Christopher's Progression/Regression

#1
Well, since this is the first episode this season where we've really had the chance to size up Christopher, I think there's a lot to be discussed about his personal and professional progress or lack thereof.

On the one hand, we see Christopher taking a mature stance on establishing a family of his own, taking on a stable life that involves children, buying a house, and establishing the veneer of respectability and dependability that Tony has for so long expected from him.

Tony comments that Chris is no longer young, that Chris is focused, capable and dependable (I'll have to look back in the episode for the exact adjectives, but they were along those lines.) Tony and Chris have a tender moment together, one that is far more father/son than even the best of Tony and AJ's relationship.

On the other hand though, we've got some serious warning signs that Chris is not who he wants to be. There was the warning sign of the drug regression in the Hollywood episode, and here we see a relapse into heroin, which in addition to being incredibly addictive was also the drug that nearly got him killed. Tony told Chris that he wouldn't get another pass for drugs.

While Chris wants a family to provide the comfort and security that he wants and seems to genuinely desire, he ends up in a incredibly pathetic extended scene laying among trash and hugging a stray dog for affection while strung out on heroin instead of being in his new home with his new wife who is carrying his child.

We have seen an overarching theme this season of people wanting to change themselves, but finding that becoming something other than who they are is too difficult or even impossible.

Vito wishes he wasn't gay, but can't change it. Paulie seems unable to be satisfied with himself, even though the actions of his mother and aunt Nucci were in no way something he could have controlled. Tony appears to want to change (at times) and at others, he revels in his criminality (like the smile on his face as he stole the wine).

Chris seems to want an adult life free of his addictions, but can't quite manage to get himself there. I see this relapse as a massive warning flag for Chris, especially since now he has taken on a wife and has a child on the way.

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Re: Christopher's Progression/Regression

#2
<hr />Judging how little time it took from the time Chris had that drink of wine until he stuck that spike in his arm, I'd have to guess that he is one of the most likely people there is who will either lose his life to heroin or lose control of his life (almost the same as losing his life - ending up in an institution or equivalent).

I liked the scene with the stray dog. It shows just how BAD his judgement is when high. Remember how Fredo was too weak and stupid for this life? Well when Chris is high, the same applies to him.

I liked the scene with Chris lying on the ground overnight at the fair. It showed me that when using, Chris' life is just a waste of time.

If Chris can't make a strong and lasting committment to keeping clean, his life is pretty much worthless. His wife and child and new house mean nothing. At least, if Chris was a real life person, that would be my guess.

When DGC says it's a massive warning flag, I only wish I knew how to put that in stronger terms.



</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge.showUserPublicProfile?gid=splishak>Splishak</A> at: 5/7/06 11:00 pm

Re: Christopher's Progression/Regression

#3
I wonder if Chris will be the big character close to Tony to die or be killed this season. While there has been speculation that AJ, Meadow or even Carm will die and set off Tony to a different direction, perhaps instead it will be Chris. We saw the unique almost father-son relationship they have in this episode and several times before. We saw tonight as a flashback how Chris told Tony of Ada's ratting to the Feds and what to do. We also see the terrible conflict of feelings that Chris has.
Chris could die of an overdose, getting killed by an accident when high, doing something stupid upon his pregant wife and get busted or perhaps in the throws of drug addiction and being rejected by Tony for a real screw up, commits suricide. Perhaps Tony will kill him (like the bibical Abraham). In general I don't see this going anywhere but real bad for him.

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Re: Christopher's Progression/Regression

#4
i see a chance of chris either killing tony for what he has done to adriana or him killing himself because he went to tony .
the marriage, the house and all is just a replacement for adriana imho plus he doesnt want to fuck up another life.
chris also seems to have some real roots in the drug scene, he doesnt kill of his drug friends, seem to be 'real friends'.
tony is way too standard to feel into this.
tony himself is much more in danger, he has chris which would take a family in the drug scene anytime over the mafia, paulie which is a freak who wants to live with his mum, sil is a leaf in the wind, vito is gay somewhere in NH, carmella he has to lie to, bobby is like a 15 year old, directed by janice after he has cleaned junior butt the last 10 years...any close friends left?he is strong enough to cope with that(although it might bite him anytime) but would be much better off with melfi for example.

