The Sopranos: The Ride
by Tom Biro, posted May 8th 2006 8:04AM
(S06E09) A lot of fans of the show, including myself, have hemmed and hawed over episodes this season (and heck, last season) when no one was offed, or when a few different storylines were advanced but a lot of the show focused on the inner thoughts of people. This week, there were quite a few "events," lots of drama, and it was an all around good show.
Christopher conveniently ends up being a father just a day or two before Carmela bumps into Ade's mother at the Feast - thank goodness Ms. La Cerva didn't find out that Christopher had gotten married, as well. Additionally, this Christopher-centric episode showed him and Tony having a good old time just moments after getting lost in Western Pennsylvania, in a shoot 'em up reminiscient of something you might have caught on an old-time gangster movie. And who doesn't like that?
As much face time as Christopher received this week, Paulie was just as integral to what was going on. His attitude towards the church, which wanted a bump five times higher than it was going to get from the Feast being run by the boys, leads to a few issues, including complaints from the food sellers, and a lack of safety standards from the rides that are featured, as there wasn't enough money to get the rides that were used in previous years. it had been awhile since Janice had pulled any scams, so when the ride she was on with her daughter and Bobby's son came to an abrupt halt, and one or two other people on it are injured, she's just got to make the situation all about her. Of course, this was just to get Bobby to act on the situation, which he eventually did, only after she ratted him out at the Sopranos' dinner table. And again, the mastery of the editors working on the weekly previews showed Bobby yelling at Paulie last week, and followed that up with Janice yelling for an ambulance. That ambulance, ladies and gents, was for the actual injured boy on the ride, who cracked his teeth on the car. Hoo boy.
Had Tony not gone through the shooting and some other family issues of his own in the last few seasons, I can see him being much less tolerant of what has been going on with Paulie right now. First, Paulie and Vito were looking to screw Carmela while the boss was in a coma, and Vito ended up leaving town just after Carm told her newly awakened husband to keep an eye on him. Somehow, she didn't feel that Paulie was a problem. Then, Paulie's mom turns out to not be his mom, he beats up the Barone kid - which I feel will probably come back to bite him - and he might have prostate cancer at this point. Not that any of this is really driving his need to make cash for himself - and kick it Tony's way, too - but he's making it seem that way, and Tony is buying it.
Stepping back to Christopher, when we saw him out in Los Angeles hitting the blow with the prostitute, I really thought that he might completely fall off the wagon, or whatever it is you do when you go back to your drug habit. He made it a little while, but made the stupid move this week of drinking some red wine that he and Tony stole from "The Vipers" while in PA, then followed that up by letting one of his boys shoot up while in his Maserati. Bad, bad move. However, it was poignant the way the show merely showed him all alone, in different spots around the Feast, with his head hung just as all the lights are shut down that night. Will a new baby and a new wife, and a new house, it seems, get Christopher out of the gutter he might have fallen into, or is he now screwed? I'm sensing some conflict might come up between he and Carmela, or perhaps through Tony again, but with the "bond" two are sharing, perhaps that'll get swept under the rug again.
Two big things I'm looking forward to: the New York situation coming to a head, now that Tony and Phil are working together a little bit outside of Johnny Sack, and Vito making the mistake of telling his new boyfriend who he really is. Neither of those will, as they say, end well.