Mysterious Paper Under Carm's Butt, Her Non-Death

#1
Okay, this one is really puzzling. When Carmela goes over to sit on the couch by Tony, the area where she sits appears totally clear. She even moves the remote control out of the way before sitting down. She reaches underneath her rear end for a second and adjusts her position, almost like she was just getting situated more comfortably. But when she gets up a short time later (after a nice little peck on Tony's cheek), there is suddenly a piece of paper or envelope of some kind directly underneath where she'd been sitting and she places the remote control directly on top of it, almost ensuring that Tony would see it.

Any ideas what it might have been? Something else she wanted Tony to buy?

I thought it was very interesting that the very next shot of Carm was of her disrobing in her bedroom, smiling in a way that almost telegraphed that she was looking at someone on the bed in a sexually suggestive way, and low and behold the thing on the bed she was staring at was her house plans! She's decided to take Wegler's accusations to heart, apparently.:-)

I'll add as an aside something I posted earlier in another thread that apparently was lost or never actually went through. As a major fan of Edie Falco and as one who loves Carmela, warts and all, I was relieved that my prediction of Carm's death did not come true this season.

At the same time I'm very disappointed because I feel the foreshadowing has been unmistakeable . . . subtle but still very strong. I simply can't believe that Chase chose to deliberately mislead on this point. You don't make the combination of musical, sound effects, editorial, and literary subtextual choices he did by accident, not to mention the allusions to her death from shots like the one by the empty pool, Tony's promise that none of his crazy, suicidal (hence homicidal) goomars would "intrude on her" anymore, Johnny Sac's "I should kill his wife" threats, the bear sniffing around the back yard when she was alone inside, and all the subtle allusions to her demise in the Test Dream. Even Tony staring her down when he toasted "to the people I love" and the pan up to the fall foiliage on Carm's land (just like the pan up to the trees when Ade was killed) was eery in view of all the other factors.

I have to believe that Chase's intent was to foreshadow but to confound people like me as usual by delaying the death until season 6 when folks would presumably abandon the idea that it was indeed coming. I can accept that. I just can't accept manipulation for the sake of manipulation. So I still look for Carm to die by mid or late season 6.

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Re: Mysterious Paper Under Carm's Butt, Her Non-Death

#5
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:
I have to believe that Chase's intent was to foreshadow but to confound people like me as usual by delaying the death until season 6 when folks would presumably abandon the idea that it was indeed coming. I can accept that. I just can't accept manipulation for the sake of manipulation. So I still look for Carm to die by mid or late season 6.

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fly, it might appear that you were right all along.

Re: Mysterious Paper Under Carm's Butt, Her Non-Death

#7
So, what do you make of it now, Fly? Were you mistaken in your impressions, or was it Chase messing with the audience? I've been meaning to rewatch season 5 at some point with an eye out for this - I know that I didn't walk away from the season initially with the impression that Carmela was going to die, but your theory was, as usual, thought-provoking.

Re: Mysterious Paper Under Carm's Butt, Her Non-Death

#8
In retrospect, I think a good bit of what I thought at the time pointed to Carmela's death (the blackout on her face after Test Dream, the lyrics when Makazian sang and looked directly at her, etc.) could be seen as foreshadowing Tony's coma experience in which the love between him and Carmela is what keeps him tethered to life. The Abelard and Heloise story, for example, I now feel was foreshadowing Tony's coma and not Carmela's death in that Tony's uncle shot him (an uncle "castrates" Abelard); he and Carm are separated by some plane of existence yet are able to communicate on a deeply emotional level through that separation (Abelard and Heloise became monk and nun respectively and shared their passion through letters afterward). Carm even mentions Abelard and Heloise again in France, significant since Cold Stones was her version of Tony's coma experience and (false) awakening.

I still think the stuff I was looking at worked best and most consistently to suggest Carmela's death, but each piece of "evidence" that factored into that is also subject to other meanings (including no meaning at all). So the Rorschach I saw could have been completely coincidental and unintended. For example, the shot from the bottom of the empty pool up to an enraged Tony glaring over Carm with her back towards the precipice was, apparently, not intended to do more than to communicate how angry Tony is capable of getting, not that he or the bear (which symbolized him that season and was sniffing around that pool in the prior episode and one earlier one) or some action Tony set in motion would prove to endanger Carmela's life.

Reading (or inventing, on occasion) symbolism is the most rewarding aspect of thinking about this show. But using it to predict what might happen in the future was clearly something I and most others undertook at our own peril.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Mysterious Paper Under Carm's Butt, Her Non-Death

#9
fly, with the utmost due respect, I think you are resisting the possibilty that your original reading of the text was correct after all. It wasn't just a Rorschach image you discerned, but an insight, in that you did predict Carmella's demise. Except it most likely happened at Holsten's, not at the end of season 5. I don't think you were going through apophenia during that penultimate season.

Those symbols and clues which you picked up on, as well as Carmella's dreams, did foreshadow her death, but they also suggested that her fate was tied to Tony's. She probably sealed it when he agreed to finance her spec house.

Remember who was meant to "live" in that house when the ghostly death-figure of Adriana asked her? "A family" which of course has two connotations. In her sub-conscious I am sure she knew Adriana was dead, confirmed by the gendarme in another dream.

That foreboding imagery and signals which you detected in Season 5 continued into both parts of the final season.

Even AJ's fate was heavily implied in the last season.

Re: Mysterious Paper Under Carm's Butt, Her Non-Death

#10
conkom, I'm not resisting anything. Why in the world would I? Now you're presuming to tell me that I somehow can't admit to myself that Carmela died when that was something I believed was foreshadowed two seasons before? Wouldn't my ego be much better served by saying "I told you so" than saying "Wow, I read that wrong"?

To believe Tony died in Holsten's is one thing. To assert that Carmela and AJ did is, in all honesty, simply not something I can take seriously. I saw nothing presented onscreen at any point in the series that gives that outcome even the slightest analytical weight. What you proffered as proof or support for it has zero persuasive power on that point in my view. It's about as rational to me as the idea that Chase -- who expressly eschewed any "Da Vinci Code" type meaning or answer to the end -- would embed the fate of Tony Soprano in an anagram for "Man in Members Only jacket", a credit likely pulled directly from the script's description of the character and the purpose of which was almost certainly to make clear that the man was wearing certain clothing with symbolic resonance in the series.
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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