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

#11
With the same utmost respect Fly, if you were to stick by your original analysis re Carmela and say " I told you so", to be consistent you would then have to concede that Tony is gone as well.

You contend that any thought of AJ getting it , whatever about Tony, doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Yet I would point out, as I have, that AJ is identified as one of the 7 souls characters, like Tony, he has two near brushes with death, like Tony ( the " three strikes and your out " idea ), the first scene in 6.b. of AJ he is drinking orange etc. My point is that while obviously you don't subscribe to the Tony's gone theory anyway, I think the case for AJ dying that night has more weight than you give it, in fairness.

As for Carm, by your own hand you said you believed she was marked for death in foreshadowing, symbolism and subtext. To the point where you actually believed Chase changed his mind, which is entirely possible. You just got your time line wrong Fly, you " jumped the gun" a bit, if you'll forgive the bad joke. I hope you don't feel we're ganging up on you Fly, it is most certainly not like that. But it's hard not to comment on the fact that, initially at least, you were on the same wavelength as me. It is of course your inalienable right to change your mind if and whenever you see fit to do so.

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

#12
Am I imaging it or is Fly On desperately trying to admit being wrong about Carmela's death and no one will accept her concession, instead showering her with congratulations for calling it? And now, her imagined boasting is being used to challenge her consistency on an imagined assertion that Tony lived?

Maybe if AJ tried to grab a gunman in Holsten's he'd end up killed too but I imagine him just sitting there frozen in shock like Phil's wife in the gas station or grabbed by Carmela and dragged under the table. I kind of think the oddly valuable airtime spent on Vito's family in the final season was meant as a suggestion of how screwed financially and psychologically Tony's family will probably end up when he himself gets taken out. Maybe Carmela would borrow cash from Angie Bonpensiero and then get screwed by the housing bubble burst.

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

#13
The scenario that the family witnessed a hit on Tony is a possibility. Chase's statement about AJ becoming a low grade movie producer seems to negate that he too was hit. Although in the same breath Chase made some very derogadry statements about Carmella being a housewife-whore.

But something was very foreboding about the diner scene with the three participants around the table each swallowing the wafer-like onion rings and drinking the sacramental like Pepsi, to the sound of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing". As irreligious as I am it seems that Chase created a quasi-religious ceremony telling us that the three family members were about to go on a journey of sorts.

It's not meant to be Da Vinci Code, whatever that means (although Chase might just be disingenuous here). But it is more down to earth than that. In the fictional world of the Sopranos perhaps all those clues and images which fly (which is the point of this thread) and the posters richieaprile, harpo and dsweeney have picked up along the way might all signify examples of synchronicity or "meaningful coincidences". Maybe the Sopranos was an unspoken homage to Jung.

And when all these coincidences come together at once then you get something akin to the Twilight Zone. An unspoken homage to Serling.

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

#14
conkom wrote:fly, with the utmost due respect, I think you are resisting the possibilty that your original reading of the text was correct after all.



dsweeney wrote:With the same utmost respect Fly, if you were to stick by your original analysis re Carmela and say " I told you so", to be consistent you would then have to concede that Tony is gone as well.


What I resent in these kinds of posts is the ridiculous implication that I somehow have a vested interest in not "conceding" that Tony died. You both presume to read my mind or invent motives for why I hold a particular belief or analytical viewpoint instead of taking me at my word and acknowledging the reasons I hold that viewpoint (emphasis on "reason"). Your position is discourteous and condescending, if subtly so, and all of the copious "with the utmost due respect" qualifiers only make it clear that you understand your arrogance on some instinctive level, else you wouldn't constantly be trying to disclaim disrespect. (I would think fans of the Sopranos need no prep course on the nature of the phrase "with all due respect" and what it most often conveys.)

As I've stated for what seems like a thousand times, I think the outcome at Holsten's, based solely on what was portrayed onscreen, is ambiguous. In addition, early post-finale statements by Chase indicated that HE thought it was ambiguous ("there was nothing definite about what happened"; "there was so much more to say than showing Tony face down"; "whether it happened that night or some other night doesn't really matter"). His Air America comments seem contradictory, but that doesn't change the fact that he made the above statements, too. And, frankly, anyone who can't acknowledge that there is at least SOME room for reasonable minds to differ on the degree of certainty with which Tony's fate was portrayed in that diner ("fate" as in whether he died immediately) loses all credibility with me.

