The Sopranos

Season 5 Episode 6

Sentimental Education

Aired Unknown Apr 11, 2004 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
192 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Tony B. makes an honest effort to go straight as he prepares to open his own massage studio, but a mysterious bag of money tempts him back to his old habits. A.J. moves back in with his mother after a fight with Tony, while Carmela pursues her relationship with her son's guidance counselor.moreless

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  • A mini-masterpiece of characterization

    I don't know if I could disagree with the previous review more. As always, The Sopranos forces us as viewers to get away from our complacency in thinking the show is all violence and bravado. This is a show that's always, at heart, been about the full bewildering humanity of its characters. This season seems to be about the way Tony's mentality manifests itself in the people he influences, and in that, "Sentimental Education" is pivotal for the season, and arguably the most revealing episode ever about who Carmela really is. In her smoldering affair with AJ's principal, there's an unconscious need to manipulate him - she blames his perceptions, but really, she's very much to blame for seizing an opportunity before her and forcing the principal's hand in adjusting AJ's grades. In truth, that's the essence of what draws her to Tony - she can go round after round over her guilt on what Tony's done, but beneath her protesting, she understands and upholds his opportunistic logic. That goes double for Tony B., who barely needs the whiff of the good life to switch teams. His moment of violence against Kim is such a shock because it's completely irrational, a violent outburst of temper from an apple that clearly didn't fall too far from the Soprano family tree.

    And just to be thorough here, Bogdanovich may be a "veteran director" in the sense that he's made his share of movies, but he has also only made one good one (The Last Picture Show). If you ask me, it's not that he makes the episode more engaging through his insight into the fight scenes, it's that this show allowed him to make the second best piece of work in his career - his sentimental lens finds its perfect subject in Edie Falco's quietly captivating performance.moreless
  • Carmela falls for Mr. Wexler (A.J.'s guidance counselor) and has wild with him, I Hope Tony Doesn't Find Out! Tony B. finds some mysterious money and decides to use it to help him with his massage parlor. He partners up with his Korean laundry boss, amoreless

    The worst episode of the season so far. The problem with this episode is it feels more like a soap opera about a lonely soon-to-be divorcee and her love affair with her son’s guidance counselor, then an episode of my favorite show. The only shocking moment is when Carmela has with him, which probably marks the only man she’s had with besides “Mr. Mob Boss” to quote Meadow Soprano in response to her father. The only pay off we get from this wannabe episode of “Days of Our Lives”, is detailed information on Tony B. and the fact he is going to be a part of the Mafia now. Also, that scene with Tony B. beating up that old Korean man was exhilarating. A well choreographed fight sequence by veteran director, Peter Bogdanovich. In the end the episode isn't poorly written, it's just so out of character for The Sopranos. They have these episodes every once in a blue moon, and I think it's just a bad choice in plot points. Oh, well, I hope next week's is much better.

    Overall Grade: B+

    Ranking in season: # 13 / 13

    Ranking in series: # 61 / 65

Suzy McCoppin

Suzy McCoppin


Guest Star

Anthony Spina

Anthony Spina

Dealer #2

Guest Star

Kimberly Guerrero

Kimberly Guerrero

Dealer #1

Guest Star

Ed Vassallo

Ed Vassallo

Tom Giglione

Recurring Role

Danielle Divecchio

Danielle Divecchio

Barbara Giglione

Recurring Role

Miryam Coppersmith

Miryam Coppersmith

Sophia Baccalieri

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Tony: (on Mr. Wegler) What did that fag want?
      Carmela: Jesus Christ, Tony, everybody's a fag to you. Maybe you're a fag, you ever think about that?
      Tony: Can I help it if I know one when I see one?
      Carmela: Oh, really? What are the signs—education, culture?
      Tony: Sucking a guy's cock usually tips me off.

    • Tony: As far as I can tell, you spend most of your time talking on the phone and sitting on the couch perfecting that pissy look on your face.
      A.J.: Add coming home drunk, it sounds like you.

    • Carmela: There is the issue of my husband. Mr. Wegler: Your husband's going to have to get used to the fact that you're moving on with your life. Carmela: I'm not worried about my life.

    • Tony B.: It's not much to look at, but it's a totally flexible workspace.
      Tony: Plus, you got the dog grooming next door in case your Korean friends want some lunch.

    • Paulie: Twelve grand? How many guys you gotta jerk off on the massage table to make that?
      Tony B.: I don't know. How much do you charge without the table?

    • Tony: (on A.J.'s threat to call child services) This is demoralizin'.
      Carmela: Well, now maybe you see...
      Tony: That a son of mine would even consider callin' in the authorities!

    • Paulie: Vito, where the fuck is my Tupperware?!

    • Tony B: I got a whole leg covered with Neosporin. I just spent an hour with the cops explainin' how it went down.
      Kim: I no forget you professional criminal.
      Tony B: Let me ask you somethin'. If I really wanted to rob you, you think I'd have to put up with this bullshit?

    • Carmela: I have to tell you. I haven't been with anyone.
      Mr. Wegler: You're a virgin? This is my lucky night.

    • Christopher: Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. There was no one there.

    • Carmela: Whatever I say, whatever I do, because I was married to a man like Tony, my motives will always be called into question.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The German episode title is "Bittere Lehren", meaning "Bitter Lessons".

    • Director Peter Bogdanovich is already known to show watchers in his recurring role as Dr. Elliot Kupferberg.

    • Music: "Django" by Modern Jazz Quartet; "Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me" by Mel Carter; "Julia Florida" by Andrew John Seedon; "Mon Homme My Man" by Mistinguett; "Over the Mountain, Across the Sea" by Johnny and Joe; "The Angles Listened In" by The Crests; "The Blues is My Business" by Etta James; "The Break-up Song" by Greg Kihn; "The Loud, the Loose and the Savage" by Davie Allan and the Arrows


    • Talking to Mr. Wegler, Mr. Fiske calls A.J. "Fredo Corleone", referring to Vito's middle child in The Godfather and its first sequel.