250 reviews of time travel TV, movies, books right here

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Sopranos: Eighth of Nine ... Will Tony Survive Next Week?

Tony lost Melfi, Bobby, and likely Silvio in this next to last episode.

He took these losses (that is, Bobby and Silvio) because Phil was able to strike first, despite the heads up Tony got from his FBI informant (an interesting reversal of roles – the FBI guy informing Tony).

Mistaken identity plagues law enforcement all the time – wrong people arrested, wrong people convicted. Tonight it took its toll on Tony’s crew – they killed some white haired guy who looked like Phil.

Melfi leaving Tony was no great loss for Tony – it was never clear to me what good she did him, anyway.

Will Silvio pull through? Paulie tells Tony the docs say Silvio won’t likely recover consciousness. But docs have been wrong before, especially on television. (And good for Patsy for at least firing back at Phil’s gunmen – that no doubt stopped them from killing Sil outright).

And Tony?

I’m going to make my prediction now … and say he’s going to survive next week.

Why? (Other than that’s what I want?)

Phil’s lost the element of surprise now. Tony is ready for him. Barring some treachery from Paulie or one of the other guys close to Tony, he’s not likely to be caught off-guard.

There’s an old saying I once saw somewhere: if you can survive a hit, you’re stronger for it than if you hadn’t been hit at all.

I’ve seen no spoilers, I could be wrong, but I think we’ll see Tony standing at the end of next week’s finale of finales…

(I'm not as confident, though, about Tony's family ... I don't have much faith in Phil's adhering to the tradition of not taking out family members.)

Useful links:

The Sopranos as a Nuts-and-Bolts Triumph of Non-Network TV my 2002 article

reviews of the other episodes this final season: The Sopranos: First of Nine, Second of Nine, Third of Nine, Fourth of Nine, Fifth of Nine, Sixth of Nine, Seventh of Nine, Ninth of Nine

and a little comic relief - a video clip of Bobby Bacala's advice to Paris Hilton!

listen to free podcast of this review, and reviews of all the other final nine episodes






The Plot to Save Socrates


"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

23 comments:

Antigone said...

Oh I hope Tony lives. I was on the edge of my seat tonight!

I also have no idea why I'm cheering so hard for a man who's so bad.

Paul Levinson said...

I feel the same - and it's because, although Tony is bad, he has a lot of qualities in common with good people (love of his family, etc.)

Welcome to Infinite Regress, antigone...

Anonymous said...

That was an amazing episode. My eyes were saucers for the last 10 minutes. I had no idea what was going to happen. Anyone else think Tony was going to kill himself right then and there?

And Melfi went off!

dawn said...

This was a great episode, I don't know how it is going to end. I hope they don't kill Tony off. They also didn't mention Carmine in this episode maybe he'll be a factor next week. Unless they kill tony and Meadow or Janice takes over. So many possibility's and not alot of spoilers out there which I'm glad about.

Paul Levinson said...

anon - me too - I could barely breathe...

Dawn - Good point about Carmine - he clearly was not happy about Phil last week ...

Anonymous said...

but there are two things need to be considered:
1)every NY family is much stronger than NJ family, whack a NY family boss without approving by other NY families are a challenge to all NY family, Tony could risk everything, but will his crews with him against all those odds, to most of them, boss is just a boss, a change of management would not be a big deal.
2)even Tony whack phil, but high ranks of the phil family are still remain intact, the war would continue, but Tony's most important crews were gone already

Paul Levinson said...

anon - very good points.

I think they mean that, if Tony does survive, he won't be able to continue running a crime crew in New Jersey...

Everyone - I'm beginning to worry about Tony's family. Will Phil respect the tradition of not hurting the family, given the fact that he seems bent on doing anything to get Tony...

Anonymous said...

I want Tony to live, to do this he has to take out Phil, but they also have to kill Butchie , it's almost like the first season were he had to take out Everyone close to Junior , and that's the Probleam NY thier so many, hopefully Tony can pull off somethingh , i just don't want him to die or become a rat.

Anonymous said...

that episode was riveting... with one exception. the reality is, once sil & patsy were fully aware that it was war time, the guns would be on their lap, not in back seats & glove boxes. the threat of being arrested for weapons possesion is much less daunting when the threat of death looms. "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6", no?
As far as bobby, he wasn't a wartime guy no how, so i never expected him to live through any confrontation.
But Sil??? that wasn't realistic.....oh well, one mistake in the greatest show ever

Paul Levinson said...

anon1: I'm with you.

anon2: Good point about Sil. I think we just have to chalk that up to everyone, including even Sil and Patsy, being in shock about the report of Phil's death being wrong ...

I'd love to see Sil pull through, too...

David Chase said...

