The Blue Comet
|"The Blue Comet"|
|The Sopranos episode|
Bobby holds a model Blue Comet at a model train store in Lynbrook, New York.
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Alan Taylor|
|Produced by||David Chase|
|Cinematography by||Phil Abraham|
|Editing by||William B. Stich|
|Original air date||June 3, 2007|
|Running time||50 minutes|
"The Blue Comet" is the eighty-fifth and penultimate episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos. It is the eighth episode of the second half of the show's sixth season, the twentieth episode of the season overall. It was written by series creator and showrunner David Chase and Matthew Weiner and directed by Alan Taylor. It originally aired in the United States on June 3, 2007, two weeks after the preceding episode.
In the episode, a mob war erupts between the Lupertazzi and DiMeo crime families, which leads to the shooting of people close to DiMeo boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). In a parallel story, Tony's psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) gains some new insight on Tony and decides to drop him as a patient.
"The Blue Comet" was filmed at Silvercup Studios, New York City and on location in New Jersey and New York in January and February 2007. It was watched by eight million American viewers on its premiere date and received critical praise for its narrative and dramatic resolution of long narratives; many critics have named "The Blue Comet" a highlight of the series. Bracco received an Emmy Award nomination for supporting actress for her performance in the episode and it was also nominated for a Cinema Audio Society Award for sound mixing.
- 1 Starring
- 2 Plot
- 3 Deceased
- 4 Final appearances
- 5 Title reference
- 6 Production
- 7 References to prior episodes
- 8 Other cultural and historical references
- 9 Music
- 10 Reception
- 11 References
- 12 External links
- James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
- Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi
- Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano
- Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti *
- Dominic Chianese as Corrado Soprano, Jr. *
- Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante
- Tony Sirico as Paulie Gualtieri
- Robert Iler as Anthony Soprano, Jr.
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Meadow Soprano
- Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano Baccalieri
- Steven R. Schirripa as Bobby Baccalieri
- Frank Vincent as Phil Leotardo
- John Ventimiglia as Artie Bucco
- Dan Grimaldi as Patsy Parisi
- Sharon Angela as Rosalie Aprile
- Katherine Narducci as Charmaine Bucco
* = credit only
- Gregory Antonacci as Butch DeConcini
- Arthur J. Nascarella as Carlo Gervasi
- Peter Bogdanovich as Dr. Elliot Kupferberg
- Matt Servitto as Agent Harris
- Carlo Giuliano as Italo
- John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia as Albie Cianflone
- Artie Pasquale as Burt Gervasi
- Edoardo Ballerini as Corky Caporale
- Matilda Downey as Yaryna
- Aleks Shaklin as Yaryna's Father
- Ricky Aiello as Raymond "Ray-Ray" D'Abaldo
- Emily Wickersham as Rhiannon Flammer
- Lenny Venito as James "Murmur" Zancone
- John Mainieri as Ira Shortz
- Mimi Lieber as Stacey Bellows
- Adam Heller as Arnold Bellows
- Connie Teng as Yaolin
- Anthony Ribustello as Dante Greco
- Miryam Coppersmith as Sophia Baccalieri
- Angelo Massagli as Bobby Baccalieri, Jr.
- Frank John Hughes as Walden Belfiore
- Joseph Perrino as Jason Gervasi
- Merissa Morin as Isabel
- Davide Borella as Roberto
- John Cenatiempo as Anthony Maffei
- Dominic Chianese, Jr. as Dominic
- Pete Bucossi as Petey B.
- Henry Glovinsky as Derek
- Jeff Talbott as Father
- Eric Mangini as Himself
- Julie Mangini as Herself
- Michael Drayer as Jason Parisi
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Silvio Dante pays a surprise visit to DiMeo soldier Burt Gervasi at his home. Burt is startled at first but lets Silvio into his house. Once there, Dante promptly murders Burt by strangling him with a garrote wire and quickly leaves.
In Brooklyn, Phil Leotardo has a meeting with Albie Cianflone and Butchie DeConcini. He announces that, following what he cites as many grievances and insults done to him and his crime family, he has made the decision to eliminate the DiMeo family by wiping out its management. Even hawkish Butch is surprised, but Albie is the only one who shows reluctance and counsels against such a dangerously brazen move, saying they might lose respect from the other four families, yet Phil remains firmly adamant and orders them to "make it happen." Butchie and Albie then set up an after-hours meeting with their own subordinates at a closed beauty parlor and set Phil's plan in motion by ordering the murders of Tony Soprano, Silvio and Bobby Baccalieri, the boss, consigliere and de facto underboss of the DiMeo Family respectively. Some mobsters express their surprise Bobby has climbed so high up in the organization, for he was only Junior's driver a few years prior. The plan, Butchie explains, is to kill all three of them in 24 hours and then create business ties with what is left of the crime family.
