Favorite Episode of Season 3

Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood (No votes)
Proshai, Livushka (No votes)
Fortunate Son (No votes)
Employee of the Month (No votes)
Another Toothpick (No votes)
University (No votes)
Second Opinion (No votes)
He Is Risen (No votes)
The Telltale Moozadell (No votes)
To Save Us All From Satan's Power
Total votes: 1 (20%)
Pine Barrens
Total votes: 4 (80%)
Amour Fou (No votes)
Army of One (No votes)
Total votes: 5

Re: Favorite Episode of Season Three

supervince wrote:All due respect, I gotta go with Army of One.

Season three was largely about Jackie Jr. and this is where it all ends for him. The parental concern Tony and Carmela show for AJ is great. Meadow shows her ability to defend the Family even if she does think it's bullshit. The closer with Core 'ngrato is absolutely beautiful and I get chills when I hear and see it.

Interestingly the season premiere, 'Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood' is my least favorite of the whole seeries.
See, that ending never really hit the right note (no pun intended) with me. Especially with all different languages singing at the end. Never completely understood the reasoning for that. The third season was full of interesting "stylistic" choices which I wasn't very fond of (i.e. the backwards rewind and Franken-Livia from "Proshai Livushka", the WHOLE episode of "Mr. Ruggiero's Neighborhood", and of course the different voices singing) I guess it hit me as a bit melodramatic, like they were trying a too hard. I don't know, so far it is the highest voted episode in this poll, so it must just be me ;-)

Re: Favorite Episode of Season Three

Finally getting around to contributing here, garthman. And I'll head over to the first and second season polls as soon as I get a chance.

All great episodes brought up so far, but I'm surprised "Proshai, Livushka" hasn't even been mentioned. In fact, I’m really not sure if that’s a popular episode around here or not, but I for one really enjoyed it. And while it's a really close race between this one, "Employee of the Month" and "Army of One" for best of season, I always come back to this one as the favorite.

Before I say exactly why I like this episode so much, there's one negative aspect that needs to be addressed, and that's the decision to bring Nancy Marchand back for one last episode by using CGI and recycled sound clips. That particular scene is extremely awkward and ineffective. Not only does Livia’s appearance and movements seem very unnatural at times, the writing is pretty weak too (though they had little control over this; everything Tony said had to be responded to using old Livia-dialogue, which is a seriously restraint on how many writing options they had). The final scene between Tony and Livia before her death should have been a classic moment of the series. If Livia had still been alive, and there came a point where David felt it was time to write her off, I believe he would have handled it perfectly. Given what he had to work with here, though, along with his conviction that Livia had to appear on screen one last time regardless of the means, the scene was the best it could be.

It’s really all that happens after Livia dies though, that makes this episode. For those that didn’t know what was going to happen to the character ahead of time, Livia’s death would cause a true shock – It happened without any prior warning, as death often does in real life. This particular death is a momentous occasion for Tony. The scene with Melfi in which Tony admits to having “relief flood his veins” upon hearing the news is both terribly heartbreaking, and yet entirely understandable at the same time, given their history. It just reminds us yet again of how complex Tony’s relationship was with his mother; for all the turmoil, unkind words, hatred, and lack of compassion both characters felt towards each other, Tony always felt the obligation to do right by his mother (because bad sons “should fucking die”). And so, despite the initial relief Tony feels, the episode closes with him crying. There are very few places in the series where Tony cries, and of those, there are even fewer times Tony is crying for a human being – but here, after finishing “The Public Enemy” he begins to weep and mourn his mother's death. Which reminds me, the use of “Public Enemy” in this episode is perfect here, and there couldn’t have been a better episode for Chase to use it.

