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'The Sopranos' (Season 6, episode 1: 'Members Only') *** 031506
The Work = ***
So how is it? Well, this will probably not be remembered as one of the popular series best episodes but it is certainly not one of its worst either. Much of the episode feels a bit like a reintroduction of the characters. There are some gripping surprises (which I will not reveal here, although everybody and their brother seems to want to give them away.) However, despite the twists (the best of which does not come until the end) the season 6 opener of 'The Sopranos' was not the outstanding operatic episode that I was hoping for.
Still this is just the first of the season and it does set up potential problems for Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and his clan. The law is closing in and more and more members are turning over evidence. Junior (Dominic Chianese) has descended into delusion and seems to often be unaware of what he is doing or where he is. Add to that an increasing body count and mounting problems for Tony and I say there could be a bloody turf war coming in the future.
The cast is as strong as it has been and their dedication help to make this show as engaging as it is. Add to that, the solid writing and the gangster melodrama that is 'The Sopranos' is once again strong and on the air. It is a shame that this is the beginning of the end for the series because despite its ups and down there really is nothing else matching it on TV. This episode will probably not win any new fans but shouldn’t turn anyone away either. Recommend. Besides, if nothing else it made me realize, I can’t wait to see what happens next on 'The Sopranos'.
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