The Sopranos is a riveting show, full of of laughs and suspense – giving a likable quality to the world’s roughest and toughest… those shady rebels of the criminal fraternity who go by the name of Mafia. The narrative gives a fresh, intriguing glimpse into the lesser known world of a mafia family who are a low and debased, in many ways, as their surname is high – Soprano.
It’s this contrast of humanity with despicable human behaviour which makes the series so binge-worthy. Still, there are some things about the show which just make no sense. Here are just nine of them.
The disappearing girlfriend
Devin, Tony’s son AJ’s girlfriend, just disappears from the show in Season 5. Viewers first meet her in Season 4 but then she suddenly exits the script. The last time fans see her is in Season 5. The assumption would be that they ended their relationship, however this was never written into the script, leaving viewers a little confused. Maybe scriptwriters had plans to write her back into the narrative but forgot to. Whoops!
The mystery of the little sister
Janice and Tony are like two peas in a pod. Coming from the same family, they share the same difficult upbringing, but also the same body type. What’s more, it would seem they have the same vile tempers. Their ‘kid’ sister, if you could call her that, is nothing like them. Barbara leads a good life, maintaining a discipline and attitude of piety and moral uprightness. Somehow, she broke free and escaped from the family culture and traditions – and left her family’s demons behind her to embrace a better life.
Ralph makes a grand appearance
In keeping with the series’ strange tradition of sudden character appearances, Ralph makes a first grand appearance only in Season 3. However, at the time of him appearing, the narrative of the show suggests he has had a pivotal role in the other characters’ lives, even though viewers have never seen him before.
Characters act as though he has always been around and it would seem their acting is so convincing, viewers begin to believe he has always been around too.
Remember the scene in Season 1 when Tony just so happens to bump into one of his former colleagues, also an FBI informant, at a gas station of all places! This particular gas station is in the middle of Maine, which Tony is visiting to meet up with one of his colleagues. The coincidence is so striking that it borders on the unbelievable. To some, it might not even make sense. Still, if the script of The Sopranos shows anything, it is that the miraculous is in fact possible.
New characters acting as though they were always there is something The Sopranos seems to do well. To give an example, in Season 5, Bert appears out of the blue, acting as though he has always been there. This is quite strange since he hasn’t been scripted into the narrative of the series from the beginning. This strange habit of scriptwriters seems to be something which happens on more than one occasion. The show is also well-known for characters being eliminated without notice each season.
The confusing flashback
In the episode, ‘To Save Us All From Satan’s Power’, The Sopranos directors attempt a flashback, featuring Jackie Aprile as his teenage self. Problem is, Jackie’s teenage counterpart looks exactly the same as his adult self.
Either he has aged really well – or the directors got a little confused and overlooked the detail, when focussing on the script’s narrative and other show particulars. The series isn’t the first to make such a glitch, but the flashback scene still makes no sense when viewers really think about it.
To dream or not to dream…
Viewers love a good dream sequence. They add a new dimension to a series. However, this is only if done correctly and convincingly. Problems can arise when the dreams make no sense or when viewers can’t tell the difference between a dream and reality.
In The Sopranos, director David Chase is often not clear in differentiating between dreams and reality. To give an example, some of the show’s dream narratives extend to fill an entire episode. Not always easy to understand!
Symbolism taken to the extreme
Symbolism is taken to a new level in The Sopranos. For example, ducks are used to represent Tony and his family. In many instances they are used to show how he and his family are moving in separate ways (for example, when the ducks depart the scene, depicting family members going separate ways). Sometimes, the series’ symbolism is subtle and understandable. It definitely adds intrigue to the series, if viewers actually get what’s going on. Other times, it’s just plain confusing
Sal’s disappearance – and return
Remember how at the end of Season 1, Sal just disappears off the radar. The Soprano family is concerned that he is an informant for the FBI – a rat if you will. Where has he gone and will they ever catch him and show him what he deserves for spilling on them?
Strangely, later in the series he just returns. Despite the characters having been convinced that he was a snitch, they welcome him back in, accepting his weak cover story. He becomes one of the boys again. Thing is, he really was with the FBI!