Sunday, April 16, 2006

Heeeeere's Johnny Cakes!


"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.

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.
To read the rest, click here. Then come back to comment.

10 comments:

Eric said...

Some things I noticed last night - Tony's losing touch with his guys. The magazines he was trying to read? "Yachting" and "Robb Report." It seems to point out just how much more money Tony is making than any of his crew.

At the same time Tony's feeling the impulse to bring the Family into the 21st Century, he's also reaching back to Italy - and to a Family with a female boss. Also significant given Angie's side business.

I've also been thinking that as much as Tony doesn't want AJ involved in the business, he may start to think that Meadow is another story.

Louis said...

Hey Alan, your link goes to last week's column -- which is actually a good thing, since I haven't seen last night's episode, but I'm so lacking in will power that I'm drawn to a spoiler-filled review.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Thanks for the catch, Louis. It's fixed now. Our website is so wonky that there are days where I just want to post the complete text of every article right here.

zozanee said...

Any discussion about bringing the funny has to include Tony's: "He's a come-from-behind kind of guy" said with a perfectly straight face.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Oh, I wanted to reference that, and the "catching, not pitching," and all the many, many other gay jokes, but there's a line you have to walk when you're writing for a newspaper as opposed to a blog. Thanks for mentioning it.

Josie said...

hey, this may seem like a silly question but what exactly did it mean when they said that Angie was "putting money on the street"?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Josie, it means Angie's loan-sharking, in addition to trafficking in stolen car parts with Benny and Patsy.

Adam said...

I had a real problem with the jokes, though -- it was sort of a "have your cake and eat it" by Chase and the gang: entertain the audience by making them laugh at the many ways you can refer to a homosexual in Italian slang and otherwise, and yet let them feel morally superior to the characters because, of course, We Don't Think Like That Anymore.

Sars said...

"Tony's deliberate inaction with the building inspector" -- interesting. I don't see this as deliberate, or even conscious, so much as that things in Carm's life that don't have to do with Tony very directly kind of don't register with him.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You could be right, Sars. I think it's one of those subconscious things where, even if he doesn't realize it, Tony doesn't want Carm to succeed and get independence.