Episode 1.12: Isabella - Grades & General Review

While in an abyss of deep depression, Tony encounters an alluring young Italian woman; Junior puts his plot against Tony in motion.

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

 
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FlyOnMelfisWall
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Episode 1.12: Isabella - Grades & General Review

Postby FlyOnMelfisWall » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:15 pm

Please post all grades, reviews, and general or abbreviated comments about the episode in this thread. Use individual threads for longer or more substantive thoughts/discussion points.

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Garth
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Grade This Episode

Postby Garth » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:11 am

9 - After a couple of ho-hum episodes, in what will become typical Sopranos fashion, the show gears up and shows their A-game for the final episodes of the season. This episode focuses almost completely on Tony and is so-much the better for it. His decline into depression is heartbreaking and amazing to watch, while the music choice of Tiny Tears, stands out as some of the best the series has to offer. It is haunting, poignant, memorable and quite simply complements the scenes it is used in.

I found the Isabella storyline to be a bit cliche, but at least the cliche serves a purpose, as it is plot point which is discussed by Melfi in later episodes. I was a bit dissappointed by the hit on Tony. Specifically, I don't know who, after missing a shot would run up to a person in the car, only so that person could grab their gun. But at this point in Sopranos history, the violence (and specifically violence against Tony) was so seldom, that it still works. Also, the ending, with Tony on the phone with Melfi is a bit, "in your face". It seems in these earlier episodes Tony has little problem being fairly obvious with Melfi about his actions. After all, the line which bothered me is, "After I find out who took a shot at me, I will be even better". That pushes the envelope of their relationship a bit too far. I can't even imagine how Melfi would respond to that dialogue. However, it is a great ending, (especially Cream's "I Feel Free) just a bit out of character, I think.

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Re: Grade This Episode

Postby Detective Hunt » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:39 pm

One of the stronger episodes of the series' entire run. It only fails to get a perfect 10 because I too was unsure of what to think of the Isabella scenes. Some of it was dream, or Lithium induced hallucinating (I suppose), and it was difficult to tell where reality started and fantasy ended, which is not such a bad thing. As well, the idea that Tony is worried about Pussy and begins fantasizing about a woman is surely symbolic. It also perhaps foreshadows for when Tony finds out his mother is not as nuturing as the woman he dreams about.

I have always loved the scenes where Tiny Tears is playing - it perfectly suggests Tony's mood and how plowed under he is with the medication. As you say, garthman - some of the better work ever done on The Sopranos and what makes the show so very special.

The attempted hit on Tony and Junior and Livia's various machinations throughout the episode are also fascinating. It really makes you wonder how much of Livia is calculating and how much is simply old age and senility that is sneaking up on her. But it provided for some truly engaging television. And did Junior get duppped by Livia thinking he had her blessing? Would he have moved on Tony if Livia had suggested not to?

Finally, I love the scene near the end when Tony meets Melfi in the car. The look Carm gives - ever so subtle, but surely curious. The tender rub of Melfi's cheek as Tony gets out of the car.

The episode is great and one of those you just don't want to end. It was very hard to resist putting disc 4 in right after and watching the season one finale. But that's for another day. This episode gets a 9 (and really, that's more like a 9.4)
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Re: Grade This Episode

Postby WhistlingInTheWheatfield » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:09 pm

Wow, great episode with the culmination of the attempted hit on Tony. The first of the dream sequences expirenced by Tony. Not my favorite of Tony's dream sequences, but very deep in meaning. Centering around Tony's feelings of the lack of love from his mother, great foreshadowing considering what is about to happen. Great scene with Tony and Christopher at Tony's house with Christopher's fear of Tony's depression and fearing a suicide, by asking him were he is going when he goes to the basement, and asking him if he wants him to drive him. The only critisism is the attempted hit itself. I wish they has actually used some of Junior's guys. Like Mikey and Chuckie? It seemed to big of a job for those street thugs they got. Maybe that was the purpose, since Tony had to survive the hit. The aftermath is great. The scene with Junior and Livia watching on the news from Green Grove was one of the most memorable ever. Livia asking, "how can this happen" and after Junior said, "he's probably gonna come looking for who did this" and Livia saying, "of course he is, it's Tony" were all surreal, well delivered lines. As was Livia's sudden development of forgetfullness. I love the scene where Sil, Paulie and Christopher are talking quietly amongst themselves about Junior's involvment and Junior turns his head back toward them and they all expierence an awkward smile. Great scene.

