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Learn of HBO's First SOPRANOS Since June 2004!!

I am – Hercules!!

HBO declined our request for screeners of tonight’s “Sopranos” and “Big Love” season openers, citing concerns about the revelation of plot twists. The pitiless irony, of course, is that we receive an endless stream of screeners up here on Mt. Olympus, and have a firm policy about abiding any spoiler prohibitions that come with those screeners.

The good news for Coaxial spoiler-whores? No screener means HBO also failed to provide any guidance with regard to spoilers! Spoiler-cloak on!

* Gino Pontecorvo, having inherited $2 million from his aunt, is forbidden from leaving Tony’s crew and moving to Florida. It turns out Gino has been talking to the Feds. Gino is found hung before 6.1’s conclusion.

* Hesh and his son-in-law are jumped by one of Phil Leotardo’s thugs, which ultimately leads Tony to try to reach out to the imprisoned Johnny Sack through Sack’s optometrist brother-in-law.

* Finally, as Tony makes dinner for the weak-minded Uncle Junior, Junior mistakes Tony for an intruder and shoots him in the gut. Tony has to struggle desperately to get to a phone before he passes out and dies. The good news is Tony survives. The bad news is Tony is a little less active in 6.2.

More good news! The absence of a screener means we can bring you “Sloane13’s” spoiler-drenched review of both 6.1 and 6.2! Again with the spoiler-cloak!!

I attended the premiere of the first two episodes of the new season of the Sopranos at The Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday night. Thought you might like a review. It’s filled with spoilers.

Ok, things start off pretty normal … the opening montage lets us know that about two years have passed since last we saw everybody. Meadow’s doing a sexy dance in her underwear for her nerd dentist boyfriend. AJ is spending more time in his college class taking pictures of himself with his cellphone than paying attention to the professor. Tony and Carmella have been frequenting a $40 a piece sushi place lately and pretty much just living large and acting like a couple of teenagers. Johnny Sack is in jail but he’s asked Phil Leotardo to make nice with Tony and his crew for now despite the death of Phil’s brother last season. Bobby Bachalla and Janice now have a 15 month old daughter and Uncle Junior is getting crazier by the minute. Tony makes a brief visit to Dr. Melphi, buys Carmella a brand new SUV and life is good...

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD. So Tony’s got a new soldier working for him named Gino. He’s got a bitch wife and a druggie son and he wants to move to Florida and get away from this life cause he inherited 2 million from his aunt. He’s also talking with the same feds that Adrienna was involved with and is looking for a way out. Only Tony ain’t having it despite Gino giving him a nice fat envelope full of inheritance money. “You swore an oath” and all that. Tony doesn’t even have the respect to tell the guy “no” himself. He has Silvio do it for him. “That Florida thing… Tony told me to tell you it ain’t gonna happen”. So this Gino guy hangs himself in his garage. I am assuming this storyline will go somewhere eventually. I mean, why bother introducing this guy only to get rid of him 40 minutes later… We’ll see…

Meanwhile, Uncle Junior’s “nurse” can’t be relied on and Bobby Bachalla is too busy hiding in his garage with his train sets to look in on Uncle Junior. Tony flips out and goes over to check on him himself. Uncle Junior’s sitting in the dark talking to the television set when Tony gets there. He sends Uncle June upstairs and tells him to wash up for dinner. Now you ready for this? While Tony’s cooking pasta Uncle Junior comes downstairs, thinks Tony is a burglar, shoots Tony in the stomach and runs up stairs to hide in his closet. Tony then spends the next 5 grueling minutes dragging his bloody body across the floor, trying to get to the phone to dial 911 before going unconscious. Yeah. It was pretty intense and completely out of the blue.

The second episode started immediately after the first. It goes back and forth between Tony in a coma (basically an extended dream sequence that has him living an alternate life as a business man) and everybody visiting Carmella in the hospital as she sits around the clock watching Tony. Meadow is pissed cause her nerd boyfriend won’t leave dental school to visit her family in the hospital. AJ is very uncomfortable seeing his father in this state (Tony has a massive, graphic hole in belly) and keeps avoiding the hospital. When he does finally show up he takes the opportunity to tell his mother he just failed out of college. Meadow and AJ share a nice moment talking about “the life” they’ve been born into and AJ sticks his head out the window and tells the gaggle of press people outside to “fuck off”. At the funeral for Gino, the guy who hung himself in the premiere, Christopher, Paulie Wallnuts, Silvio and the rest of gang ask why Bobby Bachalla wasn’t looking in on Junior when Tony got shot. He claims “taking care of personal business” i.e. hiding from his new wife and child in the garage with his trains. For the most part that’s it. Tony is still in the coma at the end of the second ep, hooked up to tubes and machines and everyone else is kind of on standby waiting.

All in all, it was great to have “the gang” back and I’m curious to see where they’re headed with this. The certainly started things off with a bang. If you use this, please just call me Slone13. Thanks.

To anticipate the inevitable talkback query, HBO plans to unfurl the first 12 episodes of the sixth season in the coming weeks. The final 8 episodes of the season are currently slated to start in January 2007.

9 p.m. Sunday. HBO.

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