Carmela gets back to work, with her husband's help; Christopher follows in Tony's footsteps; A.J. enjoys one of his job's fringe benefits"
Talk about foreshadowing: Carlo gets rid of Fat Dom's body in the same manner described in Chris' screenplay of "Cleaver": chopped up and scattered over various sites.
The barbecue of Phil's wire room in Sheepshead Bay still has to be done, otherwise Phil will think Dom missing in action was the tit-for-tat for Vito's whacking.
Benny planted the bomb which just happened to go off as Phil and his goomar (and also his maid Yaryna) were approaching the place. Must have been enjoyable payback for Benny.
At the deed signing for the Jamba Juice building Tony would like to re-ignite that fire with Ms Skiff but gets turned down.
Chris brings up a Batman reference in his stately Wayne Manor home regarding his superstition about decorating the baby's room before it's born: The Penguin lament about sitting on an egg and being disappointed.
Carmela visits Liz Lacerva after a suicide attempt from being distraught over what she knows is her daughter's death. A card from the Salvation Army to Ade reminding her of her annual donation to the homeless brought it all back to Ade's mom.
Carmela is getting antsy with an empty nest syndrome: AJ is working all day at construction, Meadow is gone, her spec house went to shit. She needs something to occupy her time. Perhaps hire an investigator to find Ade?
The crew figures Chris got a new goomar. He explains that the playground is closed so what's a guy to do. As to why he doesn't bring her around, he explains that she's black and he doesn't want to catch flak from Paulie.
AJ sees Blanca and falls in love at first sight.
Julianna explains why she's isn't getting a Christmas Tree: "I come from Chanaka people." By the way, Chris looks as if has a real life jones or at least had one)
At a sitdown (we won't call it a sitdown because of inclement negative implications) regarding the explosion at Phil's wire room, Little Carmine has to be the worst arbitrator the world has ever seen. "A pint of blood costs more than a gallon of gold." Trying to explain that vendettas cost money. Just when everyone is ready to let bygones be bygones, lil Carmine really puts his foot in his mouth by bringing up the killing of Phil's brother Billy and what happened there.
At a local bar (good to see him buying a drink that costs less than $500 a bottle) AJ sees hot, hot, hot Blanca (from Passaic she tells him). He takes it in stride that she has a son Hector who's 3. AJ says that's cool without asking about what happened to her husband. She only gives him the first six of the seven numbers to her phone. "You want to find me you gonna hafta to work for it". Yeah, should take him all night to work for that.
Tony tries to re-ignite the romance with Julianna with a business offer of buying run-down businesses where he renovates and she flips, or resells the buildings.
Julianna flashes back to the AA meeting where she met Chris and the hot lovemaking in the car.
Carmela tells Tony that he should hire a PI to track down Ade. This immediately sets Tony to get Carmela busy on other things. At the Bing, he tells Sil, "My wife needs a career - lean on the inspector." Then pases our Arab Friends Muahmmed and Ahmed. What - the live there?
Later when Tony looks at a building with Julianna she mentions there were zoning problems holding back the buildings future site approval. Tony says, "Let me worry about that."
Chris lets slip that the mob boss in his screenplay is, surprise, Tony Soprano,
When Phil and his crew discuss what to do about Tony they can't positively implicate him in Fat Dom's disappearance because of the explosion of the wire room. Smart move on Tony's part to confuse his enemies. Phil recalls an old insult of Tony's that he looks like the Shah of Iran. Which is partially true. But as much as Phil is upset with Tony, he won't whack a boss. Butch DeConcini says, " "Pick somebody over there."
Chris shares with Murmur his relationship with Julianna. Murmur says that two addicts shouldn't be involved with each other but he also says that perhaps they ca support each other as well.
Julianna can't help gossiping about making it with mob guys, or almost making it with Tony Soprano to her sponsor, Amy, who disapproves emphatically about getting involved with Jersey mob guys. We know it's winter and everyone in Jersey has a cold but Jules blowing her nose around the King's Supermarket (Upper Montclair) Deli Buffet is ewwwww.
AJ at Blanca's apartment hears her complain about some teens making noise downstairs. Her ex used to kick their asses but now they're back. Just when you think AJ is about to do something really stupid, he bribes them t leave with his bike from the trunk of his car. Shows how handy it is to carry your bike with you. There is a happy ending for AJ.
Carmela notes a card from the Russos with a picture of them with their dogs - no children. Again the empty nest reference, then finds out the ban on the spec house construction has been lifted. Later we see her trash a business card from the private investigator and restarting her work on that house. Some have speculated that she merely put that card away for future use. This clip shows her dumping the party balloon card as well since it's already Christmas and she won't be needing it anymore. People saving business cards do not store them this way.
