Facing an indeterminate sentence of weeks/months/years until new episodes, fans of The Sopranos fans are advised to take the fifth; season, that is. At this point, superlatives don't do The Sopranos justice, but justice was at last served to this benchmark series.
For the first time, The Sopranos rubbed out The West Wing to take home its first Emmy for Outstanding Dramatic Series. Michael Imperioli and Drea de Matteo also earned Best Supporting Actor and Actress honors for some of their finest hours as Christopher and Adriana. From the moment a wayward bear lumbers into the Sopranos' yard in the season opener, it is clear that The Sopranos is in anything but a "stagmire." The series benefits from an infusion of new blood, the so-called "Class of 2004," imprisoned "family" members freshly released from jail. Most notable among these is Tony's cousin, Tony Blundetto (Steve Buscemi, who directed the pivotal season three episode "Pine Barrens"), who initially wants to go straight, but proves himself to be something of a "free agent," setting up a climactic stand-off between Tony and New York boss Johnny Sack.