So, I really wanted to pound out a full recap of The Sopranos last week because it had just returned from such a long hiatus and there was so much to talk about. Unfortunately, I was like a lot of people and couldn’t keep track of so many of the secondary characters that returned, and I didn’t prepare myself by watching a lot of the repeat episodes. Now that all of that is said and done, my laptop broke this weekend, so I lost a lot of my notes and I ask you to please bear with me until I get a new laptop. (Anybody with a spare MacBook Pro lying around feel free to send it my way). Anyway, we have all been dying to find out what happened to Tony after he was shot, and boy, it was not pretty.With the last few ounces of his strength, Tony was able to call 9-11 after Uncle Junior shot him. Many people have speculated that Tony is going to die this season, and it wouldn’t make sense to kill him in the final episode. Since so much time had passed in between seasons (about a year according to various hints in the show), there was a rumor that what we saw last week was the last episode, and the rest of the season would lead up to that episode. As twists go, this is a copout of unbelievable proportions, and I am glad they didn’t do that and put The Sopranos in Dallas territory. That being said, we did get another favorite tradition of ours from the show: the dream sequence.
As Tony wakes up in a hotel room, I cringe. Is he recovered? Are they really going to start from a long time ago? Quickly, we realize that it is a dream sequence, and while I think that they are very interesting, too often we are sucked into analyzing what it is supposed to mean. In the dream, Tony is a salesman in Costa Mesa who loses his wallet when he picks up the wrong briefcase at a bar. He has no money, no ID, and so he can’t really go anywhere. In the meantime, Buddhist monks are slapping him in the face, and he tries to cheat on his wife, who we only hear over the phone, but sounds a lot like Gloria Trillo, which is odd considering she hung herself a few seasons ago. Tony is being confused for somebody named Kevin Finnerty, but we don’t know how Finnerty relates to Tony. I do know that it would have been a lot better if they called him Kevin Federline. And if that isn’t enough to make you think, Tony was injured in his dream, and had a MRI that said he had Alzheimer’s.
The real big deal is taking place in the hospital. Tony was in a coma, came out of it, and then pulled out his breathing tube. The doctors then had to induce a coma and restrain him. Tony had successful surgery, but there is a blood infection that is causing sepsis, so they don’t know if he’ll make it. The doctors are also very worried about possible brain damage, and if that isn’t bad enough, Tony has an open wound in his stomach that looks like somebody used a spoon to remove the bullet. It looks even worse than Valentina’s face after it caught on fire or Tony Blundetto’s face after it got caught with a shotgun.
Quite obviously, the family is very worried. Edie Falco puts in a wonderful performance (those Desperate Housewives bitches shouldn’t even show up at the Emmy’s) and the experience of the family in ICU is very authentic. We also explore a lot more into AJ’s character than we ever have before. Obviously, he has issues with his father, and although AJ is not in the business, his father always wanted him to learn to respect the family. In the beginning, AJ could barely deal with his dad’s condition, going as far as saying a bad burrito gave him the stomach flu. You almost wonder if he is going out of the way to upset his momEventually, AJ makes it to his dad’s bed, and although he begins the evening talking about how the new Mustang Cobra would be even better than the M3 he has always, by the next morning, he is promising his father that he will kill Uncle Junior for doing that to him. Still, AJ managed to flunk out of college with a 1.4, so even if Uncle Junior was scared that somebody might get him, I am sure that his biggest threat is not from a genius plot devised by AJ.
And what about Uncle Junior? There was a time where we thought he was just playing senile to beat the feds, but he is full on crazy now. The rest of the Tony’s captains want to kill Junior, but they don’t do anything, saying that it is Tony’s call what would happen to him. Besides, the DA might want to prosecute and that could be worse. In Tony’s absence Silvio has taken over collecting for Tony and taking care of Carmela and the family, which really seems to piss off Vito. A few of the other guys are starting to notice that Vito really has an attitude, and is already starting to talk about dividing up Junior’s shares, even though most of the others agree Junior’s territory should go to Bobby.
I know that Vito wants to keep on the down low, but he isn’t very subtle, whether it be last week when he grabbed a wiener, or this week when he was speculating on Gene’s death saying that maybe Gene was gay and couldn’t tell anybody and decided to end his life. Obviously it was meant to be funny, but I think we are going to hear a lot about Vito in the future, especially since they keep coming back to the gay thing, and also because he seems to be best friends with Phil Leotardo all of a sudden.
One major problem with this episode is that it really didn’t advance the plot. We are basically in the same place we were a week ago, although there are a lot of stories that have been set up. I still think Tony is going to survive until at least the end, but I think it’s going to be interesting to see how his captains fill the power vacuum while he recovers, and when you throw the New York families into the mix, a lot of people are going to be whacked.