Television Revision: The Sopranos – Season 6 Part 2

The Sopranos S6P2

By Andrew Williams
June 26, 2013

Television Revision is a weekly feature in which our tuned in TV critic trawls through the best the box has to offer, giving you a primer on some of history’s finest shows (and warning you away from the specific episodes – or even seasons! – that might have ruined their reputation).

Now, this is a story all about how Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) faces enemies both foreign and domestic as the brewing gang war heats up and his son A.J. (Robert Iler) starts to spiral out of control.

The Sopranos S6P2

Happy days? One of the hardest tricks for a long running series like The Sopranos is to end in a manner befitting the show’s quality over the journey. The famous (infamous?) scene that David Chase decided on to close out the show’s run was the subject of huge controversy at the time it aired (Twitter was, thankfully, not particularly popular at this point), and the casual observer could have been forgiven for thinking it was a horrendous, audience-alienating blunder that spoiled an otherwise fantastic show, such was the outrage. I was a fan at the time, and after re-watching the entire series, I’m an even bigger fan now. I think it’s the best scene The Sopranos ever produced. That’s some note on which to end a series so good that it would change the television landscape.

As for the rest of the season, it’s a very good run in keeping with the quality of the series at its best. The acting and writing is still excellent and the direction might have even gone to a new level, producing some of the most visually stunning moments yet. In the end, though, nothing in season 6.2 is really going to change anyone’s mind about The Sopranos if you’ve watched it to this point. It’s The Sopranos and it’s great, essential television, as it’s ever been.

The final frontier: The Sopranos is able to pull off the remarkable and rare achievement of ending at the top of its game.

James Gandolfini

Top three episodes: 5) Walk Like a Man. One of the more compelling (if often underserved) character arcs on The Sopranos reaches its climax as Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) confronts the many demons plaguing his existence. 8) The Blue Comet. Those who had been watching The Sopranos for violence, bloodshed, and action finally get their wish, and it’s exactly as great as you’d expect. 9) Made in America. The Sopranos ends its game-changing existence with possibly the best scene of the entire run; a scene that would be the subject of debate for years to come.

Worst episode: 4) Chasing It. Even for a show never afraid to take a turn into the inessential, an episode primarily devoted to Tony Soprano’s gambling debts five episodes out from the finale is pushing it.

Season (and Series) MVP: It’s hard to encapsulate just how good James Gandolfini was in The Sopranos (and there have been plenty of wonderful tributes written in the wake of his death) but his work in this season is immense, as it was all series long. Gandolfini doesn’t just play Tony Soprano; he embodies him. It’s the one indelible performance in a television series filled with great turns. James Gandolfini may sadly be gone, but he and Tony Soprano will never be forgotten.

5/5

Check out Andrew Williams’ previous instalments:

Television Revision: The Sopranos – Season 1

Television Revision: The Sopranos – Season 2

Television Revision: The Sopranos – Season 3

Television Revision: The Sopranos  Season 4

Television Revision: The Sopranos – Season 5

Television Revision: The Sopranos – Season 6 Part 1

The Sopranos is available on Quickflix.

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