24 May 2008 | MaxBorg89
Quite a ride!
Poor Paulie Gualtieri, this just doesn't seem to be the right season for him. First he learns his aunt was actually his mother, and now this... Ay, madon'!
The premise of the episode is that Paulie always organizes a St. Elzear parade every year, given Italians are quite proud of their traditions, only this year he has a disagreement with the local church over how much money the clergymen are gonna get. Consequently, he is banned from using St. Elzear's hat during the parade. In addition, an amusement park ride malfunctions almost fatally, leading to a heated confrontation with Bobby Baccala, and on top of that Paulie is told he might have prostate cancer. What a week!
On the brighter side, Christopher decides to marry his new sweetheart Kelli the moment she tells him she's pregnant. Of course, he could have avoided doing drugs at the bachelor party, and having Adriana's mother accusing him of killing his former fiancée doesn't help much either.
One life striving for improvement, the other going towards the toilet: that's the structure of The Ride, going up and down as it pleases. Paulie's personal tragedies lend the character more humanity than ever, and the fight with Bobby is as fun a piece of writing as the show has ever delivered. The best, and saddest, scene, however, has nothing to do with him: it's a poignant flashback that depicts when Chris told Tony about Adriana's work for the FBI and the boss sanctioned her assassination. The sequence was meant to appear in Long Term Parking, the episode where Adriana died, but was cut to keep her demise an unexpected shock. Playing it now works much better: seeing Christopher get on with his life and witnessing how far he went in saving Tony's ass before Ade's makes for some of the program's most intriguing drama. It also serves as a reminder of what a strong presence Drea de Matteo was in the series. Not that the show suffered from her departure: much like Chrissy, it moved on and got better.