The Season 3 episode airing on May 6, 2001, featuring Paulie Gualtieri and Christopher Moltisanti lost in the freezing woods, is widely considered one of the Top 5 episodes of The Sopranos. Sopranos creator David Chase, "Pine Barrens" director Steve Buscemi and episode and Michael Imperioli are among the cast and crew looking back for The Ringer's oral history. "Two mobsters chase a seemingly invincible man through the South Jersey forest," says Alan Siegel in introducing his oral history. "Then he vanishes, leaving only a trail of blood. As day turns into night and cold turns into much colder, the gangsters give up their search and go into survival mode. They bond, bicker, and threaten each other, until they’re finally rescued in the light of the next morning. Today, it’s the kind of premise that a studio might instantly green-light as a budget-conscious horror movie. But two decades ago, it was avant-garde, even for a television series as radical as The Sopranos. The 11th episode of the show’s third season, 'Pine Barrens' is a cross between an anti-buddy comedy and a living nightmare; at once hilarious, absurdist, and terrifying." As Chase put it: "In the woods, in the snow. It has a fairy tale quality."
TOPICS: The Sopranos, David Chase, Michael Imperioli, Steve Buscemi, Tony Sirico, Retro TV