Fathers and Sons -- Tony, AJ, and Finn

#1
For some reason I have felt myself very compelled by the father/son elements of the show. As noted in an excellent thread about Ep. 4, a lot of father/son issues were raised in that particular episode. I found myself with some questions and thoughts after this episode, however.

Observations:
1) Johnny Sacc (boss of NY family)'s father was clearly NOT connected.

2) AJ no longer is thinking about event planning, and outright dismisses the idea as $hit when Tony mentions it. This leaves him drifting aimlessly, with nothing but a minimum wage job at Blockbuster to keep him from exploring "other options".

3) Tony's complete acceptance of Finn as a suitable husband for Meadow -- I don't think this was completely about the grandkids thing, sure he wants them, but I don't think he would be encouraging Meadow like that if he had any reservations about Finn. Finn is clearly not potential mob material.

I think these three observations are important in several ways.

First, it seems to me that the stereotype we have is of Godfather 1, Carmine and Carmine Jr, John and Junior Gotti, etc. It seems to follow that sons will follow their fathers into the mob. What doesn't seem clear is why some fathers encourage this, and others can't countenance the idea. Johnny Sacc's dad might be less relevant to this discussion, I was just surprised to see that his dad was for all purposes just an old fart who had no idea who Tony was.

I suppose that a great deal of the question about sons following their fathers into the life has to do with the character of the father in question. Michael Corleone is clearly a character who demands sympathy for his situation, as does Tony. One wonders if AJ would have been the soft smart-ass that he is now if he had been placed in a crew and started taking care of business a few years earlier.

But it is Tony's complete acceptance of Finn that really seemed fascinating to me. Here comes a son-in-law who would be primed to walk the straight life (as a DENTIST no less), and who is equipped to succeed in doing it.

I am tempted to contrast Finn and AJ, and all I see out of that is an irresistable pull for AJ to find his way into some kind of crime. Whether he is able to break into the mob or not, does anyone else view it as likely that he will try to steal something, or otherwise get out of this nowhere existence that he has as a blockbuster employed college-dropout? I don't think Tony has been providing the DISCIPLINE that would be the only thing keeping AJ from the self-destructive spoiled path he's been following.

This strikes me only because if AJ HAD been brought into the life, and put in a crew, discipline would have been the first thing he learned. Well, at least obedience and respect, but he seems to be lacking either of those qualities, and I see those deficincies being a real bar to him having any kind of law-abiding or successful future.

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Re: Fathers and Sons -- Tony, AJ, and Finn

#4
Not sure if discussion of the preseason trailer constitutes a spoiler or not, so I'm going to invoke the "cone of spoiler silence" for what follows:




*********** SPOILER ***************




In the trailer we saw AJ running through what appeared to be a waiting room of sorts. There was some speculation that maybe it was a drug rehab place he was in. Well, we now know that it is the place where they took Uncle Junior last night.

Is it possible that AJ goes there to whack that old Effing mummy afterall?

Or does he witness somebody else doing it?





******** END SPOILER TALK ***********







We now return you to your thread ...

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Re: Fathers and Sons -- Tony, AJ, and Finn

#5
coffee:
another father/son moment in latest episode was when Sac tells Allegra's finance to call him 'Dad' (in fact seems to get a bit overly ornery when he doesn't do this right away) not sure where else to take this, except it struck me as a parellel to Tony's acceptance of Finn (I thought Allegra's guy had 'straight' written all over him)



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Re: Fathers and Sons -- Tony, AJ, and Finn

#6
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>But it is Tony's complete acceptance of Finn that really seemed fascinating to me. Here comes a son-in-law who would be primed to walk the straight life (as a DENTIST no less), and who is equipped to succeed in doing it.<hr></blockquote>

Do you think that Tony (and Carmela?) might be maneuvering dynastically--hankering to gloss the family with some WASP respectability? A kind of Ralph Lauren play?

P.S. If Finn is not WASP, please disregard (How do you spell forget about in Wiseguy?) this question.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge.showUserPublicProfile?gid=stcroix103>stcroix103</A> at: 4/10/06 5:37 pm

Re: Fathers and Sons -- Tony, AJ, and Finn

#7
In regards to the "event planning" comment. I think that was inserted to show just how disconnected Tony and Carmela are to AJ in this season. The last we had heard of AJ's supposed interest in this area was in season 5 via Carmela's conversation w/ a high school guidance counselor. The audience as well, including myself, were lead to believe that this was still a possible route for AJ, because no other career options were ever mentioned.

However, looking back- there was no mention of interest in "event planning" by AJ himself-ever. This idea was projected to him initially from a possible general comment to a school official, then to Carmela, then to Tony. AJ's statement of "Where do you get this sh!#" just hammered home the fact that he and Tony are quite distant at this point.


As for Johnny Sack's dad. His comment in being introduced to Tony was something like, "Now who is this one?". In other words, you've brought so many people over to the table that I can't keep track of them all. Although we think that Tony's relationship to Johnny is very solid, Johnny might have several close associations similar to Tony. The fact that he makes Tony feel special may just be the way Johnny does things. A good leader makes everybody feel like they are extra-special. Case in point, look to his relationship w/ Paulie there for awhile. Back to Johnny's relationship w/ his dad: Although his dad seemed feeble, weakminded, and quite "out-there", I'm not quite sure that he isn't actually on top of things. His comment about not eating the pepper may have not been so odd, if in fact the pepper wasn't cooked properly. And when Johnny's conversation w/ Tony started to heat up, he picked up on it right away and warned his son to be careful. Maybe the old man is sharper and more quick-witted than they lead us to believe.

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Re: Fathers and Sons -- Tony, AJ, and Finn

#8
Personally I think the reason why Tony never brought A.J. into the "family business" is because Tony knows that A.J. is an incompetent loser who doesn't have the chops to be a part of that life.

However I do believe that if Meadow were a male, Tony would have actively brought her in the mob fold. He loves her (she's obviously his favorite), he's proud of her accomplishments, he thinks she's smart, clever and on the fast track. It's just that she's a female and as such, Tony would not involve her in the business.

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Re: Fathers and Sons -- Tony, AJ, and Finn

#9
I think at one point Tony tells Melfi straight out that AJ would "never make it" in the mob. But I think the only reason AJ wouldn't make it is because Tony never showed him how. AJ's certainly cold enough, even if he is a sheltered momma's-boy.

Something similar is alluded to right before Jackie Jr. gets killed. The little girl, whose gangbanger dad was obviously showing her the ropes, commented that Jackie's daddy had never shown him how to play chess. Tony hasn't showed AJ either. He has been showing Christopher, but the boy's too dumb to learn.

I think the problem is that if AJ gets in the mob, then he becomes fair game. Out of the mob he's family and therefore off limits.



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