Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sopranos Rewind: Livia's legacy, Bacala's broken heart

The season's first Rewind column is up at NJ.com, but you can comment on it (and the episode, obviously) here.

25 comments:

Crewgrrl said...

Watching the Sopranos is such a weird experience. I feel like the girl who dates the wrong guy hoping he'll change. I want Tony to change. But he doesn't. He's a monster. But I know deep down inside he's a great guy and someday he'll be the man I want him to be if I just keep watching.

Benaiah said...

Talk about a powerhouse episode. I didn't immediately see the Tony as Livia connection you mentioned, but it definitely brings it home for me. I think it is a little more complicated, since obviously Janis does plenty of Livia-esq evil and Tony taking out Ralph was impulsive like Johnny, still a great insight.

I love the hubris of Tony getting an automatic weapon as a present the day after he gets arrested on a gun charge.

I thought the scene where Tony tells Carm that he could have beat Bobby if it wasn't for the throw rug was revealing of how Hobbsian Tony's world is. He thinks the only reason his wife of twentysome years is with him is because she thinks he is a real man, as evidenced by winning fights. To say that Tony is a throwback to caveman primitive masculinity doesn't begin to describe how primal that idea is.

How do people feel about Janis's parenting by remote control approach? "Put her to bed." I don't think it is possible to dislike someone more than I dislike Janis. What an amazing character.

It is so good to have this show back (did I say that already)!

Adam said...

Janice is about as loathsome as they come -- emotional violence to her family, fundamentally does not understand her husband, and lousy as a parent. I'm just glad waterfowl made their appearance.

Alan, can you walk us through a bit more about Phil's crew?

SJ said...

I love the term "verbal diarrhea" used by Carmela. What is going on in Janis' mind?? She brings up Richie to see if Tony hits Carmela? So screwed up.

What a tense episode. Seeing Bobby fight Tony really was something. Tony truly is a monster...what was he doing going into their room so late at night?

Kudos to David Chase and everyone else involved. Great writing, directing and especially acting.

Funniest scene? Michael Imperioli's 10 second cameo. Hilarious!

Donlee said...

I remember on the audio commentary on I believe the fourth season finale, the writers talked about what makes Tony such an appealing character is that he's a good boss, as evidenced by him getting the upper hand on the house he laid a down payment on that he no longer wanted to buy.

The most obvious revenge for Tony would've been to kill Bobby. He did indeed get sucker punched and he is the boss. He couldn't just let it go, so he took the only thing he could from Bobby that would truly mean something, his innocence. Cold, calculated, but undoubtedly effective.

I just feel sorry for Bobby since he dropped that gun there. That surely means his prints are on it and he's going down, no?

Edward Copeland said...

I'm glad the show finally explicitly said that Bobby had never killed anyone because I remember last year mentioning that he was the only wiseguy who had never been seen inflicting much violence. I thought it was a great episode. You almost think that Bobby wishes Tony had just killed him instead of turning him into an actual killer (besides, he still has to live with Janice.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, can you walk us through a bit more about Phil's crew?

The only ones of note, especially given where things are going next week, are Gerry The Hairdo and Doc Santoro. (Plus Little Carmine, but we know all about him.) That's one of my few problems with any storyline about tension in New York: we barely know who any of these guys are.

I just feel sorry for Bobby since he dropped that gun there. That surely means his prints are on it and he's going down, no?

He was wearing rubber gloves. The shirt could cause a problem, but in general, Chase has even more contempt for the abilities of law enforcement than he does for the wiseguys. There have been plenty of murders in the past where Paulie or Christopher or someone would have to have left a few gallons of DNA evidence lying around, and it's never come back to bite them. Just not something Chase is interested in writing about.

Alan Sepinwall said...

think it is a little more complicated, since obviously Janis does plenty of Livia-esq evil and Tony taking out Ralph was impulsive like Johnny, still a great insight.

Absolutely. I'm just saying there's more crossover than I had always assumed. Also, Tony only killed Ralphie after he had already tried several Livia-esque punishments on him, including making Ralphie be the one to decide Jackie Jr.'s fate, plus essentially stealing Pie-O-My and Valentina from him.

Old Man Snap said...

I enjoyed the call back to Tony tossing his gun in the snow. I enjoyed Monopoly. Who hasn't argued like that over the game?

I enjoyed the sucker punch, and Tony's ultimate payback.

And the scene with Chris?

"Hey T, just wanted to wish you a belated happy birthday--" *click* was fantastic.

Alan, I appreciate the warnings about last night's episide being slow.

I hope the "this is slow and boring" folks stay mum.

I'd like to enjoy the final episodes as they are -- the end of a defining series in American Television.

Benaiah said...

I loved that Tony called him out for the sucker punch, especially since Tony used it to great effect last season to beat up Muscles Marinara. The rules only apply when they are in his favor.

