Do you remember Jimmy Altieri from Season One of The Sopranos?
Was Jimmy Altieri a rat?
The Glorified Crew Sopranos Blog says he is.
Keep reading, Wise Guy!
Jimmy Altieri Was A Fucking Rat!
It’s season one, episode 11, “Nobody Knows Anything.”
The FBI pokes and prods around the pool hall, eventually discovering a large arsenal of guns hidden beneath one of the pool tables.
One of the more memorable moments of the series happens during this scene.
Big Pussy hilariously tries eluding the earnest FBI agents.
Puss scrambles out the pool hall’s side exit.
He runs, but he only makes it a little.
Big Pussy was caught by the agents down the block and arrested.
In a later scene, Uncle Junior, seated upstairs at the Bing, fires off this infamous line: “We don’t run; it’s embarrassing!”
Meanwhile, in season three.
Jimmy Altieri Sopranos House Scene
Tony, Carmela, Meadow, and Anthony Jr. are seated at their kitchen table for dinner.
AJ is stuffing his face with Carmela’s famous spaghetti or lasagna.
Then Tony threatens to knock out Anthony Jr.’s teeth when AJ reminds Tony, for whatever reason.
The doorbell rings.
AJ indignantly skedaddles from his kitchen table chair to find a way to answer the door.
“It’s Uncle Jimmy!” AJ shouts to his family.
Tony springs from the kitchen table and jogs over to the vestibule of his home where Jimmy is standing.
“Let him [Jimmy] in,” Tony tells AJ.
Jimmy walks into the Soprano home on 14 Aspen Hill Drive in Caldwell, New Jersey.
That’s West Caldwell. (Make sure you enunciate.)
Happy to see Jimmy, Tony wastes no time asking Jimmy how he managed to get out of jail so fast.
“Long story,” Jimmy says.
Jimmy asks Tony if there’s someplace they can talk [in private].
Tony then leads Jimmy to his basement stairs and into the infamous Sopranos family basement, where plenty of great scenes are shot.
Once Tony and Jimmyu are in the basement, Jimmy tells Tony that he’s [Tony] “got a problem.”
“I know,” Tony says.
“I’m working on it.”
The Moment Tony Realizes Jimmy Altieri Is The Rat
The next scene in this episode is a pivotal turning point.
Jimmy inquires about Tony’s so-called “problem.”
You could assume “Uncle Jimmy” is wired for sound while at Tony’s home.
“You better lay low with that safe house money,” Jimmy tells Tony as he fiddles with the paper tag on Tony’s water heater.
(The Soprano family basement hot water heater is a significant prop in the season three opener, “Mr. Ruggerio’s Neighborhood.”)
The rat Alteria tells Tony the FBI asked him “a lot of questions” when they picked up Jimmy earlier at the pool hall.
Jimmy says the agents asked him whether he knew about the dead Columbian in the apartment.
(Paulie killed the Columbian.)
Look at Tony’s face in the photograph below.
Study Tony’s reaction.
Tony subtly looks around the room at Jimmy with a blank and befuddled stare.
At this very moment, Tony realizes Jimmy Altieri is a rat!
What Tony says and does next is telling; he pauses to consider what he’ll say.
Tony presumably figures that Jimmy is wearing a wire.
“You look good,” Tony tells Jimmy.
(Tony Soprano’s uncanny intuition about people, especially rats, is a consistent theme throughout the series.)
“I told em’ the pool table there when I first rented the joint,” Jimmy said.
And what Jimmy asks Tony next is a dead-fucking giveaway.
Jimmy – you fucking rat, you!
“So, uh, what are you going to do with the Columbian money?”
Why would Jimmy care about what Tony does with the money?
Tony says nothing and shrugs his shoulders – because he figures Jimmy is wearing a wire.
Jimmy tells Tony the Columbian money was marked.
In turn, Tony tells Jimmy that he’s “a lucky man.”
Think about it: Jimmy is pinched for a gun charge (a serious crime), and he’s out on bail?
“Well, you’re out on bail on that conspiracy thing, right?” Tony asks Jimmy.
Another one of Tony Sopranos’s intriguing, intuitive qualities is sniffing out bullshit and playing passive-aggressive with whomever he’s questioning at the time.
Skeptically, Tony tells Jimmy that he’s “a lucky prick.”
Jimmy, Tony says, “gets pinched with a gun while he’s out on bail for something else and still be out in time for dinner.”
Who the fuck gets released from jail so quickly after getting pinched on a serious gun possession charge – while on bail for criminal conspiracy?
Nobody, that’s who – especially not Jimmy Altieri!
The FBI wants Tony. They don’t care about Jimmy.
Remember, it doesn’t take long for the FBI to flip someone.
The FBI would have probably offered Jimmy a deal similar to Big Puss’s – and then they’d wire Jimmy for sound and send him to Tony’s house.
You’ll remember that the FBI has been building a major RICO case against Tony Soprano for years.
Tony and Jimmy try incriminating one another while remaining in character to avoid suspicion.
Tony wraps up his and Jimmy’s powwow in the basement and offers him some lasagna.
Jimmy passes (another dead giveaway; Jimmy is a fat fuck) and tells Tony he has some collections to make from people late on payments.
“I gotta make sure they see my face, so otherwise, they think they’re off the hook.”
Now, pay attention!
Jimmy’s last line is brilliant.
He has to save face; otherwise, “people think they are off the hook.”
Tony tells Jimmy, “Yeah! I know how that goes.”
Here’s Why Jimmy Is A Rat
The last few seconds of Jimmy and Tony in the basement is genius writing.
Tony’s implying that Jimmy showed up at his house that evening after getting pinched to save his ass.
Jimmy speaks matter-of-factly about Tony’s interest in appearing like a trustworthy partner while goading Tony to acknowledge the illegal assets he’s referencing.
Meanwhile, Tony speaks in detached pleasantries to appear happy that Jimmy was released from jail while outlining the flimsiness of Jimmy’s story.
Jimmy tried tripping up Tony – but Tony knows better.
Hi, I’m Ryan Miner!
I’m the Skip, editor, and founder of the Glorified Crew Sopranos Blog.
I’ve been a die-hard fan of ‘The Sopranos’ for over 15 years.
With every rewatch, I’ve delved deeper into the layers, intricacies, and nuances that make the show a timeless masterpiece.
Beyond my passion for Tony and his crew, I am a writer, political blogger, digital agency owner, and healthcare marketing professional.
I blend my expertise with my love for ‘The Sopranos to bring you unique insights and perspectives on this iconic series.
Email me at Ryan@GlorifiedCrew.com.