A.J. receives treatment in the hospital's mental health ward where he is regularly visited by his parents. At the hospital, A.J. runs into Rhiannon Flammer, an ex-girlfriend of his friend Hernan who also used to hang out with them. Rhiannon is now in the hospital for dietary problems, and A.J. starts a relationship with her. A.J. is eventually discharged from the hospital and is back at home, although under the watchful, but sympathetic eye of his family, who have already confiscated his belts.
Tony is once again visited at Satriale's by FBI Agent Dwight Harris. Harris at first only irritates Tony by telling him the Ahmed and Muhammad lead was not solid enough, but, when Tony leaves, Agent Harris hesitates for a moment before having a change of heart and he catches up to him walking down the street. Harris informs Tony of Phil's plan to murder him or those close to him, information he has gotten from a colleague's informant in the Lupertazzi crime family. Tony acts unimpressed with the news and Harris leaves, though after he does Tony looks ill at ease and disgustedly throws away a sandwich he was eating.
Tony and Silvio meet in the back office of the Bada Bing! where Silvio informs Tony that he took it upon himself to eliminate Burt Gervasi, after he had learned Burt was enlisted by the Lupertazzi family to work for them in the future and was giving them information about the Dimeos. Tony is surprised by the news of Burt's defection.
Tony, Silvio and Bobby convene at Nuovo Vesuvio where Tony breaks the news to them about Phil's plans to kill them and of his decision to have Phil murdered by acting first and fast. He suggests they should use the Italian hitmen which successfully performed the hit on Rusty Millio before.
At a dinner party with friends and colleagues, Dr. Jennifer Melfi hears again of a study that claims sociopaths take advantage of talk therapy to become better criminals, which highly irritates her and leads to confrontation with the other guests. Melfi's own psychiatrist, Dr. Elliot Kupferberg, then, indifferently breaking the doctor-patient confidentiality, also reveals to the party that Melfi is treating Tony Soprano, which upsets and embarrasses her. Later, back at home, she finally reads the study herself, thoroughly and in silence. The observations in the study, such as that the classic "criminal" only shows particular affection and sensitivity to "pets" and "babies," seem to describe Tony's character and statements in his sessions rather accurately.
At her next appointment with Tony, he rips out a steak grilling recipe from an issue of the Departures magazine while in the waiting room. Once the session starts, Melfi meets Tony with a noticeable hostile attitude and disgust. Tony talks about Meadow's change of heart concerning medical school and then A.J.'s depression, including the cost of his therapy, but Melfi keeps interrupting him, bitterly suggesting him his usual aggressive statements to finish his sentences. Tony takes offence and criticizes Melfi which suddenly only prompts her to suggest referring him to different therapists who do not use talk therapy, particularly those that use psychodynamics with psychiatric drugs. Tony attempts to defuse the argument, gingerly commenting that menopause might have influenced her judgment, but Melfi insists they are done and uses Tony's recent action of ripping a page out of the waiting room's magazine all for himself as an example of his disrespect and lack of seriousness to therapy. Although he quite recently said he wanted to finally quit therapy himself, Tony is still aghast that Melfi would end their professional relationship of more than seven years so abruptly at a time when his son had just attempted suicide and describes her as an "immoral" physician as he is shown out of the office. They separate with bad blood between them, and before leaving, Tony demonstratively puts the ripped-out page back into the magazine and Melfi intently watches him leave, standing her ground, and ending her professional relationship with Tony Soprano once and for all by symbolically swinging closed her office door.
The order to kill Phil is passed down the chain of command of the family from Bobby to Paulie Gualtieri to Patsy Parisi to the associate Corky Caporale as a liaison with the Italian assassins once again. However, the hitmen stake out Phil's Ukrainian "goomah"'s house and confuse her visiting father for Phil, as they look similar. The man is shot dead in the foyer of her house and his daughter, who witnessed his murder, is also shot and killed, tumbling down a staircase. When Corky is told of the hit on the phone, he thinks little of the fact that the murdered man spoke Ukrainian, simply responding, "Whatever," and he calls Patsy Parisi to tell him that the job is done and wonders about Phil speaking Ukrainian. Patsy puts it off and just transmits, "It's done," to Paulie.
