dad.

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Air date: Mar 18, 2001

A violent sexual assault followed by justice aborted due to a legal technicality leaves Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) flirting with the idea of using her mob connection to get revenge in this powerful episode of the cable crime drama. When she's raped in the stairwell of her office building, Dr. Melfi expects the attacker to be prosecuted, but an improper police procedure results in the rapist getting off. After she recognizes her rapist at a fast food restaurant where he works, she considers telling her mob boss client Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) about the incident, knowing he'll exact retribution, but the therapist remains silent. In the meantime, Tony deals with his uppity subordinate, Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano), by promoting one of Ralph's garbage business associates in his stead, and Tony's sister, Janice (Aida Turturro), has a violent run-in with Russian gangsters over a stolen prosthetic leg. Some good news comes Tony's way when he learns of a new 25-million-dollar waterfront project coming into his territory, but the appearance of new neighbor Johnny Sack (Vincent Curatola), a powerful New York crime boss, is a cause for concern.

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Air date: Mar 25, 2001

New Jersey mob kingpin Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) is finally joined by his wife, Carmela (Edie Falco), for a contentious session with his therapist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), in this episode of the hit HBO drama series. When his frustrations lead to a traffic ticket from officious trooper Wilmore (Charles S. Dutton) on the way home, an angry Tony tells his corrupt state assemblyman, Zellman (Peter Riegert), to "fix it." Compounding Tony's frustrations and concerns is the fact that his Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) has cancer, a family associate has been put in a coma by an unprovoked attack, and a dying former gangster (Burt Young) has been assigned a retaliatory hit. Then there's Tony's daughter, Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), still not speaking to her father because of his racist attitudes, and his restaurant-owner friend Artie Bucco (John Ventimiglia) has a crush on his nephew's girlfriend, Adriana (Drea de Matteo). When Tony goes to Fountains of Wayne to pick up a backyard ornament, he discovers that Officer Wilmore has been reduced to a part-time job because his run-in with Tony has had political repercussions.

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Air date: Apr 1, 2001

The violence toward women characteristic of this hit cable drama's third season continues with shocking brutality in this heartbreaking episode. New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) resists the efforts of one of his needy young go-go dancers, Tracee (Ariel Kiley), to become "friends." He's got enough problems at home with his own daughter, Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), who has been giving him the silent treatment over her father's prejudice toward her mixed-race boyfriend. When the boyfriend casually dumps Meadow, however, she's furious, hurling invective at her family and slamming doors. Meanwhile, Tracee has become pregnant with the child of Tony's garbage business underling, Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano), who reacts with a typically uncaring attitude. When Tracee insults Ralph in front of his friends and business partners, he meets her outside Tony's strip club and brutally beats her to death. Tony reacts violently, attacking Ralph and violating the code of la cosa nostra .

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Air date: Apr 8, 2001

Dealing with health care professionals of various stripes proves to be an arduous task for two members of a crime family in this episode of the hit cable TV series. When his Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) undergoes a not-entirely successful cancer treatment at the hands of less-than-compassionate Dr. John Kennedy (Sam McMurray), New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) is furious. So he schedules a threatening heart-to-heart with the surgeon on the golf course that leaves Junior in the doctor's suddenly far more caring hands. In the meantime, Tony's wife Carmela (Edie Falco) is referred to a blunt psychotherapist (Mike Nichols), who tells her that she's complicit in her husband's crimes and will never be happy unless she leaves him. In the meantime, Tony's lieutenants Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico) and Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) continue to clash over their new business arrangements, and Tony deals with the financial concerns of the widowed Angie Bompensiero (Toni Kalem) by smashing the window of her new Cadillac.

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Air date: Apr 15, 2001

Accomplished character actress Annabella Sciorra joins the cast of this popular crime series. As Thanksgiving approaches, New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) deals with the fallout of his beating his garbage business subordinate Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano). A violation of the Mafia code, Tony's now obliged to either kill Ralph or apologize, but finds himself loathe to do either -- and instead embarks on a torrid affair with a beautiful but troubled Mercedes Benz dealership sales rep, Gloria Trillo (Sciorra). In the meantime, Tony's daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) has begun dating shiftless Jackie Aprile Jr. (Jason Cerbone), the wannabe gangster son of Tony's one-time boss. While Jackie Jr.'s mother (Sharon Angela) is thrilled at the union, Tony and his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) are less enthused about the young man's questionable prospects. The holidays bring resolution to at least one of Tony's problems: when a Soprano family crew boss dies unexpectedly, Tony's able to heal the rift with Ralph by promoting him to captain, a position of authority Cifaretto has long craved.

