Joe Pantoliano: Barry Wetcher
Gary Susman
October 15, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

To paraphrase a famous screen gangster, they got out, but David Chase keeps pulling them back in. Proving that not even death can end one’s ties to the Mafia, ”The Sopranos” is expected to bring back for a special episode several characters who were killed off (either by Tony and his crew, or by series creator Chase and his crew). According to the Hollywood Reporter, those awakened from sleeping with the fishes will be Sal ”Big Pussy” Bompensiero (Vincent Pastore), Richie Aprile (David Proval), Detective Vin Makazian (John Heard), Mikey Palmice (Al Sapienza), Philly ”Spoons” Parisi (Dan Grimaldi), and Jackie Aprile Jr. (Jason Cerbone). HBO is also reportedly in talks with CBS to work out scheduling for ”The Handler” star Joe Pantoliano, so that he can head back to Jersey to play Ralphie Cifaretto in the episode.

Chase and HBO have responded with omerta about the plot details, much less mentioned when during the upcoming fifth season the episode will run, but the Reporter’s source says the whacked guys will appear in a dream sequence. With that many ghosts, maybe they should be visiting HBO’s ”Six Feet Under” instead.

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