Soprano Episode 74 - The Ride

sopranos the ride

Christopher makes a surprise announcement:

NY Daily News,

Premiere: Cara Buono at the LA premiere of Universal's The Hulk - 6/17/2003
Cara Buono
Photo Credit: Lester Cohen,
Anyone who loves Michael Imperioli's acting as much as we do will be happy to hear that his character, Christopher Moltisanti, whose fiancée, Adriana (Drea de Matteo), was whacked in the 2004 season, will find love again - and get married, we hear.

Dark, high-cheekboned beauty Cara Buono will be the bride, sources tell us.

Buono, who played paramedic Grace Foster on "Third Watch" - and who's the love interest of Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange in the upcoming flick "Beer League" - is a Bronx girl with an Ivy League twist. She whizzed through Columbia with a double major, no less, in just three years - acting all the while.

Now we find out she's pregnant: "I know I shouldn't have let you take off the rubber". They marry, buy a house, "stately Wayne Manor"; probably on the cheap because it's in a flood zone.

sopranos the ridePaulie pays a price for cutting costs at an Italian street fair.

Interestingly this Italian Festival is named after Saint Elzear (Paulie: "the patron saint of Zeppolis") who was born and died in France. Although a French Saint, we find out from Patsy Parisi, Elzear was the patron saint of Ariano di Puglia (although after 1930 it was called Ariano Irpino).

Father Felix is having an operation, so Father Jose fills in. Seems he wants to renegotiate the old contract. $10,000 struck the Father as quite low of a cut for the church. He wants Paulie to "donate" $50,000.

Paulie thinks the church doesn't need the money, "the church has plenty in its coffers for all those pedophilia lawsuits." Father Jose has misgivings about letting Paulie use the golden hat unless he comes up with the $50,000. On leaving the church Paulie decides to stay cheap: "F*ck the hat!"

Paulie's obsession with his prostate test keeps him from paying attention to the problems at the feast. Paulie hires a third rate company to operate a ride that almost (almost) injures Bobby's new baby. Bobby takes it personally after being egged on by Janice and wants Paulie (Bobbie: "you cheap f*ck") to pay $25 grand for compensation. Tony Tells Paulie to work it out with Bobby.

Paulie meets his former mother when the home has one of its outings to the feast. Paulie is surprised she's still there. (What happened to the 4 grand shakedown of the Barone kid?) She tells Paulie that his brother is trying to work out an arrangement.

She blames Paulie for the accident on the ride because he allowed Saint Elzear to go out into the festival without the golden hat. "You'll need to make a Novena Paulie." Paulie: F*ck that voodoo." He also curses out his aunt about being a fake mother. After seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary at the Bada Bing, Paulie, at the episode close, visits Nucci at Green Grove. Confronting his own mortality at the outcome of the prostate test and perhaps finally accepting that your mother is the one who raised you he asks her: "You want some cookies?"

Paulie sees the wind outside the apartment window. "Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while the wind is bearing me across the sky.’” See Sopranos and the Song of the Bird

sopranos the rideTony embraces the "old school - by stealing wine from two Vipers Club bikers in the process of robbing some bar. Throughout the rest of the episode Tony and Chris gloat over the look on the biker's face when he saw Chris' gun. Amazingly, during the exchange of gunfire, Tony's vehicle doesn't get a bullet hit.

Later Tony enjoys the taste of the stolen wine and incredibly pours Chris a glass saying that in the old country wine is considered food.

The little bit of wine was enough to lower Chris' defenses. When he meets with Corky for the final payoff for the Rusty hit he winds up taking up the needle again. (Will he later get AIDS from sharing the needle?) While Chris is boasting about his new house he implies that he will have Corky over for Christmas and other holidays. Quite laughable actually. I can see his new wife asking Chris who the junkie is and why is he there? And just like the perpetual cloud of dust around pigpen of Charlie Brown fame, it's always raining whenever Chris meets Corky.

Chris befriends a homeless dog. The scene brings up the pathetic state he finds himself in, all drugged up again. What, no where were you all night? from his new wife?

At the feast Tony tells Phil about a score, a semi loaded with Centrum MultiVitamins. Phil mentions that they should spare stressing Johnny Sack about the deal. Tony agrees that in the situation he's in, Johnny's got enough to deal with. The beginnings of cutting Johnny out. Perhaps Johnny hears about it and we see him contemplating turning snitch in the preview for next week.

Tony spots Juliana Skiff with some woman on a ride at the feast and almost catches her attention. We see him stop waving. Did he just remember the aborted sex fling? Was it the sight of the other woman? Juliana a lesbian? The other woman didn't seem Juliana's type to me.

Carmela sees Adriana's mother who conveys her suspicion that Chris killed her daughter. Think about it: an Italian girl doesn't call her mother for two years!!!! She's gotta be dead. My son married an Italian girl and went on his honeymoon with his mother-in-law in the next room. Italian girls never had their umbilical cords cut; they're attached for life to their mother.

Carmela still has her mob-wife blinders on despite the mysterious disappearance of a few acquaintances, Pussy, Ralphie, and now Adriana. How many people in your life disappeared without a word?

But later at home, she does get a little curious when she questions Tony who says she couldn't have been killed by Chris because that usually happens in the kitchen or the bedroom. Which is why Tony had Sil rub Ade out deep in the woods. Some Sopranos forums have brought up the notion that Tony doesn't tell Carmela about any of these hits to keep her from being charged as an ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT. However, this is untrue. Simply knowing about a murder and not informing the police is no crime. In order to be charged as an accessory after the fact one has to comfort or assist the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment. You can have a known killer over for dinner as long as the purpose is not to hinder his arrest, trial, etc. So if Tony keeps Carmela in the dark, it is for personal reasons.

As for the session with Dr Melfi the only line worth mentioning is Tony: "Every day is a gift. It's just does it have to be a pair a socks?"

Trailer 74 Right Click to download (save target as...) to your computer.

Photo Credit Soprano Sues sightings
Click soprano sue's sightings to read about the filming of the feast scenes, photos of the actors.

Episode 74_0002.jpg
This is an interesting shot. Look at the tv. Is that supposed to be a program the fellow was watching before Bobby broke in, or do we see other people in the room, perhaps filming this episode? May be an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but I'm not sure. Anyone out there have an idea?


Here's some Sopranos related News:

May 4, 2006 -- He might call the shots in New Jersey, but "Sopranos" tough guy James Gandolfini was no match yesterday for the dangerous streets of New York.
TV's favorite mob boss was whacked in broad daylight on a SoHo street - by a taxi.

The actor was motoring through Manhattan on his Vespa scooter at about 10 a.m. when he collided with a cab on Hudson Street, where he lay for a few minutes as dazed and confused as his alter ego was after being shot in the season opener.

According to witnesses, Gandolfini was traveling north when he was clipped by a cab turning east on Clarkson Street. The crash knocked the burly TV mobster off his bike.

"He was shaken up," said Jason O'Malley, who works in a building across the street from the accident. "A couple of guys helped him off the ground and picked up his bike."

Gandolfini later borrowed a cellphone to call his assistant and make arrangements for someone to pick up the damaged scooter.

"I'm all right," Gandolfini reportedly told a person in the crowd that gathered. "I'm going to be f- - -ing sore tomorrow."

"It's my fault," he also said. "I was in a hurry to get somewhere."

Gandolfini saved his anger for a fan who had trouble separating fiction from reality.

"Tony, are you OK?" the fan asked, using Gandolfini's TV moniker.

"That's a character I play," the actor shot back.

Gandolfini later left the scene in another cab, according to a representative for the actor.

Gandolfini did not seek medical attention, said Angela Tarantino, a spokeswoman for HBO.

"James Gandolfini is fine, and his scooter is in the repair shop," Tarantino said.

Actor John Ventimiglia, shown in March, was arraigned on Monday

May 2, 2006

Artie in hot soup again:

Continuing a string of off-screen run-ins with the law, two more fringe characters from "The Sopranos"-- the television mob boss's favorite chef and his muscle-bound bodyguard -- have been charged in separate criminal cases.

John Ventimiglia, who plays temperamental chef Artie Bucco on the HBO cable hit, was arraigned on Monday on drunken driving, drug possession and other charges after officers spotted him weaving in and out of traffic in Brooklyn...

Prosecutors said the star had been found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.12 per cent. The legal limit is 0.08 per cent. They claimed police found a zip-lock bag and an envelope with cocaine residue on them in Ventimiglia's back pocket.

The 42-year-old was arraigned at Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, operating outside the lane, operating without headlights and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was released without bail being set, pending a court appearance next month.

"Sopranos" actor John Ventimiglia says he's embarrassed by his arrest on drunken driving and drug charges - but got some support yesterday from James Gandolfini.
"John feels terrible and embarrassed," said Ventimiglia's lawyer, Benjamin Petrofsky. "Until we gather all the information, we will have no further comment."

