Sopranos Final Season

Week 5: God, It's Good To See Meadow Again
Talking television.
May 7 2007 2:45 PM

Sopranos Final Season

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Dear Jeff and Tim,

What an episode. But as we say in television: More on that after this.

Advertisement

First, I'm compelled to defend myself against an offensive and demeaning mischaracterization in Jeff's otherwise kind introduction. I was appalled to read Jeff's description of me as a "troubled visionary." Anyone who knows me can tell you I have never been a visionary. While I indeed played a role in modern music while a teenager wearing tight-fitting khakis in California (I really did have a friend named Rhonda and badly needed her assistance), in the years since, I've devoted my life to journalism and the search for a really good sausage sandwich.

I am humbled to be present and share this space. My bona fides are these: Born and raised in New Jersey, I once attended a wedding reception at Snuffy's in North Jersey with a full capo in attendance.

An important biographical note: While living in Jersey, I was a fireman in the town where I grew up. Many of the members of my volunteer fire department were police officers by day, and many of them did home repairs to make ends meet. I never knew any of them to pay less than retail for drills, sanders, or circular saws. I still visit the state, via public roads, to see my father, and so I just wanted to make that clear.

But back to my bona fides. I later covered the Scarfo trial in Philadelphia, and had the same exposure to Gotti as most reporters in New York did in the late '80s and early '90s. My devotion to The Sopranos is total. I can quote the price of gasoline at the Sunoco station in the opening sequence, I have eaten at Pizzaland and have been to the Bing. Full disclosure: During the shooting of a feature on the show a few weeks ago, I learned stuff. No one will ever get it out of me. Even if they held me down, took my shoes off, and ... well, never mind.

So now it gets darker. Tony's annoyance is palpable, Christopher discovers that clean living in a dirty line of work is a crippling oxymoron. Paulie freelances at landscaping, and A.J. freelances in the family business.

David Chase continues to exercise his ear and his eye. He knows that no man can grill near another man without offering grilling advice. We hear enough low-flying aircraft noise to know exactly how close Christopher's house is to EWR. The Dido music (coupled with the couple playing tonsil hockey at the pizza restaurant) forces A.J. to throw in the apron. Carmela is reading Fred Barnes. We got to see John Wayne as Red Adair, we got to see Tony's post-Sept. 11 patriotism in full bloom, and while we worry that the feds have infiltrated AA, we now learn Christopher may not need the motivation of a RICO charge to spill what he knows. Nobody drops Sammy Bull's name casually. Oh, and memo to Dick Wolf: That next script you're waiting for may be a little late. Speaking of corporate alliances, is it possible HBO made a product-placement deal with NBC (Leno and Law and Order, plus NASCAR is on TV at the Bing) that I didn't know about?

By the way, for those of you on Judaica Watch: Where did "tsoris" come from during Christopher's impromptu stairwell AA after-meeting? I was rocked by it. Was I alone?

Other noteworthy moments: Carm's near-poetic use of "loved and lost ... ," which was so beautifully lost on Tony and A.J., Christopher's tip of the hat to Dunkin Donuts' centennial celebration (which many of us thought did not get the media coverage it deserved at the time), and Tony's Tom Friedman-esque distinction between Arabs ... and Arabians.

The chenille throw under which A.J. watched television (in the "fetus position") was yet another reason to erect a monument to the set designer.

For those of you on Malaprop Watch: We're into double digits. "Mellifluous box," and " ... all that it entrails" were this week joined by ostrafied.

God, it's good to see Meadow again. I say that as the father of a college freshman. The smiles exchanged by Tony and Carm, warmed by the thought of their children trading the usual barbs at the family table, mask the trouble beneath the surface.

Best,
Brian

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The Only Good Thing That Happened at Today’s Soul-Crushing U.N. Climate Talks

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.