The Sopranos: The Definitive 86-Episode Ranking

March 3, 2019 (Last updated: August 29, 2021)
M.N. Miller 5
Features, TV
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Part 3


#70: Season 6, Episode 8, “Johnny Cakes” [April 30th, 2006]

Gentrification starts to take over the neighborhood, as Julianna Margulies stops by Satriales playing a real-estate agent making T an offer on the building he owns for Jamba Juice, which currently is occupied by Caputo Live Poultry. AJ drops the ball, quite literally, as the knife he wants to use to kill his uncle falls out of his jacket. Vito and Jim begin their romance over some pancakes.
Best Line: ‘It’s not in your nature.”- Tony to AJ, telling him being a nice guy is a good thing.
Notable Appearance: Alexandra Daddario is credited as “Another Woman,” while Vincent Piazza of Boardwalk Empire and The Passage fame pops up as Henry O’Brien.

#69: Season 2, Episode 2, “Do Not Resuscitate” [January 23rd, 2000]

Written by David Chase, this episode displays Robert Idler’s ability to communicate youthful naivete by talking to his grandmother about what DNR is. The show confirms Big P***y’s involvement as a rat for the FBI as he meets his handler. This marks the first episode for Bobby Bacala (Blue Blood’s Steve Schirripa), who would become a series mainstay the following season.
Best Line: “Jesus got nothing to do with it.”- Reverend James Sr to Tony after he surprises him on his son’s doorstep.
A Hit’s a Hit: Off-camera, Green Grove’s nursing home director, car, and toupee are abandoned. We assume his fate has been handed to him for spreading gossip about the family.

#68: Season 6, Episode 9, “The Ride” [May 7th, 2006]

Paulie oversees an Italian festival and goes cheap on the rides by not paying for the proper safety upgrades, while Carmella runs into Adrianna’s mother. Christopher finds out his girlfriend is pregnant and sees this as a second chance at happiness. During the episode’s final scene, Paulie reconciles with his mother/munt, coming over and sitting silently on the couch while they watch television.
Best Line: “Forget the hat!”- Paulie.
Notable Appearance: Crazy Legs Conti, known for being a champion competitive eater, pops up in the episode as himself.

#67: Season 2, Episode 11, “House Arrest” [March 26th, 2000]

This is the “calm before the storm” episode where most characters get caught up in storylines of comic relief. Junior flirts with a home care specialist, setting him up with a CPAP machine, while Dr. Melfi starts to drink before her sessions with “TS” and picks a fight with a patron at a restaurant for smoking, and Tony must go hang out at his Barone sanitation office.
Best Line: “Don’t give me your f*****g Manson lamps.”- Tony to Richie.
Notable Appearance: Director Peter Bogdanovich was Dr. Melfi’s psychiatrist; he would appear in 14 episodes.

#66: Season 4, Episode 6, “Everybody Hurts” [October 20th, 2002]

Tony begins to use Christopher more to insulate him from FBI targets, while Artie is taken advantage of by his new hostess brother, losing a $50,000 investment, which he borrowed from you know who. We also learn Gloria committed suicide, so “T” confronts Dr. Melfi, scaring her s**t of her, even having me take a step back in a less than tactful matter.
Best Line: “His dad’s a math teacher, and they don’t even have a dining room.”- AJ to Devin when talking about how rich he is.
Notable Appearance: Paul Dano plays AJ’s friend Patrick Dano, who is impressed with AJ’s girlfriend’s house, but AJ finds it uncomfortable.

#64: Season 6, Episode 10, “Moe n’ Joe” [May 14th, 2006]

In one of the funnier set-ups in the series, Johnny tries to get Vito to perform a full day’s work by giving him a few helpful hints to get through the workday that lasts around an hour, checking his watch when he thinks it must be lunchtime. Vito would rather not live free and die in Jersey, stealing Johnny’s car and heading back to Jersey to get his spot back from Tony.
Best Line: “Because it would kill your practice.”- Johnny Sack to his lawyer on why he doesn’t represent turn-coats.
A Hit’s a Hit: Vito shoots a Jeep owner in the back when they head back up to his house, which was right after he ran his car into his Jeep while drinking.

#64: Season 4, Episode 12, “Eloise” [May 13th, 2002]

The fight to get New York’s hands out of Jersey’s pockets continues, with each family trading blows when Carmine forces a shut down at the Esplanade, and Tony trashes Johnny Sack’s new restaurant. Paulie finds out Johnny Sack has been using him for information when Carmine doesn’t know who the hell is. Furio has a chance to take out Tony but loses his nerve and doesn’t use the plane’s propeller as a salad spinner, then flees the country, leaving Carmella with a broken heart.
Best Line: “You’re a wormy c********r, you know that?”- Paulie
A Hit’s a Hit: Paulie takes out his mother’s friend, Minn Matrone, who comes upon him stealing her stash of cash she keeps in a shoebox under her bed. Oh, that Paulie.

#63: Season 1, Episode 11, “Nobody Knows Anything” [March 21st, 1999]

Livia’s (Nancy Marchand) borderline personality takes the storyline to new levels as she talks to Junior about Tony going behind his back and holding meetings with the capos. This marks the first episode of the rumor that Big P***y is a rat from Tony’s mole inside the police department. Watching John Heard scream come-on while honking his horn because he has somewhere to be (see below) remains one of the best scenes in the show’s history.
Best Line: “I can’t find p***y anywhere!”- Tony to his crew, searching for P***y Bumpensaro, after finding out the rate was John.
A Hit’s a Hit: John Heard whacks himself, jumping off a bridge, after being arrested in a call girl sweep.

#62: Season 6, Episode 12, “Kaisha” [June 4th, 2006]

A turf war between families begins over the greater tri-state area. AJ starts to date Bianca, who works at the construction site, to his parents’ worries, but they are happy to see him acting like a mature adult. Meanwhile, Christopher gets back into rehab, then meets up with Julianna Skiff, a former acquaintance of Tony. Phil has a heart attack, and T goes to the hospital to make peace. This episode was dedicated to John Patterson, who directed several episodes of the series.
Best Line: “A pint of blood is worth more than a gallon of milk.”- Little Carmine
Notable Appearance: Dania Ramirez begins her arc as a woman with a young child that AJ dates.

#61: Season 6, Episode 6, “Live Free or Die” [April 16th, 2006]

Fearing the worst, Vito hightails it out of Jersey until his car breaks down in New Hampshire, pretending to be a writer working on a book about Rocky Marciano, hoping to live free and not die. Tony doesn’t want to give up on Vito, a fantastic earner, but his wife is a cousin of Phil Leotardo, who wants to bring honor back to his family.
Best Line: “Let me ask you something for the sake of argument: Let’s say he shows up. Are you going to kiss this guy on both cheeks?”- Sil to Tony, demonstrating the lack of acceptance of Vito’s lifestyle in their culture.
Factoid: Steven Van Zandt, who played Silvio, was originally pegged to Tony Soprano by David Chase.

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4 thoughts on “The Sopranos: The Definitive 86-Episode Ranking

  • Pingback: The Sopranos Greatest Hits: The Complete Whack-A-Mole Ranking | RSC

  • March 6, 2019 at 5:17 am

    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.

    • March 6, 2019 at 6:48 am

      Yes! Thank you, was driving me crazy! Also, thanks for checking out the article!

      • March 7, 2019 at 4:45 am

        Hey great article. Appreciate all your efforts. But….needs more proofreading!

        Lauren Braco? Come on dude

  • March 7, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Thank you for pointing that out. I have made efforts to fix those errors. Thanks again.

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