Meanwhile Phil's wife harangues him on small details about Christmas party arrangements. I'm surprised she hasn't given him a heart attack yet.
Chris and Julianna are back to doing drugs (without a needle to avoid detection).
Phil has some kind of gastric attack and is told to take some medication for gas.
Later he really does have a heart attack. When Murmur brings the news to the crew at the Bing, Tony is delighted which disturbs Paulie. Tony explains that Phil is a pain in his balls. But Sil muses that perhaps they are all better off with an alive Phil than someone they don't know: "the devil you know..."
Bobby Baccala (his eye has healed) goes to see Junior - I'm surprised Junior didn't duck in fear of being attacked. Junior tell all who will listen that Baccala is salted cod: "we (the Italians) taught the world how to eat!" Bobby has to return a money Christmas present because it wouldn't be right given what Junior did. Junior is still living in dementia, he thinks he gave the money to Bobby and his dead wife Karen. Junior goes into an insane rant about the JFK shooting :"Like maybe I wasn't acting alone". He's really lost it.
Later we catch Tony telling the punchline to the pig joke from the last episode when he spots Chris talking to Julianna. When pressed about what he was saying to her, Chris made up a story about Julianna wanting to know what to buy this black girl Kaisha, the girl he mentioned to Tony earlier. Well, there goes all that speculation about Japanese Corporations and business is war, etc. Tony asks what Chris recommended. With only the slightest hesitation Chris mentions a Luthor Vandross box set. But not quickly enough. Tony doesn't buy it.
BTW, HBO in its episode summary states: "Tony spies Christopher talking to Julianna but Christopher covers, saying he was getting advice on what to buy his black goomar Kaisha for her birthday." This is not accurate, actually Chris said that Jules was the one asking what to get Kaisha for her birthday.
Later, Chris says to Julianna that he should tell Tony about their relationship. When Chris later confesses to Tony that he's banging her, Tony says, "Do what you want with her." But we remember he said the same thing to State Assemblyman Ronald Zellman and his Russia whore and we remember how that went.
When he's in session with Dr. Melfi he dissembles his attempt at trying to bang the real estate agent and complains about how Chris pays him back with his banging of Julianna. When Dr. Melfi observes that she's happy this didn't end in violence, Tony says, Christmas ain't over yet. She tells him " You don't have to eat every dish of Rigatoni, You don't have to fuck every female you meet." But Tony continues to complain about this Ashkanuzi (Ashkenazim or white Jews).
Agent Harris is having a sandwich and lets drop that someone close to Tony may be in danger. So who's the mole in Phil's crew?
At the diner Chris receives a call from his wife. She asks him to bring home a quatro Fromagi. One might think this is a four cheese (Ricotta, Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan Cheese) pizza, but actually it's either a Ravioli Quatro Fromage Fettuccine or a Penne Pasta Quatro Fromagi.
Chris tell Juliana he has a problem with AA's emphasis on a higher power. Actually, those who have seen Penn and Teller debunk AA know that they have a very small success rate.
Tony visits Phil in the hospital and makes nice to avoid a war: "focus on your grandkids - the good things".
Later at the Soprano's home, a Christmas party is brewing. Tony zings Chris about hogging all the ice (and hogging Tony's women?).
Here's a clip of Tony you don't see often: Tony with a Beret
AJ brings Blanca and Hector over to Tony's annoyance. When Carmela worries she might be Puerto Rican, Tony sighs that she may be Dominican, at least she's Catholic.
When Tony berates AJ for not checking with him before buying a gift for Blanca, "I got a guy..." AJ responds with "I got a job". Carmela takes a compliment about her Casa from Blanca.
So the season ends, but not the series. In January we will pick up the story as it unfolds a few weeks after this scene of Christmas 2006. For those of you that forget to set TiVo to run a few minutes longer here is the video of the last scene (Right Click - Save as to download)
Preview trailer for Episode 77:
Preview 77 Right Click to download (save target as...) to your computer.
Preview for Last 8 episodes: Download file
Product Placements: Just the mention of Valerian Tea.
Dania Ramirez (Blanca Selgado)
Julianna Margulies (Julianna Skiff)
Cara Buono (Kelli Moltisanti)
Max Casella (Benny Fazio)
Lenny Venito (James "Murmur" Zancone)
Matt Servitto (Agent Dwight Harris)
Arthur J. Nascarella (Carlo Gervasi)
greg antonacci (Butch Deconcini)
Geraldine LiBrandi (Patty Leotardo)
Tom Aldredge (Hugh DeAngelis)
Suzanne Shepherd (Mary DeAngelis)
Denise Borino (Ginny Sacrimoni)
Taleb Adlah (Ahmed)
Donnie Keshawarz (Muhammed)
Rob Falcone (Caravalho - Construction foreman)
Patricia McCormack (Liz La Cerva)
John 'Cha Cha' Ciarcia (Albie
John Bianco....Gerry Torciano
Greg D'Agostino (Jimmy Lauria)
Aasif Mandvi (Dr Abu Bilal)
Angelo Massagli (Bobby Baccalieri, Jr.)