Tony and Carmela have dinner at Nuovo Vesuvio. Tony tells his wife he "quit" therapy, and she seems to support him, saying it was not helping him much lately anyway. The two soon put on a good face as they talk with Artie and Charmaine Bucco about A.J., Meadow's decision not to pursue medical school and her new boyfriend Patrick Parisi. Artie and Charmaine happily wish everyone luck.
At the Bada Bing!, Silvio and Paulie learn of the assassination mistake when "Murmur" by chance shows them a New York Post article on the murders of a Ukrainian father and daughter and the accompanying photos of the victims.
Janice visits Tony at his house and tries to persuade him to contribute with Bobby in paying for Junior's living arrangements at his mental institution or Junior will have to be moved to a state-run psychiatric facility, as he has run out of money; Tony angrily refuses to pay anything and expresses disgust at Bobby for continuing to show empathy for Junior even after he almost killed him. Tony is soon after visited by Silvio, who informs him of the failed murder of Phil and that the Lupertazzi boss has been hiding for days now, having already set his plans in motion. The failed hit which was presumed as successful cost their family a lot of time, and Tony immediately orders Silvio to inform everyone in the organization to break their routines and to go into hiding themselves until they can locate Phil.
However, Bobby has gone to a hobby store in Lynbrook, New York, to buy a rare model train and leaves his ringing phone behind in his car. Bobby is at a counter, buying a vintage model Blue Comet train, as two gunmen enter. Bobby wistfully discusses the merits of the original train and the model with the store clerk, and says his son isn't interested in model trains when the shopkeeper suggests it. With that he agrees to buy it. As Bobby looks up at the approaching men, they open fire, riddling him and a model train display with bullets. Bobby is violently thrown backwards onto the display, dead, as the store's owner and his customers cower in fear. The two gunmen drop their empty guns and leave.
Silvio and Patsy Parisi rush to pack up important documents from the Bada Bing!'s back office as well as money and a gun. While leaving the strip club's parking lot, Patsy and Silvio are intercepted by two Lupertazzi hit men in a car, "Ray-Ray" and Petey B. They cut off the escaping car and Ray Ray opens fire from his handgun, hitting Silvio, who is scrambling for a gun, multiple times. Patsy panics and shoots back aimlessly as he runs away for his life. Ray Ray runs out of ammunition and, noticing a crowd of witnesses (Bada Bing's staff, patrons and topless strippers), orders Petey to flee. Escaping, they also cause a traffic accident, wherein a motorcyclist on a sport bike falls off of it and it crashes into other moving vehicles. Patsy flees through bushes in a ravine behind the club. A bleeding and unconscious Silvio is left in the bullet-riddled car.
Tony arrives back at his house, already informed about the hits on Bobby and Silvio. He is protected by Dante Greco and a soon arriving Paulie. Tony informs a stunned Carmela of the news and tells her and the family to move away from the house for the time being, even though he says family members are not targeted by the mob. When A.J. professes his desperation to his father at the tragic news, which he says will now only exacerbate his depression, Tony bursts into fury. Finally having enough of his son's behavior, he slams A.J. to the ground, throwing his clothes on top of him, and tells him to pack and go with his mother and sister. Paulie updates Tony that Silvio is now in a medically-induced coma, from which doctors do not think he will awaken.
Carmela and Meadow visit the Baccalieris. Janice is in a state of immense shock while Bobby's children sadly sit nearby in silence.
At nightfall, Tony, carrying something long in a black plastic garbage bag, along with Paulie, Walden Belfiore, Carlo Gervasi, and Dante Greco, drive to a safe house—an older home in a residential neighborhood. Tony's men set up camp downstairs and order out for food. Tony then goes upstairs to get some sleep, unwrapping the item to reveal the AR-10 assault rifle that Bobby gave him for his 47th birthday. Tony remembers the moment Bobby told him that "you probably don't even hear it when it [your murder] happens". As "Running Wild" by Tindersticks starts playing, Tony lies down to sleep in the empty bedroom on the bare mattress, still dressed, clutching the assault rifle in his hands. The camera slowly zooms to the closed door to his dark room before fading out. 
- Burt Gervasi: garotted to death by Silvio Dante for betraying his crime family and working with the Lupertazzis.
- Alec Kastropovic (Ukrainian mistress's father): shot dead in the head by Italo, the Italian hitman, who mistook him for Phil Leotardo, who he was supposed to murder on orders from Tony Soprano to eliminate the Lupertazzi threat to his crime family.
