Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Russian Lives - I Know It In My Soul

He is not dead, he lives and of that I have no doubt. There is no way that either of the two clowns who tried to put him down got in a fatal shot. Yeah, they hit him, maybe even more than once and maybe  tagged him with a head shot but that's no reason to think they put a toe tag on him. They couldn't find him  - didn't even have enough brains between them to look up into the tree under which his blood trail and foot prints ended. He didn't just disappear into thin air - he was up in that tree at least alive if not well. They were idiots, damn they mistook a deer for him and chased it down and killed it and as Chrissy said - if they were trying - they'd never get a shot like that. Now bear in mind - they were hunting the Russian. So what makes anyone think they got him. 

Now, I'll grant you this: despite his boasting about it not being cold and that the cold didn't bother him, I'll admit maybe he did feel it biting him to his core that night or maybe even over the next couple of days & nights until he was able to work up the strength to crawl away. It may have taken him some time to get out of that  predicament but my bet is he had the survival training he needed to get him through it and he was one tough bastard. He knew could eat what there was in those woods to save himself; he knew which berries were poisonous and which were not. No squirrels ate him like Paulie said would happen. It'd be more likely there were a few less of those rats with bushy tails left alive in that forest by the time he got out but whether or not he reduced the gray squirrel population he did get out. Yes he lived and still does even if they never portrayed his deliverance in the show.

It was the biggest disappointment for me though that he never appeared again. It was one of the biggest foul-ups in television history as far as I am concerned. The show left no doubt, at least in my mind, that he was still alive. It was or should have been the cliffhanger of cliffhangers and the writers and producers went over the cliff and crashed into the rocks below! There would have been no more suitable a way to end the Sopranos than to have that Russian bastard come back and blow at least Paulie and Chrissy to hell or better yet, the whole crew to hell.

Of course I am talking about the "Pine Barrens" episode of the Sopranos, season 3 - episode 11, the first episode I ever watched (I watched most if not all after seeing that one but it remains my favorite) of the Sopranios and it hooked me good. It's the one in which Paulie and Christopher take what they thought was the body of a Russian mobster, they thought they had killed, to the barrens to get rid of the evidence. When they open the trunk to take out his body, he's still alive. He was tough, they were incompetent. Then, instead of digging his own grave with the shovel they gave him he pummeled them with it and took off running. He was a fighter they were assholes. Many shots later, it looked as if Paulie scored a head shot and he may have but it may not have been a kill shot. Head wounds bleed profusely. They searched for him but his blood trail and footprints ended under a tree and they wondered aloud where he could have gone. They were stupid fuckers. 

He was up in that tree, it was the only possible scenario unless little gray men zapped him up to their flying saucer and while the Sopranos was fiction, it certainly wasn't science fiction. Anyway, those two Mafioso moronic henchmen get lost in the woods looking for him and then lost even worse looking for their car. Tony Soprano has to come to the rescue with Bobby. Once they are safe, Tony then leaves it up to Paulie whether or not to look for the guy or just assume he's dead and leave it be. Paulie takes the easy way out saying let's go home or something to that effect. Man did the writers and producers fuck up there - the Russian was alive, no doubt about it - he survived. He should have come back and wiped em out at the end. 

Yeah, just watched that episode last night on Amazon Prime. I just keep thinking they fucked up big time but I also think it's not too late. Bring him back in a new show, maybe about the Russian Mob or about a Russian hitman going after the Mafioso. Make him the main character.   

What better way to open the new show than to see Tony & and his crew walk into the diner where the show ended. As they are sitting there stuffing their faces, the camera pans to a lone figure in the shadows across the street, head bowed as he is looking down while he is keying his cell phone. On the last jab of the keys, the camera pans back to the diner and it blows sky high in flames with the mother of all booms. We see pieces of the diner and body parts raining down onto the street.  Panning back to the lone figure, we see him hunched over shielding his head from the debris with his free hand, phone still in the other. As he lowers his hand and starts to raise his head up to take a look, in the light of the flames we see a ghoulish figure with an odd shaped dent along the top right side of his head, an obviously healed but once catastrophic wound. As the lens zooms in, you see his face and he is smiling - that mad dog Russian smile - as he says: "It wasn't too cold for me comrades".

Then a flashback to the Pine Barren with those two arsehats standing under the tree where his trail ended; as they walk away we see a drop of blood falling from above and hitting the snow under the tree. After they walk away, we see him falling out of that tree and later crawling away and ultimately out of those woods. Then just take it from there into the new show with him in the lead role. Damn, the Russian lives, I just know it in my soul - so bring him back already!

All the best,
Glenn B

PS: Remember, if they do a spinoff like this, you read it first here! I want royalties.