Unfortunately, a DVD screener put out by HBO to promote the start of second part of Season 6 was illegally circulated on the Internet since last week. Here is the recap for episode 78 if you haven't seen the pirated copy.
The scene opens up in a flashback to 2004, the last scene in season 5, episode 65 "All Due Respect" when Tony drops his gun in the snow during Johnny Sack’s arrest. A teenage boy picks it up and accidentally discharges a round.
The significance of this is revealed when we return to the present and the loud banging on the door at Tony's house. Carmela wonders if "Is this it?". Is this the moment she has been dreading all her life? Tony opens the door to county cops who arrest Tony for having an illegal firearm plus hollow-tipped bullets in the gun. He learns that the boy reported seeing Tony drop the gun to finagle his way out of trouble. Tony asks "Where is the FBI?" and is then handcuffed and led out to the police car in full view of his neighbors, the Cusamanos.
Carmela tell Janice of the arrest which promptly causes Janice to caution Bobby to dump any hollow point ammunition if he's got any.
Carmela, Meadow and AJ rush to the police station and immediately argue on the way there. AJ is his usual worthless self that cannot even get the right suit out of the closet for his mother. Meadow still doesn't get it that cops love to display a large show of force when arresting an A-list mobster. "That show of force - was it all about humiliating Dad?"
Tony sits quietly in the can while a fellow inmate takes a dump behind him. But it doesn't seem for long before his attorney Neil Mink gets him out on bail.
[Music: "Trouble in Paradise" Johnny Maestro] Meanwhile Phil is having a welcome home from his major coronary surgery. His goombas flatter him on his healthy appearance but Phil is having none of it. He's 66 years old and wants to take it easy. They then turn their attention to Tony's troubles over the gun beef in Jersey ("Porkchop out in Jersey, got pinched on a weapons charge."). When one of the goombas tries to make a joke about Tony dropping his gat because of Tony "going down on some sheep or shit" Phil stares him down. No one should make fun of a made man.
Tony returns home with Paulie and Patsy Parisi to a warm welcome and we see AJ, now sporting a Puerto Rican look, playing with his girlfriend's son. AJ's girlfriend Blanca, Carlo, Silvio and others are gathered at the Soprano home. Tony asks where Christopher is and Carlo tells him he thought Chris was here. Before he can wonder further he gets a call from Bobby, urging Tony to come to his lakehouse for the weekend for a meeting with the Canadians.
The Feds get Essex County to drop the gun case so the Feds can pursue their RICO case against Tony: "Can you really not be aware we've been building a RICO case against Tony Soprano for 5 f**king years? And then you blow this popcorn fart?"
[Music: "Funk 49" by James Gang] The family heads to Janice and Bobby’s lakefront vacation home in the Adirondacks ostensibly for Tony's 47th birthday. Tony feeling his age, is loath to hear anyone wish him Happy Birthday.
According to Recordonline this was filmed in Tuxedo near Sterling Forest and Greenwood Lake.
Tony fires a full-auto AR-10 machine gun in the woods. After Tony finishes shooting down tree limbs, Bobby tells him the weapon is Tony's birthday present (but ominously illegal to own in the US). Bobby admits that he's been hunting lately with a bow and arrow: "I wouldn't use a firearm like this on a deer, it's unsportsmanlike. It levels the playing field." Although Bobby mentions his grandfather came illegally into the US via Montreal, they should put up a wall now. Interestingly, very few illegals come into the US from that direction. More likely Bobby means that we should put up a wall on the Mexican front.
Tony has what looks like a heart attack but is actually only a Happy Birthday oral sex present from Carmela.
Back in New Jersey, AJ skip work to entertain his new girlfriend in his parent's bedroom and then friends over for a party while his parents are away.
Janice complains about her mother throughout. It's getting lame.
Bobby and Tony then relax on the lake in a wooden speedboat. Tony's worries about how he'll end up, in the can or dead, "My estimate? Historically? Eighty percent of the time it ends in the can like Johnny Sack. Either that or the loading dock at Cozarelli's."
