How would you grade this episode on a 1-10 scale (10 being the best possible quality)

Total votes: 0

Re: Episode 3.11: Pine Barrens - Grades & General Review

#3
I really do not intend any slight against HagensBing or anyone else, but I just can't understand why so many people are in love with this episode.

When reading through the voting for the Top Ten episodes of all time, people just seem to go crazy for this one. But I find it to be severly lacking.

First of all, the acting is extremely restricted. It seems to me that 90 percent of all the acting is done by just Paulie and Chris. On top of that, in my opinion, their parts seem to be ludicrous. I find the whole thing very unrealistic and just don't buy any of it. It's all just so silly to me. I guess I should explain that when I call their parts "ludicrous", I mean two professional Mafia hit men running around in the snow-covered woods with no real means of protection (meaning appropriate clothing) and no food. It seems ludicrous to me that two professionals would get themselves into such an non-defendable postion in the first place.

Anyway, I expect that most people who read this post will strongly disagree, so I will tread lightly and just say that I didn't care for this episode hardly at all.

Re: Episode 3.11: Pine Barrens - Grades & General Review

#4
I adore Pine Barrens. As to why, I can only speak for myself, although I will provide my thoughts as to why, in general it is an episode beloved by many Sopranos fans.

On the surface, it is the story of two near-incompetent (not professional) inner-city wise guy half-wits who are decidedly out of their element and lost as literal babes-in-the-woods, incapable of coping with a reality outside their own. The contrast of their ability to function highly in the inner city crime world versus their inability in the wild to accomplish something as simple as finding their way back to their car evokes some of the great themes in classical literature and modern entertainment. Think for example of just how marvelous it was to contrast Harrison Ford’s city detective existence with Amish Farm life in the movie "Witness". That stark contrast provides a superb backdrop.

Then, layer on top of that the fact that Chris and Paulie mix like oil and fire. With no one else to help them figure out how to get home, and being tense over possibly botching the hit on the Russian, when they engage in simple activities like looking for warmth or sustenance, or attempt to engage in polite conversation to pass the time, it all leads back to the friction they can’t avoid.

If one chose to make a comparison between Pine Barrens and the world of literature, I think you would have to classify the episode as being in the vein of the great absurdist plays like Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot or Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter. To quote the Wikipedia:


The Theatre of the Absurd departs from realistic characters, situations and all of the associated theatrical conventions. Time, place and identity are ambiguous and fluid, and even basic causality frequently breaks down. Meaningless plots, repetitive or nonsensical dialogue and dramatic non-sequiturs are often used to create dream-like, or even nightmare-like moods. There is a fine line, however, between the careful and artful use of chaos and non-realistic elements and true, meaningless chaos. While many of the plays described by this title seem to be quite random and meaningless on the surface, an underlying structure and meaning is usually found in the midst of the chaos.


I think this is a fair description of most of Pine Barrens and therefore, whether intended or not, it may actually be loved because of its ability to evoke the same reactions stirred up by the great Absurdist playwrights.

And, if that seems too deep an explanation, then how about this: the episode is just a silly little diversion in the world of the Sopranos. And of course, silly little diversions have their purpose - especially when they are as well staged as Pine Barrens.

Re: Episode 3.11: Pine Barrens - Grades & General Review

#6
billymac wrote:I adore Pine Barrens. As to why, I can only speak for myself, although I will provide my thoughts as to why, in general it is an episode beloved by many Sopranos fans.

On the surface, it is the story of two near-incompetent (not professional) inner-city wise guy half-wits who are decidedly out of their element and lost as literal babes-in-the-woods, incapable of coping with a reality outside their own. The contrast of their ability to function highly in the inner city crime world versus their inability in the wild to accomplish something as simple as finding their way back to their car evokes some of the great themes in classical literature and modern entertainment. Think for example of just how marvelous it was to contrast Harrison Ford’s city detective existence with Amish Farm life in the movie "Witness". That stark contrast provides a superb backdrop.


All true.
It is two bonehead self-proclaimed, armed "soldiers" out of their inner-city element, vs one real, trained - unarmed - combat veteran soldier in exactly his element.
Christopher and Paulie were mere hours away from probable murder and cannibalism, while the wounded Russian soldier drove away in Paulie's Cadillac.

This was perfect.

Re: Episode 3.11: Pine Barrens - Grades & General Review

#10
HagensBing1977 wrote:A CLASSIC!!!!

This episode gives us some good psycho-Gloria action and some interesting drama with the Russian. But the comedic aspects of this particular episode make it stand out. And imo, it served to display Bobby as an integral character in which his character never turned back. A++++


It's at a 10 for me and one of the best episodes ever. The Pines Barren dialogue and action are the gold standard for 21th century television.
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