Re: Anyone else?

#61
richieaprile wrote:Fly,
Excellent post. I feel your need to see Tony redeemed is leading you to fail to fully appreciate the beauty of the final season.


RA, what exactly is it I'm failing to appreciate? I gave Soprano Home Movies, Stage 5 and Walk Like a Man each a rating of 9. I didn't assign a grade less than 8 to any other episode from season 6B, except Chasing It, which I gave a 6. I ranked THREE episodes a perfect 10, including Kennedy and Heidi, the episode which most clearly marked the point that I lost my affection and all hope for Tony and which made it abundantly clear that hoping for his redemption was folly. I also ranked Made in America a 10, a rating that I thought was very generous at the time (and still do) but which I gave nevertheless because of the sheer provocativeness of the blackout and the expert use of dramatic conventions to drive (and ultimately subvert) viewer expectations in the diner sequence.

Just to put this in perspective, I don't toss out 10s willy nilly, since I'm rating this show not against television in general but against itself. I've probably only ranked about a dozen episodes a perfect 10 over the course of the series. And I'll almost guarantee that the average of my episode ratings for season 6 make it the most highly rated season of the series on my report card even though it will never be my favorite.

You are confusing my disappointment and disillusionment with the ultimate direction Chase took his characters (which for obvious reasons couldn't be finally judged until the end of the last episode) with my ability or willingness to appreciate and acknowledge the quality of writing and production in the individual episodes. Yes, I NEEDED to see some kind of redemption for Tony for many reasons, not least because I agree with CIG that the prospect of that was dangled tantalizingly for years and because I didn't want to believe that we were plodding the same ground over and over with Tony without
there being some new destination, some different place at the end of it all.


Fly, you are one of the great commentators on the show on the web and we need you back. Put aside how you though the show should
end and start digging into the material. Like Chase said "It's all there".
Thank you very much for the compliment, RA.:smile: But, again, I must ask why you seem to want me to feel about the show the way you feel or to have the same obsession with it that I had before(?). Why must I value it for the same things that you or anyone else values it for?

It's no secret that a big part of my obsession was the spiritual undertow of the show, the way fundamental issues of morality, mortality, divinity, psychology, and destiny were brilliantly, perhaps sometimes even unconsciously woven into the fabric of the stories. Once the show came to a conclusion that I could not feel good about or that I think paid off the time I spent mulling endless "clues" in a half dozen particularly symbolic episodes, the passion to search every nook and cranny left me.

I just am not driven or interested, at this point, in delving into the meaning of the orange cat that stared at Chris, the tiger on the wall, or whether the picture at Holsten's was Tony's high school (which I theorized it was early on after MIA). At least for now, I'm also not interested in what Tony "got" in the desert or about whom he was speaking when he laughed "he's dead", as it's abundantly clear in hindsight that no matter what the answer to those questions were, they weren't steering him to any place of spiritual growth but were just more of the same empty possibilities.

Most of all, I'm not interested in whether Tony died or lived after the blackout. As I said from the beginning, there's plenty of room to come to either conclusion for those interested in reaching a conclusion on that issue. Please understand this indifference is not new on my part. While Vegas and casual fans, even some hardcore folks here, were always quite interested (even preoccupied) with whether or not Tony would die at series' end, that was never a very interesting question to me. I never really cared whether he would die at the end but rather cared about how he would live just before the end. Holsten's has nothing to do with the latter.

It's obviously still very early in the post-Sopranos timeframe, so I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. But the most volatile of my pendulum swings came in the first 48 hours after MIA, from grave disappointment to an embrace of the ending based on my own inner pep rally and need to feel satisfaction. Weeks later, I think the pendulum has stopped swinging and settled into a middle ground, but who knows. I may just be taking my time to get back to another extreme.: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: Anyone else?

#62
For anyone else who may have been confused by Fly's use of the abbreviation MIA, it stands for "Made In America".

I was scurrying through my list of titles searching for an episode called MIA or Missing In Action. It took me a good ten minutes to figure out what she meant.

Of course, I just woke from a nap, and that may have something to do with my dull witted failure to catch the meaning.

Re: Fly, you need to read this

#63
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:BB, I really was not being judgmental or intending to be. Rather I was proffering that, if you accept the interpretation of the blackout as not just Tony's physical death but as his move to an eternal consciousness of utter dark, cold, isolation, Chase himself was obviously saying this man went to hell and that he earned it (and I wouldn't argue with that at this point). It was Chase who was being judgmental, if you like (and he is God in the Sopranos universe, afterall:icon_biggrin:). I was merely trying to make sense of my own reaction in that context, the detachment, the sense of divestment that I now feel toward the character and his fate and, derivatively, towards the show. I was wondering if such a reaction might somehow have been intended or forseen by Chase as sort of a harmless parallel to the divine judgment that must issue towards any soul that is beyond redemption.