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Re: Christopher's Progression/Regression

#6
Interesting. I didn't really pick up on a threat of violence from him at that point, but maybe it was because it was so early in the episode. I certainly couldn't read his eyes, but his body language seemed relaxed, not tense, especially compared with her literally shaking in her boots afraid to tell him.

I could see how things could have gone the violent way, but I personally just didn't feel that there was any implied threat of violence, even before Chris assured her it would be alright.

I'm interested to hear what other people thought though -- and curious as to how the fact that at least in my view there was no potential violence from Christopher fits into his character development.

His new wife (is her name Kelly?) is clearly sort of intimidated by him, but she seemed self-assured and confident at the family dinner at Tony's house. Adrianna and Chris were always like an open flame and a can of gasoline on the boil, but Chris ending up with someone who again, seems more STABLE, or at least controllable, appears to be a more mature choice for him. At the same time though, whether that is a decision that he is making because he knows it to be a mature choice, or whether he is making it because that is what he truly wants is a matter open for discussion.

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Re: Christopher's Progression/Regression

#7
I have to say, I don't at all see the progression. Tony's remarks about Christopher seem ironic. Tony says he is mature and more focused. He is clearly contradicted by almost everything we've seen Christopher do and say this season. (This post contains semispoilers if you haven't watched the episodes leading up to this latest one entitled The Ride.) If anything, Christopher seems childish and shortsighted.

To first address the maturity issue, I would reference his reaction to the Vito revelation. While it may be true that the wise guys don't tolerate practicing homosexuals in their ranks, Christopher's reactions just seemed over the top. Storming into the Bing, making crude comments about what Finn witnessed, making jokes with others even after it seems it was decided that the family was to counter any comments from others/outsiders...

In addition to his reactions to Vito's secret are Christopher's stellar stupid lines this season. He seems to have taken a mental leap backwards; every show has him making some really idiotic comment. One of the best was, of course, his deduction that since one of his Arabic associates has a Springer Spaniel, that associate can't be Muslim extremist. It's true that some Muslims consider dogs unclean but does a guy who thinks a movie called Pork Store Killer is the next blockbuster really know that much about other religious points of view? His line in entirety, which I'll quote following this, is so ambiguous that it seems like the dog comment is reaching really hard for what he and Tony want to believe:

They're gun nuts, but the smaller guy Ahmed, when those Danish cartoons got published, he was very upset, but at the protest he said that he hated the cartoons, but that the rioting shit would just bring bad attention to all Muslims. And the other guy Mohammed, his brother's a government interrogator in, uhhhh, Lebanon, or Syria. Plus, Mohammed and his girlfriend have a dog, a Springer Spaniel...


Just because someone doesn't want bad attention for Muslims doesn't mean one isn't an extremist. It's kind of ridiculous to think there aren't extremists who like to sit back and plan things more carefully than rioting in streets. And does the remark on Mohammed's brother remind anyone else of the miscommunication in Pine Barrens? In Pine Barrens, Tony tries telling Paulie over a failing phone connection that the guy they're after is an ex Interior Ministry guy who has killed 16 Czechen rebels- what Paulie hears, though, is that the guy was an Interior decorator. Here, Mohammed's brother is a government interrogator in Lebanon or Syria- but how does that mean that he is actually not "one of those alkayduhs"? Christopher doesn't say what government.

I just think this is a good example of Christopher's flawed logic. His lack of focus is apparent in Luxury Lounge. He is more concerned with freebies and Hollywood and drugs than his own movie project. He is off the wagon and without concern for the problems that may and do arise back in Jersey. He is so wrapped up in the free ride aspect of Hollywood that he wrecks any chance(in Hades) that he and Carmine might have had with Ben Kingsley as lead in their movie project. He is not focused on anything beneficial for business. What he does focus on is irrelevant- drugs and the luxury lounge- and immature.