Miryam Coppersmith (Sophia Baccalieri)
Matilda Downey (Yaryna)
Arabella Field (Amy)
Neil Benari (Aaron Schaffer)
Ciaran Crawford (Teddy)
Eric Zuckerman (Scott)
Stink Fisher (Warren)
Samuel Smith (Orderly)
Suzanne Hevner (Val)
Jeffrey M. Marchetti (Peter "Bissell" La Rosa)
Brianna Laughlin (Domenica Baccalieri)
Jeff Williams (Another Member)
Anthony Garcia (Teen #1)
Kelvin Santos (Teen #2)
Jonathan Marino Cuellar (Teen #3)
Kobi and Kadin George (Hector Selgado)
Adira Amram (Stacey)
Steve Hammond drops us his final f-word note until January:
Episode # 77 - "Kaisha"
Said the F-word 46 times
First utterance - 54 seconds, as Carlo tries to dispose of Dom's head
Total for the season 508
Average per episode 46.16
Total for six episodes - 4019 (topped the 4000 mark!!)
Average per episode - 52.19
Other blogs, reviews of Episode 77:
Newsday - 'Sopranos' finale leaves them waiting, Excerpt:
Come on. What really did we expect? Loose ends tied? Resolutions or even conclusions? Or for those who believed "The Sopranos" has become too soft in its old age, perhaps some more bullets flying and bodies falling?
Instead the sixth season ends with one big "happy" family convened around the Christmas tree, with each member, so to speak, entangled in one of its branches.
Entertainment Weekly - Death Takes a Holiday, Excerpt:
What, you were maybe expecting a showdown, a confrontation, a resolution, a great big whacking? Are you nuts? What TV show do you think you've been watching, Prison Break? Not so much a season finale as a graceful recapitulation of themes before a six-month intermission, this gentle, compassionate, pause-button episode opened with a severed head — Fat Dom's on ice, ready for disposal, i.e., famiglia business as usual — and ended with a Christmas gathering, and the business of family. And in between, just about everyone we've ever known (short of Artie Bucco and Hesh — where's Hesh, speaking of ''Hanukkah people''?) was accounted for, and every theme of the sixth season, too.
Star Ledger (Alan Sepinwall) - Call it a semi-finale, Excerpt:
HBO has been careful to call January's final eight shows "bonus episodes" for this season. At first, I assumed that was just clever language to avoid having to negotiate a new season's salary for the actors. But the only way to rationalize last night's meandering, closure-light episode is if you believe that David Chase considers all 20 episodes to be of a piece.
But fact is, this is the last episode we'll get for seven months. An eyeblink compared to the last hiatus, but season five closed with the double-barreled power of "Long-Term Parking" and "All Due Respect," and "Kaisha" wasn't nearly in that class. By opening the hour with a dedication to the late John Patterson, who had directed all the previous season finales, Chase and company were calling this a finale of some kind.
GuideLive - 'Sopranos' fans have plenty to chew on, Excerpt:
For Sopranos fans, Sunday night was the finale before the finale – let's call it the faux finale. The season ended with the eight-episode mini-season still to go.
The break promises to be a golden age for fans, a chance to swap theories, hidden meanings, telling details, all the things that make talking about the show even more fun than watching it. That all the obsessive speculation will be happening against the backdrop of the show's imminent end should make the fun even sweeter.
Now Playing Mag - The Sopranos - "Kaisha”, Excerpt:
Here we are, at the end of the season, and like the rest of this set of penultimate episodes, the finale turns out to be a rather low-key affair. Rather than turning up the heat and letting situations erupt, David Chase and company cool everything down a bit and defuse some of the tension that’s been building since the season began. "Kaisha” provides some minor resolutions to this season’s storylines, but without ramping up much excitement for the coming final eight.
It seems I was unfortunately wrong about Paris opening Carmela’s eyes. All it takes to distract her from her curiosity over the disappearance of Adrianna is a simple call to the planning commission — the call Tony has been promising to make since the season premiere — and the resumption of work on her spec house. In a symbolic gesture, she sets aside the business card for the detective service she was going to use to track down Ade, in favor of a roofing specialist. Life is easier in the dark, I guess.
USA Today 'The Sopranos' ends on disappointing note, Excerpt:
Having started strong last March with the near-fatal shooting of mob boss Tony Soprano by his senile Uncle Junior, the sixth season of this HBO drama seemed to wilt, week to week, in synch with Tony's recovery.