Carm was looking really good last night, especially in that swim suit. Edie Falco isn't a classic beauty (well, maybe she is) especially with that Jersey Accent, but she is such a sensuous character. Her restrained sexuality that only pops up here and there (I died laughing when she popped up between the covers).

paul c. said...

I really don't see Bobby as a "victim" here. (Of course, the victim would be the dead guy in the laundromat). At least not a victim of Tony. If anything, Bobby is the victim of his own bad choices, and last night completed his fall. As he said last night, his father never wanted him to be a gangster. But Bobby joined up anyway. And once you're in, you're in all the way. There's no such thing as a "nice guy" gangster, and Tony ripped away the illusion that it is possible to be such by ordering Bobby to do the hit. I also note that Bobby didn't exactly hesistate about killing the guy.

That's not to say that Tony isn't a monster. He has been all along. At the height of "New Tony," he was ordering hits as a favor to the NYC crew.

I should say, I thought this episode was quite good, and I'm grateful for Alan's comments last week. The episode had an intensity about it that much of season 6-A lacked.

TL said...

I just feel sorry for Bobby since he dropped that gun there. That surely means his prints are on it and he's going down, no?

He had surgical gloves on, so no prints. Totally based on TV and movies, there seems to be 2 schools of thought on what to do with a murder weapon: 1) leave it at the scene with no prints so the cops find it but can't ever trace it to you, or 2) keep it and dispose of it somewhere where it won't ever be found, but risk being caught with it in the meantime.

dez said...

Despite its slowness, I really enjoyed last night's ep. All the tension, all the foreshadowing, all of it (well, maybe not so much Janice, bleah).

I can't imagine them showing us Bobby's shirt (and possibly some chest hair!) being ripped by the victim if it won't come back to bite him (and Tony) in the ass. Then again, they did show us that frickin' grenade...

chris said...

"When Tony started asking Janice, "I'm different how? How am I different?," I can't have been the only one to flash back to the "Funny how?" scene from "Goodfellas," can I?"

I got a little nostalgic for "Goodfellas" in that scene and Frank Vincents/Phil Leotrado's return ("Now go get you're fu*!ki&ng shinebox!"), though that is admittedly a fairly loose connection.

Edward Copeland said...

One thing the show has never address is how the third Soprano child, Barbara, seems to have escaped that household unscathed.

TL said...

I would be shocked if the ripped shirt ever pays off, possibly even moreso than if Christopher uncovered that Mohamhed and Ahmed were part of a terrorist sleeper cell

floretbroccoli said...

Bobby's leaving the gun at the scene is a callback to One, where Michael is told to drop the gun, but do it quietly so pain-in-the-neck innocent bystanders think he still has it, and don't try to act the hero.

I found myself wondering if the gun had the special tape that doesn't leave fingerprints on it.

Donlee said...

And can we please talk about how awesome "This Magic Moment" at the end was? I've rewatched this ending half a dozen times since last night. It's just fucking beautiful.

dez said...

I would be shocked if the ripped shirt ever pays off, possibly even moreso than if Christopher uncovered that Mohamhed and Ahmed were part of a terrorist sleeper cell

Yeah, I forgot what show I was watching for a moment :-)

donlee, I agree, that was a very good use of music at the end. Now will someone please take Nica away from Janice? Hell, even AJ would probably make a better parent than she does.

dez said...

Oops, one more thing: Where's Finn? I've completely forgotten his and Meadow's status (stupid lengthy hiatus).

Alan Sepinwall said...

Finn and Meadow's status will be explained in episode two.

Danny said...

Here's the thing that, in the three days since "Soprano Home Movies" aired, I don't think has been mentioned anywhere (at least anywhere I've seen):

So Tony gets pinched for having a gun with untraceable, hollow point bullets. The kind it's fairly safe to assume all the mob guys are carrying. When Janice finds out, she point-blankly tells Baccala "If you have hollow points in anything, you need to take them out." And Baccala does, because at the end of the episode we hear the bullet rattling around in the laundromat's dryer. So now we have a traceable bullet? Is this something anyone should worry about?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Bobby left the whole gun (presumably an untraceable one without fingerprints, since he was wearing gloves) behind, so the type of ammo wouldn't matter, I don't think. The issue with hollow-point bullets for law-enforcement is more about the damage they can do than their traceability.

BEC said...

I know this is an unnecessary aside, but it looked to me - especially on second viewing - that Tony almost killed Bobby and only "lost" the fight after Carmela jumped on his back. That fight was just too awesome coming right after Tony's "people will think we're dysfunctional" line.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite things about the episode was, that in an episode largely devoted to the effect of aging on "manhood", we're given the image of Tony getting a BJ (on the morning of his birthday, no less) that initially could have easily been mistaken for a shot of Tony having a heart attack.