the sopranos season 2

anonymous asked:

bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!! im watching sopranos too. i have 2 episodes of season 5 left (id appreciate no spoilers but i get that its been 10 years lol). matthew weiner owns me

he owns me too i’m almost done with the series i won’t post any spoilers although at the end i wanna make a list of my top five whacks of the series

Sopranos Season 2 (2000)

Rating: B+

Spoilers Ahead

The first time I watched the second season of the Sopranos Iwasn’t as thrilled as with the first and considered it to be the worst season of the series. That’s clearly not true watching it again, but my interests were different at 19. Season 2 doesn’t have as driven, high-stakes plot as the first season focusing instead to enrich its huge cast of characters.

As the season starts, Tony is now the official boss of the family. Uncle Junior’s in jail, and later on house arrest, with any threat neutralized. He’s no longer speaking to his mother after her “stroke,” but he’s still incredibly angry and having frequent panic attacks due to taking a break from therapy (Dr. Melfi went on the lam at the end of the last season).

One of the main reasons I didn’t like season 2 initially was because of Richie Aprile, this season’s not-quite “big bad.” Brother to the previous boss Jackie Aprile, Richie has been released after 10 years in prison. The guy is definitely a psychopath yet most of the conflict that arises between him and Tony is because of his failure to understand how things work now vs. the “old days.”

There is a sense of him trying to change—him turning up at a yoga class is an unexpected turn—but he’s also easily manipulated both by Uncle Junior, who uses him to feel out if there’s any chance for him to regain his power, there isn’t, and by Tony’s sister Janice.

Janice Soprano is another new character this season who’s both fascinating and incredibly annoying (in a mostly good way). She’s jealous, petty, and driven by narcissism like her mother, but has spent her life trying to deny she is like her mother. That’s led her to dabble in religious movements and hippie new age nonsense. When she returns home, she becomes jealous of her brother’s wealth and enters a relationship with Richie Aprile to try to top her brother.

Big Spoiler. It seemed anticlimactic the first time, but the fact that Janice kills Richie rather than Tony is pretty incredible and rather subversive for the show. And it is definitely in Janice’s personality to do something like that. After falling into the role her mother played in the first season, she violently pushes back by ending her role as a mob wife (for now).

The rest of the surrounding cast got quite a bit more to do this season. Christopher with his boneheaded goons at the crooked stock trading company, Paulie Walnuts got a lot more lines, Adriana became more of a character, etc. But the real scene stealer this season was Vincent Pastore’s Big Pussy.

After disappearing at the end of the first season due to some suspicions that he’s a snitch, Pussy returns, citing a trip to the Caribbean to help with his back, he’s put back on to the streets reluctantly by Tony. It’s then revealed that he is the snitch and has been ratting out Tony’s crew to the FBI after being caught selling heroin, depressingly to help his kids pay for college.

I really felt for this guy whose mistakes lead him to the point where he really has nothing. The stress of the situation alienates him from his wife, who he can’t tell, and he doesn’t know where he fits. There’s a hilarious episode of Sal trying to act like a detective to help the FBI, this would have been a great spinoff, but has to come to terms with that he’s just an informant and really has no place anymore.

This season boldly tied up nearly all loose ends in the second to last episode “The Knight in White Satin Armor” one of the seasons best among with “Commendatori” where Tony, Christopher, and Paulie all go to Italy. That left the last episode with nowhere else to go other than to finish the Pussy storyline, which is reached in a boldly bizarre way.

There were one or two dream sequences in the last season, but the second season finale “Funhouse” devotes almost an entire episode to fever dreams after Tony gets food poisoning. Through his subconscious entering his dreams, he comes to a point where he has to admit to himself that Pussy is the rat. While still throwing up he grabs Paulie and Silvio, who still had nothing to do this season, and takes Pussy out to “look at a boat.”

They don’t want to kill him and Pussy doesn’t want to die, but they’re all put in a place where this is a thing that has to happen because of the strict masculine code of their work and the insulated world they’re part of. While every show now is seemingly all about killing off characters, this was a big deal then and really never happened on television unless someone was quitting the show. This raised the stakes for the show. From here on out, you didn’t know what they were going to do or if anyone was safe.

The season concludes with everyone celebrating Meadow’s graduation. Tony is now at the top without any obstacles, but there’s such a huge loss that got him there.

-James P. 

Season 1

Other Stuff

  •  I didn’t talk a lot about Tony, but this season seemed more about widening the cast and deepening other characters. We get more about how there’s no line between work and life with him and a sense of him trying to be better signified toward the end of the season when he breaks it off with his girlfriend Irina.
  • Carmela didn’t get much to do this season, unfortunately. The good news is Edie Falco would get plenty of good storylines going forward. AJ becomes a “deeper” character in this season while Meadow gets into conflict with her father after he takes her friend Eric’s car and gives it to her as part of Eric’s father’s gambling debt repayment.
  • In contrast to Carmela, the “other woman” in Tony’s life, Dr. Melfi, gets quite a bit more this season. We see the affect of treating Tony on her, and she struggles about whether to take him back and if he can be cured.
  • I enjoyed Robert Patrick’s arc as the sporting goods owner who gets into deep debt with Tony gambling and loses everything. An old school friend and father to Meadow’s friend Eric, this arc deals with the blending of Tony’s professional and family life. It’s a great bit of casting to have the unstoppable terminator of Terminator 2 be this loser who digs himself in deeper and deeper.
  • Christopher in this season learns the perils of leadership this season when his two dimwitted thugs try to earn some respect from Richie Aprile by trying to take out Christopher. We start to get a sense that he has a problem with and he entertains becoming a screenwriter. At the end of the season Tony proposes making him a made man and perhaps Christopher has come to see there’s not a lot of glory or satisfaction in this career.