…To Save Us All From Satan’s Power… (3.10)

Bobby Bacala is enlisted to play Santa Claus.
Tony gives Jackie Jr a knee to the groin,
and Meadow gives Tony a punch to the gut
(with her Christmas gift—a Big Mouth Billy Bass).

Episode 36 – Originally Aired April 29, 2001
Written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess
Directed by Jack Bender


The title, a line from a popular Christmas song, immediately discloses that this hour is Season Three’s Christmas episode.  As in Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, this episode features a (sort of) Ghost of Christmas Past: Pussy Bonpensiero.  Tony’s trip to Asbury Park to winterize his boat precipitates memories of Big Pussy.  This will be the Soprano crew’s first Christmas without Pussy, and their flashbacks, dreams and reminisces of the man pepper the entire hour.

The question that preoccupies the crew is whether or not Pussy was an FBI informant as early as 1995.  We know that this is unlikely because Agent Skip Lipari mentioned last season that the Feds flipped Pussy only in 1998.  But Tony and the guys convince themselves that Pussy had flipped by ’95.  This belief, probably mistaken, points to the ambiguity and uncertainty that resides at the heart of the series.  The guys see what they want to see, believe what they want to believe.  Uncertainty is such a difficult thing to live with that people, both in and out of SopranoWorld, will do whatever they can to reduce it.

It doesn’t help that David Chase revels in ambiguity.  He mischievously gives his audience moments like this one that feed our own uncertainties:

Silvio - godfather II

Silvio jokingly refers to Pussy as “Fredo,” the great traitor from The Godfather Part II.  Is Chase giving us a clue that Pussy was in fact betraying his friends in ’95?  Or is Chase teasing us the way that the Universe teases us, always hinting at answers but never providing the answers outright?  The flashback scenes raise all sorts of questions, and some of them will probably never be answered.  For example, does Corrado recognize the irony of killing Brendan Filone for hijacking trucks when he himself did the same thing just a few years earlier?  Was justice truly served, as the men discuss, in the OJ Simpson trial?  And did we all wear such goofy sweaters back in the ’90s?  Also, did members of the New Jersey famiglia, sporting some neat hairstyles, have a group discount to Supercuts in 1995?

What’s Christmas without Santa Claus?  The crew enlists Bobby Baccalieri to replace Big Pussy as Santa at Satriale’s annual gift giveaway.  Bobby revolts at the idea of playing the role because of his shyness, but he finally relents.  It turns out they would have been better off finding someone else because Bobby is somewhat lacking in the ‘people-skills’ department.  (He provokes a spirited five-year old into yelling “Fuck you Santa!”)  But let’s put aside Bobby’s time as Santa, because I’m more interested in how David Chase uses Tony as a (pseudo) Santa in this episode.  Tony is makin’ a list, he’s checkin’ it twice, he’s added Janice’s Russian to it, who’s naughty, not nice:

tony's list

When Tony drives to the Russian club to meet his money launderer, the footage is scored with a high hat and snare drum that sound a bit like sleigh bells, in effect making Tony’s red Suburban seem like a sleigh.  That same scored beat is heard when Tony, in Santa hat, tracks down the Russian who attacked Janice.  When the Russian is found badly beaten beneath a sleigh in a window-display, it’s as though Santa himself ran the man down:

tony claus

Chase’s comparison of Tony to Santa Claus might simply be in good fun, just an innocuous bit of holiday good cheer.  But Tony is also compared, I believe, to someone a bit more sinister than Santa…

I think that Chase makes a subtle criticism of Christianity in this episode, just as he seems to have been doing over the last few episodes.  Dr. Krakower wryly eviscerated Carmela’s Catholicism three episodes ago.  And two episodes ago, we met Aaron Arkaway who fell asleep right in front of criminal Tony while wearing his Christianity over his heart—he slumbered through Thanksgiving dinner with a crucifix and Jesus-fish on his lapel:

Jesus fish

(Sort of gives new meaning to the phrase “sleeps with the fishes,” doesn’t it?)  I think Chase may be using the Aaron-character to represent the impotence of Christianity in the face of evil.  In the current episode, Aaron falls asleep at Livia’s house just moments before Tony enters the place.  He also sleeps while the story of Tony’s criminal vengeance against Janice’s Russian is broadcast over the news.  Judging by His sleepy and sluggish emissary Aaron, we might be in some real trouble if Christ is The Guy that’s supposed to save us from Satan.  Christ seems unable to protect us in contemporary times.  He has seemed almost completely absent from SopranoWorld, and His absence is highlighted throughout this hour.  Dr. Melfi has literally taken Christ out of “Christmas”—she has replaced Him with the word stress to come up with “Stressmas.”  Janice tries to break into Christian Contemporary Music not because it expresses Christ’s message but because of its potential monetary profits.  Christopher is far more impressed by The Grinch’s enormous box office earnings than he is by the film’s holiday message of love and brotherhood.  Jesus doesn’t even appear in the episode title: He has been replaced by an ellipsis.  The lyrics of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” where the title comes from, go like this:

God rest you merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
For Jesus Christ our savior
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

By substituting an ellipsis for Jesus, Chase raises an important question: With Jesus absent, who exactly is it that will come and save us from Satan’s power?  One answer may be found in a quick scene at the Bada Bing:

A stripper descends from above, upside down and arms to her side—almost like an upside-down crucifix—while the Virgos Merlot song exclaims “I wait for no one, no one comes.”  If we’re waiting for Jesus to come and save us, we may be waiting in vain.  No one comes.

The idea of Tony Soprano as a Satanic figure is made at another strip club:

A sultry version of “Little Drummer Boy” plays at the nudie bar.  The camera cuts to Tony just as we hear the line, “A newborn King to see.”  The lyric “So to honor him” is heard just as Tony notices Jackie dishonoring him (and his daughter) with a lap dance.  Jackie will pay for his transgression against this new, wicked King—he gets a knee to the groin from Tony here, and he pays a dearer price by the end of the season.

(I’m making a bit of a leap comparing Tony to Satan here.  The idea of Tony as an Anti-Christ figure is more deeply explored later in the series, particularly in Season Six’s “The Second Coming.”)

In the closing moments of the episode, Tony receives a Big Mouth Billy Bass from Meadow.  We recognize that Tony’s is struggling to keep his composure as he accepts this gift because he has long-associated Billy Bass with Big Pussy, the Ghost that has haunted this entire hour.  Chase cuts from Billy Bass to a shot of Big Pussy’s final resting place:

Billy Bass beach

Emily VanDerWerff wonders in her write-up for this episode, “Has any show gotten as much weirdly tragic mileage out of a bit of cultural ephemera so instantly disposable as The Sopranos got out of Billy Bass?”  I think it’s possible to get even more mileage out of Billy Bass.  Tony has clearly associated fish with Big Pussy, but fish have also historically been associated with Jesus Christ (which is why Aaron Arkaway wears a fish-pendant on his lapel).  This episode which essentially asks the question “Who will save us from Satan’s power?” closes with an answer that is sadly inadequate: Billy Bass, far from being a representation of Christ, is little more than a bit of disposable pop culture.  As the tide rolls in to the desolate beach of Asbury Park and the episode fades out, Kate Jackson and the Campbell Brothers sing, “Jesus told me everything is gonna be alright.”  Their repeating lyric may be a tiding of comfort and joy, but—at least in SopranoWorld—it represents a grasp at hope where none might actually exist.



  • We learn here that Mr. Satriale committed suicide after Johnny Boy Soprano bust-out his butcher shop.  Davey Scatino, we remember, came very close to killing himself while Tony bust-out his sports store.
  • Ray Curto rages against “despicable” Pussy, “that two-faced fuck” who betrayed them to the FBI.  Curto wishes he could have been there for Pussy’s whacking.  We know that Curto himself is an FBI informant.
  • Carmela’s Spidey-senses are telling her that Tony is up to no good—she knows he’s cheating on her but guesses incorrectly that it is with Charmaine.  Of course, Carm wouldn’t be able to make the correct guess as she has never met Gloria Trillo.
  • Director of Photography Alik Sakharov, who was born in a part of the former Soviet Union, plays one of the Russians here:alik sakharov
  • We also get a quick intro to Valery the Russian here.  He, of course, sets off the storyline of the next hour “Pine Barrens,” one of the great showpiece episodes of the series.

