Doing my annual re-watch.
Now, I know this is an impossible task, naming the one scene which is "best".....but what the hell
For me, it's in "No Show".
The exchange between Meadow and Tony, regarding her trip to Europe to escape the memory of Jackie Jr's murder, as Carmella looks on, beginning when Meadow says mockingly..."Wow, listen to Mr. Mob boss"....
Gandolfini's intensity jumps off the screen and for a moment Jamie Lynn Sigler looks almost genuinely terrified of him. Until she regains her smart ass-ness just in time. Carmella's silent reaction, looking on, is equally intense and meaningful. Just a scene with powerhouse acting all around, with tremendous subtext in the writing which goes to the very heart of what the show is about, the two family dichotomy. At least in my opinion.
While I can't possibly pick one best scene, that one was always WAY up there for me too for all the reasons you so aptly articulated. Brilliant, brilliant scene in every respect.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"