New Season Of HBO's SOPRANOS Starts This Sunday!

Chris and Paulie were as funny as ever. Only this show could make whacking a waiter into a healing experience. :smiley:

The bear must be a metaphor, but for what?

When did Jan and Bobby get married?

I’m glad Melfti rejected Tony’s advances (and wasn’t he just a tad bit creepy in his pursuit?). One of the shows great strengths is that it has preserved Melfi’s integrity as a character. The show would jump the shark if she ever slept with Tony. Keeping her ethical keeps the show grounded in reality. Another great example of that was the rape episode when Melfti refrained from enlisting Tony to get revenge. At the time, I remember that I badly wanted Tony to find out about the rape and take care of the rapist. It would have been extremely gratifying on a visceral level, but in retrospect it would have ruined Melfti’s character by making her implicit in a murder. It was the right choice for the character and for the show.

I can’t wait to see Buscemi. I liked Robert Loggia too.

There was nothing about the Adriana/FBI storyline this episode but I guess they’ll have to keep stringing that out if they really want to do another season after this one (my Guess is that by the end of the series, the feds will have turned Chris and put him into the WPP).

God, it’s good to have this show back. I’t’s got be the best written, best acted drama I’ve ever seen on television.

It might be a metaphor, but it’s a fact of life in suburban Jersey. My parents, who live up in north North Jersey (Sussex County) woke up on Sunday morning to a full grown bear walking through their backyard. :slight_smile:

I loved how they just sort of off-handedly dropped this in. Ah, Janice, wonder what machinations she’ll be up to this season. No doubt she’ll be trying to manipulate Bobby…I wonder if we’ll see his rarely seen “mobster” side more rather than his lovable fat guy persona.

There was a little hint of it, Ade quizzed Chris on where he was heading out to dinner and who he was going to be with.

In case anyone was curious, the book Christopher was reading was titled “My Search for Bill W”. I had never heard of this book, so I looked it up. says it’s a book about the creator of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Fits quite well, with Chris being clean and all after rehab.

We were discussing this last night. My prediction: You’ll recall she referred to Steve Buscemi’s character as a “fox” when he was younger (?!), and two minutes later found she’d lost her wedding ring. I’m guessing when Steve shows up, Janice’ll be spending a lot of time with him to “get caught up,” be it innocent or not. Bobby’ll be certain something’s going on and point to Janice’s missing ring as proof.

I read it as the continuing threat that Tony’s business poses to his family. The bear was attracted to the yard because Tony put the feeder out for the ducks. In the first season, Melfi suggested that Tony’s panic attacks were triggered by the ducks’ leaving the pool because he was sublimating his anxieties over Anthony being raised up into “the life.” So if on some level, the ducks represent his family, and his attempts to attract them back to the pool by providing food are echos of things like his showering Anthony with expensive gifts, the bear is the the catch.

In this episode, Tony tells Melfi that the violence is “just how he feeds his family,” and that there are two Tonys, and he wants her to see the other one – then the scene cuts to Tony’s goon on “bearwatch,” with Tony’s big ol’ gun. When’s the last time Carmella saw the “white-suited” Tony? She makes a point of telling him it was the duck food that attracted the bear, but he seems doubtful about it. One of the things that Tony has to “get” is how to be a good father and husband – beyond just providing food.

The next time Tony and Dr. Melfi meet, he storms out of the office when she says “I can’t bear witness to violence.” (Deliberate phrasing there, or am I reading too much into it?) Tony then drives straight to Carmella’s and takes over the bearwatch duties himself.

Beyond that, free-associating on the symbolism of bears makes me think of Russians, natch. How long before they make an appearance, this season? :smiley:

Buscemi said in an interview that his character is going to be very calculating and deliberate. He and Chase want him to be a polar opposite of Ralphie, who was such a loose cannon.

Well, the previews for next week’s episode were practically all about that.

Did Janice burn the roast? It looked pretty dark when Meadow opened the oven. Also, I would love to be able to make TV/movie mashed potatoes: one big dollop, like a soft ice cream cone.

Nice of Tony to give AJ a full drum kit for his room, perfect way of sticking it to Carmella while appearing generous to his son. The guy truly is a sadist, finding a way to make that little prick even more annoying requires a kind of genius.

It looked like it. That would fit in with Janice’s character, she’s always been a lousy cook. A.J. didn’t complain about her cooking to Carmela, but that would have required A.J. to actually speak more than a sentence at a time to his mother. Last year when she was getting her fingers around Bobby she pawned off other’s cooking as her own, brought over fast food, or reheated the sainted Karen’s last ziti…

At first I thought the bear was a symbol of Carmella’s vunerability without Tony. She has always been protected and insulated from the world by Tony, even though she had ambivelent feelings about what he did to provide her with comfort and security. He always kept the “bears” away, albeit in a rather unorthox, amoral and unsubtle manner.

Then, without Tony, Carmella had to face the “bears” alone. Tony sitting outside the house, guarding his wife with an assault rifle is almost a perfect metaphor for their marriage.

The duck food throws an interesting wrinkle into it, though. It shows that maybe what Tony does to provide for his family actually puts them in more danger.

