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.
Don’t let all the pagers fool you, this episode is timeless, and represents a subtle evolution in craft for The Sopranos. As Gavin and Hannibal discover, it’s about several “fortunate sons” and profound in the way it insightfully weaves its themes of responsibility, identity and inheritance, through every last scene.
Gavin and Hannibal reflect on the poignant yet unsentimental way that The Sopranos chooses to address the passing of Nancy Marchand. This episode is beautifully crafted from a number of angles, with further allusions to Shakespeare, hilarious observations about the hypocrisy of mourners, and the introduction of Ralph Cifaretto, portrayed by the iconic Joe Pantoliano.
Gavin and Hannibal deconstruct The Sopranos’ most unique season opener yet. Your hosts note how this episode balances genuine tension and unexpected hilarity as it views Tony’s two families almost purely from the Feds’ perspective. It’s another great premiere that truly showcases the series’ deep commitment to innovative storytelling.
The fun never stops with Gavin and Hannibal’s take on this classic finale. Your hosts pull apart Tony’s eerie fever dreams rich with symbolism, and discuss the dramatic payoffs of several season long threads. One payoff in particular happens to occur at sea, in what is probably one of the most complex, suspenseful, and emotional “goodbye” scenes ever filmed for a TV show.
This legendary episode is a storytelling masterclass that should probably be in everyone’s top five. Gavin and Hannibal praise the excellent use of music in the opening and closing scenes, the show’s Shakespearean overtones, and the unpredictable twist in the closing act which offers this simple tip: “don’t hit Janice.”
Hannibal’s favorite Sopranos writer is back to deliver one of Gavin’s favorite Season 2 episodes. ‘House Arrest’ is very strong in the character arc department, taking Tony, Junior and Melfi on significant and at times subtle, emotional journeys. This one also gives us the “official” term for Richie’s unblinking stare, more priceless reactions from Bobby Baccala, and Gavin’s amusement at Hannibal’s “appreciation” of older women.
This episode stands out in strange ways. Maybe, as Gavin and Hannibal observe, it’s the fact that we see Tony in a state of fear and desperation for the first time, or it could simply be that this is our first Green-Burgess penned episode without a proper family dinner scene! Whatever the case may be, ‘Bust Out’ works well and quietly sets up the final act of Season 2.
Gavin and Hannibal journey down to the underworld with Chris, analyzing all the humor, terror and existential crises that cast regular (and first time Sopranos writer) Michael Imperioli, mines in this rollercoaster ride of an episode. Plus your hosts share their excitement over last weeks’s huge and unexpected Sopranos announcement!