Tony's last words to Melfi/Yochelson, Elliot, Melfi and Tony

#1
The last therapy session between Tony and Dr. Melfi frustrated me to a great extent with her indifference to Tony's problems. I've noted that she has expressed a lack of interest ever since she was informed about the new study conducted on sociopaths, and when she finally read the paper, I knew she and Tony were parting ways. The sequence in the whole session that really stood out to me was Tony's reaction to her "surprising" outbursts. When Tony calls her tactics immoral, I actually sided with the hypocrite. Many of you think that this was Melfi's breakthrough, but I felt like she handled it very distastefully and in an unprofessional manner. "7" years in therapy and this is the conclusion she wants. It almost seems like Elliot won the battle and she finally gave in to peer pressure, the very thing she was fighting all these years. Dr. Melfi, you truly let me down.

I apologize for the edits, but they were just for grammatical corrections.

Re: Tony's last words to Melfi

#2
There may have been an element of "peer pressure", but I thought that her decision was based on concluding for herself, after reading the Yochelson article, that therapy was just another part of the sociopath's "crimial activity" - that is, she independently concluded that she had become part of Tony's criminal activity either as an unofficial de facto consiglieri or as an enabler, allowing Tony to function as a better criminal, and she wanted no further part in the criminal enterprise, even if her part was tangential or indirect.

Re: Tony's last words to Melfi

#3
I wholeheartedly agree with you here, but given the relationship they had on this show, do you feel the returned hostility towards Tony was a way of liberating herself? She wouldn't feel the slightest bit of remorse or regret if she found out he happened to kill himself after the therapy was over? (In a previous season, we saw her greatly disturbed by a patient's suicide when she relocated).

I wish we could see her one last time, but the last scene with her closing the door finally meant it's over.

Re: Tony's last words to Melfi

#4
wildemu wrote: Dr. Melfi, you truly let me down.


The more I think about it, the more I agree with you. I was initially so impressed by her courage in standing up to Tony, literally. She stood her ground as she opened the door of the office for him to leave, which contrasted sharply from the Dr. Melfi in early seasons, who was so terrified of Tony physically that in one episode, she even conealed a pair of scissors up her sleeve before she would allow him in her office.

But upon reflection, she was very callous, and her responses frequently weren't appropriate for a therapist. At one point she is basically mocking Tony, by anticipating everything he's going to say, and by muttering under her breath that they've talked and talked and talked about AJ. She accuses Tony of projecting the hostility that she's exhibiting, hiding behind her authority as "doctor".

And the issue she chooses to confront Tony with is. . . his ripping a page out of a magazine?!? What she really felt was disgust at his violent, dishonest, selfish nature, and her regret over possibly having facilitated his criminal lifestyle and activities. But she chose to focus on the most trivial issue imaginable. It's like criticizing Mussolini by accusing him of cheating in a game of checkers.
--wgw

"there's some folks out there that if they don't get it, you can't tell 'em." (louis armstrong)

Re: Tony's last words to Melfi

#5
Did anyone else wonder if she'd been drinking?

I would have to rewatch past episodes to confirm but I think the only time we've seen Melfi this 'brazen' (I would say careless) around T is after drinking.

I'm disgusted with Melfi 's actions, but will wait to post on this point when a bit more awake!

Re: Tony's last words to Melfi

#6
wgaryw wrote:And the issue she chooses to confront Tony with is. . . his ripping a page out of a magazine?!? What she really felt was disgust at his violent, dishonest, selfish nature, and her regret over possibly having facilitated his criminal lifestyle and activities. But she chose to focus on the most trivial issue imaginable. It's like criticizing Mussolini by accusing him of cheating in a game of checkers.


Yeah, but if you criticized Mussolini on much more he might make you eat that checkers board. Melfi was smart not to bring up here moral reasons to Tony. She's witnessed his behavior when it comes to those matters. She wasn't aiming for any sort of moral victory over him. At least, that's how I read the scene.
Bacala: You know, Quasimodo predicted all this.
Tony: Who did what?

Re: Tony's last words to Melfi

#7
One thing to note in the discussion over dinner amongst the psychologists is that Melfi was aware that the studies conducted in her field can yield varying results 3-4 years after the study has been originally conducted. She was battling with her colleagues, mainly Elliot, for this entire series and I believe she truly displayed her weaknesses when she finally caved in and read the paper. Not only was Elliot wrong in revealing Melfi's "mystery" patient, but he drove her to making a decision that I think she will eventually regret. Dr. Melfi was shown as the strong-minded professional that accepted a patient which her colleagues shunned away. With this episode, I felt like she liberated herself from Tony's affairs, but she also astrayed from the qualities that made her so respectable.

Re: Tony's last words to Melfi

#8
To me, Melfi had no other choice in the context of professional ethics but to dismiss Tony as a paitent, and faced a series of issues that made it impossible. The data of the study she finally read after pressure by Elliott and her peers at the dinner, the fear that she was enabling Tony to be a better mobster, the disclosure to her peers of Tony as her client by name (via Elliot), the insult of Italians at the peer dinner (the 'big nose' comment), and a fear that she might be killed as knew too much about Tony were factors. Perhaps too she felt that after 7 years of therapy with Tony that it had reached the end of where she could help anymore combined with the other factors.
What I am concerned with is now is that another person has abandoned Tony. He has lost one of the few places he could deal with his deep personal problems and not be seen as weak as a mobster to his peers. Of course, he has much more serious problems, including saving his own and his blood family's life.

Re: Tony's last words to Melfi

#9
I thought there was a lot of symbolism in this episode.

Re the Melfi scene. I thought the tearing a page from Melfi's book was one. Melfi took a page from Tony's book when she turned the tables on him and fired him as a patient.

The steak recipe reminded me of the whole 'meat'/butcher thing with Tony's mother. It got her hot when Johnny Boy brought home free meat. Also at Satriale's Tony ordered an italian ham sandwich (capacole sp?). That was the meat that sent him into anxiety attacks.

Someone also mentioned the sizzling steak reminded them of Chris's last bbq.

More epidsode imagery was the motorcycle guy getting hit evoked the black kid hitting AJ's friend's car and then throwing it into traffic. The same image as Hesh's son-in-law going under the car. I believe it was about the collateral victims of crime.

White buck skin shoes...Paulie wore/packed them on the trip to Florida.

And finally the whole football coach/Artie/Tony thing with Test Dream.

Lot's of imagery, hope the Meadow orange juice thing isn't another one.

Yochelson - The Criminal Personality

#10
“The criminal’s sentimentality reveals itself in compassion for babies and pets. The criminal uses insight to justify heinous acts. Therapy has potential for non-criminals, for criminals it becomes one more criminal operation.”

Babies and pets...ducks, Cosette - Adrianna's dog, Pie-O-My, the pharmacist's baby that nearly drowned at the pool, the baby seat in Christopher's car.

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