With ‘Kennedy and Heidi,’ the makers of The Sopranos pull off one of the most shocking and memorable major character death scenes ever devised for television. Gavin and Hannibal explain what makes the scene in question quintessential ‘David Chase,’ and how the episode as a whole offers rich insight into the Tony and Christopher dynamic (especially as it relates to Adriana), as well as the fully justifiable reasons for AJ’s descent into true despair.
Writer Terence Winter directs his first and only episode of ‘The Sopranos,’ further proving why he’s one of the series’ greatest storytellers. Gavin and Hannibal consider ‘Walk Like a Man’ to be yet another masterful final season episode. The highly emotional Melfi session, the arcs of Chris and A.J, and J.T. Dolan’s climactic scene, are just a few of the memorable and surprising highlights.
As far as Gavin and Hannibal are concerned, this is maybe the weirdest episode of The Sopranos ever. Not bad... just weird. Your hosts explain how odd it is that the filmmakers for one episode only, decided to go fully handheld with the camera, resulting in lens and composition choices that are pretty jarring. Plus, Tony suddenly is a frothing at the mouth, out of control, degenerate gambler? Though ‘Chasing It’ definitely has its strengths, it’s not hard to see why it’s the least loved chapter of Season 6B.
This is the second Season 6B episode in a row that makes use of a single, overriding, theme to an all encompassing and ultimately tragic effect. ‘Remember When’ is about the pain of the past. Gavin and Hannibal note how that theme is woven into the arc of Junior’s ill-fated new friendship, as well as Tony and Paulie’s trip to Miami, and down memory lane. ❤️
Gavin and Hannibal bid a fond farewell to Johnny Sack in their discussion of the magnificent ‘Stage 5.’ Your hosts agree that everything about this episode works: from Vincent Curatola’s beautiful performance, to the surprisingly consequential fallout of the ‘Cleaver’ screening, to the story’s thematic statements on the downsides of being a leader. ‘Stage 5’ is another great script from Terence Winter, with high levels of comedy and drama, providing a prime example of ‘The Sopranos’ doing what it does best.
Gavin and Hannibal arrive at the beginning of the end! ‘Soprano Home Movies’ is one of the greats, blending flashbacks, callbacks, bad karaoke, and the most unexpected fist fight of all time, from a script that would make Edward Albee proud. Your hosts examine the ways in which Livia manages to haunt this episode, and the events that compel Tony to take what is arguably his darkest act of vengeance yet.
Once you realize what the title of this episode references, it’s hard not to see it as the funniest title of the series. Gavin and Hannibal wrap up Season 6A with a discussion that touches upon the successes and failures of the season overall, the plausibility of AJ’s new romance, and why Tony’s “every day is a gift” philosophy is difficult to maintain when one is part of the mob.
‘Cold Stones’ is a fitting penultimate chapter for Season 6A... which is both great, and at times, not so great. Gavin and Hannibal explain what makes the traditional late season main character death not all that surprising, and dig into the intriguing subtext of Carmela’s Paris trip. Your hosts also discuss Phil’s terrifying wife, Tony ‘back in black,’ and the right and wrong time to pick nits.
Moe n’ Joe has Gavin n’ Hannibal confused about a couple things... like the meaning of the title itself, or what Jim sees in Vito. Still, the episode has its high points: Chris’ sole scene is hilarious, Melfi does a great job leading Tony to an important epiphany about Janice, and a snowy murder towards the end channels ‘Fargo’ in all the right ways. Your hosts also discuss the latest news out of ‘Newark.’
There are many rides in ‘The Ride,’ both literal and metaphorical. Gavin and Hannibal examine Chris’ reasons for falling off the wagon yet again, Tony’s war against boredom, and the events that push Paulie to look deep into himself as never before. Plus Gavin explains why he now views this episode more favorably than he did in the past, and your hosts discuss why many fans (themselves included) tend to have issues with Season 6A.
Your hosts have mixed feelings about ‘Johnny Cakes.’ On one hand it contains profound and powerful scenes that rank amongst the series’ best. On the other hand, are several scenes so cliche ridden and implausible, they’re unintentionally hilarious. Gavin and Hannibal discuss the unsavory nature of Julianna Skiff, AJ’s sad and misguided attempts to live up to the family name, and how Jim could ever question whether or not Vito wants the tall stack.
Gavin and Hannibal agree that ‘Luxury Lounge’ ranks very high on the ‘funniest Sopranos episodes’ list. It makes hilarious use of cameos (‘Sir Ben’ Kingsley, ‘Betty’ Bacall) to lampoon Hollywood culture, and does a great job updating dilemmas previously established in Seasons 2 & 4. Plus, Gavin points out that Tony, for the first time, correctly deploys the Ojibwe saying, and Hannibal defends his love of Charmaine Bucco from unjust attacks!
Gavin and Hannibal can’t quite figure out how a Chase-Winter-Green-Burgess script directed by Tim Van Patten, winds up being one of the more mediocre Sopranos episodes, but they have some theories. Though ‘Live Free or Die’ just never quite comes together, your hosts single out the quality moments of humor that keep it entertaining.