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The Sopranos Season 6 Part II
James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli
Created by David Chase
4 DVD 9 Episodes
HBO Home Video 2007
The Sopranos Season 6 part II box set includes very useful season recaps in the extra features on DVD 1. For this casual fan of one of the most talked about, fascinating, addictive for many, and popular TV crime shows, this proved to be a must before watching the last half of season 6 of The Sopranos. Even serious, can't miss, Tivo addicts of this show will appreciate this feature: it's nice to get all you ducks and goombahs in a row before embarking on the closing half the last season. The last two episodes of the series, The Blue Comet and Made in America,really kick ass both in terms of story and how it is told.
I'd sort of lost touch with The Sopranos after the first couple of seasons. We don't get HBO in Canada so we had to wait for the series to air on CTV a few months later and it got annoying to know what happened in the show before you actually saw it. I have to admit The Sopranos is still solid crime TV in its last episodes. Yes, the whole therapy thing got to be old hat but there's something about Tony Soprano that keeps you fascinated. Perhaps it lost some of its bite in season 6 but then again that bite may have originally had something to do with this being a totally different kind of show.
Season 6 part II of The Sopranos begins with Tony being cleared of a gun charge, and A.J. in a relationship with a black girl. Tony spends time at this sister's and Bobby's cottage where, unfortunately, everybody indulges in a bit of karaoke and plays Monopoly and the garbage between Tony and his sister resurfaces (though it's impossible to know if they are playing The Sopranos version where streets are territories and the go to jail card is replaced by a you've been shot card). Episode 2 has Tony going to the premiere of Christopher's movie, Cleaver, and starting to think about what Christopher really meant in the movie. Cleaver is, by the way, much better than the Sopranos episode Imperioli wrote a few years back. Look for directors Sydney Pollack and Peter Bogdanovich in cameo roles.
I really enjoyed the scenes in episode three where Uncle Junior is running a gaming table in the asylum. Junior may be losing his mind but he still has the skills and can sure tell some good old dirty jokes. When Tony and Paulie hit the road for a while to get away from a skeleton under a slab it does nothing to rekindle Tony's love for Paulie. Tony's gambling becomes a problem in episode 4 and A.J. proposes to his girlfriend. This show can be skipped as it does little to move the Soprano story forward.
DVD 3 of The Sopranos Season 6 part II has A.J. depressed and Tony helping out the feds with info on some Arabs. Tensions increase between Paulie and Christopher and come to a serious boiling point after Chris falls off the wagon. There are certainly moments here where you have to admit no one saw that coming and some very odd moments in Vegas. A.J. existential problems are a bit of a drag though: I'm not sure if it's the writing or the acting but it's basically who cares?
Things get really interesting in the last two episodes of The Sopranos when war breaks out between the New York and New Jersey families. The Blue Comet bit is visually great TV.
Some fans of the series were right though: the ending sucks. Other fans of The Sopranos were also right and the ending to this classic HBO show is quite appropriate and not just your basic Hollywood ending.
The Sopranos Season 6 Part II Episode List:
DVD 1: Soprano Home Movies / Stage 5 / Bonus: Past Season Recaps
DVD 2: Remember When / Chasing It
DVD 3: Walk Like A Man / Kennedy and Heidi / The Secomd Coming
DVD 4: The Blue Comet / Made In America/ Bonus: Making Cleaver, The Music of The Sopranos