When you're making a mafia play, series, movie, whatever, what counts is the body count. The best episodes of the Sopranos are those in which somebody gets whacked. Last night, four and a half people got whacked (one is in critical condition). It was the best episode of The Sopranos since Big Pussy got shot up by Tony and his crew. The higher the profile of the whackee, the better. Of all the things I'll remember about the Sopranos, every single memory will involve someone getting killed or getting his/her ass kicked. After all, what's a mafia movie without someone getting the smackdown?
David Chase and his ilk should take note that the most talked about episodes always involve the greatest violence. When Tony gets to dreaming about horses in the living room, no one goes to work the next day and interrupts their coworkers with 'Hey, did you see that horse in the living room? That was funny, eh?'. But you can hardly contain yourself from gathering around the water cooler with 'Did you see them blast that Ukranian dude last night? What a bunch of jerk-offs, eh?'
You see, human tragedy is both mind-scarring and funny. That's what a successful mafia movie is all about....tragedy. And last night, The Sopranos delivered.