I agree completely. Except that Tony's god is David Chase and, if you accept that Tony died at the end and went to hell in the form of an infinite dark void, I was given the voyeur's perspective on God's judgment of one man.:icon_wink:


Fly, sorry if i sounded like i was saying you're judgemental in the negative sense (that would be more typical in the realm of those in my religion unfortunately!) - we all need to judge situations everyday in a healthy way. And basically, i still don't necessarily accept the interpretation of the blackout equating to Tony's move to hell-- although i don't rule out the validity of most poster's view of that. It is entirely possible, just not my first or current take on it. Seems that many here have switched views after pondering it, so perhaps i will too, but for now, i'm still not going there.

Now, as for saying that Chase is Tony's god since he created him- it makes sense as another interesting way to interpret everything, accept that, but again, i totally don't go along with that at this time. That's like saying Shakespeare is Hamlet's god, Mario Puzo/and Coppola are the gods of Don Corleone; Michaelangelo is David's god or Beethoven is the god solely of The Moonlight Sonata. These great works and characters of Art, fiction, theater, etc. take on lives of their own for posterity, and become citizens of the world, gifts to us. Entire college lectures are based upon their interpretations; and before the internet, students exchanged ideas in a frenzy in their classrooms like we do now here, at the University of Chase Lounge! (And i know some classes have been going on about the Sopranos, and perhaps students log on here and plagiarize our amazing posts so they can wax profoundly on the subject!).

That spark of creativity that channeled through Beethoven to create the Sonata, or thru Rothko or myriad others to create great paintings comes on thru to us the observer,and it has its own life. Its a credit to the artists that they said yes to that, and allowed it to come thru their senses and body to express it to us. (Immaculate Conception- the Virgin Mary said "yes" and we got a divine Son of God born to us, for us. Mary stayed "pure" and the creative result came thru with His own life from God). Yes, Chase created Tony et al, but hopefully he recognizes that they, like real live children, have a life beyond his control, and have become works or art, available for alternative interpretations. That being said, of course Chase has his own interpretation which may well be that Tony died and went to hell-- but his ending is brilliant because he gets that his particular interpretation is just that, and Tony has a life of his own. He expressed it the best he could within the limitations of his medium (TV), just as Michaelangelo used marble and not wood for David, Van Gogh used oils and not fingerpaint for Starry Night, and i myself used oil synthetics and acrylics and not photography for my own images and paintings while completing an art degree years ago. Chase knew when to end the painting, and didn't add one too many strokes of paint- a common problem with young painters! :smile:

Re: Anyone else?

#64
Did Hunter change because she possessed great resiliency and fortitude and a capacity to work very hard at self improvement? If so, by what grace or accident or luck did she come by those traits that enabled her to succeed where Tony failed?
Once again, I have not read the entirety of the thread before responding (well...who knew the thing would take off in a day and a half :icon_rolleyes: - shows me for taking some time away.) But this statement hit me, Fly - the reason Tony doesn't have that capability (or at least had a much, much harder road), IMHO, is that he has killed...murdered other human beings...personally. The blackness of his soul is such that Hunter could not even comprehend. Where she might have a tall ladder to reach true change, Tony has several circles of hell.

And cold x - great post, mate. Really outstanding. I will be reading the rest of the thread but, unfortunately, not tonight. Good to see some more discussion, however. :icon_biggrin:
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Anyone else?

#65
chaseisgod wrote:I still think Fly, in her anger, nailed it best in her initial post after the final episode. Chase flipped us the bird.



I agree, even though I though out the ending and pondered it a lot, it always stuck in the back of my head how Chase hates television. He's said it over and over and over again.

I think it just ended, especially after hearing Chases "explanation" with the guy from the paper. I think nothing happened, the show just stopped. That's it, no big ending, no nothing, just black.

Re: Anyone else?

#66
My two bits-

I loved the ending and I found it quite powerful in a disturbing kind of way. And let me say I also consider it to be an "ending" and not a flip of the bird. I think people have paid too much attention to the final scene looking for clues instead of taking a look at the season and the show as a whole. Look at Tony's life right before the cut to black.

He has been cut off by Melfi and he no longer has an outlet to question or confront his dark side. He no longer has an outlet to deal with his internal conflict. Melfi was his life preserver in a way(better than a bushttp://thechaselounge.net/fusion/smi ... n_wink.gif
:icon_wink:) for his human/emotional side.

His kids: Tony wanted nothing more than for his kids to strike out on their own as he was never able to do. The series ends with AJ working for Little Carmine in hopes that his dad will bankroll a club with his blood money. Meadow? She is marrying the son of one his soldiers.

He has a huge trial on the horizon.

His crew is essentially gone. He lost Silvio (BTW - the scene between the two in the hospital mirroring the scene where Silvio visited Tony was surprisingly touching), he lost Bobby, he killed his own nephew. He is left with Paulie, a guy who he was ready to whack because he trusted him so little and despised him so much. And Paulie has been put in charge of the cursed Aprile crew so his fate is basically sealed.

He has seen his possible fates played out in the lives of others. Johnny Sac - died in prison. Junior - senile in a grungy home, doesn't even remember being in LCN, Phil (and countless others)- whacked.

