The series creator, David Chase, told The Huffington Post his favorite episodes for Gandolfini's Soprano were season six's "Join the Club" and "Mayhem."
"People call those the big dream sequence," Chase said of the episodes, which feature Soprano in a coma after being shot by Uncle Junior. And, as was the case with so many of Gandolfini's performances, "You also think, 'Is it him in the episode or is it the episode?'"
For Chase, the episode not only featured a standout performance by Gandolfini, but an interesting film-making technique, too. The episodes show Soprano lying in a hospital bed unconscious interposed with scenes from his dream state.
"As we did more and more and more episodes, I began to think we could take more creative risks," Chase, 69, said. "When I first started out in the business, I was working at Universal Studios. Another guy there, named Peter Fischer, he worked for John Mantley, the guy who produced 'Gunsmoke.'
“John said that the thing about making a TV series at Universal was that it was like making pancakes. Except when you burn one, you have to eat it. I became less and less concerned about having to eat the burnt ones as time went on."
Gandolfini died last year at age 51.
Chase also pointed to the episode in which Christopher, played by Michael Imperioli, died as another especially good one for Gandolfini.
"That was spectacular," he said. "He was just incredible."