Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#1
I re-watched MIA recently, and basically went under the assumption that Tony dies during the cut to black. With this in mind, I looked for meaning in the scenes leading up to this one. What I finally put together was the significance of the penultimate scene with Junior - This is the last business Tony ever deals with, and what is it? He's trying to make sure that the children of Bobby Baccalieri get their inheritance. That's a remarkably benevolent act for Tony Soprano, but it fits right in with his morality, respect for Baccala, and soft spot for kids. This is a great way to wrap up the character, making his final act a reminder of that gentler side, just before the inevitable end.

There's also some ambiguity regarding this matter. It seems unlikely that Junior will remember anything Tony said, but you really never know with Junior. He still had moments of clarity, even near the end. And Baccala was a good friend of his despite everything, maybe he could find the strength to remember those kids. This would also be a redemption for Junior. If he could somehow remember what Tony told him, he would be protecting innocent kids from the toxic personality of their mother figure, who is essentially Livia at this point.

Re: Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#2
Tony immitates love. Please rewatch the ending to his theraphy. Melfi finally sees that Tony makes himself seem loving by talking about mother, children and animals. Notice that even though he is wealthy he complains about cost post AJ suicide.

He pretends to love his mother and nearly beats Melfi for bringing anything else up. But he really hates her from the start.

Meadow like all women in the end disapoints (melfis words when she realises tony has no redeeming quality but has used her for advice and manipulation training much like he did to the audience)

Re: Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#3
Meadow like all women in the end disapoints (melfis words when she realises tony has no redeeming quality but has used her for advice and manipulation training much like he did to the audience)[/QUOTE]

What are you stating here - Tony somehow "used" or "manipulated" the audience? Because the audience, like Melfi, was drawn into liking him (with supposedly many - again like Melfi - finally rejecting him and rooting for his death?

Wouldn't that be Chase's manipulation?

(Apologies to zwingli and others as this is off-topic from your thread topic, and its appreciated observation)

Re: Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#4
Most never realised what melfi did even though its right there. Yes he manipulated the audience like he did people around him.

And chase shows this to us in the end via melfi. I rewatched all seasons with the final hint from chase and i saw that what i thought at first was a man with many sides only was a master at manipulation and truly uncaringl. Pretty cool. The depth of the series is so great.

Re: Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#5
Re: tennisgolfball

Seems we both loved the series and thoughtful discussions and opinions on it.

Unlike Melfi, who had a limited view of Tony's life and behavior which came primarily through what he revealed to her, the audience saw "all" of Tony or everything that Chase revealed, positives and negatives, strengths and weaknesses, from the begining and as things were occuring. If one missed, ignored or minimalized Tony's severe humanitarian shortcomings and anti-social behavior that may have been due to his likeable and entertaining qualities and the way Chase presented him to us but not due to audience manipulation by Tony.
Horrible aspects of Tony were shown from the start, with the first flashback during the opening visit to Melfi's office. Chase chose to show this in a somewhat comical manner which likely contributed to the audience's attraction to Tony, and was manipulative in demonstrating how Tony's personality was magnetic and attractive to those in his world.

Re: Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#6
Ah yes we seem to agree but let my clarify what i meant anyway.

When i first watched it my thoughts was tony is a terrible person but with some good sides.

But when i rewatched it with the final advice from chase i saw that those good sides is just tonys way of immitating more normal human feelings.

Tony has learned he does not care about anything really. Just like his mother incapable of love. He hides this in manipulation always resorting to pretending to love animals, children, mother.

He acts as if he does care because he has learned to do it that way. That is why he gets so angry at melfi when she suggests he hates his mother. He must hang on to these things to manipulate and show human emotion. When he realises he can show his hate to melfi for his mother and for a moment drop his false face he does so finally. But he keeps his false face up on other things. Remember the clue in the college searchinh episode with meadow. Tony can barely seperate himself from the face he shows the world.

So when AJ tries to kill himself he seems to care right? But at times his false face and guard drops. He complains at the cost of treatment when he is rich and gambles for more. When they talk with AJs shrink in order to pass for normal human emotion he brings up his mother and not only wont talk about his only son and his great trouble but wants to talk about himself and issues decades before.

Remember melfis comment about his mother. Other people are not truly real but only extensions of oneselves ego and paranoia. He is like his mother but much more skilled at manipulation etc. The audience in great part misses this. They see the darkness but also see redeeming qualties. But in truth he has no redeeming quality. Its always just an act and in the end those he pretends to care about are just extensions of his own ego.

Re: Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#7
Ah yes we seem to agree but let my clarify what i meant anyway.

When i first watched it my thoughts was tony is a terrible person but with some good sides.

But when i rewatched it with the final advice from chase i saw that those good sides is just tonys way of immitating more normal human feelings.

Tony has learned he does not care about anything really. Just like his mother incapable of love. He hides this in manipulation always resorting to pretending to love animals, children, mother.

He acts as if he does care because he has learned to do it that way. That is why he gets so angry at melfi when she suggests he hates his mother. He must hang on to these things to manipulate and show human emotion. When he realises he can show his hate to melfi for his mother and for a moment drop his false face he does so finally. But he keeps his false face up on other things. Remember the clue in the college searchinh episode with meadow. Tony can barely seperate himself from the face he shows the world.

So when AJ tries to kill himself he seems to care right? But at times his false face and guard drops. He complains at the cost of treatment when he is rich and gambles for more. When they talk with AJs shrink in order to pass for normal human emotion he brings up his mother and not only wont talk about his only son and his great trouble but wants to talk about himself and issues decades before.

Remember melfis comment about his mother. Other people are not truly real but only extensions of oneselves ego and paranoia. He is like his mother but much more skilled at manipulation etc. The audience in great part misses this. They see the darkness but also see redeeming qualties. But in truth he has no redeeming quality. Its always just an act and in the end those he pretends to care about are just extensions of his own ego.

Re: Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#8
tennisgolfboll,

Thanks for the explanation and clarification. Now, I understand and appreciate your points and statement much better. I agree that many, myself included, did not view Tony from this perspective, but rather, as you say, as the mixture of good and evil qualities. I especially enjoyed your reference to College, where we see the (paraphrased) assertion that A man cannot wear one face to himself and another to the world without eventually losing himself.

Re: Tony's morality and Junior in the penultimate scene

#10
I actually have watched the entire series several times, and believe most will discover increasing depth to the series with repeat viewings.

While I believe you've made some valid points and perspective worth consideration, I disagree with what seems to be your conclusion that Tony S wasn't a character with both positive and negative aspects, that his seemingly "redeeming" traits were insincere and simply acts of manipulation.
I still believe that he is a multi-faceted human being like most others of his time and culture, deeply-flawed and a mixture of "good" and "evil", and that
that is how Chase intended to portray him.

One example of a good deed that had no selfish pay-off is noted in the start of this thread - his appeal to Junior to give any money that might be found to Bobby's children.
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