I've never argued (nor has anyone I know in these parts argued) that there wasn't substantial symbolic, abstract "evidence" suggesting that Tony might or could have died that night. There was a clear intent on Chase's part to at least raise the specter of an assassination.

But the equally clear linchpin in the death argument, the one piece of evidence that dwarfs all others in probative value and comes closest to crossing the line from symbolic to real or from the abstract to the concrete, is the interpretation of the suddenly black, silent screen as Tony's POV. Without that, there is absolutely nothing that comes close to giving real context and meaning to all the other "evidence" that he was murdered (e.g., the "you never hear it coming" foreshadowing; Members Only guy showing casual interest in Tony's table and going to the toilet). There's a catalytic relationship between that black screen and everything else that makes it the sine qua non of a reasoned argument for immediate death.

There is no such linchpin of evidence regarding either AJ or Carmela. Their points of view were never accentuated or patterned nor could we have had any basis for differentiating their "black" POV from Tony's black POV (if, in fact, that was supposed to be the case.) The POV argument only works for Tony.

If we read all the symbolism in the light most favorable to a murder that night, then MOG emerged from that bathroom and started firing. He did so to obtain, and likely had, a clear shot at Tony's right temple. He certainly wasn't obstructed by either AJ or Carmela, who were both on the opposite side of the table. MOG was very probably an accomplished gunman to be given such an important hit and thus would very likely have hit his target from so close a range, especially aided by the element of surprise. A stray but deadly ricochet at AJ or Carmela would be possible but unlikely while a direct, deadly, and accidental hit at either would be very unlikely. TWO stray bullets killing both AJ and Carmela is getting into DNA type odds and is not something warranting serious consideration in my view.

That leaves the notion of a Mafia-ordered, intentional murder of all three people, which is so beyond the realm of what was portrayed onscreen that I scarcely know what else to say about it. Killing wives and civilian sons of Mafia dons is about as big a no no as there is in the unwritten Mafia code of conduct short of violating omerta. Do you honestly think Chase would sabotage his commitment to realism by ending his series with a whackfest where 2 civilian members of Tony's immediate family are murdered along with him?

More importantly, do you think he would do so -- could he intend to portray the deaths of 2 of the 3 most important supporting characters on the show -- and yet not provide one shred of objective evidence or concrete plot to that effect? I mean it's one thing to observe that we were given no evidence of someone having an outstanding beef with Tony at that time that would explain a sanctioned hit. But we don't have to go very far to imagine that someone might have such a motive. It's speculative to imagine it, yet it's entirely reasonable speculation because of who he is.

Not so for AJ and Carmela. To argue that New York or anyone else who might put a "Members Only" killer in that diner would also instruct that killer to whack Tony's family -- and yet we would be given NO CLUE in the plot to that effect -- is tantamount to arguing that they were all abducted by aliens at the cut to black or that a terrorist bomb went off and killed everyone in the diner. It's no less speculative than either of those scenarios and not much more rational.

AJ is identified as one of the 7 souls characters, like Tony, he has two near brushes with death, like Tony ( the " three strikes and your out " idea ), the first scene in 6.b. of AJ he is drinking orange etc.
AJ didn't have two brushes with death before the diner. Even one is pushing it since his suicide was clearly undertaken with a subconscious desire to fail.

More importantly, I would never rest a theory as important as the death of two major characters on the impenetrable, likely drug-induced ramblings of William S. Burroughs' "meditation" on Egyptian soul theory. It may be the kind of fake intellectualism that when spoken over a modern percussion groove Chase found "cool" or sufficiently arresting to provide a sonic bed for his montage reintroducing the characters after a long hiatus (very much like "It Was a Very Good Year" by Sinatra that started season 2). But I'm not convinced he meant much of anything in that montage to be taken literally with respect to the spoken text . . . and that's assuming you could determine what "literal" even means in that piece (I certainly can't). Ren and the "secret name"/"my director" business are the only parts that ever made even a modicum of sense to me, and then only because of the Finnerty alias in the coma.

If you are trying to argue that AJ and Carmela died simply because so many in the montage also died, then what about Eugene's wife, the photographer, Finn, Meadow, Janice, and Domenica? Did they all die, too? If anything, when the edit cuts to Carmela and the voiceover identifies the seventh soul as "seku, the remains", that suggests that Carmela "remained" beyond the death (Tony's) that the text was meant to foreshadow. She will be left after he's gone, her worst fear.

