Goliath55 wrote:Watching this episode again made me wonder whether Junior asking for the ice cream was a sign of real dementia or fake. Did he see the FBI guys in the car?
I think it's real; when Junior walks back inside with the nurse, away from anyone's prying eyes or ears, he's still acting odd and agitated, insisting he was just going to get the paper. There are also some subtle signs throughout the episode, some just from the slightest facial expression of Chianese, which seem to me to indicate Junior is definitely starting to lose it. The fall in this episode was what started his dementia, which then increases slightly but subtly in the remaining episodes of S4 (e.g. Jun having shaving cream on his face in Calling All Cars) -- and by Where's Johnny, he's totally out of it.
All that said, I've always thought that the framing of the Junior ice cream-walk scene -- book-ended by a shot of Tony falling asleep on the Bing couch and then a shot of Tony awakening -- at least suggests the possibility that it is a dream. Certainly there is a surreal feel to the way it plays out, accentuated by the fact that it's the only non-Tony/Chris scene since Ralph is killed. I think the detail of the Agents watching from their car seems a bit unreal, for example: would they really be monitoring someone like Junior like that, and so conspicuously? It seems more like something Junior or Tony would fantasize about paranoically, perhaps. But maybe the scene is in between those two shots of Tony not so much to suggest it's literally a dream, rather to further emphasize the feeling of surreal ambiguity that's at the heart of the entire episode.