What also strikes me is how funny this episode is. For an episode that revolves entirely around the death of the main character’s mother, this episode has some serious laugh out loud moments. Just the sheer awkwardness of Tony trying to accept his friend’s condolences throughout the episode makes me chuckle (His standard response: “Well, what are you gonna do?”), as does his agitation at the superficial, generic words of comfort he’s given (The most used one being “At least she doesn’t suffer”). The whole “after party” at the Soprano’s household is delightfully amusing, with the entire scene of Janice trying to invoke favorable memories of her mother from the other guests being a classic, in my book. There’s Christopher’s extensive drug-influenced speech on the possibility of another Livia somewhere else in the world; Junior, out of focus and barely visible in the background, silently creeping halfway down the stairs to peak at what all the guests are doing, before quickly hurrying back up the stairs; Hesh’s awkward attempt to satisfy Janice (“She didn’t mince words. Between brain and mouth …there was no interlocketer.”); and Carmella's brutally honest speech that erupted into an argument with her own parents, in front of all the other guests. What an all-around wonderfully written/acted scene!

Re: Favorite Episode of Season Three

I picked Pine Barrens as my favorite episode of season 3. Unlike most folks I know it is not my favorite episode of all- time, but it gets the nod for this season. I just love the whole ordeal with Christopher and Paulie getting lost in the woods and how the whole situation was avoidable if not for Paulie's temper. What made this episode great was how these two were so out of their element. To para-phrase Chistopher at that moment they weren't mobsters they were just two guys lost in the woods. This episode probably gets the nod for being the funniest episode in Sopranos history. It featured so many great moments.
Although the episode has lost a little luster do to the fact that everyone keeps speculating about the Russian coming back. He's gone people, and they are not bringing him back! David Chase has no ultimate plan to bring him back. He was a minor character who serves no purpose in the long range plans for the show.

Right up there for me is Amour Fou. This episode has really grown on me, as we see the self destruction of two characters, Gloria and Jackie Jr. It is amazing to watch Jackie Jr dig his own grave throughout this season and this episode is the payoff. From Ralphie's Feech LaManna story, which helped clear the way for the future character to total breakdown of the card game takedown.
I also love the scene with Tony and Ralphie in which Tony subliminaly gets Ralph to make the ultimate decision. One of the things I love about the show, how subtle some of the major things get handled.
Of course you have the end of the toxic relationship between Tony and Gloria. Highlighted by Tony's relization that Gloria is just like his mother, playing into Melfi's theory about Tony's feelings about his mother. Amazing stuff. Great job by Annabella Sciorra to play a total nut job. The scene where she is begging Tony to kill her when he is choking her and spits in his face is powerful stuff.

Re: Favorite Episode of Season Three

Universal Polymath wrote:All great episodes brought up so far, but I'm surprised "Proshai, Livushka" hasn't even been mentioned. In fact, I’m really not sure if that’s a popular episode around here or not, but I for one really enjoyed it. And while it's a really close race between this one, "Employee of the Month" and "Army of One" for best of season, I always come back to this one as the favorite.
UP, point well taken, as this would definitely be among my top three of season three. I should have mentioned it since I believe it is either the funniest or second funniest episode in the entire series (along with The Strong, Silent Type). And it obviously also has some serious dramatic moments.

Before we ever get to the hilarious post-death stuff, there's Tony's confrontation with Noah, where he helps him with his Italian vocabulary (ditsun, charcoal briquette) and later scolds Meadow that perhaps she would hear him better if he spoke Swahili, LMFAO. The next side-splitting laughs came when, from the other room, Tony can be heard swearing at Janice on the phone. The whole visit to the funeral home with its humorous tribute to the scene from Godfather I in Bonasera's funeral parlor. Janice taking over the arrangements due to her "extraordinary visual sense" and Tony warning against any of that "California bullshit".

The post funeral scene at the Soprano home is ragingly funny. Edie Falco said that they were all having problems stifling laughter when they filmed that, with Stevie Van Zandt at times literally shaking and tearful because he was trying so hard not to laugh.

I deduct a few points off this ep for the SFX Livia and for the wierdly eccentric rewind segment that shows Tony on the floor after a panic attack. Never cared for that.

