AJ . . . The die is cast.

#1
There was a lot of speculation after Test Dream that AJ would meet a "bad" ending or was fated to fall in his father's footsteps.

After Kaisha, a reevaluation of AJ is necessary.

(1) He has chosen legal and honest work (he is the common man Tony refused to be/ Is that why Tony is belittling him? Tony resents that AJ is being successful as a common man)
(2) He has chosen to use legal and honest means to get what he wants (bike to hoods, honest paycheck for necklace)
(3) He has chosen a woman without regard to prejudiced and selfish interests (Tony would have never dated and brought home a dominican woman with a kid)
(4) He has chosen a woman who is much different than his own mother (no sign of materialism or arrogance w/ Blanca, she is not enabling criminial activity)

Is AJ breaking the cycle set in motion by Tony's dad? Any other observations?


</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge.showUserPublicProfile?gid=cruisejd>CruiseJD</A> at: 6/6/06 1:52 pm

Re: AJ . . . The die is cast.

#2
Good post.

Yes, it's very possible that AJ breaks the cycle. In the process, however, Tony will "lose" AJ, because AJ will come to detest his father's way of life. I can easily see that being part of Tony's "suffering" in the end. I can also see the same thing happening with Meadow. Therefore, Tony succeeds at keeping both children out of "the life," but loses both in the process.

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Re: AJ . . . The die is cast.

#3
Good post, but I don't totally agree with the premise. AJ has not "chosen" anything. He did not "choose" honest work: it was forced on him by Tony as the only alternative to being homeless, poor, naked and without a vehicle. AJ did not "choose" to resolve a situation by "non-criminal" means. He was forced to deal with the situation if he ever wanted to get into Blanca's pants; his method of resolution was to, in effect, pay a bribe to the thugs.

I will credit AJ with having chosen to let his parents know that he has interest in an older hispanic woman with a young child. But, his ability to break the cycle of the criminal life shared by his father and grandfather must largely be credited to Tony who has used the newly gained perspective of the coma experience to realize that his life (up to that point) has been a continuing series of selfish greedy narcissistic moments and that he does not want that for his son.

Either way, whether "breaking the cycle" is due more to Tony or AJ, the result is the same.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge.showUserPublicProfile?gid=billymac72261>billymac72261</A>
Image
at: 6/6/06 4:41 pm

Re: AJ . . . The die is cast.

#5
Good comments! Billymac, I agree with you for the most part . . . AJ has not really chosen anything until he moves out on his own. I think this will happen and it will prove to be an important test for him. The following is pure speculation:

I predict AJ will move out and then move in with Blanca. He will then experience the test of "real life". I predict Tony and Carmela will try to bribe him to leave Blanca . . . possibly Tony will offer to "set him up".

Will AJ embrace life as a legitimate person in control of his own destiny, or will he take the easy path offered (and controlled) by Tony and thereby follow in Tony's footsteps?

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Re: AJ . . . The die is cast.

#6
Moved From Another Thread


greenmars

Civilian
Posts: 9
Posted: 6/8/06 8:10 am
AJ - beta male
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It struck me this morning that AJ's relationship with Blanca, a single mom, is the show's way of cementing his status as a beta male, because no alpha male would accept another man's child into his life.

Also witness how AJ dealt with the three thugs who were bothering his new girlfriend -- give them an expensive gift to make them go away.


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Re: AJ . . . The die is cast.

#7
Beta male? Are you kidding. AJ has managed to land, at pretty much no effort, a beautiful woman who doesn't seem to be in it for his cash and/or stolen goods.
As for the discussion of the gift to Blanca, I think the look Tony gives him is one of approval that he's finally growing-up.

Re: AJ . . . The die is cast.

#8
I see a first-time poster in this thread. Welcome, LimeyAl.:smile:

Lots of good observations here. But a couple of things not mentioned struck me about the AJ/Blanca thing.

The familiar flirtation she exchanged with Paulie meant she obviously knew him very well, which meant she had to know the name "Tony Soprano". She also commented that she already knew who AJ was (on first sight) because she'd had to prepare the payroll and his W-2 form, IIRC. So she knew he was the son of a mob boss from the get go. And IMO that was part of her immediate interest in/attraction to him.

That seemed to be confirmed later when she practically baited AJ to confront the rowdy troublemakers. She says something to the effect that "my ex whipped their asses to make them shut up". So right off the bat, she's revealing her attraction to superior masculine power and aggression, the kind that guys like Tony -- not AJ -- possess.

Though he clearly couldn't intimidate them physically, AJ used what he had available to accomplish the end to get what HE wanted (a roll in the sack). However the most important thing about that, IMO, was not even that he showed such resourcefullness or that Blanca rewarded him afterward. It was that he had to use something provided to him by his father -- an extremely expensive, fancy bicycle -- to impress her and get what he wanted. That bike was not the kind of bike he would ever be able to afford for himself on a laborer's salary, at least not if he's out in the world having to pay for life's necessities. Just as he'd sold the top-of-the-line drums Tony gave him to finance a single night or two in Manhattan's trendiest clubs buying $1,500 bottles of champagne to impress his friends, the bike was a finite resource that could only finance a roll in the hay one time.

What will he use to impress Blanca when those gifts run out? How will he handle the next band of thugs when he has no bike to offer? I got the distinct impression from her awed reaction to the Soprano home and from the way her kid had to be restrained when running toward all the Christmas gifts that this woman is only into AJ because she assumes he has the balls, temprament, and earning prowess befitting the son of a mob boss. Very sad, since AJ seems to be taking some well-deserved pride in having legitimately earned the money to buy her a nice piece of jewelry.

Re: AJ . . . The die is cast.

#9
Thanks for the welcome.
Fair points all.
However....show me a three year old who doesn't run at a pile of gifts - my three year old neice told me the other day "it makes me sad when you come to see me and don't bring me a present" :icon_rolleyes:
As for the thugs outside Blanca' home - surely dropping his Dad's name would send them running, I find it encouraging that he found a non-violent solution. I think we all get a little bloodthirsty watching this show and can sometimes forget that problems can be solved without having to dispose of a body afterwards. I'm impressed that he had the nerve to confront three guys at once, doesn't seem like the old AJ who has spent the last 7 years whining non-stop.
Maybe I am biased as I think AJ's been pretty much a one-note character since the beginning and I'm encouraged by this new found self reliance.

Re: AJ . . . The die is cast.

#10
LimeyAl wrote:Thanks for the welcome.
I'm impressed that he had the nerve to confront three guys at once, doesn't seem like the old AJ who has spent the last 7 years whining non-stop.
Maybe I am biased as I think AJ's been pretty much a one-note character since the beginning and I'm encouraged by this new found self reliance.


I wasn't disagreeing with this at all. I found much to like about AJ in Kaisha, which is something I haven't been able to say for several years.

I was rather pointing out what I see on the other side, which are strong hints of a woman who is interested in AJ for qualities she imputes to him but that he doesn't actually possess. We'll see if that in fact turns out to be the case.
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