Ominously, Bobby muses: "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, Right?"
Tony: "Ask your friend in there - on the wall." (referring to the mounted moose head in Bobby's house)
Tony brings up the fact that Bacala never "popped his cherry" in regard to actually murdering someone, contrasted with Bobby's father who Tony calls the "Terminator." They discuss some business.
The four celebrate Tony’s birthday - Janice compiled the Sopranos Home Movies on a CD for Tony. There's terrible karaoke (Janice killing "Out of Time" by The Rolling Stones then Carmela croaking "Love Hurts" by The Everly Brothers from which singing we should have been spared. [Music: "Killer Joe" Rocky Fellers] More drinking and Monopoly. Bobby disagrees with Tony's rule about the community money going into the Free Parking spot.
Bobby: You show me that in the rules.
Carmela: Technically it isn't in the rules, but a lot of people play that way. Adds a whole new level of excitement to the game.
Bobby: I don't agree with that.
Janice: Bobby, when we were growing up in our house, this is how we played.
Bobby: You know the Parker brothers took time to think this all out. I think we should respect that.
Janice: Fuck the Parker brothers. Just play the game. (edit)
Tony still recalls Janice taping him as a child and gets upset when Janice tells the story about her father shooting at her mother's head coming home from the Copa, and putting a hole in her beehive hair-do. When Carmela asks why he's never told that story Tony snaps, "Cause it makes us look like a f**king dysfunctional family. Jesus Christ!" Nah, nothing could do that.
[Music: Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five]
When Janice lands on boardwalk and says, "Boardwalk. I own it." Tony shoots back: "You blew guys under it," garnering a look of disbelief on Bobby's face. It then gets worse:
Janice: "Second prize in a beauty contest collect $10." (to Tony) Go ahead, make your stupid joke.
Tony: I got nothing to say.
Bobby: Think I'll buy a railroad.
Tony, leaning toward Carmela: A German shepherd's shaved asshole won first prize.
causing Bobby to complain "Sopranos, you go too far". It should be noted that Carmela laughed at that one. Finally when Tony, who knows how to push people's buttons, hums "Under the boardwalk, with your schlong in Jan's mouth," Bobby can't take it anymore and hauls off and hits Tony in the face and the two have a vicious fight that leaves them both bruised and bloody. Furniture is smashed and Carmela intervenes only to be shoved on to the ground by Tony. Bobby wins the fight and then runs outside and attempts to drive off drunk in his SUV but backs up into a tree. He gets out and returns inside and apologizes to Tony.
Janice and Tony worry about Tony taking revenge. During the night Tony goes to the Bacalas' bedroom and tells Bobby, "You beat me fair and square."
The next day Carmela wants to leave but Bobby and Janice insist they stay (Bobby reminds Tony about the meeting with the Canucks) and eventually everyone makes up. Tony spends the late afternoon dwelling about his life, sitting in a chair. We hear just the hint of "This Magic Moment" by The Drifters on Bobby's radio before he changes the station. Janice worries that Tony is up to something while he sits in a chair by the lake.
He listens to llttle Dominica singing Five Little Ducks. What this means I have no idea. I know that the series started off with ducks leaving but this scene is a bit of a throwaway.
Tony starts making up excuses for why he lost the fight to Bobby and doesn't let it drop even accusing Bobby of sucker punching him.
Tony and Bobby meet with two French Canadians involved in smuggling expired Fosamax (an aid against osteoporosis) prescription drugs into the United States. One of the Canadians mentions a problem with the husband of his sister. Tony agrees to make the problem go away if they drop the wholesale price on the drugs. Tony sends Bobby to do the job, but "No bow and arrows now". Bobby finally pops his cherry when he tracks the young man to a launderette and shoots him in the chest. The guy doesn't die, so Bobby gets up to him point blank and delivers a bullet into his forehead but not before the victim rips Bobby's shirt. Looks the poor fellow had an Ankh symbol on his neck. Ankh is the Egyptian hieroglyphic character that means, ironically here, life.