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© 2020 Ron Bernard

63 responses to “…To Save Us All From Satan’s Power… (3.10)

  1. I recall reading somewhere that David Chase, real name David DeCesare, is actually a Protestant, not a Catholic. If true, I’m sure growing up a non-Catholic Italian-America, in the Italian/Irish Catholic haven that the NY/NJ area was in the mid 20th century, has a profound effect on Chase as a writer.

    I chuckled when Janice watched the news report about the Russian goon having been attacked while effortlessly tilting a glass of wine with her supposedly injured wrist, that was somehow in unbearable pain when she grieved to her mobster brother about the Russian attacking her. Those Soprano women. Makes me think of the final season, when Carmela and Meadow vow to not tell Tony about Phil’s goon Coco sexually harassing Meadow, mere seconds before going right ahead and telling him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I remember being surprised to learn that Chase grew up Protestant—I always assumed that all Italian-Americans are Catholic. (Which was really dumb of me. I, of all people, should know better than to make broad categorizations—people often assume I’m Hindu but I was actually born into a Catholic family.) It is certainly possible that being an “outsider” to Catholic Italian culture while being an “insider” to the larger Protestant American culture shaped Chase as a person and as a writer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to add this episode to my yearly list of must watch Xmas specials. It is as good as the best of them. I mean you got elements of “A Xmas Carol” with Big Pussy as the ghost of Xmas past and Paulie as Scrooge. I put Paulie’s “Him? I’d Kill’em Again if I could” right up there with Scrooge’s ” If they would rather die they had better do it and decrease the surplus population”. You also have a “Year without a Santa Claus” Bobby may fit the suit but he can’t fill the Boots. Last but not least you have the “The Little Dumber Boy” Jackie Jr. Speaking of Jackie I was thought he was the ‘New Born King” in that scene at the strip club. Tony, Sil & Chris are like the Three Wise men or in this case Wise Guys. I remember Chris referring to him as the heir apparent in an earlier episode. When Tony takes Jackie into the Mens Room for the Nativity beat down the only thing that could have made it more perfect is if he told him “you’ll shoot your eye out” after he takes that Pistol off him.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. one of my favourite write ups so far… came here to say thanks, again!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. not sure u r still checking the replies, but i want to add janice’s incredible line “worst night of my life” talking abt the russian attacking her. what abt that night u shot and murdered ur new husband? isnt that at least 2nd place? funny

    Liked by 3 people

  5. straight outta iowa

    (Sort of gives new meaning to the phrase “sleeps with the fishes,” doesn’t it?)
    Now that is really funny.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I wanted to make a couple of small points that I was wondering if anyone else noticed, they don’t specifically relate to this episode but the reemergence of pussy in this episode and the ambiguity of when pussy may have been flipped made me think of both of them. They both to me just seem like inconsistencies where one thing that was said at one point in the show is refuted by something later on. The first happens during a flashback scene with pussy, which I believe was in this episode, when Jackie, pussy, and tony are walking on the boardwalk and pussy says something along the lines of “I always wanted a place by the ocean”. In a different episode, cant remember which, may have been the episode where angie was considering divorcing pussy where she says something like “kevin don’t care as long as he doesn’t lose his privileges at the house at the shore”. The second instance is when paulie and sil go see richie april about building beansie the ramp on his house, sil says “come on richie, you’re a captain now”, whereas dino (jackies friend) in the episode where chris, after just having been made, goes into the pizza parlor with benny where dino and jackie are and jackie exclaims “without tony soprano he’d be a zero with shoes, my uncle richie…(dino interrupts) but he didn’t” or something to that effect. Maybe I’m mistaken but can you become a captain without being made? Just was curious if anyone else noticed this, or maybe I am off base here. Either way thank you for these great write ups!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jackie was about to say “My Uncle Richie was going to kill Tony and be boss…” which would have led to a bump for Jackie, and things wouldn’t have happened for Chris. Dino was cutting him off because he knew it was in poor judgment to bring up the as yet materialized hit.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Edit: I also just remembered that beansie, before getting assaulted by richie in the episode “toodle fucking oo”, beansie says “you’re a made guy richie, so I lose either way”. Obviously some minor inconsistencies but just wanted to point it out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not really clear what you are getting at Nate. Ritchie was a Captain and of course a made guy. Chris had just become a made guy, but was not a captain. As for the shore, it could be an inconsistency. Or it could be Angie was referring to a house they rented or used on occasion. Or perhaps just not a house to live in, which is what Pussy was lamenting. Or heck, maybe Pussy didn’t consider the Jersey Shore to be the same as a “place by the ocean”. In other words, both are ambiguous enough to not really be true consistency errors.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Big ups to this episode for featuring the only sylvio dream sequence in the whole show

