As this article has touched on, the sad reality at the core of The Sopranos was that everyone who came into Tony Soprano’s orbit was eventually doomed, thanks to his sociopathic behaviour and mounting paranoia. Of all the characters in the show, Christopher and Adriana were the most tragic victims of this. As Christopher declares in this season five episode: “That’s the guy, Adriana. My Uncle Tony, the guy I’m going to hell for.”
Adriana had been working as a reluctant informant for the FBI since the third season, and up to this episode had been growing more anxious about being found out. When a murder goes down at her club, the Crazy Horse, the feds request that she wears a wire to help them investigate. At breaking point, she reveals to Christopher she’s a mole and begs him to run away with her. This scene isn’t an easy watch, but it’s a masterclass in both acting and writing - Christopher goes from brutal violence (almost strangling his girlfriend to death) to embracing Adriana in impassioned regret, all in the space of a few minutes. Christopher, apparently calmed down, leaves to clear his head and Adriana begins packing for their exodus. Maybe, just maybe - everything might turn out OK for this tragic couple.
Except, in the Sopranos universe, it’s never that easy. Adriana gets a call from Tony, who tells her Christopher is in hospital after a suicide attempt. Silvio picks her up, and after an unbearably tense car ride, it becomes clear that Tony’s right-hand man isn’t taking her to a hospital. They drive to the woods and thus begins arguably the most hard-hitting scene of the entire series. Sil drags a hysterical Adriana out of the car, she begs for her life, we hear the shots ring out and the camera cuts to the rustling leaves of the trees. In a rarity for the series the actual violence happens, but it remains the most shocking death of The Sopranos and the lasting image of the show’s finest hour.
Agree with this list? Which episode do you think is the best? Share your thoughts down in the comments.