From Where to Eternity

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"From Where to Eternity"
The Sopranos episode
Sopranos ep209.jpg
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 9
Directed byHenry J. Bronchtein
Written byMichael Imperioli
Cinematography byPhil Abraham
Production code209
Original air dateMarch 12, 2000
Running time55 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

see below

Episode chronology
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"Full Leather Jacket"
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"Bust Out"
The Sopranos (season 2)
List of The Sopranos episodes

"From Where to Eternity" is the 22nd episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the ninth of the show's second season. It was written by Michael Imperioli and directed by Henry J. Bronchtein, and originally aired on March 12, 2000.

Starring[edit]

* = credit only

Guest starring[edit]

Also guest starring[edit]

Episode recap[edit]

With friends and family by his side, Christopher clings to life in a hospital ICU. During the night, his heart stops and is clinically dead for about a minute, but the doctors manage to revive him. Fearing for Chris' life, Carmela finds an empty hospital room, and prays to a crucifix where she admits to Jesus that the members of the family have entered their occupations with eyes open, but prays that Chris will recover and "see the light." When he is conscious, he asks to see Tony and Paulie and tells them he had seen Brendan Filone and Mikey Palmice in hell, as well as his father who gets whacked every night in the same fashion he had done to others. He reports that Filone and Palmice had a message for Tony and Paulie: "Three o'clock."

Tony dismisses Chris' story, but Paulie becomes obsessed with the message. Eventually, Paulie consoles Chris with the idea that what he saw was purgatory instead of hell. Paulie is awakened nightly at 3:00 a.m. with nightmares that wake his girlfriend's children. At her suggestion, he seeks the help of a psychic who claims to see the spirits of the men Paulie killed following him, including mentioning Charles "Sonny" Pagano by name, someone Paulie had killed over 30 years before. Believing his donations to a church should have prevented him from being haunted, Paulie takes out his frustration on a chain-smoking priest, telling him he feels that the church has forsaken him and that he won't be giving any more donations.

Tony discusses Chris' experience with Dr. Melfi who asks if he thinks Christopher will go to hell. Tony says Christopher is not the type that "deserves" hell—citing the types that do are people who kill for pleasure and child molesters, Hitler and Pol Pot. She then asks if Tony thinks he will go to hell. Tony provides an analogy comparing soldiers and his life: "Soldiers don't go to hell. It's war. Soldiers kill other soldiers. We're in a situation where everybody involved knows the stakes and if you're gonna accept those stakes, you gotta to do certain things. It's business. We're soldiers. We follow codes, orders."

Meanwhile, Carmela learns from Gabriella Dante that a DiMeo family associate, Ralphie Rotaldo, just had an illegitimate child with his longtime Brazilian comàre. Carmela asks Tony to have a vasectomy so that he will not bring shame to his family by potentially fathering an illegitimate child. When Tony refuses to listen, Carmela sleeps downstairs. Adding to her frustration is Tony's lie that Chris had been in heaven instead of hell. Tony later argues with Carmela about the vasectomy in front of A.J., who is hurt when Tony calls him his "only male heir." Soon after, Tony makes amends with A.J. by sharing pizza and sodas. Tony later agrees to have a vasectomy, but Carmela has changed her mind because she might want a third child with Meadow soon going off to college.

Pussy is afraid that Tony knows he has been working with the FBI. At the advice of his handler, Pussy tries to regain Tony's trust by hunting down Matt, one of the men responsible for Chris' shooting. After learning that Matt is hiding in Hacklebarney State Park, Pussy contacts Tony and the two question and execute Matt, emptying their guns into him. Afterwards, the two go to a steakhouse where Pussy first took Tony after he had committed his first murder. They tell jokes and reminisce, noting how long it has been since they first started working together. Tony asks Pussy if he believes in God, to which he responds that he does, and that God has been very generous to him. Tony agrees, and the two toast.

First appearance[edit]

Deceased[edit]

  • Matthew Bevilaqua: Riddled with bullets by Tony and Pussy for his involvement in the attempted assassination of Christopher.

Title reference[edit]

The episode's title is a play on film From Here to Eternity (1953). It also refers to Christopher's taking a trip to the afterlife and not knowing whether it was purgatory or hell.

Production[edit]

  • In his dream, Christopher describes how Mikey Palmice and Brendan Filone claimed that the time three o'clock would be important in the lives of Tony and Paulie.
  • This is the second one of four episodes directed by Henry Bronchtein, as well as one of two which earned Bronchtein best-direction nominations by the Directors Guild of America.[1]
  • In his commentary for the episode "The Telltale Moozadell", Michael Imperioli says the idea of Christopher's experiences in this episode came from a spec script he had written between the first and second seasons about Christopher overdosing on drugs and having an after-life experience. When he talked to showrunner David Chase about this, Chase said that Christopher would get shot in the second season, and the after-life part could be added to the story.[2]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Tony tells Melfi the Hitlers and "Paul Pots" (Pol Pot) deserve hell and not people like Christopher.
  • He also mentions America's need for Italian immigrants to "build cities and dig subways and to make them richer." He explains that the Carnegie and Rockefeller families, needed "worker bees" (Italian immigrant workers), but some didn't want to "lose who we were, and preserve the things that meant to us: honor and family and loyalty". He says the J. P. Morgans were "crooks and killers too, but that's a business right, the American way."
  • Carmela can be seen reading Memoirs of a Geisha in bed in this and several succeeding episodes.

Music[edit]

  • Otis Redding' song "My Lover's Prayer", from The Very Best of Otis Redding, Vol. 1, is played throughout the episode and over the end credits (specifically, when Christopher is in the hospital, when his friends and family wait in the hospital waiting room while Chris is in surgery, and over the end credits when Tony and Carmela make love).
  • The O'Jays' song "Use ta Be My Girl", from So Full of Love, is played when Quickie G tells Pussy where Matthew Bevilaqua is hiding.
  • The Metallica song "King Nothing", from Load, is played in the background while Paulie talks to Tony at the Bada Bing!, after he visits the psychic.
  • The song "Mona Lisa" is heard in the background at the Duke's Stockyard Inn (an Irish bar and restaurant) where Tony and Pussy eat steaks, reminisce, and discuss God.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Henry Bronctein - Awards". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  2. ^ The Sopranos: The Complete Third Season (2002) — DVD audio commentary