46 Long (Season 1, Episode 2, The Sopranos)

Christopher Moltisanti and Brendan Filone meet with Tony Soprano

Christopher Moltisanti and Brendan Filone meet with Tony Soprano

Written by David Chase

Directed by Daniel Attias

In the first episode, Carmela tells Meadow “You can’t lie and cheat and break the rules you don’t like” to which Meadow responds with an accusing smirk.

Because we know, like Meadow, that Sopranos are lying and cheating and breaking the rules all the time.

46 Long, the second episode in season one, opens with the crew watching a TV show in which a former mobster is sharing insight on the state of organized crime.  The party is over, he proclaims.  While there has been pressure from law enforcement measures, the real problem lurks within: confusion, instability and disregard for the rules.

Much of this episode’s action is around the hijacking of trucks that are under Junior’s protection and the fallout that follows.  Christopher is working with meth using Brendan Filone and with information from an inside source, they hijack a truck carrying DVD players.  After Christopher has distributed DVDs to Tony and the crew, Junior finds out and asks Jackie Aprile (who we meet for the first time) for a sit down with Tony.  Jackie rules that the merchandise needs to be returned and restitution made to Junior.

Jacki Aprile rules in Junior Soprano's favor

Jacki Aprile rules in Junior Soprano’s favor

However, news from an insider at Comley Trucking alerts Brendan to a truck loaded with Italian suits.  Brendan brings the news to Christopher who initially agrees to make the heist.  When it comes time to go, a high and reflective Christopher backs out, citing that maybe the problem is that people don’t follow the rules.

Brendan goes ahead with the heist, bringing questionable and seemingly inexperienced guys with him and the driver of the truck is accidentally shot.

The undercurrent to all this is that in spite of Jackie’s ruling, in spite of Tony lecturing Christopher on leaving anything under Junior’s protection alone – all the DVD players don’t go back.  All the suits don’t go back.  Tony and his crew keep what they want.  Not a lot, but enough to call into question his respect for the rules.

Parental perception is also a big part of this episode.  In therapy, Tony describes Livia as a little old lady and Dr. Melfi quickly corrects him be saying Livia is very powerful with a “mystical ability to wreak havoc.”

There’s also the subplot of A.J.’s teacher’s stolen car.  Carmela presses Tony to look into it and see if there is a way to get the car back.  Since there doesn’t appear to be anything in it for Tony, he suggests that insurance will take care of it.  When Carmela shoots that down, he suggests that Mr. Miller can get a second job.  Only when he finds out that A.J. is getting a D+ in science, does he decide to step in.  The idea being that his efforts might result in better grade for A.J.

This little subplot gives the viewer a comedic search for the perpetrators as Big Pussy and Paulie start scouring the corporate franchise coffee shops for leads.

At the end of the episode, A.J. Soprano declares “My dad’s a hero,” when a stolen Saturn (not the original) of his science teacher, Mr. Miller, miraculously reappears in the teacher’s parking lot.

Poor You

We hear Livia say “Poor you!” for the first time.

Dr. Melfi asks Tony, “Can you admit to yourself that you’re sad, but that you have feelings of anger and rage?  It needs to be acknowledged.”  Tony uses surrogates for his anger and rage throughout this episode.  He’s angry at Junior, but takes it out on Mikey; he’s angry at Livia but takes it out on Georgie; he’s angry at Christopher but takes it out on Brendan.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Livia Soprano stares down the director at Green Grove

Livia Soprano stares down the director at Green Grove

Carmela suggests several options to Livia:  Green Grove, someone to come in and help at the house, or to come and live with her and Tony.  However, when Tony’s talking to Melfi, he says that it is Carmela who won’t let Livia come and live at the house.  Interesting that Tony puts this on Carmela.

Later when Livia is being admitted to Green Grove, she fixes the most malevolent, unblinking stare at the facility director.  Not a word is spoken but is reveals so much about Livia.  While she truly is being placed in luxury accommodations – she is defiant and out to punish.

Echoes

One of the most criticized episodes of The Sopranos is ‘Christopher’ in Season 4, which cast a spotlight on ethnic pride and, the other side of the coin, prejudice.  Bigotry and keeping to one’s own people is a recurring theme in the Sopranos (Meadow dating Noah, ‘Unidentified Black Males,’ for example).  In this episode we have poor Perilynn, who has been hired to take care of Livia, referred to as a “smoke” by Junior.  Tony pulls her aside to give her the message of ‘no ganja during working hours’ and the expression on her face says it all.

The scene where Livia’s kitchen catches on fire reminds me of an upcoming disaster involving Janice and Richie Aprile.

Favorite Quotes:

“You wanna be scathed?”  Christopher Moltisanti

“I’m fucking Rockford over here…” Salvatore ‘Big Pussy’ Bonpensiero

“Oh, again with the rape of the culture?  Can we go find these spice girls already and get this over with?’  Salvatore ‘Big Pussy’ Bonpensiero

“In my thoughts I use the technique of positive visualization.”  Christopher Moltisanti

“This is not a nursing home.  It is a retirement community.”  Carmela Soprano

“Everybody know you run things since Jackie became kemo sabe.”  Brendan Filone

“Of course it’s available – someone died!”  Livia Soprano

“And, uh the driver…you know…I dunno…he caught some friendly fire or something…” Christopher Moltisanti

“I know seniors that are inspired and inspiring.”  Dr. Jennifer Melfi/Tony Soprano

Further Reading:

The Sopranos (Season 1, Episode 1, The Sopranos)

Denial, Anger, Acceptance (Season 1, Episode 3, The Sopranos)

AV Club – http://www.avclub.com/articles/46-longdenial-anger-acceptance,41997/

Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/46_Long

Watch along with me – you can purchase the DVD set at Amazon (affiliate link):
The Sopranos: The Complete First Season

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