Cold Stones" is the seventy-sixth episode of the HBO original series, The Sopranos and the eleventh episode of the show's sixth season. The episode was written by Diane Frolov, Andrew Schneider and David Chase, was directed by Tim Van Patten and originally aired on May 21, 2006.
John Bianco as Gerry Torciano
Elizabeth Bracco as Marie Spatafore
Ron Castellano as Terry Doria
John Costelloe as Jim "Johnny Cakes" Witowski
Tony Cucci as Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello
Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva
Louis Gross as Perry Annunziata
Geraldine LiBrandi as Patty Leotardo
Arthur Nascarella as Carlo Gervasi
Vinnie Orofino as Bryan Spatafore
Vincent Piazza as Hernan O'Brien
Lenny Venito as James "Murmur" Zancone
Emily Wickersham as Rhiannon
Episode recapA.J. has been fired from his job at Blockbuster for selling promotional items. When Carmela leaves the scene, Tony reminds A.J. of his luck: "You should be kissing her feet, because by time you were growing up if it wasn't for her, I would have decked your baby teeth out with one shot!". As Tony leaves the room, A.J flips both his parents off. Later, Meadow talks to her parents about following Finn to California, though Carmela wonders aloud about what she's perceived as mounting friction between Meadow and Finn. Over breakfast, Carmela asks Tony about a trip to Paris she won at the silent auction she arranged for the Feast of St. Elzear. When Tony declines due to work restrictions, she suggests she could go with Rosalie Aprile, to which Tony supports. Carmela tells Tony she needs a break because of her worries with the spec house and their children.
In Paris, Ro meets a Parisian named Michel from the Belleville neighborhood, and exchanges numbers with him. Over dinner, Carmela brings up Ro's grief over the loss of her husband and son since they have never discussed in detail what happened. Ro becomes angry that Carmela is spoiling their vacation with her morbid fascinations, but does reveal that she feels her grief is futile. Ro then tells Carmela she is going out with the French man she met earlier, and invites her along. However Carmela decides she will walk along the Seine instead.
At home, Tony sees A.J. giggling and instant messaging on his computer and leaves in disgust. In therapy, Tony discloses that he has been feeling hatred towards his son, feeling that A.J. is wasting his life. Tony says his father would find this hilarious, and tells her that if Carmela had not protected A.J., he would be a better person. Dr. Melfi uses this to approach Tony's personality since she sees his life as a product of his father's own brutality, taking his anger at his father's brutality out on others and having a desperate need to dominate and control. Tony ignores the analysis and says he could not hit A.J. because of his small size, which he says comes from Carmela's side of the family. Melfi then points out that Tony's complaint that Carmela defended A.J. is hypocritical, as he's often complained his mother failed to protect him from his father.
At the Soprano house, Hernan and A.J. play video games. Tony then asks A.J. to join him in the garage where he announces that he has gotten him a construction job. Tired of listening to A.J.'s excuses for not taking the job, Tony threatens to take away his car and other possessions. A.J. rolls his eyes at this, so Tony smashes A.J.'s windshield with a football helmet as a warning and tells A.J. "Don't put me to the test". Hours later, Carmela dreams of Adriana walking Cosette by the Eiffel Tower. In the dream, a gendarme then asks someone to tell Ade that she is dead.
Vito Spatafore approaches Tony at a mall while his brother Bryan stands guard and tries to convince him he is not really homosexual, but that his blood pressure medication had affected him physiologically, thereby confusing him. Vito asks to buy his way back in, with $200,000 to appease Tony, and operate a business in Atlantic City involving prostitution and drug trafficking. Tony appears willing to consider the offer, and later discusses Vito with Sil, Christopher and Paulie. Silvio recalls how Richie Aprile handled his son's homosexuality (by disowning him) and recommends that abandoning Vito would be the proper way to deal with their situation. Tony then relays Vito's request for consideration, and an apparently indignant Paulie responds by silently leaving the room.
Vito has a reunion dinner out with his family in Rockefeller Center. He has told his children that he has been working for the CIA in Afghanistan as an alibi for his absence. As Vito and Marie watch their children ice skate, she asks if he will seek therapy. Vito scoffs at this and recommends they have another child. In a motel room, Vito calls an upset Jim who describes Vito as "seriously fucked up". Jim sees through Vito's excuse that he missed his family and tells Vito it was the life that he missed. Vito says he just didn't want to drag Jim into his lifestyle but Jim tells him never to call him again, and hangs up. Vito later meets with Terry Doria to lend him money for a profit.
Tony and Phil Leotardo disagree over "no-show" jobs on a new construction project. When they meet later, Phil is visibly angry after having learned Vito is back in town, and confronts Tony about the matter. Annoyed at being called by Phil for a matter Tony perceives as none of Phil's business, Tony reiterates to Phil that Vito is his captain and that Phil should leave the situation alone. Unfazed, Phil continues his tirade while Tony walks away from the meeting. Tony later discusses the situation with Silvio and decides Vito must be whacked in order to appease Phil, which can harm business and possibly start an unwanted war. Both agree that Carlo would be the best for the job, due to Carlo's tendency to issue blistering, public derisions of Vito's sexuality.
Phil and his wife, Patty, discuss Vito's sexuality; Patty expresses her disappointment and resentment for having a homosexual in the family. She tells Phil Vito has to be made to face his problems squarely. Meanwhile, Vito phones Tony, who arranges a meeting for at the mall the following morning (where the plan is for Carlo to lie in wait, and murder an unsuspecting Vito). However, Vito arrives at his motel, and upon entering his room finds Fat Dom and Gerry waiting. Phil emerges from a closet and watches Dom and Gerry beat Vito to death, after coldly telling Vito he is a "fucking disgrace".
The Soprano crew is shocked by Vito's murder, though Carlo states, "you have to admire (Phil) - it's not all talk with him." Patsy remarks that he wished he borrowed money from Vito. Terry Doria, one who actually had borrowed money from Vito just prior to his demise, then subtly smiles to himself. Tony takes Silvio aside and tells him that the murder is as much about Phil's defiance of his authority as it is about Vito. Tony believes Phil is sending the family a message that he can kill one of Tony's captains and Tony cannot do anything about it. Tony tells Silvio he does not want war with Phil, as it would cripple their earning capacity. He decides to hit back at Phil financially, noting that Phil has "a wire room in Sheepshead Bay."
At Satriale's, Carlo and Silvio prepare a meal. Fat Dom arrives to make a payment but declines the meal, as he must visit his daughter. Dom, who was one of the men involved in the murder, attempts to spare sympathy about Vito but then starts making crude jokes. When he insults the entire Jersey crew and implies that Carlo was involved with Vito sexually, tempers snap and Silvio viciously hits him in the head with a large object while Carlo kills him with a cooking knife. Silvio tells Carlo to call the others and say the dinner is cancelled; they then devise a plan on how to dispose of the body. As they wait for night to fall, Tony arrives and enters despite Silvio's warning. When Tony sees what has happened, he exits the store quickly, letting Silvio and Carlo deal with it.
At the Spatafore home, Francesca and Vito, Jr. read the news article about their father's death and realize that he lied about his involvement with the CIA. Elsewhere, Vito's Thin Club photographer recognizes his picture in the paper.