Did Kennedy and Heidi damage your emotional investment in or connection to Tony?

Total votes: 0

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#21
I keep rewatching the episode to see if I change my mind, but so far I strongly disagree that Tony is showing 'no signs of remorse' regarding Chrisopher.

My argument on why Tony's behavior may be hard to read and seemingly inconsistent with prior 'whackings' is b/c this is the first time we've seen Tony murder someone so far outside the understood LCN rules. The next closest I think would be Ralph - but at least with Ralph a fight had broken out. And of course there was all the Ralphie baggage. I keep thinking how someone in T's crew (Vito?) remarked after Ralph's death that none of them was safe if Tony was willing to kill someone over a horse. Personally I was shocked many episodes ago when Tony was seriously considering killing Paulie, ostensibly just b/c he was talking too much and MAY possibly be a threat in the future. Such preemptive murder, like we later saw with Christopher, shows just how incredibly intense Tony's anxiety and immense dread over who will be next to betray him (or literally shoot him as Junior did) is weighing on him. for us, killing a beloved nephew/son-like figure in response to such anxiety is beyond unthinkable, but Tony has already gone so far down that slippery slope of rationalized murder that I definitely think it fits his character. and yes I think we are smack dab in the middle of the 'total decompensation' Melfi spoke of earlier. but in my opinion that doesn't mean Tony has totally lost his humanity, however heinous his actions. and it 100 times over doesn't fit Tony's character to believe that he's suddenly without conscience and can get out of this without paying a huge psychic toll. and on another note, i suggest we all go reread 'Richard III' and engage in some fun compare & contrast!

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#23
I am still invested in the show, and Tony for that matter, regardless of what occurred in Kennedy and Heidi. That we have had only one episode since then I think suggests there has not been enough time to fully show the effects it has had on Tony. Given that there are only two left I can understand some impatience or worry that such a realization/decompensation might not occur, but I think we have to wait and let Chase play this thing out. I've given him the benefit of the doubt many times, and if I can do that after the ill-planned long Vito arc, I can do that for just about anything. Chase has his reasons, I imagine. We might not like it in the end, but we've loved so much of his creation prior to that, I think it's not too much to suggest giving him the last two to say what he wants to say. Just my two boxes of ziti.
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#24
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:In contrast, his ostensible motives for killing Chris were almost entirely selfish. If you discount Tony's concern for Kaitlyn (which many have done), his motives reduced to worry about Chris flipping and giving Tony up to the FBI, disgust in Chris for being a drug addict, resignation that that would never change, and extreme hurt and resentment over the hatred Chris aimed subliminally at Tony through Cleaver. .


This will teach me to post quickly. Of course you're right -- Tony B's killing and Chris's were different.

I might quibble on the notion that it was entirely selfish to kill Christopher. As others and perhaps you have pointed out through the years, Tony has put up with behavior from Chris that he almost certainly would not have tolerated from anyone else. An addicted gangster is a threat, for any number of reasons, and a juicy target for the Feds. Chris had fired a gun at Tony's car, had brought a gun into the Bing, had relapsed repeatedly. His girlfriend did cooperate with the Feds. If killing Tony B was necessary to maintain peace, and to help the greatest number of people, then I think Tony S could say that he was protecting his crew by whacking Chris. Chris, as he himself pointed out to JT Dolan, could have brought the whole house of cards down with one phone call. He put everyone, not just Tony, at risk. Then you have Cleaver and all that represented. Would any self-respecting real Mob Boss have put up with that?

But you're right again about that look. That one particular shot, where he looks like the face of pure evil, we had not seen that before. We, the viewers, had generally been able to justify Tony's violent actions in the past (although those beatings of Georgie were pretty evil, just not murderous) because they seemed justified or because he seemed remorseful. Why Chase decided to feature this particular side of Tony so late in the game is something I predict we'll be discussing long after the series is over, particularly if there's no resolution.

