Christopher - on an opportunity wasted, and doubles

#1
Not a reference to the apparently stalled "Cleaver/Pork Store Killer" project, but to Chase's choice to not use Chris' character in a substantive way this season thus far. The Hollywood plot was good for some laughs and certainly showed the weakness and emptiness of Chris' life without Adriana, but it was done in a tongue-in-cheek way, continuing a season where Chris has essentially been relegated to comic relief. Chris' return to drugs is a MAJOR development in terms of his future in the family, yet it was mined mostly for laughs. We've seen that Imperioli can act, so why not deal with his suppressed grief, substance abuse and solitary existence in dramatic fashion?

I realize that such an episode may still be coming; I think each episode this season thus far has essentially provided a major foil for Tony (Eugene, Carmela, Silvio, Paulie, Johnny Sac, Vito, and Artie, respectively, with next week likely AJ), and we could still see a substantive Tony/Chris exploration this season, or certainly by the series' end.

On a related note, since I've always thought Chris will be the one to let Tony down or betray him in the end, I've always considered the extended body disposal sequence in "Whoever Did This" to be potential a microcosm of their relationship -- "wetworks" performed together in harmony and trust, Tony operates the bulldozer when Chris can't, Tony awakens at the Bing and Chris is nowhere to be found, Tony walks into the light. At any rate, there's still plenty of ground left to cover with these two.

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Re: Christopher - on an opportunity wasted, and doubles

#2
De Novo,

I agree with you, time seems to be running out for Chris to learn responsibility and become a dependable "employee" as it were. Tony explicitly told him when he went into rehab that anyone else in his position would already be dead. That lesson appears not to have stuck with Chris.

One wonders how many other "learning opportunities" he's going to get before he straightens out his act. I think that the value of this episode, tying into my thoughts in the general thread, is that Chris doesn't appear to have the same investment, passion, and interest in the mafia that Tony does. Without a family to support, the pull of more money through increased leadership and responsibility in the "family" doesn't appear to generate the same kind of dedication to the job that you see with Tony.

Instead, Chris' real passion is, and has been for some time, the allure of the Hollywood world, acting, writing, glamour and fame. Barring some sort of massive character development in a relatively short time period, the Christopher we know now will never be the boss, or if he becomes the boss he'll never last.

His heart isn't in it, he doesn't have the will or drive to succeed or lead that Tony does. He increasingly looks like the mob doppelganger of AJ -- essentially a son to Tony, but fundamentally ungrateful, packing a HUGE sense of entitlement, and he seems to have never progressed past an adolescent selfishness mitigated only by occasional filial expressions of emotion.

I used to really like Christopher, and appreciated his loyalty to Tony. Now I see that loyalty as looking more like a son doing the "right thing" merely to gain the approval of his father figure, Tony. I look forward to seeing where Chris' character goes, I can only hope that he "grows up" and in a hurry.

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Re: Christopher - on an opportunity wasted, and doubles

#3
Nicely said. And, like AJ, his interests are primarily material, as this episode demonstrated with all his Luxury Lounge oggling. He's interested in the transitive accoutrements of mob life -- money, cars, drugs, T&A, notoriety, rather than honor and obligation. He more or less had his fiancee killed because he likes driving an H2. He is weak-willed, as evidenced by his return to drugs. Beyond all that, he is dumb -- dealing with terrorists, paying middle men with heroin, flexing nuts and flashing a temper rather than truly thinking.

My regret is that the whole Hollywood thing was funny but still had a been there/done that feeling in light of his previous forays into acting and script writing. He's shallow, materialistic and fame-hungry -- we get it, now what about having the love of his life whacked?

A slightly unrelated point, but the past three seasons have had a real knock-you-on-your ass episode in mid-season (University, Whoever Did This and Irregular Around the Margins). Where is it in Season 6? I felt the timing was right for Episode 7 to step up; they could have had some real drama involving Christopher and they took an easier route.

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Re: Christopher - on an opportunity wasted, and doubles

#4
DeNovo and darngood,

Absofrickinglutely.

