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 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.
The intentionally misspelled title is a hint that this laugh filled episode is a wild ride. Gavin and Hannibal point out what makes the explosive ‘Scarface’ style opening such an entertaining change of pace, and describe how this relatively Tony-light story depicts what the show might have been like without James Gandolfini. Plus Maureen Van Zandt (Gabriella Dante) returns! ‘Mayham’ shows us the Dantes as we’ve never seen them before, and Mrs. Van Zandt shares her perspective on shooting scenes with her husband, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the premiere, and the upcoming Sopranos movie.
Gavin and Hannibal join Tony in “Finnertyland,” discussing an episode that propels The Sopranos to dramatic new heights of symbolism and poignancy. Your hosts focus on the not-exactly-a-dream sequence that gives James Gandolfini the opportunity to portray a Clark Kent version of Tony journeying through a purgatory-like plane of reality. Also of note, is a definitive performance by Edie Falco, which features the delivery of an unforgettable monologue, sensitively crafted by David Chase.
The premiere of Season Six throws a LOT at the audience and climaxes with one of the most shocking moments in series history. It can’t be a surprise then, that it takes Gavin and Hannibal nearly 90 minutes to unpack it all. Your hosts hone in on the themes of health, aging and misplaced trust that dominate this episode, and describe how it places Tony and Carmela in a position to embark on journeys more complex and dangerous than ever before.