Fly, I always enjoy reading your thoughtful and insightful posts!!
About your previous post. You mentioned that you've been disappointed by 4 or 5 episodes. I would be curious to know which ones you were disappointed by???
Also, I only saw this episode once, but couldn't it be possible that Masserone said he wished his mother was alive to hear his speech, to prove her wrong? Possibly as a child or young man she said things like "you'll never make anything of yourself" or "you'll be a failure" That could explain why he says he wishes she could be there, and in the next breath says she is probably in hell.


Re: FOMW...

Hi MikeyL. Thanks for your kind words.

Your proposition about the meaning of Maserone's wish occurred to me, but the line wasn't at all delivered as if that were the intent. He said it with a wistful, nostalgic note in his voice, IMO, that conveyed he wished his mother could have seen it to have shared in his pride and sense of achievements. It was very similar to the many times IRL that I've heard someone lament a parent or loved one didn't live to see some big break or achievement because the deceased would have been so proud.

Mind you, I know that this wasn't really an important point of the show, whatever the intent. But in attempting to illustrate with a few concrete examples why I felt the script was subpar, this scene jumped out at me.

I should state or reiterate that "disappointment" is always a relative proposition in critiquing the consistent brilliance of the Sopranos. But the episodes that have stuck out to me as being markedly weaker (for different reasons) than all others are:

"Nobody Knows Anything"

Obviously it was very important to the narrative as it proffered pretty solid evidence that Pussy and/or Jimmy Altieri were traitors. But I felt the "it was f---ing Jimmy"s went on too long, and the episode lacked the Soprano family dynamic and Melfi-steered investigations of Tony's psychological landscape that made this series, especially in that first season, so great.

"D Girl"

I thought the whole scenario of illiterate, uncerebral, unreflective AJ suddenly spouting "Niche" to be a tad far-fetched, notwithstanding his impending confirmation. And the dialog was equally contrived in trying to communicate his sudden philosophical explorations.

Moreover, I have ZERO interest in Chris apart from what he means to Tony's story. He, like Paulie and even Silvio, doesn't have the moral complexity to make me really care what happens to him nor does the character have the intelligence or charisma to carry an episode on his own. I suppose there were a few cheap laughs in his delusional flirtation with moviemaking, but mostly it just felt forced and predictable.

The episode was salvaged near the end with Pussy's speech to AJ and the FBI listening to him cry in the bathroom over the wire.

"Mr. Ruggierio's Neighborhood"

There was nothing wrong with the direction on this episode -- i.e., the way the substance was filmed and executed. In fact, from that standpoint, it was very good. The problem was that the script consisted almost entirely of a ministerial presentation of facts and plot details, all revolving around the minutiae of FBI efforts to bug the Soprano home, with no real involvment of character. It is singular in that respect among Sopranos episodes. Everything important that was shown over the course of that hour could have been condensed into about 10-15 minutes, tops, and the rest of the ep could have been devoted to the "little" scenes between the Soprano family and crew or used for some other self-contained, single ep development (e.g., Tony and Carm moving Meadow's belongings to her new dorm at Columbia, Tony complaining about how much she was taking, Carm getting a bit misty at the thought of her eldest child finally leaving home, etc.,). I would much have preferred to see that than all those excrutiating details of painting a matching lamp and following every family member all over town while multiple FBI efforts to plant the lamp were made.

I remain convinced that someone at HBO must have felt similarly, because they premiered eps 1 and 2 of season 3 back-to-back, the only time that's been done. Thankfully, we got the astoundingly brilliant and darkly hilarious "Proshai, Livushka" in that second hour.

"Pie O' My"

Another big exposition episode that I don't like because it didn't contain enough interesting character stuff. I think it was better than any of the other three eps previously mentioned, but it just didn't do much for me.

I would put "Rat Pack" about on that level.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... fisWall</A> at: 3/15/04 9:30 pm

Sapori Question

I believe that the hit was decided when Tony stared into
the mirror and with body language showed the camera his
character's disgust with his weight.
Tony knew that that comment about him recently losing weight was BS.