I keep coming back to Cleaver and the notion that someone "comes back to life" to take out the boss. That has to be Christopher, and he's still waiting in Tony's subconscious to strike. If Christopher essentially died on that highway, and Tony is able to just keep on keeping on like nothing has happened, then I will admit it: I understand nothing about this show. (I know what you're thinking. Be nice.)

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#25
I'm not so sure the murders were that different. I mean, how has Tony S. really grieved for Tony B.? Or did he not care enough? One might consider his therapeutic breakthrough with Melfi a sign that he does not - that he is relieved after unloading the feelings of bile about himself due to lingering feelings of guilt over Tony B.'s going away while he himself did not thanks to his own "weakness." Realizing that it was he, Tony S., that needed to forgive himself and thus nothing to do with a cousin he supposedly truly cared for. In truth, all Tony S. ever did for Tony B. was lure him back into the life (when Tony B. wanted to go straight) and then keep him at arm's length rather than giving him his supposed due for years of silence in the can. This lead to Tony B. taking the extra money from NY which led to NY's retaliation against Angelo which led to Tony B. gunning down Phil's brother. Tony S. tried to use his cousin just as he tried to use Christopher and when both backfired, he certainly took care of the matter but perhaps too late - a singular trait of Tony Soprano.

In Chris' case, Tony schooled him all those years, raised him in the ranks, made Chris his supposed heir apparent, but then did nothing to bolster the spirit of the kid and everything to put him down when he needed it the most. Tony made sure Chris was placed in the worst possible environment from the beginning, even pulling him closer by having Chris murder the alleged killer of his own father. Ade's portion of this really only comes at the end, and I think sealed the deal. From that point on, both were irrevocably tainted for the other. I imagine Tony blames Chris as much as Chris blames Tony for what happened there, and those lingering feelings festered to bring us Cleaver and Chris' death.

I've no doubt there is emotion in Tony that has yet to be dealt with or understood in regards Chris' death, but it's not just that one death that Tony would have to come to terms with for him to be an "enlightened" boss or "better Tony." He has an entire laundry list, and some of them he might have been able to avoid - Tony B. and Chris to be sure.

Again - I think what is important is what end result we get when the show has finished. Do we expect to see Tony as a fully changed man? If so, then yes - we definitely would need to see some of the grieving process and result of Chris' murder on Tony. Or do we expect to see Tony stay in the mafia and continue as boss? If so, I'd counter that any type of realization such as owning his feelings about Chris would do him more harm than good. It would perhaps give him lingering guilt for the rest of his life, perhaps ensuring that the panic attacks continue. Likewise with AJ. If Tony is unable to save his son from "the life" and its results, then a Tony who is "aware" would surely have to feel guilty over such and thus forever be tormented by it. To be successful as the boss, Tony must place such thoughts and emotions outside of himself - compartmentalize (as he is certainly familiar with) and move on without second thought. Awful for Tony the human being, but exactly what is called for for Tony as Boss.

In all scenarios, the end Tony we get is changed somehow with new knowledge. It's just that such knowledge might not be something that saves him as a human being. In fact, it may doom him.

Fly - I know from reading some of your older posts, that you have a bit of a vision that God is working through Chase somehow. This may have changed since the last time you wrote on such, or it may be that your realization now that such is not the case is causing your disappointment with the show (and you must not be the only one given the poll results.) I'm not sure how to counsel anyone on that other than to say, give the man the chance to say what he means to say and then judge his total statement. It may very well end without ones views changing from how they are now. But at least one has the total picture to work with. Seems only fair. :smile:
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#26
Detective Hunt wrote: Fly - I know from reading some of your older posts, that you have a bit of a vision that God is working through Chase somehow. This may have changed since the last time you wrote on such, or it may be that your realization now that such is not the case is causing your disappointment with the show (and you must not be the only one given the poll results.)


No that hasn't really changed in that, regardless of where Tony ends up, the show has provoked a tremendous amount of consideration, thought, and discussion about morality, spiritual immortality, judgment, redemption, and other themes that are the preoccupations of various religions. I can't think of any work of similar scope that has done this in such profound, completely original, and sublte ways. So the feeling that there is divine inspiration working within Chase has not changed.

