''Sopranos''

Couples Council

Adriana's wedding plans launch a lovefest -- After another week with more flirting than hurting, Bruce Fretts gives a status report on the ''Sopranos'' love matches

The Sopranos | LOONY GOONS While Furio was occupied with thoughts of the very off-limits Carmela, Christopher was shooting up and planning his nuptials
Image credit: The Sopranos: Barry Wetcher
LOONY GOONS While Furio was occupied with thoughts of the very off-limits Carmela, Christopher was shooting up and planning his nuptials

Adriana's wedding plans launch a lovefest

Bad news for fans of gratuitous violence: It was another whack-free week on ''The Sopranos.'' The body count has been shockingly low so far this season, and the latest episode, ''Watching Too Much Television,'' was a veritable lovefest. Okay, there was a shooting and a beating, but that's a veritable lovefest by ''Sopranos'' standards. Of course, not all of the couples are what you would call traditional:

CHRISTOPHER AND ADRIANA After a two-year engagement, the junkie and the stoolie may finally walk down the aisle. Aww, isn't it romantic? Actually, no. Ade got the idea that a wife could never be forced to testify against her husband from a rerun of ''Murder One'' (hence the title of the episode, which also included a clip of Mr. T from ''The A-Team''). As she later learned (from a friend who saw it on ''Murder, She Wrote,'' no less), that's not true -- which explains why her FBI handlers decided to give the union their blessing. The news that Adriana may not be able to have children briefly threw Chrissy for a loop, but after shooting up, he decided to stay with his fiancée. The ceremony will happen at Tony's house, and he'll likely be the best man. Carmela already hosted the shower, and the bride picked out a tacky gown. So get set for ''My Big Fat Italian Wedding.''

FURIO AND CARMELA Now, this could lead to a whacking. Furio's schoolboy crush on the Boss' wife appears to be intensifying. Gazing at a snapshot he took of Carm at his housewarming party, Furio felt driven to call her (under the false pretense that he thought he'd left his sunglasses at her house) and tell her how pretty she looked in it. But when he saw her later, the ponytailed brute seemed oddly glum. Based on the teaser for the next episode, the immigrant's depression may have something to do with the possibility he could be deported back to his native Italy imminently. Which might just save his scalp.

PAULIE WALNUTS AND JOHNNY SACK Sprung from prison after serving four months on a gun charge, Paulie didn't wait long to start whining to Tony about how he'd felt ignored behind bars. The Don shrugged it off, figuring the fat wad of cash he handed Paulie at his Bada Bing welcome-home party would mollify him. The disgruntled employee found a more sympathetic ear from Big Apple underboss Johnny Sack. Their mutual admiration society increases the chances that Paulie could defect and cause a rift between the New York and New Jersey families. And that could trigger a whole lotta whackings.

BRIAN AND THE BADA BING GIRL Carmela's accountant cousin seems to be getting seduced by Tony's lifestyle. Enjoying himself at Paulie's bash, Brian literally got a taste of an exotic dancer. The next morning, he woke up on the strip club's floor and asked, ''Where are my pants?'' If I had a nickel for every time that's happened to me, I might be as wealthy as Tony, who rewarded Brian for giving him the idea for a real-estate scam with a small token: a $15,000 watch.

TONY AND IRINA At first, Tony didn't seem to care when corrupt assemblyman Zellman announced he was now seeing the mobster's former mistress. The partners in crime proceeded with the Newark land swindle, which culminated in the shooting of a crack dealer by a group of gangbangers who were hired to scare off squatters from a suddenly valuable property. But the episode ended with Tony dropping in on the pol and administering an old-school beatdown with his belt. Does Tony still have feelings for Irina? Or was he merely working out his anger over the suicide of another ex-lover, Gloria? In any case, Zellman got off easy with a simple whipping -- and bloodthirsty viewers were left disappointed once again.

Do you think ''The Sopranos'' needs more whackings?

Originally posted Oct 28, 2002