Tony learns that the Feds picked up the gun charge folded into a bigger RICO case.
[This Magic Moment" by The Drifters] Show fades with Bobby holding his daughter.
Dania Ramirez (Blanca Selgado)
Arthur J. Nascarella (Carlo Gervasi)
David Margulies (Neil Mink)
John 'Cha Cha' Ciarcia (Albie Cianflone)
John Bianco (Gerry Torciano)
Patrena Murray (Mercedes)
Philippe Bergeron (Denis, Canadian Mafiosa #1)
Christian Laurin (Normand, Canadian Mafiosa #2)
Dan Conte (Faustino "Doc" Santoro)
Jim Bracchitta (Peter Acinapura)
Dan Castleman (D.A. Castleman)
Armen Garo (Salvatore "Coco" Cogliano)
Eric Morace (Detective Gaudioso)
Marc Bonan (Rene LeCours - shot by Bobby)
Alisha Davis (Anchorwoman)
Matt Fischel (Judge Woronow)
Robert Lupone (Dr. Bruce Cusamano)
Saundra Santiago (Jeannie Cusamano)
Vincent Piazza (Hernan O'Brien)
Peter Caporale (Old Mutt)
Zuzanna Szadkowski (Elzbieta)
Avery Elaine (Domenica Baccalieri)
Emily Pulcher (Domenica Baccalieri)
Stephanie Szostak (Woman)
Antoinette LaVecchia (Paula Salerno)
Allyssa Magliaro (Jamie Salerno)
Julia Thompson (Lucy Salerno)
Hunter Gallagher (Brad)
Jean Brassard (French Canadian #1)
Maxime DeToledo (French Canadian #2)
Paige Allen (Reporter #1)
Amy Kean (Reporter #2)
Paul Lombardi (Reporter #3)
Dominic Chianese, Jr (Dominic)
Some of you may have noticed Uncle Junior's son in this episode, this is a bit old but here's more info:
Chianese has six children and 10 grandchildren. Three of his children are in the arts. Daughter Rebecca Scarpatti is a playwright. Another daughter, Sarah Francesca, programs film festivals. Son Dominic Chianese Jr. is an actor whose most recent screen credit is as one of the museum thieves in the "The Thomas Crown Affair."
Then there's this site that alleges Dominic assaulted a woman.
Kobi and Kadin George share the role of Hector Selgado, the son of A.J. Soprano’s new girlfriend.
The Patriot Ledger [defunct blog],
Little wiseguys: Quincy twins, 4, land role of a lifetime
It was close to midnight, the end of a long summer day, and Theresa George of Quincy was sitting under a New York sky holding her dozing 4-year-old son Kadin.
Someone else quietly sidled up beside her and rubbed the tired tyke’s back as only a mother could. The well-manicured hand belonged to mob wife Carmela Soprano.
Hanging out with Edie Falco, who plays Carmela on HBO’s ‘‘The Sopranos,’’ is just one of the perks of being 4 years old, cute, and having a role in one of television’s biggest shows.
Kobi and Kadin George are barely out of diapers but have already secured the gig of a lifetime. The handsome twins share the role of Hector Selgado, the son of A.J. Soprano’s new girlfriend.
The boys spent the better part of last year down in the New York area being spoiled by Robert Iler (A.J. Soprano), bribed by James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano), and playfully threatened by, who else, Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts).
For those who do not speak Hand Italian:
All my Sopranos-related Posts here
Promotional Video of AR-10.
As creator and executive producer of the beloved, violent "The Sopranos," Chase has sent character after character to his or her demise, held up for sacrifice to the gods of taut, uncompromising drama.
Five of the actors who were whacked by Chase in their previous fictional life on the HBO mob drama recently sat down with their executioner at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York.
