#10: Season 6, Episode 18, “Kennedy and Heidi” [May 13, 2007]
Tony takes some peyote for the first time and meets a friend of Christopher’s (played by Life and Person of Interest actress Sarah Shahi) while taking a trip to Vegas after the death of a family member (see below); a stand-out episode with a wonderful cinematic shot of Tony looking into a sunset and finally coming to a personal understanding and life-affirming moment.
Best Line: “Call me a taxi; I’ll never pass a drug test.”- Christopher to Tony.
A Hit’s a Hit: Chris is high again and crashes their SUV off the highway and down an embankment. Tony, who realizes he is vulnerable from Christopher flipping on him at this point, looks around, reaches through the window, and suffocates him to death.
#9: Season 2, Episode 13, “Fun House” [April 9th, 2000]
A mainstream hit and one of the best examples of using dream sequences as a plot device, Tony gets food poisoning and works out his unconscious concern that he didn’t want to see; his best friend, P***y Bumpensaro, is a rat for the FBI.
Factoid: This would be the last episode for Nancy Marchand, who would pass away a few months after this season wrapped.
A Hit’s a Hit: Big P***y Bumpensaro fell for the old let’s-take-the-boat-out-for-a-spin con, is taken below deck by his best friends, and shot to death for ratting out his friends to the feds.
#8: Season 4, Episode 10, “The Strong, Silent Type” [November 17th, 2002]
In one of the more inspired scenes in the series, Chase writes a scenario of mobsters holding an intervention for Christopher after he beat Adrianna and killed someone close to her. When the intervention doesn’t work, Tony takes matters into his own hands, arranging for rehab stay for his nephew, letting him know if he fails, Patsy is right down the street waiting for him.
Best Line: “You can no longer function as a man.”- Ade to Christopher, in front of everyone, at his intervention.
A Hit’s a Hit: Christopher takes out Ade’s dog Cosette by accidentally sitting on him when he was high.
#7: Season 5, Episode 12, “Long Term Parking” [May 23rd, 2004]
Tony’s goomar sets herself on fire when cooking him a meal, so he reconciles with his wife, and like most power couples, settling over the financials before recommitting, with Carm getting a spec house. The feds then begin to squeeze Adrianna when she fails to report a murder at her club, causing her to come clean to Christopher in the hopes they both make the jump into witness protection. That doesn’t happen; when Tony calls Ade and tells her that Christopher tried to kill himself, he is sending Sil over there to take her to the hospital.
Best Line: “You think you’re alone in this?!”- Tony to Christopher after he finds out he snorted heroin to deal with the pain.
A Hit’s a Hit: In a well-plotted scene that even had me thinking Ade was in the clear, she soon realizes, like the rest of us, the drive with Sil to a hospital in the country to see Christopher was a lie. Sil takes an unexpected exit and shoots Adrianna while she crawls through some fall-colored fallen leaves off-camera.
#6: Season 4, Episode 9, “Whoever Did This” [November 10th, 2002]
Junior’s flirtations get the best of him as he stumbles down the courtroom stairs, causing detection of Alzheimer’s at the hospital. Tragedy strikes Ralphie’s personal life when he fails to watch his kid, who accidentally gets shot with an arrow when playing Lord of the Rings. Tony gets a call that Pie-O-My died in a fire, and he doesn’t think it was an accident.
Best Line: “It was a f*****g horse! What, are you a vegetarian? You eat beef and sausage by the carload.”-Ralphie to Tony.
A Hit’s a Hit: Joe Pantoliano bids farewell to Ralphie when he is killed by Tony when a fight breaks out over how his beloved horse died after Ralphie gets back from the hospital.
Notable Appearance: Tim Kang, before starring in The Mentalist, as Junior’s doctor.
