AJ's friend and their parallels

#1
We've heard AJ mention this friend of his, "Er-nan", quite a few times now. For a show that invests so much in the depth of its characters, I wandered at first what was the point of this guy, and his friendship w/ AJ. His name is repeatedly mentioned in this season. At first, Tony remembered his name as "Fernando". Like many of the characters in the Sopranos, I think the sidekick character ulitimately tells more about a main character than it does the sidekick himself (see Angie via Carm).

I think we were given more insight into Er-nan when AJ told his parents about the car accident story. Er-nan's "Fortune 500 dad" was being sued due to Er-nan's lack of responsibility, and I'm sure his partying had something to do w/ the accident as well. With Johnny Sack losing all of his assets in the trial, I think this story scared Tony into setting AJ straight. Tony sees AJ idolizing Ernan, but Tony sees through the bullsh@t as usual and then towards the end of this episode, tries to nip the situation in the bud. He doesn't need AJ as a future cross to bear, and he hopes at the very least that Anthony Junior won't be a liability to his own fortune.

Tony doesn't want AJ to continue this partying lifestyle, using Tony's credit card to buy $500 bottles of Krystal champaign in efforts to be like Ernan. I'm surprised he didn't set AJ straight by hitting him. With all of the Melfi chat regarding his relationship w/ his own father, I figured that Tony would fly off the handle in trying to set his son straight.



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Re: AJ's friend and their parallels

#2
Yep. AJ really is the bastard at the family reunion. He's too soft to make it with the little thugs and JDs, not quite smooth enough to succeed with the hedonistic exploiters like Hernan. This does not bode well at all for his fragile esteem; he has no real reference group. Tony has sufficient ego not to feel intimidated by the likes of Hernan and his Forbes father, but AJ just has not bankrolled that kind of confidence. His is a pitiful situation.

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Re: AJ's friend and their parallels

#4
His friend's name is Hernan, isn't it?

AJ was shown listening in to his parents' conversation with Meadow, only at the part where they talk about Meadow having the choice between medical school and law school, and how it's nice to have such options.

Of course AJ doesn't have much of any options, much less law school or med school, so it had to hurt to hear his parents talking like that.



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Re: AJ's friend and their parallels

#5
AJ's dislike for real work reminds me a lot of what we saw from Vito as he was trying to make an honest living. Will AJ feel he must do something desperate to escape his new job? Oh yes, I think so <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/smile.gif ALT=":)">

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Re: AJ's friend and their parallels

#8
Now that Tony has gotten AJ a job working as a union construction worker, he will probably distance from Ernan who has not worked a day in his life and shows no sign of doing so.

My question of this new job - Will this lead AJ to the border of mob life? Will there be other mob guys at this site who don't work and suck up to him like they did to Finn? Without Finn's construction work, he wouldn't have seen some of the inner workings of the "family business" and would not by as cynical about it with Meadow. Like Meadow, won't he always be known on the site as "Tony Soprano's kid"?

Or does he just get whacked?

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