‘Mergers and Acquisitions’ is a great example of how The Sopranos often finds hilarity in unexpected places. The various funny dilemmas in this episode keep Gavin and Hannibal laughing - from Paulie’s response to senior citizen bullying, to Tony’s investigation of Ralphie’s sex life in the hopes of finding a way to rationalize cuckolding his capo. Plus, your hosts parse the nuances of an amusing and masterful final scene that says everything that can be said about the state of Tony and Carmela’s marriage, and the price of infidelity.
Gavin and Hannibal tackle ‘Watching Too Much Television,’ discussing the desperation that leads Adriana to fast track her marriage for all the wrong reasons, and the unexpected emotional fallout that results when Tony and his business partners join forces on what should be a straightforward real estate scam. This episode emphasizes the costs of doing business with Tony, and forever leaves your hosts unable to think of The Chi Lites’ ‘Oh Girl,’ without also thinking of Tony’s belt...
Michael Imperioli once again pulls double duty, delivering what Gavin and Hannibal agree, is his best Sopranos script yet. In this episode, Tony, Artie, AJ and Carmela have plenty to be “hurt” about, and your hosts delve into the various sources of their pain. This story has a lot to say about income inequality (in unexpected places), guilt motivated altruism, and the toxicity of the mob world. Plus, it features a very young Paul Dano in a small but memorable role!
Today, we literally interrupt your regularly scheduled The Sopranos Show to bring you Gavin and Hannibal’s quick chat with Maureen Van Zandt, who portrayed Silvio Dante’s wife Gabriella! A huge thank you to Mrs. Van Zandt for a fun, and fascinating glimpse into the making of The Sopranos, and her role in it. Of course, your hosts also delve into this week’s episode ‘Pie-O-My’ discussing the truly great work done by James Gandolfini and Joe Pantoliano, who memorably find the tension in their characters’ friendship rise over a horse, and Drea De Matteo, who gives us an emotional look at what it’s like to be torn between two sides.
Gavin and Hannibal view ‘The Weight’ as a highly entertaining return to the urgent and emotional high stakes storytelling that makes The Sopranos what it is. Terence Winter’s script convincingly depicts how the fallout from a single mean joke can escalate to a near bloodbath, while giving Vincent Curatola the opportunity to take full ownership of the character Johnny Sack, with a performance that is both chilling and sympathetic.
‘Christopher,’ is the widely agreed upon fan ‘least favorite,’ of the series. Gavin and Hannibal attempt to get to the root of just what exactly went wrong here. Low dramatic stakes, a misleading title, and a few too many cheesy jokes make ‘Christopher’ infamous, though it’s not a complete loss! This third installment of the season is redeemed at times with laugh out loud moments and politically relevant cultural observations.
Gavin and Hannibal examine the many well written and acted confrontations of “No Show,” an episode which culminates in one of the more powerful scenes ever performed between James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Your hosts also discuss the implications of the choices made by Silvio, Christopher, Adriana and Paulie in this episode, and how they may or may not prove to have major consequences for all involved, as Season 4 continues to unfold.
“Everything comes to an end,” Carmela declares in the fourth season premiere of The Sopranos. Gavin and Hannibal discuss the weighty implications of that statement, as well as the episode’s gripping focus on security and vengeance, in a post 9/11 America. Your hosts also delve into the chillingly ambiguous event that cements Tony and Christopher’s bond, and the far less chilling but hotly debatable riddle of the Icelandic Air Flight Attendants...
Gavin and Hannibal arrive at the official midpoint of the series! The third season of The Sopranos concludes with some thoughtful commentary on parenthood, an intentionally anti climactic death, and some notably great acting by Robert Iler. Plus, Gavin explains what makes this otherwise solid episode feel scattered in its final scenes, and Hannibal attempts to finally get to the bottom of just what exactly is going on with Paulie‘s hair.
In a trademark Sopranos move, the penultimate episode of the season comes fully loaded with thrilling moments of climax and catharsis. Gavin and Hannibal’s latest discussion centers on the incredibly well executed script by Frank Renzulli (his last for the series), which contains scenes that specifically give actors James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Joe Pantoliano and Annabella Sciorra, ample opportunity to put the full breadth of their talents on display.
Gavin and Hannibal almost get lost in the woods raving about ‘Pine Barrens,’ arguably the most popular episode of The Sopranos, and one that is a source of endless fascination to its fans. Flawlessly directed by Steve Buscemi, and featuring one of Tony Sirico’s all time great performances as Paulie, this is a landmark chapter of the series filled with tension, hilarity, mystery, and a Russian that just won’t die... or did he?
In our first Yuletide set Sopranos episode, we get several revealing flashbacks in which Tony is haunted by ghosts of Christmas past. As Gavin and Hannibal observe, “To Save Us All From Satan’s Power” displays tremendous depth in its approach to referencing past events, and setting up future ones. It also gives insight into how mobsters emotionally process the experience of being betrayed by one of their own.
With uncharacteristic use of broad comedy, awkward staging, and scenes that feel just a little too long, “The Telltale Moozadell” is not one of Season 3’s finest hours. Despite its shortcomings, Gavin and Hannibal agree that this episode still has interesting moments - particularly in relation to the evolving dynamic between Tony and Jackie Jr.