The Sopranos: Season 5, Episode 8

Marco Polo (25 Apr. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
8.8
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 1,002 users  
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An uncomfortable party leads Tony and Carmela to a partial reconciliation, while cousin Tony gets an offer he decides not to refuse.

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Title: Marco Polo (25 Apr 2004)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Jennifer Melfi (credit only)
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Silvio Dante (credit only)
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Meadow Soprano (as Jamie-Lynn DiScala)
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Janice Soprano (credit only)
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Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri (as Steven R. Schirripa)
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Charmaine Bucco (as Katherine Narducci)
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Storyline

Carmela is planning a surprise 75th birthday party for her father. Carmela's snooty mother doesn't think it would be appropriate for Tony to attend but when her father hears of it - Uncle Junior gives away the surprise - he says he won't be there if Tony isn't. Tony is still waiting for Phil Leotardo to pay up from the sale of a racetrack and they have a run-in. At Johnny Sack's urging, Tony agrees to pay for the damage to Phil Leotardo's car. Phil is obviously going to be very fussy about the repairs however. Tony Blundetto is approached by some of Carmine Lupertazzi Jr.'s associate to make a hit on one of Johnny Sack's hookers. He declines but after deciding he's being traded badly, decides to take the job. There's more than one victim unfortunately. Written by garykmcd

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gangster

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Crime | Drama

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25 April 2004 (USA)  »

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Connections

Features La Dolce Vita (1960) See more »

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Jersey Bounce
(uncredited)
Written by Tiny Bradshaw, Eddie Johnson and Bobby Plater
Performed by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
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The beginning of the end
16 May 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Marco Polo is the fifth and last episode of The Sopranos that was written by actor Michael Imperioli, and in a way it represents a perfect closure for his "arc": the first show he wrote, From Where to Eternity, had a certain poetic beauty married to harrowing violence, and his final 52 minutes of screen writing for the best drama series ever produced combine the same two factors in that unique Sopranos fashion.

The lyrical side of the episode stems from the seeds of what appears to be a reconciliation between Tony and Carmela: after she left the inadequate Robert Wegler and saw her husband put up with a lot of humiliation at a party (Carm's mother was especially eager to show her contempt for the overweight crook), she begins to see him in a different light and wonder if she made the right choice leaving him.

The bloody part of the story, on the other hand, involves Cousin Tony who, disappointed for not rising fast enough in the family ranks, accepts Little Carmine's offer to whack an important associate of Johnny Sack as retaliation for a hit the latter sanctioned on Carmine's loan-shark a few episodes back. Of course, the outcome can't and won't be pretty.

As an actor, Imperioli knows when to be tender or rough, depending on the demands of the specific scene. As a writer, he displays the exact same skills in a gentler way, ensuring viewers will be moved by how the romantic part is taken care of and shocked by Tony B.'s return to crime, also pushing the dark comedy buttons when necessary. Consequently, Marco Polo is both sweet and tough, compelling and repulsive. Just like all things that constitute everyday life.


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