The Sopranos – Season 6, Episode 16 – Chasing It

If it was possible for me to enjoy this show in isolation, as a stand alone episode in the midst of its run, I would be raving.  The acting was as brilliant as we’ve come to expect from The Sopranos complete with Emmy award worthy moments by both Tony and Carmela.  The scene where he explodes at her ripping at every one of her insecurities while making her question the motivation for why she went back to him drew on the history of the characters and frankly many of the things that make them both complex and often cruel characters.  I could point to the character’s slow burn as Tony gets deeper and deeper into the hole as a combination of writing and acting that rarely has a peer in any medium.  I especially enjoyed the moments with Hesh (one of my favourite secondary characters) where Tony goes to escape from his pack of “murderers” only to find that even that place isn’t a haven for him.

So why am I disappointed.  It isn’t what you think.  I’m okay with this being one of the last episodes because I think this is all leading towards a resolution for the show despite the lack of killings that some critics seem to crave.  My problem is that this episode seems to be completely inconsistent with the past 6 seasons of the show.  From the first episode of the show Tony has always talked about the “f***in degenerate gamblers”.  They are his bread and butter as we found out from the Davey Scardino incident.  I just don’t see him falling prey to a gambling addiction given what we know about him and he knows about his business.  I completely by him as running out of money and living far beyond the means of someone in his profession ($3.1 M for the Stugats?) but becoming a gambling addict?  Despite his feelings of invincibility since being shot this storyline didn’t ring true for me.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A

Avi’s Consistency Rating: C

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3 Responses to The Sopranos – Season 6, Episode 16 – Chasing It

  1. I agree you completely about the gambling – completely out of left field, just to support the plot.

    But it’s hard to be mad at The Sopranos, because it’s still such television, and it’s ending…

  2. […] them escalate but to see it happen this way was as shocking as intended.  Unlike my comments a few weeks ago that Tony’s gambling problem was completely inconsistent with the character, tonight was dead […]

  3. jim says:

    Yeah, this was a tough one for me too — when I saw the episode (15?) where Tony calls to borrow from Hesh, saying he had a bad run of luck — I commented that he must be talking about having to pay out unexpectedly on others’ bets. It sounded like his own, but that’s so wrong for the character that I assumed I must have misheard.

    weird — must be a setup, but an odd one — I really should stay up and watch last night’s episode — a few people have tried to spoil it for me already.

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