And, of course, all this overlooks the fact that the seven souls text isn't referencing seven different people but a proposed 7 souls of one individual.

Back to the stuff that I felt originally foreshadowed Carmela's death, most of it suggested her death as some manner of separation from Tony, something that HE would appreciate, which would clearly only happen if she died and he didn't:
  • her funereal black in Test Dream when Tony was driven by his father to the house to "do the job";
  • the ample "heaven" symbolism in the Plaza Hotel coupled with Tony placing pictures of himself and his kids on the dresser but no picture of Carmela, suggesting she was on the other side of the veil of death from the rest of them;
  • Carmine confessing to missing his wife by virtue of mortal separation, a projection by Tony of missing Carmela;
  • Carm's alter ego, Annette Benning, in pristine, all-white (post death?);
  • the "now that we've come to the end of our rainbow" confession of love from Tony in the person of Makazian, suggesting an imminent split and a need to say what had been unsaid;
  • Tony's observation at the end of the episode that all the lights were on outside his window and the question "is it light where you are" coupled with the sudden blackout on her face as the sun was clearly rising, suggesting that he might wind up in a place of light while she went to a place of darkness;
  • the Calling All Cars dream that suggested great personal loss as the catalyst for meaningful character change;
  • Tony's derision of the rangers that "when somebody's leg is gone", the bear (Tony's inner thug) could be legally killed;
  • and, most importantly, the soaring soundtrack at the end of Irregular Around the Margins as Tony looked at Carmela with unmistakable love, the same Puccini aria from La Rondine that played when the ducks flew out of his pool and he suffered the first panic attack of the series. Coupled with the duck that Carmela brought home and put in the fridge the next episode, it said to me, Carmela is the duck that Tony feared losing way back in the first episode.
Tony had to survive her for these to make sense, and this is where my wishful thinking was undoubtedly playing a key role in the interpretation. I thought that if he was going to change, a family member's death due to something he put in motion or caused was the kind of tragedy it would take to catalyze it. And because I wanted him to change so badly, it was easy to find the interpretations that pointed to that result.

In retrospect, many of those same clues could be read as simply reflecting the fact that Tony desperately wanted a reconciliation with Carmela in season 5 but was not man enough to approach her about it in the proper way. The funereal black in Test Dream and seeming "farewell" in the love song could be just as easily read as Tony's fear that if he truly wanted to leave the mob and lead a different life, he would need a different wife, one who valued integrity and a live husband over big homes and spec houses and new Porsches every year. To lead a new life, he would literally have to whack his marriage, or at least convince himself that one of the two Carmelas represented at that table loved him for who he was and not for what he could afford to buy her.

So there were always alternative interpretations, but my hopes at the time guided my perception of which were "true".

In reading over this post, I feel I'm coming across as contentious and crabby, and, if I weren't so tired already from arguing what I think are mostly non-issues that have been made into issues, I might take time to adjust my tone. On the other hand, I find the presumptions by both conkom and dsweeney regarding my "real" feelings or reasons for holding certain views to be annoyingly erroneous and arrogant. And I'm getting tired of asking in nice ways for you to curb that kind of posting.
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

#15
I just want to defend Fly on all of this as well. I also fervently believe Tony was killed in the final scene. However, I don't believe for a second that there is anything to suggest that Carmela, AJ, or Meadow die as well. There is nothing I could add to Fly's reasoning on that issue. Her argument is logical and completely convincing.

Chase said "its all there" but there is no DaVinci Code. All of the arguments put forth about the deaths of AJ and Meadow fall into the Davinci category. All signs point to Tony's death in the final season and many see it as obvious in retrospect (although I to agree with Fly that the ending is still meant to be somewhat ambiguous.) Fly also makes a great point about the POV sequence. Chase, is his own way, actually put Tony's death on screen by using that technique. There is nothing near as concrete to suggest the death of the rest of the family. If Chase really had it in his head that the kids were killed, there is no way he speculates about their future in an interview months later. I think the anagram is silly as well. That is pure Davinci Code! To believe that is to believe that Chase cast an actor solely to have his name fit that anagram. Which, I hate to say it, is absurd.

