The Sopranos: Season 6, Episode 1

Members Only (12 Mar. 2006)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Crime, Drama
9.0
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 1,760 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

Gene Pontecorvo makes a final break from the mob life, while Junior's paranoid delusions could be the end of Tony.

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(as Tim Van Patten)

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(created by),
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Title: Members Only (12 Mar 2006)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri (as Steven R. Schirripa)
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Dan Grimaldi ...
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Storyline

Johnny Sack is in prison awaiting his trial and trying to run his crime family through Phil Leotardo. Hesh's son-in-law is badly beaten by some of Phil's men who thought he was encroaching on their territory. Hesh demands compensation. One of Tony's good earners, Gene Pontecorvo, inherits $2 million from an old aunt and asks Tony for permission to retire. Tony's obviously cool to the request and says he'll think about. When Syl tells him it can't be done, Gene feels trapped and can see only one way out. Ray Curto dies without anyone knowing that he was an informant for the FBI. Carmela's house project isn't going too well after her father uses sub-grade material and an inspector issue a stop-work order. Uncle Junior's dementia is getting worse and when his nurse has to leave unexpectedly, Tony finds himself as the only one available to sit with him. It's a decision that may prove deadly. Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

12 March 2006 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Edie Falco, James Gandolfini fell asleep on the bed several times during the shooting of the first few episodes of Season 6. See more »

Quotes

Vito Spatafore: I'll tell ya, one of the best things about droppin' the weight? All new wardrobe. I keep it up I'm gonna need Clothing Anonymous.
Raymond Curto: You shoulda called your sponsor before you bought that jacket.
Vito Spatafore: [to Eugene] Look at this guy. Members Only? How long you been wearin' that?
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Connections

Features Paths of Glory (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Abduction from the Saraglio
(uncredited)
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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User Reviews

 
Bang!
19 May 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Two years after the end of Season Five, The Sopranos came back to the small screen with the first half of the final batch of episodes (12 eps aired in 2006, the other 9 the following year). The 21-month gap might have been excessive for some fans, but the long wait is justified by one simple fact: Members Only is the show's best season opener. Ever.

Instead of the usual shots of the Sopranos' driveway and Tony picking up the newspaper, we get a two-minute recap of what has happened to some major characters: Meadow is still dating Finn, AJ has grown longer hair and is turning more rebellious than usual, Bobby and Janice have a baby, Eugene Pontecorvo has inherited a considerable amount of cash and Vito Spatafore has lost a remarkable lot of weight. All of this is played to a text (by William S. Burroughs, according to Empire) that somehow describes exactly what we are watching. How it fits in isn't immediately clear, but given the hallucinatory nature of Burroughs' prose, perhaps the inclusion of his work indicates the metaphysical aspect of the series, exemplified by Drea de Matteo's dream sequence cameo, will be highlighted in early episodes of Season Six.

Amidst all the happiness implied in the prologue lies a darker reality: though Tony and Carmela are happily back together, there' still the issue of Uncle Junior, whose Alzheimer's is getting worse day after day. In addition, Eugene wants to move to Florida, something that Tony won't accept, not knowing his employee is doing so because he is an FBI informant. Plus, Johnny Sack is languishing in jail following his arrest in the Season Five finale (from which Tony narrowly escaped), meaning his crew is run by the psychotic Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent), who still holds a grudge against Tony for how the Blundetto situation was dealt with and shows it by having his men harass Hesh (Jerry Adler), Tony's Jewish associate.

Some critics said the first part of the last season was weaker than previous ones, maybe because they were expecting the premiere to introduce the main plot of the entire series, which it doesn't. But hey, since when does "different" mean "weaker"? And besides, given the dark climax of the previous season, one might forgive Members Only for being more low-key. That is, until the downright startling final minutes, the most effective reminder of why the show is so loved all over the world. It's a beautiful, absurdly terrifying epilogue that makes the writer's point quite clearly: Season Six ain't gonna be a light affair. Salute.


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