Episode 15 “Do Not Resuscitate”

“You tell that fat fuck Baccala, you tell to come out from his mouse hole, I wanna see him tomorrow.” Episode 15 marks the first appearance of a key Soprano character, Bobby Baccalieri. Through his own misfortune, Bobby inherits care of Corrado “Junior” Soprano, and thus the Bobby / Junior era of The Sopranos begins.

First Appearance Of Bobby Baccala - At Satriale's No Less

It’s great to see Bobby start out so low on the totem pole, knowing by the final season that he’ll make his way up the ladder, nearing the ranks of Tony Soprano himself (but not quite). From Tony’s first mention of Bobby, we can tell that Tony just despises him for some reason. It seems that like Vin Makazian before him, Bobby will become Tony Soprano’s new punching back, cracking jokes & disrespecting him with every chance he gets, no matter how good Bobby’s intentions are.

Janice And Her Piece Of Shit Car

I find it a bit ironic that Tony loves busting balls on Bobby & Janice, and they will eventually end up together. Coincidence that two of the people that annoy Tony Soprano the most end up together (a bit further down the line, circa Season 4)?

Junior Soprano In The Can

Through the scene that Bobby is introduced, the writers also find a way to tell us how things will now be run in The Soprano clan, with Tony Soprano acting as street boss while Junior Soprano will retain his stripes in prison & on trial. Another great quote is born from this episode as Junior reminds Tony, “Things could’ve gone the other way, my little nephew.”

Skip Picks Up Pussy From The Hospital, Little Do We Know That He's Not Just One Of The Guys

Another big man who we’re introduced to in this episode is Skip Lipari. The writers introduce skip to us as if he’s another made man, but he’s actually Big Pussy’s FBI agent. Turns out Vin Makazian was right all along. Now just when we think Pussy is squealin’ to the feds, he’s also lying to Skip, telling him that Tony Soprano doesn’t know he’s back yet. It seems that Pussy still has some allegiance left to Tony Soprano at this point, but he’s treading in very shallow waters.

Pussy & Skip Go For A Drive

Skip mentions to Pussy that “Jimmy Altieri ate the pill for you.” Again possibly alluding to the theory that Jimmy Altieri wasn’t actually a rat (the line could go either way), but this is never confirmed. However what is confirmed in this scene is that Big Pussy has been talkin’ to the feds since ’98 (which covers the timeline of every episode of The Sopranos since season one, circa 1999).

Janice Soprano's Plans Are About To Go Into Full Effect

Tony Soprano may constantly proclaim that his mother is dead to him this season, but little does he know that both he & Livia share the same outlook on Janice Soprano. They both can see right through Janice and question her true intentions for being back in town. It’s funny how much alike Tony & Livia can be at certain times. What’s even funnier is that Janice manages to get her way with both Tony and Livia this episode, finding their soft sides and easing her way in to where she wants to be. Livia is right when she calls Janice a snake.

Could Be The First & Last Time We'll Ever See Livia Soprano Smile

Foreshadowing: Janice talks to Meadow and recalls that Livia Soprano is into old records. This storyline will play out more prevalently in Season 3, but in this episode it produces the happiest moment that we’ll probably ever see Livia Soprano enjoy. When Janice plays the records for Livia in her hospital room, Janice appears as an angel to her mother. The illusion won’t last for long.

Let The Ball Busting Begin

Video: You’ll notice at the bottom of this post I added a video, I like to post my favorite scene from each episode. I really enjoyed this one because not only is Tony’s ball busting on Bobby Baccala hilarious, but Tony mentions to Bobby to “seriously consider salads” and the next scene cuts directly to a salad. Subtle, but very well done. This is one of the few times we ever hear Bobby say something back to Tony (albeit behind his back). The tension between Tony Soprano & Bobby Baccalieri was there from the start. You’ll have to wait until the final season for the culmination of their encounters to ‘erupt’ (‘Soprano Home Movies’).

A Moment Between Old Friends

Later, Tony Soprano complains to Big Pussy about Bobby Baccala, mentioning you can’t find anybody good anymore, citing problems with either the feds, drugs, or guys being too young and not taking orders. The irony in this conversation being that Bobby Baccala will become one of Tony Soprano’s most trusted men and Big Pussy is the one who’s already flipped to the feds.

Livia Loves Her Obituaries

Did you ever notice how¬† Livia Soprano is constantly reading the obituaries? It’s as if death is constantly on her mind and she’s fascinated with it. Sounds like an unhealthy obsession to me.

Janice Soprano's Fantasy

In a questionable scene, Livia asks Janice where she placed her money. Some might suspect this was Livia acting crazy, however she could have also been just trying to mess with Janice’s head. Right away the cut to an imaginary sign of Livia falling down the steps seems to be a fantasy that Janice is experiencing in her mind of killing her own mother. Here we have Janice & Tony sharing the same feelings about their mother, although both have different reasons. Either way, Livia’s mind games definitely worked; in Season 3 after Livia has passed, Janice continuously searches Livia’s basement for hidden money, but never finds a penny.

Tony Carries Junior Off Into The Night

Tony Soprano interacts with Uncle Junior as if he never tried to have him killed, yet when Junior pleads with Tony to forgive his mother, Tony won’t budge. Tony feels that Livia played Junior and she was really the one who wanted him killed. In a touching moment, Tony carries Uncle Joon out to the car, after he hurt his back and fell down in the shower. Junior goes from jail, to house arrest, and to the hospital, in a single episode.

Final thoughts: The episode title, ‘Do Not Resuscitate’, is spoken from a nurse to Janice Soprano, about whether anything should be done, should Livia Soprano’s health get worse. Jack Massarone made his first appearance in this episode, although he’s quite a minor character. I enjoyed the sub-plot of how Tony was playing Jack Massarone & at the same time he was in cahoots with Reverend James, Jr, arranging protests and having his crew go and break them up. One last thing I’d like to note, this episode marks the first non-appearance of Dr. Jennifer Melfi.