Pod Yourself A Gun’s Sopranos rewatch continues with episode 15 (season 2, episode 2), “Do Not Resuscitate.” First aired January 23rd, 2000, this episode sees Tony deal with a race strike at one of his construction sites, Livia dealing with Janice, and Livia being caught in the web of one of her own manipulations (or is she??). Oh, and we also get the first appearance of Tony’s long-suffering punching bag, Bobby Baccalá, and find out that Big Pussy Bonpensiero actually is working with the Feds after all.
If Godfather was “the mafia is capitalism” and Gotti was “the government are da real gangstas,” this episode of the Sopranos is more like “your family is the mafia” and “your mother is the real gangster.” I watch all the episodes at least twice for this show, and this one probably gained the most so far from the second viewing. “Do Not Resuscitate” is easily the most subtle Sopranos episode up until this point and arguably one of the most subtle of any episode. As such, there’s lots to debate and discuss!
Do we believe, for instance, as Matt Zoller-Seitz speculates, that it was Livia who told Junior that the director of the Green Grove Retirement Community was spreading Sopranos secrets? And that when Junior told Tony and got the guy whacked, which became an excuse for Livia not to go back there, did she become the victim of her own plans, and thus the choking sequence when she found out about it? This is by far the most complex “fan theory” I will ever engage with but in this case I think it actually might be true.
Our guest this week is Alison Stevenson, wonderful comedian and long-time friend of the pod who also has her own podcast about relationships and a Wednesday night gig on Adult Swim. As always, please enjoy this episode, and if you don’t, va fongool.