The expression he had on his face in Luxury Lounge as he saw the good stuff the Hollywood A-list gets for free was the same one that he had at the gas station in the ep. where Ade gets whacked....when he saw that lower class white couple with a couple of kids coming out of the quik-mart. He didn't want to be that couple with Adriana...and he does want to be Ben Kingsley. He is never, ever going to be content and I think that's where he and Tony diverge....I think Tony, were it not for the bumbling idiots he has to associate with and a lot of blockhead decisions in his past, could eventually come to a place where he could be still and be content. Christopher could never have that peace....like the kid in 5th grade whose leg is always jiggling. He needs another rush another rush another rush....and the only cure for that, if he can't find enlightenment, is death.

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Re: Christopher - on an opportunity wasted, and doubles

#5
Great points about Chris, completley agree. I've aired my beef about Chris elsewhere also... The writers just won't let him get his head out of his ass. His stupidity would be an obvious downfall of Tony, though I think its worth noting that he's not above betrayel. He may be 100% loyal, but he's stupid and spoiled enough to betray Tony. Remember, this kid's biggest role models are Paulie and Tony (pre-coma) - and years of their delapitated morals have rubbed off on him. They helped mould his character. Remember that scene in Pine Barrens when Paulie asks Chris 'All the shit we been through, you think I'd kill you?' and Chris goes 'Yea, I do'. Also, during their beef when Chris first got made and Paulie was being a dick. When they're making up in Paulie's car and Paulie reaches back to get that fish thing, Chris reaches for his gun. I know Tony and Chris' bond is tighter, but Chris is spoiled and very indulged - which is what I think could push him over.

Anyway, DeNovo,
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I've always considered the extended body disposal sequence in "Whoever Did This" to be potential a microcosm of their relationship -- "wetworks" performed together in harmony and trust, Tony operates the bulldozer when Chris can't, Tony awakens at the Bing and Chris is nowhere to be found, Tony walks into the light.<hr></blockquote>
I found that interesting, can you explain that? I don't see the parallels.

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Re: Christopher - on an opportunity wasted, and doubles

#6
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I found that interesting, can you explain that? I don't see the parallels.<hr></blockquote>

Well, the sequence in its entirety would only represent their entire relationship if Chris deserts or betrays Tony. I just always found it fascinating that they really showed every detail of the body disposal; I also thought the actual murder would come back to haunt Tony, either through a slip-up by Chris or as a personal excuse to enter all-out conflict with New York, neither of which transpired.

But you basically have Tony committing and covering up murder with Chris' assistance. Chris is his "hatchet man," literally chopping up Tony's victim. Later, Chris can't operate the tractor when they're burying Ralph's head, so Tony takes over, which I always took to mean that Chris either wasn't ready or will always be too weak for true leadership and responsibility. They sleep at the Bing, and when Tony wakes up he calls for Chris, but he's gone; Tony leaves the Bing, and the last shot is of him passing from darkness into daylight.

I always thought it was way too long and deliberate a sequence to simply be about the disposal of a corpse. Recall that Tony never told ANYONE about Ralph except Chris, so the entire thing was a kind of perverse extended male bonding sequence based on mutual trust, effort and respect. For better or worse, Tony trusted Chris alone with one of his darkest secrets. The end of the sequence will only have symbolic value if Chris isn't there for Tony at the end, whether it be due to self-destruction through drugs or other means, or an outright betrayal.

One way or another, I believe Chris WON'T be there, and the apparent symbolism in that episode is a primary reason.

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Re: Christopher - on an opportunity wasted, and doubles

#7
Hmm, good thoughts. And you're clearly right - it was way too long a sequence to be just a disposal, but I couldn't figure out the deeper meaning. This is an interesting way to look at it. I also saw Chris' not being able to use the tractor as symbolic of his incompetence. And completley agree about thinking of it as a bonding experience, punctuated by Tony telling Chris his secret. This was around the time Tony was 'giving Chris the reins' of the family, also, so it helped build the relationship.

.... I dunno... I'm not really satisfied. I think there's more to the sequence that we haven't quite fleshed out.

And there's other scenes I don't understand. Lke the shower scene, and some others I can't remember...
One I do remember is the mirror one. What did he see in the mirror? Somebody on this forum mentioned one time about 'Tony seeing Pussy in the mirror' (independant of this scene) and I couldn't remember a scene where Tony sees Pussy in the mirror. Did I miss that here?

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