The Sopranos

Season 5 Episode 11

The Test Dream

Aired Unknown May 16, 2004 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
223 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After his latest goomar is injured, Tony escapes to the Plaza Hotel for a night of rest and relaxation, but his dreams are haunted by past faces. Another casualty falls in the war between Johnny Sack and Little Carmine, and Tony B. heads to New York for revenge.moreless

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  • The Test Dream

    This was one of the best episodes of The Sopranos ever. That it only has a score of 8.9 is perplexing to me. Tony having a dream? Amazing. Tony having a dream at the Plaza that takes up half the episode? AMAZING. Seriously. There was some genius going on in this episode--Annette Bening, the use of televisions in the dream, GLORIA... This episode came at a good point in the season. There needed to be some distance between the whole mess that was going on, and this episode settled what was going to happen to Steve Buscemi's character. Amazing. Amazing. Amazingmoreless
  • I can see why many dont like this episode. Its odd, trippy, and not for the viewer who complains that they need more "whackings". Here is why I like it:I have never seen anything on film so close to having an actual dream, it gets the essence perfectly.moreless

    The majority of this episode is a long dream sequence. The dream foreshadows the events in the final episodes of the season. The dream really presents no new information. It is fairly obvious at this point that Tony B is headed down a dark path. The fued with New York is nearly inevatible at this point. I dont think this dream sequence is a tool for forshadowing, as much as similar dreams were in past Sopranos episodes. On the other hand, I think this dream sequence is used first as a vehicle to bring back old characters. The Sopranos staff seems very loyal to its cast and crew, both by bringing back dead characters through flashbacks and dreams, and also by letting players like Michael Imperioli write episodes, or bringing in Steve Buschemi and others to direct. The secondary function of these dream sequences is to allow the cast and crew to spread their wings and show they are capable of producing cerebral content and not just the violence ridden, low-brow story of these New Jersey hoods (dont get me wrong, I love the low-brow stuff!). Like I said above, I think this is the most dream-like sequence I have ever seen on film, so in this regard they have done their job superbly.moreless
  • The Sopranos: Episode 63: "The Test Dream"- Tony's dream that takes up twenty minutes of the episode, just to tell us that it was his responsibility to take out his cousin. (Spoiler Alert)moreless

    At first, I thought of Tony's dream as a complete waste of time. As I rewatched it, I found out that it actually reflects on the whole series in twenty minutes. Here's a recap. While cooking, Valentina catches on fire and gets sent to the hospital. Tony visits his cousin and notices that something is wrong with him. Phil and Billy stop Angelo while driving, throw him into the trunk of Phil's car and shoots him (nods to Goodfellas). Tony checks into the Plaza Hotel, hears about the murder and tries to reach his cousin but is unable to. After spending time with an Asian prostitute, Tony goes to sleep and has the "test dream". Carmine Lupertazzi, his father Johnny, Big P*ssy Bonpensiero, Ralph Cifaretto, Mikey Palmice, Vin Makazian, Gigi Cestone, Richie Aprile, Gloria Trillo and his horse, Pie-O-My, return in his dream. Tony eventually learns that it was his responsibility to murder his cousin to prevent war with John Sacramoni. Tony's former football coach, Coach Molinaro, appears and judges him, saying that he had the potential to be a leader. Tony tries to shoot him but his gun malfunctions and the coach starts taunting him. Tony awakes and gets a visit from Christopher who informs him that Tony Blundetto murdered Billy and wounded Phil. Tony calls Carmela and shares his Coach Molinaro part of his dream. I think that the dream sequence, is, at first, a confusing part of the episode. It is filled with symbols that help reflect on the whole series and to help Tony learn about his failure to live up to his responsibility which was to stop his cousin. Once the dream is fully understood, it becomes revealing and makes the episode as a whole good.moreless
  • In this episode, Tony has a dream for more than half of the episode. In the dream, he sees his cousin commit the act that will ultimately cause his demise.

