Sonny Steelgrave (Ray Sharkey)
“What’s a Vinny Terranova?”
The Steelgrave Arc
Steelgrave’s Victims
  • Pilot
  • Stan Dermott, Vinnie’s training partner, shot by Dave Steelgrave
  • Archie, Stan’s snitch, also shot by Dave Steelgrave
  • Norman Winfield, gun designer, beaten and electrocuted by Tony Greco
  • Dave Steelgrave, machine gunned by Rita Montenegro, Renaldo Sikes’ girlfriend
  • Three Steelgrave dock guards, shot by Rita Montenegro
  • Unidentified Steelgrave soldier, shot by Dieter Haas
  • Two policemen, blown up by Dieter Haas
  • Rita Montenegro, shot by Renaldo Sikes
  • Dieter Haas, shot by police
  • Renaldo Sikes, blown up by Steelgrave soldier
  • New Blood
  • Chuke Randellino, an old friend of Sonny, dies of an overdose
  • Angelo the pizza guy, Patrice’s hitman is accidentally blown up by Sonny Steelgrave
  • The Loose Cannon
  • Vinnie and Lorenzo have a showdown after Lorenzo rapes Gina, ending with Vinnie killing him.
  • The Birthday Surprise
  • Kikki Vanno, a business associate from Sonny, kills Vinnie’s boxing nephew Danny.
  • Sonny kills Kikki as “birthday surprise” for Vinnie.
  • One on One
  • The local police shoots Cassidy and five other gangsters.
  • Vinnie shoots one of Sid’s men who was interrogating McPike.
  • Sid lets Karen Leland be killed.
  • The Prodigal Son
  • A Deal’s a Deal
  • Philips, a crooked cop strangles another crooked cop.
  • Joe Romanowski shoots Philips.
  • McPike shoots Romanowski before he shoots Steelgrave.
  • The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  • Sonny strangles Patrice in front of the whole table and OCB-camera.
  • Aldo Baglia shoots Sculissi the following moment.
  • No One Gets Out of Here Alive
  • Sonny electrocutes himself.
  • Last Rites of Lucci
  • Philly Weinstein got killed by a bomb packet, that was meant for Lucci.
  • Mike, another FBI-agent in therapy, commits suicide.
Recurring characters: Sonny Steelgrave : Ray Sharkey; “Pat the Cat” Patrice: Joe Dallesandro; Sid Royce: Dennis Lipscomb; Harry “The Hunch”: Eric Christmas; Mack “No Money” Mahoney: Joe Shea; Don “Joey Bags” Baglia: Nathan Davis; Theresa Baglia: Martina Finch; Aldo Baglia: Robert Mangiardi

Wiseguy
(Original airdate: 9/16/87)
Writer: Stephen J. Cannell & Frank Lupo; Director: Rod Holcomb

(Two hour pilot) After serving 18 months in prison to set his cover, Vinnie is torn between his desire to tell his ailing mother that he’s a fed [agent number 4587] and wanting to go after the Steelgrave mob family, who were responsible for killing his training officer [Stan Dermont]. He fights his way into the [Atlantic City] organization [picks a fistfight with Sonny: “What’s a Vinny Terranova?”] and seems to be winning Sonny’s trust, then Dave’s death changes everything. Vinnie sets up Tony to make him look like a snitch, then proves his loyalty to the family by [apparently] killing the Fed who’s been hounding Sonny. Guest Cast: Dave Steelgrave: Gianni Russo; Tony Greco: Robert Miranda; Tracy Steelgrave: Jessica Steen; Stan Dermot: Leon Powell; Raya: Adriana Baron

New Blood
(Original airdate: 9/24/87)
Writer: David J. Burke; Director: Lyndon Chubbuck

After “making his bones,” Vinnie moves up in the Steelgrave family when Sonny gives him Tony’s old waterfront action. The pressure is on Sonny when “Pat the Cat” Patrice insists on installing accountant Sid Royce in the office to keep an eye on his interests, and to balance the power, Philly’s “No Money” Mahoney insists Sonny find a place for his man, Harry “the Hunch.” And, as if he doesn’t have enough to worry about, there’s a new district attorney who plans to make a name for himself by bringing Sonny down. Sonny and Vinnie are arrested for attempted murder when someone shoots at the DA and throws the gun to Sonny [a rifle left to Sonny by Dave]. Guest Cast: Serrera: Vic Polizo

The Loose Cannon
(Original airdate: 10/1/87
Writer: Stephen J. Cannell; Director: Larry Shaw

While trying to regain control over the men running his ghetto drug operation, Sonny gets a call from Italy asking him to take in his nephew and teach him the business. After getting into a fight with Lorenzo, Vinnie has Frank do a check and it turns out the guy is really an insane mass murderer [well, serial killer] who killed the real Lorenzo before coming to the States. Frank and Pete both warn Vinnie to break off his budding romance with Gina, the widow of a crooked cop who killed himself. Vinnie and Lorenzo have a showdown after Lorenzo rapes Gina, ending with Vinnie killing him [shooting him with a pistol in Gina’s house]. Guest Cast: Lorenzo Steelgrave: David Marciano; Gina Augustina: Yvette Heyden; Cecil Demont: Raymond Forchion

