Hesh once told Christopher, “a hit is a hit.” So, who knew he meant something other than billboard music chart-toppers. In the day and age of DNA, security cameras, and good old-fashioned witnesses, the members of the Soprano family and associates were wildly successful and efficient killers (I doubt they could function effectively today with the invention of Ring and cloud-based systems, but I’m not here to quibble). They, however, managed to avoid being arrested for any “hit” by government enforcement agencies for almost a decade (or maybe Tony was a mole all along).
After 86 episodes (which we completely ranked just yesterday), hundreds of bullets, gallons of blood, numerous pleas for one’s mommy, and one bowling ball later, we have collected (we think) every death that happened by the hands of another, with a few educated guesses. Anything that wasn’t happening within the moment on-screen was left out (sorry Pie-O-My) and some exceptions were made.
Please read the definitive list of the greatest game of “whack-a-mole” that was ever-played below. One thing is for certain, however: since watching the show, I haven’t visited a local butcher shop since, and I am pretty sure David Chase and company are responsible for that dying trade.
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#44 & #43: Credenso Curtis and Stanley Johnson [Season 4, Episode 13, “Whitecaps”] / John Clayborn and Rasheen Ray [Season 1, Episode 12, “Isabella”]
Tony takes out two men who were hired by Junior to kill him and make it look like a car-jacking in the episode titled “Isabella.” In “Whitecaps,” Christopher makes sure the ones to whack Carmine and they would also make it look like a robbery, so they “don’t talk.” This is an unfortunate pattern of stereotypes that the show often used as portraying African-American characters as criminals or used in order to fool police officers who would not be able to put two and two together.
#42: Valery, the tragic figure [Season 3, Episode 11, “Pine Barrens”]
In a shining moment for fans of the Laurel & Hardy shenanigans of Paulie and Christopher, when they are sent to collect money from a Russian named Valery ( The American’s Vitali Baganov) for Sil, who has the flu, things go bad, very bad. Things almost always go like this they say for men in small rooms, not to mention the woods, and in the middle of winter. The boys try to bury the man, who of course escapes (why so many people didn’t think of using a shovel as a weapon before Valery was told to dig his own grave, I’ll never know), and they never will see him again.
Don’t Feel Bad: Valery was a former special-ops Chechen soldier; he may have found a hospital, gotten help with his substance abuse, and don’t forget that head wound, so there is a chance he then lived out his days happily.
#41: The director of the “hotel at Captain Teebs” [Season 2, Episode 2, “Do Not Resuscitate”]
The director of Green Grove retirement community just couldn’t help himself, spreading rumors all over Camden County about how Tony Soprano tried to smother his Mother, and spread a rumor she was sleeping with her dead husband’s brother.
Don’t Feel Bad: A clear example of if you are stupid enough to do this, you deserve what you get.
M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.