The 1st sign of how truly Ugly Tony is

#1
Once you get by the obvious evilness of the typical traits of your modern mobster, i think this episode has the 1st sign of how ugly Tony is. The 1st signs of why, as Chase says, everyone wanted to see his head blown off. The final scene where they are eating dinner and Tony sees how Janice is succeding with her anger management. He intentionally brings up her lost son Harpo. I can't think of a scene before that where a truly ugly example of who he is culminateing in the killing of Christopher. Let me know if there's something earlier that even comes close. Again, killing, robbery, extorsion, etc and even the beating of George earlier in the episode are dispicable, but there's something about this scene that took the series to it's conclusion

Re: The 1st sign of how truly Ugly Tony is

#2
In retrospect, I think you may be right in that I can't think off hand of any act by Tony before then that was as malignant in motivation, as disconnected from any specific provocation or business "justification", and as completely designed to inflict injury for the sake of inflicting injury. The physical explosions at Georgie, the belt-whipping of Zellman, etc., while hideous, were as much about psychic distraction from pain and directly transferred rage as anything else and so seemed to lack the purity of evil that this sabotage of Janice had.

That said, Tony had a history throughout the series of resenting anyone who was striving to better themselves emotionally, morally, or psychologically because he failed so miserably at changing himself. He was always trying to sabotage or "bring someone down to his level", whether it was the black cop he tried to bribe in season 3 or Tony B after his release from prison or Chris in his efforts to stay sober or Janice in her efforts to manage her anger and be a better mother. He could not let them become Happy Wanderers, I suppose.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: The 1st sign of how truly Ugly Tony is

#3
Interesting question.

Tbh, from the pilot I had no illusions how truly ugly Tony is.

We may have laughed at the first session in Melfi´s office as he describes
what he does for a living, but he was beating a man up. I consider the usage
of physical violence something very ugly.

In "Happy Wanderer" Tony speaks openly about wanting to crack someone´s head open just because he can´t take the happiness. Very ugly. I remember being shocked by his statement. Major character revelation.

Dreaming of fucking Chamaine Bucco in t"Test dream" comes to mind. Of course Artie had to watch him during the act.

I must say Janice is one of the characters who I dislike the most. She´s manipulative, lying and self -centered. So for me, it was really funny seeing Tony pushing her buttons. We all knew Janice was fooling everyone. Not to forget it looked like payback for what Junior did to him in the presence of Janice.

Re: The 1st sign of how truly Ugly Tony is

#4
Actually the Zellman beating comes close. The violence in the 1st episode forward, as well as, other "nice" behavior on Tonys part, falls into the almost cliche attributes of a mobster. It's expected. Maybe the Zellman does as well.

But I was just watching the episode I mentioned and there's a look from Tony, when he sees how happy Janice has become, that was pure genuis on Gandolfini's and Chase's part. It immediately communicates not only Tony's immediate intentions, but in retrospect, the final seasons. I remember feeling the resentfulness you mention Fly on Tony's part when i orginally watched it. Just as we've been doing though here since it's ended, it takes on a new meaning for me when we piece it all together

Re: The 1st sign of how truly Ugly Tony is

#5
All good, points, but I do want to mention something that Blood brought up about Chase's reference to the audience wanting to see Tony's head blown off. Was it really his despicable behavior that the audience couldn't stand? I don't think so, I think most of the viewers really rooted for him. And not just in the way that many of us did, hoping for him to turn his life around. Instead rooting for him as the bad guy, wanting to see as much violence as possible.

I really feel that is why people were upset with the conclusion of the show, as they didn't get to see Tony killed; I don't think they were upset that justice was not served. I feel many viewers of this show tuned in for the gore and violence, as opposed to the amazing writing, acting, plotting, and character development (or lack-thereof) that the show produced. Sorry, this was completely off topic, but felt like I wanted to state that.
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