Monday, May 15, 2006

Johnny and Johnny Cakes

"The Sopranos," episode 10. From my review:
And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain. My friends, I’ll say it clear. I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain: Vito has lived free long enough, and now he wants to die.

The man is driving back to a place where all his old friends want to kill him, guzzling gin and listening to "My Way" on an endless loop. This is what you would call a suicide mission. And if you're wondering why Vito would bother killing that stubborn New Englander to escape the cops, it's simple: he's ready to die, but he wants to do it his way. Preferably with a big bowl of pasta first.

Vito's not the only one facing an end, though his should be more definitive than most. In the space of one deceptively busy hour, Johnny Sack pled guilty, Tony crushed Carmela's dreams of independence, Paulie revealed that he's battling cancer, Meadow edged closer to dumping Finn, and Tony finally made peace with Janice's role in his life.

David Chase and company have been using these final episodes to give each of their characters a moment or two at center stage before that final curtain. Three weeks ago, it was Artie's turn; the week after that, AJ. Last night, that curtain fell hard on Johnny.
To read the rest, click here. Then come back to comment. With this episode more than most, I felt like there wasn't nearly enough room for me to write about everything I wanted to. (Vito's inner monologue, for instance, was one of the biggest stylistic departures this show has ever done. Still not sure whether I liked it.)


Anonymous said...

Alan--One more thought for you on the timing--with all the Katrina talk, is it now supposed to be LAST winter or NEXT winter? It's probably the autumn of 2005, with Paulie's festival around October, enough time having passed for Tony to have used the "Heck of a job there Brownie" line last week. Which means Tony was shot in summer 2005, which means it was maybe a year and a half since the end of season 4, not two.

LV said...

I thought Sopranos was going off for good next month?

kevbo nobo said...

Whole lotta stuff going on during this ep, but one thing that made me smile is that both Janice and Tony are hip to Neil Young's love of toy trains. Do you think during Tony's dark phases he pops "Tonight's the Night" in the CD player, or "On the Beach?"

Tim G. said...

You have me watching Sopranos much more carefully than before. I listen to song lyrics, watch scene changes very closely now.

Did anyone notice the scene change from the bed scene with Vito (roll over), to the next scene with the train entering the tunnel?

Very (sick) gay humor...but what linkage!

I enjoy your analysis of the's the best on the web.

Tim G. said...

...oops I see you mentioned that tunnel thing in your column.

BTW-are you or anyone else here watching Big Love? I haven't seen any recent comments from you Alan on Big Love.

Your insights into it would be most interesting.

Ted said...

Paulie's having radiation, rather than chemo -- the line about his not losing his hair was meant to be a gag where we knowing viewers chuckle at the ignorance of the gangsters.