Pod Yourself A Gun 7: AJ Steals The Church Wine, With Justin Halpern

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This week on Pod Yourself A Gun, the podcast where we watch and discuss every episode of The Sopranos, we’re talking episode seven, “Down Neck,” which originally aired February 21, 1999. Our guest is esteemed TV and book writer Justin Halpern (Shit My Dad Says, I Suck At Girls, Powerless, iZombie, Surviving Jack, the upcoming Harley Quinn series).

In this episode, AJ steals the sacramental wine and gets diagnosed with possible ADD, and ends up revealing to his grandmother, Livia, the fact that Tony is seeing a psychiatrist. Which Livia says is “nothing but a racket for the Jews.”

Among other things, this episode was the only episode of the Sopranos directed by a woman. It was also the first ever screen credit for future Creed star Michael B. Jordan. It consists partly of flashbacks to Tony’s childhood in Newark in 1967 — incidentally, the reported setting of the upcoming Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints Of Newark.

Tony will be played by his son, Michael Gandolfini in the film, which is interesting considering Gandolfini is 19, and in this episode, with the flashbacks set in the same year, the actor who plays Tony is about 10. Madone, talk about a discrepanzool, am I right??

Incidentally, the actor who plays Tony in this episode, Bobby Boriello, also played young Howard Stern in Private Parts and young Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon.

In any case, we dive into all the episode’s issues, including weird flashbacks and bad ADR, and we bring back all your favorite recurring segments, Bada B Stories, Gabba Vafongool, Malapropism Corner, It’s the 90s, and the Wayback Machine — that’s where we travel back to 1999 and see how mean people were to Monica Lewinsky. Enjoy, and don’t stop believin!

Enjoy and please give us a review and rating on iTunes! (Unless you hate it, in which case don’t do that).

Related Links:


Gene Siskel’s final film review, for She’s All That (he died the night before this episode aired)