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Karim Adams
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Posted: 08 December 2018 at 9:24pm | IP Logged | 1 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
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Posted: 09 December 2018 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 2 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
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Posted: 10 December 2018 at 2:11am | IP Logged | 3 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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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 January 2019 at 11:50pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

“Amour Fou”.


A great episode to set up the season finale. Lots of plot movement, here. 

For starters, we get more of Carmella’s quiet desperation as she rethinking her life, ranging from fears of cancer to possibly seeking to be more than just a homemaker (as evidenced by the real estate book). I find it fascinating that she confesses at the churchthat her livelihood comes from crime and blood money, and yet she still describes Tony as “a good man”.

Meanwhile, Tony and Gloria’s relationship has, unsurprisingly, gone into meltdown mode. The season has been building up to this, of course, but I didn’t expect that moment where Tony has the epiphany about Gloria being yet another reflection of his mother. I also half-expected her to commit suicide by season’s end, so I was surprised when it looked like Tony might actually murder her, and amused when Patsy got the job of warning her off. 

Of course, the standout part of this episode is Jackie Jr.’s idiotic plan (accidentally inspired by Ralphie and his backstory) to rob the card game. It’s neat to see Jackie and Chris bounce off of each other, since they’re not dissimilar in terms of their ambition and temperament. Except that Jackie is less smart than he thinks he is, whereas Chris can be smart when his emotions don’t run away with him.The shootout is really tense and exciting, and tough-guy Furio’s reaction to being shot is darkly humorous.

Some standout stuff with Joey Pants in this one, too, from the aforementioned backstory for Ralphie (and how the clap forever ruined his chances of promotion), to his sit-down with Tony in the aftermath of the botched heist, to his trying to console Rosalie over his lie about Jackie, Jr. going on the run because of a drug problem.

I also see that Gandolfini won another Emmy for this episode, and, yeah, it’s well-earned. He runs the gamut of emotions, here. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 January 2019 at 12:28pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Managed to catch a cast reunion on TODAY...uhhh...today, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the show’s premiere.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 January 2019 at 12:09am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

“Army of One”.


A great episode, and a great season finale. On a lesser show, the finale would focus on the search for the fugitive Jackie, Jr. and the depiction of his final fate. Here, his casual murder at Ralphie’s order in Act One serves as the inciting incident for a moody and tightly-scripted exploration of the characters and their relationships, rather than a plot-driven mob chase/revenge story.

Tony, in particular, is especially grim and moody—to the point of actually hitting AJ (whose prominence is a nice change of pace, since he’s usually more of a background character, at this point). That being said, this episode does have some precision-strikes of humor. Most notably, the ever-opportunistic Janice trying to promote her music at Jackie’s viewing, and Uncle Junior running for his life at the funeral after he sees Silvio and Chris being arrested by the Feds. The scenes at AJ’s high school and at the military school are also priceless, as is Paulie’s mother’s joyous reaction (the complete opposite of Livia Soprano’s) to being taken to the retirement community. 

Speaking of the Feds, I was pleasantly surprised to see Lola Glaudini (who I know best from the early seasons of CRIMINAL MINDS) as “Danielle”. Although, in researching trivia for this episode, I see that the character’s scenes were refilmed with Glaudini after the episode originally aired, due to the role being recast.

It’s also quite interesting to see Carmella still basically living in a state of denial about Tony’s mob life, and that it was the direct cause of Jackie’s death. See even twists Meadow (who has the situation correctly pegged) into a similar state of denial.

The episode is particularly strong, with a real sense of foreboding to it. A really solid capper to another excellent season.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 January 2019 at 12:15am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

...and I just found the original footage of Fairuza Balk as “Danielle” from the original airing of the episode. Since the scene is almost entirely shot/reverse shot between her and Drea de Matteo, it was clearly very easy to just insert the new shots of Glaudini. The only major reshooting would be in the last shot, where Adriana and “Danielle” leave the store together.

Ah, the magic of editing.