- Yaryna Kastropovic (Phil Leotardo's Ukrainian mistress): shot in the abdomen and then shot dead in the head by Italo, murdered for being present at the failed Phil Leotardo hit.
- Bobby Baccalieri: riddled full of bullets and shot dead by two Lupertazzi hitmen on orders from Phil Leotardo, as part of Phil's move to quickly wipe out the DiMeo family's management after continued long arguments and fights between the two families.
"The Blue Comet" marks the final appearances in The Sopranos of these main or longtime recurring characters:
- Dr. Jennifer Melfi: Tony Soprano's on-and-off psychotherapist ever since 1999. Originally contacted to help treat his panic attacks, Tony has also used his talk therapy sessions to deal with stresses in his life and gain advice on how to act in his personal and criminal life. Also, Melfi was, at times, Tony's romantic interest, though his advances were rebuffed.
- Arthur "Artie" Bucco: a restaurateur, owner of Nuovo Vesuvio, a common mobster hangout, and Tony's old and close friend ever since their childhood. After the fall-out with Davey Scatino in 2000, essentially, Tony's only civilian friend left.
- Charmaine Bucco: the wife of Artie Bucco and a childhood friend of Carmela and Tony Soprano. Throughout the series, she would urge Artie not to deal with the mobsters in his career and life, but eventually started to seemingly tolerate their gatherings in their restaurant.
- Dr. Elliot Kupferberg: Dr. Melfi's own psychotherapist and mentor who would often urge her to drop Tony Soprano as a patient. Also, an enthusiast of the Mafia.
- The Blue Comet was a passenger train operated by the Central Railroad of New Jersey which ran between Atlantic City and Jersey City from 1929 to 1941. The train's locomotive and passenger cars, as well as its interior were stylized in blue color. Bobby is buying a Blue Comet train model right when he is murdered.
- The title could also refer to the DiMeo crime family as the original Blue Comet train was from Jersey. As Bobby is shot, the model train is also literally derailed by one bullet hitting it as well. It could refer to the DiMeo family now being derailed after sustaining heavy losses to its management (underboss Bobby and consigliere Silvio). The final scene is also cast in blue light and prominently features a blue closed door to Tony's room.
- Another likely reference could have been to Hopi Indian lore, which believed that if the human race became too iniquitous, a gigantic blue comet would streak across the sky as a "last chance warning" from the heavens prior to Armageddon. This idea was reinforced by this episode being the penultimate of the series.
The episode's general plot outline was developed collectively by the writing staff of The Sopranos, which for the second part of the sixth season consisted of showrunner and head writer David Chase, executive producer and co-showrunner Terence Winter, executive producer Matthew Weiner and supervising producers and writing team Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider. After the main story had been outlined, the script for "The Blue Comet" was written by Chase and Weiner. It is Chase's 29th writing credit for the series (including story credits) and Weiner's 12th and final. The penultimate episode marks the fifth time Chase and Weiner have collaborated on a The Sopranos script, following "The Test Dream" of season five and "Kaisha" (also with Winter), "Soprano Home Movies" (also with Frolov and Schneider) and "Kennedy and Heidi" of season six.
The research study that Dr. Kupferberg introduces to Dr. Melfi, which she later carefully reads and which makes her decide to finally drop Tony Soprano as her patient, is an actual three-volume study called The Criminal Personality, written by Dr. Samuel Yochelson and Dr. Stanton Samenow, published between 1977 and 1986. David Chase discovered the study when he and some Sopranos writers attended a psychiatric conference. Chase further asked forensic psychologist Nancy Duggan to analyze Tony Soprano's mental state and the progress of his psychotherapy with Melfi; Dugan also opined that talk therapy was enabling Melfi's patient to commit crime and justify his actions for himself. The Criminal Personality greatly impressed Chase after he read it and he decided that its introduction in the show would spell the end of Tony and Melfi's psychotherapy story arc in the series. After the airing of the episode, psychotherapists reported an outpouring of questions and concern from their clientele about the ethics of dropping patients unilaterally. Chase also commented about the seeming lack of finality in Tony Soprano's therapy, stating that its depiction was most realistic as psychotherapy most often is marked with moments of progress but is essentially an endless process until one party decides it has had enough of it.
The cardboard cutout of the character Silvio Dante that appears near the end of the episode in the safehouse was added by the writers as a way to give the character some sort of presence in the scene. The writers created the safehouse as an unoccupied house the family keep for emergencies and where various items, such as the promotional cutout of Silvio for the Bada Bing!, are stored.
