Re: Blue Comet Further Suggesting "Football" Heidi

#52
"To bring that central relationship to an end by giving Melfi a "Eureka!" moment with Yochelson's study betrays all the time in the office that Chase had us watch over the years. Essentially, Chase is saying that the time in the office was a waste, that it was useless to think about Tony's "progress" because sociopaths can't progress through talk-therapy, and that Tony had been gaming Melfi all these years."

No that's not what Chase is saying, that's what MELFI has come to believe. Clearly, you take Melfi to be a direct conduit of Chase, in that everything she says or does is what Chase himself believes and is trying to tell us. I don't agree with that take at all, she is just a character, who sometimes says what Chase wants to say and other times does not. She is a human character, not the Direct Voice of the Creator. It would be really uninteresting and lame if this character were nothing more than a mouthpiece for Chase to preach to us. She's not that, she's a human character who is complicated and who makes mistakes. Maybe tragic ones sometimes.

Tony clearly has made some progress in therapy at times, even though he seems to take two steps back for evey step forward. I don't think he is just gaming her at all. Melfi has come to believe that, but IMO she's wrong and Chase has shown us that she's wrong.


"But Chase is asking us to forget about them because, well, sociopaths can't progress through talk-therapy."

No, the character of Melfi is deciding to forget them, partly because of pressure from her colleagues, who believe that sociopaths can't progress. She's come to believe that now. Chase has shown us that this is probably a mistake on her part, as we know that the therapy has had a real affect on Tony, that he hasn't just been faking with her all the time every time as she now thinks.

I suppose if you've always looked at the Melfi character as some infallible being who is never wrong and is the direct voice of David Chase personnified, then these events might seem really inconsistent. But if you just view her as a fallible human character, then they don't. I see her as a human being, and much prefer that.

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

#53
Tony and Melfi had divergent agendas- to borrow Tony's phrase from Soprano Home Movies. Melfi, though never articulating it to Tony that I can recall, cradled a quiet hope of untangling and rehabilitating his warped moral universe. But this was never Tony's own goal for therapy so the question of making progress is convoluted. Melfi tries to help Tony unwrap where his behavior comes from, but rather than awakening him to his immorality in a way that leads to change, he merely uses insight to justify heinous acts, as the study suggests. Like every other character in the series who deceives themselves about what they're doing, Melfi too managed to live in denial that Tony would never join her on the journey she had, in some part of her mind, charted out for them. Besides Eliot's mention of the rescue fantasy (re: his daughter) it's hinted that part of the explanation for Melfi's delusion is that she couldn't bear to give up her front row seat to the drama of the underworld and the workings of a criminal mind. It excites her. I actually find there to be a perfection to Melfi being punched with the reality that she was blind to what she was doing, as much as Carmela has been. And truth to Melfi reacting to it in an extremely uncontrolled and vindictive way. At one point in the final session, Melfi accuses Tony of projecting his hostility onto her. What's so great about that writing is that while speaking those words, Melfi is projecting not just her own hostility but her own act of projecting onto Tony. The essence of what was happening in that room, from Melfi's deluded perspective, was finally addressed and central to the resolution of that relationship.

From Tony's perspective, therapy was something else. The series begins with Tony driven to therapy by a subconscious terror that he will lose his family. Presumably, we'll see the bookend to match that opening in a few days, and it will add to the feeling of completeness to the therapy story.

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

#54
Couple of housekeeping matters:

First, folks we REALLY don't need to inject President Bush or international politics into a discussion about the hows and whys of the termination of Tony's therapy. Let's keep gratuitous political commentary out of the Sopranos threads. Save it for the Meet Market or for the main forums in instances where there is a genuine nexus between politics and story or character motivations or behaviors.

Second, many are quoting previous posters' comments with quotation marks. I encourage you to try the various quote tools, all of which place quoted text in a separate window within the reply, nicely differentiating it from your own text.

The first way to do this is to hit the little quote button at the bottom of a single post you wish to quote in your own reply. This will automatically invoke a reply composition window with the text of the targeted post already quoted. Just place the cursor after that text and type away.

A second method, useful when you wish to quote more than one poster, is to click the little multiquote icon at the bottom of the posts you wish to quote. This icon features a plus sign and quotation marks (+""). After you click it, the plus sign will change to a minus sign and the icon will light up (indicating it's active and that you will have to click the button again to "subtract it" from the list of posts to be quoted.) After clicking this icon on all posts on all pages that you wish to quote, click the "Post Reply" button at the bottom left of the post list on any page. You will bring up a reply composition window with all of the quoted material in tact.

For either of the above methods, simply delete any material between the inserted quote tags that you don't want included in the quoted text.

