15 Underrated Episodes Of The Sopranos

While “The Sopranos” is known for its strong women, they usually don’t get as much screen time as the men. For the most part, for example, the college life of Meadow takes precedence over the drama of the mob. “University,” however, chronicles Meadow’s run-ins with her elitist boyfriend, Noah, and her unhinged roommate, Caitlin. “The Sopranos” has been building Caitlin’s mental breakdown since its first appearance, but her relationship with Meadow has never had enough time to fully develop. I thought they would go full “Single White Female” with Caitlin, but her arc ends when Noah asks her dad to file a restraining order against her because Noah blames Caitlin for getting a bad grade (oh, to be rich).

In reality, the main focus of this episode is another woman, Tracee, who works as a dancer at the Bada Bing and sleeps with the villainous Ralphie Cifaretto. Tracee bakes bread for Tony in a scene that’s as awkward as it is powerful. Tony repeatedly tries to set boundaries with Tracee – as he explains, he can’t be friends with the dancers. But Tracee, who is clearly alone, doesn’t understand. He is a tragic character from the jump, indebted to Silvio, who lent him money for braces, and treated badly by Ralphie. When she finally stood up to Ralphie, I was excited, then scared. Fittingly, it turns out that after their fight, Ralphie follows Tracee into Bing’s parking lot and beats her to death. It’s a horrifying and tragic scene, which stayed with me long after my first viewing.

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