Peter Bucossi, the stunt coordinator for the show for all of its six seasons, ever since the pilot episode, plays the role of Petey B. in this episode (a character also named after him), one of the Lupertazzi crime family hoodlums. Petey is the driver of "Ray Ray" D'Alesio's car that attacks Silvio and Patsy when they attempt to flee the Bada Bing!.
"The Blue Comet" was directed by Alan Taylor and photographed by Phil Abraham. Both had worked intermittently on the show in the same capacities since the first season. The penultimate episode marks Taylor's ninth credit as director and Abraham's 47th credit as director of photography; it is the final credit of the series for both. Before filming commenced, David Chase and Taylor held a pre-production director's meeting—called a "tone meeting" by the crew—in which Chase explained how he envisioned the filming of the episode's scenes in great detail and provided directions for Taylor to follow during principal photography.
"The Blue Comet" was filmed in January and February 2007, primarily at the show's usual filming locations: exterior and some interior scenes were filmed on location in New Jersey and New York while the majority of the interior scenes were shot at Silvercup Studios, New York City. The Soprano residence, meat market Satriale's, strip club Bada Bing! and Italian restaurant Nuovo Vesuvio—four of the most frequently recurring and recognizable backdrops of the series—are all featured prominently in the episode.
Some scenes were set in environments not typically featured in the series. The gunfire scene that takes place in a model railroading store was filmed on location at a store called Trainland in Lynbrook, New York. Scenes set at the Averna Social Club, a meeting place for the Lupertazzi family in the context of the series, were filmed at a bar on Manhattan's Mulberry Street, New York City. Janice and Bobby's residence, formerly owned by Johnny Sack, appears briefly in the episode; the scene was shot on location in North Caldwell, New Jersey.
The editing of "The Blue Comet" was done by William B. Stich in close consultation with Chase. During post-production, Chase selected the music for the episode, using previously recorded and released songs he saw fit for particular scenes and rearranged the filmed scenes into their final order. Some filmed scenes were cut during editing. One such involved the character Burt Gervasi telling Silvio Dante that he has begun cooperating with the Lupertazzi family, a scene that was meant as a setup for the murder that ended up as the episode's opening.
References to prior episodes
- When Phil Leotardo starts listing his grievances about the DiMeo family, they include the beating of "Coco" in "The Second Coming," "Fat Dom" Gamiello's disappearance (murder) in "Cold Stones" and his brother Billy's murder ("Long Term Parking").
- Tony quit his psychotherapy on his own will two times before: In "I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano," he did so after he told Melfi to go into hiding as he was at war with Junior and, in "Calling All Cars," he quit it after citing a lack of progress in curbing his impulses. Also, in "Walk Like a Man," he seriously considered quitting it yet again. However, Melfi herself never dropped him as happened in this episode. Although she, for a time, refused to accept him back in the beginning of Season 2, angry at Tony because her forced move out of town allowed a patient of hers to commit suicide.
- In the pilot episode, when Tony first comes to therapy, Dr. Melfi opens the door to her office and shows him in. In this episode, after dropping him, she opens the doors and shows him out.
- Tony tells Carmela he "quit therapy" at an Italian Restaurant (Nuovo Vesuvio) over red wine. She says it was actually a good idea. In the pilot episode, Tony also first tells Carmela he is starting therapy in an Italian restaurant over glasses of red wine and Carmela thinks it is a wonderful idea.
- A flashback scene from "Soprano Home Movies" where, in a boat on a lake, Bobby tells Tony that one probably does not even notice when one is killed is used at the end of the episode, before Tony goes to sleep. Additionally, Tony brings the assault rifle, which Bobby gave him as a birthday present in the same episode, to the hideout safehouse.
- Bobby's interest in model trains was first shown in the Season 6 premiere episode, "Members Only."
Other cultural and historical references
- In the mental-health ward, A.J. and other patients watch Metalocalypse.
- Also in the mental-health ward, A.J. can be heard playing the video game Halo 2.
- When Cavalleria rusticana starts playing on the radio during their meeting at Nuovo Vesuvio, Tony and Silvio begin mimicking boxing in slow motion. The intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana was used as the main theme of Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull, a biographical film about the boxer Jake LaMotta.
- Tony's comment to Dr Melfi, "You don't need a gynaecologist to know the way the wind blows." references lyrics from Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues: "You don't need a weatherman to know the way the wind blows."
