June 14, 2004

One Last ‘Sopranos’ Exegesis

This weekend, the Yankees and Padres squared off in an interleague series at Yankee Stadium. If you saw Vito Spatafore waiting for Finn outside, I hope you send him my regards.

Which makes me wonder something about the timeline of the last couple of “Sopranos” seasons, as well as how it all relates to baseball. We know that an entire calendar year was more or less skipped between seasons 3 and 4, as (in fictional time) Season 3 ended in January or February of 2001 (with Jackie, Jr. shot in the snow, following Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Super Bowl episodes), while Season 4 picked up awhile after September 11, even though Meadow was only starting her second year at Columbia even though nearly three years had passed since she began.

(Also, near the end of Season 4 Paulie is seen watching a Yankees game and the announcer mentions Jason Giambi, meaning it couldn’t be earlier than April 2002. Although earlier in the episode Svetlana had mentioned that her boyfriend was in Port St. Lucie for the Mets’ spring training. Maybe it was extended spring training, because Paulie’s game was pretty clearly at the Stadium, not in Tampa).

Also Adriana, at Season 5’s end, confesses to Christopher that her FBI cooperation began “about a year ago,” though it was pretty clearly closer to two years, if not longer. When Adriana is whacked, Silvio chases her into the fallen leaves, pretty clearly placing the scene in the fall.

A look at the current baseball schedule assures us that the entirety of Season 5 took place in 2004. When Tony and Johnny Sack meet outside Shea Stadium early on, Tony jokes about “getting in line early for opening day,” placing the scene in early spring of ’04. Another baseball game, Vito’s, between the Yankees and Padres, could only have happened in June of 2004 (this weekend), because that’s the only time in the six-year interleague play cycle in which the two teams play each other in the Bronx. The pool party for Carmela’s father obviously took place in the summer as well- but in the finale, when Johnny Sack’s house is raided by the FBI, there is snow on the ground. So it must be the winter in “Sopranos” universe- meaning, bizarrely, that at least part of Season 5 was set in the future.

Sorry for the digression; I’m still getting the season out of my system. But then, wouldn’t this all be so much easier if Chase and Co. took three months between seasons, instead of 16 months?

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 14, 2004 08:15 AM

i'd say "it's only TV," and that would be my answer ... but in this case, it's not TV, it's HBO.

Posted by: LiLB at June 15, 2004 08:31 PM
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