- The Sopranos portrayed informants and rats as villains, despite them doing the right thing by helping the FBI.
- Unlike other shows, The Sopranos allowed its main character, Tony Soprano, to live and move on, making the efforts of informants futile over the years.
- Many informants in The Sopranos met tragic fates or were unsuccessful in bringing down Tony Soprano and his crime family.
The storylines following The Sopranos informants and rats made for some of the most intense drama in the series. However, while this was a show about the mafia, it was a show about the criminals on the inside. This means that the protagonists were really the bad guys, with Tony Soprano as the main character that people followed throughout the show. It also meant that the informants and rats – the people who helped the FBI and did the right thing – really came across as villains for all intents and purposes.
When it comes to the Sopranos rats, almost none of them were good enough to help the FBI bring Tony Soprano and his crime family down. While shows like The Shield and Breaking Bad had no problem with bringing their “heroes” down in the end and making them pay for their crimes, The Sopranos allowed Tony to live and move on with his life, although there are some theories that Tony Soprano did die – but not to the police or court system. This means that every informant who turned over evidence on Tony did so for no reason, and most of them died without giving the police what they wanted.
10 Febby Petrulio
Though he only appeared in the series for a combined total of 15 minutes, Febby is remembered as the turncoat whom Tony Soprano strangled to death in the critically acclaimed episode “College.” Tony spotted him at a gas station while he was out looking for colleges with his daughter Meadow. Febby turned over evidence on the DiMeo family to the FBI, which led to convictions. The former mobster was the worst FBI informant because he had a good thing going in the witness protection program but ruined it. He got himself expelled from the program possibly for dealing drugs which put him out in the open, where Tony managed to kill him.
9 “Black” Jack Massarone
Construction company owner Jack Massarone was played by Tony easily. The mob boss orchestrated a protest at Jack’s construction company, forcing him to seek the DiMeo family’s help in stopping it. Tony promised to stop the protests if he got a cut of the business. Jack agreed but became disgruntled. He eventually began snitching. During his meetings with Tony, he wore a baseball cap with a concealed wire in it. However, Jack wasn’t confident enough, and Tony got suspicious, spotting him as an informant as a result.
Tony ultimately ordered a hit and Massarone’s body was found in the trunk of a car with a message specifically for the FBI. He played a very small role in The Sopranos and the fact Tony caught onto him so fast meant he couldn’t do anything to hurt the Soprano crime family.
8 Eugene Pontecorvo
Eugene’s career as a made man was decent until his dead aunt’s will named him heir to her fortune. His wife saw no need for him to continue to be in the mafia. She began pressuring him to quit, so they could move to Miami and live a peaceful life. However, his request to Tony was denied, and it soon emerged that Eugene was working with the FBI too. However, it is not clear when he became an informant, and it seemed to come from out of nowhere. The show never wrote him as a rat, and it felt like something was added on just to add tension.
The show never showed anything concerning his success as an informant. It didn’t help that he wanted out, but the feds also prevented him from moving to Miami with his wife to force him to bring down Tony. Eugene ended up being a poor informant and a poor member of Tony’s family since he felt trapped by both. Instead of continuing on, he took his own life to find his way out of it.
7 Jimmy Altieri
Capo Jimmy Altieri’s short stint as a Sopranos’ informant mostly stemmed from the fact that none of his seniors liked him. When a corrupt FBI agent told Tony that Big Pussy was snitching, Tony thought the agent confused Sal with Jimmy, since the two had similar body shapes. It doesn’t help that Jimmy kept asking too many questions, making Tony suspect him.
The FBI agent died without Tony confirming who he meant, so Soprano concluded Jimmy was the informant and not Sal. It turned out that both of them were working with the FBI. Silvio and Christopher eventually killed Jimmy, but he never did anything that seemed important other than being a red herring for Salvatore. Anything he did for the FBI remains a mystery.
6 Salvatore Bonpensiero
Big Pussy was the show’s most popular informant. It took a couple of years before any of his colleagues discovered that he was working with the FBI. It would have remained this way for a while, had Tony not had a weird dream suggesting Big Pussy was ratting. The character initially did a good job of covering his tracks and even killed a fellow mob member who spotted him talking to his FBI handler. And when he disappeared for a while, he lied that he went to a foreign country to seek treatment.
