#30: Season 6, Episode 11, “Cold Stones” [May 21st, 2006]
Vito surprises Tony at the mall, wanting to come back and earn. T wants him back, but he comes to the realization he is not worth the trouble anymore, as Phil keeps hurting his business until he hands over his cousins’ husband. Meanwhile, one of Phil’s crew visits the Bing, breaking Carlo and Sil’s balls, so they naturally stab him to death over the crew’s dinner table.
Best Line: “I just want to see you do good, my son, and I love you.”- Tony to AJ, a minute before putting a garbage can through his SUV window.
A Hit’s a Hit: Phil kills Vito, ironically, by hiding and coming out of his closet while waiting for him to come back to his motel room.
#29: Season 6, Episode 3, “Mayhem” [March 26th, 2006]
AJ starts to rebel, talking to the media, practically inviting a reality series titled “Growing up Soprano.” When Vito and Paulie fight over the cut of a recent score, they wait on giving Carmella T’s cut, waiting to see if he makes it. Kevin Finnerty is invited into a house filled with bright light by the party attendant, telling him to let go of his briefcase and stop fighting to stay alive. After he comes out of the coma, Carmella tells him to watch out for Vito, seeing his ambition and noticing how grief-stricken he was when he gave up the $100,000.
Best Line: “Just, let it go.”- Man (Steve Buscemi) to Kevin Finnerty, taking his briefcase so he can step towards the house, beaming with bright light.
Notable Appearance: We meet Vito’s wife, played by Elizabeth Bracco, the younger sister of Lorraine, who appears in eight episodes.
A Hit’s a Hit: Paulie and a friend knock off two men from a Columbian outfit, this time coming away with the biggest score of his career.
#28: Season 6, Episode 13, “Soprano Home Movies” [April 8th, 2007]
In an episode that answers the question of what would be the repercussions if someone beat up Don Antonio in a fight, Bobby takes a swing at Tone after his brother-in-law makes an inappropriate comment about Janice. Tony gets even by taking away Bobby’s innocence, in a way.
Best Line: “My estimate, historically, 80% of the time it ends up in the can, like Johnny Sack, or on the embalming table at Cozarelli’s.”- Tony to Bobby on no risk, no reward.
A Hit’s a Hit: To get revenge on Bobby knocking Tony down for the count, Bobby has performed a contract on a deadbeat trying to use his son as a bargaining chip. Bobby pops his Mafioso cherry for the first time.
#27: Season 6, Episode 19, “The Second Coming” [May 20th, 2007]
In the episode where AJ tries to commit suicide where Tone’s ducks used to play, Phil draws a line in the sand, officially starting a war with North Jersey, and one of Coco drinks too much Sambuca, resulting in loose lips that leads to letting’s say jaw-dropping results.
Best Line: “Some peppers and cheese, gorgonzola. Alright? Don’t forget.”- Coco
Factoid: “Into the Ocean,” about a boy who attempts suicide by drowning, is playing in the room when Meadow talks to AJ before he attempts to kill himself later in the episode.
#26: Season 5, Episode 9, “Unidentified Black Males” [May 2nd, 2004]
The aftermath begins after little Carmine hired Tony B. to take out a hit against one of Johnny Sack’s crew, without his cousins’ knowledge or consent. Johnny wants blood, but Tony vouches for him, saying he was with him the entire night. Finn gets a job working construction at the Esplanade, witnesses just how violent the family can get, and “comes” upon Vito giving a security guard head at the construction site to make matters worse. Even though it is hard to pick just one, this is a standout episode for Edie Falco.
Best Line: “You walk around that mansion in your $500-dollar shoes and your diamond rings, and you act like butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth.”- Tony to Carmella when she tells him she wants what she is entitled to with a divorce.
Factoid: Joseph R. Gannascoli, who played Vito, came up with the storyline of a member of the mafia being gay when he read a story about a member in the Gambino crime family who let someone live under the same circumstances because they were a good earner.
