The Sopranos it has a phenomenal cast. It speaks to the talent of the scriptwriters and the actors, the fact that they have created such a disgusting set of characters, but at the same time so attractive; in fact, they were so compelling that viewers tuned in each week for several seasons to see how they reacted to what was happening around them.
While it is true that the recurring characters are the most impressive, the series also features many memorable isolated characters. Although they only appeared for a few brief moments on screen, these characters are still remembered by fans of the series.
10 John Schwinn befriends Tony in “The Fleshy Part of the Thigh”
In “The Fleshy Part Of The Thigh”, as Tony concludes his recovery after being shot, he is enchanted by his partner John Schwinn. Played by Hal Holbrook, Schwinn is a former Bell Labs scientist, now ill with cancer. Having had the closest brush with his own mortality, Tony is enchanted by Schwinn’s description of an interconnected world, in which individuality is just how we perceive it. When Tony leaves the hospital, he sees Schwinn’s room empty and doesn’t bother looking for him to say goodbye to him. The lesson? Even people you only meet once can have a profound impact on your life.
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9 Amy Safir shows Christopher the dark side of Hollywood in “D-Girl”
An important part of Christopher Moltisanti is his interest in entering the world of cinema. The second season episode, “D-Girl”, is the closest to Hollywood so far. His cousin’s girlfriend, Amy Safir (Alicia Witt), is vice president of development and gets Christopher to take on Jon Favreau (playing himself). Chrissy’s big break turns out to be a false start: Favreau steals a mob anecdote from Christopher, and after a brief flirtation, Amy coldly rejects him.
8 Major Carl Zwingli in “Army of One” is a cameo role for a pre-saw Tobin Bell
This is more of a case of “memorable actor” versus “memorable character”, but Tobin Bell makes an impression anyway during his appearance in a scene in “Army Of One”. Bell plays Major Zwingli, principal of the Hudson Military Academy – after AJ is expelled from his school, Tony pressures Carmela to send him to the military academy.
In his questioning of AJ, Zwingli is an unshakable but also restrained authoritarian: he never raises his voice like an R. Lee Army-style drill sergeant. This would not be the end of Tobin Bell’s influence on The Sopranos: Saw, the role that Bell will soon release, was the influence, in and out of the universe, of the film Cleaver de Christopher .
7 Dr. Warren Feldman in “Stage 5” is one of Sydney Pollack’s last roles.
“Stage 5” is a swan song for Johnny Sack: the former New York City boss, incarcerated, spends the episode slowly dying of cancer, having passed the bill for his constant tobacco use. In his final days, Sack befriends Warren Feldman, an oncologist and convicted murderer. In one of the most memorable instances of a celebrity guest on the show, the affable Feldman is portrayed by famed director and actor Sydney Pollack. His appearance in the episode was also ominous: Pollack would die of cancer a year after the episode aired.
6 Dominic Palladino facilitates the funniest scene of the series in “The Strong and Silent Guy”
In the final installment of season four, Christopher’s heroin addiction becomes undeniable. Rather than deal with his nephew’s problem in the traditional mob way, Tony decides to test normalcy and stage an intervention. To do this, the family recruits Dominic Palladino (Elias Koteas), a partner of the Sopranos and recovering addict, to mediate the intervention.
Upon meeting him, Christopher remembers Dominic as “the guy who got into Stew Leonards [y] stole all those pork loins. ”From there, Dominic goes out of his way to oversee the proceedings, but none of the people assembled have the depth or empathy for something as delicate as an intervention – culminating in Paulie and Silvio assaulting Chris after he expresses himself too much.
5 Bobby Baccalieri Sr. and Officer Leon Wilmore only appear in “Another Stick”
Far from its thin name, “Another Toothpick” is an episode with a lot of meat on the bones, so much so that it features not just one, but two unique, memorable characters. The first is Bobby Bacala’s father, Robert Baccalieri Sr. (Burt Young), a retired barber and hit man whom Tony calls for one last blow. Viewers see firsthand that age has not ended the brutality of “Terminator”, although karma catches up with him and he dies in a car accident fleeing the scene.
The second character is Leon Wilmore (Charles S. Dutton), a policeman who stops Tony for speeding. Tony uses his political connections to have Wilmore demoted, and then sees the result firsthand: Wilmore has had to take a second job at a garden furniture store. Tony thinks about it, but decides not to, undo the demotion, and then guiltily tries to pass Wilmore a roll of one hundred dollar bills. Wilmore reprimands him in disgust. The message? Even beyond his criminal life, Tony is a petty and vindictive jerk whose few attempts at kindness are more comical than anything.
4 Fabián Petrulio leads to the first classic episode of the series
“College”, the fifth episode of the first season of The Sopranos, is considered the first masterpiece of the series. Some, including David Chase, even consider it the best episode of the series. One of the many reasons for this is that the episode encapsulates an important theme of the entire series: the intersection of Tony’s two “families.”
While driving Meadow on a college tour of Maine, Tony has a serendipitous sighting of a “rat”, Fabian Petrulio (Tony Ray Rossi). The climax of the episode, in which Tony kills “Febby,” was the first time Tony killed someone on screen, and the series never looked back.
3 Valery the Russian’s fate in “Pine Barrens” puzzles fans to this day
“Pine Barrens” is one of the fan favorite episodes. After Paulie’s temper takes hold of him and spoils a simple fundraiser, he and Christopher head to South Jersey to get rid of Valery (Vitali Baganov), a member of the Russian mob. Valery, who is revealed to be a former soldier, turns out to have survived the initial beating. When they try to force him to dig his own grave, he hits Christopher with the shovel and flees, even surviving a bullet to the head.
Paulie and Christopher are out of luck finding him and the episode never reveals whether he survived or not. “Pine Barrens” screenwriter Terence Winter proposed a sequel, but David Chase, who has never been in favor of a clear resolution or giving people what they want, rejected the idea.
2 Tracee’s death in “University” is one of the series’ darkest moments
“University” features Tracee (Ariel Kelly), a Bada Bing dancer who makes some unsuccessful attempts to befriend Tony. She has a creepy ending when Ralph Cifaretto, who had been seeing Tracee and getting her pregnant, beats her to death in the Bada Bing parking lot.
Tony had rejected Tracee beforehand, but her death infuriates him, not so much because he cared about Tracee herself, but because of her views on the innocence of young women and because she happened to be the same age as Meadow. Regardless, the murder turns Tony’s animosity towards Ralph into outright hatred, and when Tony finally kills Ralph in “Whoever Done This”, the lingering bitterness of Tracee’s murder is a major reason.
1 Dr. Krakower pours cold water on Carmela in “Second Opinion”
In “Second Opinion”, Carmela’s anguish over her family life increases and she is referred to a colleague of Dr. Melfi. Carmela clearly hopes that said colleague, Dr. Krakower (Sully Boyar), will become to her what Melfi herself is to Tony: a facilitator. Instead, Krakower explains it to Carmela: all her problems are due to her life being financed with blood money.
Dismantling her half-reasoned defenses from Tony Krakower tells her that unless she leaves Tony, he can’t help her. “One thing you can never say,” he says, “is that they haven’t told you.” However, in the end, Carmela decides that complicity is a low enough price to pay for material comfort.
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