REASON SEASON FOUR WAS MY FAVIORITE
(I apologize, Im a bit scatterbrain here, but I hurt my back and the medicine they have me on has me a little out of it)
From the first moments of the Season Premiere, ?All Debts Public and Private?, to the Bergman-esque finale, ?Whitecaps?, viewers were aware that Season Four of the hit Family Drama, ?The Sopranos? would be giving us something different in the fourth season.
Creator David Chase let us know fresh off the bat that this season would be more about Tony?s marriage with Carmella, and less about the Mob. Many viewers still cite Season Four as their least favioirite, yet I thought this was the season?s most artistic. Chase has often stated that he hoped the Sopranos could enchant others the way foreign films did for him at a young age. This season carried through, and had a magnificent payoff. Season Three was more about introducing characters, only to throw them out before episodes end. Plot lines were open, and left unresolved. The simply argument by Chase and Co, was that it mirrored real life, by making it less TV. Yet the psychology, while lacking in the sense of Tony and Melfi, was all about it with Tony.
This season was all about Tony?s impulse control. His lack there of it, would later cost him his ?ducks? as his family flew away from him. The ducks were mentioned again, in ?For All Debts, Pulic And Private?, and Tony?s preparation for feeding them worked perfectly. It provided a perfect opportunity for Tony to have a hiding place, in the duck feed, from his wife Carmella. The season?s finale was hinted at it in the opening episode, when Melfi, thought Tony was talking about ?trusting only family?, and Tony was still more business-centric than family oriented.
In the episode, ?No Show?, we got Tony and Meadow on par again. Something we had been waiting for since ?College?. It was well worth the wait. The season also focused on Christopher?s drug use, as we finally tries to square away the loose ends of Chris always using. Probably the most evolving character on television, Christopher has gone from a stubborn insubordinate drug addict, to a little verion, of the cold hard, captain of industy type. The show also seemed to say goodbye to all the time they have spent on Anti Italian Defamation Leagues, in one of the show?s funniest outings. Christopher, which seemed to be everyone?s least faviorite, was rich in humor, and acted as a conduit to ?The Legend Of Tenesse Moltisanti?. The Weight was a rich throwback to the days of Season One, with junior and Tony almost going to war over psychiatry and cunninlingus. Yet this time we saw Ralphie Cifferato, and Johnny Sack, both almost getting killed over brash decisions. We saw how bad blood, and little things, would almost get a guy ?whacked?.
Episode Five, "Pie O My" was exceptional as well, if not for the humor, (Junior stealing fifty cents from Merv), then Janice muscling in on Bobby. And finally, we get to see Bobby do something besides act as comic relief. The scene with Tony and Pie at the end was classic as well.
Episode Six, ?Whoever Did This? was miles ahead of the show. While some of the Artie sub-plot might have seemed tedious, it made perfect sense. The show was perfect, and as far as psychology was concerned, it was perfect. Tony, not wanting to be an ogre, Tony, not wanting to be ?toxic?. All the psychology in this episode was some of the most realistic interpretations of someone?s psyche that the show has ever presented. Especially Jennifer Melfi, being able to hold herself against, ?The Loomer?.
?Watching Too Much Television? was exceptional. An old nod to ?46 Long?. When just the smallest thing, set Tony off. His attack of Zellman at the end, was a perfect example of why this show is so rich. Hell, Zellerman told Maurice, "Sometimes I feel like I should be punished". Guess he got what he thought he deserved. No easy answers, no explanations, and hell, who could forget the soundtrack. The Chi-Lites, and a song that is often overused in film, finally felt like it was written exactly for the scene.
"Mergers and Aquisitions" marked a turning point in the battle between Tony and Carmella. Everything was starting to make a little more sense, or as Artie Bucco would have said, "The cobwebs are now clear". The fingernail, Ralph's bottoming from the top, Valentina, Tony's boredom, and need to get himself into some more trouble. Paulie's Mother and a return to Greengrove was a nice trip down memory lane as well.
