1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Your 5 Favorite Sopranos Episodes

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Double Down, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Lot of lists being put together this weekend as we lead up to episode 86 and say goodnight. Some are downright odd, but I enjoyed this one:


    Share your own. It's easy to pick a favorite episode, or throw out a random thought like "the first part of season 6 sucked," but let's do this High Fidelity style, in tribute to, if not the great television show ever, certainly one of the greatest. Pick your Top 5 (or top 10 if you'd prefer) episodes, and if you can, mention why you liked them.

    Here is a list to help you remember names, plots, etc.


    1. Whitecaps -- In my opinion, it's still the series finest hour. The perfect blend of Tony's mob family and his real family in crisis. The scene with Falco and Gandolfini in the garage still gives me chills. I love that they call one another on their bullshit. I love the fact that John Sac quotes Macbeth ("the days creep by at this petty pace") when Tony tells him he's not going to go ahead with the hit on Carmine. I love how Chase teases you with the happy ending -- the promise of Tony and Carmela watching their kids and grandkids at their place on the shore -- then tears it apart. Love the Deano at the end.

    2. Unidentified Black Males -- I love this one because it's my favorite therapy session with Melfi. Tony admits that a panic attack after a fight with his mother, not a mugging by a bunch of black guys, kept him from joining his cousin Tony B the night he got pinched while jacking a truck. "Sometimes what happens in here is like taking a shit," Tony says to Melfi. "I prefer to think of it as childbirth," Melfi says. "Trust me," Tony responds. "It's like taking a shit." The stuff where Finn proposed to Meadow to save his own ass after he sees Vito blowing a guy is ok, but what I really love is the final shot of this episode where Meadow calls her mom to say she's getting engaged, and Carmela is looking out her bedroom window at Tony in the pool, splashing water on himself. She thinks Meadow is happy, that Meadow has everything she doesn't (when in reality, Meadow is in an equally loveless relationship) and she starts to cry as Bobby Darin sings a version of "If I were a Carpenter" as the credits roll.

    3. Long Term Parking -- This is an easy pick, if only for Michael Imperioli's acting chops when Drea de Mateo tells him she's been working with the FBI. You can see Chris' mind spinning right before he chokes her, and it's about three of the most intense minutes the show has ever done. It's also the episode where Tony and Carmella agree to get back together after he agrees to finance her spec house, and I love, love, love the song that plays ("Wrapped In My Memory" by Shawn Smith) as the credits roll. You also get Tony telling Johnny Sac to go fuck himself, and Chris cracking jokes about how the "highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive" with Steven Van Zandt sitting right there, stone faced. I love the decision, also, to not show Chris tellling Tony that Adriana went to the feds so that there's a bunch of tension when she's in the car with Sil supposedly going to the hospital to see Chris. Still, the last shot of Tony sitting on a tree stump struggling to breathe, realizing everything that's gone down, as the camera pulls away and the music starts to play is beautiful.

    Here is the music, by the way:

    4. Employee of The Month -- Melfi is raped, and as the viewer, you want her to go to Tony to get revenge. Chase doesn't let it happen. Maybe the best ending of any episode in the series. No music, just a black screen after Tony asked "Is there something you want to tell me?" and Melfi says, "No."

    5. College -- It was interesting to read the Vanity Fair article about The Sopranos a few months ago and see just how much HBO didn't want to let Chase shoot this episode the way he wanted. They couldn't understand how anyone could get behind Tony Soprano as a lead character if they say him kill a rat in cold blood. But Chase stuck to his guns, thank god. Even though the whole episode is like a short story, and would work even if you didn't have some of the back story, I love the scene with Gandofini and Sigler in the car where she asks him if he's in the mafia. You also get Tony looking at the Nathanial Hawthorne quote as he takes Meadow to Bowdoin , which may serve as the summary of the whole series. "No man... can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one may be true."