His reasoning for Tony to come in on his movie project in Mayham was a low blow- Tony owes it to him because of Adriana? I can't believe he gets away with that with Tony- anyone else would be swimming with the fishes already. To say that to a barely there Tony, after all that Tony's been through, seemed incredibly stupid. And Tony tells us it's not been the first time he's said something so stupid to him either, when he asks Chrissy when he's going to stop playing the Adriana card in a later episode.

It just seems like this season we are constantly being reminded that Christopher is not the fullest canoli in the box. It also seems like this season is trying to show that Christopher was balanced with Ade. Even if they were a volatile couple, it seems like he made less mistakes when she was around. Yes he was on drugs, but he didn't consistently show his stupidity and at the end of last season he seemed incredibly focused on working with the crew. Now he seems like a jerk(riding around in the Maserati owned by the guy who told him to wait in the car) who can't control himself (drugs, things he says to Tony) and lacks focus (losing sight of the bigger picture out in Hollywood).

His relapse with drugs was just waiting to happen. He has no Ade to support him. His relationship with the new one is obviously not as important to him as his relationship with Ade. He is still reeling from that loss. It's evident in his comments to Tony(he feels owed) and in his Mayham movie project pitch(more than a little resentment there). If Christopher were happy with his new woman, do you think he would linger on thoughts of Ade? He is not the most selfless person in the world- I don't doubt that he'd move on without a thought if the loss of Adriana wasn't weakening him.

His weakness is manifest in the drug use. He's gone back to Heroin because his current situation is dragging up the issue of what never was with Adriana. Remember, they were supposed to get married before he found out she was an informant. Christopher wants to be the better man, taking responsibility for his actions, but he ultimately can't. Doing so would betray Tony so he represses most of his true emotions and does drugs to alleviate the pressure building inside. This Adriana thing seems like a timebomb waiting to go off and I'm a little worried about how it will finally play out for Christopher.

Since, despite how mentally devoid he seems this season, he is one of my absolute favorites on the show.

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Re: Christopher's Progression/Regression

#8
I think Tony doesn't realize Christopher is having lots of trouble. He has a lot of trust invested in him. In many ways Chris is his last hope in terms of blood in the business.....

Its funny because it is like the scene with Paulie and the Priest at the start of the episode......How Johnny Soprano ran the fair and it was his and then the priest reminding Paulie times have changed......Think about it Johnny has been dead now for years anything he controlled was still run strongly by all his guys, Tony, Junior, etc........Now those guys are dying, prison, some still in the business but things are falling apart....there reign seems to be ending in certain areas.....if not completely.....in other words what i am trying to say is Johnny Sopranos circle if you may call it that is fading and all the new blood and new shit is replacing it....

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Re: Christopher's Progression/Regression

#9
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Tony's remarks about Christopher seem ironic. <hr></blockquote>
Definitely:

"[Chris] is a different person. He's married, got a kid on the way. He's focused. Let's not sabotage his progress."

He's anything but focused. And Tony is hypocritical in saying not to sabotage his progress since Tony, playing the enabler, gave Chris wine.

Chris talks to Corky about his beautiful new house, about giving his child a good life. He talks about his beautiful car. But then all he wants is to get high. Since he's been thru this before -- drug and alcohol addiction -- I assume this relapse will have disastrous results.

Also I was appalled, but not surprised, that Chris used Corky's needle.

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Re: Christopher's Progression/Regression

#10
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Did you (or anyone else on the thread) think/fear for just a second that you couldn't read the look in Chris' "Manson Lamps" and because of this unpredictableness he was just as liable to hit/kill his girlfriend as propose?<hr></blockquote>

I suspected she was about to get a good beating. Never once did I think CM as one who could express such compassion. But of course during this very tender moment he still had the need to "diss" Adriana.

However, I didn't understand his comment that she couldn't have kids (with him), but would be having one by someone else.

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BobbyBuz
"Everything happens for a reason"</p>
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