This season was finally about the growth of Carmella Soprano. No longer, the loving mob housewife, we finally saw some growth in her character. Janice and Bobby even worked. A lot of viewers complained about this sub-plot in general, yet it seems to have been laying the groundwork for whats to come in Season Five. As with Junior?s Altheimers, which was hinted at in Episode 9, ?Whoever Did This?, and the sad fate of Justin Cifferato, and the loss of Tony's top earner, or pointman, Ralphie Cifferato, seemed to be a lot of peoples favioirite of the season. I enjoyed this episode but found it to be the best when we got to spend time with Tony and Chris bonding.
The "Strong Silent Type" was awesome. Funny, dramatic, and the final nails before the coffin was shut on la marriage Soprano. Just the scene where Tony is going off on Chris for Cozzete, and the brief look between Furio and Benny, (I thought it was about everyone knowing that Tony killed Ralphie, and the look was, "He's at it again", about Tony being pissed at someone for killing an animal). This episode bore the brunt, or served to get Tony out of Melfi's office.
Episode 11, ?Calling All Cars?. It made perfect sense that Tony would walk away from therapy. He had become charmed by a ?tough? woman (Svletna), as he saw it, and viewed his therapy as a waste of time. This also hinted at Tony?s lack of impulse control. On a spur of the moment, one night stand, Tony walks out of therapy, because he believes that he is doing nothing more than bitching and whining about his problems. We get to meet Carmine Jr, who was if nothing more, giving the opportunity to deliver one of the more humorous lines of the season about a certain finance minister. The chaotic dreams, be it the opening ?Smokey Robinson? going chaotic?, or the creepy one with Tony being the hard class Italian worker, and seeing that creepy image of that woman on the stairs. I thought one of the funniest moments of the season, occurred when Tony was out in the patio in Florida, no longer in therapy, and having to deal with a nightmare. Especially the use of The Beach Boys, "Surfing, USA".
?Eloise? offered one of the more disturbing images of the season, since Ralphie beat Tracee, when Paulie smothered that old woman, all because she made fun of his mom. Which I guess stated the question again, ?Is everything, really all about everyone?s mother?. Furio?s flight was perfect, and was the most realistic way to end the Carmella, Furio crush. In my opinion, Furio, who realized, that he almost threw Tony into a helicopter blade, in a bout of extreme jealousy, knew he had no other choice but to leave the country.
And of Course, Whitecaps, with ?Scenes From A Marriage? undertones, was perfect. The Woody Allen film, "Interiors" also came to mind. Johny Sack and Tony?s ending over the aborted whacking of Carmine, seems to be the most mob centric ending, or at least realistic one possible. In my opinion, this episode was perfect. It was by far, my faviorite episode of The Sopranos. I viewed the season as being all about Tony, and his lack of impulse control. He agreed to to whack Carmine because of cash problems. Cash that was obviously neseccary to continue to provide for his family. In ?Eloise?, Tony realized what Sack wanted and said it best, ?Holy S***?. But by the beginning of ,?Whitecaps?, Tony had realized It wasn?t the best decision. Yet he continued with it because he needed the extra money if he was going to by ?Whitecaps?. As soon as Carmella was no longer with him, and Carmine had settled. Tony finally exerted impulse control. I think this episode, like ?Army Of One? was for Season Four?, has all the neseccary implements, for what will occur in the next season. Tony is very good at what he does. Give or take, Ralph, and a few other decisions. He realized, that the only reason he was agreeing with the hit on Carmine, was because of the money he needed for Carmella. Now, Tony might not be doing too good when Season Five opens, but I would be willing to bet that by ?All Due Respect? he will be back on top. Anyway, sorry about the lengthy post, but this was my opinion on why Season Four was the best.
</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub132.ezboard.com/bsopranolandf ... ony2k66</A> at: 2/28/04 6:57 am