7/10 Breaking the tradition of odd numbered seasons falling short of their mark, “The Sopranos” penultimate season isn’t as strong as seasons two and four, but was a solid season that ends on a high note and prepares us as we head into the final season, which is roughly a third longer than every other season (21 episodes instead of the usual 13). As for the minor problems this season had, let’s get those out of the way first. The subplots involving the Soprano children (Meadow and AJ) were the weakest this season as they just felt uninteresting compared to what they’ve been up to in past seasons. In episode 11, “The Test Dream”, a dream sequence goes on for an extremely long amount of time and it started to drag after a while and become redundant. One subplot with Tony and Adriana felt a little out of place since there had never been any previous connection between them that is hinted at around episode five. Minor complaints aside, there is a lot to love about season five. Newcomer Steve Buscemi plays Tony’s cousin (also named Tony) and he is a welcome addition to the cast this season. I loved how the plot is always moving forward with occasional flashbacks into Tony’s childhood/past to further develop his character and make his scenes with his therapist more exciting. There are some character deaths this season and one of them was pretty shocking, which I loved that David Chase and co. had the balls to include. The writing remains top notch with character development, plot progression, dark humor, etc. Moments from previous seasons or episodes get call backs that come about naturally and never feel forced in. Although I missed Furio this season, it was nice to see a subplot with Carmela change things up for her character. Elements like the soundtrack and acting continue to be inspired and first rate. The pacing works well and despite a slight lull midway through the season, the beginning and ending of this season are phenomenal. A complaint I had last season involving Adriana and the FBI gets properly taken care of and becomes one of the best facets of this season. As I stated previously, the final season is longer in length compared to the first five seasons and I am honestly not sure why season six wasn’t in the ballpark of 11 episodes and then given a final seventh season at the same length. Regardless, the final season will have more than ample time to end on a high note so I can go watch “The Many Saints of Newark”. Season five is another strong entry in “The Sopranos” that if you enjoyed the first four seasons, you are going to want to continue on with what has turned into a pretty epic crime saga by now.

#DirectorsColdCut / #ASpouseDivided / #OnlyFrans / #StrokesChokesAndTwoSmokingPerils / #BossLevel2 / #TheDirtyCousin

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