Sunday, May 21, 2006

CITY OF (SPOT)LIGHT: On tonight's Sopranos, everything seemed to move a step forward in an episode which had something for everyone -- fans of violence, fans of psychological development and dreams, fans of Johnny Cakes, fans of gratuitous nudity. But to say more, let's go to the Comments.

edited to add Sepinwall's take: "As Tony drove away from Satriale's, you could see him figuring out exactly how much trouble he's in. And after he finished that mental calculus, what's the first thing he did? He called his construction buddy to get AJ a job, because he knows he may not have much time left to straighten the kid out. . . . And while Tony was realizing how small and vulnerable he is compared to New York, half a world away, Carmela was having her own sense of self smashed to bits. In Caldwell, she may be hot stuff, but when she sees France with all its treasures and history, she realizes she's just another insignificant speck, and that 'it all gets washed away.'"

And Tim Goodman, who locates the Lou Costello Memorial in Paterson, NJ: "'Cold Stones' managed to play off Carm and Ro in Paris as both comical and enlightening. A great series can juggle conflicting emotions that way, and it's a sure sign of confident writers (and directors). Where Ro couldn't speak the language and was mostly interested in the shopping and the young Parisian on his motorcycle - there's got to be a classic film reference in there, I just can't think of it - Carmela was struggling to appreciate the depth of history that a European city provides in contrast to the United States, and also to awaken her senses to the natural beauty at hand. 'Who could have built this?,' she says at one point. There was more nuance in that one line (joined with the cinematography) than most dramas strive for in a full season."

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