Thursday, 25 October 2012

Great TV Moments #2: Bobby Baccalieri Sr. does one last job

Tony and Bobby Sr. have a little chat.

Bobby Baccalieri Sr. (Burt Young) made one appearance in The Sopranos. And it was a memorable one at that. Dying from lung cancer, the fragile elder Baccalieri undertakes a hit on orders from Tony to kill Mustang Sally, his godson. It must be noted that this storyline is not of any significant relevance to the seasons main story arc (other than building Bobby's relationship with his father and his feelings about Tony). However, what this scene does is contain all the hallmarks of what makes The Sopranos probably the greatest television show ever made. It is a scene that is brutally violent, yet darkly humourous as Bobby Sr. takes out these two goons in a brutally improvised fashion. It's a terrifically tense scene, where the ailing Bobby Sr. fights two younger, stronger, but far less clever men. It culminates in the seemingly pleasant old man taunting an injured Carlos before killing him. Old habits die hard for Bobby Sr. who then celebrates with a cigarette. Of course, as only The Sopranos would do, to suffer a heart attack afterwards while driving home is the show at its dark hearted best. Moments of dark humour and violence have never been mixed so well, especially on television. While it's of no great significance to the overall plot-line, it is what made The Sopranos such a joy to watch (see the episode Pine Barrens for further reference), the ability of the show to go on tangents and to bring in smaller characters and make them fully realised and enjoyable while never sacrificing the main ensemble. This self-contained segment mixed with wicked humour and gratuitous violence makes it a memorable moment (one of many) in The Sopranos legacy.

Carlos interrupts Bobby Sr. and ruins his plan. Whoops.

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