Also another great Paulie quote, when talking to Meadow about the guys who shot at Tony.- " It's gonna take more than the Jamacian bobsled team with capguns to stop your old man"
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Re: Episode 1.12: Isabella - Grades & General Review

Postby Man-In-MembersOnly-Jacket » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:15 pm

The first bullet hits the orange juice - brilliant. Tony escapes the 2 killers, laughs gleefully....then crashes- HILARIOUS! :icon_biggrin: I still laugh when watching this particular scene.

Depressed Tony gets a wakeup call. He's shell shocked but still manages to survive Uncle Jun's hit. To me, it's the best "Sopranos" scene of all time.

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Re: Episode 1.12: Isabella - Grades & General Review

Postby conkom » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:06 am

I am rewatching the series from the beginning and I just saw "Isabella".

Some foreshadowing here and maybe some clues as to how Chase chose to end the series.

There was a failed hit on Tony which was instigated by Junior and Livia. Livia started her forgetfulness, to the chagrin of Junior, when she pretended not to recognise Meadow. She then tells Junior at the retirement village that he too will suffer this fate.

Tony bought a bottle of orange juice and it was shot at by his would be assassin.

Isabella was a dental student.

In this episode Tony was worried about Pussy who went AWOL.

Isabella was a fantasy mother-figure who emerged during a time Livia was obsessed about infanticide.

The Junior/Livia aspect did get me thinking and wondering if Junior himself went through extraordinary lengths to prove to the world that he was completely senile.

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Re: Episode 1.12: Isabella - Grades & General Review

Postby conkom » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:16 pm

Something else that I should add that was significant in this episode was Agent Harris coming to the hospital to see Tony and offering him and his family witness protection for his co-operation. Tony of course refused but what was interesting was Carmella advising Tony to accept the offer.

Earlier in the episode she thought the reason Tony was depressed was because of the possible indictments. She chastised him for his behaviour and argued these were hanging over her head too.

It is interesting how these episodes mirror the events in the final episodes.

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Re: Episode 1.12: Isabella - Grades & General Review

Postby tinytears » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:17 pm

Maybe my favorite episode.....at least a top 5, for me

The scenes with Melfi are classic.....

" A guy stabs you in the ribs, thats painful.....this, I don't feel nothing"......

The essence of Tony is in this episode, IMO. Depression so crushing it can render the toughest of the tough impotent to the world.

"If you're saying you're suicidal, then you should be somewhere"..(paraphrasing)

"Oh yeah?....you get some guys, come to my house and you try it".......

Brilliant stuff..
Historically, that's been the case.

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Re: Episode 1.12: Isabella - Grades & General Review

Postby tinytears » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:41 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APQ8Z_UyEak




Watched this for the 100th time, and just realized it's the first use of "the wind blowing in the trees aka the Great Wind" effect that Chase repeated numerous times....

One can watch this show over and over and discover new things .....
Historically, that's been the case.

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Re: Episode 1.12: Isabella - Grades & General Review

Postby episodezero » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:11 am

Hello out there. I'm new here and have a comment about this episode.

After the attempted hit on Tony he goes to the hospital and agent Harris is there telling Tony and Carmella they could go in to a witness protection program. And then Carmella says this "This is our chance Tony" are you kidding me, what is Carmella thinking?? Chance to what?..go live in a trailer park. Tony would still cheat on her only they would be a lot poorer. And Tony was mad and wanted Harris out of there! But Carmella was on Harris's side???

I'm just saying the Mafia is a life long family thing (Carmella knows that). You talk about leaving the family and you get wacked! It just didn't sound right to me.

Anyway...maybe I'm over thinking this scene? What say you Soprano people? Thanks for reading.


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