April 25, 2006

"Sopranos": Luxury Lounge

I must say at the outset that I didn't love this episode. True, a "bad" "Sopranos" episode is still better than 95% of what's on TV, but this was probably the weakest of the season so far. I just felt like the put-upon-Artie-gets-revenge angle had already been done, two seasons ago, and the Christopher-in-Hollywood thing has been perhaps the weakest thread of all, throughout the series. Still, a few things I did enjoy:

- I loved the "Big Night" homage, with the cooking scenes at the beginning and end. When Tony mentioned the new rival restaurant, I half-expected Artie to channel Tony Shalhoub and yell out "Do you know what happens in that restaurant every night? RAPE! RAPE! ...The rape of cuisine!"

- Are the two Arabs going to lead Christopher into further trouble with the FBI, should terrorism and/or money laundering issues arise? It looks that way, but then again it almost sounds too obvious that I wouldn't think Chase would actually do it. And also, Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle brought up the interesting point that the "middle man" Chris hired to set up the hit with the two Italians could have been a government mole.

- I loved the three references to Season 1: Artie mentioning the fire Tony set at the original Vesuvio's; Artie reproducing the rifle that he was threatened Tony with in order to kill the rabbit; and Tony mentioning the night he and his family drove to the restaurant in the rain (in the Season 1 finale).

- Speaking of the rabbit, help me, foodies: is it common practice for a professional chef to kill an animal in his garden, and then later serve it in his restaurant?

- The "whacking" of Lauren Bacall was inspired, sure. But if you're going to cast Ben Kingsley, why not get him to play, you know, an actual gangster? He was brilliant in "Sexy Beast"- as well as in the groundbreaking role of "The Rabbi" in "Lucky Number Slevin."

- By the way- the Bacall-getting-mugged story made the cover of Variety and presumably made some other national news as well. Once Tony put two and two together and realized that's where the swag came from, wouldn't it cause him to get upset with Chris? Remember: Tony's a lover of old movies, and likely reveres Lauren Bacall.

- Next week: more of the Vito storyline, and could A.J. be embracing a life of crime?

Posted by Stephen Silver at April 25, 2006 02:05 AM

OK, first off, Tony does not hive a crap about hollywood actors. I think he was just pleased Chris bought something back for him after chris wasting his time in LA again and not being home to manage things. I agree this was not the most exciting episode, but I once again stress that I do not think david Chase is just putting this stuff out there for it to not make sense later in the grand scheme of things. And I believe it would not be out of hand for a prof. chef to cook something he has killed as long as its been properly cleaned.

Posted by: A at April 25, 2006 10:00 AM
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