Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#71
I agree: it had nothing to do with the scar. The focus on her undoing the buttons, the buttons that Carm had fastened with such pride and satisfaction just a short time before. This is a watershed moment for Tony... and he hates it ("Where's the smoked turkey?!?"). He's denying himself what he desires (hot, steamy, panty-ripping sex) when it's obvious that there's not that much of a thrill in his own bed ("Are you okay? Are you sure you're okay?). The look in Carm's eyes at the beginning told the whole story...

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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#72
I really loved this episode, and having read this general discussion, I am even more intrigued by the strange duality of the Sopranos. On the one hand, as a previous poster suggested, there are those who are "along for the roller-coaster" ride and want to sit back and be entertained.

On the other hand, there are those who have no choice but to become actively engaged in the psychiatry and moral and ideological development of the characters.

As FOMW pointed out, I was absolutely riveted by the confrontation between Tony and AJ, when for the first time they cleared the air between them about what it is exactly that Tony is. I was speechless.

But more than that, during the scene where AJ pulls the knife from his drawer, and during the entire scene where AJ is entering the nursing home -- I was filled with a terrible sense of dread that AJ might actually stab Junior. I dreaded the death of Junior without some kind of reconciliation between himself and Tony, but more I dreaded the implications of murder on AJ. Say what you want about him being spoiled, aimless, superficial, shallow and inept -- but you really can't say that he isn't INNOCENT in the purest sense of the word. That innocence was nearly shattered in this episode.

Tony and Julianna -- wow. For once we see Tony unable to set aside the things that Carmella does for him, and rather than just pay lip service to how she supports him, he realizes that like the buttons on his shirt, it is her support and love for him that holds him together. Amazing development, and so well drawn out with Julianna, making the audience think he was going to go through with it, all the while hoping fervently that he wouldn't.

And last, the Vito portion of the episode. I understand that the manifestly physical homosexual relationship of Johnny Cakes and Vito was unsettling, I myself was uncomfortable watching it, but it did show the internal conflict that Vito was experiencing. He wanted to be something other than what he was, but he couldn't be. And when he embraced his homosexuality, he appeared genuinely happy.

I have my own questions about what exactly Tony "is" and what he "wants to be" that I articulated in last episode's board. I believe Tony "is" a mob boss, with a talent for it and a passion for it. Whatever else he may "want to be", his natural instincts may put him on a similar path to disaster as Vito. I don't know though, the genius of the show and episodes like this is they leave you even more in question about what YOU think and want for Tony.

When Tony tells AJ that he's not cut out for this life, that he is a "good person" inside, and that prevents him from being a part of the life Tony lives, what does that say about Tony's view of himself? If a good person can't do the things that Tony does, what does that make Tony?

Ultimately, I can see how people didn't like this episode, if you're along for the ride, this type of episode is the portion of the coaster where you are slowly getting cranked up the first hill. But for me, its the engagement, anticipation, and recognition of the potential energy building up through that slow upward ascent that will make the exhilirating parts of the ride all that much more well, exhilirating.

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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#76
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>what are u talking about not from jersey? do u watch this show? and made a native by tony? maybe u mean he took him into his crew is that what ure trying to say<hr></blockquote>
why do idio.. err some people always get so aggro?
i was leaning on somebodys comment from a discussion about an earlier episode who said he wasnt from NJ.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge.showUserPublicProfile?gid=hrurusch>Hrurusch</A> at: 5/2/06 6:44 pm

Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#77
4 episodes left and it looks like based on HBO schedule that they will have a one week break just like they did 2 years ago for the Memorial day Sunday the 28th which means the last episode would be on June 4th. Remaining episodes are "The Ride", Mo and Joe, Cold Stones and it looks like the initial episode title for the 12th and final of the season has been changed from Sentimential Journey to Kaisha whatever that means anybody weigh in not sure.

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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#78
Question from Payaabee (?)-- What was the statue that stood between Phil and Tony when Phil confronts him about Vito? That I believe is a status of Lou Costello near Main Steet in the south end of Paterson, NJ. The actor/comedian was from that city (and often made reference to it in his sketches) It was put up a couple of years ago by Lou Duva, a boxing promoter based in New Jersey.
The AJ-Tony confrontation was the best scene, the 'Brokeback Soprano' romp in the grass of Vito and the other guy the most unconfortable scene. Overall it was a very good but not great episode. We did see the story continue as to Vito, probably setting up his demise by either Tony's guys or Phil, whoever gets to him first. Tony is a bit reluctant, but knows he has to go nail him as a loose cannon that could blab to the Feds as well as piss off his crews. We also know a lot of the what was meant by the episode descriptions.
We continue to see the difficult fight within Tony as to both families, as well as some of the changes in him. The 'courtis interruptus' of Tony was something I didn't expect, but I in the context of the show made sense.
As I have mentioned before, I wonder if Tony is trying to prepare for his death. He has had several close calls. His father died when he was a teen (in the storylines). He is overweight and doesn't seem to be full of life. He has the problems in both his blood and mob families. He has a lot of stress. Perhaps his confrontation with AJ is part of this too?
Next week seems to be comming up as a real interesting one as to both Paulie and Bobbie in the mix.


