OK, as much as I hate to say this, I think I have to cede a point to Jerry Shargel: Midway through last night’s episode, the word “resolution” came to mind, as in, “How about a resolution already?”
It was an enjoyable ride last night, certainly: The writing was just crackling (“revenge is like serving cold cuts”), and James Gandolfini was over-the-top compelling, taking Tony right to the precipice of permanent unlikableness. In fact, maybe he took Tony off the cliff. I felt pity for Janice, who is without a doubt the least pleasant character in a stable of unpleasant characters. (By the way, doesn’t it seem as if the writers granted Bacala about 30 extra IQ points this season, despite the fact that they forced him to marry Janice?) There was infinite jest last night: Christopher contemplating the skull of a Slovak Yorick, Dr. Melfi quoting Yeats to Tony’s incomprehension, the soccer brawl, the anger management class, and the deadpan UPS driver’s reaction to Janice’s lunacy: “This is fucking priceless.” And of course, the establishment of an indirect link between al-Qaida and provolone.
But how long can they expect us to wait until Johnny Sack explodes? Or until Christopher kills … well, he’s got a long list. (I’m betting Paulie Walnuts—have you noticed he’s been pushed a bit to the storytelling margins? It looks to me as if he’s being pointed to the exit.) Or Adriana gets killed, or somehow gets Tony arrested? I’ve always liked the Sopranos’ discursiveness; it mimics life that way. And I don’t expect, or demand, from my perch as an HBO subscriber (and, by the way, a lucky holder of Time Warner stock), a resolution to every dangling storyline. But, really. Finn was in such deep trouble last week (I mean, could you imagine marrying Meadow?) and then, nothing. And no bear. I’m waiting for the bear to return in order to roll-out all my big bear-related theories. And very little Adriana. A little continuity wouldn’t kill here.
And haven’t we established by now that Tony is an exceedingly angry person?