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How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

Forum: The Kitchen Sink

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How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old March 23rd, 2012, 11:46 PM   #1
tunafish
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Default How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

I'm really on the fence about this for some reason, while it may be clear to you to me I can't figure out if Tony was really happy with his decision to kill Chris and had no regrets about it, or was he confused and really in pain. What was the deal at the end of the episode Kennedy and Heidi? Anyway what's your take on it, was he upset, or was he sincerely happy with his decision like he claimed? (and I don't think the dreams are good proof because his dreams could be just as much of him trying to play the role as when awake)
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Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old December 18th, 2012, 08:20 PM   #2
Sonny Tatts
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Default Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

To me it looked as though Tony just saw his chance to be rid of Christopher and he jumped at the chance. Tony was sure that Chris was going to bring him down through his drug use and overall stupidity. I think what he really felt about killing Chris was worry that he would be found out.

Tony claimed he loved Chris, but it was easy to see that he doesn't love anyone more than he loves his own view of himself. Tony's unflagging self absorption is a constant theme in his interactions with other people.

When he's worried about being seen as weak after his hospital stay, he viciously beats his new driver to show that he's still the one to worry about, the biggest bully in the room.
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Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old December 18th, 2012, 11:04 PM   #3
Garth
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Default Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

The latter half of Kennedy and Heidi is rife with symbolism and call-backs to Tony's coma-dream. How that relates to Tony's feelings towards Chris's death--I am not completely sure. But they have to be related in some way. Tony spends the vast majority of the episode escaping his complicated feelings in regards to Chris's death and his own part in it.

It begins in his subconscious where he lays it all out for Melfi that he doesn't feel a thing, it then moves to his conversation with other characters when he describes (numerous times) the destroyed child-seat in the car, he broaches Carmela about her possibly feeling relieved at Chris's death. When he doesn't get the responses he wants, he decides he needs to get out of Jersey. But then inches his way back towards Chris's ghost by sleeping with his lady friend. Then THAT is too much and he resorts to going on a bender with peyote to, in an attempt to drown out all feelings. I think this pattern, while not easy to completely understand indicates that Tony has feels at least SOME modicum of guilt in regards to Chris. He attempts to layer over it with gambling, cynicism, sex, travel, and drugs.

And for the most part, this seems to work. I think if something similar would have happened to Tony around the second season this would have really destroyed him. But the toxic life that Tony has built for himself does not allow feelings of sadness, compassion, or guilt to surface very easily. Instead he searches for outlets to bury any remotely humanistic feeling he may have. Does he feel bad? Yes and no at the same time I guess, in my opinion.
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Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old December 19th, 2012, 08:00 PM   #4
Sonny Tatts
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Default Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

"Tony spends the vast majority of the episode escaping his complicated feelings in regards to Chris's death and his own part in it. "

I guess that's one way of putting it. He goes from one person to the next lying about Chris's death, he spends a long session with his airhead shrink lying about his part in Chris's life and death, as well as claiming he was "prostate with grief" over his cousin's murder, which he had committed.

I guess his feelings are kinda complicated. That tends to be the result when a person lies to himself and to everyone else. This final season really brings out the true nature of the characters.

Tony's cynicism at the wake, with his snide comment on the grieving mother's "James Brown" act, was probably seen as funny by some, but it just helps illustrate that Tony is a monster. The camera catches him casting lecherous goat eyes at the widow.

Really, this latest viewing of the series has me wishing Tony would get more than a beating at the hands of Bobby. The way he tries to plant the idea in Carmella's mind that she was relieved that Chris was killed, is truly disgusting.

It's as though the writers are bearing down on us to make us see Tony in the harshest possible light.
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Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old January 2nd, 2013, 06:35 PM   #5
tunafish
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Default Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny Tatts View Post
"Tony spends the vast majority of the episode escaping his complicated feelings in regards to Chris's death and his own part in it. "

I guess that's one way of putting it. He goes from one person to the next lying about Chris's death, he spends a long session with his airhead shrink lying about his part in Chris's life and death, as well as claiming he was "prostate with grief" over his cousin's murder, which he had committed.

I guess his feelings are kinda complicated. That tends to be the result when a person lies to himself and to everyone else. This final season really brings out the true nature of the characters.

Tony's cynicism at the wake, with his snide comment on the grieving mother's "James Brown" act, was probably seen as funny by some, but it just helps illustrate that Tony is a monster. The camera catches him casting lecherous goat eyes at the widow.

Really, this latest viewing of the series has me wishing Tony would get more than a beating at the hands of Bobby. The way he tries to plant the idea in Carmella's mind that she was relieved that Chris was killed, is truly disgusting.