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Air date: Apr 22, 2001

Love is in the air with this episode of the popular cable crime drama, written by co-star Michael Imperioli. Meadow Soprano (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), the daughter of New Jersey mob boss Tony (James Gandolfini), is now seriously dating Jackie Aprile Jr. (Jason Cerbone), a wiseguy wannabe who's skipping his premed college classes to set up his own crew. When Tony gets a hint of Jackie's true nature, he's furious; but he's no angel himself as his affair with Mercedes Benz sales rep Gloria Trillo (Annabella Sciorra) is heating up, a visit to the Bronx Zoo turning into a torrid encounter in the snake house. Things are further complicated at home when Tony's son, Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler), is caught vandalizing school property, but his status as a new football star earns him undeserved leniency. Tony and his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) aren't inclined to take it so easy on their errant son, but no punishment seems to have much effect; Tony's no more able to get through to his own son than he is Jackie.

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Air date: Apr 29, 2001

A Mafia chieftain becomes uncharacteristically reflective as Christmas approaches in this episode of the cable TV drama. New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) is experiencing a sense of loss over the death of his friend Pussy Bompensiero, who traditionally played Santa Claus at Tony's annual charity bash. Tony's feelings of woe are compounded by his discovery of his daughter's boyfriend, wiseguy wannabe Jackie Aprile Jr. (Jason Cerbone), receiving a lap dance from a stripper at a go-go club; Tony gives the college dropout a solid beating. In the meantime, a Russian money launderer friend of Tony's gives him a little holiday gift: the identity of the ruffian who viciously assaulted his sister Janice (Aida Turturro). Tony and his lieutenant Furio give the man a beating as a holiday gift to Janice, and on Christmas morning, a chastened Jackie shows up with a gift for Tony's daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and an attitude adjustment for her father.

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The Sopranos: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

Series three of The Sopranos begins with the 'disappearance' of Richie Aprile and the return of Ralph Cifaretto. Tony tries guiding Jackie Aprile Jr, but his frustration grows as he's not happy with Jackie's behaviour. Ralph commits an unspeakable crime, Tony becomes so furious with Ralph that he goes against the most traditional mafia code to teach him a lesson.


James Gandolfini
as Anthony Soprano
Lorraine Bracco
as Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Edie Falco
as Carmela Soprano
Michael Imperioli
as Christopher Moltisanti
Jamie-Lynn Sigler
as Meadow Soprano
Dominic Chianese
as Corrado `Uncle Junior' Soprano
Robert Iler
as Anthony Soprano Jr.
Steven Van Zandt
as Silvio Dante
Tony Sirico
as Paulie `Walnuts' Gualtieri
Jason Cerbone
as Jackie Aprile Jr.
Aida Turturro
as Janice Soprano
Nancy Marchand
as Livia Soprano
Joe Pantoliano
as Ralph Cifaretto
Drea de Matteo
as Adriana La Cerva
Steve Schirripa
as Bobby `Bacala' Baccalieri
Vincent Curatola
as Johnny `Johnny Sack' Sacramoni
Dan Grimaldi
as Patsy Parisi
John Fiore
as Gigi Cestone
Tom Aldredge
as Hugh DeAngelis
Suzanne Shepherd
as Mary DeAngelis
Sharon Angela
as Rosalie Aprile
Jerry Adler
as Herman `Hesh' Rabkin
Annabella Sciorra
as Gloria Trillo
Ari Graynor
as Caitlin Rucker
Alla Kliouka Schaffer
as Svetlana Kirilenko
Andrew Davoli
as Dino Zerilli
Patrick Tully
as Noah Tannenbaum
Vincent Pastore
as Salvatore `Big Pussy' Bonpensiero
Kathrine Narducci
as Charmaine Bucco
Max Casella
as Benny Fazio
Joseph R. Gannascoli
as Vito Spatafore
Turk Pipkin
as Aaron Arkaway
Frank Ciornei
as Slava Malevsky
George Loros
as Raymond Curto
Maureen Van Zandt
as Gabriella Dante
Oksana Babiy
as Irina Peltsin
Burt Young
as Bobby `Bacala' Baccalieri Sr.
Louis Lombardi
as Skip Lipari
Sam McMurray
as Dr. John Kennedy
Frank Wood
as Dean Ross
Albert Makhtsier
as Stasiu Wosilius
Katalin Pota
as Lilliana Wosilius
Sully Boyer
as Dr. Krakower
David Mogentale
as Coach Goodwin
Richard Maldone
as Albert Barese
Joseph Siravo
as Johnny Boy Soprano
Frank Pando
as Agent Grasso
Toni Kalem
as Angie Bonpensiero
Frank Pellegrino
as Frank Cubitoso
Rocco Sisto
as Young Junior Soprano
Saundra Santiago
as Jeanne Cusamano
Michael Rispoli
as Jackie Aprile
Mark Karafin
as Egon Kosma
Peter Bogdanovich
as Dr. Elliot Kupferberg
Michele DeCesare
as Hunter Scangarelo
Peter Riegert
as Assemblyman Zellman
Annika Pergament
as Newscaster
Ian Group
as Colin
Tony Lip
as Carmine Lupertazzi
Erica Leerhsen
as Birgit Olafsdottir
Ilene S. Landress
as Dr. Laurens
Deepa Puroht
as Ambujam
Joseph Badalucco Jr.
as Jimmy Altieri
Ismail Bashey
as Dr. Mehta
Robert Bogue
as Ed Restuccia
Nicole Burdette
as Barbara Giglione
Louis Crugnali
as Carlo Renzi
John Fiske
as FBI Man
Will McCormack
as Jason LaPenna
James Murtaugh
as Judge Lapper
Carl Capotorto
as Little Paulie Germani
Michael Garfield
as Len Tannenbaum
Tony Hale
as RN Collins
Joe Bacino
as Little Joe
Gary Perez
as Agent Marquez
Zachary Knower
as Dr. Enloe
Kelly Kole
as Debbie
Matt Servitto
as Agent Dwight Harris
Yvette Mercedes
as Homeless Woman
James Shanklin
as Anesthesiologist
Brian Smyj
as Agent Smyj
Anne Assante
as Caterina Cella
Igor Zhivotovsky
as Igor Parnasky
Colleen Werthmann
as Agent Malatesta
Ralph Lucarelli
as Cozzerelli
Denise Borino
as Ginny Sacramoni
Gregory Russell Cook
as Rocco De Trollio
Richard Verdinio
as Police Officer
Jay Christanson
as Agent Jongsma
Kieran Campion
as Epsilon Zet
Laila Robins
as Young Livia Soprano
Luiza Liccini
as Stripper No. 1
Dennis Gagomiros
as Agent Theopolis
Sal Petraccione
as George Piocosta
Matt Cerbone
as Young Jackie Jr.
Dominick Charles Carbone
as Kevin Bonpensiero
Neal Jones
as Agent Tancredi
Marie Athanasiou
as Stripper No. 2
Daniel Oreskes
as Principal Cincotta
Ed Vassallo
as Tom Giglione
Lou Bonacki
as Francis Satriale
Michael Hogan
as Dov Ginsberg
Mark Damiano II
as Young Tony Soprano
Gary Evans
as FBI Tech No. 1
Vito Antuofurmo Sr.
as Bobby Zanone
Glenn Kessler
as FBI Tech No. 2
Juliet Fox
as Young Janice Soprano
Bill Kocis
as Father Nicolai
Margo Singaliese
as Lisa Cestone
Elxis McLaren
as Young Barbara Soprano
Tyler Gulizio
as Little Boy
Loulou Katz
as Little Girl
Peter McRobbie
as Father Felix
Peter Byrne
as Security Guard
Rosie Chavolino
as Second Dancer
Jay Boryea
as Bouncer
David Ross
as Janitor
as The Miami Relatives
Capathia Jenkins
as Store Employee
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Critic Reviews for The Sopranos Season 3

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (8)

It goes beyond The Godfather because it's punctuated with smiles, and set to a score that uses the music of big-name artists in an unusually creative way.

Jul 11, 2014 | Full Review…

This is The Sopranos at its best, a series that doesn't play by television conventions. It doesn't make nice.

Jul 11, 2014 | Full Review…

It's their moral ambiguity that most grounds them in reality and makes them so fascinating that missing even one episode is unthinkable. Every move they make, every step they take, we'll be watching them.

Jul 11, 2014 | Full Review…

"Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood" is a slyly confident, funny return to the world of The Sopranos, an episode that takes a cue from, well, Hitchcock to talk as much about our relationship to the show as anything else.

Jul 15, 2014 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Even measured against insanely high expectations, the series is as good as it has ever been.

Jul 11, 2014 | Full Review…

The nice thing about The Sopranos is that everything -- every subplot, every minor character, every musical cue (the premiere's highlight: Tony, singing along in the car to Steely Dan's ''Dirty Work'') -- yields results

Jul 11, 2014 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Show's technical attributes are still first-rate and the direction/portrayals makes each character come to life

Jul 11, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

What's remarkable about [producer David] Chase's work on Sopranos is his ability to maintain the show's crucial duality: We don't want Tony to be caught and punished, but we always know he should be.

Jul 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A look at a mistifing figure of a gangster in the contemporary times. A necessary look to ourselves. [full review in Spanish]

Nov 26, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

If the true test of a show is how it handles adversity, the third-season premiere on March 4 proves The Sopranos is better than ever.