Carmella gets carbombed in front of AJ and Meadow. Tony, with no muscle other than Paulie, recruits AJ, Pat Jr. and Benny to take out Phil (who is hiding in a cabin). Benny shoots Phil at a gas station. Meadow confesses to Tony that she knows he killed that man in the College episode (season 1 ep. 5). Tony sends her off with Janice. Tony and Paulie wipe out the remaining crew with only Little Carmine to deal with after Agent Harris plays the tape of he and Phil discussing the hit on Tony and why it didn't go down at Phil's house that day. AJ, fed up with everything, pulls a gun on Tony and accuses him of killing Carm, Bobby, Jackie Jr., and god knows who else and tells him the killing stops today. Agent Harris, acting on intelligence that Tony is going to take out Little Carmine, shows up and shoots AJ in the chest and he dies in Tony's arms. The show ends with Melfi reading it all in a newspaper in an ice cream parlor.

Anonymous said...

paul: sil hasn't survived this far as a professional racketeer & murderer by going into shock at a botched hit.
on another note.... i could see butchie being the rat in phil's crew. remember when tony was beating coco? butchie said "you're making a big mistake" maybe butchie thought tony was going to kill him & butchie new he was wearing a wire??? also, butchie made a comment to phil a few episodes ago about how phil was a "man" for doing his time & not being a rat. seems like it would make sense? There was only two guys present when phil put the wheels in motion this time, the guy who wasn't butchie wasn't present last time phil & butchie spoke about poping tony?? and the feds knew about each conversation. hmmmmm, i cant wait until sunday ( maybe i think about the show too much, haha )

Paul Levinson said...

anon - it was more than a botched hit - it was botched on someone trying to wipe Soprano leadership, including Sil...

"David Chase" - thanks for the scenario - let's check back here on Sunday, and see if you're right...

Paul Levinson said...

PS to "David" - you present a very powerful last episode, by the way ...

David Chase said...

Considering this is what happens we don't have to wait. Final scene is Melfi reading it all in the newspaper in an ice cream parlor set to The Rolling Stones "Time Waits for No One".

Paul Levinson said...

a good song ... what flavor ice cream is she eating?

Anonymous said...

If Tony doesen't die or goes to prison, this whole show would have been a big waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Paul: Thanks again for the thoughts and the site. I'm the guy that wrote the comment on 6th of 9 about all of us being prepared for Tony's death, even wanting it ...

And I still feel the same way. The last two episodes feature Melfi (in our shoes, as the viewer), coming to the realization that Tony is a sociopath with no real feelings for anyone. Melfi is, and always has been, "our" connection to Tony. When she realizes SHE's been had, we realize it too. We've all been taken in by his power, his manner, his persona.

I loved the tension in Bobby's final scene. The inane train banter going on while the hitmen enter the shop ... great scene.

I too didn't care for Sil's death (?) scene ... I find it unlikely that the NY crew would send just TWO guys to the Bing, a known hangout for Tony's crew ... how did they know it was just Sil and Patsy? The way it was portrayed, it appeared to be an opportunistic hit, which seemed very unlikely. I also agree that Sil being unprepared like that (particularly after clearing out all the cash) didn't ring true. This is the guy that garroted someone just a few days before ...

I hope the "David Chase" commenter is wrong, or else I have to direct a big extended middle finger in his direction for publishing such a huge spoiler, even as I wonder about the source of his information ...

Anonymous said...

Paul: same anonymous poster here ... sorry to double-post. I heard a few of your podcasts and had to comment.

You seem incredibly sympathetic towards Tony ... just a few episodes after he mercilessly kills Christopher and then goes out of his way to bed Chris' ex-squeeze in Vegas. Tony knows the difference between right and wrong, but it has no meaning to him. He is evil, but put in a sympathetic life because he has a family.

Don't you see that he cries crocodile tears?

I really think the creative powers behind the show are trying to end the series with a season that presents one wake-up call after another ... to remind us that he IS a sociopath, and that his path is evil.

Not trying to moralize here, Paul, but I think you've fallen for the "mobster romantic ideal" in Tony.

Anonymous said...

Opens up with Tony clutching the AR 10, it's morning now, and the sun FLASHES into Tony's eyes as it pushes above the horizon. He looks worn and beaten and he drifts to sleep staring at the gun. Camera pans the scene down stairs, everyone is in corners of the room asleep except for Patsy who is looking out the window and sipping what looks like a cup of coffee, reading a paper with a headline about Berts slaying. Scene turns back to Tony asleep with Gun in hand (Dream sequence begins: Tony and Paulie outside of Satrielles - Paulie mentions to Tony that his friends are inside waiting on him to come in and eat, Tony giggles and gets up and goes inside to order a sandwhich, inside theres a table with Jackie Jr shuffling cards, Chris, and Ade are kissing and giggling but stop look up at him, Ralphie is sucking on a toothpick and staring at him, this shakes Tony up so he walks off and orders a sandwhich hastily and with a grumpy tone only to look up to hand his money to none other than Big Puss, which stuns him, Puss says to Tony, "welcome home T" with a smile as the table of "guests" starts laughing uncontrollably) He jerks awake and aims for the door looking around quickly from left to right.Scene changes to Dr. Melfi in her car driving. Her cell phone rings, it's Elloit Kupfenberg. He proceeds to tell her about the murders of Tony's associates that were murdered the day prior as it flashes to Elliot sitting in his living room watching a news broadcast. He asks her if Tony is mixed up in this, and she starts to talk, but stops and just hangs up on Elliot. She starts clearly dealing with her conscience and it is clearly bothering her. She picks up the cell phone and calls Tony to tell her that she has to talk to him, but gets voice mail, and leaves a message.

The next scene, is Tony in a car with Patsy and Paulie. They begin to talk about baseball in an awkward way to break the thick anxiety in the car but conversation quickly shifts to talk about contacting a Gino Ciserelli in the Bronx to help handle the situation with Phil seeing as though Tony is losing resources. Gino is reffered to in terms that lead you to believe he is a boss of another family in NY. Patsy tells a tale of betrayal from Gino's grandfather to "Old man Eckley DiMeo" back in the old days and that trust was never restored between the family since, in which Paulie interjects that Johnnie Boy had a sit down with them in the seventies and that "all is well now". Tony asks Paulie if he still knows anyone over there, at which Paulie says he does. Tony asks him to set up a sit down.
They then pull up to Janices house and Patsy gets out. He doesn't return but Carm and AJ come out and get into the vehicle. Scene ends showing Patsy at the door waiving them on.

Next scene opens with an FBI Agent we havent seen before and he is in the back of a vehicle with a guy who is the New York soldier that was in the meeting at "Flatbush Bikini Waxing" a week prior. The one who asked why they were not going to target Paulie. They are parked outside of a building in Brooklyn and it is night time. He is telling agent about Phils whereabouts, apparently the feds are closing a case on Phil and want to get to him alot quicker now that a war has started because they want him in custody alive.

Next scene is Sil in the hospital on life support flanked by his wife and several others, including Benny who is there to show support on behalf of Tony per his words (and is said that understandably Tony cant be here so he sent me to......). Dramatically and in the middle of Benny speaking it is at this moment that Sil turns for the worse and visitors are rushed out of the room by medical staff. Sils wife collapses on the floor outside of the room screaming and is being helped by her friends, Benny watches this scene and looks on through the glass at Sil as it shows a close up look on Benny's face of anguish and anger.


next scene: Tony walking into Melfi's office with Carm, AJ, and Meadow. Tony starting with "you wanted to see me? I hope you don't mind, I bought my family with me, since I'm no longer an official patient (sarcastically) I thought it wouldn't matter". Melfi asks them to all come in and sit down in a hushed tone. Melfi begins to apologize to Tony for the way she shuffled him off and then she starts to get chi\oked up as she begins to apologize for "harming" him and not being honest with him from the beginning, she starts to tell Tony that this meeting is personal and not professional in a psychiatric form at all, but that she wanted to tell Tony that the reason he was dropped was because she felt that she was responsible for helping him to continue to be a criminal and to keep himself and his family in denial and that this could get him killed and others around him hurt even moreso than they already have been and that she wanted it to stop now and that she didn't want the collateral damage on her conscience. Tony looks ahead and says nothing. Carm says nothing. AJ bolts out of the room crying. Meadow sits with her mouth agape.

Dead silence for 15 seconds.

Tony then breaks the silence and says "I am what my mother and father made me to be, ..........................I never had a chance from day one....................., but I know I've gotta stop, this is the end for me, this is it, I don't want anyone thinking poor me, I dont wanna.......... (he stops)"

Melfi puts her down into a tissue filled hand and begins to weep uncontrollably.
scene ends

scene begins: Butchie is on the phone with Phil, it seems they have been alerted to the "Rat" and Butchie is warning Phil to leave, this is interspliced with a call from Benny to Tony who is now in the car again, Benny tells Tony of the bad news and asks Benny if he got the info from Gino's guys (Bronx based Boss) as to phils whereabouts, he confirms that he did, and Tony says, "make my grey clouds go away, captain" (this tells Benny that he is a captain now if he can get this done and confirms for us viewers that what Melfi learned was right in that nothing and I mean nothing rescues the sociopath mind, sympathetic please only empower them)

Next scene is AJ returning back home despite the fact he isn't supposed to be. It seems he has been walking ever since he left Melfi's office and no one stopped him, he hitched a ride from some hippie looking guy who drops him off at the drive way. AJ begins to walk up the drive way when KABOOOOOM the house explodes. AJ has a look of absolute stun on his face. He picks himself up and runs off into the woods.

The next scene is phil leaving his safe house somewhere in long island by car (supposedly) (we know this because it shows Long Island centric street signs) unbeknownst to he and his wife he is being tailed by Benny and Alby Barese. Phil stops for gas, and as has been reported in several spoilers Benny and Ally Boy Barese clip him. The scene ends with the gas nozzle overflowing out of side of the car and spilling all over Phils body which lay riddled with bullets and his wife screaming.

Scene opens with AJ at Janices door covered in dirt from the explosion. Carm freaking out, yelling at him "Where have you been??? I've been worried sick", she then gets him inside. It shows Meadow leaving with Patsy taking her to the store for food and providing protection. They leave in what appear to be Carms car. Cameras pan to show a beeping device on the bottom of the car.

Scene changes quickly to Tony, Paulie, and Carlo in a social club setting in NY with a gangster with have never seen before along with several other gangsters. It looks liek a sit down. This is the famed "Gino Ciserelli" mentioned at the beginning of the spoiler. (Rumor is that this person is going to be played bya celebrity gues that Chase admires). Gino is telling Tony that he smoothed out the hit on Phil with the other families and that for his part he wants Phils slice of the construction and removal partnerships Tony and Phil partnered, in which Tony tells Gino that this is "15%". Gino agrees.

We flash back to Meadow and Patsy. They are now being tailed by Butchie and two other NY guys. Butchie recieves a call on his cell phone from a non descript person telling him that his plan "to get revenge on Tony in this way isn't right, they are innocent civilians, and moreso Tony has support from the Bronx and Manhattan now, just let it go Butch, let it go". Butchie hangs up the phone, smirks, and pushes the button anyway. It detonates Meadow and Patsy's vehicle right as they are pulling up in front of the store and as Meadow is saying to Patsy "I'll be just one second" then ....BOOOMMMM as she is opening the door.
scene slows down to slow motion as it zooms in to the fire and slowly fades to black.

The next scene is Tony, Carm and AJ at Meadows funeral. People are filng out, it is over. Agent harris is there in the back. Carm looks gone, and not even there. AJ is shivering and looks pale, and Tony is in the back muttering something about his baby girl. Assorted hoods and guys are in the back huddled. Paulie walks up and says "T, what in the hell going on?" Tony doesn't answer.

Tony turns around and sees FBI walking in to the back of the funeral parlor to arrest Paulie and several others as they round them up. Paulie says, "this is what I get for all of these years" in anger. Tony walks up to agent Harris and agent Harris says "ready to go Tony", Tony says, yeah. Agent Haris says "Don't look back Tony, don't feel bad about this, I assure you the info we gave you about Paulie collaborrating with Phil and Butchie is true". Tony again says nothing.

The next scene is Tony, Carm and AJ at an ice Cream parlor somewhere. Tony is reading a paper that reads of several Mob indictments, including Butchie being found guily of murder and facing death row. He looks over at Carm and asks her, "Hey, have we got enough to get an extra scoop on the next cone" Carm looks back and says "I don't think so honey, the budget is tight, maybe tomorrow" as AJ sits on the curb in front of them staring off into space.

Fade to black.

Paul Levinson said...

anon1 - disagree - Tony doesn't have to die or go to prison for the series to have been worthwhile - it's been so good, it will have been worthwhile whatever happens...

anon 2 - I'm sympathetic to Tony in what Coleridge called a "willing suspension of disbelief" - in this case, I suspend my disbelief that Tony is a murderer, and identify with other parts of his personality ... and, yeah, it is to those parts that I am sympathetic, even though I know logically that it is all fiction...

anon3: great script - truly - but I don't buy it. Killing Meadow is too Godfather III'ish for my money - I think Chase will come up with something else...

We'll all see on Sunday...

Anonymous said...

i think its cool that you take the time to read and answer all the post,im the guy who posted the script up there. i got it off the hbo.com prediction forums.when i read it i got a little worried that i seen a spoiler, but i think(hope) your right. you see it doesnt matter to me what happens on sunday because i have truly enjoyed relaxing on the couch on sunday nights since the beginning and i gotta tell ya there isnt another to this date that has drawn me to the t.v. like this,deadwood was close but thats another story:( anyways what im saying is that we have one more great show to watch so lets enjoy it because its the last episode EVER!!!!! cheers

Paul Levinson said...

Agree completely!

Let's check back here on Sunday night, after the finale, and see what we think...

InfiniteRegress.tv