Plenty of great TV shows have aired over the years but only a few have a high rewatch value like HBO’s The Sopranos. It’s rare to find a TV series with no directionless story arcs and no dropped storylines. Everything is covered extensively, and in an entertaining manner, making each scene worth revisiting.
However, there are scenes that tower above others thanks to the tension that’s wrapped around them. Matt and Sean pumping bullets into Christopher? Tony fighting off assassins all by himself? Those are great examples but there are even more memorable scenes guaranteed to make viewers anxious.
Salvatore Bonpensiero Sleeps With The Fishes
Ratting to the authorities is the biggest sin in the mafia but DiMeo crime family member Big Pussy risks it anyway. His decision to become an informant is influenced by a mixture of FBI threats and Tony passing him over for promotions. Unfortunately for Pussy, Tony has a random dream about him ratting and becomes paranoid. He checks Pussy’s house and true to his dream, he finds a wire.
An executive decision to whack him is made, so Tony, Paulie, and Silvio trick him into going with them to check out a new boat. As they sail, the tension is high. Viewers know what’s coming. Tony then informs Pussy what he has discovered. After a brief conversation, the three men shoot him dead and dump his body in the ocean so that he can “sleep with the fishes.”
AJ’s Suicide Attempt
Bianca is the only woman AJ has a real chance with and when she refuses to marry him, he becomes severely depressed. Another incident happens in which his friends assault a Black man which only worsens his negative view of life.
Back home, he ties a block to his leg and attempts to drown himself in the pool. For a brief moment, it seems like the end of AJ has come. Luckily, Tony arrives home just in time and realizes something isn’t right. He quickly gets out of the house and dives into the pool, managing to rescue his son. Later, AJ is placed in a psychiatric facility.
Dr. Melfi Decides Against Telling Tony That She Was Raped
One of the saddest moments in the series happens when Dr. Melfi gets raped in the parking lot of her office building. When she passes by a restaurant, later on, she sees an Employee Of The Month picture on the wall and realizes it’s the same man who assaulted her. This means that if she decides to tell Tony, it would be very easy for the mobster to locate and deliver street justice to the offender.
During one of their sessions, Tony realizes that Melfi is distressed and asks her if there’s something she needed to tell him. At that point, every viewer is eager for her to reveal what happened. However, she chooses not to tell him. The moment not only triggers plenty of anxiety but it’s also a disappointing one considering the fact that Tony would have had the gy whacked in less than a day.
Janice Shoots Richie After He Punches Her
What’s interesting about this scene is that Richie had warned Christopher earlier about laying his hands on women. Ironically, he proceeds to do the same thing to Janice and gets killed for it. It’s a moment viewers never see coming because Richie and Janice’s relationship appears to be perfect up until that point. Carmela is even jealous of them.
As their wedding day is fast approaching, Richie complains about his son possibly being gay. Janice, who feels he is being unreasonable, tells him it doesn’t matter, so Richie punches her in the mouth. A shocked Janice retreats to another room before coming back with a gun. Even Richie doesn’t believe she is going to shoot him. But she does… twice.
Christopher And Paulie Botch An Execution
“Pine Barrens” is often considered the show’s best-ever episode and there’s a good reason for that. In it, the prolific Paulie—who is accompanied by Christopher—gets outsmarted. Tony sends Paulie and Christopher to collect from a Russian mobster named Valery. After an argument, Paulie chokes Valery with a floor lamp before wrapping his body in a carpet.
The two take the body to the Pine Barrens to dump it only to realize that Valery is still alive. They force the man to dig his own grave but he hits them with a shovel while they are distracted and flees. Paulie shoots him in the head but it isn’t a serious enough wound to kill him. They look for him for hours but never find him. Tony later learns that Valery was once a member of the Russian military.
Tony Sees His Dead Mother In A Dream
Tony has endless bizarre dreams in the series. One of the most terrifying ones occurs in Season 4. In the dream, he follows Ralph into what looks like a haunted house. Dressed like a workman, he knocks and announces that he is there for the masonry work.
After a few seconds, a shadowy female figure with a face that resembles that of his dead mother Livia Soprano walks down the stairs but stops halfway. The door creaks as Tony enters. The Livia-like figure remains silent before Tony suddenly wakes up. It’s a strange dream that further highlights the strained relationship between Tony and his mother.
Fade To Black
The series finale remains polarizing to date. Many fans feel it left too many questions unanswered. It starts with Tony in a diner as he waits for all his family members to arrive. The mysterious ‘Man In A Members Only Jacket’ then shows up, looks Tony’s way, and heads to the bathroom.
It’s a scene straight out of The Godfather where Michael Corleone goes to the bathroom to take a gun that he has hidden in order to kill Virgil “The Turk” Solozzo and Commissioner McClusky. Does the man eventually kill Tony? No one knows because the screen simply fades to black.
Tony Strangles A Former Associate While Helping Meadow Look For A College
“College” is undoubtedly the best episode of Season 1. In it, Tony drives Meadow to Maine to check out prospective colleges as her high school graduation is approaching. It’s during the drive where she asks him the iconic question, “Dad, are you in the mafia?”
On their way, Tony spots a former DiMeo crime family consigliere at a gas station. The man is now under a witness protection program. Tony hunts him down for a couple of hours and while Meadow is busy in an interview, the mobster finally corners the informant and garrots him to death.
Carmela And Tony’s Ugly Fight
Carmela and Tony’s marriage comes to a breaking point when Irina calls the Soprano residence with exclusive information about Tony’s infidelity. As soon as Tony returns home, Carmela begins throwing his belongings at him. He leaves briefly before coming back home to confront her again.
In an effort to annoy him, Carmela tells Tony that she is in love with one of his most loyal henchmen Furio. It’s a reckless revelation since Tony will definitely want to kill her new lover. Tony almost punches her but hits the wall instead. Carmela then threatens to get a restraining order as Tony explains why he engaged in countless affairs. The argument ends with Tony deciding to move out.
Christopher is one of Tony’s favorite subordinates in the earlier seasons. This changes as the young mobster fails to manage his drug addiction. In the second part of Season 2, an intoxicated Christopher loses control of his car while he and Tony are coming back from a tense meeting with Phil Leotardo.
Christopher, who hadn’t been wearing a seat belt, begins coughing blood. He asks Tony to save him but the mob boss has reached the elastic limit of his patience. Instead of calling 911, Tony pinches Christopher’s nostrils, making him asphyxiate on his own blood. Seconds later, he is dead.