My Ultimate Comfort Food Episodes On The Sopranos
The Sopranos is a lot of things. It’s entertaining. It’s emotional. And it’s also downright hilarious. In fact, many of the greatest Sopranos episodes are all of those things combined. With that said, there are certain episodes that I can turn to at any moment of any day and feel right “at home.” Here’s my favorite Sopranos comfort food.
1. "The Pilot" (S.1, E.1)
First, The Sopranos Pilot feels like a little mini-movie all by itself. Not only does “Pilot” serve as a beautiful introduction to the series, but also as a light at the end of the dark season 6B tunnel. Whatever happened to Gary Cooper, the strong, silent type? Sometimes, he just wants to watch The Sopranos Pilot and think good thoughts.
2. "College" (S.1, E.5)
Next, The Sopranos “College” episode is a prime example of the yin/yang, suburban dad/vicious mob boss back-and-forth that blankets the entire show. One minute you’re having a father-daughter heart to heart talking about the “Potsdam Conference.” Contrarily, you’re swept away to Carmela sitting on the floor receiving communion from Father Intintola. Soon enough, you’re back on the side of the road choking out a rat with your bare hands. Sounds about right.
3. "Boca" (S.1, E.9)
Similarly, I love the comic relief found in season 1, episode 9, “Boca.” Whether it’s Sil hustling onto the field to fight with the soccer ref or Mikey Palmice “tryin’ to concentrate” during golf, Boca is one of my overall favorites of the entire series.
Another season 1 comfort episode is “I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano” (season 1, episode 13). This season finale features all the elements that make The Sopranos so great: There’s the laughing, the whacking, and the sentimentality. When I say laughing, I’m talking mostly about Livia Soprano. Between yelling “Settiiiiiimia” outside the Soprano house at 1:00 A.M. and telling Artie Tony set Vesuvio on fire, it’s truly Livia Soprano at her finest.
By the way, did you ever notice the similarities between Paulie and Christopher running after Mikey and Paulie and Christopher running after Valery in “Pine Barrens“? I’M JUST SAYIN’.
5. "Guy Walks Into a Psychiatrist's Office" (S2, E1)
The Sopranos season two premiere, “Guy Walks Into a Psychiatrist’s Office,” had some big shoes to fill following season one. It was certainly off to a good start with the amazing opener featuring “It Was a Very Good Year” by Frank Sinatra. This may be my favorite episode opener of the series, besides “Members Only” with Seven Souls.
Of course, there’s lots to unpack from “Guy Walks Into a Psychiatrist’s Office,” and you can read more of my thoughts here. For now, suffice to say introducing Janice brings a whole new element of psychological family warfare that endures through the entire series.
6. "Do Not Resuscitate" (S2, E2)
In contrast to most of my Sopranos comfort food episodes, “Do Not Resuscitate” was a bit of an acquired taste. (Carmela’s laughing in the background saying “That’s not what I heard.”) But I digress. “Do Not Resuscitate” gives us a great picture of the Janice–Livia dynamic. I’m also always moved by Reverend James Jr’s discussion with Tony about becoming the elders of the family once the last parent dies. Talk about foreshadowing, huh?
7. "Toodle-F*ng-Oo"(S.2, E.3)
Also contributing to the episode’s hilarity was Meadow displaying her finest spoiled adolescent behavior. Though, to be honest, I can’t help but think about how I had probably echoed similar cries at least once when I was that age. Although, I definitely cannot say I’ve ever pulled the “I could’ve taken Ecstasy but I didn’t!” line.
On the other hand, we know it’s not just teenagers who are capable of making foolish decisions. Have you met Davey Scatino or Richie Aprile? It definitely goes without saying that Davey should NOT have gone to that executive card game after giving Richie a light envelope. Though I’m not a fan of Richie Aprile’s style of conflict resolution, if there were a time when Richie’s irritation was justified, that may have been it.
Additionally, something I really enjoy in “The Happy Wanderer” is the animated banter among the players in the executive card game. It’s interesting to observe the Family’s interactions with “outsiders” like Dr. Fried and Mr. Sinatra. Speaking of which, Dr. Fried—the prick doctor—actually comes in handy early in season three when he removes a bullet from Furio.
9."Full Leather Jacket" (S.2, E.8)
In contrast to the wise guys we’re used to seeing make “office visits,” Carmela pulled out some tools of the trade in “Full Leather Jacket.” Between Carmela’s sass and the famous jaaaacket, I can always count on Full Leather Jacket for a good laugh. By the way, I’m still waiting on confirmation that Joan Cusamano wrote the letter to Georgetown, given Meadow’s wait-listed status.
10. "The Knight in White Satin Armor" (S2, E12)
Finally, we arrive at the penultimate episode of season 2, “The Knight in White Satin Armor.” You can just tell this episode’s going to be served with an extra scoop of Soprano family dysfunction, and sure enough, we’re not disappointed! One of my favorite moments is actually when Sil goes to deliver Irina her $75,000 severance package. Svetlana’s great here, too.