It's been nine years, 77 episodes, a dozen or so dream sequences, a long trip to Purgatory, and a death toll too high to count since "The Sopranos" began its run back in January of '99. The first of nine final episodes debuts Sunday night, and we intend to send the show off properly. (It's the least we could do after Tony's been a loyal subscriber for so long, right?)
Look for my review of the final season's first two episodes on Wednesday. Sunday Spotlight will feature a package of "Sopranos" goodies, including profiles of the behind-the-scenes personnel who gave the show its Jersey flavor, plus a few essays on the show's legacy. And a week from today brings the return of Sopranos Rewind, my weekly dissection of each new episode.
But first, it's time for a refresher course on the first six seasons: how to tell Richie apart from Ralphie, why Phil Leotardo hates Tony so much, and pretty much every other useful bit of "Sopranos" knowledge. (Except, of course, what really happened to The Russian, because the writers are never, ever going to explain that one.) Your guide to season one is here today, and we'll take it season by season through Saturday.
Oh, and one very small hint about the new season: You may want to brush up on your Monopoly rules.
To read the whole episode guide (if you need the refresher), start here.