Salvatore became an informant when he faced life in prison, and he chose to inform against the Soprano crew to stay out of prison. This was a huge shock for fans, as for most of the series, Sal was one of the most popular members of Tony’s crew. In his last days, he began to enjoy his secret job a bit too much and started pursuing suspects like a cop, which led to his discovery and assassination on the boat. There is no telling how much information he gave the feds over the years, but the way things ended showed he wasn’t as good as he thought he was.
Adriana didn’t deserve what happened to her. The FBI tried hard to get her to cooperate but failed. First, the bureau used a female agent to befriend her, but this failed when Christopher hit on the agent, causing the friendship to crumble. The FBI then brought Adriana in to make her cooperate by force, but she avoided giving the agents any meaningful information. When threatened with a prison sentence for covering up a murder, she still refused to cooperate.
Adriana told Christopher, but instead of helping protect her, he told Tony, and he had Silvio whack her. Adriana never betrayed the Soprano family, and he murdered her anyway. This made her story one of the most tragic in the entire show. She never did anything to hurt the family, but there had been so many informants that they couldn’t take any chances. Adriana never deserved to die, and she was easily the best-told story of any informant because of this.
4 Larry ‘Lorenzo’ Barese
Lorenzo was often portrayed as a reserved and humorous member of the DiMeo crime family, hence it came as a surprise when it was later revealed he was an informant. The head of the Barese crew helped the FBI locate the body of a victim Tony killed over 25 years ago after they arrested Larry for numerous parole violations. Unlike many informants, he lived, although he was still awaiting trial at the end of the series.
Because he was able to deliver what the FBI wanted and never died, he was more successful than most informants. There are only a few people who turned on Tony who made it out alive, so the fact Lorenzo turned over such a small bit of evidence and still managed to make it to the end of the series speaks wonders to his work as a rat. Anthony Borgese, the actor who played Larry Barese, was a real-life member of the Gambino crime family (via).
3 Carlo Gervasi
It’s impossible to like the homophobic Carlo Gervasi. He exposes Vito’s sexuality, causing the mobster to flee to avoid getting killed and despite being given plenty of responsibility, he isn’t good at his job, as Tony complained that Carlo was a poor earner. Carlo’s case is an unfortunate one because he stayed loyal for so long only to turn against his colleagues in the series finale. Garlo decided to cooperate with the FBI in order to cut a deal for his son who was picked up on drug-related charges. Despite his annoying traits, Carlo never got killed, making him one of the most successful of the Sopranos informants.
2 Jimmy Petrille
In the Season 5 finale, it emerged that the consigliere had been an informant since 1981. Since events in the episode took place in 2004, Petrille’s status as a rat stretched across 23 years. Petrille’s cooperation gave the FBI plenty of meat to enable them to go after the Lupertazzi underboss Johnny Sack. The police raided Johnny’s house when he was with Tony. Luckily, Tony managed to escape. Tony then learned that Petrille was the snitch, but he never gave up any information on the DiMeo family.
Petrille wasn’t killed for ratting either, but it’s alleged that he went into the witness protection program after the major bust. It seems surprising that there were so many rats within the Soprano crime family, but for Jimmy, he was another surprise revelation. The fact that he did this for over two decades, and never got caught until he was able to go into hiding, shows his incredible success as an informant.
1 Raymond ‘Buffalo Ray’ Curto
Ray was the best informant because his snitching activities never get discovered by his fellow mobsters. He died with his secret when he suffered a stroke in an FBI agent’s car. Given his age and numerous appearances, it’s possible he managed to give the FBI plenty of incriminating information. His motivations for ratting are never revealed though it’s suggested that it has to do with his son’s expensive medical treatment. Ray had to be on the outside so that he could keep earning and pay for his son’s medication. Ray was one of the few Sopranos informants who made it out of the show without anyone knowing what he did.
- Release Date:
- James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Sirico, Robert Iler, Jamie-Lynn Sigler
- Crime, Drama
- David Chase
- HBO Max
- Streaming Sevice:
- David Chase
SOURCE : screenrant.com