The HBO Sopranos is a famous 90s television series about Tony Soprano’s reign as the “general” of the New Jersey mob. The series has an infinite amount of graphic sex and violence, realistically revealing the cynical nature and brutality of the dying mob era and how it affects the lives of others when they are caught in the crossfire.
Along with the incredible cast and twisted, twisting story that could last forever, this show has no shortage of scenes that will shock and horrify, even when no one’s head is on the cutting board.
10 Anthony Jr. tries to commit suicide
At first, AJ is shy and sweet, and relatively harmless until, fed up with being bullied, he chooses violence and manipulation as a means of gaining control, just like his father. He spirals out of control as a young adult, turning to drugs and partying, privileged enough that no one flinches (except Carmella, whom he chides and ignores).
AJ becomes seriously depressed after being dumped, and his relationship with Tony pushes him over the edge. He subsequently tries to take his own life, but thankfully, Tony hears his cries for help and saves him before he can drown.
9 Tony’s alternate life in a coma
During his hauntingly intense fight for life after a serious gunshot wound to the stomach, Tony falls into a coma. Tony imagines that he is living another life as a salesman who accidentally loses his briefcase in exchange for another man. Having lost all of his personal information and identification, he is stranded and has to find a way back home to his family.
One misfortune happens after another, including the diagnosis of early-onset dementia. What makes the sequences even weirder is the pitch shift and hearing Tony Soprano without his heavy New Jersey accent.
8 Ralph’s son is shot by an arrow
A dark moment shows that anyone associated with the mob is always prone to violence, even if it is random. Two young boys play with bows and arrows and Ralph’s young son is shot in the chest.
To everyone’s surprise, the boy is still alive and on life support, causing Ralph to fall into a depression when he was told that his son could never function again on his own if he recovered.
7 How Ade reacts to being forced to play for the FBI
Adriana, Christopher’s girlfriend turned fiancee, is a fan favorite due to her loving spirit, harmlessness, and overall friendly nature that thwarts Christopher’s selfishness and arrogance. She also has a loyalty to the family, despite her lack of real involvement beyond running the club where they have an office, making her a target of the FBI.
One of her new friends reveals himself to her as an undercover agent, and Adriana is tricked, threatened with prison if she fails to give them the information they want. Terrified, overwhelmed and on the verge of having a nervous breakdown, Adriana responds with a projectile that vomits her lunch onto the table, covering herself and the officers.
6 Dr. Melfi is attacked and how Tony is involved
When Dr. Melfi is personally attacked in the parking lot where she works, she is bruised, injured to the point of needing a cane, and traumatized. Trying to do justice for the horrible thing they did to him, Melfi recognizes his attacker in a restaurant as one of the workers. She goes to the police, only to be told that he will go free on a technicality.
She tells Tony that she was in a car accident at her next therapy session, and Tony is understanding, causing Melfi to burst into tears. Tony tries to comfort her and asks her what’s wrong. Although Melfi knows quite well that Tony can do justice rather than enforce the law, he shows incredible self-control here, knowing that getting involved in Tony’s personal affairs as a mobster would not only be crossing the line, but also morally wrong.
5 Junior shoots Tony
At the end of the penultimate season, Junior is shocked when Tony walks into his house, prompting him to shoot him. Who knew he would actually do it, although the reasons why he shot Tony were frequently discussed and disputed in the following season.
Junior and Tony’s relationship was difficult and they eventually broke up as the two leaders clashed. However, they would try to make it up every time because they were family (Junior was Tony’s uncle). Junior was diagnosed with cancer prior to the shooting, which likely affected and advanced his onset of dementia. After being incarcerated for the act, Junior continued to deny that he ever intended to shoot Tony.
4 Tony faces Junior for the last time
Tony recovers from Junior’s near fatal gunshot wound. He, Carmella, and everyone else except one of his captains and his brother-in-law Bobby believe that Junior did the act out of anguish for Tony and legitimately tried to kill him. In the time between Tony’s shooting and the visit, Junior had been imprisoned and placed in a mental ward, where he will remain for the rest of his life, and his dementia worsened.
When Tony sees Junior for the last time on the show, he realizes how far away he is as he cannot identify Tony. Feeling somewhat understanding seeing how helpless Junior has become, Tony grants Junior one last good thought, while lying to him and telling Junior that he is his son. This makes Junior happy and Tony leaves.
3 Dream sequences
It is not easy to choose which of Tony’s dream sequences is the most extreme. Dealing with all the horrible things Tony has done in his life, he traverses strange landscapes and often talks to the dead (that is, those he has killed). In the flu fever dream, the line between reality and nightmare is blurred as you chat with a fish, admitting that Salvatore is an FBI rat.
In other dreams, he explores his ego and sources of discontent, even as a child. Your subconscious recounts the repressed fear and disorientation that your life and work involve, often ranging from the confusing and funny to the downright terrifying.
two Tony and Carmella’s violent fight before divorcing
It’s no secret that the Soprano family, as happy as they may seem on the surface, is deeply troubled, thanks to their privileges, lifestyle choices, and Tony’s physical and verbal abuse. Often times, Meadow and Carmella even say that he would never lay a hand on their family, when it is very obvious that he has, pushing Carmella and her son AJ against the walls and threatening them.
His dysfunction comes to a head when the strained marriage begins to unravel and Carmella is contacted by one of Tony’s mistresses. Carmella is fed up with the cycle of abuse she is trapped in and eventually confronts Tony in a screaming match. She files for a divorce and tells Tony to leave the house, which, surprisingly, she does after a violent and terrifying rampage.
1 The end (“Don’t stop believing”)
When the Soprano family gathers in a restaurant for a nice dinner, the iconic Journey song plays as the moment heats up and audiences get the feeling that something terrible is going to happen in the last moments of the show. When someone, presumably Meadow, walks through the door, Tony looks up and the screen goes black for a long period of time. The credits roll.
The ending is chilling, leading many to believe that Tony was shot dead, although, in reality, it is never shown or even hinted at. The moment is incredible and amazing, and an experience that no other television show will be able to easily bring to its audience.
NEXT: Ranked: Every Major Death In The Sopranos
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