Declan Lynch: Sublime 'Sopranos' never dumbed down
The drama was of such high quality it demanded its audience keep up its standards too.
Towards the end of an episode in the fourth series of The Sopranos, Tony is driving at night, listening to the sweet sound of the Chi-Lites on the radio. The song, Oh Girl, clearly has some meaning for him – maybe it brings him back to something in his youth, maybe it's just the beauty of the song itself. Whatever it is, Tony starts to cry.
The brutal "waste management consultant" is actually crying at a song on the radio as he parks the car and goes into a house where he finds the crooked assemblyman Zellman with an ex-girlfriend of Tony's called Irina.
Though he knew that Zellman, played by Peter Riegert, had something going on with Irina, he had not wanted to find him there, wearing shorts and sitting on the side of the bed. Now enraged, Tony takes off his belt, and proceeds to whip the wretched Zellman with it. As the assemblyman cowers on the bedroom floor, Tony eventually decides that he has had enough.