‘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.
It’s another special episode of ‘The Sopranos Show!’ Gavin and Hannibal have a fascinating chat about all things Sopranos with Allen Coulter, director of such legendary episodes as ‘College,’ ‘The Night in White Satin Armor,’ and many more! Plus your hosts delve into ‘Sentimental Education’ which takes Carmela and Tony B on tragic yet thematically linked journeys. Gavin and Hannibal address the episode’s fable like qualities, and how it manages to quietly shift Season 5 into a whole new gear.
It’s easy to see why this one got both Michael Imperioli and Drea de Matteo Emmys. Writers Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess also shine with their first contribution to Season 5, the extremely intense, ‘Irregular Around the Margins.’ Gavin and Hannibal explain what makes this episode ‘irregular’ (from a storytelling point of view) and shocking (though in a very plausible way). Plus Gavin shares his spot on Steve Buscemi impersonation, and your hosts announce their next ‘The Sopranos Show’ guest!
‘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.
Today, Gavin and Hannibal host a truly special episode of The Sopranos Show, in which they interview former Sopranos staff writer and executive producer, Frank Renzulli! Frank is responsible for penning some of the greatest episodes from the first three seasons including ‘Nobody Knows Anything,’ ‘The Happy Wanderer,’ and ‘Amour Fou.’ In a conversation that covers all aspects of the making of the series, Frank details what it was like to grow up surrounded by real wiseguys, and how this informed characters and scenes in the show. Plus he recalls the hilarious experience of meeting David Chase for the first time, and highlights the invaluable contributions of the show’s actors. A huge thanks to Frank for joining us today, and Gavin and Hannibal will be back next week to cover the premiere of Season 5!
‘Whitecaps’ is the longest episode of The Sopranos. Is it the greatest episode of the series up to this point? Probably. Gavin and Hannibal focus on James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, whose Emmy winning performances in this Season 4 finale, raise the bar for what can be achieved in the medium of television. ‘Whitecaps’ also displays once again, the writers’ sophisticated understanding of psychology and mastery of storytelling. Plot points quietly set up throughout the season are decisively paid off in this episode, resulting in an epic climax that delivers on all levels.
Gavin and Hannibal interpret this episode as a story of heartbreak... and its consequences. Carmela without warning loses the love of someone very close, and Paulie unexpectedly finds that a friendship he depended on isn’t quite what he thought it was. Your hosts call attention to the many funny, suspenseful and even tragic moments that define another typically strong script from Terence Winter. ‘Eloise’ is special for delivering the traditional penultimate episode of the season fireworks... but in a much quieter and menacing way than usual.
‘Calling All Cars’ is bookended with ominous dream sequences that suggest Tony is in greater danger than he knows. Gavin and Hannibal examine the symbols in this tension heavy, occasionally hilarious, and somewhat spooky episode. Plus your hosts explain why this is the worst time for Tony to quit therapy, and question whether the ends justify the means, when it comes to Janice’s aggressive pursuit of Bobby.
It’s not easy to be “the strong, silent type” if you’re Tony, Christopher or Furio. Gavin and Hannibal address Tony’s emotionally complex dynamic with cute animals, Chris at rock bottom, and Furio’s increasingly risky forbidden love. Plus your hosts get caught up in the logistics of one legged sex, identify their favorite props from the series, and arrive at the first Sopranos storyline that Hannibal just doesn’t understand.