The Sopranos

Season 4 Episode 5


Aired Unknown Oct 13, 2002 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
188 votes
  • Tony buys a race horse, Janice tries to get into Bobby's good graces through whatever means she can muster, Adriana gets desperate.

    With its ducks, squirrels, snakes, and bears, the Sopranos has a long history of symbolic animals, but Pie-O-My, the "breathtaking" race horse, I found the most clever. The first of its kind Tony could "commit to," the one that effortlessly strives past the others with its grace and attitude, is a clear symbol for Carmela, the other thing for him for which there were so many but only one he'd be willing to make a commitment to. As things at home crumble over living will arrangements, Pie-O-My's health fails, and Tony seems to transfer all his sympathy to the horse - the final scene of Tony sitting so sympathetically by his horse in her stall as "My Rifle, My Pony, and Me" begins to play is breathtaking because we know the fear that Tony cannot really express - that his marriage may be in trouble.

    Meanwhile, no one can manipulate like Janice Soprano, and her attempt to couch her blatant opportunism with nobility ("I've been meaning to come down to the court to show solidarity, but those kids need help!") is the type of heartless squirminess Janice always seems to gravitate towards. I've rarely laughed harder than the moment in which Janice, stealing Jo Jo Palmice's ziti, repeats heating instructions as if they're her own. True to life, people could figure out her schemes, but are too wrapped up in their own stuff to notice (Junior's busy pilfering is driver's pocket change). This is her mother's daughter, after all - she knows how to use people.

    Finally, this is the first indication of what will become a real accomplishment in the fifth season - we took her for granted, but who knew Drea de Matteo was such an amazing actress? Christopher's a full on smack addict, and in her desperation, Adriana tries the stuff herself. Filmed with brilliant jump cuts that emphasize the physicality of her actions, her desperation is overwhelming, a powerful indicators of the choices she's made and just realized the gravity of.
  • Ralph gets a horse, and Tony takes a liking to it. Janice continues to be a b*tch, big friggin' surpise there. Bobby and the kids aren't doing that great after the loss of Karen, Bobby's wife.

    A lot of Sopranos fans will call this the worst episode of the series, but that’s not true. It is very well written and true to life, it just isn’t interesting. At all. Tony buys a new race horse. That’s all. It borrows a lot of the subtleness from last season’s episode “Second Opinion”, but is in my opinion better. If you don’t have any great expectations of this episode, you will enjoy it. Otherwise, when the credits start to roll you’ll say to yourself “That’s all?!”. The relationship with Ralph and Tony is always funny to watch, as Ralph tries to be a cheapskate and try not to pay Tony the vig he deserves. Hesh is in this one, and that's always a positive. This was more about a freakin' horse then about The Sopranos. It was well written and had smooth dialogue, but I pay god knows what price every month to view 'The Sopranos', not 'Tony Soprano Present's The Horse Whisperer'. I hope next week’s is more intriguing, because it certainly looks more intriguing. Grade: A-

    Ranking in season: # 10 / 13
    Ranking in series: # 56 / 65