    Liked by 2 people

  9. David J Noone

    Regarding getting in Sil’s head I believe we do- it’s called Lilyhammer. I have always thought of that show as Sil’s “coma dream” similar to the Tony/Finnerty plot. Funny part is Season 3 of Lilyhammer when Johnny is in the hospital with the crazy old dude after getting shot and he calls him “Silvio.” Anyway back to Sopranos..I had mixed emotions on this episode. I felt much of this was filler and a low point of the season. I hate rating things but besides a few wise cracks, seeing the Russian wedged underneath a sled and Tony smacking Jackie around not much seems to happen or draw my interest. Perhaps it was deliberately done this way to segue into Pine Barrens. The scene with Arkaway playing the guitar when Tony arrives to see Janice is just too much…what a nut-job. I suppose you are right stating Arkaway is Chase’s way at poking fun at Christianity (or religious nuts). I’m catholic and find it hilarious. From Richie Aprile to this guy…wow Janice, great job. One of Paulie’s best lines of the series relating to Santa Claus can be heard here; “in the end, fuck santa claus”.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Just watched this episode and, as I’ve mentioned in previous comments, this is a first time viewing of The Sopranos for me – I’m binge-watching it in its entirety.

    Cards on the table, I thought this episode was pretty much perfect. In every department – script, acting, everything.

    I must admit that I’ve not enjoyed Season 3 as much as Seasons 1 & 2 so far. I can’t put my finger on exactly why that it, but there’s been a bleakness about it (in my opinion). I know they had to do a major rewrite following the death of the (fine) actor who played Livia, and maybe that’s behind it. Or maybe it’s due to the death (in the story) of Pussy, and everything behind that – I liked Pussy. Whatever it is, like I said I’ve felt a certain bleakness about Season 3. I wondered if the show had lost its way a little if I’m honest.

    But this episode, this episode was just perfect. From Tony’s Xmas ‘To Do’ list (“Janice’s Russians”) to the the betrayal of Meadow (and, by default, Tony) by Jackie Jnr, to Bobby’s reluctant Santa Claus … it was just perfect.

    I’ve not read the recap above yet, nor the comments preceding this so it’ll be interesting to see others’ views. But, yep, for me that was a ‘Golden Age’ episode.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. One other thing if you take the word SATAN and move the N before the T its SANTA, how ironic????


  12. This episode leaves out the tattoo on Tony’s right index finger. When Tony has his notepad in his hand after talking to Slava you can see his finger and there is no tattoo. The tattoo first appeared in season 2 and stayed for the rest of the series. I’m pretty sure the tattoo was actually something that James Gandolfini had done in real life so that must not have been James’ hand in that shot.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I noticed in Sils dream the one of the strippers looked like one of the made guys wife(Gene?)who inherited money and wanted out.I could be mistaken ?? Thank you for the fantastic analysis throughout!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. AJ is high school age and has to be told to thank someone for a gift he may not truly love? Then, just when I’m thinking “what a loser”, he stamps it by getting excited at the sight of Tony’s fish. This–THIS FISH–makes Carmella laugh, AJ get excited and Meadow feel proud of the gift she gave. Tony’s face is supposed to show his torn feelings and the reminder of Pussy, but I like to look at his face and add a thought bubble of “Look at the jerks I have to live with.”


