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