Ventimiglia, who plays temperamental restaurateur Artie Bucco on the hit HBO show, had his spirits boosted when Gandolfini called to wish him the best, a show insider said.

"People like him, that's why [Gandolfini] called him," the insider said. "He's a good guy."

The humbled character actor - who plays New Jersey restaurant owner Artie Bucco on the mobbed-up HBO TV series - yesterday was in his second-floor pad in trendy Park Slope, chain-smoking as he gazed out the window and gabbed on the phone.

Asked about his bust as he ventured out onto the street in the afternoon, the balding, 42-year-old actor shrugged, saying, "I'm just trying to be a father to my kids, a dad, a brother."

John Ventimiglia was born on July 17, 1968. New York, character actor John Ventimiglia has assembled his career playing thugs, guards, cops, and other tough guys in both television and movies. He has guest starred on crime dramas such as Law Order and NYPD Blue. Then in 1999 he united with the cast of The Sopranos.

In the Queens section of New York, Louis Gross -- who plays bodyguard Perry Annunziata on "The Sopranos" -- was charged with criminal mischief after a woman claimed that he broke into her home on April 18...

Arrests have become a rite of passage for a growing list of "Sopranos" cast members:

• Lillo Brancato Jr., who played an aspiring mobster on the show, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the slaying last year of an off-duty police officer who interrupted two men breaking into a Bronx home.

• Vincent Pastore, cast as gangster Sal Bompensiero, pleaded guilty in 2005 to attempted assault on his girlfriend and was sentenced to 70 hours of community service.

• Robert Iler, who plays Tony's rebellious son, pleaded guilty to mugging two other youths and stealing $40. He was given three years probation.

• Tony Sirico - who plays Paulie Walnuts, was convicted of a felony in 1971 and sentenced to four years, and was arrested 28 times according to press accounts, over a long, pre-thespian career, beginning (reportedly) at age 7.

I think Artie should be cut some slack. After all, even cops must realize that with business down at Vesuvio, his hand still smarting from a deep simmer in marinara sauce, and being rebuffed by every pretty girl he hires, Artie deserves a break more than most guys.

As for the hot pepper Perry Annunziata, it all can be attributed to being roundly beaten by Tony Soprano.

Geesh, give some guys a break.

Sopranos Cast/Crew Credits/List this episode

Terence Winter
Alan Taylor
Cast List:
Jeremy Schwartz (Biker #1)
Susan Varon (Joan Gillespie)
Biagio Tripodi (John Campisi)
Dennis Predovic (Eddie Lind)
William DeMeo (Jason Molinaro)
Gene Ruffini (Charles Russamano)
John 'Cha Cha' Ciarcia (Albie Cianflone)
Louis Gross (Perry Annunziata)
John Bianco (Gerry Torciano)
Artie Pasquale (Burt Gervasi)
Jonathan Del Arco (Father Jose)
Edoardo Ballerini (Corky Caporale)
Patricia McCormack (Liz La Cerva)
Cara Buono (Kelli Lombardo)
Julianna Margulies (Julianna Skiff)
Lenny Venito (James "Murmur" Zancone)
Frances Esemplare (Nucci Gualtieri)
Will Janowitz (Finn Detrolio)
T.R. Shields II (Dale Hutchins)
Brianna Laughlin (Domenica Baccalieri)
Kimberly Laughlin (Domenica Baccalieri)
Michael De Luca (Cop)
Pietro Gonzalez (Hispanic Guy)
Francisco Burgos (Latino Kid #2)
Gabriel Cano (Latino Kid #1)
Francis W. Erigo (Old Woman in Church)
Diane Martella (Old Woman at Parade)
Maria Hernandez (Latino Woman)
Frank Carlo (Teenager)
Tanya P. (The Virgin Mary)
Salvatore Darigo (Old Man)
Sonny Passero (Man in Crowd)
Sylvia Kauders (Mrs. Conte)
Lou Di Gennaro (Judge)
Vic Noto (Biker #2)
Tony Darrow (Larry Boy Barese)
Miryam Coppersmith (Sophia Baccalieri)
Max Casella (Benny Fazio)
Carl Capotorto (Little Paulie Germani)
Arthur J. Nascarella (Carlo Gervasi)
Angelo Massagli (Bobby Baccalieri, Jr.)

