Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One of the Worst was also the Best

One of the Worst was also the Best- by Ann Myers

When the idea of Worst TV show was thrown up as a blog topic, I thought short and easy and this came to mind. 

Pine Barrens
The "the thirty-seventh episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos"(1 It's the 3rd Season.  For those not "in the know", The Sopranos(2) follows the life and exploits of Italian Mafia Don, Tony Soprano and his wide cast of characters. 

Let's be kookie and start on what made this episodes one of the Best.  This episode has some of the best lines and character development.  Tony gets a steak thrown at him by his, now disclosed, bat-scat-crazy mistress.  Paulie who just can't stop creating his own negative momentum,  reveals himself as an over-the-top opportunist as he tries to sell Christopher out as the culprit on this caper gone amuck.  Grown men hoarding ketchup packets and rolling themselves up in nasty abandoned van carpet for warmth.   

Bobby leaves the button down behind for a full on, hunter's orange, winter suit, looking more like a duck blind than a man, but you find out he's an experienced outdoors man.  And so much more great stuff, including the episode's downfall, the head of the Russian Mob talks about how Valery, an underling, was like a brother to him and how is saved is ass in the war, in Siberia.

Let me state this again...
A. Saved the now Head of the Russian Mob (the grand PoohBah, the big cheese, etc)
B. Saved him during a war while in Siberia(you know, that REALLY COLD barren wasteland place?!) 
C. The head of the Russian Mob loves him like a Brother
Did you get that? Especially you David Chase!  (Chase is mystified why anyone in the fan base gives a flying ship what happened to the Russian(2)... See A-C above please.  It was your show.  Don't feed us this kind of line if you don't mean it!)

Anyway, this leads us to the Worst part(spoiler alert!).  Paulie and Christopher go to get a money drop from Valery, mentioned above.  Paulie, who's having a personal pissy princess pouty party about having to make the pickup for the sick Silvio, acts like a complete D-bag and busts up Valery's remote.  Valery is already a few sheets to the wind loses a fight to Paulie and Chris and gains a collapsed windpipe.  In mafia cliche style, but proven by Mythbusters(4), they roll him in a rug to haul him out for disposal.  They drive to the Pine Barrens of Jersey.  

When they arrive, Valery is ALIVE(no big shocker, see A-B above).  Knee deep in snow, they march the Russian into the Pine Barrens and give him a shovel to dig his own grave.  So, much like throwing the Brier Rabbit in the Brier Patch the Russian successfully attacks them and gets away, though he did get shot.  Paulie and Chris get lost, because they can't follow their own tracks in the snow and end up barely able to get a may-day out to Tony.  Long story short, Bobby(the human duck blind) and Tony come to the rescue and they leave the woods to find... Paulie's car is GONE.   

Best case, Valery is found or drives away very damaged, treated, and the Mob Boss is SO happy to see him alive, he never investigates Valery's last known interactions. (like the regular $ pickup)
Worst case, Mob war.

Ether way, something happened to Valery and something should happen in the story because, see points A-C above.  But, NOTHING happens.  NOTHING EVER.  The series ends and not even a blip.  It makes NO sense. Even the writer agrees(3), but Chase is a plot-hole lovin' fool. 

And that is why David Chase should have been flogged with a wet noodle and I say this is the worst show, even though it could be the best. 

encourage you to watch the episode or read the full account on the Wikipedia page I linked below.  It's a real hoot/disappointment. 


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