Snow Day: THE SOPRANOS

To everyone on the East Coast, hope you’re finished digging out of the Blizzard of 2010. I only ventured outside yesterday for a few minutes of shoveling. The rest of time I channel surfed. I caught the second season Sopranos finale, “Funhouse,” on A&E. Now even censored, this is a pretty amazing hour of television. The dream sequences alone, as they always are for Tony and Co., are inspired: Tony stuck on the boardwalk, the little car (not present in this edited broadcast but memory serves), and of course Big Pussy with the fishes. A dream on The Sopranos is a random collection of seemingly profound recollections (as all dreams are). In this case, Tony has to face what he has known for the entire season: his best friend is in bed with the Feds. What’s a wiseguy to do? Even knowing Pussy’s fate and even with all the profanity pathetically dubbed, there is an almost unbearable tension to the scene on the boat as Pussy fights against but then seems to accept his fate complimented by the varying degrees of anguish on the parts of assassins Tony, Paulie, and Silvio. But all these years later (and maybe it was the snow), Tony’s discovery of the wire in Pussy’s bedroom doesn’t quite ring true. One moment Tony’s getting dressed, then he and Silvio are at Pussy’s, and then he discovers the damning evidence in the cigar box. I realize that the dreams were confirming what Tony knew in his gut all along, but a few more beats would’ve been welcome. And not for nothing, but the cigar box on your dresser, Pussy? You flipped out prior to A.J.’s confirmation when Angie caught you shaving your chest, and that’s where you hide the wire? Maybe he thought it was safer nearly in plain sight, likely no one else under his roof sampled stogies. But what if the wire was so easy to find simply to hurry the plot along to the hit at sea? Season Two was winding to a close; lots of quality moments with Richie and Janice intermingled with too many detours into the Scatino bust-out. That’s why Tony uncovers the wire in what feels like 30 seconds. Perhaps he shouldn’t have found the wire at all but simply confronted Pussy based on the images in his dreams. I think the big boy still would’ve cracked and sealed his own fate. In short, we don’t need to see Tony find the wire to get on board, literally and figuratively, with the business on the boat.

Don’t get me wrong; love, love, love The Sopranos. “Funhouse” is an awesome offering, particularly enhanced by the use of The Rolling Stones “Thru and Thru.” And a minor misstep in service of a fabulous climax is nothing compared to an entire “plot” on another show…

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