The Sopranos

The Sopranos: 10 Low-Key Villains On The Show

Obvious antagonists pop up in each season of The Sopranos, but there are also those who seem to cause nothing but trouble despite good intentions.

In The Sopranos, some characters make it clear from the outset that they have no intention of doing good deeds. For example, Richie tries to claim everything that isn’t his after being paroled, and Ralph hurts just about everyone in his life. Conversely, there are characters who appear decent on the surface, but they make life difficult for the primary and secondary protagonists.

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For some of these low-key villains, their actions stem from the subconscious. They have no idea that they are getting in the way of the main characters’ goals or that what they are doing is despicable. Others are well aware of what they are doing, but they truly believe it’s the right thing even when the consequences prove otherwise.

Dr. Elliot Kupferberg

Dr. Elliot Kupferberg advises Dr. Melfi to stop seeing Tony in The Sopranos

Therapists need therapy too, so Dr. Melfi begins visiting Dr. Kupferberg to shape her mental state. During their sessions, Kupferberg tries to convince Dr. Melfi to cut Tony off.

Dr. Kupferberg has mob-related phobia. He holds the blanket view that all mobsters are despicable humans, hence his goal becomes not to help Dr. Melfi sort her personal issues but to make her snub Tony. Kupferberg goes out of his way to manipulate Mefli, including breaking doctor-patient confidentiality by revealing to other therapists that her patient is the big bad New Jersey Don. The manner in which he influences Dr. Melfi works against Tony since she starts being cold. She eventually stops being Tony’s therapist, something that devastates the mob boss.

Furio Gunta

Tony welcomes Furio to the DiMeo Crime Family in The Sopranos

During his visit to Italy, Tony is in awe of Furio’s talents and requests one of the most likable mob bosses in The Sopranos, the Neapolitan Camorra’s Annalisa Zucca, to let him hire Furio. Zucca agrees, so Tony brings Furio to New Jersey to be his enforcer.

Furio is very good at his job but he angers Tony’s fans by setting his eyes on Carmela. His infatuation makes him despise Tony, yet the New Jersey Don has been the most generous and understanding boss he has ever worked for. Furio contemplates killing Tony too. Luckily, he comes back to his senses and flees back to Italy just before Carmela confesses to Tony that she has feelings for the enforcer.

Agent Dwight Harris

Agent Harris informs Tony about a planned hit by Phil Leotardo in The Sopranos

The FBI’s Newark Organized Crime Division Task Force star agent befriends Tony but only uses him to mine information. He does the same with other mobsters and manages to pit them against each other.

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By informing Tony that he is being targeted for execution by the Lupertazzi Crime Family, Harris kills any chance of reconciliation between New Jersey and New York. Both factions antagonize each other even further, leading to a deadly war that leaves several casualties, including top DiMeo mobsters like Bobby Bacalla and Silvio.

Irina Peltsin

Tony's mistress Irina cries after he breaks up with her in The Sopranos

Tony’s mistresses in The Sopranos generally don’t get to stay with him long, but Irina is an exception. She secretly sees the mob boss in the first two seasons before he cuts ties with her so she can be in a proper relationship with another man.

When she is with Tony, Irina has a positive opinion about extramarital affairs. However, when her cousin Svetlana starts seeing Tony, she becomes bitter and suddenly takes an anti-infidelity stance. Instead of simply confronting Tony about it, she calls Carmela and narrates Tony’s entire history of cheating. This prompts an argument between Tony and Carmela, resulting in a separation.

Father Phil Intintola

Father Phil greets Carmela at the Newark Catholic convention - The Sopranos

Preachers often have questionable morals in drama shows, and Father Phil maintains this trope. The priest is the giver of hope at the local cathedral, but he also enjoys flirting with the mob wives in The Sopranos.

Tony sees Father Phil for the hypocrite that he is, but the mob wives fully trust him, with Carmela describing him as her “spiritual mentor.” Yet he is anything but that. The trust makes them very generous toward him. Father Phil often takes full advantage of the generosity by being as gluttonous as he can be and sleeping over at the mob wives’ homes whenever their husbands are away.

Charmaine Bucco

Charmaine informs Carmela that she slept with Tony in The Sopranos

Charmaine was once Tony’s lover when they were younger. Though she is a good wife to Artie, she is envious of the lifestyle the Sopranos enjoy.

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A part of is regretful, She knows it could have been her enjoying the lavish gifts and money instead of Carmela. Her jealousy makes her try to torpedo Tony and Carmela’s tranquil marriage by revealing she once slept with the New Jersey Don. This causes Carmela to starts suspecting that he might have slept with many more women. Consequently, their relationship becomes strained. Charmaine also tries to dissuade Artie from spending time with Tony yet their friendship is the most genuine one on the show.

Johnny Sack

Johnny Sack has lunch at a New York restaurant The Sopranos

Johnny Sack is the most reasonable mobster among the New York crew. For this reason, he becomes very close to Tony. The two often have similar perspectives and don’t mind sharing secrets with each other despite being from rival crime families.

Surprisingly, Sack tries to destabilize Tony’s outfit on a number of occasions. He almost talks Paulie into switching sides from New York to New Jersey after realizing how disgruntled he is. He is aware that such a switch would weaken the the DiMeo Crime Family. Sack also tries to get Tony’s highest-earning Capo, Ralph, killed once a move that would have caused Tony to become financially strapped.

Benny Fazio

DiMeo Crime Family street soldier Benny Fazio hangs out with fellow mobsters

After getting released from prison, Benny Fazio establishes himself as one of the best street soldiers in The Sopranos. He is very reliable, with his notable achievement being the Rutgers University heist. He is also part of the team that hunts and executes Tony’s biggest enemy Phil Leotardo.

Nevertheless, Benny still carries himself as a villain at times, especially when dealing with Tony’s friend Artie. He starts dating the Vesuvio waitress Martina and makes plans with her to steal from customers. This greatly affects Artie’s income since American Express bans the establishment after flagging fraudulent transactions. Benny keeps doing this yet he is aware of how much Artie means to Tony. His actions not only hurt Artie but almost causes the collapse of one of the DiMeo mobsters’ favorite hangout joint.

Herman “Hesh” Rabkin

Hesh reacts to news of his wife's death in The Sopranos

Long time DiMeo Crime Family associate is a loan shark who has been wise enough to invest in many businesses. One of his businesses is the music production company “F-Note Records.” Since it’s renowned for produced stars, Christopher approaches him to help his girlfriend Adrianna kickstart her music career.

RELATED: 10 Most Unnecessary Kills In The Sopranos, Ranked

Having a preference for ready-made stars, Hesh places Adriana bottom in his list of priorities. Though Adriana is passionate about singing, Hesh comes up with the unfair conclusion that Adriana is destined to be nothing more than a mob wife. His dissuading Christopher against investing any more money in Adriana’s career leaves her with no other choice but to be what Hesh predicted. This in turn leads to Adriana being targeted by the FBI to become an informant.

Mary DeAngelis

Carmela's mother Mary DeAngelis reverses at the Soprano home parking lot in The Sopranos

Carmela’s mother likes to tag her husband Hugh along everywhere she goes. They have been married for over 40 years after all. She is loving towards Hugh and Carmela but she tries hard to puppeteer them.

Though she enjoys the perks that come with being part of a mob family, Mary hates the person who makes it all happen, Tony Soprano. She keeps planting ideas in Carmela’s head, suggesting she should leave Tony. When Carmela separates from him, Mary’s controlling nature gets even worse. She influences Carmela to bar Tony from family gatherings and pushed for an official force. But since most villains always lose, Carmela and Tony reunite.

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