"Eloise" is the fifty-first episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and is the twelfth of the show's fourth season. It was written by Terence Winter, directed by James Hayman and originally aired on December 1, 2002.
Having promised Tony he'd talk to Carmine, Sr. about reducing his demands in the dispute over the HUD scheme, Little Carmine pays a visit to New Jersey to make good on his word over a round of golf with his father and Johnny Sack. Before Carmine Sr. arrives at the tee box, Johnny and Little Carmine confirm the plan. But when Carmine Sr. praises Tony's hardline approach and mentions that Tony could be like a son to him, Little Carmine becomes jealous. He disparages Tony and suggests that maybe the problem is Tony's overly friendly relationship with Johnny. This touches a nerve in Carmine Sr., who becomes irritated, smashes his golf club, and refuses to back down. Johnny is clearly annoyed by Little Carmine's shift in tactics. He later meets with Tony and Silvio at Carmine's new restaurant and offers a minor compromise; Tony, angry in part because Carmine will not deal with him face-to-face, rejects it immediately and later orders that the restaurant be vandalized.
Carmine uses his union influence to shut down work at the disputed project, the Esplanade. Tony decides to wait the dispute out, expecting the financial losses on both sides will quickly force Carmine into a compromise. Johnny Sack meets with Tony and raises the possibility of killing Carmine, surprising Tony.
In the Soprano household, Carmela and A.J. discuss a paper he is writing on Herman Melville's Billy Budd. Tony's callous behavior toward Carmela angers Furio, who has difficulty restraining himself when Tony calls his wife a "moody bitch." Tony remains oblivious of the growing romantic tension between Carmela and Furio. Carmela later visits Furio's house to discuss decorating, but a possible escalation of sexual tension is interrupted by one of her father's contractors.
Tony, Furio, and other members of the crew visit a Native American-owned casino in Connecticut. While most of the others carouse, Furio stands aloof. Later, as the drunken crew prepares to board the casino's helicopter for the flight home, Furio grabs Tony by the shirt front and appears barely able to restrain himself from shoving Tony into the spinning tail rotor. Furio tells the baffled Tony he was standing too close to the blades. The next day, Furio does not appear to pick up Tony when expected, and Carmela and Tony learn he has abruptly returned to Italy. Carmela and Rosalie Aprile have dinner at Nuovo Vesuvio. When Rosalie suggests Tony might have taken action against Furio, she becomes distraught and is later seen spending time crying alone.
Paulie Gualtieri's mother Nucci gets into a minor car crash - she is a backseat passenger when her friend Minn Matrone runs into a car in a parking lot. Paulie chides Minn at the emergency room where the women were brought; a doctor also asks her about her eyesight. Later, Paulie has lunch with Nucci, Minn, and another friend of hers, Cookie, and overhears Minn keeps her life savings in her home, under her mattress. After a rough-edged conversation with Silvio about his loyalty to the family reveals Tony's unhappiness with his declining financial contributions, Paulie runs into Carmine Sr. at a family wedding, only to learn that Johnny Sack has never informed the New York boss about his previous suggestions of a shift in loyalties, in fact he doesn't even know who he is. Deeply shocked, Paulie decides to steal Minn Matrone's cash to make up for his shortfall to Tony. When she appears unexpectedly to have been in the apartment the whole time during his burglary, she stumbles upon him in her bedroom, recognizing him. She threatens to call the police and then starts to scream. Paulie tackles her and suffocates her with a pillow. He then takes the large envelope of money to Tony.
A family dinner to meet Meadow's new boyfriend, Finn DeTrolio, at her shared apartment near Columbia, further dispirits Carmela. She gets involved in an argument about Billy Budd with Meadow and her roommates when she fiercely defends it as not having homosexual themes, as literary critic Leslie Fiedler and others interpret. Their annual mother-daughter birthday outing under the Eloise painting at the Plaza Hotel the next day turns quickly into hostile bickering. Carmela complains to Tony about her disagreements with Meadow. Meadow learns from A.J. about their mother's visits to Furio's home and her depression since he left. Tony later approaches his daughter getting ready for a skiing trip to Montréal for a candid talk about Carmela and reveals to a surprised Meadow he and Carmela both had couples counseling (at Dr. Melfi's) where he learned Carmela may be feeling "unfulfilled" and suggests Meadow that she treat her mother with more restraint. Meadow inquires if that is all Tony suspects, but, when he says yes, she does not reveal anything about Furio. Going to bed, Tony again converses with Carmela about Meadow, trying to make peace between them; when he asks his wife if seeing Meadow turning into a "smart, beautiful, independent woman" is not all she ever wanted, Carmela stares into a wall, seemingly deeply lost in thought, and then answers in an emotionless tone of voice, "Yes."
"Eloise" marks the final appearance of the character Furio Giunta, a DiMeo/Soprano crime family soldier imported from Annalisa Zucca's Camorra family in Italy. Furio is only mentioned in future episodes.
The title refers to the portrait, Eloise, at the Plaza Hotel, which is based on the books of the same name. Carmela and Meadow have a tradition, mentioned in the pilot episode, of eating lunch while seated in front of this painting.
As Meadow mentions going on a ski trip with her friends, Carmela warns her to be careful, and to remember what happened to Sonny Bono. Singer, actor and politician Bono died in a skiing accident in January 1998.