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Marc M. Woolman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 April 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2025
Posted: 20 October 2018 at 2:38am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I don't think you can compare
anything that has happened on
The Walking Dead,to the scene
of Ralph killing his pregnant
young girlfriend.

Much like a previous episode's
rape scene, The Soprano's
depicted the scene in a very
realistic manner.

No matter how gory the Walking
Dead might get, there is always
a huge suspension of disbelief
because the show is dealing
with Zombies.

Another important difference:
society in general REALLY does
not like to see violence
against women,and a young
pregnant woman ratchets that up
even more.

The Walking Dead has not shown
a pregnant woman get brutally
killed.
They've shown the after-
effects, female zombies, child
zombies, but they've stayed
away from actually showing a
zombie ripping apart a child or
pregnanct woman.

Edited by Marc M. Woolman on 20 October 2018 at 2:40am
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15355
Posted: 01 November 2018 at 11:23pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

“Second Opinion”.


A very dense episode, with a lot of character stuff going on. Nice to see that Big Pussy’s death still looms over Tony and his world. The use of the Big Mouth Billy Bass (definitely a touchstone for the era the show was filmed in)—and Tony’s violent reaction to it—is a nice touch.

Of course, Tony continues to grapple with his guilt over Pussy’s death, Angie makes things worse by causing Carmella to start asking questions. The scene where Tony intimidates Angie into only mentioning her financial problems to him manages to be both funny and disturbing. He’s willing to continue to guilt-pay her, but he doesn’t want to have to think about why he’s paying her.

Meanwhile, we also another funny intimidation scene, as Tony and Furio press down on Dr. Kennedy to answer Uncle Junior’s calls. It’s very in-character to have the paranoid Junior suggest that Tony might be trying to steer him toward inferior cancer care just so he can take full control of the family. The irony, of course, is that Tony is going out of his way to flex his muscles at Kennedy just for the sake of Junior’s peace of mind.

The plot line with Chris enduring his probationary period under Paulie’s thumb continues to be amusing. Tony Sirico is always a joy to watch, man. And the shadow of Big Pussy’s death certainly extends to Chris’ humiliating strip-search for a wire.

Edie Falco really shines in this episode, and, subsequent to my viewing, I read that her performance in this episode led to her winning the Emmy for Best Lead Actress. She knocks this one out of the parks, since she veers effortlessly from concerned mother to vulnerable therapy patient to emotionally-drained wife (who calmly asks her mobster husband for one small allowance of $50,000 as payment for years of infidelity and lying). 
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Marc M. Woolman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 April 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2025
Posted: 02 November 2018 at 5:15am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

If it's the scene I'm thinking
of, you might have misread it
a bit.
Tony is paying Big Pussy's
wife, Angie, because it is an
accepted part of being the
boss of a family, not out of
guilt.

While Tony obviously didn't
like Angie indirectly hitting
him up for more money, his
anger and frustration came
from seeing Angie is driving a
new and expensive luxury
vehicle, while crying hard
times.

Tony and Furiou intimidating
Dr. Kennedy on the golf course
is pure gold gold, though!
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15355
Posted: 02 November 2018 at 8:43am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I dunno, I think guilt is a factor in it. The scenes where Tony becomes enraged at the Billy Bass (because it reminds him of his fever dream of Pussy as a fish) and uncomfortably reaffirms his lie to Carmella about Pussy being in witness protection indicate his true emotions on the matter.

Yeah, he feels like Angie is unnecessarily hitting him up for extra cash, but also he takes a (relatively) softer touch with her than he normally might when he confronts her. There’s a sense of conflict in Gandolfini’s performance. It’s not purely anger and frustration over her encounter with Carmella. It almost reads to me like he’s more mad at her for making him think about Pussy and his death than it is about her and her behavior.
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15355
Posted: 18 November 2018 at 11:56pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

“He Is Risen”.


A very entertaining episode focused primarily on the tension between Tony and Ralphie. Joey Pants is always fun to watch, and he gets some good moments in this one, particularly when he awkwardly supplicates to Tony. Very amusing to see Johnny Sack trying to play Mafia matchmaker between Tony and Ralphie, too. And it’s perhaps a convenient plot contrivance to have Gigi die on the toilet, thus forcing Tony to bump Richie up to capo, but it works well in context, I think.

Meanwhile, the relationship between Meadow and Jackie Jr. is proceeding. No good can come of it, I’m sure. As is par for the course, Tony’s personal and professional lives are constantly being intermingled, often due to the actions of the people around him, rather than his own.

And, speaking of intermingled relationships, it’s interesting to see Dr. Melfi still grappling with her rape-trauma and her mixed feelings about Tony. She’s gone from considering using him to punish/murder her rapist to actually desiring comfort from him. The fascinating thing about their relationship is that so much of it is subtextual. It’s even gotten to a point where’s he’s all but openly talking about the nasty life he leads, but avoids hitting the nail on the head via the use of white lies and phrases like “put him out to pasture”.