#5: Season 4, Episode 2, “No Show” [September 22nd, 2002]
An episode at the heart of The Sopranos is family, and “No Show” is one for the books. Tony and Meadow come to a heated exchange over Jackie Jr.’s death while wanting to go to Spain for school at the suggestion of her new therapist, referred by Dr. Melfi. One of the very best scenes of the series, and most of them come from conflicts within their nuclear family.
Best Line: “She gave Moltisanti a hard-on.”- Agent Dwight Harris to his Bureau chief.
Notable Appearance: Lola Glaudini, time on the show is about to end, as Christopher tries to start a threesome between her and Ade ends the undercover operation.
#4: Season 4, Episode 13, “Whitecaps” [December 8th, 2002]
In an episode that caps off the most cohesive season for the HBO soap, Tony wants to buy a water-front house for the family. Soon, things fall apart when his former goomar calls Carmella and tells him Tony slept with her cousin. Carmella kicks Tony out of the house, wants a divorce, and tells him about her feelings for Furio; “Whitecaps” is one of the stand-out episodes of the series.
Best Line: “Who knew all this time you wanted Tracey and Hepburn.”- Carmella to Tony.
A Hit’s a Hit: Christopher makes sure the hired guns to take out Carmine don’t talk.
#3: Season 3, Episode 12, “Amour Fou” [May 13th, 2001]
Amour Fou displays two remarkable performances. The first is Edie Falco, in a remarkable scene, confessing her sins to a priest and for being married to a man who is destined for hell. The other is Annabella Sciorra, who threatens to tell Carmella about them, and begs him to “Kill me.” Later, Dr. Melfi helps Tony see that his attractions to Gloria were, in a way, trying to win the love of his mother.
Best Line: “She might leave you, but you’ll never leave her.”- Dr. Melfi to Tony during his therapy session.
A Hit’s a Hit: Jackie Jr., Dino, Carlo, and Matusz attempt to rob Ralphie’s poker game, with Christopher, Furio, Eugene, Sunshine, and Albert there. Carlo is killed, Matush drives off in the getaway car, Jackie Jr. escapes and leaves Dino to be killed by Christopher and Albert. Sunshine, the dealer, is also killed.
#2: Season 1, Episode 5, “College” [February 7th, 1999]
“College” was responsible for jumpstarting the show, and HBO for that matter, into a water-cooler television show that put all other network television programs on notice with a cable budget. Tony takes Meadow on a trip to check out colleges and runs into an old-friend associate that turned state’s evidence, putting many friends away (also known as a rat), that walks the line perfectly with dark comedy and family drama.
Best Line: “You mean, like, Mario Cuomo?”- Meadow deadpans to her father about the birth of the mafia.
A Hit’s a Hit: Tony tracks down “Fred Peters” (Tony Ray Rossi), choking him from behind, and gets back in time to pick up Meadow from her on-campus tour.
#1: Season 3, Episode 11, “Pine Barrens” [May 6th, 2001]
Considered one of the best episodes The Sopranos has ever done, Pine Barrens is a shining moment for fans of the almost Laurel & Hardy shenanigans of Paulie and Christopher when they collect money from a Russian for Sil(who has the flu). Things go bad for men in small rooms, not to mention the woods in the middle of winter, as the guys try to bury the man who escapes, and they never see him again.
Best Line: “F**k you, Paulie. Captain or no Captain, right now, we’re just two assholes lost in the woods.”- Christopher.
Factoid: Steve Buscemi directed the episode and would later play Tony’s cousin in season 4.
4 thoughts on “The Sopranos: The Definitive 86-Episode Ranking”
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Elizabeth Reaser is the woman who comes down the steps to tell Amy that David’s ready to see her, right before Christopher calls her a f****n’ D-Girl.
Yes! Thank you, was driving me crazy! Also, thanks for checking out the article!
Hey great article. Appreciate all your efforts. But….needs more proofreading!
Lauren Braco? Come on dude
Thank you for pointing that out. I have made efforts to fix those errors. Thanks again.