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

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Re: Episode 1.13: I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano - Grades & Gen

I just finished all 86 episodes yet again after taking quite a Sopranos-sabbatical. As for Season 1, I really would like to place both 'Boca' and 'Isabella' above this one but I just can't. This almost seems 'too obvious' of a choice for best episode of first season but you simply have to give it that title. Too much taking place plotwise to deny it this. On the 'Mt Rushmore of Sopranos Episodes', its face is certainly one of those engraved.

Re: Episode 1.13: I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano - Grades & General

I thought it strange at the end when the Sopranos arrive at Vesuvio during the storm and Artie tries to turn them away at the door saying he is closing as soon as "these last few people leave". When they do walk in it turns out Tony's crew is there i.e. Silvio, Paulie, Chris plus Adriana. Then there is one other woman sitting at another table.

I would have thought Tony might know they would be there, or Artie would at least mention they were inside, or at least let him straight in as he was their capo. Although, I realize he did show a lack of respect for Tony earlier in the episode with pointing the gun at him incident.

That aside, the scene overall possibly symbolizes the choice Artie has made. He and his wife talked earlier in the episode about having mobsters in the restaurant. She says she doesn't want it to become a mob hangout, but Artie tells her this kind of patronage provides a buzz. At the door, where Artie stands on the threshold and tries to turn the Sopranos away but relents, you can see his wife roll her eyes. In that moment it possibly symbolizes that Artie is 'inviting/accepting' Tony and the mob into Vesuvio and their lives. (This follows him telling the Priest he isn't going to follow up on Tony setting fire to his old restaurant). The presence of the rest of Tony's crew, and the fact that this comprises virtually the entire clientele at that time, possibly symbolizes the weight of that decision (no halfway/all or nothing).
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