Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Sopranos 1.3: “Denial, Anger, Acceptance”

Airdate: 1/24/99

Christopher and Brendan return one of the trucks from the previous episode, but the latter is still not sitting so well with the family. Tony tries to help a Hassidic Jew by teaching his spousally-absive son-in-law a lesson (the boy also tries to cut in on the hotel business – I think – this part is very confusing). He can’t quite crush the spirit of the young Jew, until he decides castration might be the way to go. Meantime Carmela host a fundraiser at the house, but offends her friend, Charmaine, by treating her like a maid, instead of just temporary help. Apparently Charmaine gets her vengeance by confessing to Carmela that she and Tony slept together. And Brendan gets whacked by Junior in the end, in the form of a bullet through the eye.

Once again, the psychiatric sessions are the best part of the show (particularly when a painting incites another one of Tony’s furious walk-out), and the scenes involving the business are incomprehensible and boring, The plot involving the Hassidic Jews and the motel are pretty Anti-Semetic; it’s not just the characters being so – the show romanticizes their behavior, so it also embraces their ignorance. (The scene of the “boys” visiting Jackie, the cancer patient, is particularly ugly, as is Tony’s idea to castrate the Jew when he won’t talk.)

And this time, Meadow, Tony’s daughter joins in – she tries to score some meth from Christopher – now her insolence is matched with criminal behavior, just for good measure. Add to that an ironic crosscutting finale that rips off the “War of the Families” sequence from The Godfather and you just a have a plain old unpleasant time.

Goof: Meadow’s friend references Glassboro Stare College – it hadn’t been called that since 1992, when they renamed it Rowan University.

Rating:  *

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