<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I disagree with your statement on Tony showing Ade more affection than Chris has in years. Tony's 'affection' was nothing more than a selfish and dispicable impulse to get into the pants of the fiance of his apprentice, nephew, 2nd son <hr></blockquote>
game1999, the affection/caring I?m referring to was not when he was about to kiss her. In their first office conversation, he actually showed an interest in why she went to the doctor. When he heard she had ?Irritable Bowel Syndrome?, he didn?t look disgusted, tell her he didn?t want to hear details, and mock the notion that she had anything to feel stressed about, like Chris (her fianc?e, no less) did. Rather, Tony offered what feelings of identification he could, telling her his mom had it all her life, revealing his own skin cancer (clearly against his natural inclinations) as a gesture of ?I know how you must feel? sympathy, asking if she knew what caused the IBS, and telling her not to blame herself after learning it was psychological in origin. This contrast in reactions was a deliberate juxtaposition by the writers, and it clearly made a big impression on Ade, as she told Tony, ?Christopher doesn?t want to know about it? and later told the FBI agent that Tony was ?really nice? and ?listened to her?, obviously unlike Chris.
Later in that same encounter, after Ade?s pitiful lament that she wished her father had been like Tony (and how bad must the father have been for TONY to look good?), there is a distinct moment of altruistic caring from Tony when he tells her to ?take care of herself? and says, ?goodnight, dear?.
In the hospital after the wreck, Tony?s tenderness, the way he put his hand on her forehead and the strikingly soft, soothing tone of his voice, communicated more genuine concern about Ade than any gesture I've ever seen from Chris.
Chris did manage a moment of genuine concern when he heard she?d had a wreck. But after the 4 seconds it took to learn she wasn?t dead, that concern all but faded. Replacing it was his immediate, typically self-absorbed, premature blame that he had ?warned her about drinking and driving?.
When he?s driving her home, and before he knows a single fact other than that she was a passenger in Tony?s car late at night, he has NO concern for her badly bruised and cut face or the neck injury that required her to wear a brace. He?s not even primarily concerned that she might have betrayed him by having sex with Tony. That is to say, he?s not feeling a purely private, personal form of hurt grounded in a betrayal by someone he loved and trusted (which, BTW, is EXACTLY what he feels towards Tony, suggesting he loves Tony a lot more than he loves Ade). All he is thinking about vis-?-vis Ade is the injury to his own reputation that will ensue when his mob cronies hear this and assume there was sex going on.
This same hierarchy of concerns is even clearer when he confronts her after Georgie shared with him the rumors. What he is railing about is not ?how could you hurt me like this? but ?everybody knows about it; everybody?s talking about it?. That alone shows clearly that Ade is little more than a piece of property to him, a thing he has staked a claim to, not unlike some exclusive loansharking territory. Her capacity to hurt him lies primarily in her capacity to be the object of trespass.
The other point I think you are overlooking is that Tony?s close encounter with Ade was, quite atypically of him, not really sexual in origin. Before you roll on the floor with laughter, please hear me out.
In four plus seasons and 56 episodes, including the one immediately preceding this one, Tony never betrayed even a hint that he would ever hit on Ade. No ogling, protracted looks, etc. And while I think it?s safe to assume he always found her physically attractive, I don?t think he ever looked at her before and said, ?Man I?d like to bang that chick.? He has a natural revulsion to incest (most recently conveyed in his defensive ?whatever? to Melfi when she used the term ?symbolic incest?). And in the past, I think the incestuous overtones of screwing a girl engaged to his nephew/surrogate son who is closer to his daughter?s age than his own would have unconsciously been a turnoff to him.
But the closest, most secure emotional relationship he?s ever experienced has now been severed, perhaps irreparably, and in the wake of that, he is in a far more vulnerable emotional state than he?s ever been in before. As I?ve said elsewhere, I see him very clearly as in a ?love crisis?, hungry for affirmation of his own worth and loveability from myriad sources, from Melfi to Artie to Tony B to Junior and, now, even from Ade. And I?ve glimpsed a rather profound shift in his most recent and urgent flares of libido, a shift away from T & A (?I see, I like, I want to screw?) to uncharacteristically romantic pursuits based in emotional bonding with a woman.
It?s no coincidence to me that the first woman post-Carmela that he is bent on having is Melfi, or that his pursuit of her included such uncharacteristically romantic gestures as wanting to close her favorite restaurant and hire mandolin players to serenade her or trying to woo her with a first class resort vacation. Melfi is the only woman besides Carmela that he?s ever related to on a significant emotional/intellectual level, and the re-ignition of his passion for her was a direct result of the emotional vacuum left by the separation.
Similarly, it?s no coincidence to me that Tony?s sexual impulses towards Ade only followed a conversation that established a genuine emotional connection between them and only urgently ignited the moment she told him she was no longer ?afraid? of him, as she once had been. It?s no coincidence that he interpreted this as an appreciation by her of some innate goodness within him, since it came just one episode after he internalized Carmela?s observations that the regard of his ?flunkies? was grounded more in fear than in genuine affection. It?s also no coincidence that, as Tony later confesses, Ade ?really got to? him and that with insane rapidity he believes he even wants to marry her.
Melfi?s reaction to all this, best glimpsed when he utters his ?drop dead gorgeous? refrain, confirms the mutable, ephemeral nature of Tony?s current romantic fixations and suggests to me that they are essentially displaced longings for a reconciliation with his wife. In fact, I wouldn?t be surprised at some point this season to hear Tony describing to Melfi or to someone else that when he first laid eyes on Carmela, she was ?drop dead? beautiful, an expression which Tony had never used until this season but has now used twice in connection with uncharacteristic romantic fixations in the wake of his marital collapse.
I suspect we might see Melfi push him to this insight later this season or early next. In the meantime, because Tony is so inept at intimacy generally and is so programmed to relate to females only on a sexual level, there is bound to be a lot of commingling and confusion of the two concepts. I?m beginning to think, in fact, that that?s the meaning behind the naked female bodies in the season 5 poster and perhaps even behind the mysterious woman on the stairs in the Calling All Cars dream: Tony is haunted by women (for obvious reasons) and craves a way to relate to them intimately, non sexually, yet is inept at doing so.
In any case, I believe that Tony would never have consciously entertained the idea of screwing Ade but for his marital separation and that cuckolding Chris and taking advantage of Ade?s vulnerabilities remains essentially repugnant to his value system. Afterall, that?s why he went back to Melfi in the first place and is the only reason he didn?t get Ade back in that office after Leotardo and Peeps left, to pick up where they left off.