Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#111
I agree with what many of you have said regarding the theme of excess, loss of focus, and the plight of man. In an effort to enjoy this episode a bit more, I do what I do with every episode of Sopranos, I try to look at it from Chase's point of view. Specifically, what was Chase trying to accomplish with this episode. I feel many of this ground has already been covered in other posts, so I won't re-tread them.

What I will say, is that Chase has always wanted The Sopranos to be a series that focuses on self-contained episodes, as opposed to long-standing plot lines. If he would have stuck with this idea, who knows how the show would have taken. I really think this is the kind of episode which he would have preferred to make on a more consistant basis. What I mean is that, the episode is very self-contained. It tells 2 stories, basically. It also includes plot-moments to continue the bigger story momentum (Rusty's whacking and the terrorism theme).

With this show reaching it's pre-crescendo, you can tell that Chase wanted to tell these stories, before the end, and decided this would be a good time to slide it in, before the veritable shit starts to hit the fan. The stories it tells really aren't all that bad, but they do seem out of place and the Christopher story has been beaten to death. He is not meant to be in the movie industry...we get it! Again, from Chase's perspective, he probably wanted to show the excess of Hollywood, since that seems to be this season's theme, as has been mentioned. While the stories aren't horrible, they do confuse, because the momentum of the season is disrupted. I notice other episodes have done this as well, and are considered the weaker episodes of the series, such as the "Christopher" episode, "In Camelot", and "Cold Cuts". What is interesting to me is that this episode also promotes the loss of focus. "Luxury Lounge" is a loss of focus, of sorts from the regular span of the season, just as the episodes I already mentioned do.

Now, these self-contained episodes are not always "bad". "Commandatori" and "College" are both very self-contained, but also considered, by many, the best of the series. (Although to me, they are both significantly over-rated, but that is just me)

While many are professing this to be a horrible episode, and by Sopranos parameters, it might very well be just that. However, we should remember, that self-contained, crummy episodes have happened before. At this point, I just want this series to go out on a high-point, and not fizzle. So, it is my hope that the rest of this season will be a roller-coaster towards the final 8 episodes. Ok, well enough of my rambling, hope I didn't waste too much of anyone's time.

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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#115
That is a good point Gray, but the story still seemed out of place since he hasn't seemed interested in the movie industry for quite a few seasons. If this story would have been told in seasons 3 or 4, I probably would have been able to buy it. Ever since Ade died, Chris has seemed so focused toward the family, it just seems odd and false for him to go back into the movie scene. But, hey, I didn't create these characters, so I have no room to talk, just my interpretation.

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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#117
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>For Chris to pull off the Bacall robbery (am I even typing this?!?) he had to plan it out, buy suits, and stake the scene out. It must have taken him hours to plan it.

Why would a Capo take hours to play a robbery that netted him less than perhaps any other he's been involved in?<hr></blockquote>
Because he wanted to take from the Haves (although I doubt it took hours). I saw the mugging as mostly for spite. He was blown off by Kingsley, both regarding the movie and the free swag, and he wanted revenge. I doubt he specifically targeted Bacall; she just happened to be the first person to arrive at the line of limos with her grossly gigantic basket of goodies.

Regarding the difference betw Da Giovanni and Vesuvio -- It was interesting. Of course the biggest draw was that Giovanni's had superior food. But notice also that the owner offered a buffet (all-you-can-eat, I assume), whereas Artie was set against changing his "upscale" eating establishment to fit the times. You got to adjust for the times.

I like the Benny/Bunny pun. And I'm sure the rabbit served as a surrogate for all of Artie's real and perceived enemies. What was nice was his using this 'enemy' (the rabbit) in a positive way (creating a traditional and delicious meal from a recipe of his beloved father). Sorry for the cliche, but Artie made lemonade when he was handed lemons.

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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#118
Anyone else notice how the meal Artie serves at the end of the episode includes rabbit. Was this just a random choice? If so, it seems odd, considering how he conquered the rabbit and is now serving it up to his guests. Yet more symbolism. However, my first response was that he actually saved the rabbit that was eating his plants and cooked it, lol.

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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#119
This episode I saw Tony acting more like the father figure in everyone's lives, Chris, Artie, Benny. He did what a good father or friend would do in those situations, he made things right in the end and pointed out their faults directly to them.

Now I think this leads to next week's possible storyline. Now I love Tony now for his newfound outlook on life, but has he been a father figure to his own son, AJ? Tony has been stressing importance of Family but where has he been for AJ so far? I think it will come and hit Tony in the face next week.

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