A third way to quote is to simply copy any material from another post to your clipboard, go to your reply composition window, click the quote button toward (4th icon from the right at the top of the comp window, a piece of paper with writing on it and a callout tail, like with cartoons), place the cursor in between the two bracketed "tags" that contain the "QUOTE" command, and paste the text. Alternatively, paste your text first, hilight it, and then hit the quote icon at the top.

Either way, your quoted text will display when posted in a delineated window like this one.: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: Blue Comet Further Suggesting "Football" Heidi

#55
Cold Cuts wrote:No that's not what Chase is saying, that's what MELFI has come to believe. Clearly, you take Melfi to be a direct conduit of Chase, in that everything she says or does is what Chase himself believes and is trying to tell us. I don't agree with that take at all, she is just a character, who sometimes says what Chase wants to say and other times does not. She is a human character, not the Direct Voice of the Creator. It would be really uninteresting and lame if this character were nothing more than a mouthpiece for Chase to preach to us. She's not that, she's a human character who is complicated and who makes mistakes. Maybe tragic ones sometimes.

Tony clearly has made some progress in therapy at times, even though he seems to take two steps back for evey step forward. I don't think he is just gaming her at all. Melfi has come to believe that, but IMO she's wrong and Chase has shown us that she's wrong.


No, the character of Melfi is deciding to forget them, partly because of pressure from her colleagues, who believe that sociopaths can't progress. She's come to believe that now. Chase has shown us that this is probably a mistake on her part, as we know that the therapy has had a real affect on Tony, that he hasn't just been faking with her all the time every time as she now thinks.

I suppose if you've always looked at the Melfi character as some infallible being who is never wrong and is the direct voice of David Chase personnified, then these events might seem really inconsistent. But if you just view her as a fallible human character, then they don't. I see her as a human being, and much prefer that.

Regarding your first point, I don't see it that way at all. But do LOOK at the presentation in the last two episodes: Kupferberg mentions to Melfi a study that disputes the help talk-therapy can offer sociopaths; friends at a dinner mention the same study after Kupferberg "outs" Tony as her patient; Melfi resists a bit, but later we see her reading the study and we see highlighted the lines that are catching her attention (about pets and babies, about blubbering and crocodile tears, etc.); and then we see Tony in her office talking about, among other things, pets and babies, and blubbering, too. How much more does Chase need to do to spell it out for you? Seriously, all the evidence points to Chase invalidating the psychiatric approach with Tony. It's not how I see Melfi; it's how Chase shows Melfi to US.

Now, regarding your second point, Yochelson is offered as the standard in the field. That it's a dated study (which would perhaps undermine our faith in it) isn't even mentioned. Yochelson's work (he died in 1976) is first mentioned as something a colleague told Kupferberg about at Rikers Island; and then presented as something everyone at the dinner save Melfi seems to be familiar with. We're then shown lines from the work itself. And no one--not Melfi, not any of colleagues--challenges it. Yochelson is allowed to stand as the authority on sociopathy, and unless we're trained psychiatrists, none of us in the audience can really contest it, because we don't know the field. And when Melfi recognizes Tony doing exactly the things Yochelson described, she has no choice but to end the relationship. And we have no choice but to see that what she's doing is clinically correct. And none of that comes from me, but all of it comes from what CHASE HAS DONE! And what Chase has done in the last two episodes invalidates much of what he's done with Melfi/Tony in the preceding 7 seasons.

Re: Melfi Shrink Is A Piece Of Shit

#56
bigbadbill007 wrote:That Dr of dr melfi is a low life piece of shit. he should never have mentioned tony in front of all those people. breaking confidences is as low as you can go. it could get melfi SHOT

Once again chase has shown that there is not much difference between the mafia life and the so call 'honest life'. throughout the series he is has clearly shown why people end up turning to crime and the mob is well as the thin line between the two types of life.

Look at TONY B in series 5 and artie throughout the series. remember the FEECH AND PAULIE FUED IN SEASON 5. them poor workers

he has said many times:

"Is it really true that crime doesn't pay?"

Better yet, tell Tony that Melfi's doctor unknowingly referred to him as a big Bluto type of person, possibly one of the maintenence staff of the building - remember when this happened in the underground parking garage? Maybe that would get that smug bastard killed too!!

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

#58
Couldn't it simply be that the Melfi/Tony sessions were a plot device, like his dreams to get us into his head? It wasnt' really about Tony getting 'cured'. Th reason he appeared to make progress was that to justify Melfi treating him all these years he had to at least appear to be making progress.

He was always depressed. I loved that idea of depression being rage turned inward. We learned a lot about Tony from the sessions.

The best was when Chase combined the therapy and dream devices after T killed Chris. In the actual session we saw how T 'manipulated' Melfi in his revisionist version.

