bust-out joint

Bust Out

"Bust Out" is the twenty-third episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the tenth of the show's second season. It was written by Frank Renzulli, Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, directed by John Patterson and originally aired on Sunday March 19 2000.

Guest starring roles

Episode recap

The police locate an eyewitness to the Bevilaqua killing who identifies Tony Soprano from a book of suspect photos. He didn't get a good look at Pussy, but describes the second man as "a husky accomplice." Tony is panicked when word of the case reaches him, and he makes plans to flee until the witness can be identified and dealt with. He gives a sports bag full of cash to his lawyer, Neil Mink, to provide for his family. Luckily for Tony, the witness realizes via a newspaper article that the murder relates to the Mafia, and not a drug-related dispute as the detectives had let him believe, and urgently contacts the police department to retract his statement.

Tony and Richie Aprile squeeze money out of David Scatino's store, ordering bottled water, coolers, airline tickets and sneakers on the store's credit and selling the merchandise on the street. They inform Davey the squeeze will continue unless he is able to pay the money he owes them. Davey is distraught over his situation and at one point he lies on a pool table in his basement while pointing a loaded pistol into his mouth. When his wife enters the room he hides the weapon in the ceiling tiles and claims to be fixing a light. Later, his wife and Carmela Soprano have lunch at Nuovo Vesuvio and she expresses concern about Davey's gambling, mentioning that the sporting goods store is in her name. Artie Bucco serves them the mineral water that Tony had Davey order, mentioning that he got a great deal on the price.

Unhappy with the cut he is getting from Davey's store and the deal he has with Barone Sanitation, Richie discusses with Junior Soprano the possibility of getting rid of Tony. When Junior admonishes him, Richie reminds him of Junior's plan to kill Tony the previous year.

Carmela is attracted to a new handyman, the brother of Davey's wife, who is also a widower. He and Carmela share a passionate kiss, and then realize the futility of the situation. However, when he calls her, she invites him over for a "discussion" and gourmet meal, which she prepares herself. In the meantime, he learns of Tony's involvement with his brother-in-law (Davey) and sends an assistant to meet her instead of arriving himself.

Tony tries to get closer to A.J. and Meadow, but does not succeed until Tony takes A.J. on his boat at the end of the episode, where they crank the boat up to full power and capsize two men in a canoe.

Title reference

  • A "bust out" is a common tactic in the organized crime world where a business's assets and lines of credit are exploited and exhausted to the point of bankruptcy. Richie and Tony profit from busting out Davey Scatino's sporting goods store in this episode.

Connections to future episodes

  • When asked by Davey why he let him get into debt, Tony tells him it was because he knew he had the store and other assets he could take, and instinctively saw an opportunity for profit. In a similar situation with Artie in season four, Tony reacts angrily when Artie accuses him of that line of thinking.


  • The song played over the end credits is "Wheel in the Sky" by Journey. Another Journey song would be featured in the series finale.
  • The song "Con te partirò" by Andrea Bocelli is played as Carmela thinks about and receives a phone call from the handyman. This same song played in the episode 'Commendatori' when Carmela and her friends discussed hoping to be free of their husbands.
  • The music playing during the scene where the witness realizes that the murder victim was a Mafia associate is Anton Webern's Variations for Piano, Op. 27.


  • The witness reads Anarchy, State and Utopia by Robert Nozick in the scene where he realises that the murder he has witnessed is a mafia hit.
  • Many items from the bust out appear throughout the episode, especially the water (at Artie's restaurant and being drunk by Uncle Junior) and the red coolers (Carmela offers one to, ironically, Vic Musto, the brother-in-law of Davey).
  • The "Easy Does it" sign along the stairwell of Davey's basement is from Gambler's Anonymous.

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