#25: Season 5, Episode 5, “Irregular Around the Margin” [April 4th, 2004]
In the episode where Tony and Ade get in a car accident, everyone assumes she must have been giving him oral sex. Christopher relapses over the news (you’d f**k a catcher’s mitt) and (maybe) tries to take out Tony at the Bing after unloading his clip into his SUV. A testament to James Gandolfini as an actor, when he takes a step back and is ready to shoot his nephew in the head, you almost believe he will do it, even though you know they wouldn’t take out a mainstay character in the middle of the series. Imperioli and DeMatteo won Emmys for Supporting Actor and Actress for this episode.
Best Line: “Either you tell me right now that you can take it into your heart that I did not do this s**t, or this is as far as we go.”- Tony.
Notable Appearance: Hill Harper, before joining his famous roommate in the White House and joining the cast of The Good Doctor, plays the ER doctor who treated Tony and Ade, who later proves, with the help of Tony B, she could not have been giving head.
#24: Season 5, Episode 7, “In Camelot” [April 18th, 2004]
An ingeniously written episode takes all those Freudian slips leading to Tony befriending his father’s mistress (Polly Bergen), who he happens upon at the family plot. When Dr. Melfi asks Tony if he is attracted to her, he scoffs, “Come on. She’s old enough to be my mother.” Later, Tony has an uncomfortable moment, perfectly played by Gandolfini, when the senior citizen goomar begins to flirt with Tony by wearing a captain hat and sings Happy Birthday, Mr. President. This answers the question of what happens to all those unmarried goomars in the Soprano universe.
Best Line: “She made us all suffer instead.”- Tony talking about his mother to his father’s mistress.
Notable Appearance: Tim Daly begins a two-season stint as Christopher’s sponsor, who loses a hand or two at Chris’s poker game.
#23: Season 5, Episode 10, “Cold Cuts” [May 9th, 2004]
A retired family member sold his house and is moving to Florida, causing concern for the crew to locate some bodies they buried up there, some even decades before. Janice takes an anger management course, has Tony over for dinner, and then while seeing how happy a home she is making for her new family, pulls the pin on the grenade, ruining dinner.
Best Line: “You know what they say: Revenge is like serving cold cuts.”- Tony to Dr. Melfi
Notable Appearance: Chandra Wilson of Grey’s Anatomy fame guest stars as a woman taking part in an anger management class with Janice.
#22: Season 1, Episode 6, “Pax Soprano” [February 14th, 1999]
Tony has a “wet dream,” so to speak, of his therapist, Dr. Melfi. At the same time, Junior shows his lack of generosity by not sharing the wealth with his other capos, even taxing Hesh (the invaluable Jerry Adler). “Pax Soprano” also is responsible for introducing us to Johnny Sack, as he asks for a “sit-down” with the crew at Satriale’s to help resolve the situation (which was arranged behind Junior’s back by Tony). This is the episode that draws the viewer out of the North Jersey bubble, revealing that the FBI is monitoring the family, even at Junior’s coronation dinner.
Best Line: “Hey, I don’t even let anyone wave their finger in my face.”- Tony to Dr. Melfi after she asked when the last time was he had a prostate exam.
Notable Appearance: Vincent Curatola, the first episode, as Johnny Sack.
#21: Season 6, Episode 20, “The Blue Comet” [June 3rd, 2007]
The war begins with the jersey crew attempting to get ahead of the game by hitting Phil, but they kill the wrong man. Phil puts out hits on the top officer in the Soprano family, causing loved ones to go into hiding, and Tony goes to the mattresses. This would be Lorraine Bracco’s last episode, brilliantly written out because she realizes therapy is not working; in fact, it only makes the prince of North Jersey a more efficient mob boss.
Best Line: “You’re not my gynecologist.”- Dr. Melfi to Tony when he chalks up her cutting the cord with him on therapy to a “menopausal situation.”
A Hit’s a Hit: Steven Schirripa says goodbye to Bobby ‘Bacala’ when he is gunned down in a toy store, in a heartbreaking scene, treating himself to a train called “The Blue Comet.”
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.