The Sopranos: Season 2, Episode 13

Funhouse (9 Apr. 2000)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 1,335 users  
Reviews: 4 user

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)

Funhouse (09 Apr 2000) on IMDb 8.7/10

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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

Only the second episode written by producer Todd A. Kessler, but he and co-writer David Chase earned an EMMY nomination for it. 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

Meadow Soprano: My friends don't judge me. And fuck them if they do, I'll cut them off.
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Connections

Featured in The Sopranos: A Sitdown (2007) See more »

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Diamonds and Rust
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Joan Baez
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User Reviews

Season 2: Holds the high standard set by the first season making for engaging and satisfying television (SUGGESTIVE SPOILERS)
6 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Season 2 follows the events of season 1 with Tony's mother essentially dead to her, Junior in custody awaiting trial, an old-school Lieutenant released from prison back onto the scene, Pussy returning from hiding and Tony trying to balance his two families without the support of therapy. In a nutshell it continues to do the good work that it laid out in season 1 that made it so engaging. It does this in a way that makes for consistently engaging and satisfying television for almost the entire season and it is easy to forget just how solid it is. When shows like this get the praise that they do it is often easy to tune in and expect to be blown out of your seat by just how amazing it is – it is happening with The Wire a lot given how lavishly praised but little seen it is as a show. I understand why people feel this way but few people would read one page of a book and expect to be blown away – no, you need to take it in and get into the story.

And this is what The Sopranos does so well. Like The Wire, there is no one moment of awesome complexity in season 2, no one specific scene where you are bowled over by how good it is but rather you will gradually find that every episode is engaging and well crafted, with the specific story of that episode engaging as well as those that stretch across the whole season while also having characters that are more engaging as you go along and spend more time with them. There is the temptation to find some great meaning in it all or to gush about how much it has to say about the human condition but this is to ignore that first and foremost it is a compelling and engaging story.

As before things do not just "happen" but they "happen" in a way that affect and involve the characters in ways that make a difference and matter within the bigger story we are being told. This is an important aspect of the show and part of the reason it is so engaging but it does also help that the "events", whether they be big or small, family or business related are all interesting and engaging as an episode but also as part of what the series itself is about – Tony and his world. As a result we get to see the absurdity of his business as well as the conflicts and contradictions that it introduces into his psyche. These threads come in all shapes as sizes but all of them work equally well. The coldness of it all (example being the destruction of Tony's "friend" when he gets in debt) is as well done as the comic aspects so often shown through Paulie and Silvio. Talking about this suggests that somehow the season can only be appreciated on this level but this is not the case. As a straight events-driven drama the show still works very well with the various threats and plotting from those around Tony all making for engaging and frequently tense episodes. The addition of Richie to the mix is a good one from this regard, while Janice compliments this while also continuing the family theme.

If the season does have a weakness then it is probably at the latter stages where things move a little too easily in regards Richie and also the final episode which just felt too driven by dreams and Tony's psyche. This latter aspect I don't mind as part of the bigger picture but it did feel a little clunky to have Tony's fever dreams impact so directly on the real world narrative in regards Pussy. This is a minor weakness in the writing from my point of view but one area where the show continues to have no weakness is in the acting. As before Gandolfini is strength itself in the lead role, coping incredibly with the demands on his performance producing a real character that works in a mob drama and in the therapy room. Falco, Bracco, Imperioli, Pastore and a few others all step up to increased material on their own while Sigler, Iler, Sirico, Van Zandt and others all continue to do good work. Proval adds real nastiness to the reality of his world and is a frightening presence, while Turturro echoes Marchand's ongoing strong character by delivering a character that recognises where it has come from.

Overall season 2 of The Sopranos continues to operate at the high standard set by the first season but improves upon it by nature of having captured the audience already and having the confidence to expand out through the characters and scenarios. At its heart it is an engaging mobster drama with strong plots and characters but the complexities and the contradictions of the characters and the conflicting "families" add a depth to it that makes it incredibly satisfying and gripping to watch on many levels. Quality yet again and it will be a struggle for me to wait at least a few weeks before I get into season 3.


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