  15. I’m kind of shocked that no one seemed to point out a very obvious (to me at least ) point. Tony is enraged (rightfully so) that Jackie Jr. Has lied and cheated on Meadow, (and “bullshitted Tony” as he mentions to Jackie in the kitchen ) and the rage turns to disgust that same Xmas morning when Jackie comes over with a gift, specifically jewelry, for Meadow
    Does this seem familiar? The idea of “buying” a woman’s favor back out of guilt? Something like a giant sapphire ring??
    Keep up the great work Ron!
    PS side note- how hilarious was it when Janice says she figured out it was the brother concept was missing from her song. Aaron asks “he ain’t heavy?” And Janice quickly replies “well yeah, but no.” An obvious dig at Tony’s weight.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Great write up once again. Tony as Satan/Santa and the absence of Christ in the episode seem pretty spot on. Tony’s list is even called “X-mas” rather than Christmas. Yes I know the origin of the term is not in an intent to leave Christ out of Christmas, but it still fits the theme in a contemporary show.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I noticed Furio is missing from this episode, anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. When Janice decides to offer to make Christmas dinner and practices her demo with guitar in hand, it makes you wonder if her wrist was really hurting her as much as she claimed – specifically when she talks to Tony about it and he decides to go beat up the Russian with the Christmas display…

    Do you think she was exaggerating her pain, or was it real? Remember she had her “disability checks” from Seattle.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Aaron was a doofus, but he was sweet (and sort of cute). My favorite moment with him: He’s sitting on the sofa working on the song with the keyboard while Tony sits with his list and Janice and Carmela are in the kitchen. Aaron, with his pen or pencil in his mouth, looks up at Tony and smiles. I’m sure Janice dumped him when the music thing didn’t work out. I like to think he found someone better for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. To add more to the Christmas Carol comparison.. over the Christmas holiday, while watching both the Sopranos & multiple versions of a Christmas Carol, it was easy to see the general similarities between the two.

    Multiple characters in the series can be seen as Scrooge, the most obvious being Tony (maybe Livia). Both Scrooge & Tony are haunted, in different ways, by ghost of their past. The difference is that Ebenezer actually changes his ways after seeing his grave, shown to him by “the ghost of Christmas yet to come”, who can be seen as death itself.

    Tony as Scrooge is most obviously shown here, where he sees “Its a Wonderful Life” is on TV (the movie is based off of a story inspired by a Christmas Carol).. his annoyed reaction, “Oh, Jesus…. Enough already”.

    Also, the stripper coming down in the fashion of an upside down crucifix.. excellent observation. I think this is my third time going through these write ups but its easy to forget those little details.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m not sure whether I’m more sickened or amused by the idea of having the neighbourhood kids come into the Bing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hello everyone,
    i’m totally immersed in the “The Sopranos” re-watch, accompanying it with the autopsy episode by episode. I got a question: is it possible that the Fish-Jesus-Pussy link can end with the fact that Pussy is dead, so God is dead, as AJ (Nietzsche) tells Tony in the car? (2×07).
    And so this could further support the argument that God is unable to oppose Satan. I know it’s very risky to put Pussy near the figure of God. But Pussy distinguished himself in AJ’s Confirmation episode for being some kind of light in the dark.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. S2E13, “Funhouse”, was all about Tony’s subconscious telling him that Pussy was a rat. Of course the first dream sequence of that hour is set in Asbury Park. Is it possible that Tony was already subconsciously suspicious of Pussy back in ‘95 around the time of that real life meeting with Pussy and Jackie at Asbury Park? And that’s why the location showed up in Tony’s dream?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Charmaine said he wasn’t for her. Carmela is grasping at straws. Why didn’t she bring that issue of Charmaine dating Tony when she first heard it? She let it stew. Most women look good during a separation. There is a reason to keep yourself nice. That’s a fact. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Quick question, having just rewatched this episode. Am I right in thinking Tony first goes out and buys the sapphire necklace Carmela was hoping for, slapping it on the bar counter and saying it cost 50 grand, but then when Carmela opens her Xmas present at the end of the episode it’s an expensive but different piece of jewellery? A bracelet, almost glittering and almost soft mesh, like some sort of expensive chain or handcuff? Thanks so much, Ron, for all your autopsies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm I can’t remember now. I don’t think we see the actual piece at the bar, do we see it at some earlier point?


    • Aimee – I, too, could have sworn that Tony bought her a necklace in this episode, but he ended up giving her a huge sapphire ring. However, Maurice Yacower (2003) mentions that he also gave her a sapphire bracelet and necklace to go with her sapphire earrings (dates unknown).

