Goodfellas and The Sopranos share many actors and one of the most notable ones is Michael Imperioli. In Goodfellas, his character Spider gets bullied by Tommy DeVitto (Joe Pesci) on a frequent basis. When he finally stands up to Tommy, the gangster kills him. In The Sopranos, Imperioli’s character Christopher Moltisanti is more menacing.
Even though Christopher also gets bullied by Paulie on a few occasions, he is mostly a threat than a potential victim. The younger member of the DiMeo crime family is the show’s resident undertaker, often cleaning up murder scenes and getting rid of dead bodies. Despite being the teacher’s pet, Christopher’s life is one sad story.
Tragic: His Drug Addiction Problem
This is what leads to Christopher’s downfall. His addiction becomes too serious that his family and associates are forced to hold a meeting to find a solution. He agrees to go to rehab and when he comes out, he stays clean for a short period.
Christopher regresses again after meeting Julianna Skiff, a realtor that Tony was also eyeing, during an AA meeting. The two former addicts begin seeing each other and end up using again. Christopher’s addiction becomes so worse that he crashes a car while leaving a meeting with Tony. Fearing that his addiction will make him turn into an informant, Tony pinches his nose until he dies.
Tragic: His Difficult Childhood
Part of the reason why Christopher gets into the world of crime is because of his poor upbringing. During her few appearances in the series, his mother Joanne doesn’t seem to care about him. She is even unconcerned when Christopher gets beaten by his colleagues during the intervention.
It’s revealed that Christopher never had a father figure while growing up. His father Dickie Moltisanti got murdered by a police captain many years ago. Later, Tony helps Christopher get revenge by pointing out the captain to him.
Tragic: He Could Have Had A ‘Safer’ Career
From the first season, it’s clear that Christopher is a talented filmmaker. His duties with the mafia prevent him from exploring this passion fully. He even meets famous director Jon Favreau at some point but despite the two bonding well, nothing serious ever comes out of their meeting.
Tony also warns Christopher against putting too much time into filmmaking instead of focussing on his mob duties. The best Christopher ever does is making one poorly shot B-movie. If he had opted to make movies as a full-time career instead of being a mobster, he’d not only be alive but he’d be more successful too.
Hated: His Infidelity
Like most of the other DiMeo crime family members, Christopher can’t help but cheat on his lovers. He is unfaithful with Adriana a couple of times in the series. He is first seen sleeping with a Hollywood executive, then with a random woman after he becomes a made man. Paulie even mocks him about having mistresses yet he isn’t even married yet.
After marrying Kelli Lombardo, Christopher cheats on her with Julianna Skiff. While his affair with Skiff doesn’t affect his marriage, it fuels his drug addiction even further.
Tragic: He Ruins His Chances Of Climbing Up The Organized Crime Ladder
Early in the series, Tony has so much faith in Christopher. He sees him as his successor since his own son AJ doesn’t have what it takes to ever join the mafia. Tony favors Christopher so much that other members of the DiMeo crime family become jealous. Given Tony’s favoritism, Christopher could have had an easy road to the top of the family.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t really take advantage of Tony’s adoration for him. Instead of working harder and impressing Tony more, he keeps making so many mistakes that his catchphrase becomes “I’m sorry T.” He slumps into drug addiction and becomes a former shell of himself, leaving Tony no other choice but to kill him.
Tragic: Paulie’s Harassment
Becoming a made man doesn’t turn out to be as fun as Christopher thought. His capo Paulie demands more weekly payments than he expected, leaving him nothing. Paulie also keeps on humiliating him by stripping him and checking him for wires to make sure he hasn’t become an informant. This behavior frustrates Christopher.
One of Christopher’s confrontations with Paulie even causes him to relapse to drinking. Even though their rocky relationship never turns violent, it makes Christopher’s life miserable.
Tragic: He’s Been A Victim Of Violence Too
Christopher hurts several people during his time in the series but him being one of the show’s likable characters makes it impossible to cheer when he is on the receiving end. He once tries to buy heroin from shady dealers but they beat him up and steal his car instead.
Christopher is also beaten by his colleagues during the joint intervention about his drug addiction. The worst incident occurs when his subordinates Matt and Sean try to whack him in order to impress Richie Aprile. After the incident, Christopher is forced to spend weeks in the hospital.
Hated: He Betrays Adriana’s Trust
Adriana is very loyal to Christopher. When the FBI tricks her into becoming an informant, she refuses to give the bureau any meaningful information about the DiMeo crime family.
The feds go one step further by threatening her with prison time. Her reaction to this is to inform Christopher about what’s happening and suggest they run away together. The fact that she has come clean to him instead of snitching should mean something. He should at least find a way to protect her. Sadly, Christopher tells Tony who goes on to order a hit.
Tragic: He Knows Too Much
While dealing with dangerous criminals, the lesser you know, the safer you are. It’s clear that one of the reasons why Tony suffocates Christopher to death is because he knows too many of his secrets. Tony is afraid that Christopher’s recent recklessness might lead him to become an informant. If this ever happens, Tony will be in deep trouble.
Tony has always trusted Christopher with getting rid of bodies hence if the authorities were ever to question him, they’d have plenty of information. Only Christopher and Tony know what bodies are buried at Pat Blundetto’s farm. He also knows what happened to the bodies of Tony Blundetto’s body, Ralph Cifaretto, and Richie Aprile.
Hated: He Is An Abusive Partner
Christopher is violent towards Adriana a couple of times. His behavior worries those around him since Adriana is generally a good woman. Richie takes the initiative and warns him about laying his hands on women. Sadly, Christopher never stops.
He even beats Adriana when she suggests rehabilitation centers that he can sign up for to beat his drug addiction problem. Adriana ends up having a black eye, something which upsets both Carmela and Tony. Christopher proves to be emotionally abusive too as he accidentally kills Adriana’s favorite dog by sitting on it but shows no remorse, despite Adriaan being devastated.