On May 25th, 2005 the writer-director David Chase, creator of HBO's The Sopranos, spoke to New Yorker writer Ken Auletta at a breakfast sponsored by the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and The New Yorker. Here

Other Bloggers on the Sopranos:

pop politics
Take the gun, leave the cannoli

About the New Game:

Press Release:

"A mob war is brewing as Philadelphia's and New Jersey's most powerful families are about to collide. As the illegitimate son of "Big Pussy," you have been born into the organization and are now being given an opportunity to demonstrate your loyalty to Tony Soprano. As a soldier you must earn money on collections, protect your turf through intimidation, and gain admiration within your own family to move up in the ranks of the organization. Carry out orders from Paulie, Silvio, Christopher and Tony in familiar locations such as the Bada Bing!, Nuovo Vesuvio's and Satriale's."

It's been said elsewhere that perhaps if the game makers are smart they will let us find out what happened to the Russian from the Pine Barrens and where did Ade really crawl off to when Sil left her only grazed.

New Sopranos Video Game and here

Season 6 Episode Guide

Sopranos Related:

NJ Mob Bosses
According to the book, The Sopranos: A Family History by Allen Rucker, the Soprano crime family is "a free-standing, semi-autonomous organization with probably some ad hoc partnership with one or two of the five [New York crime] families.” Though Tony Soprano’s relations with New York appear to be basically sound, he always has to keep a wary eye out for trouble from across the river. In real-life, Jersey mobsters, no matter what family they’re affiliated with, occupy an even more precarious terrain, sandwiched between the five families in New York and the trigger-happy Philadelphia family. From Crime Library

Silvio Dante


Uncle Junior

Others in Tony's Crew

Books on NJ Mob
Pizzaland is located in North Arlington, New Jersey at 260 Belleville Turnpike. You can see it on The Sopranos during every opening scene as Tony Soprano drives home.

Photo Credit

In the pilot episode of The Sopranos, the pork store scenes were shot at Centanni's in Elizabeth, New Jersey. For subsquent episodes, location scouts found this former auto parts store that is transformed for filming into the exterior of Satriale's. HBO holds the lease on this formerly abandoned building located at 101 Kearny Avenue in Kearny, New Jersey.

Photo Credit

In the "Full Leather Jacket" episode (#21) Christopher Moltisanti (played by Michael Imperioli) was shot in front of the Skyway Diner, seen here. His shooters, Matt Bevalaqua and Sean Gismonte, both now sleep with the fishes. This diner is popular for filming and it's the central location for Uma Thurman's upcoming movie, Hysterical Blindness.

Photo credit

This is the rear of the Bada Bing, where Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano) beat up and murdered the Tracee, one of the girls from the Bada Bing, who was pregnant with his baby. One faux paux on the show -- in New Jersey, dancers are not allowed to be topless where alcohol is served.

Photo credit

In episode 8 of the first season, Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) replicates a Goodfellas scene by shooting a baker in the foot. Joe's Bake Shop is located on Ridge Road, at the corner of Juancey Street in North Arlington, New Jersey.

Photo credit
Satin Dolls is the real name of the club used for scenes that take place at the Bada Bing strip club in The Sopranos. Satin Dolls is a gentleman's club located in Lodi, New Jersey on Route 17. Some of the girls that dance at the club are the same girls that are in The Sopranos.

Some excerpts from Alan Sepinwal's Mob life looking less glamorous all the time:

Monday, May 08, 2006

St. Elzear was a French nobleman who died at 38 and who chose to honor his wife's lifelong vow of chastity.

In other words, Tony, Paulie, Chris and the guys spent a good chunk of last night paying tribute to a man whose life they would do anything to avoid.

Not that theirs are much better, frankly. As Tony and Melfi discussed in therapy, people go on scary amusement park rides because they're bored, and the gangster lifestyle is essentially one long trip to Great Adventure. You wait on line for an hour, scream your head off for 90 seconds, then get at the back of another line.

Why do Tony and Chris try to hijack a hijacking? Because it's something to do, something to punctuate the tedium and hassles of a life that's a lot less glamorous than they had imagined. The two get drunk on the stolen wine and the retelling of the story ("We're with the Vipers!") for a while, but as time passes, the booze and the memories both lose some of their, you know, pop. And then it's back to another card game at Satriale's, another collection headache, another day of waiting for the next adventure.
Over the years, people have complained that this show glamorizes the mob. Whether you buy that or not, David Chase and company are making sure to clean up any mess on the way out the door. These guys have always been pathetic, selfish losers, a fact being hammered home more than ever.

