Scene: Tony's Safe House
[Dialogue from The Bard episode of The Twilight Zone]
Boss: Julius, what do I have to do? What do I have to say to get you out of here?
Julius: Give me a chance. Give me first dibs at this, this television series thing, or whatever it is. Let me do the pilot, please.
Boss: Julius, my boy, sit down. Julius, I'm not a hard man. I'm not a mean man. But the television industry today is looking for talent. They're looking for quality. They're preoccupied with talent and quality. And a writer is a major commodity.
This excerpt from the Twilight Zone is serving three purposes.
- It emphasizes the importance of the writing in the final episode. "The writer is a major commodity." Much thought and effort has gone into the writing. Happenings are not arbitrary or without reason.
- It provides a mechanism for playing the Twilight-Zone theme music during the cat's introduction. The cat is a meaningful plot development device. The Twilight-Zone theme sets the proper super-natural, other-worldly tone that we should associate with the cat.
- It provides a reference to a television show "pilot" which is relevant here since Chase had said that some of the content of the final episode would relate back to the Sopranos pilot.
[Tony gives food to the stray cat]
Crew Member 1: Who's he belong to?
Crew Member 2: He just showed up during the big storm.
The cat is a harbinger of death - Tony's death in particular. This idea is developed more completely as the episode progresses. The "big storm" is likely a metaphor for the family war in which Tony is currently involved.
Tony: Already caught a mouse down the cellar.
Again, a seemingly inconsequential line is actually key to understanding the interconnections of the storyline. Rhiannon, a character that was introduced in Episode 73 (Johnny Cakes) and more prominently featured in the final two episodes, is named after a goddess from Welsh mythology. One part of the story of Rhiannon involves two characters from the myth capturing a mouse, which turns out to be a third character from the myth in mouse form.
While it is not Rhiannon who captures the mouse, the reference is nonetheless a recognizable component of the story of Rhiannon. This is a meaningful plot device that connects the harbinger of Tony's death to Rhiannon.
Whether the name Rhiannon was chosen with the specific intention of making this connection or whether the connection was "retrofitted" after the fact is difficult to say. Given the lateness of the character's introduction and the apparent ease with which the connection is constructed, I personally lean toward the former.
Patsy Parisi: A lot of my customers are giving their action to New York.
It is no coincidence that just as we are introduced to the harbinger of Tony's death, Patsy shows up mentioning the New York family. Patsy will eventually betray Tony by cooperating with the New York family, using information obtained from Rhiannon. This scene is a microcosm of that betrayal.