The vocal cameo by Joe “Fat Tony” Mantegna was a nice touch, too. 
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15355
Posted: 28 November 2018 at 4:36pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

“The Telltale Moozadell”.

Another Michael Imperioli script, and it’s quite good. Lots of plot juggling in this episode, particularly centered around Jackie Jr., who is getting himself into all sorts of trouble. This is a kid who wants it all, and is willing to put his finger into any number of dangerous pies to make himself look good.

Lots of laughs in this one, too, such as Tony signaling Janice to wipe the excess cocaine from her nose, the hysterical meeting between the Sopranos and AJ’s principal, and Jackie using his “A” grade on his literature paper grade (a paper actually written by Meadow) as justification for his continuing to date Meadow. The funniest scene has to be the DRAGNET-style interrogation at the pizza parlor. Great stuff, man.

We also have an exploration of Tony’s full-blown affair with Gloria, which is clearly beyond anything he’s ever done before. Casually banging hookers and mistresses is one thing, but this is a legitimate affair, with dates, dancing, and gifts. Of course, Gloria is revealed to have attempted suicide after her last relationship failed, which does not bode well. Meanwhile, Dr. Melfi has clearly figured out what’s going on, and her reaction is an interesting mix of professional frustration...and perhaps jealousy.
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15355
Posted: 04 December 2018 at 4:53pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

“...To Save Us All from Satan’s Power”.


A very enjoyable Christmas episode. Well, at least as enjoyable as a holiday can be for Tony and his crew. The Ghost of Christmas Past—Big Pussy—looms large over this episode. This season has already hinted that Tony is still grappling with his guilt and mixed feelings over Pussy’s death, and now we see that the rest of the core crew are also still dealing with it (Paulie, in particular). Of course, the punchline to this episode is Meadow’s Big Mouth Billy Bass, which is a fine symbol of the fact that Tony Soprano can’t escape his sins.

Speaking of which, the biggest laugh in the episode—and there are many—has to be when Tony and Furio (wearing Santa hats and about to bestow the oh-so-thoughtful gift of a Christmas beating)—having finally tracked down Janice’s Russian attacker, go for a ride in his limo. The mob-Santa scene, with the shy Bacala getting cursed-out by a kid, is also a hoot.

There’s also the irony of Tony’s racism costing Meadow her relationship with Noah (a decent kid who was actually going somewhere), which was traded for her relationship with Jackie, Jr., who does nothing but lie and scheme. It’s one of Tony’s more subtle-yet-interesting character flaws that he is too often prone to blindly trusting people within his various families, be it his literal blood, his mob crew, or Italian-Americans in general. His particular code of ethics, his casual racism, and his expectation that his blood family will obey him has caused more than a few problems, after all.
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15355
Posted: 04 December 2018 at 6:15pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

“Pine Barrens”.


Even before I’d started watching the show, this was the one episode I’d always heard about, and which seems to be generally regarded as the series’ best.

It’s masterful piece of black comedy, that’s for sure. A perfect summation of what makes the show great: that deft blend of mob horror with absurdist humor. And it all boils down to Paulie’s arrogance and stupidity. Paulie is always a joy to watch. Paulie interacting with Christopher is that much better. Paulie and Chris getting lost in the woods and making complete fools of themselves? Pure gold.

SO many darkly hilarious moments in this episode, from Paulie executing his improvised carpet-shoe to Paulie and Chris devouring ketchup packets in the abandoned truck. The escalating ridiculousness of their predicament makes the episode fly by, that’s for sure.

And, of course, there’s the big loose end regarding the Russian’s whereabouts. My research indicates some pushback over the ambiguity, but I’m not bothered by it. That one bird’s eye POV shot and Paulie’s missing car are enough to indicate that he survived...for awhile, at least. I’ve read that this thread was never followed up on, and so it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a well-told and highly-amusing one-off, and it works well in that context. 


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 10 December 2018 at 9:22am
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Karim Adams
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 January 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 61
Posted: 08 December 2018 at 9:24pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The Pine Barrens episode is the reason why whenever I see a reference to Czechoslovakia (which is admittedly not often these days) or interior decorating, I think of Paulie and Christufuh.
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15355
Posted: 09 December 2018 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

You’re not gonna believe this. He killed sixteen Czechoslovakians. The guy was an interior decorator.



Maybe the best joke of the entire series (thus far).

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Marc M. Woolman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 April 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2025
Posted: 10 December 2018 at 2:11am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"His place looked like
shit".:)

The Pine Barrens does have one
major lasting consequence, but
it would be a spoiler to
reveal it.
(Though the Russian thread is
never again touched on)


Edited by Marc M. Woolman on 10 December 2018 at 2:19am
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