Paulie Walnuts is not a man to be admired. He's a cheap, whiny SOB with a raging sense of entitlement. Even the other wiseguys can't stand him, and when his stinginess puts kids in danger, it gives them a long-desired excuse to shun him. Deservedly treated as an outcast and facing his own mortality with the prostate scare, the only person he can turn to is the Lawrence Welk-loving adoptive mother whom he had cursed out and abandoned. (You'll note he wasn't even using the Jason Barone shakedown money to pay for Green Grove. Maybe he ruined Jason's life for extra cash to spend on the shopping channel.)

Then there's Christopher, who, aside from a gift for attracting beautiful women with minimal self-esteem, has nothing going for him. His Hollywood dreams will never lead anywhere, his position in the Family is the result of nepotism, and even without people like Tony goading him, he'll never have the discipline to stay sober for very long. Oh, and by ratting out Adriana (as seen in possibly the greatest un-deleted scene of all time), he not only murdered the woman of his dreams, but made him so obsessed with her that the memory of her life and death will eventually destroy him. (And if he somehow holds it together, Carm's growing suspicions about Ade will be big trouble.)

A lot of major events happened in this episode -- Christopher's marriage and latest fall off the wagon, Tony and Phil cutting Johnny out of the first of what will be many future secret deals, Carmela's encounter with Ade's mom -- but they were presented in a casual manner, as if these guys are so bored with the business they have chosen that they can't even recognize when something momentous occurs right in front of them.
All these characters are on a ride, all right, but it's not a roller-coaster with dips and curves and loops. It's the baggage carousel at the airport, and they just keep going around and around in circles, seeing the same disappointed faces as they pass, waiting for someone or something to take them somewhere interesting. Pretty soon, that ride's going to crash just like those teacups at the St. Elzear feast, and when it does, the damage is going to be a lot worse than a kid with a bloody mouth.
Jersey hath no fury like a Bacala protecting his family. Make fun of his gut, his clothes or his sensitive side, and he'll just mope. Put his kids in danger, and you and him are going to have a problem, my friend.

Didn't Janice's account of the ride accident make it sound like the Hindenburg explosion?
Did you catch Artie discussing the food and only the food at Chris' bachelor party? And the wiseguys seemed interested in hearing the specials. Maybe Tony's advice to shut up and cook sank in.

You have to admire the HBO promo people, who manage to make every episode, no matter how mellow it might be, look like a bloodbath from start to finish. The preview clip for this episode included practically every frame of the shootout with the Vipers, then cut from Bacala yelling at Paulie to Janice screaming, "Call an ambulance!" from an entirely different scene.

Here another review of episode 74:

The Sopranos - "The Ride” by Cindy White - Monday, 08 May 2006 With this season’s narrative detours, philosophical journeys and roundabout studies of peripheral characters, it seems as though The Sopranos has been taking a somewhat indirect route to the series climax (which happens in — yikes! —just four more episodes, including this one). In "The Ride,” though, it seems we’re back on track with a story that brings the focus back to Tony and Christopher, with a little Paulie thrown in for good measure.

It’s time for the annual Feast of St. Elzear, a five-day, church-sponsored festival of carnival rides, fried Italian food and prayers to the local patron saint. Paulie is in charge of the "feast,” which, of course, is just a profit opportunity with a little money donated to the church for the sake of appearances. But the ever-inflating cost of the event means that Paulie has to make cuts wherever he can. Instead of the usual company, he hires a shady, fly-by-night operation to run the rides, one of which breaks down (with Janice and her daughter Nica on it), injuring several guests. For the already wound-too-tight Paulie, this is merely the least-important item on a long list of annoyances, beginning with the family situation revealed in "The Fleshy Part of the Thigh” and continuing with a biopsy to test for prostate cancer.
Having gotten his new girlfriend pregnant, Christopher returns from Atlantic City sporting a wedding ring. He dives into domesticity, even buying a house, but it’s not all as blissful as it may seem. And it can’t compare with the rush of adrenaline that his job gives him or, for that matter, the irresistible high of heroin. Yes, Christopher is officially off the wagon and spiraling downward once more. No matter how he pretends otherwise, Adriana's death has obviously taken a toll on his psyche.
Director Alan Taylor, who managed to give a hospital an ethereal glow earlier this season in "The Fleshy Part of the Thigh,” handles the glittery night scenes at the festival — and particularly Christopher’s drugged-out interlude to Fred Neil’s haunting melody "The Dolphins” — with flawless strokes. This is classic Sopranos. To use the episode’s metaphor, we’re approaching the crest of the hill before tumbling over into the controlled chaos of the end of the season. Make sure your seat belts are securely fastened.

Read the rest from now playing mag

Check out television without pity for a really detailed recap of this week's episode.

### End of my article ###

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