The inevitable murder of Soprano captain Vito Spatafore — offed by fellow mobsters for being gay — had taken place in the next-to-last episode. But proving somewhat anti-climactic, it only whetted the audience's appetite for a decisive dramatic finish to the 12-episode season.
TV Squad The Sopranos: Kaisha (Finale), Excerpt:
After a week's layoff that felt like forever (we should be used to that by now with this show, frankly), we're roped right back in to what the boys from Jersey were up to. Julianna Margulies' character has made her way back into the show, in a way that I'd heard on the down low was going to happen, and she turns out to be just the troubling influence that one of the main guys didn't need. Carmela appears dead set on finding out what happened to Adrianna, something that Tony is more than interested in halting from happening.
Swerbs Blurbs Sopranos Recap: The Season Finale, Excerpt:
Have you ever seen a happier Christmas get together of a loving family than the one at the end of the final Sopranos episode for this year?
We have the mobster boss who’s worried that someone close to him is going to get whacked by a Brooklyn thug; his doting wife who can’t be bought off…but can be rented in the shape of exchanging an investigation of a murder for an approved building inspection; the daughter who’s ran away to California, and the son re-enacting "Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” with an older Puerto Rican single mother and her three year old son. Add to that a loser drug addict nephew and the pregnant wife he’s cheating on and a scam artist shrew of a big sister with her browbeaten husband and step kids, and you end up with a family Christmas gathering that makes the Griswolds look positively normal in comparison.
Steven Van Zandt interview at the AV section of the Onion, Excerpt:
The A.V. Club: Did you ever grab a stack of records and play DJ when you were a kid?
Steven Van Zandt: [Laughs.] Nope. It never occurred to me. Never did that. I never pretended I was an actor, either. [Laughs.] There's a lot of things you end up doing that you never figured on.
AVC: What did you think you were going to do?
SVZ: Well, from the age of 14, 13, I guess I wanted to be a rock 'n' roll star. And that was it. I wanted to make a living playing rock 'n' roll, and it was a ridiculously impossible dream at that time. But it was kind of all I ever wanted to do. It's nice to do it.
Joseph R. Gannascoli of 'The Sopranos' on NPR
Fresh Air from WHYY, May 31, 2006 · Up until recently, Joseph R. Gannascoli played mob captain Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos. Then he got whacked. Before that, Gannascoli's character was "outed," having been spotted dancing in leather chaps at a gay bar. Now he moves on to his writing career: His new crime novel, A Meal to Die For, is about a mobster and gourmet chef who has been summoned to prepare a feast for a boss who is about to be sent to jail.
Entertainment weekly Interview with David Chase: The new season is -- finally! -- here, and it's time for the brains of the ''Sopranos'' operation to give us some insight about raising an organized-crime family on television by Dalton Ross
The Sopranos Drinking Game
It’ s not TV, it’ s an excuse to drink heavily.
Take One Drink When…
Tony walks out to get the paper in his robe. They show Meadow in her dorm room. Someone mentions "pussy” (as in, a female) Anyone does drugs. Tony has to "chat” with someone. There’s a reference to a type of food you’ve never heard of. (Gaba-goo?) Christopher, Paulie, or Silvio make a movie reference. Anyone mentions Tony’s late mother. (Do another drink if she’ s shown in a flashback.) Dr. Melfi sees her psychiatrist. Carmela’s seen reading a book. There’s a dream sequence. When an old plot line comes back to haunt someone. They show a topless "Bada-Bing!” dancer. Anyone says "fuhgeddaboutit,” "knowwhatI’ msayin’,” or "dis fuckin’ guy.” Anthony Jr. shows any kind of emotion. Uncle Junior complains about the temperature or his bowels. Christopher loses his temper. (Do another drink if he hurts someone.)More at Maxim
The TV fireman who stole a gay gangster's heart on "The Sopranos" wasn't just playing around - he's a retired city fireman. John Costelloe, a straight-arrow former member of Ladder Co. 110 in Brooklyn, plays the New Hampshire volunteer fireman and diner owner whose handlebar mustache and "Johnny cakes" make Vito Spatafore swoon.
At home in Brooklyn, the divorced father of three takes it all in stride.
Since leaving the firehouse after an 11-year career, he's started his own tiling company and does plumbing work.
"I worked with the guy for years," said a firefighter. "He's a great guy. He busted his ass to get where he is."
Costelloe has been satisfying his acting jones for the last 18 years, with small roles in movies like "Die Hard 2," "Billy Bathgate" and "Kazaam."
That all changed when TV fireman "Jim" started playing tonsil hockey and rolling into bed with man-loving mobster Vito.
[From the NY Post]
Some Fan created videos:
New Series Walnuts
Sopranos Jump The Shark Moment Vito Gay Scene here.
The Sopranos Vito Spatafore farewell montage
Phil Leotardo and the Shah of Iran: