I'm kind of torn with this episode of The Sopranos. I think it has to do with the fact that this show is winding towards it's end; I can't see how ANY of this is going to piece itself together (2 more episodes this year, another 8 starting Jan. 2007)... there is just a lot going on, rifts being presented, and chapters seemingly open-ended. Let's get to brass tax.
First off, Johnny Sack got 15 years. His lawyers started out trying to get him to flip -- as I said last week, he shot that down with the quickness. Some of his people (Phil Leotardo, Silvio) made some strong comments about his course of action, but he had no choice, honestly. They went after his assets, and he stood like a man and made sure his family was taken care of. He had to take some low blows, like selling Tony his house for half price, but if he stood trial, that shit would have gotten UGLY, and there's no telling how many MORE years he would have gotten, as well as how much more loot they'd take from him. In my opinion, smart move, but that life they chose can be a bitch sometimes. With that story, you get some funny moments. Ginny (happy 50th, ma) had her brother play messenger between Tony and Johnny, and seeing Andrew in the jailhouse with Johnny, trying to talk in code, was hilarious ("Our friend with the stomach", "7 cups of coffee", etc). John's a broken man, but he is taking this shit right on the chin. Good luck.
Speaking of selling the house to Tony, guess who got it? Janice, of all people. She cried to Tony in the beginning, made him feel guilty about things. She kept on and on about how Tony is just like Livia, how he always shits on Bobby, wondering why Bobby isn't a captain. Bitch even went as far as to say that the only thing shared between them is DNA. Cold, right? He took this to Dr. Melfi, who we got to see twice, and she told him that it's possible his early sexual fantasies were about Janice (barf!), and that because she got laid and got out, he had to take the brunt of the pain from Livia, as well as running the family business. He has always had that soft spot for Janice, and will always do for her. It's just fucked up that things have to be like that, and she always makes her problems the only important problems.
And boy does she have some problems. Bobby Jr. is showing his ass, talking slick to both her and Bobby. She's the only one who really can put a foot in his ass, but as he gets older, he's kind of not even wanting to deal with them (can you blame him?). She also has to deal with Bobby Bacala, who in every preview, from HBO.com to my cable provider, said he has a "visual impairment"; this cat got got up in Newark by a gang of kids. They beat him down (that's the scene I thought was someone getting beat by firemen -- wtf was I on?!?!) with a lead pipe, jacked his money, and shot at the ground, which ricocheted into his eye. Tony initially laughed at this, but I think the guilt set in, and this is something that leads to him giving Janice and Bobby the house.
The other continuing arc in this episode was Vito's Big Adventure. We first see him chugging Smirnoff in the library, drawing motorcycles. Johnnycakes sees him and is upset (remember, "Vincent" told him that he was a sports writer), but Vito calms him down. Vito also lets Johnnycakes know that he is connected, not in so many words, but why would he even go that route? He doesn't know that bitch from Adam. Anyways, one night Johnnycakes responds to a fire call, and Vito decides he wants to go with him. He ends up saving the day at the fire by cutting some electrical wire, which pisses Johnnycakes off (he ends up giving in and apologizing). "Vinny" takes Johnnycakes up on his offer to work some odd jobs for some locals, but that doesn't set well with Vito at all, and these scenes were some of the funniest. From Vito getting caught "on a siesta" in the barn to the dialogue he has with himself, trying to coax himself from clock-watching, are some of the best individual scenes of the year. Vito cooks dinner for Johnnycakes, who tries to butt-pump him at the stove, but that was a meal he'd have to wait for later. OK, the homosexual stuff got to be a little too thick for me, and I think it got to be too much for Vito, because he cleared out of there. He longed for the life he knew, which is back in NJ. While drunk driving, he ends up smacking the shit out of a SUV on wooded road. The guy has a rapport with Vito, who just wants to bounce, but dude wanted to file a police report. Vito went to grab his registration, which turned out to be a gat, and he plugged homey in the back of the skull, murking him in the woods. Fuck the dumb shit, but watch him get popped for that. Vito took off (ironically yelling "cocksucker" while trying to detach his car from the SUV) and drives back to his stomping grounds, passing the pork shop with a found glare. Silly bitch, you are about to get capped.
A few additional points of interest:
Meadow revealed to Tony that her relationship with Finn is NOT working well. It seems that they are spending little time together, and that time is usually spent apart anyways. She cried on Tony’s shoulder, but he was none to pleased… kept insisting that she discuss this with Carm.
Carm and Tony were going back and forth about this spec house. We found out that Tony let it “slip his mind”, and ordered Silvio to speak to the inspector. Sil was fronting on it, putting it off until Friday, but Tony told him to 86 their meeting… a day after he noticed that Carm was looking to get another contractor for the job, possibly costing more money. In my opinion, Tone doesn’t want Carm to be working outside of the house, no matter how small the task is. He was pissed when he came home to no home-cooked meal, just some sandwiches, while she was prepping for an interview. She was pissed when he basically lied and told her they wouldn’t budge, but what can she do? Tony wants her in the house, and as long as his lies work, she can’t do much else. WHY he’s doing her like that is the question… esp. if she did so much for him when he got shot…
The preview looked juicy… I get the distinct feeling that Vito got found by the crew. There’s a scene with Phil, Sil, Tone and someone else walking through what looks like a warehouse… which looks like the same warehouse that Sil is telling Tony he doesn’t want to go in. I think they catch Vito, and don’t want T to know he got caught. Who knows.
*sigh* I’m a bit upset about this whole Sopranos ending thing. I watch 2 old episodes every Sunday it seems. I will be kind of torn when this ends. Anyone else?
We’ll chew this over next week. EZ.