I also guess I just mildly rate drama higher than comedy, even great, subversive comedy of the Sopranos variety. And so I still would probably put Army of One and Employee of the Month slightly ahead, but not by much.:icon_wink:
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Favorite Episode of Season 3

For this season, my favorite episode is easily Second Opinion. Carmela's conflict, the music played over much of the episode, and the resolution with Carmela on the couch and extracting the money from Tony to the school - it's just beautiful. And to follow on the previous episode...it was a powerful episode the first time I saw it and really began to truly appreciate Edie Falco as an actress, but it also shows just how well Chase & Co. can utilize music in their sound design. One of the best examples. Truly a great episode.
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

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Re: Favorite Episode of Season 3

for me in the 3rd series it has to go to Pine Barrens, it stands out for me ahead of all others and is probably up there in my top 2-3 episodes of all sopranos so far. (this is with 3 episodes left to air for the whole show!)
i just loved the fact that 2 hardened mobsters were literally brought to their knees by the elements, and were left fending for themselves in a ratted out old van eating frozen ketchups and relish.
paulie and chrissy were just 2 nobodies in the middle of nowhere, and it didnt matter if you pissed in front of someones van door because no one could really pull rank on either one of them, they were doing what they could just to survive really.
favourite quote of the episode, read below!
"He said the guy killed 16 Czechoslovakians, and he was an interior decorator."

Re: Favorite Episode of Season 3

I've been re-watching season 3 eps lately and it's been more entertaining this time around than the last time. I think in the past season 3 dropped on my list because of a relatively weak (IMO) season opener and finale. I just don't buy Jackie Jr. as a focal point to a season. But there are some very good eps. in season 3 nonetheless.

Employee of the Month is probably my favorite. Johnny Sac becomes more of a factor in the show in this ep. by moving to Jersey and the Esplanade construction starting up. Chrissy shows resentment over Tony protecting Jr. from the life but not him. Ralphie takes Jackie to rough up a guy during a collection and then gets passed over. I really liked the convo where Tony tells Ralphie he's putting Gigi in at the Aprile Crew-it solidifies Ralhpie's importance to the family with his earning but shows that he'll be a problem for Tony throughout his time on the show. Obviously the Melfi parts are hard to watch but her dream with the guard dog representing Tony is interesting and alludes to the common person's thirst for revenge as everyone probably wanted her to tell Tony about the EOM so he could get him back. Melfi of course resists. Great ep. overall and one of the best quotes of the series IMO-

"They call this the great room. I don't see what's so great about it. It's meidocre if you ask me, we got a fucking living room right over there."

Honorable mentions
-Pine Barrens- As if it needed to be said. A great stand alone ep. Rivals Employee for best ep. of season. Very funny.
-Fortunate Son-Chrissy gets made. Carmine is introduced. First real tension between Chrissy and Paulie if i remember correctly. Underrated ep.
-To Save us All from Satan's Power-Anoter underrated ep. Flashbacks are cool.

Re: Favorite Episode of Season 3

Always had a soft spot for series 3 as it was the first series i watched all the way through (had scene odd episodes here and there before).

For me employee of the month is the best of this great season, hard to watch obviously, but it showed us that Melfi is the toughest person in the show by refusing to go for (justified?) revenge, makes you feel ashamed at the end when tony says:'anything you wanna tell me?' she looks at him (us as the audience) and says strongly 'No', cut to black!!!

Re: Favorite Episode of Season 3

I assume don when you say it makes " us feel ashamed" that you are referring to how we hope she will tell Tony about the rape and the creep will get what's coming to him ? This is probably the single most selfless act by any character in the whole show. In fact, praobably the only one, at least that I can think of. Melfi would, if there is any justice in the world, be entitled to tell Tony of the rape but she knows this would make her party to his criminal ways and a hypocrite. Ethically she would be finished. She's satisfied in her heart to know she could have him squashed like a bug if she wanted to, but she rises above her base instinct and is the better person for it. Better than we are!
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