The Sopranos had no shortage of fan-favorite characters and one of them was Silvio Dante, the ever-sulking yet comical consigliere of the DiMeo Crime Family. As Tony Soprano’s trusted advisor, Silvio was able to mediate the most heated of disputes and come up with concrete suggestions about the best course of action for the family to take at any given time.
As a top-level mobster, Silvio was not perfect. His arrogance and ruthlessness sometimes made him make decisions that would be considered questionable. However, his good traits were much more profound, making him stand out as one of the few characters on The Sopranos who had all their affairs in order.
He Is Wise
As the DiMeo Crime Family’s consigliere, Silvio was more level-headed than other mobsters. His ability to make quick analyses and conclusions meant he offered Tony sound advice on the most sensitive of issues.
Silvio’s presence in all the rival families was essential, as he made sure the New Jersey crew didn’t get the short end of the stick. Thanks to his foresight, Tony maintained a tough stance against Phil Leotardo since he knew the Lupertazzi Crime Family boss could be defeated. His advice also helped keep Richie Aprile and Feech La Manna on a leash, as the two mobsters were proving to be difficult to deal with.
He Is Entrepreneurial
Even though he was never seen in them, Silvio was said to be the owner of several nightclubs in New Jersey. He was also the manager of the Bada Bing. In addition to that, he supported the careers of aspiring singers.
The Bada Bing was always densely populated on any given night and this showed how much effort Silvio had put in to make it the preferred nightspot in New Jersey. Silvio’s keen eye for business also prevented the family from making losses, as he was always aware which Capo was underperforming or withholding payments to the boss. The most notable example of this was when he called out Paulie for his treachery.
He Is Loyal
Silvio was the only major player in the DiMeo Crime Family who never doubted Tony or contemplated switching sides. Even when the boss was being totally reckless, Silvio stood by him.
The consigliere’s loyalty helped preserve Tony and Artie’s friendship early in the series since he was able to inform Tony that Junior was planning to whack Pussy Malanga at the Vesuvio. Through his information, the hit was prevented and both the business and friendship were preserved. Silvio’s choice to be on Team Tony during the war between Junior and Tony helped cement the latter’s status as the true boss of the family.
He Is Comical
Silvio was frequently shown entertaining fellow mobsters by doing hilarious impersonations of film personalities. He specifically enjoyed reciting some of Michael Corleone’s best-ever quotes from The Godfather.
Silvio’s comical moments led to some memorable pop culture references on the show, thus adding to the overall entertainment value. And by being the occasional standup comedian, Silvio was able to light up scenes that started out as cold due to the weight of the storyline that was being explored.
He Could Be Loving
Silvio and his wife, Gabriella, were among the best couples in The Sopranos since he always held her in high regard. He was also very loving to his daughter, Heather, who he often referred to as “principessa” (princess in Italian).
The consigliere’s loving relationship with his daughter meant he was able to discuss sensitive issues with her, like whether the girls at the Bada Bing were demeaning themselves by dancing naked. Tony and his children often had difficulty having such conversations. Silvio’s ability to portray affection also meant he was appreciated and fully supported by his wife, who encouraged him to consider becoming boss if there ever came a time that Tony was unable to run things.
He Is Fashion Savvy
Silvio was undoubtedly the best-dressed character in The Sopranos. He wore Italian-made suits at all times, which he never actually bought. In one of Tommy Shelby’s best ever quotes, he declared that his suits were always on the house or the house burned down. The same applied to Silvio.
Putting effort into his own appearance made Silvio stand out from mobsters, like Tony and Paulie, who didn’t feel that dressing well was as big a priority as getting money. Silvio’s suits also gave him the classic mafioso look that has always been engrained in stereotype, compared to Tony, who mostly looked like an ordinary citizen.
He Is Careful
Silvio was participating in whacking all the FBI informants on the show that got exposed. That’s because he knew that strong cases against members of the family would ruin a faction that had taken years to build.
No exceptions were made whenever Silvio decided it was time to tie up loose ends. He was an equal opportunity eliminator and that’s why fan-favorite character Adriana was granted one of the most shocking deaths on the show for being an FBI turncoat, despite being uncooperative. Silvio’s insistence on precautionary measures also saw him sanction a hit on Richie Aprile, who was about to stage a coup-de-tat. Instead, his death came via a different party.
He Is Content With His Life
Silvio was quite content with life as it was. That’s why he wasn’t too excited about the idea of becoming boss when there were hints that Tony wouldn’t make it out of the ICU.
Silvio’s contentment didn’t mean he was unambitious. It only meant that he knew where his strengths lay, hence he wanted to place more of his focus there. Being boss would mean he’d have no one to advise since he was the advisor. A man like him was unlikely to take advice either since he considered his own perspective of things to be better.
He Is Always Alert
The high-ranking mobster was ever keen and that’s why he was able to dodge Doc Santoro’s hitmen when they came for Gerry Torciano. He also spotted Phil Leotardo’s hitmen, enabling him to survive the shootout.
Having a high level of awareness was always important in the mob since foes normally popped up anytime. Those that got sloppy, like Phil Leotardo, ended up being subjected to the most gruesome of murders. Silvio, on the other hand, went through most of the series without a scratch. And while he did get shot in the finale, it was still an achievement to reach that far.
He Is Intimidating
One thing that was hard to miss about Silvio was his “gangster face.” He always had a frown on his face, which would make other mobsters freak out. He also had “the stare,” which even got Tony tucking his tail whenever it was directed at him.
In the brutal New Jersey and New York underworld, there were plenty of wild players hence it was important for there to be someone who reminded them to act accordingly. Intimidating figures aren’t always liked, but Silvio’s case was different as he helped keep even his own boss in line.