'NYT' Sunday Preview: The Russian Did Return on 'The Sopranos'

By: E&P Staff One of the most popular speculations in the national guessing game surrounding the final episode of "The Sopranos" airing Sunday night on HBO is that the mad Russian who escaped in one of the series' most famous episodes -- "The Pine Barrens" -- will re-appear in the finale.

Tomorrow's New York Times features mini-profiles of several stars in the series and their final thoughts. One of them is Tony Sirico, who plays Paulie Walnuts. While creator David Chase has laughed off suggestions that he planned to have the Russian come back, Sirico reveals that they actually planned a scene with him this year.

It had Paulie and Christopher chatting in a bar about whatever happened to the Russian, who had been wounded by gunshots but ran off in the snow in that earlier episode. "And in the script," he says, "we were supposed to go outside and there he [the Russian] was standing on the corner. But when we went to shoot it, they took it out. I think David didn't like it.

"He wanted the audience just to suffer."


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