The Birthday Surprise
(Original airdate: 10/8/87)
Writer: Eric Blackeney; Director: Robert Iscove

Vinnie nearly blows his cover when he becomes obsessed with finding out who killed his cousin [Danny Tesio, a boxer from from Rhode Island], causing Frank to threaten him with dismissal. Frank desperately wants Vinnie to concentrate on nailing the Zaratzos [Minos and George from Crete], who are trying to arrange a drug smuggling deal with Sonny, because they killed one of Frank’s agents. [Kiki killed Danny with heroin. Sonny kills Kiki, and delivers the body to Vinny as a birthday surprise.] Guest Cast: George Zaratzos: Aharon Ipale; Kiki Vanno: Nestor Serrano; Leon: Sal Lopez

One on One
(Original airdate: 10/15/87)
Writer: Stephen J. Cannell & Stephen Kronish; Director: Reynaldo Villalobos

After several deals go sour, Sonny starts suspecting Vinnie may be a plant. Frank orders Vinnie to drop the case when he finds out the local police have an informer in Sonny’s operations. Sid has Frank picked up and tortured, but Vinnie and Karen rescue him. Karen’s disappearance points the finger at Sid as the leak. [Karen had been sleeping with Sid to gather evidence for the DA.] Guest Cast: Chief Yates: James Hardy; Karen Leland: Annette Bening; Cassidy: William Bronder

The Prodigal Son
(Original airdate: 10/22/87)
Writer: Carol Mendelsohn; Director: Charles Correll

Vinnie decides he must tell his mother the truth about his work when she is hospitalized after being mugged [by a Korean youth gang connected to Sonny’s organization but working in Pat’s territory]. Frank has Lifeguard bug Carlotta’s hospital room, then has a change of heart when Carlotta charms Sonny by telling him how much Vinnie loves him. Vinnie’s admiration for Sonny lessens when his own informal investigation into his mother’s mugging leads directly back to Sonny’s empire. Guest Cast: Manny Sica: Eddie Zammit

A Deal’s a Deal
(Original airdate: 10/29/87
Writer: David J. Burke & Stephen Kronish; Director: Charles Correll

When Sonny refuses to let Joey out of his contract, the singer goes to Mahoney to ask him to speak on his behalf. Mahoney tells Sonny he’s losing his power, so Sonny has two crooked cops rough Joey up, unaware that one of them is a loose cannon who crushes the singer’s voice box. After Frank interrogates them, the cops follow Frank and get pictures of him meeting with Vinnie, which they plan to sell to Sonny. Since Vinnie is now acting as Sonny’s “right hand,” Joey Bags insists that he be formally initiated into la famiglia. A confrontation between Joey, the cops and the mob bosses ends up with Joey and the cops dead, and Frank switching the photo of him and Vinnie with one showing him meeting with Patrice. [Frank to Sonny’s lawyer: “You know you have your hand on me?”] Guest Cast: Joey Romanowski: Billy Vera

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
(Original airdate: 11/5/87)
Writer: Eric Blackeney; Director: Zale Dalen

(Part 1) A staged argument between Sonny and Vinnie prompts Patrice to propose that Vinnie leave Sonny and come to work for him. Sonny is busy planning his wedding to Theresa while keeping an eye on the growing power struggle between him and Patrice. After Patrice tells Vinnie he’s going to hit Sonny in the morning, Vinnie arranges for Frank to arrive before the scheduled time to make the arrests. Sonny kills Patrice [garrotes him] at his bachelor party, then demands to know why Vinnie didn’t tell him about the hit.

No One Gets Out of Here Alive
(Original airdate: 11/12/87)
Writer: David J. Burke; Director: Robert Iscove

View Sonny’s final minutes on YouTube.

(Part 2) While Vinnie tries to reassure Sonny of his loyalty, Aldo calls to warn Sonny the cops are on the way, causing Sonny to flee, with Vinnie right behind him. They end up locked in a closed theater [Sonny went there as a kid] where they fight, drink and try to justify their lives. Meanwhile, Frank is distraught over Vinnie’s disappearance as he tries to get information from the other mob bosses. After he finds out Vinnie’s location, he arranges a rescue, which culminates in Sonny committing suicide [throws himself against the theater’s electric switches] and Vinnie being arrested to protect his cover.

Last Rites for Lucci
(Original airdate: 11/19/87)
Writer: Stephen Kronish; Director: Bill Corcoran

Distraught over the guilt he feels over Sonny’s death, Vinnie is ordered into therapy. Pete hears the confession of a man with a contract out on his life, and is torn between his vows and giving Vinnie the information he needs to help the guy out. Guest Cast: Lucci : James Andronica; Joe Matthews: Ricardo Gutierrez; Mike Stowiecki: Matt Landers