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

Total votes: 0

Grade This Episode

#2
6 - This episode has some fairly good developments, and one of the best, endings of the first season--since this is our first encounter with the FBI, it certainly takes the viewer by surprise and makes us realize that, in addition to all of Tony's other problems, they are about to increase tenfold. Still, this episode just seems to meander a bit, after the very focused last couple of episodes. It is better then anything I have ever seen on regular tv, but since this is a "Soprano-Grade-Scale" it is a bit lower then other episodes from this season.

Re: Grade This Episode

#3
I tend to agree, garthman. It's not so much that it meanders for me, but nothing truly special jumps out at me outside of what by that point had become the norm for The Sopranos. We get more Makasian, which is always nice, but he doesn't do much in the ep. The lustful scenes for and with Melfi are interesting, but to be honest, I have never truly bought into Gandolfini's acting in those scenes. I wonder if it is uncomfortable for Bracco and Gandolfini to do those? Tony just seems a different person when he tries to come on to her.

But this episode's main themes seem to be Tony and Carm/Melfi and Tony vs. Junior (via Hesh). I have to say, this episode did allow Falco to do some amazing work and truly begin to outshine her castmates - her hand motions and eyes are so wonderfully subtle yet effective to show her mood at their anniversary dinner, and of course we first get to see Johnny Sack. And the taxing of Hesh gives us Junior trying to be boss while it allows the audience and everyone else to know that Tony is still running things. The sit down is hilarious.

The ending is very nice and does provide some needed exposition in terms of the layout of the crews and who and what the FBI are watching. And as much as I appreciate the FBI angle, I wish they would be more consistent with their use. Sometimes we get them for a several show arc, and sometimes they disappear entirely, much as they have in the first part of season 6.

All in all, I give the episode a 7. It is certainly top notch television, but I know now, and knew then, what they are capable of and this episode doesn't quite live up to that. But it is close.
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Re: Episode 1.06: Pax Soprano - Grades & General Review

#4
Hmm I would have to give this one a 6. This one just doesn't seem to hold together, but rather has a few good moments interspersed throughout. I agree that it's great just to see Johnny Sac; seems important that even though we the audience aren't exposed to the relationship between NJ and NY till about season 4, that we get to at least see Tony and Johnny do have a pretty good relationship. The fact that the FBI come in and out of the show has also bothered me, but in the end i think that this serves better to illustrate that even if you can't see them, they are probably still watching Tony. It's like a lot of plotlines on this show, Chase and co seem comfortable with us filling in the gaps of what we didn't see.

I, like DH, agree there is something NQR about the scenes where Tony is cracking onto Melfi. It's not that I don't believe why he feels he needs to have her (believe me, I get that part) I just don't quite feel that is how he would express it.

Oh and hate to sound like a wanker but isn't it actually titled "Pax Soprana"?

Re: Episode 1.06: Pax Soprano - Grades & General Review

#6
Hey Garth, why the name change? I didn't even realize it was you for a sec, until I saw how many posts this "Garth" fellow had and that he was a capo.

I to think a 6 is about right for this episode. It's not really bad, but not very memorable either. I mean, not every hour can be a "ten". I had forgotten about this early glimpse of Johnny Sac. Without any real back story on the guy, you can immediately imagine his relationship with Tony.

There's some great Junior stuff here. I love the "Augustus Caesar" scene between him and Tony, and the sitdown with Hesh was great. Poor Junior! Even for the short amount of time he's in charge, he's not.

I've always liked the last scene, and I remember after my first viewing of this episode thinking that the FBI would play a much larger role in the series, and that them spying on Tony and his crew would be a frequent occurance. Looking back now and seeing that the FBI proves to hold very little importance to Tony and his outcome, this scene really loses its edge. But you gotta love the use of "Paparazzi" here; what a great musical moment!

Re: Episode 1.06: Pax Soprana - Grades & General Review

#7
Hey UP,
I don't know, my user name just always pestered me. My name is Garth, and I figured no one else on the board has that name, so why not just shorten it and make it easier.

Upon viewing this episode again, I still think my vote for 6 is correct. But, there are some really great scenes, they just dont mesh in a way that creates a great episode. It is a good, seamless intro for Johnny Sac. He is immediately likeable and joins the club, which is essential for his character.

I also think the conflict between Tony & Carm really does a great job of illustrating, in a realistic manner, the nature of their relationship. Tony and Carm are still struggling after the reveal of Dr. Melfi's gender in the last episode as well as Father Phil spending the night. It just seems very realistic. The argument during their anniversery, and then Carm purchasing furniture to make herself feel better and to hurt Tony's wallet. And finally culminating in their make-up, by the pool. Of course Carm doesn't completely buy it, she knows who Tony is and to that extent has no illusion of him.

I also like the scene with Tony & Junior at the baseball game. It is interesting watching Junior ask Tony how he is doing. It is one of the rare times we see Junior care for anyone except himself. It adds an extra layer of irony, to know if it would save him a dollar Junior would have Tony killed.

And a final note, watch the scene with Tony at the horse ranch with Hesh. Besides our brief look at the ducks, this is the first time we see Tony's undying love of animals.

Re: Episode 1.06: Pax Soprana - Grades & General Review

#8
Hi all. Apologies for not posting much about earlier episodes, although I have been lurking for a bit and enjoy reading the insightful contributions. I really enjoyed watching this episode. I have difficulty actually ranking the episodes on scales of 1-10 , as I tend to find lots of value in all of them, even the less exciting ones. Anyway, I agree that the Melfi/Tony sexual chemistry was less than confincing, but I actually think this might be for a reason. As Melfi points out to Tony, she represents something to him that is not of a sexual/lover's relationship nature. She provides him with the mothering/caring/totally accepting/ non-judgemental listening that he needs. Yet because he so accustomed to sexualising all of the relationships he has with women, he is not quite sure what to do with it. Maybe her awkwardness int he fantasies also signals the fact that she is not meant to play that kind of role in his life.

The scene by the pool with Tony and Carm said a lot about them, and reminded me of some of Fly's take on their relationship back in time in S.Land. They have something real together- a solid history that binds them. Not to say that they are not disfunctional, but it was a tender moment, I thought. I also realised I had bought a Sopranos' collector's card with a shot from that scene, yet couldn't remember which episode/scene from which it originated. Added pleasure now when I look at the fridge and see it!

All in all, a nice experience. Looking forwared to watching next episode.

Re: Episode 1.06: Pax Soprana - Grades & General Review

#9
Did anyone else notice they've changed the end-music for this episode on the DVD? It's not the same one they had when it first aired on TV.

Just thought that was strange, because I really liked the first one and the one they released on the dvd wasn't nearly as good imo.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about it's the song they play in the end at the dinner when they celebrate Junior, and then afterwards at the FBI-office.
- "Juan Valdez has been separated from his donkey"
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