At times, this one feels like an old Western, which it turns out, is the perfect way to frame the escalating conflict between Tony and Ralphie. Gavin and Hannibal examine the way “He is Risen” depicts the dangers of petty social insults in the mob world, as well as the episode’s approach to subtly introducing a major new character, not long before hilariously killing off an established one.
Gavin and Hannibal agree that ‘Second Opinion’ is a welcome respite from the brutality depicted in the several episodes leading up to it. Driven largely by the always brilliant Edie Falco and Dominic Chianese, this midpoint of Season 3 is thematically filled with threats, warnings, and a fairly decent share of comedy, courtesy of ‘kinky’ (HBO’s word, not ours), Paulie.
From its surprising opening to its enigmatic conclusion, ‘Another Toothpick’ is yet another well written, highly tragicomic, chapter of Season 3. Gavin and Hannibal praise the work of the solid character actors that put in guest appearances, discuss the continued exploration of Tony’s racism, and cringe at the hilariously pitiful antics of that ultimate lovable loser, Artie Bucco.
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 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.