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In The Godfather part 1 where Micheal sets up a meeting with Virgil Sollozzo and the police officer just after the attempted murder on Vito Corleone, when they are on the way to the restaurant the driver makes his way to New Jersey as can be seen on the signage.

Then Micheal anxiously asks 'we're going to Jersey?', then the driver quickly spins the car around going back to the original destination and Virgil Sollozzo pats the driver on the back and says 'nice work Lou'.

What is the purpose behind Sollozzo planning this? Did he simply want to see if he was being followed Micheal's men? I never quite understood that segment.

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Did he simply want to see if he was being followed Micheal's men?

Exactly

They are just both checking to see if they are being followed and making an abrupt reversal of direction to ensure that if they are being followed, that they shake the tail.

The novel confirms...

The heavy automobile jumped into the air when it hit the divider and bounced over into the lanes going back to New York City. Both McCluskey and Sollozzo were looking back to see if anyone had tried doing the same thing. The driver was really hitting it back to New York and then they were off the bridge and going toward the East Bronx. They went through the side streets with no cars behind them. By this time it was nearly nine o’clock. They had made sure there was no one on their tail. Sollozzo lit up a cigarette after offering his pack to McCluskey and Michael, both of whom refused. Sollozzo said to the driver, “Nice work. I’ll remember it.”

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

As does the Script

       SOLLOZZO checks to see the cars that had been following, and
       then leans to the DRIVER.

              SOLLOZZO
        Nice work; I'll remember it.

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