In Season 2, Episode 8 titled Full Leather Jacket of The Sopranos, Carmela is wanting Meadow to go to Georgetown University so that she will stay close to home.

Carmela realizes that her neighbor's sister is a prominent Georgetown alumni and wants her to give Meadow a reference. According to the Wikipedia page for this episode, Carmela is implicitly threatening Joan.

When Jeannie fails to persuade Joan to write a letter of recommendation for Meadow, Carmela presents Joan with a ricotta pie and a folder of Meadow's high school transcripts. When Joan refuses to write the letter, Carmela implicitly threatens her. Later, Jeannie informs Carmela that Joan has caved and agreed to write the letter.

Joan accuses Carmela of threatening her in the scene, but I am not understanding how she is threatening her.

How exactly did Carmela threaten Joan? What am I missing in this scene to see any threats being made?

1 Answer 1


Because she is Carmela Soprano, the wife of a mob boss, when she says "I want you to write that letter" it can be perceived to come with an unspoken "or otherwise you will be sorry".

Carmela isn't asking, she is demanding. She visits unannounced, she knowingly inconveniences Joan: she has already shown she ignores the barriers that were set up to make such visits hard. And then she ignores Joan's objections, and basically orders her to write the recommendation letter.

That she precedes her demand with "I don't think you understand" is also adding to the tension: on the surface she might seem to refer to Joan failing to understand the demands schools like Georgetown make upon applicants, but it can easily be interpreted in a more sinister way: that Joan doesn't understand the consequences of her refusing to write the letter.

That most of this remains unspoken and no direct threat is ever uttered, makes it even more dangerous. Carmela is basically informing her that she doesn't take no for an answer.

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