Tony is in a bad place as that infamous scene cuts to black. All is not well. Life, as presented in the scene of the family munching on onion rings, may very well go on but for how long? The ending seems to say to me that it is all over for Tony Soprano. Whether he gets whacked, goes to jail, or keels over from a heart attack 10 years down the line isn't the point. He is in some form of hell there at the end.


Also, I wanted to comment on Tony's lack of change. It reminded me of a quote/story that Orson Welles used in his film Mr.Arkadin which I think hits on a certain psychological truth:


"And now I'm going to tell you a story about a scorpion. A scorpion wanted to cross a river, so she asked a frog to carry him. "No," said the frog. "No, thank you. If I let you on my back you may sting me, and the sting of a scorpion means death."

"Now, where," asked the scorpion, "is the logic of that?" For scorpions always try to be logical. "If I sting you, you will die and I will drown." The frog was convinced and allowed the scorpion on his back but just in the middle of the river he felt a terrible pain and realized that, after all, the scorpion had stung him.

"Logic!" cried the dying frog as he started under, bearing the scorpion down with him. "There is no logic in this."

"I know," said the scorpion, "but I can't help it. It's my character." "

Re: Anyone else?

#67
Marlowe wrote:My two bits-

I loved the ending and I found it quite powerful in a disturbing kind of way. And let me say I also consider it to be an "ending" and not a flip of the bird. I think people have paid too much attention to the final scene looking for clues instead of taking a look at the season and the show as a whole. Look at Tony's life right before the cut to black.

He has been cut off by Melfi and he no longer has an outlet to question or confront his dark side. He no longer has an outlet to deal with his internal conflict. Melfi was his life preserver in a way(better than a bushttp://thechaselounge.net/fusion/smi ... n_wink.gif
:icon_wink:) for his human/emotional side.

His kids: Tony wanted nothing more than for his kids to strike out on their own as he was never able to do. The series ends with AJ working for Little Carmine in hopes that his dad will bankroll a club with his blood money. Meadow? She is marrying the son of one his soldiers.

He has a huge trial on the horizon.

His crew is essentially gone. He lost Silvio (BTW - the scene between the two in the hospital mirroring the scene where Silvio visited Tony was surprisingly touching), he lost Bobby, he killed his own nephew. He is left with Paulie, a guy who he was ready to whack because he trusted him so little and despised him so much. And Paulie has been put in charge of the cursed Aprile crew so his fate is basically sealed.

He has seen his possible fates played out in the lives of others. Johnny Sac - died in prison. Junior - senile in a grungy home, doesn't even remember being in LCN, Phil (and countless others)- whacked.

Tony is in a bad place as that infamous scene cuts to black. All is not well. Life, as presented in the scene of the family munching on onion rings, may very well go on but for how long? The ending seems to say to me that it is all over for Tony Soprano. Whether he gets whacked, goes to jail, or keels over from a heart attack 10 years down the line isn't the point. He is in some form of hell there at the end.


Also, I wanted to comment on Tony's lack of change. It reminded me of a quote/story that Orson Welles used in his film Mr.Arkadin which I think hits on a certain psychological truth:


"And now I'm going to tell you a story about a scorpion. A scorpion wanted to cross a river, so she asked a frog to carry him. "No," said the frog. "No, thank you. If I let you on my back you may sting me, and the sting of a scorpion means death."

"Now, where," asked the scorpion, "is the logic of that?" For scorpions always try to be logical. "If I sting you, you will die and I will drown." The frog was convinced and allowed the scorpion on his back but just in the middle of the river he felt a terrible pain and realized that, after all, the scorpion had stung him.

"Logic!" cried the dying frog as he started under, bearing the scorpion down with him. "There is no logic in this."

"I know," said the scorpion, "but I can't help it. It's my character." "


I really like this post Marlowe. It made me realize that what was really important about Tony was the salvation of his soul, not the state of his flesh, and we got a really good answer to that question.

Fantastic :icon_biggrin:

Re: Anyone else?

#68
I hate that fable.

Problem #1: we never learn if the scorpion lives or dies.
Problem #2: we sit there listening to the whole thing and it's implied the scorpion is going to change, but then we get flipped the bird.

I know I should use an emoticon here but I have a rare phobia of using them. By the way, you made a small error. The Orson Welles movie you're thinking of is actually called Skin Deep by Blake Edwards. It also features a great scene with Orson Welles wearing a glow-in-the-dark condom.

Re: Anyone else?

#70
Krakower Thing wrote:I hate that fable.

Problem #1: we never learn if the scorpion lives or dies.
Problem #2: we sit there listening to the whole thing and it's implied the scorpion is going to change, but then we get flipped the bird.


I know I should use an emoticon here but I have a rare phobia of using them. By the way, you made a small error. The Orson Welles movie you're thinking of is actually called Skin Deep by Blake Edwards. It also features a great scene with Orson Welles wearing a glow-in-the-dark condom.


LOL, Krakower Thing. That's classic.:icon_biggrin:
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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