If you're wondering whether Tony will bite the bullet at the end of all this:
WashPost - Tom Shales,
Down To His Last Shot
The specter of mortality isn't something he longs to see along the road ahead, either. He's held death at bay, if just barely, for decades. But there will come a time when that will no longer be possible. Will it come somewhere in that ninth episode? Smart money says it won't -- in part because Chase has let it be known that one thing he doesn't like about the classic Hollywood gangster movies, most of them made at Warner Bros. in the 1930s, is that they ended with the death of the major mobster and the implicit moral that "crime doesn't pay."
If you've been living in a cave the past 9 years: Seven Minute Sopranos - a "whacked out" refresher
Or at a slower pace, here are recaps for the first 5 seasons (approx 3 minutes each)
- Season 1: https://youtu.be/zQSZFa03ZlI
- Season 2: https://youtu.be/NEjHAOJ3Vmw
- Season 3: https://youtu.be/uBVp0dgvbHc
- Season 4: https://youtu.be/C7v6flubU64
- Season 5: https://youtu.be/AcFGUzg3tRQ
Others blogging on the Sopranos:
Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress,
The Sopranos: First of Nine
As the opening credits rolled on The Sopranos' first of nine concluding episodes on HBO tonight, I was reminded about how much we owe to this show. Before The Sopranos, there was no Deadwood, The Wire, or Rome on HBO. No Dexter or Brotherhood or The Tudors on Showtime, either. For that matter, nothing like 24, or Lost at its best, on the networks, either.
The Sopranos changed all of that, and made television grow up. With The Sopranos, television entered a new golden age.
The Sopranos did that by doing just about everything different from what had been done before. Not just the obvious language, but the pacing, the characterization, the locales. Always surprising us with a twist from the mob stories and surbuban lives we had come to know.
And The Sopranos did that again, tonight.
And take a look at the red shoes on this doll.
An American Family
Chase, 61, is about six feet tall, slender, with thinning hair and a saturnine expression that matches a dark, savage sense of humor. He's Italian (the family name was DeCesare), but he's not given to the emotional flamboyance that we associate with Italians—and which is very much on display in the show—perhaps because he was raised as a Protestant. He's a watchful man, plays his cards close to the vest, lives very much in his head, listens as much as he speaks, except for abrupt and frequent explosions of laughter. Though he commands an enterprise that employs upwards of 300 people, he is not a cheerleader in the conventional sense. He is prone, during writers' meetings, to say things such as "God, I'm so fucking depressed. I hate this. I can't do another one." As executive producer Ilene S. Landress puts it, "If you're looking for a glass-half-full person, he's not it. The scary part is sometimes you think you're giving him good news and he turns it into bad news." Van Zandt describes Chase as a tortured soul. "Look at the show," the actor says, smiling. "He's not moody—he's always in a bad mood. He's very consistent." There are bits and pieces of Chase in many of the show's characters, but if he resembles any of them, it's probably Johnny Sack, the boss of the New York family who conducts himself with the aplomb of a dyspeptic chess master.
As a convenience to my readers I have included links to the music being played during the scenes in brackets. Here we find out how that music is added:
LOTS OF MUSIC, NO COMPOSER
Making licensed music fit a scene can be a complicated process, requiring both technical skill and taste, and involving changes in structure, tempo and timing. For example, take one of those pizza parlor scenes. "Instrumental bridges tend to be friendly to dialog,” Dayak notes, "versus the chorus, where if you start listening too much to the music, you might miss the dialog. We just used ‘Ain't Talkin' About Love’ by Van Halen as a source cue in a pizza parlor. It worked with the locale, and we placed it in a way that when the characters enter the parlor, you hear some vocals so you get what the song is. As they cross and began their dialog, we have it go into an instrumental bridge — now your mind is on the dialog and you don't pay attention to David Lee Roth. Then, we brought in some vocals at the end of the scene when the dialog is finished.”