In the end, I do disagree with Fly on one issue. I never saw any foreshadowing of Carmela's death in the series and just don't see it the examples you cited. If anything, Carmine in the "Test Dream" could just represent Tony being alone and separated from Carmela when he dies. If anything it ties the final scene to the first episode. Tony's fear of losing his family and his fear that something bad will happen is exactly what the final scene is about. Tony loses his family when he dies. The traumatic impact of seeing his murder is the bad thing he feared would happen to his family. Carmela, AJ, and Meadow have to survive that scene because they're are now all fully in denial and will finally get a true taste of Tony's lifestyle in the most horrific way possible. Maybe thats the only way it could happen. Just a few scenes before, Meadow tells Tony she's becoming a lawyer because all of those times she saw her father arrested as a "victim" of anti-Italian discrimination. Carmela is comfortably back to caring about her spec house after missing the glaring wake-up call of Bobby's death, Sil's near death, and having to put her own family in hiding. Only in those final 10 seconds, do they get the true "intervention".

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

#16
That is an excellent rebuttal Fly, and of course it is. The reason so many people have flocked to this forum over the years is that very same reasoned argument that you express. And the more full look at the show that brings us here. That has always been the driving force of the popularity of The Chase Lounge. There are so many websites that give plenty of space to discuss this preoccupation with Tony's death. That our own place has found this same meme speaks not only to our own popularity, but so too the prevailing desire for such an argument. Must it persist even here? When the creator of this space makes the point to respond to something she held dear in her thoughts and somehow it gets perverted to yet another discourse of how it must speak to what so many seem to already know...if you "know it" why keep arguing the point? Can no discussion move apart from it? Is that all Chase spent 86 episodes trying to tell us? Is that all that matters?

I must say that if such talk continues (and I don't wish to shut down discussion, but rather would wish to keep each thread devoted to the thread topic, and hopefully an elevated one) that I really have little desire to stay. If I wanted to come on every day and read about the same bloody thing, I'd join up with IMDB or some other such website. I come here for more intellectual discourse of The Sopranos. To look at the reasoning behind the characters rather than what may or may not have happened after the screen went black. I come here to look at the genius of what Chase actually presented us on screen rather than to speculate at what might have happened after the fact.

I hesitate to even comment on this thread, but I feel I must speak out. I have enjoyed the interaction with members on this site for some time. But I can no longer stay silent and passive. While I have the ability to ban individuals from this forum, I would never do so simply for disagreeing with me or speaking on subjects I care little for. But I do have the ability to say goodbye. There are places to discuss this subject that seems on the mind of so many and if it continues to crop up in every thread here as well, I have little desire to stay. You may consider this a warning or a plea - whichever you desire - but I have had it. Stick to the topic at hand or go away. If you won't, I will.
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

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

#17
CamMan wrote:In the end, I do disagree with Fly on one issue. I never saw any foreshadowing of Carmela's death in the series and just don't see it the examples you cited.


It would be very difficult to see it at this point since she never died.:icon_biggrin: Keep in mind I was writing all this based on season 5 and earlier, and I haven't exhaustively annotated all the signals I saw in this thread because I had done so in pieces in other threads back at the time.

The idea of that bear sniffing around the pool and house, especially in Unidentified Black Males when Carmela was alone inside, had an ominous quality to it, as did the shot from the bottom of the empty pool the next episode when Tony was glaring at her in rage as if almost backing her into a fall. There was the very strange freeze frame on Carm that same episode that was a marked departure from the almost uniformly classical editing techniques used in the series. And I can't over-emphasize the very deliberate choice of the Puccini aria in Irregular Around the Margins to evoke Tony's first panic attack when the ducks flew out of the pool. He is looking squarely at Carmela when that music rises in the soundtrack. She eats duck in the next episode and brings the leftovers home in a foil wrap in the shape of a duck.

Tony's crazy, suicidal goomar took Carmela for a frightening and dangerous high speed ride in season 3 and threatened to sabotage Tony's marriage before Patsy stepped in on Tony's behalf. A former goomar called the house twice in Whitecaps to emotionally torture Carmela. And near the end of season 5, Tony drops Valentina right after she's been hospitalized and disfigured by facial burns. Then he promises Carmela that his "extra curricular activities will never intrude" on her again. Considering the kinds of vindictive, emotionally unstable women Tony took up with during that time frame and considering the incredibly insensitive way he broke off the relationship with Valentina, it was well worth considering what type of vindictive act this goomar might commit in the wake of that rejection and whether Carmela would be the victim, especially since Pie-O-My had been burned just as Valentina had been.

And that brings me to the whole Pie-O-My thing. Just as Tony's unconscious had used ducks as a proxy for his family in the expression of his deepest fears, Pie-O-My seemed to represent some idealized object of love to Tony, which Melfi instinctively knew and tried to penetrate in one of the therapy sessions. Pie came into his life at a time when his relationship with Carmela was beginning to fall apart, and I could write paragraphs on the poetry of seeing Tony go to that stall after another fight with Carm and hold a vigil when the horse was sick, tenderly petting and soothing her and smiling when the comparatively mutt-looking companion goat entered the stall to join them.

When Tony introduced Carm to the horse, she marveled how Pie went straight to him, and there was a strikingly long, pensive stare between Carm and horse after Tony moved away.

Also in that scene, Tony instructed Carm that "she likes it when you rub her muzzle." Artie used those exact same words in Test Dream as he was coaching Tony on how to bang Charmaine. Though it's a whole other tangent to cogently argue this, I think it's clear that Charmaine was a proxy for Carmela in the dream, an idealized "wife" figure, and Tony's "good" father figure/alter ego (Artie) is trying to impress upon him the unique rewards of sex with a wife as opposed to with a whore/goomar (something Tony himself alluded to in his first therapy session with Melfi after Marco Polo). The causative event for this dream image was likely Artie having been present and extremely close, if asleep, when Tony and Carm made love in the pool a few episodes before.

Immediately after Tony rubs Charmaine's "muzzle" in the dream, he appears in the Soprano living room astride Pie-O-My in front of Carmela. Despite the horse/whorez word play in the next part of the dream, it's highly suggested from a host of factors that Pie-O-My is a proxy in Tony's subconscious for Carmela, or at least for his idealized version of Carmela, for what he wishes she was and might fear she is not (pure of heart). It explains his exceptional emotionalism when Pie died, the sense of a deeply personal loss that moved him beyond any other and prompted Melfi's unsuccessful effort to find that unconscious connection. Given the fate of the horse, it didn't bode well for Carmela's future to share a symbolic relationship with her, even if it was only in Tony's unconscious mind.

Then there was the sudden cut to black on Carm's face at the end of Test Dream, just as it's very obvious that the sun is RISING and that light is gradually filling her bedroom and just as Tony asks her "is it light where you are." Since you place so much weight on the cut to black in MIA, I'm surprised you don't accord it more weight here.

Tell me, though, if Carmela had died at the end of season 5, wouldn't all this have looked like very compelling foreshadowing at that time?

If anything, Carmine in the "Test Dream" could just represent Tony being alone and separated from Carmela when he dies. If anything it ties the final scene to the first episode. Tony's fear of losing his family and his fear that something bad will happen is exactly what the final scene is about. Tony loses his family when he dies. The traumatic impact of seeing his murder is the bad thing he feared would happen to his family.
I think this is a reasonable interpretation in hindsight to try to make a full circle connection, but I don't think this was anywhere on the radar when Chase wrote those early episodes, and so it's not a very compelling bit of foreshadowing to me. It's ad hoc foreshadowing, at best, if you'll pardon the contradiction in terms.:icon_biggrin:

The clear impression left with me from Tony's anxieties and from the imagery of that seminal dream he narrates in the pilot is that he feared experiencing a devastating loss, he feared feeling what he felt when those ducks flew out of his pool. He feared that unscrewing his bellybutton would lead to his penis falling off and being carried away by a water bird. I read: he feared that untangling himself from the umbilical cord that ties him to his unfortunate parentage and to all its consequent psychic injuries and bad life choices would lead to, or could only happen as the result of, profound personal loss. He would have to suffer that loss to truly change, an idea advanced fairly clearly, IMO, in Calling All Cars that promptly frightens him into quitting therapy. It also recurs in a few subtle ways in season 5 (the remark about not being able to do anything about the bear until it hurts someone . . . or, as Tony put it, "when somebody's leg is gone", an evocation of Svetlana, who, not coincidentally, figures in the Calling All Cars dream.)

Obviously none of those fears bears any relationship to Tony "not even hearing it coming" and having his consciousness and life completely obliterated in a tiny fraction of a second. In your scenario, he felt nothing, appreciated nothing, experienced nothing, and had not even a nanosecond of recognition of the fact that he was "losing" his family. That's not my idea of a proper tieback to the anxieties he expressed in the beginning of the series. But I guess I like things a little more pristine than Chase does.:icon_wink:
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

#18
Detective Hunt wrote:I must say that if such talk continues (and I don't wish to shut down discussion, but rather would wish to keep each thread devoted to the thread topic, and hopefully an elevated one) that I really have little desire to stay.


DH, you know without my saying so that I would be greatly saddened if you left the forum. And normally I'd discuss this with you privately, but since this issue is obviously one that keeps coming up and since you've aired your feelings here, I'll respond in this thread.

I think I natively have a more expansive view of what is "on topic" than you. I tend to rate the importance of connective tissue a little more highly than most and am therefore very indulgent of tangential discussions that bear SOME relationship to the main topic, even if not directly on point. I don't think one sensibility is correct and the other incorrect. They are just a little different.

This topic started right after All Due Respect to touch on two issues, but the only one important for these purposes was the lack of follow through that season on what I viewed at the time as heavy foreshadowing of Carmela's death and my expectation that some fruition would have to come of it in season 6. Now if someone truly believes Carmela died at Holsten's, it's definitely within the purview of the original topic to discuss that here. Whether believing Carmela died that night is a reasonable view is another question, and whether it's appropriate to claim that I would change my view on the Carmela foreshadowing simply to avoid a conflict with some imagined vested interest in maintaining that Tony didn't die is definitely a different question. But if you are arguing that Carmela died with Tony, the two events obviously become related.

On that basis, I responded, although I debated with myself back and forth whether it was worth my time to do so. In the end, I opted to challenge what I perceive to be runaway speculation not grounded in any kind of sound reasoning.

I, too, would never ban a poster just because I have a different view of some aspect of the show. But I would ban a poster who I believe is not making a good-faith effort to be respectful of other posters, who harps on a topic with the intent of deliberately provoking another poster, or who manifests over sufficient time a compulsion to propagate personal viewpoints as absolute "truth", no matter what kind of disclaimers are used to disguise the practice. I trust all involved can read between those lines.
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

#19
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:...I would ban a poster who I believe is not making a good-faith effort to be respectful of other posters, who harps on a topic with the intent of deliberately provoking another poster, or who manifests over sufficient time a compulsion to propagate personal viewpoints as absolute "truth", no matter what kind of disclaimers are used to disguise the practice. I trust all involved can read between those lines.


This may be true, but Kiwifan (also known as Turangawaewae) got banned twice for inappropriate behavior he was deliberately goaded into by posters who posess those exact attributes you describe above. Still baffles me that HE was banned and not the provokers! The first time it was conkom, next time it was dsweeney. Again- i am not defending the mistakes Kiwi/Turanga made. But by allowing the other type of poster to remain and continue this behavior, others paid the price.

i, too, have often considered the idea of leaving due to this disparity. As well as the tolerance towards those who claim to know "the truth" about the ending and go around triggering bitter fights. But in the end, i realize that we have choices to just move on to another thread and discuss something else. For a long time, Kiwi/Turanga and i had to keep making new threads to escape the devolvement into the same old argument, but they kept following us there, like Death in Waiting.

Well, they got Turangawaewae, but they aren't going to get me if i can help it. i have repeatedly made it clear that i value the other aspects of the show leading up to (and including) the end. i have made every effort to fully explore those other avenues, until the interlopers dragged the discussion back to their blackhole. i figure DH or Fly will tell me now to just drop it and shut up. But if someone doesn't start treating the 'Tony Dies' crowd with the same rigorous discipline as Kiwi/Turanga and others got, i am truly just about outta here.

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

#20
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:...and, most importantly, the soaring soundtrack at the end of Irregular Around the Margins as Tony looked at Carmela with unmistakable love, the same Puccini aria from La Rondine that played when the ducks flew out of his pool and he suffered the first panic attack of the series. Coupled with the duck that Carmela brought home and put in the fridge the next episode, it said to me, Carmela is the duck that Tony feared losing way back in the first episode.....


Sooo, in the spirit of sticking to the thread-- back to this interesting primary topic of flying birds/ducks. Since i am a total opera-holic, i never ignore any of Chase's opera choices or consider them chosen just for the sake of their musical qualities alone. Fly, your reference to this aria is timely and spot-on, and captures an important aspect to the complex Tony-Carmela dynamic, which i hope you are willing to discuss further, along the original lines of your thread:

Interesting that when Puccini wrote La Rondine (Rondine = Swallow, as in the bird that flies away...), he could never decide on his ending, and died before he finalized which version was his final. Two or three versions have been performed for years.

In the story, the female lead, Magda, is a "kept woman". She is "the swallow". In one version she flies, or goes back, to the man who keeps her, instead of embarking on a chance for true love, marriage and social honor, etc. -She chooses security and comfort over true love. In another version, she gets abandoned by the man who truly loves her after he finds out she is somebody else's kept mistress, and so in despair, she flees towards the sea like a swallow before the curtain falls, possibly commiting suicide, but we aren't shown that. All versions have her and her true love living in a cottage by the sea, where (unlike Carmela's experience) Magda comments on the heavenly scent of flowers in the air before she later flies away...

btw- at the end of this opera, there is a mysterious piece of paper, a letter from the mother of her true love, with important news, that is given to Magda, and which changes the whole outcome. Her true love is willing to overlook Magda's past, break the umbilical cord and separate from his mother, anything- in order to be with Magda. But she flies off anyway, to his great sorrow (with his penis?). --Possibly a connection to the paper under Carm's derriere? A paper she sets aside and looks over for another paper on the bed?

Aria: CH' IL BEL SOGNO DI DORETTA (MAGDA) (from La Rondine) (also used in the movie "A Room With a View"). (Soprano (as in singer) Luba Orgonasova's rendition was used in The Sopranos episodes)

Listen Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQociPlAhwA
(Stunning. Soprano Angela Gheorghui, couldn't find Luba's version on YouTube).


Excerpt from summary of Act One: (link to libretto: http://opera.stanford.edu/Puccini/LaRondine/synopsis.html)

(YouTube Link: Elizabeth Knighton actually performing Act One and singing the aria: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0a7dprmaEU)

(Prunier is a poet who is entertaining Magda with a song he does not know how to end. Magda finishes it for him...)

...Prunier, playing the piano, introduces his song (Chi il bel sogno di Doretta). He tells the tale of a young woman who has a dream, in which a king asks a maid to trust in him, promising all his riches to her. The king is evidently struck by the young girl's beauty. The king begs her not to tremble from fear, not to cry. But she does not weep: she elects to remain as she is, for no gold can purchase happiness. Prunier ceases playing. "Why don't you go on?" asks Magda, who had been enjoying the song. But Prunier cannot go on - there is no ending, he does not know how to finish it. "That is easy." Magda joins him at the piano. "The conquest tempts me." She takes up his song, with words of her own (Chi il bel sogno di Doretta, or, "Doretta's Beautiful Dream"). Her ending is simple: a young student one day kisses Doretta so passionately that she now knows what passion is. Magda is so taken with her theme, that the assembled crowd is quite moved. Magda calls her vision of Doretta's dream a golden dream: "Oh to love so...." Prunier is impressed, and all her friends express their adoration of her exquisite poetry. Even Rambaldo, the practical man, is moved. Prunier thinks this proves his point: in every man's breast lurks the romantic. Rambaldo is not pleased with this remark, declaring himself armed with holy water against this devil. He makes a presentation to Magda of a beautiful necklace. Magda is surprised, and tells him that she steadfastly holds to her opinion that, as in Prunier's song, love and happiness cannot be bought. However, she accepts the gift, causing Prunier to comment that his Doretta would never have done so. ...

--YouTube link to final scene Act III, Magda actually starts to sit on the piece of paper/letter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELVWktlyh1U

Lyrics to Chi Il Bel Sogno Di Doretta : (English translation)

Doretta's beautiful dream (CH' IL BEL SOGNO DI DORETTA)

Who could guess
The beautiful dream Doretta had?
Why her mystery
Came to an end

One day a student
Kissed her on the mouth
And that kiss
Was the revelation:
It was the passion!
Mad love!
Mad happiness!
Who will ever be able again
To describe the light caress
Of a kiss so burning?

Oh! My dream!

Oh! My life!

Who cares for wealth
If at last happiness flourishes!
Oh golden dream
To be able to love
In this way!

Chi il bel sogno di Doretta
Potè indovinar?
Il suo mister come mai
Come mai fini

Ahimè! un giorno uno studente
In bocca la baciò
E fu quel bacio
Rivelazione:
Fu la passione!
Folle amore!
Folle ebbrezza!
Chi la sottil carezza
D'un bacio cosi ardente
Mai ridir potrà?

Ah! mio sogno!

Ah! mia vita!

Che importa la ricchezza
Se alfine è rifiorita
La felicità!
O sogno d'or
Poter amar così!
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