Rank #1: S1:E3 - Denial, Anger, Acceptance
There's a lot to unpack in this one, as Tony grieves over the declining health of his friend, acting boss, Jackie Aprile. "Denial, Anger, Acceptance" features a number of good matchups: Silvio and Paulie vs. a Hasidic motel manager, Carmela vs. Charmaine, and Meadow vs. high stakes academic pressure. Gavin and Hannibal explore it all and much more in Episode 3 of The Sopranos Show!
Oct 29 2017
Rank #2: S5:E12 - Long Term Parking
Gavin and Hannibal work their way through an episode that no true ‘Sopranos’ fan will ever forget. This is the one where they get back together. This is the one where a new King of New York is crowned. This is the one where she dies. This is ‘Long Term Parking,’ and it’s the ultimate penultimate season chapter. Your hosts break down the rapid fire plot developments that lead to Chris and Ade’s moment of truth, and how that moment is a conclusive statement on our main characters’ twisted pursuit of the American dream.
Jan 06 2019
Rank #3: S1:E4 - Meadowlands
"Meadowlands" prompts Gavin and Hannibal's first disagreement about The Sopranos! The fascinating fourth episode of the series features a dream (or two?), a significant transfer of power in the family, and the moment AJ Soprano realizes that his dad is a gangster. G & H also get into the coolness of the show's costume choices, and the legendary heavy breathing of James Gandolfini.
Nov 05 2017
Rank #4: S4:E13 - Whitecaps
‘Whitecaps’ is the longest episode of The Sopranos. Is it the greatest episode of the series up to this point? Probably. Gavin and Hannibal focus on James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, whose Emmy winning performances in this Season 4 finale, raise the bar for what can be achieved in the medium of television. ‘Whitecaps’ also displays once again, the writers’ sophisticated understanding of psychology and mastery of storytelling. Plot points quietly set up throughout the season are decisively paid off in this episode, resulting in an epic climax that delivers on all levels.
Oct 07 2018
Rank #5: S5:E13 - All Due Respect
Gavin and Hannibal agree that ‘All Due Respect’ is a fitting and fulfilling conclusion to Season 5. This finale manages to do an incredible job of bringing Season 5 full circle, and in typically understated fashion, sets up the climactic seasons to come. Your hosts describe how this episode presents a fresh examination of Tony’s role as a leader, as well as a couple surprising twists, and the establishment of a potential new Mafia supervillain.
Jan 13 2019
Rank #6: S1:E13 - I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano
Gavin and Hannibal may have gone a little overboard with this one, as they bring you nearly 90 minutes of podcast glory talking about the spectacularly climactic Season 1 finale. So many questions! Is Livia genuinely going senile, or is this simply her most devious chess move yet? Is Jimmy really a rat? Does Tony actually care about Artie deep down, or is he just a sociopath? Your hosts will “remember the little moments like this, that were good,” and more, on this week’s The Sopranos Show!
Jan 07 2018
Rank #7: S4:E9 - Whoever Did This
‘Whoever Did This’ is one of the best episodes The Sopranos ever did. Of course, Gavin and Hannibal spend much of their time praising Joe Pantoliano’s Emmy winning performance, which convincingly reveals a side of Ralph Cifaretto never before displayed. Plus, Burgess and Green’s flawless script delivers surprises large and small, culminating in some of the most unanticipated and graphic violence the series has ever depicted. Ultimately, a fitting and unforgettable exit for one of the series’ most memorable characters, in a story that still has the power to shock, years after its initial airing.
Sep 09 2018
Rank #8: S4:E1 - For All Debts Public and Private
“Everything comes to an end,” Carmela declares in the fourth season premiere of The Sopranos. Gavin and Hannibal discuss the weighty implications of that statement, as well as the episode’s gripping focus on security and vengeance, in a post 9/11 America. Your hosts also delve into the chillingly ambiguous event that cements Tony and Christopher’s bond, and the far less chilling but hotly debatable riddle of the Icelandic Air Flight Attendants...
Jul 15 2018
Rank #9: S5:E1 - Two Tonys
‘Two Tonys’ arrived in 2004 after an extremely lengthy hiatus following the Season 4 finale. The creators of the show ensured the wait was worth it with an episode that wastes no time setting very high stakes. Gavin and Hannibal explore Tony’s difficulties with facing rejection, the evolution of Christopher Moltisanti, and the symbolic significance of the bear in the back yard.
