Callbacks, similarities and other bits…
- The episode features some neat visual/thematic contrasts and similarities: Melfi subconsciously changes from her tan outfit to a black one after Tony slightly expresses how he’s interested in her — Christopher, feeling unappreciated, sits far away from the gang — Tony stands at the crossroads, literally and figuratively, between his uncle’s interest and protecting Vesuvio — Tension could break at any moment between Tony and Artie if the truth about the restaurant fire were revealed. This situation is amazingly captured in the shot by the grill which puts a visual barrier between them — Highlighted parallels (referenced throughout dialogue) exist between the two nights Tony takes his comare and Carmela to the same restaurant.
- With future repercussions in mind, notice the way Tony comforts and reassures both Chris and Artie — The lighting in Bada Bing, Stugots and later in the church with Meadow work amazingly to merge the two distinct sides of Tony’s life — Notice how while Artie and Charmaine discuss getting mixed up with the mafia they eventually get to the same spot where Junior was eating — The look of helplessness and uncertainty on Livia’s face after Corrado suggests taking care of Tony, mirrors Adriana’s knowledge of her inevitable death; they both know what’s coming.
- “Daughters are better at taking care of their mothers than sons.” – yeah, wait till Janice gets there.
- “I saw The Birds last week on cable. You think that planted the idea?” – Ducks and encyclopedias aren’t the only bird instances that make appearances in the pilot. Also speaking of birds, let’s not forget the crow that brings uneasiness to Chris’ ceremony.
- Drea de Matteo (later playing Adriana) makes a cameo appearance as a hostess.
Next: Little Crossovers…