I am not a psychologist. I am a scientist by training. I have read scientific studies and seen data making conclusions 180 degrees apart from one another. I don't always recall all the studies I've read, I just generally am aware of the theories and how to access them. I think that's what Melfi did. She was likely aware of the school of thought about sociopaths, heard the counter-arguments and formed her own opinion of whether or not she could cure or help Tony. I think she did get a little peer pressure and it was her ego that caused her to fire him.

I also think her mind was closed to him at the last session. That's what was so disheartening, because we did think she cared. Over the years though she has had times when her ego superceded her concern for her patients. I just saw a rerun on A&E when she said she hated all her patients cause they lied to her and didn't respect her work and the body of science behind it. That was her ego too. She is human. Like all the characters on the show. She can't change either.

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

#59
gistenhose wrote:Couldn't it simply be that the Melfi/Tony sessions were a plot device, like his dreams to get us into his head? It wasnt' really about Tony getting 'cured'. Th reason he appeared to make progress was that to justify Melfi treating him all these years he had to at least appear to be making progress.

He was always depressed. I loved that idea of depression being rage turned inward. We learned a lot about Tony from the sessions.

The best was when Chase combined the therapy and dream devices after T killed Chris. In the actual session we saw how T 'manipulated' Melfi in his revisionist version.

I am not a psychologist. I am a scientist by training. I have read scientific studies and seen data making conclusions 180 degrees apart from one another. I don't always recall all the studies I've read, I just generally am aware of the theories and how to access them. I think that's what Melfi did. She was likely aware of the school of thought about sociopaths, heard the counter-arguments and formed her own opinion of whether or not she could cure or help Tony. I think she did get a little peer pressure and it was her ego that caused her to fire him.

I also think her mind was closed to him at the last session. That's what was so disheartening, because we did think she cared. Over the years though she has had times when her ego superceded her concern for her patients. I just saw a rerun on A&E when she said she hated all her patients cause they lied to her and didn't respect her work and the body of science behind it. That was her ego too. She is human. Like all the characters on the show. She can't change either.

There is surely some truth here. I recall the very first episode in which Melfi suggests she has to tell the authorities if she hears that someone will be hurt, and then follows with "technically." From the very beginning, she was willing to look past certain items to treat Tony. Even after she was made to "lam it" she ended up treating him again. There is no doubt that Elliott held some fascination with both the mafia and her patient, but she too must have held some of this in order to keep treating a man she must have known had little chance of altering his lifestyle or habits which caused him such pain and issue.

However, I do think she made the right choice. Better late than never. As poor a choice as it might have been to drop Tony when she did, what point was there to continue? I think she knew she would drop him from the start of that particular session and it was only his words that reminded her so much of what she'd just read and finally understood that underscored her attitude. And who else but perhaps Carmela has ever spoken to Tony like that and gotten away with it? If, in fact, she surfaces once more, I truly wonder how Tony will react to her.

And just as a side note - I loved the scene of him putting the recipe back int he magazine. Hilarious.
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

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

#60
gistenhose wrote:Couldn't it simply be that the Melfi/Tony sessions were a plot device, like his dreams to get us into his head? It wasnt' really about Tony getting 'cured'.


I totally agree. I've thought this for years. There were so many times where the sessions seemed aimless. Maybe that's a realistic depiction of longterm talk therapy, but at times it felt like the writers were just going through the motions. I'm not disrespecting those who've been hoping for a breakthrough, but . . .

Detective Hunt wrote: And who else but perhaps Carmela has ever spoken to Tony like that and gotten away with it? If, in fact, she surfaces once more, I truly wonder how Tony will react to her.

And just as a side note - I loved the scene of him putting the recipe back int he magazine. Hilarious.


First things first: DH, I thought Gandolfini did one of the best Oliver Hardy impersonations I've ever seen when he put the page back. He had the mannerisms down pat. I was screaming with laughter.

Who besides Carmela and Melfi has spoken to Tony that way? I've been waiting for someone to bring this up. Drum roll, please: Livia. The parallels between their treatment of Tony, not to mention Janice's, are inescapable. How different might Tony's life have been if he'd had even one nurturing person in his life, a safe refuge where he could show his true self occasionally and still be loved and cared for? There's no question he deserves much of the tough love/abuse he's gotten from them. He's needed a wingtip up the lower bowel as much as AJ and Chrissy and half the rest of them. But he's gotten that. What he's never gotten is to be able to suckle at Isabella's breast whenever he needed to. Maybe that's the human condition. How many of us ever get as much unconditional love--and as many swift kicks--as we need?
Oh, there's my coffee. Well, didn't you bring me
any donuts or sweet rolls?

--Hank Quinlan

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