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 4


#50: Season 3, Episode 10, “To Save Us All From Satan’s Power” [April 29th, 2001]

A “flashback” episode built around Vincent Pastore’s return as P***y Bumpensaro, Tony looks back at when he was wired, with a bad hairpiece and all. This is a well-written episode that feels more like a way to get Pastore another paycheck; Jackie Jr is caught at a strip club, cheating on Meadow, and Tony tells him how disappointed he is in him, but not before bashing him around the club’s bathroom for a minute or two.
Best Line: “I’m shy.”- Bobby Jr. tells the crew he doesn’t want to play Santa Claus.
Notable Appearance: Argon is played by The Sopranos Director of Photography, Alik Sakharov, who was DP on 38 episodes.

#49: Season 5, Episode 1, “Two Tony’s” [March 7th, 2004]

Tony makes a play for Dr. Melfi by sending her a gift of Tide (one of the more clever/subtle product placements in a series that welcomely avoided it), telling her there are two Tony’s; the one she knows feed his children, and he wants to show her the other (ending with a line from Gandolfini that shows just how true the series always is to itself). Meanwhile, the new class gets out of prison, including Feech La Manna (the great Robert Loggia), the second coming of Richie Aprile.
Best Line: “I’m not interested in flattering you.”- Tony to Dr. Melfi when she rejects him.
Notable Appearance: Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, pops up as Manny Safier, a producer on the show from 2004-2007, also writing 13 episodes.

#48: Season 5, Episode 3, “Where’s Johnny” [March 21st, 2004]

Carmine passes away from a stroke, Junior’s mental health that started with a slow decline is noticeable to everyone (he tells him, “You never had the makings of a varsity athlete”). A turf war begins when Johnny Sack starts to throw his weight around.
Best Line: ‘Believe me, there’s plenty I’d like to forget.”- Junior
Factoid: Where is Carm? This is the only episode Edie Falco did not appear in during the series.

#47: Season 5, Episode 11, “The Test Stream” [May 16th, 2004]

Tony B gets wind of his prison roommate, Angelo, getting whacked by Phil and goes off on his own to settle the score. Annette Benning guest stars, along with John Heard, as Finn’s parents, in a sharply written dream sequence that has Tony trying to figure how to avoid a war with New York and save his cousin Tony B’s life.
Best Line: “There’s something Bugsy about him.”- Mrs. DeTrolio/Annette Benning
A Hit’s a Hit: Phil Leotardo whacks Angelo Garepe in the trunk of his car when he wouldn’t stay retired (coincidentally, Frank Vincent played the doomed mobster Joe Pesci is killed in a trunk in the opening sequence of Goodfellas).

#46: Season 6, Episode 2, “Join the Club” [March 19th, 2006]

Tony is in a coma, his family comes to see him, and this begins a two-episode arc as Kevin Finnerty in his “dream”(?) sequence. He loses his briefcase, finds another one, takes on that identity while he can’t seem to make his way home.
Factoid: In the dream sequence, you’ll notice Tony’s accent is different. That’s because James Gandolfini hired a voice coach to sound more like a mobster from North Jersey after the first episode.
Notable Appearance: Homeland’s Morgan Saylor pops up as “Young Meadow.”

#45: Season 2, Episode 10, “Bust-Out” [March 19th, 2000]

Carmella finds another crush in an attempt to find a way out of her marriage, focusing her attention on the brother of a current PTA member, so she can, uh, hire him to redo her wallpaper. Davie learns that Tony plans to bankrupt his store, and Tony learns there is a witness to the Bevilaqua murder, causing him to miss AJ’s swim meet. This leads to a physical altercation, with Carmella attacking her husband, which he finds amusing.
Best Line: “Sometimes we’re all hypocrites.”- Meadow tells her father.
Best Line, Second Opinion: “Don’t reminisce on me.”- Tony tells Davie when he tries to bring up old times.

#44: Season 3, Episode 5, “Another Toothpick” [March 25th, 2001]

The great Burt Young (Rocky) guest stars as Bobby Bacala Sr., who has cancer, is asked to take out a man who beat a crew member with a golf club. Junior also reveals he has cancer, to the dismay of his family. Meanwhile, Artie lets Adrianna know he has feelings for her, with disastrous results.
Notable Appearance: Charles S. Dutton (Rudy), as a cop who Tony gets demoted for giving him a speeding ticket.
A Hit’s a Hit: Bobby Sr. takes out two low-lives, at the orders of Junior, then passes away trying to light a cigarette.

#43: Season 6, Episode 17, “Walk Like a Man” [May 6th, 2007]

Tony tries to find a crew for AJ to get him out of his depression over being dumped by his fiancé and tries to teach him the healing powers of a blow-job; meanwhile, Paulie and Christopher’s bickering reaches new heights when Little Paulie gets tossed through a window.
Best Line: “You ain’t seen this many cops lined up since the centennial of Dunkin’ Donuts.”- Christopher
A Hit’s a Hit: Tim Daly’s character J.T. Dolan, wisely (so he thinks), tells Christopher to stop telling him his problems because “you’re in the mob.” Christopher sees his point, so he shoots him in the head.

#42: Season 1, Episode 9, “Boca” [March 7th, 1999]

The Sopranos used to dive headfirst into episode-centric storylines, almost solving crimes weekly. Here is the case of Tony and the boys working on whacking Meadow’s High School soccer coach, who has been sleeping with one of her teammates. We also learn Uncle June gives world-class oral sex to the delight of his girlfriend and the laughter of others.
Best Line: “Carmela, I didn’t hurt nobody.” – Tony to Carmella, when he called off the hit, while his daughter watches from the stairs.
Factoid: Lorraine Braco, reportedly, was offered the role of Carmella but chose to play Tony’s therapist Dr. Melfi (whose character, ironically, took a back seat to the role Edie Falco took over in later seasons).

#41: Season 6, Episode 5, “Mr. & Mrs. John Sacrimony Request” [April 9th, 2006]

Johnny Sack gets permission to leave prison for a couple of hours to attend his daughter’s wedding. In doing so, he begins to negotiate some side deals with T to free up some money for his trial. When he is pulled away from the wedding by his Federal Marshall handlers, he begins to cry in front of all his guests, losing the respect of all his Mafiosos in the process. Vito is caught enjoying himself at a local club, wearing leather straps, chains and dancing with another man in front of some associates who stopped by to pick up this week’s cut from the bar owner.
Best Line: “Its f*****g coach turned into a pumpkin.”- Paulie
Notable Appearance: How I Met Your Mother’s Cristin Milioti pops up as Johnny Sack’s youngest daughter, while Scandal’s Katie Lowes plays Gillian, a chummy wedding guest with AJ.

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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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