For six seasons, The Sopranos was the biggest thing on television. It is arguably the show that helped launch the current state of television where complex stories are being told. It was unlike anything else on the small screen with complicated characters who were often hard to love. It helped make HBO the television juggernaut it is today and it remains one of the most acclaimed shows of all time.
Like every show, not all episodes are huge hits with the fans. However, as we look at the IMDB rating for each episode, it is clear that even the lowest-rated entries still got plenty of love from the audience. Still, some need to be at the bottom so let’s explore which episodes of The Sopranos are the worst according to IMDB.
Mergers And Acquisitions (Season 4, Episode 8)
As you’ll notice throughout this list, Season 4 of The Sopranos was not a favorite among many fans. This episode hints at some of the issues fans might have had with the season overall. The main storyline involves Tony becoming romantically involved with Ralphie’s girlfriend and learning some interesting secrets about Ralphie in the process.
The slow-pace of the episode and the emphasis on Tony and Carmela’s marital woes could be what made this a lesser-loved episode. It seems to be more concerned with setting the stage for things to come, but with the eight episodes into the season already, you’re sort of hoping things start to gain momentum.
In Camelot (Season 5, Episode 7)
Most of these episodes are a good example of what a stellar show The Sopranos was. Even in the not-quite-perfect episode, there is plenty of really good stuff. In this episode, Tony meets a woman who was a former lover of his father. As he connects with her, he begins to realize more about both his parents which might change his thoughts on them.
Watching Tony spend the whole episode with an older woman might not be riveting to all the viewers and it does take a long time to get interesting in that storyline. But Tony’s revelations and Christopher’s darkly comedic subplot with a fellow addict make it worthwhile.
For All Debts Public and Private (Season 4, Episode 1)
As the first episode of the lower-rated fourth season, it’s not surprising this is near the bottom of the list. As with any first episode, the story is basically setting up the plot and problems of the entire season and introducing some storylines that fans might not have been too crazy about.
While it did make for some interesting moments, seeing Tony deal with money problems and a bad economy might not have been all that interesting to fans. Plus with all the setup and not much of substance happening, it just makes for a somewhat forgettable episode.
Eloise (Season 4, Episode 12)
Despite some questionable storylines, there was plenty of intrigue in the fourth season of The Sopranos. One of the most exciting plots involved the growing flirtation between Carmela and Furio. As their relationship heated up, the stage was set for this episode to deal with the consequences. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a letdown.
In the end, the confrontation with Tony we all expected didn’t happen and Furio simply went back to Italy. The anti-climax of it could explain the low vote. Also, a dark subplot with Paulie and Carmela’s odd homophobic stance make it an episode with few people to root for
A Hit Is a Hit (Season 1, Episode 10)
One thing that seems clear from this list is that fans don’t necessarily want to see the main characters out of their comfort zones. Conflict is always a big part of the show but the violent conflict seems to be more popular among fans.
This episode deals with Tony and Christopher trying to join new circles. Tony begins hanging out with his suburban neighbors while Chris tries his hand at managing a band. Both environments sort of make it feel like another show and neither meshes particularly well with the show fans have come to love.
Chasing It (Season 6, Episode 16)
Here is yet another example of a low-rated episode which finds Tony against the ropes. The main storyline deals with his gambling addiction which is costing him a lot of money. This kind of downward spiral for a character who is usually so in control can be uncomfortable to watch.
The episode itself is well done with plenty of good elements, but it’s not all that fun to watch. The subplots involving Tony’s fractured relationship with Hesh and the trouble with Vito’s young son are also not particularly interesting.
Watching Too Much Television (Season 4, Episode 7)
This is another Season 4 episode that feels like it’s a bit of filler before things start to get more interesting. The storyline involving Adriana and her role as FBI informer are really great and give that character a lot to do, but the rest of the episode is flat by comparison.
As with many of the episodes this season, the show seems to be dragging its feet. There are ideas and concepts that are introduced but we’ll have to wait to see what the payoff is. The subplot with Tony’s ex-girlfriend has an interesting payoff but it takes a while to get there.
Pie-o-My (Season 4, Episode 5)
Another episode dealing with the money problems of Tony and his family and more proof that this storyline didn’t quite connect with fans. The main storyline involves Ralphie buying a racehorse who Tony takes a particular liking to and that he sees as a way to make some real money.
The subplots include Janice’s burgeoning relationship with Bobby and Carmela’s attempts to prepare for the future. Again, this all hints at more interesting moments to come, but for now, it is a bit slow-moving and dull.
Calling All Cars (Season 4, Episode 11)
When the show takes the focus off the main characters we love so much, fans can lose a bit of their interest. Much of this episode revolves around Bobby and his kids coping with the loss of their wife and mother. It seems a little odd to be following characters we don’t feel too connected with on this emotional journey.
There is also a subplot with Tony and Dr. Melfi in which Tony (for a time) decides the therapy is no longer working for him. It feels like it should be a big moment but it is handled awkwardly and falls flat.
Christopher (Season 4, Episode 3)
The lowest rated episode of The Sopranos still has a score of eight out of ten, so that speaks to the quality of the show. Still, it’s not too surprising that this odd episode isn’t too highly regarded. The main storyline deals with the characters getting involved with a debate about Native Americans protesting Columbus Day.
It’s an interesting topic for the show and the typical subject matter we see on The Sopranos. But the topic is handled in an uninteresting way, thinking it’s saying something deeper than it is. It feels a bit forced and it is a reminder that pretty much every character on the show is an ignorant bigot.