Re: The Scene with Melfi

#11
OE, thanks for your (as usual) informative reply.

I'm not troubled by the fact that she focusses so heavily on Livia's guilt but by the fact that she was willing to conclude, with no personal knowledge whatsoever, that Livia's co-conspiritor and executor of the murder plot in fact "loves" Tony. It just always seemed an incredible thing for her to say or surmise from her vantage point.

And if she feels that way and also surmises that Tony loves Junior, why would she not also see that he has solid emotional reasons for not wanting to put Junior in a "home"?

Here's something close to her last remark to Tony:

"It's easier for you to think they were right in trying to kill you than to accept the fact that she didn't value you."

If she's gonna go there, doesn't she also have to add:

"It's easier for you to think they were right in trying to kill you than to accept that you didn't value her?"

Maybe Melfi and I just don't see eye-to-eye on the notion of instituional "elder" care. That can happen when you witness an uncle and an aunt selflessly, willingly sacrifice for 15 years to provide the best in-home care possible for your bed-ridden grandmother. But the fact is, generally speaking and when geography and core practical factors allow, children who highly value their parents don't put them in institutions.

That's okay. In the circle of this logic, I don't think anyone could expect Tony to value the mother he had, and her placement at Green Grove offers nothing close to a justification for the death wish she put on him. But I'm bothered by Melfi's continual dismissal of the notion that institutional elder care and the amount of love flowing from the child to the parent are unrelated.



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self-denial

#12
There is one very important thing within the development of Tony.

He now does not "remember" having to ty shoving the pillow into her mother's face.

I have a grandfather like that: he is in constant self-justification in which the huge part is that he denies most of his previous actions (me? I never did that!). He is also very afraid of death. And for that he always try to purify himself for that.

But let's not also forget that Livia did this as well...

Tony's other big surprise (maybe not so big) as he corrects Melfi about the retirement community ("It's a nursing home!-he yells back) The exact opposite way as they fought with Livia. Could it be becasue how it turned out for him at the first time with Livia?

But in another perspective, this move is very true to a person who is depressed. Within the constant fight for staying afloat some "amnesia" can fall in...

Just as he always seeks the love Uncle Jun ("don't you love me?") Tony is just as wrongly aggressive to uncle Jun's quickly fast dementia, I also know this trough my grandfather senility. But this final moment may force Tony to put Jun under the care of pros...

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Re: self-denial

#13
i think that might just be his whole mentality, which is of course a fundament for a show like this.
like a car dealer, who is buying a used car for 5k with the words 'this rust is not worth the 8 grand you want' he will sell it to the next guy for 8k with the words 'this is a wonderful, rust-free car'.

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Re: The Scene with Melfi

#14
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:And if she feels that way and also surmises that Tony loves Junior, why would she not also see that he has solid emotional reasons for not wanting to put Junior in a "home"?

Here's something close to her last remark to Tony:

"It's easier for you to think they were right in trying to kill you than to accept the fact that she didn't value you."

If she's gonna go there, doesn't she also have to add:

"It's easier for you to think they were right in trying to kill you than to accept that you didn't value her?"

Maybe Melfi and I just don't see eye-to-eye on the notion of instituional "elder" care. That can happen when you witness an uncle and an aunt selflessly, willingly sacrifice for 15 years to provide the best in-home care possible for your bed-ridden grandmother. But the fact is, generally speaking and when geography and core practical factors allow, children who highly value their parents don't put them in institutions.

That's okay. In the circle of this logic, I don't think anyone could expect Tony to value the mother he had, and her placement at Green Grove offers nothing close to a justification for the death wish she put on him. But I'm bothered by Melfi's continual dismissal of the notion that institutional elder care and the amount of love flowing from the child to the parent are unrelated.



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Knowing now how the rest of the series played out, is it possible that David Chase was toying with the idea that Melfi may not always be so sharp or brave, that she is susceptible to go along with the prejudices of her own background (her education, being a therapist)? It isn't far-fetched to me that two people like Dr. Melfi and Tony in real life would talk past each other on just this sort of issue. One of them thinks like you (and I) do, "It's better to take care of your elderly parents at home" while the other just can't see anything objectionable about putting them in a nursing home: "Professionals give the best care, they know what to monitor and how to treat it. Lay-people don't know..."

Even though in the beginning the Sopranos was hailed for its depiction of therapy, to the point that psychoanalysts wrote books about the show, towards the end David Chase engaged in a harsh critique of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in America; and I think he did this in part by deconstructing the character of Dr. Melfi.
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