“So remember, get all of your academic and extracurricular ducks in a row. Leave nothing to chance.” The college recruiter speaks this line, just as David Scatino (played by Robert Patrick) steps up and walks out of the classroom in the opening scene, the key words being, “Leave nothing to chance.” Again, we’re slapped in the face with foreshadowing, as Scatino will fall into deep debt not only with Tony Soprano in this episode, but with Richie Aprile as well. David leaves everything up to chance.
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Dr. Jennifer Melfi returns back to Sopranoland this episode, after being absent in the previous. Her return makes for an interesting dream sequence, an amusing encounter with Tony Soprano’s crew, as well as a closer look at her own mental issues. Before we get to all of that, I’m going to talk about one of the main characters of season 2, who makes his first appearance in this episode.
“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.
Right off the bat, the opening of season two of The Sopranos ups the ante. We’re shown a very cinematic montage, giving us the status of the Sopranos characters as the new season begins. The montage is set to Frank Sinatra’s It Was A Very Good Year. Up to that point in time (January 2000) there weren’t too many television shows that felt so much like an actual Hollywood movie going experience. The Sopranos accomplished that within the first 5 minutes of season two. The montage does an excellent job of expressing what’s going on with each character without the use of dialogue.
Throughout the years, whenever I would notice David Chase in the writing credits for a Sopranos episode, I knew that I was in for a great episode, and this one is no exception. This episode marks the first time that John Patterson would direct a Sopranos season finale. He would continue to direct each season finale of The Sopranos up until the 5th season (Episode 65 – “All Due Respect”).