Season two wasn't The Sopranos' finest, but the finale searingly ended Vincent Pastore's storyline as Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero, Tony's good friend, captain and rat. Tortured by suspicion of Pussy, Tony has a dream in which he sees his friend, who will soon sleep with the fishes, as literally a fish on ice. The whole season has been an acting showcase for Pastore as the conflicted, trapped Pussy (recall his anguished breakdown in Tony's bathroom in "D-Girl"), but as Tony takes Pussy out for one last boat ride, James Gandolfini also shows how he can take his character from anger to sorrow to self-pity to brutal resignation with one well-inflected squint of Tony's piggy eyes. It's Tony's toughest hit and one he, and we, will never quite get over.
(Directed by John Patterson; written by David Chase and Todd A. Kessler)
Next Where's Johnny