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

Total votes: 0

Grade This Episode

#2
5 - This episode really was a distraction from everything the season had going for it. I know many love this episode. But it just seems too "regular tv" for me. Like on network channels when they send the characters to Hawaii on vacation or something. "College", was a similar experience for me, but at least we had a strong introspection of Tony as well as the revelation to the viewers of how vengeful and violent their protagonist is. I think in this episode we get to see, for the first time some really worrying signs in regards to Chris's drug use, so there should be something to be said for that. However, I don't really understand the point of all the characters going to Italy to secure a car trafficking deal. There have to be other ways to go about it. AND what, is the whole point for Tony to even be taking Chris and Paulie? They did nothing helpful, so it seemed like just lazy writing. "Let's include the regular characters, because this will be a chance for the viewers to see them out of their element and get a laugh." Well there ARE some funny moments, but there is no solid reason for Tony's underlings to be tagging along, much less Tony to even be in Italy in the first place.

Furthermore, in regards to the "kid" that sets off the fire-crackers and gets slapped around by Furio. It seems that Chase went a bit too far by having Tony and Paulie being appalled at their violence, they state, "He is just a kid!!!". That has never rang true for me. First of all these characters are no strangers to violence, even to under-age violence. Second, I highly doubt they would raise their voice whie guests in another country, where it is painfully obvious that customs and tradition are paramount. It really just paints "our" characters as "the good guys", by having them fit into our values, when that is something the Sopranos as a tv show should stand in the face of. It would have been much more compelling to watch Tony sit in silence, as the boy is beaten, but allow Gandolfini's face to show us how he feels (resentment, regret, guilt, etc.) and perhaps a dream sequence to further illustrate the point.

Interestingly enough, I found myself caring much more about members FAR away from Tony at this point in time then Tony himself. The Pussy storyline really gets some screen time and is allowed to grow and breath and gains some legs as a great part of this episode. Furthermore, Carm and Janice share a great interaction discussing the role of a wife in regards to their shared heritage. Both of these plots are infinitely more interesting then what was taking place in Italy.

Re: Grade This Episode

#3
Commendatori is definitely one of those trademark "stand-alone" Sopranos episodes that do little to advance the plot. You either love 'em or hate 'em, and Chase loves 'em. I think he would do more of them if he could, but he would drive his fan base to more hysterics than 10 gay-Vito storylines combined. :icon_wink:

As much as he likes doing these types of episodes, Chase always says that Commendatori didn't come out as well as it could have. I guess that's for the viewer to decide.

I gave it an 8. It really has one of the more cinematic feels of any Sopranos episode, with beautiful, sweeping images of Italy. And you knew somewhere down the line, they had to go to Italy, so why not at this point?

As with episodes like this, most of the major plotlines are put on hold. But Falco is tremendous as always. The scene where she tells Angie that she'll never leave Pussy (but is really trying to convince herself about Tony) is tremendous and really where I knew she was every bit as equal to Gandlofini in her role on the show.

Re: Grade This Episode

#4
I know Chase has been very critical of this ep. If I were to grade it solely on the Italy part, I would give it a 6, tops. There are some very funny moments, for sure, and I enjoyed the final scene particularly between Tony and Analisa. But it's a little too diversionary from the core stuff for my taste.

What elevates it are the scenes back home between the women: Carm and Janice; Carm, Angie, and Ro (with fireball Ro's "Fuckin' nosy! Eat your manicotti!" LMAO, and her "My God, I'm sure he's over it!" when she thought Angie was crying over Bocelli's blindness:icon_biggrin:); and Carm later trying to talk Angie out of divorce. The ending is sublime, with the beautiful Conte Partiro reprised one last time, punctuating Tony's echo of the casual, take-everything-for-granted attitude that Angie described regarding Pussy, and the camera going black on Carm's face as she obviously confronts in that moment some of the ugly compromises she made in her marriage.

I'm a sucker for a big ending like that, and I just love that one. Brings the whole episode up to a 7 for me.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Episode 2.04: Commendatori - Grades & General Review

#5
I've always been a big fan of this episode.

I don't really have time to go into a lengthy post right now, but I will do later.

I see the Italy trip as vital for a number of reasons. Primarily it gives viewers a sense of history. It shows the development from something, although ruthless, quite beautiful, into the low down dirty LCN we know and love.

I think, and please don't take offence, Chase is hinting at 'Americanisation' of things being synonymous with degredation of them. This is highlighted a few shows later when Furio comes over and is in the taxi looking at New Jersey.

The Italy trip also gives us chance to see that it is a bit of a pilgrimage for these guys, and when Tony is talking to Junior, who says he's never been, it shows a limited amount of progress from generation to generation. Which, as we find out in the end, is what the show is all about.

The reason for the trip is obviously the cars, but I think it really brings it home how big a crime this is, as we get to see it pretty much from the start, where the family are car jacked, right the way to seeing the deal made in Italy.

