Something I want to start putting in my blogs are my observations on the various shows and movies I watch, as a way of remembering them. I watch so much stuff that it's easy to forget something I'd seen just a few months ago. One of the shows I've been watching since its premiere, back in 1999 (a long time ago!) is The Sopranos. I'm a fan, it's quite overrated IMO, and it's tapered off from its peak both in popularity and creativity. But it's still better than most stuff on television nowadays, and it's in its final run.
I don't think my reviews are going to be neat affairs, with deep reasoning and analysis. It's just going to be general observations, more or less.
This was a decent episode, with some things I couldn't quite understand. For one, when did Tony develop a gambling problem? For as long as I can remember, yeah, Tony's bet on the horses or played roulette or craps. He's bet on football games. But it was never before made into a plot point where he had a problem with gambling. This can be sloppy storytelling on David Chase's part, but he does only have so much time to tie up loose ends. It could also be part of a deeper pattern, in that Tony is going through a destructive phase.
Unlike some, I liked the Vito Jr. subplot. If nothing else, it provided some of the best lines of the episode.
Phil (To Vito Jr.): You look like a Puerto Rican whore.
Tony (To Vito Jr.): I'm not a fucking social worker. Smarten up or I'll put your head through a plate-glass window (what I remember, not sure if that's the exact quote)
It also provides an important theme of the show in general: Tony having to step in and clean someone else's mess. Phil clipped Vito, but who's left to pick up the pieces and take care of Vito's family? Tony. Tony has to take time away from his business and his real family to guide someone else's kid.
I'm going to have to continue this later. The library computer lab has some of the most obnoxious, no-good scum of mankind. I'd rather type this from home.