"The Sopranos," episode six. Here's the opener from today's review:
Did you hear the one about the Jersey mobster who walked into a Norman Rockwell painting of New England? Neither did I, because usually you can't get there from here.To read the rest, click here. Then come back to comment.
My hat's off to David Chase and company for once again defying expectations. I read a lot of theories in the last week about Vito: that he was going to kill himself in that motel, that he was going to turn federal witness to avoid the wrath of Tony and Phil, that Phil would find out before Tony and blackmail Vito into helping him get revenge for his brother. That last one was mine, and it was about as far away from what they actually did as the friendly confines of Dartford, New Hampshire are from the valley of the malls that Vito fled.
No strip clubs and big box stores allowed in Dartford, no sir. In Vito's picture-postcard hideout, his landlady doesn't need cash in advance, the local diner makes its own sausages and, most importantly for Vito, a gay couple fits right in.
That Vito should find safe harbor in a place marinating in its own authenticity makes sense, since his inability to be who he really is drove him out of Essex County.
This episode was called "Live Free Or Die," but in Soprano country, it's not a choice but a combination: Live free and die.