The Sopranos: Season 3, Episode 2

Proshai, Livushka (4 Mar. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama
8.7
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Livia dies of a stroke, bringing the family together one more time for the funeral where old tensions resurface.

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(as Tim Van Patten)

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Title: Proshai, Livushka (04 Mar 2001)

Proshai, Livushka (04 Mar 2001) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Cast

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Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri (as Steven R. Schirripa)
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Storyline

Tony is stressed and having to deal with a number of problems. Big garbage collecting contracts are up and several crews want a bigger share of the pie. As well, he's afraid his mother may testify against him in the stolen airline tickets scam. When Meadow comes home with a classmate to get some work done Tony takes an immediate disliking to the young man who describes himself as Jewish and African-American. Tony gets a reprieve on at least one front when they get the news that his mother Livia has died. He's torn between jumping for joy and maintaining a proper sense of loss. He insists that Janice return from Seattle assuring her there will be no problem with the Richie Aprile issue. She comes back reluctantly but soon decides to have a proper funeral for Livia, even though the dead woman specifically requested there be none. When Janice asks people at the wake to say something nice about their dealings with Livia no one has much to say. Carmela lays it on the line however. At ... Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

4 March 2001 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nancy Marchand passed away before the third season began filming. Writer David Chase decided there should be one final conversation with Tony before Livia dies. Dialogue from previous episodes was pieced together for Livia's half of the conversation, and state-of-the-art CGI effects were used to place old footage of her face on a body double. The effect cost about $250,000, and took two weeks to put together. Chase was inspired by seeing the same effect used in Gladiator (2000) with Oliver Reed.

Unfortunately, this was a difficult process and the part of Livia's hair moves from one side of her head to another and the lighting on her face doesn't match the light of the room or the other characters in the room with her. See more »

Goofs

During the first shot of Tony lying on the kitchen floor there are several blood stains on the floor and an opened package of cheese can be seen on the counter. During the rewind shot there are no blood stains anymore and the opened cheese package isn't on the counter. See more »

Quotes

[Tony disapproves of Meadow's new boyfriend because he is black]
Carmela Soprano: If you want her to be with him, just keep playing the race card. You're gonna drive her right into his arms.
Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: Not if I cut off those fuckin' arms.
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Connections

References Little Caesar (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Your Captain
Written by Mark Farner
Performed by Grand Funk Railroad
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User Reviews

 
Goodbye, Nancy
21 April 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Nancy Marchand certainly knew how to pick her TV roles: she won four Emmys for playing Mrs. Pynchon on Lou Grant, appeared on Cheers as Frasier Crane's mother and ended her career with the first two seasons of The Sopranos, for which she won a Golden Globe and received her last two Emmy nominations. Unfortunately, she passed away before production on the show's third season had begun, requiring David Chase to revise the whole outline for the series (originally Series 3 was centered around the possibility of Livia Soprano testifying against her son in court).

As such, the episode opens with one last scene between Tony and his mother (the sequence was achieved with CGI trickery), before cutting to the boss suffering another panic attack. The trigger of the event, however, is not Livia but Meadow's new boyfriend, whom Tony despises for being half African-American and half Jewish. He doesn't have much time to express his anger, though, as the family soon receives a call announcing Livia's death. New problems ensue at the funeral, as Janice (Aida Turturro) initially refuses to show up out of fear she might be arrested (she famously murdered her crazy lover Richie Aprile in Episode 25) and tensions manifest between Tony and one of his captains, the potentially dangerous Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano).

It is the latter character who somehow dominates the events of Season 3 (and 4, for that matter), spitting obscenities at whoever he pleases and caring absolutely nothing about the consequences of his actions. Pantoliano, no stranger to villainous roles (The Matrix and Memento above all), retrieves the cheekier side he showed in comedies like Risky Business and Midnight Run and merges it with a latent psychosis that helps craft an instantly compelling colorful persona.

At the end of it all, though, the episode is entirely in Marchand's hands, despite the fact she was already dead when it was filmed. Okay, so her "final scene" looks quite bad (you can tell it's a lookalike on whom a digital image of the actress has been superimposed), but the energy, wit and cruelty Marchand displayed in 26 episodes as the calculating Soprano matriarch more than make up for that one flaw, lending the central section of Proshai, Livushka ("Farewell, little Livia" in Russian) an almost solemn atmosphere. A fitting goodbye to an excellent actress.


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