Re: The Mystery Of The Horse

#2
This question still bothers me as well. I can't decide whether Ralphie was behind the fire or not. He could have been of course but his denials always strike me as genuine. The closest he comes to admitting it is a kind of "even if I did it was just a HORSE for Chrissakes" sort of thing. It's interesting to me as well how Tony bitch-slaps Ralphie for killing poor Tracee but actually KILLS him for killing the horse (he believes ). This ties in with the idea of sociopaths expressing emotion and empathy for little babies and pets or animals but not other people. This is clearly the case with Tony, the ducks, little cossette etc.

Re: The Mystery Of The Horse

#3
dsweeney wrote:It's interesting to me as well how Tony bitch-slaps Ralphie for killing poor Tracee but actually KILLS him for killing the horse (he believes ). This ties in with the idea of sociopaths expressing emotion and empathy for little babies and pets or animals but not other people. This is clearly the case with Tony, the ducks, little cossette etc.

Funny, I was always under the impression that Tony murdered Ralph out of anger for killing both Pie-O-My and Tracee. "She was a beautiful and innocent creature!" He didn't know for sure that Ralph was responsible for the horse's death... But he knew he was responsible for Tracee's.

Let's keep in mind, that during his burst of anger, after seeing Tracy's dead body, Tony was beginning to give Ralph a serious beat down. Eventually, the rest of the crew intervened before it could escalate. If they weren't there, and it was just Ralph and Tony, who knows what would have transpired. Tony went as far as violating the "mafia code" (to which he swears by) that night, therefore we could only speculate about what the limit to his anger would have been. He could have killed Ralph outside the Bing the exact same way he killed him on his kitchen floor.

After he got his cool back, I believe Tony did not put out a hit on Ralph (or kill him himself) because of Gigi's untimely death. The crew needed a new Capo and, aside from Ralph, none of the other guys could fill the spot (remember Tony staring all of them down at Gigi's wake, trying to figure out who would be his successor?). He needed Ralph. I believe this irritated Tony even more.

As for the question at hand, it was deliberately left in the open by Chase (like many other things). We are left to form our own opinion on who killed the horse. Personally, I don't believe Ralph was the culprit. I think Tony killed Ralph because he thought he might have killed Pie-O-My, but was still steaming over him murdering Tracee.

Re: The Mystery Of The Horse

#4
Badabing! wrote:Funny, I was always under the impression that Tony murdered Ralph out of anger for killing both Pie-O-My and Tracee. "She was a beautiful and innocent creature!" He didn't know for sure that Ralph was responsible for the horse's death... But he knew he was responsible for Tracee's.

Let's keep in mind, that during his burst of anger, after seeing Tracy's dead body, Tony was beginning to give Ralph a serious beat down. Eventually, the rest of the crew intervened before it could escalate. If they weren't there, and it was just Ralph and Tony, who knows what would have transpired. Tony went as far as violating the "mafia code" (to which he swears by) that night, therefore we could only speculate about what the limit to his anger would have been. He could have killed Ralph outside the Bing the exact same way he killed him on his kitchen floor.

After he got his cool back, I believe Tony did not put out a hit on Ralph (or kill him himself) because of Gigi's untimely death. The crew needed a new Capo and, aside from Ralph, none of the other guys could fill the spot (remember Tony staring all of them down at Gigi's wake, trying to figure out who would be his successor?). He needed Ralph. I believe this irritated Tony even more.

As for the question at hand, it was deliberately left in the open by Chase (like many other things). We are left to form our own opinion on who killed the horse. Personally, I don't believe Ralph was the culprit. I think Tony killed Ralph because he thought he might have killed Pie-O-My, but was still steaming over him murdering Tracee.


Terrific post, Badabing, with a lot of wonderful insights.

I largely agree with your analysis, although I happen to think that Ralph did kill the horse partly as retribution for Tony "cuckholding" him with Valentina. There was a subtle moment in Whoever Did This when, moments after Tony confesses that he's seeing Valentina, Ralph compliments what a good woman Carmela is and says something like, "If I'd have married a girl like Carmela instead of that cunt, who knows . . . ".

I thought that was put out there on two levels: one, it's subtly trying to plant the image in Tony's mind of Ralph being "with" Carmela to repay Tony for "stealing" Valentina, and it's also planting in Tony's mind that Ralph thinks he has just as much or more on the ball as Tony and that, with the right breaks and support system around him, HE would have been Boss of the family and not Tony.

Ralph was also incredibly indifferent to the life of the horse, as he was willing to let it die rather than pay a vet fee or be inconvenienced on a rainy night when he was in bed. So it would have been very, very easy for him to kill the horse as part of plan to stick it to Tony (over Valentina) and also get the cash he needed to secure his son's rehabilitation and keep up with his kickups to Tony during a time when he was at the hospital a lot instead of making his usual collections.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: The Mystery Of The Horse

#5
It's funny how I can still check in here and walk away with a clearer idea of an event i may have been up in the air about or thought differently of, so many years after. I had concluded that Ralphie didn't kill Pie o mie. After several veiwings and also listening to the commentary to that episode, i was comfortable with that. Now Fly's comments about that conversation between Ralph and Tony has me rethinking it. Pointing out the need for the extra money makes more sense. Also, Ralph made the comment he had to smack around the guy after handing over the envelop. I never understood why he really had to add that. That had to be common place. Something he felt he had to add either to distract where it actually came from or point out the extra effort to make sure he was current. Without rewatching it yet i may have changed my mind on Pie o mie fate.

Re: The Mystery Of The Horse

#6
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:Terrific post, Badabing, with a lot of wonderful insights.

Thank you, FlyOnMelfiswall. Means a lot coming from you. :icon_mrgreen:

And I tip my hat to your post as well. Tony banging Valentina definitely didn't sit well with Ralph and he was indifferent to the horse's well being. All valid reasons why Ralph would be responsible. It goes to show that Pie-O-My's fate could have easily went both ways (accident or murder at the hands of Ralph). Watching that scene though, I can't help to believe Ralph is being honest when he says, "It was a bolt from beyond; we got lucky. The horse was no fucking good."

Re: The Mystery Of The Horse

#7
The actor playing Ralph, Joe Pantoliano, chose to play the scene as if Ralphie did not kill the horse. (apparently Chase and the writers did not even make it clear to him what "actually" happened).

Perhaps his approach to the portrayal persuades manyto think Ralph didn't do it.
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