I'm not sure how to counsel anyone on that other than to say, give the man the chance to say what he means to say and then judge his total statement. It may very well end without ones views changing from how they are now. But at least one has the total picture to work with. Seems only fair. :smile:
I guess this thread inevitably led to places that seem like pre-judgment, but it really was not conceived at all with that in mind, and, for the most part, I think I've avoided going there. This thread totally comes out of a need to share and cope with a feeling towards Tony that is completely new, unexpected, and, frankly, very, very depressing to me, especially as we're this close to the end.

I never dreamed that 2 episodes before the finale, I could see Tony drag his shivering, half-drowned son from a suicide attempt in the highly symbolic pool, see him cradle him in his arms, crying and calling him "baby", and yet feel as emotionally detached as I felt. The empathy that I wanted to feel for Tony, the response that I know I would have had just two weeks earlier to that sight did not happen, and it did not happen for the precise reason that wgaryw articulated. It's like the old Barry Manilow song, "I've been up, down, trying to get the feeling again, all around." But it's just not happening. And that in itself is very disappointing, even though I do wonder if mine is the reaction intended by Chase and company.

I will point out that my emotional reaction, or lack of it, has not IMO at all influenced my ability to assess the quality of the shows as drama, as I rated K & H a 10 and Second Coming a 9. So it's not like I'm saying this is bad writing.

Then I have to deal with a trickle down effect of the emotional disconnect to Tony, who has always been the lynchpin to the whole thing for me. Now, after hearing that Meadow is dating a mob brat, has changed paths from medicine to law (sorry, billymac, you know I love you:icon_biggrin:), and after witnessing her essentially put her first hit/beatdown order out on a guy, I'm saying to myself, "Why do I give a flying you-know-what about what happens to this bratty, whiny, hypocritical heifer?"

Solely on the brilliance of Edie Falco, I had a moment of genuine empathy for Carmela in the hospital, and I guess part of me was a little more indulgent of Carm than anyone else this episode because she at least crapped all over Tony.:icon_biggrin: But it's equally hard to keep caring at this point about someone who's anesthetized herself to decades of corrosion and corruption in her own home with frequent shopping sprees at expensive stores.

It's as if the whole emotional apparatus binding me to this family is suddenly collapsing. And I just never, ever imagined that would be the case.

I'm not so sure the murders were that different. I mean, how has Tony S. really grieved for Tony B.? Or did he not care enough?
All I needed to know about how Tony was affected by killing Tony B was shown to me in the few minutes of that scene in the motel with Christopher. As you can see, I'm easy. You don't have to force feed me. I will gladly use fork and knife and chew myself. I just can't do it if I'm presented with no food at all.

I've no doubt there is emotion in Tony that has yet to be dealt with or understood in regards Chris' death, but it's not just that one death that Tony would have to come to terms with for him to be an "enlightened" boss or "better Tony." He has an entire laundry list, and some of them he might have been able to avoid - Tony B. and Chris to be sure.
Of course I'll only know how that will affect me if and when I see it. But I go back to the point of the thread. I'm just troubled at how I can still be feeling this way over two weeks after K & H and less than two weeks before the last scene of this series. It's my own emotional reactions I'm scrutinizing. Consider this thread more a therapy session for people who are feeling like me than any pre-judgment of how the show will end.:icon_wink:
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#27
I haven't posted this half-season yet, and Fly I respect your opinions, but I think anyone who honestly believed Tony would find redemption was kidding themselves with regard to both Tony as a character and Chase as a writer. The show has been full of dread and misanthropy for pretty much the whole run, and especially since Season 4. It was always going to end badly, or ambiguously and disturbingly at best, and as this season in particular has reminded us, Tony and the culture he represents are a blight on nature, morality, and basically the entire human race. I don't share Chase's misanthropy, but I can see it.