    This episode is another of the famous "Sopranos" dream episodes. Each season seems to have one and they mostly show an important plot point where Tony learns something during his dream. It is very reminiscant of season two's finale "Funhouse." In that episode Tony learned of Pussy's involvement with the FBI. In this episode written by David Chase and Matthew Weiner and directed by Allen Coulter, Tony sees his cousin asassinate Billy Leotardo and knows that he must kill his cousin because of his work that he is doing for Little Carmine. In "Funhouse" Tony knew that he was going to have to kill Pussy for what he was doing. In "Test Dream," Tony also sees people that have been murdered throughout the series such as Pussy, Richie Aprile and Ralphie. It is a very trippy and interesting episode that once again showed how edgy this series could be.moreless
  • Tony has an enormous and elaborate dream sequence for 75% of the episode (which brings back characters from the show in utterly bizarre situations). Besides that, Phil and Billy Leotardo whack Angelo, which results in Tony B. wounding Phil andmoreless

    Everybody seemed to

    this episode but me. They found it a waste of time (which it probably was) but it was an interesting and intriguing waste of time that held my attention longer then pretty much anything that has happened in this season yet. The dreams are bizarre and contribute nothing to the show, but they are just so damn fun to watch. This episode brings back a bundle of characters too such as Johnny Boy Soprano (Frank Sivaro), Big Bonpensiero (Vincent Pastore), Mikey

    Palmice (Al Sapienza), Ralphie Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano), Tracee (the Ralphie killed) ,

    Detective Vin Makazian (John Heard), Carmine (Tony Lip), and most surprisingly as a large role Gloria Trillo (Annabella Sciorra). The dreams also featured Annette Bening as herself (for some odd reason… Why Annette Bening?) It also features an interesting scene with Tony B. Phil Leotardo with fake gun, and Phil Leotardo asking how long does he have to wait before getting up. The episode also features some prime plot points such as Valentina catching on fire, Billy and

    Phil Leotardo taking out Angelo, Tony love struck over Charmaine Bucco and Tony B. getting revenge by Billy Leotardo and wounding Phil Leotardo (which will definitely result in the of Tony B.) Finally, they friggin’ kill someone (two actually) after three episodes of waiting.

    The commercials for next week’s episode look absolutely FANTASTIC.

    Overall Grade: A

    Ranking in season: # 6 / 13

    Ranking in series: # 29 / 65

Vincent Pastore

Vincent Pastore

Big Pussy Bonpensiero

Guest Star

David Proval

David Proval

Richie Aprile

Guest Star

Joe Pantoliano

Joe Pantoliano

Ralphie Cifaretto

Guest Star

Tony Lip

Tony Lip

Carmine Lupertazzi

Recurring Role

Joseph Siravo

Joseph Siravo

Johnny Soprano

Recurring Role

John Fiore

John Fiore

Gigi Cestone

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (3)

    • The German episode title is "Ein endloser Traum", meaning "Endless Dream".

    • Music in this episode:
      "Amazing Grace" by Anne Murray; "Claire De Lune" by Visual performance Sylvia Kowalczuk; "Concerto in C. Minor" by (Vivaldi) JWCD2008; "In the Garden" by Anne Murray; "Kulun Mankwalesh" by Mahmoud Ahmed; "Peanuts" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons; "Three Times a Lady" by The Commodores

    • Many past cast members returned for Tony's dream sequence in this episode. It is interesting to note that several, such as Vincent Pastore, John Fiore and David Proval, spoke no lines of dialogue and appeared only briefly. Others, such as Al Sapienza, Joe Pantoliano and Tony Lip uttered only one or two lines. In the end, John Heard and Annabella Sciorra did the most acting. It is also interesting to note that Michael Rispoli (Jackie Aprile), Lillo Brancato (Matt Bevilaqua), Ariel Kiley (Tracee), Tony Ray Rossi (Fabian Petrulio), Jason Cerbone (Jackie Aprile Jr.), and Nancy Marchand (Livia Soprano) did not appear. One can safely assume that this was due to budgetary constraints or scheduling conflicts. The reason for Nancy Marchand's absence is obvious, since she passed away several years ago. One wonders why David Chase did not choose to put in a past image of her as he did in "Proshai, Livushka."


    • During Tony's dream, Annette Benning says he "looks a little 'bugsy'," a sly reference to Bugsy, in which she starred.

    • In Tony's dream, Annette Bening says she doesn't want Tony leaving the bathroom at Vesuvio with "just his cock in his hand," borrowing dialogue said by Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. Tony then reaches for a gun behind an overhead toilet tank, mirroring Michael Corleone. None is there, leaving Tony "unprepared".