The Sopranos: Season 1, Episode 12

Isabella (28 Mar. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 1,248 users  
Reviews: 5 user

The stress Tony is going through begins to take its toll, and the hit Junior has ordered doesn't help.

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Title: Isabella (28 Mar 1999)

Isabella (28 Mar 1999) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Isabella
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Storyline

Tony is highly depressed and can hardly get himself out of bed in the morning leading Dr. Melfi to add to his medication. He practically lives in his bathrobe and the only ray of sunshine is the beautiful and voluptuous Italian dentistry student house-sitting for his next door neighbors, the Cusamanos. He later realizes that the beautiful woman next door is not really as she appeared to be. He drags himself to his sessions with Melfi and it's after one of these that Uncle Junior's less than capable hit men may their try against Tony. He survives and for public consumption, Tony tells the police it was an attempted car-jacking. The attempted hit seems to invigorate Tony who is pretty sure he knows who was behind it all. All he needs is proof to start settling accounts. Written by garykmcd

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gangster

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Crime | Drama

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28 March 1999 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Just before the attempt on his life, Tony buys orange juice. In The Godfather (1972), Vito Corleone buys oranges before the attempt on his life. See more »

Goofs

When Tony is in the car speaking with Dr. Melfi, his cigarette goes from just-lit, to half-smoked, and back to larger size again. See more »

Quotes

Carmela Soprano: Tony, these kids need a father!
Tony Soprano: They got one, Tony Soprano!
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Cry
by Thornetta Davis
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User Reviews

 
Love and death, hand in hand
29 February 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Part of the appeal of The Sopranos is its ability to mix genres almost seamlessly. Case in point: the penultimate episode of Season One, part Italian-style romance, part American hard-boiled gangster story.

As a matter of fact, the two aspects are connected as they both influence the main driving force of this particular show: Tony's stress and medication-related loss of energy. He needs something to shake things up, to make him feel alive again. At first, he thinks he has found it in the shape of Isabella (Maria Grazia Cucinotta), a young, beautiful woman who is staying at Dr. Cusamano's while the latter is out of town with his family. Using their common ancestry as the first topic for a conversation, the depressed gangster enjoys Isabella's company, but that's still not good enough. No, what really gets his spirits up is a failed attempt on his life, sanctioned by his uncle: though badly wounded, Tony shoots both the aggressors and then drives away, the adrenalin pumping like crazy in a body that has just retrieved its life force.

This is a beautiful episode of the series: it sets the tone for the season finale to perfection, hints that some people might not live until the end of the show's run, and features one of the program's most charming guest stars - Cucinotta. Though she isn't known for anything else, even in Italy, but The Postman (the Massimo Troisi and Philippe Noiret-starring masterpiece, not the Kevin Costner flop), her brief, passionate turn as Isabella provides a lush, seductive look to the episode, a visual treat that is later counterbalanced by the sudden, quick brutality of the murder attempt (which contains another tasteful Godfather rip-off: Tony buys orange juice just before he becomes a target). The scenes featuring Isabella have an almost dream-like quality, albeit different from other episodes: whereas most dreams in the show are bad omens and populated by people Tony has more or less directly killed (as seen in The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti, for example, although that one involved Christopher), the protagonist's dealings with this gorgeous stranger from Naples have a calming effect on both the Soprano boss and the audience, before they're all brought back to the harsh reality of life in crime.

Whether it all was a dream or not is never fully explained (clues indicate either solution could be correct), another reason for watching this splendid show again and again.


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