‘All Happy Families...’ continues Season 5’s streak of near perfection. Gavin and Hannibal talk popularity contests, AJ at his worst, and share a ‘conspiracy theory’ about actor Robert Loggia. Also discussed is what The Sopranos has in common with other huge series like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Lost,’ and this episode’s important parallels with Season 2.
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.
This is a tough one to discuss, as it’s largely defined by a graphic depiction of sexual assault that’s difficult to shake. Gavin and Hannibal explain what make the pivotal scenes of this Emmy winning episode so challenging and impactful, and also pinpoint the surprising instances of levity which often accompany or follow some of its darkest moments.
Gavin and Hannibal travel to Italy with Tony, discussing “Commendatori’s” core themes of disappointment, culture shock and female empowerment. Things get lively as your hosts debate potential phallic symbolism (in shrimp) and Tony’s satisfaction (or lack thereof) with the trip’s outcome.
"Meadowlands" prompts Gavin and Hannibal's first disagreement about The Sopranos! The fascinating fourth episode of the series features a dream (or two?), a significant transfer of power in the family, and the moment AJ Soprano realizes that his dad is a gangster. G & H also get into the coolness of the show's costume choices, and the legendary heavy breathing of James Gandolfini.