Jul 11, 2014 | Full Review…

Overall, The Sopranos returns in better form this year than it did at the start of its second season. New territory is explored and Chase seems more willing to push the Soprano story forward. It's not sitting in neutral by any means.

Jul 11, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Sopranos: Season 3

  • Sep 09, 2015
    Season 3 featured one of the most shocking episode ever,definitely not for everyone. But despite the controversy, season 3 was still fun to watch.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2015
    I found this season to be the least compelling of all. I was just not overly engaged by some new turn of events and certain story elements get out of hand with their repetition. Still, when it's great, it's amazing. Not many shows manage to hold so well after so long, all thanks to some tight writing and acting from the larger than life cast.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2020
    A tear jerker of a season finale, very moving and sadly realistic
  • Mar 29, 2020
    As good as tv series can ever be. Name one problem or mistake with this series..... Nope, can't, amazing cast with faultless acting. Stunning sound track, witty one lines, frightening violence. True to form, real and never to be beaten
  • Jan 10, 2020
    Season 3 of the Sopranos develops the characters even further and has some great episodes.
  • Jan 15, 2019
    The best TV show ever. I do not think we will ever see anything like it again.
  • Feb 06, 2018
    Jodido Tony, jodida familia Soprano. Pasan con una rapidez los capitulos que se nos va volando temporada con temporada
  • Apr 10, 2016
    Kelli Aprile: "Jesus Christ, look at who our father was! My brother wasn't killed by some drug dealer! He was killed by some fat f**k in see-through socks." This took me awhile, but here it is. Season 3 of The Sopranos was freaking great just like how I expected it to be. While it's not on the same level of outstanding as season one & two (In my opinion), but it's still a great season with lots to like with it's characters, story and actors. There's a lot in this season that actually did better than the last two seasons, but there's some things that this season didn't do so well. So lets dive in. Tony Soprano is known for being one of the best anti-hero of all time. He's right up there with Walter White -'Breaking Bad', Frank Underwood – 'House of Cards', Hannibal Lecter – 'Hannibal' and Dexter Morgan – 'Dexter'. Even the most despicable things Tony has done in this season, you still can't help but to like the guy. The reason why I'm bringing this up now and not the last two seasons is because I think this is the season we finally have a full gasp of what Tony is as a character. Imagine a villain who isn't fully aware that he is a villain, but thinks he's a good person and everything that he dose is for the right reasons, and that right there is basically Tony. We also see an other side of him that we understand how Tony's emotion works or the reason why he's so cold at times. Jame Gandolfini delivered a beautiful performance this season, as he always adds new things to his character in every season and making the word 'character development' very relevant in this show. Just like what I said in my season 2 review, James was brilliant and I'm likely going to say that again for my season 4 review, but that's the thing, I'm seriously running out of things to say for this guy, as he's always terrific in everything. The one thing I absolutely need to praise this season is how engaging it was. All of it has to do with the writing, as it was really terrific and well written for a show like this. This is TV at it's finest and this is also David Chase at his finest of writing. Some of the performances was pretty good from the cast, but if I had to pick out a weak performance from any of the cast it would be Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante. He wasn't awful or terrible, but compared him to the other actors, he really dose stand out as the weakest out of all of them. He didn't do too bad in the past season but for some reason he stuck out like a sore thumb in this season. He just has the same boring facial expression in every scene he's in and it's very distracting after awhile. It's not until I found out that Steven Van Zandt wasn't an actor before he started the show but a musician (and it really shows). But who knows, he might improve later on in the seasons, as that has happened before and I seriously hope I'm right on that. I already brought up the unfortunate death of Nancy Marchand in my last review, as the episode "Funhouse" was her final TV performance. She died before season 3 could even start filming, so Writer David Chase decided there should be one final conversation with Tony before Livia gets killed off. The dialogue from previous episodes was pieced together for Livia's half of the conversation, and state- of-the-art CGI effects were used to place old footage of her face on a body double, but it's some of the worse looking CGI I've ever seen. I know it wasn't easy for them to do, since it took them two weeks to put all together and the fact that Nancy was a very major character in the show, but the visual effect's are so noticeable and quite laughable. The lighting on her face doesn't match the light of the room or the other characters in the room with her. It was pretty awful. Overall The Sopranos: Season 3 is a great season with many amazing episodes that makes this show as great as it is. Time for Season 4.
  • Nov 23, 2014
    Going in with high expectations, The Sopranos delivers gruesome violence as well as characters who are left with extremely questionable actions and compelling, thought-provoking story arcs.
  • Jul 25, 2014
    The show's character development continues to improve, with help from James Gandolfini in its episodes, along with diving deeper into the relationship between several paired characters, creating one of its best episodes in Pine Barrens.

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