The Sopranos is one of the best ensemble TV dramas ever made. Spanning six seasons and over eighty hours, The Sopranos tells an expansive and engaging story about a specific mafia family at the turn of the 21st century. And despite being an ensemble, the show often focuses specific episodes on specific characters.
One of the greatest characters on the show, and perhaps the character with the most tragic individual storyline, is Christopher. The Christopher episodes were usually a guaranteed hit owing to his grounded story, funny personality, and the incredible performance of Michael Imperioli.
A Hit Is A Hit – 8.1
“A Hit Is a Hit” is certainly not one of the most beloved Sopranos episodes. Serving as the tenth episode of the first season, “A Hit Is a Hit” is a joint Christopher and Adriana episode that sees them venturing into music production.
They befriend a gangsta rapper named Massive Genius, and Chris decides to finance a demo for Adriana’s ex-boyfriend, who is playing in a band called Visiting Day. It’s quite a forgettable episode overall, and the plot never really goes anywhere interesting or important.
Luxury Lounge – 8.3
Luxury Lounge is one of the weaker Sopranos episodes to be written by Matthew Weiner. Christopher’s storyline throughout season six largely concerns the making of his cheap slasher movie Cleaver, and Luxury Lounge sees both him and Little Carmine traveling to Hollywood to cast actors for the movie.
While there, they meet a very reluctant Ben Kingsley, who is arguably the greatest aspect of the entire episode. It’s a decently funny little episode, but ultimately meaningless in the grander scheme of things.
Fortunate Son – 8.5
The third episode of the third season is an important milestone in Christopher’s professional life inside the mafia. It’s in this episode that Chris is made a made man alongside Eugene Pontecorvo, and it’s during this ceremony that he either sees or imagines a raven perched outside the window.
It’s an important episode in numerous important ways, including Chris’s promotion, the raven vision (which continuously pops up throughout the remainder of the series), and the growing resentment and power struggle between Chris and Paulie.
Commendatori – 8.6
“Commendatori” is a joint episode of sorts, as it follows Tony, Paulie, and Chris traveling to Italy. It’s a highly unique episode within The Sopranos, as it’s one of the rare episodes to take place outside of New Jersey (Carmela going to Paris also comes to mind).
The three men experience Italy in different ways. Tony conducts business, Paulie fails to ingratiate himself within Italian society and grows an intense distaste for the country, and Chris spends most of the episode stoned on heroin.
The Legend Of Tennessee Moltisanti – 8.7
“The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti” is a far greater first season episode than “A Hit Is a Hit”. This is the first episode to truly delve into Christopher’s character, and it reveals that he is a budding screenwriter hoping to one day make it big in Hollywood by writing mafia-inspired screenplays.
It’s quite a tragic realization, as Chris is essentially trapped in the life of crime despite his ambitions. The episode also contains some funny stuff between Chris and Georgie as they dig up Emil Kolar’s body under a bridge.
D-Girl – 8.7
Much like “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti”, “D-Girl” also concerns itself with Chris’s ambitions as a filmmaker. And like Luxury Lounge, it contains a fantastic cameo. Chris’s cousin’s girlfriend works in the movies and arranges a meeting between Chris and Jon Favreau.
Chris visits the movie set and makes various creative suggestions to Favreau. However, all this dreaming comes to naught at the end of the episode, as Tony tells Christopher to stop pursuing movies to focus on him and the mob work.
Cold Cuts – 8.7
Season five is arguably one of the strongest seasons of The Sopranos (if not the strongest), and it contains a fantastic episode in “Cold Cuts”. This one primarily concerns Chris and Tony Blundetto traveling to Kinderhook to dig up some bodies that are buried on Uncle Pat’s farm.
Chris and Tony bond while at the farm and each affirms their love and loyalty to Tony Soprano. Unfortunately, both Tonys end up picking on Chris over dinner, and he drives home by himself in one of the series’ saddest and most tragic images.
The Strong, Silent Type – 8.8
Chris’s addiction to heroin reaches a peak in season four’s “The Strong, Silent Type”. It’s in this episode that Tony decides to stage an intervention to get Chris some help. This being The Sopranos, the intervention doesn’t really work, and it degenerates into a bunch of yelling, insulting, and physical abuse.
The episode is also notable for containing one of the blackest pieces of comedy in the entire show, as a high Christopher shuffles over to the couch and accidentally kills Adriana’s dog by sitting on it.
Kennedy And Heidi – 9.1
Christopher only appears in about five minutes of Kennedy and Heidi, but his presence is felt throughout the entire episode. This episode is famous for Christopher’s death, as Tony pinches his nose and watches him strangle to death on his own blood.
And while Christopher dies in the first act of the episode, the rest of the story concerns Tony’s mental state and his introspective dealings in trying to rationalize his actions. It’s certainly one of the most tragic episodes, and it sees Tony at his absolute scummiest.
Pine Barrens – 9.7
Often hailed as the greatest episode of The Sopranos, “Pine Barrens” is also the funniest. The subject matter itself is actually quite dark, as it sees Chris and Paulie getting lost in the woods and nearly freezing to death. However, Chris and Paulie’s personalities, actions, and hilarious chemistry result in comedy gold.
They fear the “interior decorator” (one of the show’s funniest misunderstandings/malapropisms), Paulie loses a shoe, and they resort to eating ketchup packets in a cold van.