Oct 21 2018
Rank #10: S6A:E1 - Members Only
The premiere of Season Six throws a LOT at the audience and climaxes with one of the most shocking moments in series history. It can’t be a surprise then, that it takes Gavin and Hannibal nearly 90 minutes to unpack it all. Your hosts hone in on the themes of health, aging and misplaced trust that dominate this episode, and describe how it places Tony and Carmela in a position to embark on journeys more complex and dangerous than ever before.
Jan 20 2019
Rank #11: S4:E6 - Everybody Hurts
Michael Imperioli once again pulls double duty, delivering what Gavin and Hannibal agree, is his best Sopranos script yet. In this episode, Tony, Artie, AJ and Carmela have plenty to be “hurt” about, and your hosts delve into the various sources of their pain. This story has a lot to say about income inequality (in unexpected places), guilt motivated altruism, and the toxicity of the mob world. Plus, it features a very young Paul Dano in a small but memorable role!
Aug 19 2018
Rank #12: S3:E11 - Pine Barrens
Gavin and Hannibal almost get lost in the woods raving about ‘Pine Barrens,’ arguably the most popular episode of The Sopranos, and one that is a source of endless fascination to its fans. Flawlessly directed by Steve Buscemi, and featuring one of Tony Sirico’s all time great performances as Paulie, this is a landmark chapter of the series filled with tension, hilarity, mystery, and a Russian that just won’t die... or did he?
Jun 24 2018
Rank #13: S2:E13 - Funhouse
The fun never stops with Gavin and Hannibal’s take on this classic finale. Your hosts pull apart Tony’s eerie fever dreams rich with symbolism, and discuss the dramatic payoffs of several season long threads. One payoff in particular happens to occur at sea, in what is probably one of the most complex, suspenseful, and emotional “goodbye” scenes ever filmed for a TV show.
Apr 08 2018
Rank #14: S6B:E14 - Stage 5
Gavin and Hannibal bid a fond farewell to Johnny Sack in their discussion of the magnificent ‘Stage 5.’ Your hosts agree that everything about this episode works: from Vincent Curatola’s beautiful performance, to the surprisingly consequential fallout of the ‘Cleaver’ screening, to the story’s thematic statements on the downsides of being a leader. ‘Stage 5’ is another great script from Terence Winter, with high levels of comedy and drama, providing a prime example of ‘The Sopranos’ doing what it does best.
Apr 21 2019
Rank #15: S2:E12 - The Knight In White Satin Armor
This legendary episode is a storytelling masterclass that should probably be in everyone’s top five. Gavin and Hannibal praise the excellent use of music in the opening and closing scenes, the show’s Shakespearean overtones, and the unpredictable twist in the closing act which offers this simple tip: “don’t hit Janice.”
Apr 01 2018
Rank #16: S4:E10 - The Strong, Silent Type
It’s not easy to be “the strong, silent type” if you’re Tony, Christopher or Furio. Gavin and Hannibal address Tony’s emotionally complex dynamic with cute animals, Chris at rock bottom, and Furio’s increasingly risky forbidden love. Plus your hosts get caught up in the logistics of one legged sex, identify their favorite props from the series, and arrive at the first Sopranos storyline that Hannibal just doesn’t understand.
Sep 16 2018
Rank #17: S3:E1 - Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood
Gavin and Hannibal deconstruct The Sopranos’ most unique season opener yet. Your hosts note how this episode balances genuine tension and unexpected hilarity as it views Tony’s two families almost purely from the Feds’ perspective. It’s another great premiere that truly showcases the series’ deep commitment to innovative storytelling.
Apr 15 2018
Rank #18: S6B:E13 - Soprano Home Movies
Gavin and Hannibal arrive at the beginning of the end! ‘Soprano Home Movies’ is one of the greats, blending flashbacks, callbacks, bad karaoke, and the most unexpected fist fight of all time, from a script that would make Edward Albee proud. Your hosts examine the ways in which Livia manages to haunt this episode, and the events that compel Tony to take what is arguably his darkest act of vengeance yet.
Apr 14 2019
Rank #19: S4:E4 - The Weight
Gavin and Hannibal view ‘The Weight’ as a highly entertaining return to the urgent and emotional high stakes storytelling that makes The Sopranos what it is. Terence Winter’s script convincingly depicts how the fallout from a single mean joke can escalate to a near bloodbath, while giving Vincent Curatola the opportunity to take full ownership of the character Johnny Sack, with a performance that is both chilling and sympathetic.
Aug 05 2018
Rank #20: S1:E5 - College
"College" is a landmark episode of The Sopranos. Probably the most adored chapter of Season 1, it received widespread acclaim from fans and critics and won the series its first Primetime Emmys. So what is it that makes "College" just so damned good? Gavin and Hannibal will try to break it down...
Nov 12 2017