The Sopranos: Season 1, Episode 4

Meadowlands (31 Jan. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
9.0
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Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Jackie's death leaves a power vacuum, Brendan's death leaves Chris fearing for his life, and Anthony's discovery of what his father really does leaves him confused.

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Title: Meadowlands (31 Jan 1999)

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Randall Curtin
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Storyline

With Brendan dead, Christopher isn't sure exactly who is after him. When he realizes it was Uncle Junior, he's prepared to start a war. Tony meets his uncle but with Jackie Aprile on his last legs, there is little room for compromise. When Jackie dies, the capos want Tony to take over but he has another idea, one that he thinks will still leave him in charge. At school, AJ has a strange encounter with a classmate. His sister Meadow clues him in to exactly what their father does for a living. Tony begins to have erotic dreams about his psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi, and gets a broken down cop on the take to keep tabs on her. He oversteps, just a little. Written by garykmcd

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gangster | See All (1) »

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Crime | Drama

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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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31 January 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, you can hear Darren McGavin 's voice on a TV from an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974). "Sopranos" creator David Chase had once worked as a writer on "Kolchak", as he had on The Rockford Files (1974), also mentioned in a previous episode. See more »

Goofs

When Adriana and Chris pick up Meadow from school, it's clear in an exterior shot of her SUV that Drea de Matteo is not behind the wheel, but her stunt double is. This is also obvious because in the close-up shots De Matteo is wearing sun glasses, while in the long shots, the stunt double is not. See more »

Quotes

Christopher Moltisanti: This is "Scarface", final scene, bazookas under each arm, "say hello to my little friend!"
Silvio Dante: Always with the scenarios.
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Connections

References Scarface (1983) See more »

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Prisoner of Love
(uncredited)
Composed by Russ Columbo, Clarence Gaskill, Leo Robin
Performed by Perry Como
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User Reviews

 
Father and son dynamics
21 February 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

After three episodes bathed in occasional, casual brutality, Meadowlands represents a bit of a departure, with no blood and the only death being that of Jackie Aprile (Michael Rispoli), who succumbs to cancer and leaves the New Jersey crew without a leader. Tony is more shocked than most people by the event, and discloses the reason to Dr. Melfi: he isn't much older than Jackie, meaning he might die just like that in the near future. Christopher, on the other hand, is completely paranoid after being beaten up by Uncle Junior's henchmen and loses it completely after finding the corpse of his friend Brendan Filone. Completing the series of complex emotions is Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler), uncertain and bewildered after his sister has told him what their father really does for a living.

The title of this low-key episode might derive from the name of Tony's daughter, Meadow, and that is justified by the fact that her role is central to the plot: Christopher thinks Brendan carked it because Soprano Sr. found out they sold drugs to Meadow in the previous show, and it is the "perfect daughter" who lets in her younger brother on the family's biggest secret. These two plot threads also mark the perfect example of how David Chase and the writing team craft the supporting characters with care: Chris and his girlfriend Adriana (Drea de Matteo, originally a nameless waitress in the pilot) have, starting with Episode 3, proved to be more than just another wise-guy and his mistress, while A.J., a mere brat in the show's early moments, is starting to transform into a more layered, dramatic figure - it is testament to the brilliant script and the sharp performances that the relationship between the smarter Meadow and the more naive Anthony emerges as more solid than the usual teen siblings bond.

But let's not forget Gandolfini: a master of visceral violence, he gets to show Tony's softer side in Meadowlands, and the result is quite astonishing, never more so than he tearfully raises his glass in Jackie's honor and pays his respects with a heartfelt "Buon' anima". In addition, his facial expression is what truly makes the final scene extraordinary. Without revealing anything, I can say it cleverly subverts one of horror cinema's most iconic images: this time, it ain't the kid that's bad...


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