Sopranos Final Season

Week 7: Chlorinated Waters Run Deep
Talking television.
May 22 2007 12:18 PM

Sopranos Final Season


Dear Brian and Tim,

Brian, Brian, Brian—please don't worry, you're not here because someone dropped out on us this week. You are—dare I say it?—our anchor. At least until Katie returns our phone calls.


I never had a Lincoln Log sandwich growing up. Maybe it's not a Jewish thing. What is it, anyway? It looked repulsive, like something you would find at a Cracker Barrel or at Stuckey's. Have I ever told you the story of John Gotti Jr. and the chicken-fried steaks at Cracker Barrel? I know, I know, "remember when" is the lowest form of conversation. But it's funny. (I do fear, by the way, that I'm going to end up like Paulie—not the vampire hair or the willingness to smother old ladies to death with their pillows, but in my preference for nostalgia over actual conversation.)

Tim, I'm glad you noticed that great Carmela lit-crit moment; I also laughed out loud, in part because her condemnation of Yeats echoed her earlier criticism of the late Leslie Fiedler. You might recall this from an earlier season: Carmela and Tony get trapped in an undergraduate bull session about gay subtexts in American literature, and Meadow quotes Fiedler, who asserted that Melville's Billy Budd had a little touch of the old Vito Spatafore in him, to which Carmela responds, "Well, she's wrong."

Tim, one more thing, and I'm sorry to get all Tipper Gore on your ass here, but maybe you should take Will's Gears of War game and, ummm, throw it out? Or better yet, give it to me, a grown male who will curb-stomp responsibly and in moderation?

Department of Corrections Department: I slandered in my previous post by confusing it with, which is the Web site of Aljazeera Magazine, not the television network. has a section devoted to conspiracies. would never, ever make a market in conspiracy theories.

Since obviousness is a subtheme of this week's dialogue, I'm surprised at myself—and youse guys, too—that we didn't see the significance of Tony's pool as the location of A.J.'s incompetent suicide attempt. (I don't think it was a cry for help, by the way; I think Tony's right—the mathematical calculations necessary to complete the mission successfully were simply beyond A.J.'s capacities.) Luckily, Emily Yoffe, Slate's perspicacious Prudence, did see the significance. In an e-mail, she first insulted us—"I think Sopranos commentators are the rough beast"—and then noted, "The whole series began with Tony jumping into the pool, enchanted with the duck family that had landed there, then heartbroken when they flew away." It is no coincidence, she said, that A.J. tried to end his life in the pool. The ducks symbolize life and family tranquility; why not end the illusion of Soprano family happiness in the same place?

Brian, not too shabby in the perspicacity department himself, points out that the most wrenching moments in the episode concern a family in a world of hurt. There is nothing else just then—everything else is stripped away. I know we're under a self-imposed ban on rank speculation, but it seems to me that we're being clued in here about the series' climactic episodes; if tragedy is to strike Tony, it will strike his family, not his business, because he is not a sociopath when it comes to his love for Meadow and A.J. Of course, I've been known to be wrong before.



Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
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.