Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Since October, 2002, Karen Young has appeared in ten episodes of 'The Sopranos' as FBI Agent Robyn Sanseverino. It appears that her specialty in the Bureau is as a "Watcher", the contact for mob informers in the New Jersey area; specifically those with ties to the Soprano crime family.

Robyn Sanseverino appears to be all-business, no-nonsense, in her professional approach to her duties. But she has expressed some empathy for those she's had to deal with, especially Adriana La Cerva. And it can't be easy to develop a bond with a turncoat only to learn that more than likely they've been "disappeared" as was the case with Adriana, or to see them just slump over dead while getting the goods from them, as happened with Ray Curto.

It's my belief that law enforcement is in Robyn Sanseverino's blood. And that this same drive to fight crime can be found in other members of her family. Specifically, a twin sister whom we met in Toobworld twenty years before in an episode of 'The Equalizer', Sandra Stahl.

Sandra was a "Lady Cop" in Manhattan who in 1985 had to seek out the services of Robert McCall when she discovered that her partner and at least two other patrolmen were crooked. These cops were willing to go to any lengths to insure their secret was safe, and that included the possibility of murder to keep Sandra quiet.

I'm not very familiar with the episode, but I think the life of her father, Marvin Stahl, was threatened by her partner. In fact, he may have even been killed to show how serious they were about her silence.

During this trying time in Sandra's life, Robyn was probably still in training with the Bureau. It's easy to imagine that learning of the travails of her father and sister only hardened her own determination to succeed as an agent.

Other family members might have been responsible for inspiring them both to pursue careers in law enforcement, for reasons either good or ill.

Perhaps their grandfather had been an FBI agent himself back in the forties, one who dealt with a consulting detective by the name of Nero Wolfe ('A Nero Wolfe Mystery - "Over My Dead Body: Parts 1 & 2).

Going even farther back, they could have been related to a Texas sheriff named Leland Stahl ('Walker, Texas Ranger' - "Way Of The Warrior").

Or maybe they had an uncle who was a police lieutenant in Los Angeles ('Police Story' -"The Other Side of the Badge").

Or it could be that they wanted to bring honor back to the family name after relatives by the names of Dan and John Stahl got in trouble with the Feds back in the mid 1960s. ('The F.B.I.' - "Desperate Journey")

Sanseverino, Stahl... the reason why they have different last names? I think that if they are identical twins, then Robyn is - or was - married to somebody named Sanseverino. It's my belief that she's probably divorced. It would certainly go a long way toward splaining her dour attitude.

And why is she now divorced? Well, I hate to play on ethnic stereotypes, but maybe Mr. Sanseverino was somehow involved in the very illegal activities that Robyn now fights. Not that he was a member of an organized crime family himself, but perhaps Sanseverino got in over his head dealing with Paulie Walnuts or "Christuphuh". And so Robyn might hold Tony Soprano responsible for the destruction of her marriage.

Or maybe I'm just blowing smoke.....

By the way, tonight Karen Young appeared on the season finale of 'Law & Order' as Ms. Milford, a defense attorney for a corrupt DEA officer. But I don't think she makes the trifecta for the Stahl family. Instead, she's just one of many characters out there played by Karen Young who just happen to look alike in Toobworld.

For alls I know, there could be some significant difference in her appearance that sets her apart from Sandra and Robyn, but we just can't see it from our perspective in the Real World.

Ya never know with Young Women......


No comments: