The Sopranos: Season 2, Episode 13

Funhouse (9 Apr. 2000)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
8.8
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Tony gets sick from food poisoning and blames Artie's restaurant. Pussy, meanwhile, reaches the end of the line.

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Title: Funhouse (09 Apr 2000)

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Storyline

Meadow's graduation is finally at hand and she decides on which college to attend. Tony is having something of a rough time with a severe bout of food poisoning. In his sick bed, he has interesting dreams about those around him. He also finds Pussy's wire so they go fishing along with Sylvio and Paulie. Pussy won't return. Tony is arrested at home when his mother Livia and her sister are stopped at the airport with stolen airline tickets. At Meadow's graduation, Tony has a final chat with David Scatino, the man whose gambling debts to Tony and Richie Aprile led to his ruin. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama

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9 April 2000 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Final TV performance of Nancy Marchand. See more »

Goofs

Tony's hair changes from combed to mussed to combed several times on the boat. Additionally, Tony has a five o'clock stubble when he goes up to talk to Silvio when they're on the boat, but he's clean shaven when they're back down inside the boat again. See more »

Quotes

Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: In a few weeks, we're gonna be opening up the books, again. I'm gonna propose you for membership. Congratulations.
Christopher Moltisanti: I earned it, too. Got no spleen, Gene.
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Featured in The Sopranos: A Sitdown (2007) See more »

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Baubles, Bangles, and Beads
(uncredited)
Written by Chet Forrest & Bob Wright
Performed by Frank Sinatra
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User Reviews

 
Sleeping with the fishes
10 April 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

And so, this is it: the end of another year of The Sopranos. And like the first season, Series 2 ends on a very sad note, opening several paths for later episodes to explore.

The whole thing starts with Tony trying to get his mother out of the way by giving her a stolen airline ticket he got from David Scatino (Robert Patrick, who makes one final appearance at the end of the episode). As it turns out, though, that will be the least of his problems, as he spends most of the show unconscious and/or in pain from food poisoning, which he unjustly blames on Artie. While he is in such a bad state, he experiences a series of weird dreams, including one where he's dead, one where he has sex with Dr. Melfi in her office and one, most shocking, where Pussy Bonpensiero, in the shape of a fish (a metaphoric image of his fate), reveals his being a rat. Consequently, Tony must get rid of one of his best friends before the FBI has enough evidence to arrest him. Hence a boat-ride on which he invites Paulie, Silvio and Pussy...

Like few other episodes of the series, Funhouse tries to fully enter the main character's conflicted psyche, which explains the bizarre, Twin Peaks-inspired fantasy scenes. In any other drama series (bar Six Feet Under), they would have looked far-fetched and pompous. Not so in The Sopranos, where they actually are the closest we will ever come to fully comprehend something about Tony's nature. The merger of explicit violence and suggestive dreams, verbal brutality and visual poetry, is one of the things that set the show apart from all dramas produced before and after it. The fact that Tony discovers the truth thanks to a dream is also a clear sign of how much the series owes to Greek tragedy, where similar events were quite common, and therefore of its aim to go beyond the conventions of mainstream serialized television.

For all its air of mystery, though, the show remains firmly rooted in the real world and the tragic events that are often associated to it. And despite the ending's predictability, one can't help but feel sorry (it is, after all, a character we have come to like) and unprepared as the inevitable bloodshed is preceded by a conversation so filled with tension it almost gets too overwhelming to watch. Much of that is due to Gandolfini and Pastore, the latter in particular departing from the show with one powerhouse of a performance. Both of them, however, are outsmarted by Nancy Marchand, who walks away with the entire episode despite being in only two scenes. Considering this is her final episode (she died before Season 3 went into production, which required a major rewrite of the main plot line), that's a fitting tribute to the extra something she added to the program's first two years. Farewell, little Livia.


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