      Liked by 1 person

  26. In my opinion, this is the greatest Sopranos episode of all – as well as being the greatest ‘Christmas’ episode of any TV show in the history of the medium. The episode has everything – the return of a ‘favourite’ former character in a fascinating backstory that’s interesting to explore, brilliant dialogue and funny one-liners, alongside a beautifully rendered juxtaposition of the mob boss having to deal with the ‘fucking regularness of life’ that we can all relate to it with a Christmas ‘to do’ list (which includes twatting Janice’s Russian, slightly less relatable to, for most people).
    I can’t help feeling that the general Soprano viewing public’s opinion of ‘To Save Us All…’ is overshadowed by its proximity to ‘everyone’s favourite episode’ Pine Barrens..
    Apart from that, the analysis above is great, Ron.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thought I’d stop by on the most appropriate page & wish you a Merry Christmas, Ron.. Hope you’re doing well. We appreciate you!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I really do wonder what Tony was trying to achieve with Jackie Jr. in this episode, and the season as a whole. I’m not suggesting it’s not “believable” or anything (Tony being a bad mentor to his underlings and children is one of the most consistent themes of this show), but I find it genuinely strange how angry Tony gets at Jackie for beginning (or continuing, I guess) to spiral downward into his mafioso fantasies, especially given that Tony’s done so little to really push against it. (Not to mention, it’s impossible for him to actually be a role model for Jackie Jr., given his lifestyle; why was he at the strip club, after all? And to look into the future, he’ll push AJ to go to a strip club party after his breakup in Season 6.)
    Jackie Jr.’s usually been one of my least favourite arcs in past viewings but I’m finding him much more compelling this time through. Almost more than anyone else, it feels like he was ordained by the logic of the Sopranos universe to die. After all, if it’s Tony Soprano who is supposed to be keeping you alive, what fuckin chance do you have?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very good question. Honestly I realized that Tony’s anger is somewhat different compared to what he will do with son (stripper club) and his own inability to be a good role model. After all the best way to get with Tony is to be in organized crime. So here’s my answer: 1) Tony is unwilling to change. Tony is rotten to the core so hanging with him will cause problems. Everyone in his relationships suffers one way or another. Even when his son is institutionalized Tony cares little to actually help AJ. We as moral rational people realize that Tony’s lifestyle dosnt bring any positive impact but Tony won’t give it up. This lifestyle Combined with Tony’s determination to trick himself as a good person gives him a reason to act angrily towards Jackie jr; someone who Tony views as a godson and someone beneath him. How dare Jackie jr disrespect him and his daughter when the Tony has been the good mentor?!? Of course this is all in Tony’s head we have to consider that Tony is a control freak-that comes will the title as head of the mafia. We see time and time again when things don’t go his way-gambling, the race horse, affairs, even his kids’ career choices- that Tony loses control. 2)Meadow. Kinda obvious but tony does care for meadow in a more pure love way at least more so than any other character. It is meadow that saves him from dying during his coma. As he says later on in the series, when daughters get involved all bets are off. But of course this blog mentions he may have a psychosexual attachment to meadow which is creepy in itself (see the episode review of when Tony smashed the mobster’s teeth who harassed meadow) So Tony seeing the boyfriend with a stripper cheating on his daughter will set him off.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Glenn MacDougall

    Chase and company chose to use a transitional technique between scenes that I think was widely used in the 30’s and 40s, but the choice of using it in the early 2000’s is both rare and telling.
    In the 1995 flashback scene when Pussy enters the door and finally comes back to them they literally use a transitional flip from the last scene to this scene.
    The scene literally flips over into the next scene and then he enters through the door.
    Its the scene when they ask where he was and that he better have a good excuse.
    It is such an old fashioned transitional tool that its use could only mean one thing.
    That he flipped.
    Or at least Chase is having alot of fun layering in that doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Has it ever been confirmed that Pussy flipped in 1995? In S2 E2: ‘Do Not Resuscitate’, it is revealed that Pussy has been working with the FBI since 1998, but it is unknown to what exact extent. Skip Lipari (Pussy’s FBI Handler) clearly states as much. Was the reminiscing in this episode about Pussy wearing a wire under his Santa suit, just “a big nothing”?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. To Whom It May Concern:
    Please stop referring to Todd VanDerWerff as ‘HE”!! The AVClub website is run by a lady named EMILY ! I know, I know … it’s often too difficult for many of y’all to understand/accept that women can also be ‘masters of their own domain’!!! 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

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