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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
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Posts: 15641
Posted: 12 September 2019 at 9:07pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

“The Strong, Silent Type”.


Another great episode. I had a feeling about this one when I saw that David Chase had a story credit. I was not disappointed, since the opening scene—with a heroin-addled Christopher sitting on and killing Adriana’s beloved dog—features the sort of gleefully macabre humor which is a trademark of the show. A horrible moment which also somehow manages to be shockingly funny.

Speaking of which, Paulie's appropriation of the painting of Tony and Pie-O-My, only to have it repainted so as to assuage his guilt, is also quite hilarious. Tony repainted in Napoleonic garb and hanging on Paulie’s wall is one of the most gloriously absurd images that the show has yet produced.

Meanwhile, the Carmella-Furio flirtation is heating up. I continue to be amazed at how much depth that Furio—introduced seasons ago as a mere thug—has been given by this subplot. And of course, this episode also has Tony’s bizarre tryst with, of all people, Svetlana. It’s a nice study in contrasts, what with Tony having casual affair after casual affair, whereas Carmella has struggled for episode after episode regarding whether or not to seal the deal with Furio. And very possibly seal Furio’s fate by doing so.

We also have Tony grappling with the aftermath of his murdering Ralphie. Clever move to turn the suspicions of his crew against Johnny Sack and the New York crew after Sack threatens him over the HUD scam. 

And then there’s Christopher and his drug addiction. The intervention is a highlight of the episode, and features a fun bit part by the great Elias Koteas. In proper SOPRANOS fashion, the intervention ends with Chris cursing out his own mother, and then being beaten to the point of a skull fracture by his own friends and partners. Yeah, there’s always that extra twinkle of dark humor in the episodes which Chase takes a more direct hand in.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 13 September 2019 at 6:38am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The intervention! I forgot all about that. The show is at its best when dying mob culture clashes against more current cultural trends. (Like when 2 goons tried to rob a Jewel concert). I remember thinking at the start of the scene "A mobster intervention? This can't end well". And nope, it did not disappoint.

And of course there was that little tidbit of Tony getting incensed upon hearing the Chris killed Adriana's dog. There wasn't too much to it, but it was a reminder of Tony's affinity for animals.
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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
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Posts: 15641
Posted: 13 September 2019 at 8:08am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Yeah, the culture clash between the mobsters and their Old World code/culture and modern-day life is a subtle-yet-important part of the show’s appeal, I think.


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