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Whoever Did ThisThe Sopranos : Season 4 Episode 9

"Whoever Did This" is the 48th episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and the ninth of the show's fourth season. Written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, and directed by Tim Van Patten, it originally aired on November 10, 2002.

Whoever Did ThisThe Sopranos : Season 4 Episode 9

Part of the problem with replacing Sorkin, of course, is that he wrote or co-wrote virtually every episode for four seasons. The quality varied from week to week (particularly in his last two years on the show), but the voice was always unmistakably his.

However, in the sixth season, it seems like the series has hit its limit. This is reflected in a number of different ways. Battlestar Galactica lurks in the shadows of the season, foreshadowed in the occupation arc of episodes like Rocks and Shoals or Behind the Lines and even teased in the creative arguments that the writing staff lost on episodes like One Little Ship. The show has pushed so hard and so fast that it has brushed up against the limits of what is possible on a syndicated nineties television science-fiction drama.

Change of Heart is a story that would undoubtedly work much better on a modern prestige drama. It is an episode that would probably play quite well within the framework of Star Trek: Discovery. It is a story that would make a shocking mid-season episode, as the audience watching at home watches Worf choose between his duty to Starfleet and his love for Jadzia. There would be an intriguing tension there, one reinforced by the fact that almost any character can die at any time on modern television dramas.

By and large, regular cast members arrived and departed in the gaps between seasons. This was obvious even just looking at Deep Space Nine. Michael Dorn had joined the regular cast in The Way of the Warrior, the feature-length episode at the start of the fourth season. Terry Farrell would depart the series in Tears of the Prophets at the end of the sixth season. Nicole deBoer would arrive on the series in Image in the Sand at the start of the seventh season. By and large, this pattern holds true across the nineties television series.

Around the turn of the millennium, television series became a lot more blood thirsty. Part of this was down to increased flexibility and freedom in how production teams and actors could approach material. HBO was a major influence in this area. The Sopranos would launch in January 1999, and would kill off several major characters in the middle of broadcast seasons. Ralph Cifaretto died in Whoever Did This, the ninth episode of the fourth season. Christopher Moltisanti was killed in Kennedy and Heidi, the sixth episode of the second half of the sixth season.

The Wire would kill off iconic character Omar Little in Clarifications, the antepenultimate episode of the fifth season. Game of Thrones would kill off designated protagonist New Stark in Baelor, the penultimate episode of the first season. Even lower-key deaths in shows beyond HBO became harder to predict. On Mad Men, Lane Pryce would commit suicide in Commissions and Fees, the penultimate episode of the fifth season. On Breaking Bad, Mike Ehrmantraut would die in Say My Name, the seventh episode of the fifth season.

This is obvious even looking at the final scene between Sisko and Worf. The fundamentals of the scene are familiar. Worf has made a reckless decision that has put innocent lives in danger. Sisko is about to chew him out, because Avery Brooks does excellent work with these scenes. The set-up evokes Rules of Engagement, the late fourth season episode in which Worf was put on trial for the murder of a freighter full of civilians. Worf was exonerated, the scenario revealed to be a set-up.

The upset fans from earlier seasons is probably partly the reason why the showrunners declined Netflix offer of doing 10 episodes; they just wanted to get it over as quickly as possible (fans poisoning the very waters they drink is sadly a common thing these days). 041b061a72


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