Gavin and Hannibal agree that ‘All Due Respect’ is a fitting and fulfilling conclusion to Season 5. This finale manages to do an incredible job of bringing Season 5 full circle, and in typically understated fashion, sets up the climactic seasons to come. Your hosts describe how this episode presents a fresh examination of Tony’s role as a leader, as well as a couple surprising twists, and the establishment of a potential new Mafia supervillain.
Gavin and Hannibal work their way through an episode that no true ‘Sopranos’ fan will ever forget. This is the one where they get back together. This is the one where a new King of New York is crowned. This is the one where she dies. This is ‘Long Term Parking,’ and it’s the ultimate penultimate season chapter. Your hosts break down the rapid fire plot developments that lead to Chris and Ade’s moment of truth, and how that moment is a conclusive statement on our main characters’ twisted pursuit of the American dream.
Dream analysis is always tricky, especially in “The Test Dream” - one of the more experimental episodes of “The Sopranos” ever produced. Gavin and Hannibal do their best to identify and explain the many symbols, cameos and references that make this story such a trippy and meta journey into Tony’s subconscious.
‘Cold Cuts’ is an unnerving exploration of how little things change over time. Gavin and Hannibal cover an episode that presents Tony at his most unlikable, and note the unexpected sympathy felt towards the traditionally unlikable Chris and Janice. Also explored: the occasionally unorthodox directorial choices of Mike Figgis, and the perils of recording a podcast after the consumption of several margaritas... Happy Holidays from ‘The Sopranos Show!’
When writers Matthew Weiner and Terence Winter join forces, the outcome is about as monumental as you’d expect. Gavin and Hannibal unpack the revelatory ‘Unidentified Black Males.’ This episode is filled with shocking developments, social commentary, the most powerful Tony-Melfi scene yet, and yes, a lot of Meadow and Finn... but it all works! The result is one of the true highlights not just of Season 5, but the whole series.
‘Marco Polo’ is the last of five scripts Michael Imperioli wrote for ‘The Sopranos,’ and he definitely ends his run on a high note. Gavin and Hannibal examine the factors that push Tony B past the point of no return, and Carmela and Tony S into the pool. Plus your hosts point out how this great story gives Gandolfini, Falco and Buscemi ample opportunity to display subtle new dimensions of their characters.
The past looms large ‘In Camelot.’ Gavin and Hannibal focus on Tony’s inability to forgive Livia, and Chris’ Tony-like Scorpion-Frog dynamic with a civilian. Featuring the creepiest rendition of ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ ever performed, and the most deaths of any Sopranos episode ever (*really), ‘In Camelot’ is another Steve Buscemi directed tour de force.
‘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.
Uncle Junior takes center stage in this, funny, tragic, and unexpectedly moving episode. Gavin and Hannibal spot the key callback to the series pilot and examine its outsized impact on Tony. Also discussed? Paulie’s hilarious application of ‘The Art of War,’ the trouble with having Janice as a stepmom, and the shortcomings of ‘New Barb.’
There are many ways to interpret the title of this episode, which focuses on the many rats employed by the Feds, to bring Tony down. Gavin and Hannibal discuss the series acting debut of Sopranos directing vet Steve Buscemi, and the highly emotional way his character, Tony B, seems to affect Tony. Plus your hosts contrast Adriana’s deep soul searching with Ray Curto’s hilarious nonchalance, and settle on the definitive pronunciation of ‘Soprano.’
‘Two Tonys’ arrived in 2004 after an extremely lengthy hiatus following the Season 4 finale. The creators of the show ensured the wait was worth it with an episode that wastes no time setting very high stakes. Gavin and Hannibal explore Tony’s difficulties with facing rejection, the evolution of Christopher Moltisanti, and the symbolic significance of the bear in the back yard.