HBO’s The Sopranos is a brilliant show, but its characters are certainly not good people. Of course, that’s what makes them such endlessly captivating characters. As is often the case in fiction, protagonists are either good people or deeply flawed people who mean to do good. The Sopranos flips this concept on its head, with most of its protagonists being deeply cynical and borderline horrible people who continuously rob, cheat, steal, manipulate, and even murder.
Christopher Moltisanti is one of the most sympathetic characters on the show, but that doesn’t make him a good person. Like Tony, Christopher has enacted his fair share of deplorable actions.
Killing Adriana’s Dog (Accidentally)
Season four’s “The Strong, Silent Type” contains one of the greatest instances of dark comedy in the entire show. While intently focused on the television in a heroin stupor, Chris accidentally sits on Adriana’s tiny dog Cosette, effectively breaking its neck.
It was an accident, but it’s not like Chris was sorry (“she must’ve crawled under there for warmth!”). It is also quite unforgivable, as it was an entirely preventable accident that came about from Chris’s drug-induced carelessness.
Robbing A Charity Concert
Chris and the fellow gangsters are known for their robberies, but stealing from a charity concert is especially low. The idea comes from Jackie Jr., who learns of the charity concert taking place at Rutgers University. Chris needs money to pay off Paulie, so he decides to join Jackie on the robbery.
Chris takes point in the robbery, and it’s implied that he kills – or at least shoots – an employee working at the concert, as evidenced by the off-screen gunshot that causes Jackie to wet his pants in fear.
Giving Meadow Meth
The Sopranos was quick to portray Christopher as a scumbag. In the show’s third episode, Meadow and her friend Hunter are stressing about the upcoming SATs and are left exhausted from the endless studying. They go to Chris for meth, and he initially refuses.
However, his refusal is not out of morality and concern for Tony’s teenaged daughter, but out of fear of Tony’s wrath should he find out. Adriana eventually convinces Chris to give them meth, arguing that they would get it anyway, and from a less-than-reputable seller.
Continuously Beating Adriana
Christopher and Adriana represent the younger generation throughout The Sopranos, and their relationship remains consistent throughout the first five seasons. Unfortunately, it is not a happy relationship. Adriana seems to love Christopher well enough, and Chris certainly shows a fair amount of love towards her.
However, he is also incredibly abusive, and it’s not rare to see Chris raise his hands against Adriana and smack her around. It makes the viewers detest Christopher, and it’s part of why Adriana is one of the most sympathetic characters of the series.
Beating The Actor
Season two’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” shows Christopher at his worst but also at his most complex. To help Christopher with his screenwriting, Adriana enrolls him in an acting class. The class actually goes well, with Christopher impressing everyone with his surprisingly great acting chops.
However, things go off the rails once he is forced to act in a father-son scene. Harboring great resentment for his own father, Christopher unleashes some pent-up frustration and viciously beats the actor portraying his father. Viewers feel bad for him, but they also detest the act itself.
Shooting The Bakery Guy In The Foot
Season one’s “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti” goes into great detail regarding Christopher’s personality, thought process, character arc, and background. While Chris was a captivating character beforehand, it was this installment that made him a fan favorite.
Unfortunately, it also shows Chris at his worst. Frustrated at not being taken seriously, Chris holds up a bakery store after the employee gives him a hard time and shoots the employee in the foot for no reason whatsoever, saying, “It happens!”
The Sopranos becomes increasingly darker as the show progresses, and this culminates in the horribly tragic Long Term Parking. It’s here that Adriana finally unveils to Christopher that she has been working as an informant for the FBI.
Christopher initially decides to run away with her and enter witness protection, but he quickly changes his mind and decides to inform Tony. Tony in turn has Adriana kidnapped and whacked by Silvio. It pained Chris to do it, and he was never the same afterward but it was still deplorable.
Killing The Police Officer
David Chase loves to work in ambiguity, as evident by the enormously controversial and divisive ending. Another great bit of ambiguity can be found in the season four premiere, “For All Debts Public and Private.”
Tony gives Christopher the address of a recently retired police officer, telling him that the man was responsible for Christopher’s father’s murder. However, this is never truly clarified, and the man could have been just another victim in debt to the mob. Even Christopher briefly questions the man’s identity.
Murdering The Waiter
Viewers of The Sopranos may get caught up in the gang’s hilarity and camaraderie, and they may eventually forget that they are awful people. And then scenes like this are made to remind them. In the season five premiere, “Two Tonys,” Paulie irritates Christopher by intentionally inflating a dinner bill up to $1,200.
A frustrated Chris leaves a very small tip for the waiter, and he confronts both Chris and Paulie outside the restaurant. Chris in turn throws a rock at the waiter’s head, and Paulie puts the seizing man out of his misery by shooting him in the chest.
Murdering J.T. Dolan
Perhaps Christopher’s worst moment comes through murdering J.T. Dolan in cold blood. Dolan is a drug-addicted screenwriter who meets Chris through rehab and subsequently becomes indebted to him following some high stakes poker games.
Despite their tenuous relationship, Dolan is the closest thing Christopher had to a friend. One fateful night, a drunken Chris spilled his feelings to Dolan, who didn’t want to hear it. Whether because he spilled too many mob secrets, or just because Dolan wasn’t listening, a frustrated Chris took out his gun and shot him in the head.