Tony is a complicated person, but he is ultimately not good by any remotely objective standard. I don't know about the whole "killing Chris = killing Johnny Boy" analogy; I think it's a bit of a stretch, even given his recent subconscious rebellions against all his father figures, and that the act was more akin to Tony killing his own "business son," destroying his own dead-end future, and feeling utterly relieved. The real tragedy is that Tony is so utterly helpless and hopeless with respect to his own biological son, a loser who reflects all of his failings and none of his strengths.

I do think Tony killing Chris is the most self-indulgent thing Tony's ever done, a lapse back into ignorance and selfishness and gluttony that he managed to psychologically disguise as a noble or family-oriented gesture. However, this is the exact sort of thing he has done all along in virtually every aspect of his life. He's done a few "good" things, sure, but the overwhelming net effect of his existence is negative, as the monks said, as his family members discover and repress, as the smoldering asbestos reminds us (haven't seen anyone mention it, but did anyone catch the use of that Pretenders song, first with the dumping of garbage at a gas station, now with asbestos into the Meadowlands? "Toxic" Tony is now literally so, and more dangerous than ever).

"Kennedy and Heidi" represent right and wrong, plain and simple, and as the show's theme song has stated at the beginning of every single episode, Tony was never told the difference. That's what makes him an irredeemable figure. All I'm hoping for is a good resolution for the narrative; I have no hopes for Tony's soul or character, especially since he's fictional.

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#28
Hi all-

I just found your board... unfortunately only two weeks before the end of my favorite show ever. Great discussions here, and I know I'll spend weeks poring through all the old posts and threads. I've been looking for a decent Sopranos board with thought-provoking discussion for quite a while... I really, REALLY don't know how I have managed to miss this one, because it seems to be everything I was looking for :icon_cry:

On to the subject at hand--

First off, Chris is my favorite goon of all. I'll get that out of the way right off the bat. What Tony did shocked and disgusted me, even though I've never been foolish enough to think that Chris would have a happy end to a long and fulfilling life.

I'm not one of those people who has been rooting for Tony all along. I mean, I've known the whole time that Tony is what he is. WhattayaGonnaDo? I did used to look at him in a different way though. Because at one time it seemed like there was a different side that surfaced in him from time to time. Like when he burned down Artie's restaraunt to prevent a murder there. It was ignorant and foolish, but there was a certain bit of good intention there. It seems like we used to see that side of him a lot more.

That started to change long before 'Kennedy and Heidi'. The first time I remember REALLY looking at Tony in a different light was when he whipped Councillor Zellman with the belt because he found him with Irina... and after Zellman had already told Tony about what was going on. That was the first time I looked at Tony and thought, whoa. Seriously, whoa.

His character arc has been on a descent for quite a while now. I'm still interested in Tony's fate... I'm interested in everyone's fate. I suppose Kennedy and Heidi convinced me once and for all of Tony's character deterioration; there were a lot of signs for a long time but this really drove it home for me.

I've still got a lot of emotional investment in Tony and all the characters. But that episode made me dread the last ones, in a way. The sense of impending doom is palpable.

Life to me is a series of choices, one after the other... and while the main characters have all made some bad choices way before the series began, it becomes all the sadder to me now, seeing it so close to the end, and knowing what is going to happen. Well, I don't really know of course... but I think we can be sure there aren't going to be any happy endings for anyone.

Chris had his chance to get off that ship... Carmella did too. Now Meadow is making the wrong choices as well.

This episode drove home for me... FINALLY (I am a bit dense).. that all bets are off in this storyline. If the father is going to kill the son (which I think is essentially what we saw here) then who knows what's going to happen to the rest of the characters.

Sorry if I rambled a bit here.

Re: Did Kennedy and Heidi Damage Your Emotional Investment i

#29
De Novo, welcome back to the forum. Glad you joined us again before the end.:icon_wink:

I assume you had a problem logging into your old account. I'd be happy to merge the two so all your posts will show up under a unified screen name. Just let me know which name you prefer.

De Novo Parte Due wrote:I haven't posted this half-season yet, and Fly I respect your opinions, but I think anyone who honestly believed Tony would find redemption was kidding themselves with regard to both Tony as a character and Chase as a writer.


I'm a sucker for underdogs. And that means that my rooting interests are always undertaken with a certain understanding of their improbability.

But I'm not sure that there's one universal idea of what "redemption" really means for this character. The term gets used a lot, but there are several scenarios that would ultimately satisfy some version of what I would call "redemption", and most of them have seemed well within the realm of possibility until very recently.

For example: Tony, seeing the future he dreaded for his son starting to materialize; tiring of the constant stresses -- physical, legal, emotional -- of heading a criminal enterprise; increasingly starting to hate the men surrounding him; and with prodding from an ever more worried Carmela, who he finally is beginning to believe may love him for reasons beyond his identity as a kick-ass alpha male and successful mob boss; decides to simply quit . . . retire, leave the mob and move away from all its influences, in the way that Eugene wanted to.

I honestly think this is an entirely reasonable scenario based on the content of this series as a whole. It's redemption of a sort because Tony would change his way of life and likely ensure that his son would not become a man like himself. Yet it's more palatable to the committed cynics of the world (Chase?) because it would proceed more out of purely selfish, unenlightened exigencies than out of any real reckoning with morality or conscience.

Another scenario, less likely but which I'd prefer to see, would involve either his wife or children dying because of some danger or event his way of life set in motion. Very Godfatheresque, of course, but that movie doesn't own the patent on bad karma, and a phenomenon as real as reaping what you sow shouldn't be discounted simply because thousands of other stories have used it. In this case, the redemption would come in Tony gradually accepting that HE caused the death, HE destroyed what he loved most, and in accepting that his suffering thereafter is just. If this was going to happen, though, I'd like to have seen it about 8-9 episodes ago so that the eps since would depict the process of that acceptance.

I also think a sort of redemption could have ensued from a less sensational scenario, something as simple as having to watch Carmela slowly die of cancer. As someone who lived with and cared for a cancer victim for two years (my mother), it's hard not to be transformed in some way by the experience.

My mother certainly was. The total disintegration of her vanity over the course of her illness was very nearly miraculous. When it started, she wouldn't set foot in public without makeup; would hide in the house when unexpected visitors caught her cosmetically "unprepared"; was hostile, obsessively private, and often dishonest about her age; and insisted that her young grandchildren call her by her first name. By the end, she was openly appearing in front of people with no makeup and bald as a billiard and was laughingly admitting that she felt like a "grandmother" and wanted to be addressed accordingly. Put this one up there with changing water into wine.:icon_biggrin:

I could see Tony transformed by having to care for Carmela in a similar scenario, especially if it had come directly on the heels of his own shooting, when he was so moved at how Carmela had taken care of him. Tony needs a ride? Try a roller coaster. All of the tests and daily treatments and more tests and more daily treatments and waiting and false hopes and dashed hopes and recurrences and side effects and treatments for side effects and treatments for the side effects of treatments for side effects -- right up until the final blow when it comes down to a number . . . as in weeks or months left.

For all Tony's cheating, for all the years that he increased Carmela's material appetites by communicating his feelings only through expensive gifts, I've never doubted that he loves her. I can see him give her that watch, weeks after one of the worst fights in their history (and only minutes before she threw it back in his face), and still understand and believe that he DOES in fact consider her "his life". There has always been a profound love story there, IMO, and love is the ultimate redemptive power.

If he were engaged in doing the very thing Carmela thought him incapable of during the worst times of their separation, if he was "helping her to the bathroom when she could no longer walk there herself", I can't believe he wouldn't seriously reorder the priorities in his life. I can't believe Carm would spend those last months worrying about Iagos and new Mercedes instead of worrying about her son's future and doing everything she could to extract a commitment from Tony to take care of their boy.

If you fundamentally believe that Tony lacks the capacity to love that way, then I agree any thought of redemption is foolish. But I've always credited him with that ability. He loves very few people. But with respect to those few, the love is real and powerful.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

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