- Paulie's line, "I lived through the '70s by the skin of my nuts when the Colombos were going at it", alludes to a mob war in the 1970s that involved the Colombo crime family and in particular to the battles between Mafia factions led by Joseph Colombo and Crazy Joe Gallo.
- Tony calls Bobby an "Exile on Main Street" after Janice informs him he still cares about Junior.
- The Doors' "When the Music's Over" is playing in Bada Bing! when Bobby summons Paulie to the backroom to discuss the hit on Phil.
- When Patsy and Silvio are packing up to leave the Bada Bing, "Antisaint" by Chevelle can be heard muffled in the background.
- During the shootout at the Bada Bing's parking lot, Nat King Cole's "Ramblin' Rose" is playing on Patsy's car radio.
- The song played in the final scene and over the end credits is an extended instrumental version of Tindersticks' song "Running Wild." Another one of Tindersticks' songs, "Tiny Tears," was previously prominently featured in the Season 1 episode "Isabella" during scenes of Tony's lethargic state prior to his assassination attempt.
According to Nielsen ratings, "The Blue Comet" attracted an average of eight million American viewers when first broadcast in the United States on HBO on Sunday June 3, 2007. This was the show's second best ratings for the second part of the sixth season. Only the following week's series finale, which drew 11.9 million viewers, received higher numbers.
"The Blue Comet" received very positive critical reviews following its original broadcast and has since then frequently been named by critics as one of the best episodes of the series. Much praise was directed at the episode's pacing and efficient build-up of suspense as well as the execution of the gunfire scenes toward the end of the episode. The episode was also praised for story elements concerning the escalation of the conflict between the rivaling Mafia families of the show and for the conclusion it brought to the professional and personal relationship between the characters Tony Soprano and Jennifer Melfi.
Tom Biro of television webblog TV Squad was impressed with the episode because of "the way we're beginning to close the door on the lives of some people and get an idea on who will be around at the end and who won't" and because "we're treated to something thrilling not only in story, but visually as well." Biro awarded "The Blue Comet" the site's highest score of 7. Geoffrey Dunn of Metro Silicon Valley stated that "Chase orchestrated the tension to a full crescendo." Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote "In this penultimate episode (which David Chase co-wrote), you can see the veil of surprise, of artistic feints, red herrings, theory-bating and any other cool narrative device totally vanish. It's as if things snuck up on us. Time is not just running out, it's almost all gone. Action needed to step forth and be counted. And so, true to form historically, the second to last episode had more than it's [sic] fair share of Big Moments." Goodman also called Bobby's death scene "priceless" and "Really well done." Heather Havrilesky of Salon wrote "No sad music, no slow motion, no teary funeral, no time for condolences. When the blood-dimmed tide finally rolled in during last night's penultimate Sopranos episode, an eerie quiet settled in." Matt Roush of TV Guide gave the episode a favorable review, writing "TV's landmark family crime drama went on a bloody rampage this week, just as we expected might happen in the next-to-last episode. [...] It was a sensational way to get us primed for Sunday's series finale."
Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune wrote that "[The] second-to-last episode was certainly a classic" and praised it for its suspenseful storytelling. Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly offered "The Blue Comet" a favorable estimation, writing "Every moment in this bloody, bullet-riddled penultimate episode is about regular, familiar old ways that have now gone terribly, irreversibly awry. [...] In the last hours of this epic drama, every detail glitters with bitter meaning". Matt Zoller Seitz of Slant Magazine described the episode as "the most atypically typical whack-fest the show has served up in quite some time" and "an orgy of Mafia mayhem". Zoller Seitz also praised the final therapy scene between Tony Soprano and Jennifer Melfi for its depth. Alan Sepinwall of The Star Ledger called the penultimate episode "one of the best—and certainly one of the busiest—episodes in the history of The Sopranos," further describing it as "a superb, scary, thrilling episode." He also characterized Bobby's death scene as "a little masterpiece of editing". Brian Tallerico of UGO called the episode "mind-blowing" and "intense", wrote that "[he] really didn't expect David Chase to take his show out with this much gunfire" and gave it an "A", the site's second-highest score. Brian Zoromski of IGN awarded the episode a score of 9.1 out of 10, writing "Overall, 'Blue Comet' was a very well done, sometimes shocking, build-up to next week's series finale."
In 2007, Lorraine Bracco was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in "The Blue Comet" but lost to Grey's Anatomy's Katherine Heigl at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. Bracco had previously been nominated three times in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for playing Dr. Melfi. In 2008, sound mixers Mathew Price, Kevin Burns and Todd Orr were nominated for a Cinema Audio Society Award in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Television.
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