    Honorable mentions:

    D-Girl (Love the scene where Pussy weeps in A.J.'s bedroom during his confirmation);

    Pine Barrens (as the guy in the blog link points out, the entire reason the Russian can't come back is because it then destroys the tension of this whole episode. It's great television BECAUSE we don't know if the Russian is out there stalking Paulie and Chris "with his cock" and we'll never know for sure.);

    Kennedy and Heidi: This one should probably be Top 5, but I'll revisit the list in a year. I still contend Comfortably Numb is about Tony, not Chris, and that he's numb to the awful things he's done, and that this episode is about showing us he's evil, and always was, and that therapy was a joke. The child is grown, the dream is gone, I have become, comfortably numb.

    University: Most brutal beating ever when Ralph kills Tracee. Great stuff with Meadow getting her heart broken after losing her V-Card. This one should be in the Top 5 too, but it just misses my own personal list. It's easily one of the most daring things TVs ever done.

    Soprano Home Movies: As I said before, almost like a beautiful short story. Love the shot of Tony smoking a cigar looking out at the lake, a man whose physical powers have diminished, but not his capacity for evil deeds. Great tension too between Jancie and Carmella as they wait for Tony and Bobby to return from "golfing."

    The Test Dream: Everyone hates this one, but I really liked it. Dreams on the Sopranos are almost exactly like dreams in real life. Some stuff makes sense, some stuff doesn't, but they're random and crazy, and things switch every 10 seconds. There's some insight to be found, but not always. It's the only show that's ever really gotten dreams right, I think.

    You turn.
  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    You, my friend, should be writing about TV as well as sports.

    That's some really good stuff right there.
  3. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    1. Whitecaps
    2. The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti ("It happens", best pop-culture reference/homage I have ever seen)
    3. The Knight in White Satin Armor
    4. College
    5. Long-Term Parking
  4. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    I can't argue with either Top 5 listed here thus far, but I've got to add Pine Barrens.

    The sight of Paulie and Chrissy sucking frozen relish and ketchup out of that Nathan's bag in the van, and Chrissy telling Paulie the Russian was 'an interior decorator who killed like 20 Czechoslovakians' was the height of comedy.
  5. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    My absolute favorite is University.

    I'll have to think about the rest.
  6. Dedo

    Dedo Member

    1. From Where To Eternity: So much of this series is about characters in denial. This is the episode in which the cold, hard truth smacks them in the face. Chris visits the afterlife, and doesn't like what he sees. When he tells Carmela he didn't go to heaven, but rather to hell, it's one of the most emotional moments in the show's history. Edie Falco's acting job when she gets that news, and then when she says the prayer for her family, is stunning. You also have Paulie fearing "tree o'clock," and Tony realizing that his "only male heir" is not going to live up to his expectations, and Big Pussy realizing that even though he's working for the feds, he's never going to get out. When he shoots Matt Bevilaqua, he (and the viewer) understands there's not going to be a happy ending to this story.

    2. College (for reasons already mentioned)

    3. Whitecaps (ditto)

    4. Employee of the Month (love Melfi's dream with the Coke machine)

    5. Long Term Parking

    Honorable Mention: University, Pine Barrens, Funhouse, Test Dream, All Due Respect, Soprano Home Movies
  7. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    "His place looked like shit."
  8. bostonbred

    bostonbred Guest

    1. Kennedy and Heidi
    2. College
    3. Employee of the Month
    4. Long Term Parking (chilling)
    5. The Sopranos (first episode in series, sets everything up really well)
  9. BitterYoungMatador2

    BitterYoungMatador2 Well-Known Member

    Fockin' Bruno Magli here.

    And Paulie getting pissed and shooting at the piece of carpet was piss your pants hysterical.
  10. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano
    Proshai, Livushka
    The Blue Comet
  11. So, "The Sopranos" is 86'd tonight. Interesting.
  12. pa writer

    pa writer Member

    "Pine Barrens" was on A&E the other night, and that just has to be my favorite episode. Certainly the funniest, even if it lacks the insight of other episodes.

    And these final 10 ... it's hard to judge, but I think "Soprano Home Movies," "Heidi and Kennedy," "Remember When," "The Blue Comet," or the one where A.J. attempts suicide could all rank in the top 10. You can't really say until the episodes have aged, but this mini season has been as good as any season the show's done, right up there with years 1, 2 and 5.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page