I agree Fly

I didn't care for "Nobody Knows Anything". I never understood all the hype for "D-Girl", I found it to be a very over rated episode. I enjoyed Pie-O-My, and I thought if they hadn't aired the second episode after Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood For Season Three, there would have been a riot!
I think I read your post that Season Two was your least favioirite as well. I completly agree with you. I love the show, but Season Two was my least faviorite. I don't know, Ive watched and rewatched Rat Pack, and I like it quite a bit. I do agree with your discussion regarding the pacing of it. And there were quite a few unnesscary one liners. I really thought that they did a good job with Tony Blundetto though. His introduction to me seemed the most human thing. Or if nothing else, he was given the most characterization of the Class Of 04 so far. I enjoyed the idea of his daughter being missing, etc, and him not backing down by the end of the hour. I would have been very disenchanted if they had introduced him like Richie or something of that sort. I am glad he wasn't hounding people for owed money, or looking to reclaim old turf.
I think Blundetto will turn out to be very interesting. Especially with the casting choice. I think for an actor of Mr. Buschemi's caliber, they would be very wrong to give him anything but top shelf material.
It does seem very off for The Sopranos, in terms of just throwing him in there, without a mention of him in the past four seasons. They could have probably written it a little better, his introduction to the family, so I do agree with you there. It is glad to see someone else who wasn't claiming Season Two was the best year, and who also wasn't crazy about Noody Knows Anything. I remember watching it, and shaking my head. Then they completly got back on track with Isabella.


Re: Blundetto's missing daughter

Didn't see a thread devoted to this elsewhere, and this ep's topic list is already getting very unwieldy, so I'll just post this here.

Someone on another board raised the interesting point that the missing daughter (Kelly) whose picture was on Quentina's wall resembled very much a girl seen coming out of Melfi's group therapy last week. When I read this, I did an "oh yeah" because I knew there was something familiar about the girl in the photo. She's pretty distincitve, what with that satanic cult-like hair and dress and body piercings.

Tony also lingers glances on two people exiting that therapy: this girl and the lady that exited after (who was writer Robin Green in a cameo). I always just focussed on Robin Green because I thought that was sort of a cute inside joke for the staff, Gandolfini looking at Green like she's some wierdo loser as she leaves, and Green returning the favor with a dismissive glance. But now I wonder if the more imporant point was the girl. Tony looking at her like that could have been because he thought he recognized her as Tony B's daughter, probably confused by what I presume is a long passage of time since he last saw her and the profound physical changes that young people go through during adolescence.

Some are speculating that therapy girl is one and the same as Kelly. Others said that she is the twin of Kelly. I'll have to rewatch to clarify, but I thought Tony B's "twins" were separate and distinct from Kelly, that he had 3 kids.

In any case, has anyone noticed this or formed an opinion as to how similar looking the two girls actually are?

Part of me says this is too pat, too convenient for Chase to use -- Tony and his first cousin once removed going to the same psychiatrist. But then Chase does occasionally acknowledge the improbable coincidences of life -- like in the pilot with Melfi and Tony dining at the same restaurant (and again in season 2) or like Elliot's unknowing, chance encounter with Tony in the parking garage or his daughter's improbable conversation with Meadow about the law center. So there definitely is "Chase precedent" for playing on this kind of coincidence.

I actually hope the girl IS Kelly (or her twin) because that part of last night's exposition, along with the incident that led to Tony B's arrest, had me more intrigued than anything. That MELFI would be involved somehow in a bridge in this situation, undoubtedly unaware at first of the connection, is really interesting.


Guess it Could GFo Either Way

Someone like Tony Soprano would defintly do a double take on someone with all black and the piercings. Yet, that could also be taken as him seeing if he recognized her. I hope they do bring Blundetto's daughter back, and I really hope it was the patient in Melfi's session. The onl bad thing, Tony did look at that picture, and if he had seen her, I would think he would have said something. That picture of her wasn't too old. Then again, who knows how long the time lapse between Two Tonys And Ratpack is. If we are taking Season Three Time, it cold be months. WEhich would make him not mentioning that more possible.


Of Course

If it plays out that Kelly is indeed a patient of Melfi's, I don't think it would be too easy for Tony to get the info about her from melfi. Then again, he is a mobster, and we saw how easy Jackie Jr, was found. That would be a very interesting plot point if Tony tried to find out about her through Melfi. Would defintly heat things up. I hope Melfi is back in "Where's Johnny".
I was thinking about it, and as far as compare ansd contrasts of the seasons go, last nights episode felt a lot like a Season Two Episode if anyone gets my drift. As far as the pacing, and direction.

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