A brief analysis of “Nobody Knows Anything”

Tony catches wind that someone in the gang is snitching with a wire to the FBI and the suspicion is that it’s Big Pussy. This creates a scenario where the audience learns for the first time just how much Tony cares about his guys that surround him; they aren’t just henchmen, they’re real men with strong bonds to their boss.

The episode also shows how loyal Paulie is to Tony’s instructions when the latter tells him to make sure he’s more than sure that Pussy is the rat before going in for the whack. Paulie can’t verify, so he doesn’t…


A brief analysis of “A Hit Is a Hit”

This episode doesn’t really move the plot of the show forward in any way, but it does bring Adriana into the fold for the first time as a main character. Her desire to be something more than Christopher’s arm candy, lest she turn into Carmela Soprano, leads to a passionate attempt to become a record producer.

The problem is that nobody is fully committed to this idea, and the only reason Christopher continues to engage himself is because he spent so much money for the studio sessions up front.

I think that it is a great analysis of the differences…


The LGBTQ+ teen drama is adept at hitting home with its target audience.

Source: https://love-simon.fandom.com/wiki/User:Jaelltijdje

One of the main benefits of TV is that it allows writers to flesh out a fuller experience than a movie can because of the added runtime. This is why a character’s journey to self-discovery is, if done right, intriguing and fulfilling to watch on television.

Seeing Walter White go from weak science teacher to powerful kingpin is mesmerizing; Stringer Bell towing both sides of the law before arriving at his demise is what keeps the audience engaged. The voyage is more fascinating to follow than the destination more often then not.

This is especially true when telling the story…


A brief analysis of “Boca”

This episode was all about the fragile masculinity of the men in charge. Uncle Junior gets embarrassed when a rumor starts spreading that he enjoys giving his mistress oral sex, because apparently pleasuring your woman is considered fruity in mafia culture. “If you’d suck on that, you’d suck on anything.” Uh, not really Uncle June.

I really enjoy the way David Chase expertly critiques the flaws of his characters, all while still making them people we empathize with. …


A brief analysis of “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti”

We finally got the Christopher episode. One of the most famous side characters in TV history hasn’t played a huge part in the first season of the show so far, leaving the audience anxious to learn more about Tony’s eventual second-in-command.

We know he’s writing a movie script, and that he has some anger issues which commence when he shoots an innocent pastry shop employee in the foot. Christopher wants to know what his character arc is. …


A brief analysis of “Down Neck”

Tony turns into a very sympathetic character in this episode as he details some of the mistreatment of his childhood. A.J.’s misbehavior at school reminds him of how he himself would act out in frustration, and he clearly puts a lot more thought into how he might be affecting his kid than his own parents did back in the day.

This is the episode that solidifies Livia Soprano as the most antagonistic character of this opening season. She twists Tony’s therapy sessions into something for her to moan about. When she said “poor you” to Tony earlier this season, she…


A brief analysis of “Pax Soprana”.

Tony decides to prove Carmela’s suspicions of his feelings for Dr. Melfi correct in this episode, making a move on his therapist. She denies his advances and he backs away accordingly.

I find it interesting that he doesn’t force himself on her. Tony wants control and power, but he has certain lines that he won’t cross so far. Sexual harassment is one of them, assault may be another. He threatens to hit the mistress he’s seeing after getting hit with a lit candle thrown at his arm, but he never actually goes so far as to become violent.

In this…


A brief analysis of “College”

This is one of the most acclaimed episodes of the first season, and I agree that it was definitely the best one of the first five.

Tony takes Meadow for college visitations, but gets sidetracked by a petty need to snuff out and whack a former snitch he spots along the way to the schools. The climax comes when Tony violently chokes the man to death before heading home with his daughter, a scene which was revolutionary and controversial at the time, but looks like a pretty basic death when compared to modern TV.

This is where The Sopranos serves…


A brief analysis of “Meadowlands”

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This episode gave more focus to the fallout of Tony’s profession on those in his immediate family, specifically his son, A.J. After he is upset that a classmate bailed on a fight in the schoolyard, instead deciding that a payoff is better than a bloody nose or something much more mob related, the younger Soprano child starts to wonder why someone would be scared to tangle with him.

Meadow steps in and makes A.J. question their father’s profession and that perhaps Tony’s occupational choice had something to do with the affairs at school. “Do you know any garbage men who…


A brief analysis of “Denial, Anger, Acceptance”

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Before Tony’s first therapy session of the episode, he examines a painting that he feels represents the rotting of a tree from the inside-out. When he confronts Melfi about his interpretation, she claims that it says a lot more about Tony than it does about the artist who created the work. She tells him that he’s seeing what he wants to see, that his mind is what makes the world around him depressing.

This is another time early in this series where the writers encourage you to think psychologically and through symbolism. …

Shawn Laib

University of Washington Class of 2020 in English Literature and fan of video games and basketball. Twitter: @LaibShawn

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