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 January 2019 at 8:19pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/%e2%80%98sopranos%e2%80 %99-prequel-film-finds-young-tony-michael-gandolfini-is-chip -off-old-block/ar-BBSBQcU?ocid=ientp
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 February 2019 at 5:44pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

“For All Debts Public and Private”.


The fourth season brings the show into the post-9/11 world, which is something I was anticipating. I figured the shot of the twin towers would be removed from the opening titles, and the overall tone of the episode reflects the mood of the country during that period.

A clear plot point which is developing is the division between Tony and his crew. Lack of trust and fear of betrayal is an undercurrent with many members of the crew. Tony’s feelings of family loyalty are clearly diminished, and his sad hope that the ducks will return is a nice bit of symbolism. As is his hiding away cash in the bags of duck feed.

Meanwhile, Christopher is becoming more and more unhinged. Aside from using heroin and cocaine, the clearest sign of his lack of caring is that he doesn’t care whether or not Lt. Haydu actually killed his father. And it’s left ambiguous as to whether or not Tony has lied to him about this in order to exert more control over Chris so as to use him as a safety buffer to avoid incrimination. 

I find an interesting contrast with BREAKING BAD, since Carmella actively implores Tony to prepare for his family’s financial future, but he already has it taken care of. And he’s keeping Carmella out of the loop so as to not incriminate her. 

Ralph and Janice are a match made in...somewhere. Oy.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 March 2019 at 7:22pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

“No-Show”.

A really solid episode, with a lot of great little moments. I find myself kinda wondering what a miniseries about Paulie’s time in jail would be like. And the relationship between Ralphie and Janice is several flavors of unholy. 

Lots of interesting developments in this one, from Silvio testing the waters regarding Tony’s reaction to his deliberate disobeying of orders to Christopher getting a swelled head over his taking over as acting capo of Paulie’s crew.

More importantly, we see the personal ramifications of Tony’s handling of the Nsckie, Jr. situation on Meadow, to the point where he actually seems to be considering letting her run to Europe so he doesn’t have to be faced with his guilt over the misery he’s indirectly caused her. 

Two great scenes near the end of this one, too—Meadow dispensing with pretense by calling Tony out as a mob boss, and Adriana being picked up and sweated by the FBI, complete with her projectile vomiting. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 03 April 2019 at 4:56pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

“Christopher”.


You’d think that the title was referring to our Christopher, but, no, it turns out to be all about Christopher Columbus. Although Michael Imperioli did co-write this episode, so maybe it’s a bit of a sly joke.

The whole dynamic of the Native Americans protesting the Columbus Day parade, and the Italian Americans taking a stand against the protest is very interesting. This show has often delved into race and social issues with some good degree of insight (and humor), and this episode might be my favorite example. It may also be the most passionate and articulate we’re ever seen Silvio get on any issue, which speaks to his character, I suppose. 

Lots of good laughs in this one. Ralphie and Janice’s relationship continues to horrify me, but her therapy sessions (which play very much as a riff on the usual Tony/Melfi sessions) are quite funny. As is her finding the most ridiculous excuse to dump Ralphie (he didn’t take off his shoes when he came into her home), and then knocks him down the stairs.

Very fun to see Paulie gleefully stirring up trouble (throwing both Tony and Ralphie under the bus in regards to their dealing with Johnny Sack) from behind bars. Yep, I really would like to see a miniseries detailing Paulie’s days in jail. 

Tony’s insight into the Columbus Day controversy is quite interesting, too. Of course, Tony being Tony, Columbus is “an American hero” in his household, but he’s nowhere near as worked up as Silvio is over the protests, and his point about how people should have self-esteem based on personal accomplishments, and that people shouldn’t be looking to be grouped into victimized classes remains incredibly relevant.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 03 April 2019 at 11:01pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

"Meadow dispensing with pretense by calling Tony out as a mob boss"

--

I was getting so psyched when I first saw the beginning of that scene, because I thought it was going to show Meadow finally realizing that her father is a murderer that is directly responsible for the murder of her boyfriend. But no, they ended up backtracking on that as usual.


Edited by Vinny Valenti on 03 April 2019 at 11:03pm
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