HBO’s The Sopranos is often regarded as one of the greatest TV shows ever made. While the mob stuff is obviously great, much of the show’s acclaim stems from its characters, the writing, and the performances that helped bring them to life. The Sopranos tended to forego traditional moral TV values, presenting protagonists that were awful people willing to cheat, steal, and murder.
However, David Chase and his team pulled off the near-impossible and made these troubled characters both endearing and relatable. Christopher is just as bad as the rest of them, but he is also somehow one of the show’s most likable characters.
Loved: Pine Barrens
Season 3’s “Pine Barrens” is often regarded as The Sopranos‘ finest hour, and for good reason. Hilariously directed by Steve Buscemi and expertly written by Terence Winter & Tim Van Patten (winning the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama), “Pine Barrens” showcases Christopher and Paulie at their most lovable.
The two make for a fantastic duo, and the kooky shenanigans they get up throughout the episode are nothing short of gut-busting.
Hated: Killing The Waiter
“Pine Barrens” displays Christopher and Paulie at their funniest and most lovable. However, season 5’s “Two Tonys” is quick to remind viewers that these are two psychopaths willing to murder an innocent waiter over a tip.
After Paulie inflates their dinner bill to infuriate Christopher, Chris leaves a paltry tip for the overworked waiter. The waiter confronts Chris outside the restaurant, and he throws a rock at the waiter’s head in response. The fatally injured man suffers a seizure, and Paulie puts him out of his misery by shooting him in the chest.
Loved: His Failed Writing Aspirations
Christopher was always portrayed as one of the most relatable characters of The Sopranos. Like many, he has aspirations to be something bigger and more important than he is. Christopher is a film buff, and he desperately hopes to become a hotshot screenwriter.
But not only is Christopher a poor writer (complete with many misspellings), he is also stuck in the mob. Fans genuinely felt bad for Christopher and his failed aspirations, and it helped make him the most sympathetic character on the show.
Hated: Sending Adriana To Her Death
Even the most ardent Christopher supporters were done with him following Adriana’s death. Despite his continuously awful treatment towards her, Adriana genuinely loved Christopher. She eventually came clean to him and revealed that she was working as an informant for the FBI, hoping that Chris would run away with her into witness protection.
However, Chris remained loyal to Tony and the mob and told him about Adriana’s betrayal. Adriana was in turn kidnapped and murdered by Silvio.
Loved: The Barbecue Conversation
Even late series Christopher has his redeeming and likable moments. One of them is the personal conversation he shares with Tony at the barbecue. While grilling some meat, Tony starts laying into Christopher for his prolonged absences.
Christopher explains from his perspective, telling Tony that it’s hard for him to be around the guys following his newfound sobriety. He then shatters Tony’s illusion of his father, Dicky Moltisanti, calling him nothing more than a “f***ing junkie.” It was another sympathetic moment for a character who was trying to be better.
Hated: Killing JT Dolan
Christopher is at his most irredeemable after killing JT Dolan. Despite their rocky business arrangement, JT was perhaps the closest thing that Christopher had to a genuine friend. He realizes as much after going over to JT’s in a drunken stupor and spilling his grief and resentments.
JT, not wanting to hear about the mafia, essentially tells Chris to shut up. Perhaps realizing that he said too much, or maybe just because JT shut him down in his time of need, Chris kills JT in one of the show’s most shocking and unpredictable moments.
Loved: Getting Clean
Christopher’s drug use eventually gets the better of him, and he enters rehab to get clean. And to his credit, he actually takes his newfound sobriety quite seriously. As mentioned before, he generally avoids the guys and their usual hangouts, finding it hard to be around their constant drinking and partying.
He also drinks non-alcoholic beer at the family barbecue and continuously rejects Tony’s insistences that he start drinking again. It made viewers almost proud of the poor man.
Hated: Shooting The Bakery Store Employee
The show doesn’t take long in establishing Christopher as a horrible person. Season 1’s “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti” concerns Christopher’s feelings of inadequacy and unimportance within the mob. Feeling disrespected and wanting to prove his volatility, Chris holds up a bakery after the employee gives him a hard time.
After robbing the bakery of various goods, Christopher shoots the employee in the foot, giving him an offhanded, “It happens!” while walking out the door.
Loved: Crying In The Car
Season 5’s “Cold Cuts” is a wonderful episode that sees Christopher and Tony Blundetto driving to Kinderhook to visit Uncle Pat’s farm. The farm had recently received new owners, and Chris and Tony were ordered to move some bodies that had been buried on the property.
They bond throughout the ordeal, but things take a turn for the worse when Tony arrives. Both Tonys proceed to gang up and lay into Christopher, resulting in him driving home alone with tears in his eyes.
Hated: Crashing The Car
Christopher’s life comes to a swift and surprising end after crashing his car in Kennedy and Heidi. It’s implied that Christopher is stoned, and his careless driving results in a horrible accident.
While Tony escapes unscathed, Chris is seriously wounded. Tony looks in the back and sees that a long branch has approached the baby seat, indicating that Chris’s daughter would have died in the crash. It’s a horrifying realization for both Tony and the viewers, and it’s all the excuse that Tony needs to kill Christopher right then and there.