You're right, it was the "jump the shark" point of the show."

Sorry, no. By definition the jump-the-shark point can only be determined AFTER the show has gone off the air.

Even though this wasn't the world's best episode, I bet that if we see some more action or mob-related plotlines in the next few weeks, nobody will be posting about jumping the shark.

I'm sick of this comic-book-guy `worst episode ever' syndrome.


Re: shark

F106A & Cutthroat & Elkbow:

I disagree with all your takes on this episode. You?re equating it to ordinary TV writing, which gives you predictable scripts & uncomplicated characters. The whole scenario with Tony, brings his inner thoughts to the surface. He has been struggling with these since season 1. The whole scene with him as a teenager says it all, just one more memory that his conscience has blocked. This points to the question of how many more significant memories is he blocking. As I stated before, this is an epiphany for him, watching this rotten fraud flirt and bamboozle.


Once more you gave an accurate description, this time of Fran, who I called a player. Decayed player is more like it!


The Bacala dog lines were great, weren?t they! And another point that you made was that Tony started his journey at his parents? gravesite. Very appropriate when I think about it.

Old Maid


Don't get it

Watched the episode again last night, and enjoyed it even more. A couple of points:

--Fran's "Happy Birthday" song was SUPPOSED to make you feel squeamish and embarrassed -- for her! This entire episode was about how incredibly difficult it is to change, and the price people pay when they are unable to change.
Fran is still a goomar. Notice how she couldn't even talk when Tony mentioned that the uncle was doing poorly since his wife died. She calls the waiter "my knight in shining armor," not only because he brought her some booze, but because she could change the subject away from age and death.
Chris is still an addict. The gambling buddy nailed him with the, "And you wanted to meet me in a bar!"
And what's the price of this? It's Junior, realizing that he's "living in the grave" with nobody around who really cares about him, able to leave his house only to attend other funerals. It's a pathetic existence, and he knows it.
Tony's session with Melfi was an absolute breakthrough. He finally saw life through his mother's eyes. He finally has to confront the pain HE has caused other people. Fran and Uncle Junior were practically shouting to him -- THIS IS WHERE YOU ARE HEADED! And he didn't like the view.
The difference between this series and every other on television is that it's as much about psychological conflict as it is about dramatic conflict. If you're tuning in just to see who gets whacked, you're missing the show.

--No humor? You've got to be kidding me. As someone else noticed, the look on AJ's face when Uncle Junior breaks down was priceless. Chris's parroting the 12-step lingo -- "there's no chemical solution to a spiritual problem" -- to a guy he had recently pummeled was hilarious. Even Junior's "aw, this xxxx-ing sh1t" during the funeral service was darkly comic. And the Tim Daly character unable to get more than $15 for an Emmy was rich.

--I hated that Daly character, by the way. Horribly miscast. And I think the priest, while great in his role as Carm's would-be seducer early on, is absolutely unconvincing when he is asked to be a real priest, such as at the funeral scenes.

In any event, this is the one episode that makes me think Tony might be headed to some sort of psychological ephinany regarding himself, his mother and his wife. That's the showdown I look forward to even more than NY vs NJ.



"And I think the priest, while great in his role as Carm's would-be seducer early on, is absolutely unconvincing when he is asked to be a real priest, such as at the funeral scenes."

I think that's the point. I think it's a sly dig at religion ANY time that Intantola is on the screen. He's as selfish and brooding as anybody else in the show.

Besides, have you ever actually seen a "convincing" priest? They all speak as if they're bored out of their minds...


Re: ...

I'm kind of surprised that a lot of people didn't like Fran, Polly Bergen. I thought she was hilarious, and very over the top. She reminded me of one of my aunts. A lot of people didn't like the flashback, and that was my favorite part of the episode. I've been a fan since season one and don't see the show going down hill. One thing I didn't like about this episode was not enough Carmela.


Fran Felstein

As uncomfortable a scene as it was, I think that Fran singing "Happy Birthday" was exactly the reaction Buscemi wanted to give the viewers. I thought Polly Bergen played it perfectly. The close-ups of her singing and Tony squirming as she walked towards him was priceless.

I swear I could smell Fran's sleazy perfume in my living room.



Does anybody know -- was this a one-show appearance by Fran? She played Tony so well, seems to me we might not have seen the end of her. I'm sure it was just a coincidence that she was visiting the grave on the day of the funeral.


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