It's as though the writers are bearing down on us to make us see Tony in the harshest possible light.
now im pretty sure tony was happy with his decision. in the end, tony was a business man. money ruled his life. as it rules many lives. killing chris was a smart move business wise. what made me wonder tho were his rationalizations, like about the baby seat in the back of the car, and chris being a bad father cuz of his drugs. but then again tony always lied, he lied to others and himself about everything. it was part of his power play. he built lie upon lie to make sure no one could ever really know any truth about him, which could be weakness. and tonys strategy does work. (listen to 'the 48 laws of power' by robert greene. the writes of the show must of listened or read that book because tony was a master of many of the strategies of power described there)

tony is one hard case study, and thats part of the appeal of his character. even dr melfi who was so 'bright' was fascinated 'studying' him in her sessions. and she barely scratched the surface of who he was. at the end her disguist against him tho reaches its threshold and i think Chase was trying to test our threshold against tony as well
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Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old March 17th, 2013, 01:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

As I see it, he absolutely was happy that Chris was gone. At this point in the series Tony had basically seen "through" Chris as an individual, he just became an extension of Tony himself from Tony's perspective. This extension was a loose end, but one he couldn't cut out because of his family obligation. Christopher was a ticking time bomb waiting to ruin Tony. He was a weak, lying drug addict, who lost his fiancee to Tony, and was also the only one who knew about the murder of Ralph.

I don't believe any of this perspective on Christopher was conscious thought by Tony until K&H. Up until then he continued to lie to himself about Chris - "He's my nephew, he's Dickie Moltisanti's son, I gotta take care of him, we're family" There was no love between them whatsoever, just powerful, deep-seated resentment that was consistently swept under the rug. In the final season it was fascinating how Tony kept his second-greatest enemy (after himself, of course) closer anyone else, in the position of best friend and protege. In "Kaisha", when Tony learns from Agent Harris that NY might try to take out somebody close to him, you can see the gears turning in his head and he almost smiles a little. He's thinking "this is perfect, they're gonna kill Christopher". It's what he's always needed, a way to get rid of Chris without breaking any of his own oaths. Ultimately this falls through and he takes a different opportunity, one in which he can kill Chris and believably cover it up as an accident.

Kennedy and Heidi had a recurring "white flash" - From my observations, white in The Sopranos seems to represent truth, while black represents secrets and deception. Tony's murder of Chris finally brought the truth out: They are not friends or allies, they are enemies and one must inevitably destroy the other. This was a cleansing experience for Tony, finally ridding himself of his immense burden.
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Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old March 17th, 2013, 02:21 PM   #7
FlyOnMelfisWall
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Default Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

I don't think Tony's real feelings about Chris' death can be answered in isolation from what I believe was his greatest motive in the murder, which was completely unconscious and had little to do with Chris' screwups or with Chris at all, except that he was one of several men carrying Tony's unconscious paternal projection. To me, this is probably the single most important theme in the series as a whole and certainly the least appreciated. Viewers and commentators paid so much attention to whether Tony died in the final episode, and I don't deny that that's a natural subject for wonder or speculation. But it is dwarfed, IMO, by the almost entirely symbolic and subtextual story thread that explains why Tony ultimately killed Christopher.

Melfi certainly had an inkling about this festering problem and tried to probe deeper with him about it, most notably in Down Neck, Funhouse, Fortunate Son, Army of One, In Camelot, Cold Cuts, and Cold Stones. And had Tony ever shared with her real details about The Test Dream, she might have been able to better see herself how serious and urgent the issue was, though I doubt that anything would have ever allowed Tony to penetrate the layers of denial he'd established to "shelter his base criminality," as Melfi's ex put it. As the asbestos storyline symbolically established, he so quarantined and insulated his conscious mind from the taboo of the incendiary feelings of hatred and rage for his father that the only way it was ever going to find liberation was through explosive, unconscious acting out, which it did.

All this is why I chose to write an obscenely long post on the topic, which I'll link for those with the time and interest who may have missed it in the Symbolism and Subtext Forum http://thechaselounge.net/showthread.php?t=2503
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Last edited by FlyOnMelfisWall : March 17th, 2013 at 02:32 PM.
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Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old March 17th, 2013, 06:39 PM   #8
zwingli
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Default Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

FlyOnMelfisWall, is this forum dead? It feels like I came in at the end of something, like the best is over.
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Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?
Old March 17th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: How did Tony Soprano REALLY feel about killing Chris?

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Originally Posted by zwingli View Post
FlyOnMelfisWall, is this forum dead? It feels like I came in at the end of something, like the best is over.
LOL, kudos for a very apropos invocation of a Soprano line. Yeah, it's mostly dead, as is to be expected since the series has been over now nearly six years. Almost all the people who were active here watched the show in first runs, so they (like me) are pretty much talked out. But there are a dozen or more hard core folks who drop by here regularly even though they rarely post. The most activity you will see is if there's a new interview or project by David Chase or something else to revive interest from a contemporary or new point of view.

Be patient, and if you comment on something that wasn't rehashed a lot in the old days, someone is bound to reply, as I did in this thread.

Cheers!
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