I like what you said about the “two Tonys.” Tony has compartmentalized his life to an extent and he believes that his persona as a loving family man is seprate from what he sees as the necessity of his mob boss persona. But is he really a very good family man? He has constantly cheated on Carmella throughout their marriage. He is domineering and controlling with his kids (he whacked his daughter’s boyfriend, for cripe’s sake…not that the guy didn’t deserve it). The whole family lives in fear of his rages. He thinks that providing for them materially is showing them love, but the way he provides for them makes them even more vulnerable.

Regardless of what the bear means, it’s effing great to have a show which can not only use metaphors, but use them in a manner which is not clunkingly obvious and simplistic but which is thought provoking and ambiguous.

If the guy who was watching the house at the end of last nights show (Tony told him to leave…that he’d take over) looked at all familiar, his name is Max Casella, and, if you are old enough to remember, he played ‘Doogie Howsers’ buddy, who used to climb in Doogie’s window and give advice. (Doogie Howser, MD)

My thoughts:
–No episode that starts off with Emmylou can be all bad.

–AJ: Somebody needs to get that kid a metronome. And a pair of testicles. If Tony had heard him squealing for his mommy, he would have put his foot up his ass. When your own mother says you’re an asshole, maybe it’s time to re-examine things.

–I thought it was great character writing when Tony said, “An Eastern black bear?” He always seems to be watching quasi-educational television (the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, etc.), so I can see him remembering tidbits from a show he watched about bears.

–They answered my question about Furio–Tony didn’t know. I guess Furio got scared and left, and I can’t say I blame him.

–It was also great to see Chris and Paulie recounting the story from “Pine Barrens”. Regarding the Russian: “Where is he now?” Paulie: “Who the fuck cares!”

–The waiter–now there’s the senseless violence I’ve come to expect from this show! I like watching Paulie come unhinged. I just wonder what was up with that little bit with Chris about burying the hatchet and splitting the bills toward the end.

–I really hope they back off the Tony Loves Melfi plot line. What they should do is let Melfi’s condemnation haunt Tony throughout the season, as he realizes that maybe he’s not a very good person after all. The conflict can lead him back to therapy, which Melfi accepts because, well, Lorraine Bracco has a contract for the rest of the season. :slight_smile:

Dr. J

Remember Chris was getting whiny about having to always buy dinner for Paulie? Then just before they killed the waiter he was getting upset over the 12hundred dollar dinner. It was clear that one of them woud have killed the other had the waiter not wandered out. The offer to split the bill was an obvious peace offering to lighten up and stop screwing over Chris every chance he got.

As for Paulie comming unhinged on the waiter I think it was just the opposite. Chris had assulted him and would make life hard on them it was easier to kill the witness and let people wonder exactly what went on. (notice how he glanced around before he did it. He wasn’t in a rage he was calculating odds)

I found it interesting that the incident with Paulie, Christopher, and the waiter in the episode was an obvious parallel to the scene in Goodfellas where Joe Pesci’s character also whacked a waiter who insulted him (who was played by … Michael Imperioli).

I think there’s more to the Pauli/Chris thing than that. They actually did bond again, because Christopher threw the brick because the guy mouthed off Pauli, and then when Christopher was in deep doo-doo with the guy in convulsions, Pauli stepped up and killed him. They sort of looked after each other on that one, in their brutal simpleminded way.

I suspect there’s more than a cautious peace between them. I think they’re going to be pretty solid from here on out.

I think there’s a lot of foreshadowing happening here. The bear, the stroke, the killing… things are starting to unravel, the old boys are home, and the mob is a bit unstable right now. Bad juju.

And speaking up metaphors, how about that grenade in safe…just waiting to go off.

Trivia Note: Tony “Paulie Walnuts” Sirico was also in Goodfellas. He played one of the thugs who shoved Henry’s postman into the pizza oven for delivering truant notices from school.

I think about 12 people from Goodfellas have shown up on the Sopranos at one time or another.

I still don’t trust Paulie, and given his history of lousy judgement, I don’t think it’s over by a longshot. I’ll have to watch the scene again, but it seems to me that Paulie’s answer for just about any tough situation is to shoot the complicating party.

Not quite so obvious as the episode back in Season One where Christopher shoots the bakery clerk in the foot. (Imperioli’s character in Goodfellas (Spider) meets the same fate in an earlier scene.)

As for the bear, I thought it was less of a metaphor and more of a plot device. Tony tried to solve the problem for his family in his usual mob boss ways–bribing the Fish and Game guys, giving money to Carmela (for the hotel), and finally by sending his goons. After his confrontation with Melfi, he realized that maybe what they needed was for him to actually be there for them. (So I guess the bear was a metaphor for the problems facing the family as a whole.)

That whole “let’s kiss and make up” phone conversation stunk to me too. I said as soon as they hung up – “Paulie’s going to fuck Christopher over, somehow”.

Very paraphrased:

PW: Fuck the bears. They had their run, now it’s our turn. Kill em all. Just like the dinosaurs.

Bimbo@Table: I thought that was a meteor.

PW: Yeah, they’re all meat-eaters, what’s the big fuckin deal?

No restaurant - (No matter how expensive - Especially given the fact they said, “no one knows” them “down there” in AC) - Will give a check without a 15% gratuity automatically added in for a party of 6 or more people.