If they weren't in Italy, having a phonecall about shifting the cars wouldn't have had the same impact.

As for taking Christopher and Paulie, I would have thought that a Don would have had to have taken at least two people with him, I'm not sure why anyone would think he wouldn't? What if something had gone bad, he would have needed someone to jump on him in the same way Ze Vitario was jumped on when the firecrackers went on.

As for Tony piping up when they beat up a kid, I think, as a Don, he has a right to do so. Whilst the guys over there weren't answerable to him, he would be afforded a great deal of respect.

I also liked the way the family dynamic in Italy, the mother country, is so different to that of the Americans. Italy, 'the old country' had progressed to have female bosses, yet America became woefully behind the times again.

I loved seeing the juxtaposition between the two cultures, it really highlighted just how 'Italian' Tony et al really are. THey try so hard to remember their culture, but in reality they are all conforming more to a celluloid Godfather fantasy than their Italian heritage.

To lighten the analysis, when Analisa is playing golf, I can't help but notice her rather large sweat marks under her arms! Shouldn't be funny, but it makes me giggle!

Re: Episode 2.04: Commendatori - Grades & General Review

#6
richjcrouch wrote:I think, and please don't take offence, Chase is hinting at 'Americanisation' of things being synonymous with degredation of them. This is highlighted a few shows later when Furio comes over and is in the taxi looking at New Jersey.

The Italy trip also gives us chance to see that it is a bit of a pilgrimage for these guys, and when Tony is talking to Junior, who says he's never been, it shows a limited amount of progress from generation to generation. Which, as we find out in the end, is what the show is all about.


Very well said- especially about the overall reference to how the show proves to be about showing the (little amount of in case of LCN) progress made from generation to generation.

richjcrouch wrote: I also liked the way the family dynamic in Italy, the mother country, is so different to that of the Americans. Italy, 'the old country' had progressed to have female bosses, yet America became woefully behind the times again.

There were some other interesting posts somewhere about the notion that in fact, the women/mothers in The Family are actually running the show behind the scenes, and always have had quite alot of influence while perhaps pretending to be completely detached from it- like Carm appears to be. Yet notice how Livia is quite involved, per her interactions and influence with Junior about putting a hit on Tony. Very different than how Carm is depicted, but maybe as time goes by, that could change (per Carm's creepy remark/threat to the school teacher: 'you better watch yourself...). The Show in general portrayed Carm as some sort of relative moral compass.

And lets not forget the female boss wiped out by Phil's crew in i forget which episode. She was tooough! However, maybe i'm outta touch (big surprise!), but i always had the sense that they were stretching things a bit to be politically correct when they showed these female bosses as actually in the open and acknowledged by their peers. Is there really any true in-the-open female bosses out there? i never hear about them in the FBI stories, etc.

And last-- re the sweaty underarms of Analisa while playing golf-- i think it was pretty funny and done on purpose to show how natural and earthy she was, and unafraid to be so, comfortable in her own skin. If a man has that, its definitely more socially acceptable, at least in the USA. Does anyone know if its more "o.k." in Italy? I know that not shaving is more acceptable in many European countries. Here in America, (for most women except in Berkeley!), it would be considered quite the faux pas to allow that to be visible, and there would be lotsa social pressure to use heavy-duty antiperspirant and underarm pads. I have to confess to cringing a bit while chuckling when i first noticed it! :icon_surprised:

Re: Episode 2.04: Commendatori - Grades & General Review

#7
richjcrouch wrote:As for taking Christopher and Paulie, I would have thought that a Don would have had to have taken at least two people with him, I'm not sure why anyone would think he wouldn't? What if something had gone bad, he would have needed someone to jump on him in the same way Ze Vitario was jumped on when the firecrackers went on.


I understand that reasoning for taking Paulie and Chris. I guess it just struck me as silly. Because if things really DID hit the fan, what good would having two of your capos be, against the whole organized crime syndicate in Italy. If this was a huge concern, Tony should have brought a bunch of soldiers with him to really watch his back. But perhaps I am too stuck on the details with this one. They wanted to take a vacation (this is obvious) so why not bring them along.

badabellisima wrote:
And lets not forget the female boss wiped out by Phil's crew in i forget which episode. She was tooough! However, maybe i'm outta touch (big surprise!), but i always had the sense that they were stretching things a bit to be politically correct when they showed these female bosses as actually in the open and acknowledged by their peers. Is there really any true in-the-open female bosses out there? i never hear about them in the FBI stories, etc.


I think you are referring to Lorraine Calluzzo. She was the one Phil shot at through a phone book, and then was later murdered as she got out of her shower? She was not a boss, but instead a shylock who kicked up to Carmine Jr. That is why she was killed, because she chose a side. Killing a boss would not be a decision made so lightly, even if the boss was female.
Post Reply

Return to “Episode 2.04: Commendatori”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron