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

Total votes: 0

Grade This Episode

#2
8 - An amazing episode. On intial viewing, I enjoyed this episode, but it has grown on me even more on consecutive viewings. I think, previously, Paulie's visit to the psychic, was too silly, and seemed to simply be a point of comic relief. And while it certainly is silly, in retrospect, it has completely paid off, as it really gives the viewer a wider sense of Paulie's character. He is a supersticious individual, who, try as he might is unable to escape his fear of that which he cannot kill. The seance is really a great scene, and I love it more and more every time I see it.

One of the reasons this episode is great is it really is the first time we see the Sopranos clan come through in a clutch for each other. All the different characters consoling Ade, is a great touch. Another reason is watching how this event effects the characters. As the series progresses, the theme of second chance is continually revisted. So, to see Carm try to save Chris, as well as Ade's love for Chris, knowing what will happen later in this young man's life, adds a completely new layer to an already great episode.

The use of music is great and adds just the right touch. I do find it odd that Carm chooses this time, of all times to bring up Tony getting "cut" to prevent a bastard child. However, it does not seem out of place, instead it feels realistic. This is one of the amazing things about the Sopranos, many of the characters are so three-dimensional and layered, that even odd conversations at odd times, do not take the viewer out of the experience, but instead help us understand who the character is. Tony's response to Carmella, "I just can't do one of these tearful nights, I just can't do it. Not tonight." (or something to that extent) is a great line and speaks volumes about their relationship.

This is really one of those episodes that seems like a mini-movie. We watch as Chris's family grieves, we watch Chris pull through, and then finally we see justice meeted out by Tony and Pussy. I really could go on forever about this episode, but I feel like I have meandered around a bit with this review so I will leave it at this and add extra thoughts if they come to me.

Re: Grade This Episode

#3
10-This is about as good as The Sopranos gets for my money. As Christopher lays dying in the hospital, many of the characters are going through some sort of spiritual crisis.

Tony has one of the best Melfi sessions I know, when he gives the whole "we're soldiers" speech to Melfi. And as wrongheaded as these people clearly are, it's the most convincing argument I've heard for the life Tony and his friends have chosen.

"We're soldiers" he tells Melfi, "And everyone involved knows the stakes".

I loved the interactions between Carmella and Tony in this episode. As much as everyone likes to cry about how the quality of the show has fallen over the years, so much about the show has improved, especially the acting between Gandolfini and Falco. The look on Tony's face when Carmella says that Tony has made a living "undoing God's will" is beyond priceless.

The theme of spiritual unrest is heightened by the scene between Tony and Pussy. After whacking one of Chris's attempted murderers, and in probably their last moment alone together, Pussy tells Tony he believes in God, because of all the good He has done. Pussy knows his fate is sealed, but he seems to be at peace with it in this scene. Beaultifully done.

The 3 o' clock thing has haunted me throughout the series and I have never forgot it. And naturally there were several references of it in this last season. I'm always amazed how the writers never forget details like this.

Michael Imperioli wrote arguably the worst Sopranos script with "Christopher" so he's had the ire of many fans whenever his name pops up in the credits as a writer. Let's not forget he also wrote one of the very best episodes with "From Where to Eternity".

Re: Grade This Episode

#4
OH! that is right AJ, I LOVE the "soldiers" conversation that Tony/Melfi have. One of their very best interactions. I really wish I would have given this a 9, as I think it is a head above the rest of the episodes (which, imo, the "average" for an episode should be right at 8-9, or a good solid episode) But oh well, it is still an episode which has just the right amounts of everything. I personally did not despise "Christopher" like many have. But I will save that for the poll thread when the time comes.

Re: Grade This Episode

#5
I've never been as fond of this ep as many. For one thing I really don't like the "Lover's Prayer" song at all, and it's featured rather heavily. It's a grating distraction for me, in fact.

Secondly, I really wasn't very invested in Chris' life or death, so the outcome was not something to fret over. I've never found him lovable in the least, so it was just hard to identify with all the tears and handwringing from Ade and others.

But, of course, every Sopranos episode has its gems, and this ep had 4 for me. First the terrible scene with Tony humiliating AJ with his "male heir" comment. Second his apology, which was very poignant, all the more so because Tony did it with pizza, kind of the flipside of the explosion occasioned by chubby AJ dropping the lasagna dish not long after finishing dinner. Third the Bevalaqua hit. And 4th, the end scene with Carmela and Tony where she knows without asking what he has just done but still manages some kind of sympathy for him. She senses a gravity to his body and demeanor and knows that, however much this kid had it coming and however much Tony on one level was gratified to seek retribution, it was also something that weighed on him. It was a very intimate scene between them, not least because of how it transitioned into the most graphic sex scene they've ever done.

So those four scenes brought it 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: Grade This Episode

#6
Good points, Melfi. Yeah, I know you don't feel much compassion for Chris. And to be honest, I don't either. The only person on the show I identify with at all is Tony. The rest of the crew and even his immediate family, I cannot relate to in the least. But, I think episodes like this demonstrate that at least the people in Soprano-world DO care about Chris's life, even if we do not. And as far as accomplishing that, I think this episode works.

I like Chris as a character, but only just as that. He has virtually no likeable attributes, but he adds a certain flavor to the plots that helps move episodes forward. However, the people in his life DO like and care about him, and to me, that is enough to make me care. I don't need to relate to a character to care about the repercussions of what the show would be like if he weren't around.

But, as what has become a reoccuring point in these threads, watching Ade's tears and emotion, and also knowing what happens in the fifth season, makes the episode even more bitter. In her case, it certainly would have been better if Chris did not pull through. Eh, just my 2 cents :-)

Re: Grade This Episode

#7
As much as I appreciate every season the second is my favorite, always recalling a sense of The Golden Era in my personal relationship with the show and this ep is right in the peak zone.

First, I love the use of 'My Lover's Prayer'. For opening montages it ranks right up there with 'It Was A Very Good Year' and 'Seven Souls'. Carmela's prayer is one of those rare monologues that comes as close as possible to summing up the series in a nutshell.

Along with the 'soldiers' concept there's the 'immmigrants...Rockefellers...worker bees' bit which speaks volumes. You got the hell/purgatory vision and there's plenty to unpack out o' that.

Tony diffusing Carmela's "tearful thing til five in the morning" is wonderful if you look at how Meadow brow-beat a proposal from Finn in just such a way, Like mother, like daughter.

Ya got good comic relief w/ Paulie and on top of all that ya got Tony and Carmela's first sex scene. Three dimensional? I'd say these characters bust into a mind-blowing fourth dimension.
-Vince

Check out The Most Intelligent and Perceptive Sopranos Book Ever! :icon_biggrin:

Re: Grade This Episode

#8
I gave this episode a 10. I thought it was a classic. This show has done such a great job of offing characters that it was entirely possible that Christopher could die, although unlikely but they do a great job of getting you to suspend your disbelief, kind of like Tony at the end of 'Mayham' with the Inn at the Oaks scene. I did like the music choice in this episode as it added a level of sorrow to the whole ordeal and makes you really feel for Adriana.

I really enjoyed the symbolism of Tony's surrogate son lying in the hospital bed seemingly dying and him riding his actual son, AJ with the "this is my male heir?" line. I know he made it in refrence to Carmella wanting him to get snipped, but I always looked at it from the other perspective. That as if Christopher was dying he had no one else to take the family into the future given AJ was a putz. I also enjoyed his attempt to make things up by bringing the pizza to have with AJ, before having their father/son moment cut short by the phone call to take care of the Beveloqua kid. Just like how Johnny Boy Soprano wasn't there for Tony growing up due to buisness, Tony isn't there for AJ.

The therapy session with Melfi was one of the strongest in series history as well. Tony's argument that they aren't bad guys they are "soilders" and how "everyone involved knows the stakes" was extremely well done. I once heard that the sign of a great bad guy was someone who truly believes in what they are doing. That in their mind what they are doing is not wrong. That was explained perfectly in that scene.

When Christopher came out of his coma, they did a great job of painting the mental picture of Christopher's near death experience. The conversation with Paulie about heaven/hell/purgatory was well done in exposing Paulie's fears of what he has done in his life and the consequences that go with it. The whole explanation by Paulie that you go to purgatory and you multiply your mortal sins and you venial sins and how a couple thousand years in pugatory is equal to a couple of days on earth was hillarious. Where does he come up with this stuff! I loved the explanation by Chris that he was going to hell when he died and the whole Irish bar and how Mikey Palmice and Brendan Filone were friends now scenario.

The Paulie at the psyhic bit was one of the most entertaining things ever done on the show. Love when he gripped up the psyhic and asked him who he has been talking to. As well as the chair tossing. Great stuff. Along with the 3:00 stuff, it played into the insecurities of the character wonderfully.

As was the scene with Tony and Pussy taking care of Matt. It was the last great moment that Tony and Puss shared afterward at the resteraunt they had went to years earlier. This scene also features one of my favorite jokes in the history of the series, with the richman and poor man sharing the same wedding anniversary. Great stuff, I am always amazed how these guys can waste someone then go have steak and crack jokes. I guess it plays into Tony's whole explanation about how they are soilders and this is war. Great episode.

Re: Grade This Episode

#9
This episode is symbolic of the whole show. So many dillemmas and charecters at their best . I gave it a 10 easily. It really gets you going for the final few episodes of the season too. Imperioli is not everyones favorite writer but I personally love his episodes. They speak more to a different generation in a way that not everyone picks on IMHO. The scene with Paulie at the physic is a gem. Fucking hilarious. The acting in this one is perfect.

Michael Imperioli wrote arguably the worst Sopranos script with "Christopher" so he's had the ire of many fans whenever his name pops up in the credits as a writer. Let's not forget he also wrote one of the very best episodes with "From Where to Eternity"

I humbly disagree that "Christopher" was the worst script . That show had a lot of dialogue in it about the creation of America and the genocide imposed on American Indians. It was the only time I can remember American TV prime time talking about that subject with such wisdom and laughter. I know alot of people hated this episode, but I think blaming the writer is a little silly given that it takes more than a script to make the Sopranos. Anyway, funny how one persons least favorite episode can be someone elses' favorite. My love for it ironically comes from being of American Indian\Italian heritage and culture. "Christopher" nails that right on the head in a graceful and honest way. Sorry to rant in here about it......... We'll talk about it again when we get to season 4!
[font="Franklin Gothic Medium"]You know, Vito called me “skip” the other day. Slip of the tongue, no doubt. But I noticed he didn’t correct himself.[/font][SIZE="1"][/SIZE]

Re: Episode 2.09: From Where to Eternity - Grades & General

#10
Overall a great episode.

What I didn't like; I didn't like the overlaying music at the start of the episode, the sopranos never do this. It seemed like the show was grasping at straws to pull some emotion out of the audience for Christopher. As we all know, manipulating music is never used on the show (well maybe at the end of an episode). I myself..... felt zero emotion for Christopher, I hated his character in the earlier seasons, so probably old feelings are coming back. Plus I know he doesn't die, so any impact back in the day is lost. Overall I didn't like the music choices for this episode.


What I did like
; I liked pretty much everything else. Tony's talk with Paulie about how "none of this shit matters" in regards to hell. Paulie going to see the psyhic, which is possibly one of the funniest moments of the series. Christopher's conversation about Hell with Paulie was also equally hilarious.
"That was purgatory my friend". The whole conversation with Carmela about Tony getting snipped and Tony helling at AJ "this is my male heir?" was brilliant. The look on Tony's face when Carmela said he made a life out of undoing god's will was hilarious. Tony's conversation with AJ with a piece offering of pizza was touching. The Bevalaqua hit was very dark and like the rest of you I found it amazing that these guys could just go have some steak and tell jokes after murdering someone. I also really liked the final scene, Carmela clearly knew what Tony had just done and she some how managed to comfort him without saying anything. Beautiful.

I give the episode a 9.
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