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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#79
Overall I enjoyed this episode. I wanted to see it more than once before posting my thoughts and comments. Some of what I have to say may have already been posted by others, so I beg forgiveness for repetition of thoughts previously expressed.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Quality of Episode: “Johnny Cakes” was a personally enjoyable episode for me, for the reasons set forth below. However, I also can understand how many loyal viewers could get the sense that the pacing was slow and it covered “old ground” without dramatically moving the main plot line forward. As a prime example, Vito’s forced journey of homosexual self-discovery in an idyllic New England village seems to take up valuable episode time while at the same time dragging like an anchor. Even the conflicts it generates between Tony and Phil and Tony and his men no longer seem to crackle with tension. The same is capable of being said about A.J.’s “failure to launch” storyline.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp It may be hard to contemplate just how such slowly developing story lines are going to be important to the ultimate fate of Tony Soprano and his families. It is my fervent hope that the stories being developed now will be extremely crucial to Chase’s “big payoff” next year and that we will be able to look back on these last few episodes, in hindsight, with awe and reverence. But as we sit here halfway through the first installment of Season 6, I can’t fault anyone who finds themselves mildly disappointed.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp However, any episode of the Sopranos, no matter how slowly paced, is still far superior to anything else on television, so current disappointment should be kept in that context. And, despite the slow build up in some parts of the Soprano’s saga, I thought there was more than enough forward progress in the other storylines to make this, overall, a wonderful episode. So I can’t go as far as simply labeling this as “filler”.


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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#80
I agree with much of what you are saying Billymac. I do feel mildly dissapointed at this point in time. This is not to say that I haven't enjoyed episodes. I LOVED Members Only, Join the Club, Mr. & Mrs. Sacrimoni Request, and enjoyed this past episode. What I am having a problem with is some of the storylines this season. Many seem to be lame duck stories, imo.

The lamest being the Chris-movie story. Let me put my cards on the table. Chris had to have his fiance murdered to keep a murderous, thug lifestyle. It just seems to me there could be much more interesting stories to see Chris in. They seem to have ignored the impact of this on Chris, despite him using it as pawn in an argument with Tony a couple of times. Perhaps this was done on purpose, to show the difference between Tony & Chris. But, I guess, in the two years wait, I was really hoping to see the show tackle the aftermath of Ade's death. Which was to me the most heartbreaking "whacking" or loss ever displayed on television, much less the Sopranos.

I have a hard time calling much of anything in the Sopranos "filler". But certain storylines seem to be going in that direction, as I have a hard time seeing them all come together in any meaningful resolution during the next 4 episodes. I find the argument between Phil & Tony over Vito to be retreading old ground, where Phil wishes Tony to whack someone. This is a much lesser offence than what Tony B., so it is difficult for me to even care or lend much interest.

I do enjoy the Vito storyline, but feel it is being carried on for a bit too long. It displays yet another way for Tony to escape from the mob, not in the gay sense, just in the "on the lamb" sense. It is very interesting how we have now seen 5, at least, ways for Tony to exit the mob life. And to that extent, I am enthralled. I am not bothered by any of the homosexual scenes, I just am annoyed at times about how much time is being dedicated to the story. I am reminded of the first episode and how SO much happened in that episode, that it gave me great hope about how this season would play out. I now find myself dissapointed to find that the pace has not been kept.

I do prefer to look at each season as a whole, so I will give my full analysis at the end of the season. But I feel the need to vent that I am slightly underwhelmed by what we have seen in the last few episodes. I greatly enjoyed "Johnny Cakes", specifically AJ's Omerta journey. Anyhow, I don't really know how to cap this off, but to say I am laying my trust in Chase. If I remember correctly Chase wanted to do just a final 10 episodes, but then was talked into doing 12 episodes and then a final 8. Does that sound familiar to anyone else? Well if this is the truth, I have high hopes for the last 8 episodes, as this will truley be Chase's swan song.

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