The Sopranos (1999–2007)
8.6/10
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14 user 1 critic

Join the Club 

The family tries to cope with Tony's hospitalization and possibly impending death, while Tony begins to hallucinate a new life parallel to his own.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Jennifer Melfi (credit only)
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Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri (as Steven R. Schirripa)
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Storyline

Tony is in a coma in hospital after being shot by Uncle Junior who, with his deteriorating dementia, thought he was an intruder. Doctors are pessimistic and have told Carmela to prepare for the worse. Syl takes temporary charge of the family and with Tony's poor prognosis, sees himself as his natural heir. Carmela, Meadow, a somewhat reluctant AJ and several captains maintain a 24 hour vigil. As for Tony, he dreams he is a businessman on a trip to California. Unfortunately, he seems to have taken someones briefcase and wallet by mistake. He has no identification and only a small amount of cash on him. As a result of the mix-up everyone thinks he someone by the name of Finnerty, including two Tibetan monks who are dissatisfied with the heating and cooling system he sold them. Written by garykmcd

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gangster | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

19 March 2006 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ron Leibman (Dr. Lior Plepler) also plays a doctor on "Friends" (1994). He played Rachel's (Jennifer Aniston dad. See more »

Quotes

Psychologist: Repeat the following sentence: No ifs, ands or buts.
Corrado 'Junior' Soprano: I'll do it if I fuckin' feel like it. Take your ultimatums and stick it in your ass!
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Connections

Features The Invisible Man (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Smoke on the Water
(uncredited)
Written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice
Performed by Deep Purple
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User Reviews

 
Kev Infinity
20 May 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

To call this episode brilliant feels like too little. To say it keeps up the excellent work of the season premiere is reductive too, 'cause there's never been a far-from-great Sopranos episode so far. In fact, the title might be a smug invitation for those who aren't real fans yet: Join the Club...

Picking up where Junior left off (putting a bullet in his nephew's gut after mistaking him for a crook he killed in the first season), the story begins with Tony being absolutely fine. With no recollection whatsoever of what happened to him, he's attending some kind of convention. Only he's not speaking with his normal accent, and there seems to be something wrong with his papers: apparently, he is not Tony Soprano but Kevin Finnerty, or at least that's what a group of people think, and until the mess is sorted out he can't leave his hotel.

Naturally, in pure Sopranos tradition, that turns out to be nothing but a dream: Tony is actually in a coma, with the doctors uncertain regarding his fate, his family and friends worried sick and Junior refusing to believe the whole thing actually happened. Unfortunately it did, and Anthony Jr. looks willing to avenge the attempt on his father's life.

Dreams have popped up rather frequently in the series, often as some kind of spiritual trial for the protagonists (most notably in the Season Five show The Test Dream). Join the Club, however, takes the metaphysical qualities of the program, already hinted at by the previous episode's use of a William S. Burroughs poem, and pushes the envelope in the most audacious way: Tony hallucinating about his dead friends (the first occurrence of the sort was caused by food poisoning, four seasons ago) is one thing, him actually being in what would appear to be Purgatory is radically different. The "heavenly" section of the story is crammed with allegorical significances, not least the name Tony is given (as one character points out, spelling it in a certain way will give you the word "infinity"), and none of it comes off as overblown or far-fetched: David Chase has created a piece of work that is far too intelligent to use weird set-ups just for their own sake; it all helps the narrative. Talking about "help from above" in the case of Tony Soprano might be stretching it a tad, though.


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