Season 6a + 6b Solar System/Light Metaphors

#1
I'm absolutely convinced that the following things are connected:
  • Tony's comment about the roulette wheel being based on the same principal as the solar system (notice how the ball falls towards the "sun" when it's rotational momentum -- i.e. life -- ends);
  • Tony's "I get it!" moment when the desert sun flared at him, coupled with his infatuation with its light, as he later tried to explain to the guys at the pork store;
  • his related comment to Melfi that "there's something else out there";
  • Tony's wistful, yearning expression near the end of MIA when he looked up at the sun and heard birds/ducks call as they flew across the sky;
  • the metaphor of Tony as a "blue comet" (as billymac so intelligently explored http://thechaselounge.net/showthread.php?t=1857) whose unusual orbit can take it perilously close to the sun or permanently eject it from the solar system;
  • the fact that the conference Tony was attending in his coma had a fair amount of space/celestial symbolism -- satellite icons, air force colonels, Carm's "you should not go on to Houston", Finnerty's occupation as a "solar heating salesman", etc.;
  • the marked contrast between Tony seeing dead family members and a gradual fade to white at the Inn at the Oaks and the sudden cut to black that ended the series;
  • the central fear, revealed in his very first therapy session, that was fueling Tony's panic attacks and depression: fear of losing his family.
Somehow I think the epiphany in the desert was that Tony would inevitably end up like the roulette ball, falling into the "sun", inheriting warm, enveloping light for eternity and sharing it with his family. And the purpose of the cut to black at the end of MIA was to show how wrong he was, that his ultimate destiny -- whenever and however it came -- was the diametric opposite: an eternity of darkness, nothingness, and eternal isolation from his family.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Kennedy and Heidi dream theory

#2
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:Somehow I think the epiphany in the desert was that Tony would inevitably end up like the roulette ball, falling into the "sun", inheriting warm, enveloping light for eternity and sharing it with his family. And the purpose of the cut to black at the end of MIA was to show how wrong he was, that his ultimate destiny -- whenever and however it came -- was the diametric opposite: an eternity of darkness, nothingness, and eternal isolation from his family.


Fly- your bulleted items are so encompassing of the big picture. So how do we connect them further? Its a mystery sometimes. One thing though, is that it seems you are saying Tony's potentially dark, diametrically opposite ending is related to his "destiny"-- which may be true as a consequence of his bad choices. But until he is actually physically dead, i still feel that the concept of destiny doesn't apply to Tony's or anyone's actual "ending". He can make choices right up to the bittersweet end, and in fact, possibly after, if you believe in the concept of a purgatory-type place after death, where someone can work off their sins, karmic debts, etc. and still make it in to the Pearly Gates eventually. I think possibly we do have destiny throughout our lives, but its what we do with it that determines our end fate. (and i do realize Tony might be physically dead, but to me, imho, Chase didn't make it clear enough for me to be sure and draw conclusions about the result of his destiny...). just some thoughts. :smile:

Re: Kennedy and Heidi dream theory

#3
Fly, I love your explanations about the solar angle. But for some reason I think part of Tony's epiphany is that there is no Moral code to the solar system. There is a purpose and function of the Universe that doesnt always run on Human dictated morality. There is Karma, but I argue there is no good or bad karma. Just karma. But I do agree that the scene at the inn of the meadows directly connects to the Holstens scene. And the use of white and black at the end of both scenes suggests some form of death and some form of life. Except in the Inn scene the white was him coming back to life in the hospital when Meadow is calling him. So who thinks Tony still lives at the end? Was Chase really going to try and show us what he assumes the afterlife looks like? No. Black IMO is Chases' way of saying, "Who knows? I'm not gonna try to explain what happens next!" No living soul can really know EXACTLY is going to happen and religions argue constantly about it. But total blackness....... Sounds kind of peaceful to me. Really even if he survived, Tonys' crew was almost extinct, and NY along with the FBI were going to destroy the Soprano family. Tonys' way of life was coming to an end. The last episode showed that. And not just Tony but "this thing of ours" is coming to an end as well. The mafia is almost totally defunct at this point in real life. And the Sopranos was showing the death of "this thing of ours" as pertaining to the reality of the mafia in the 21st century. Made in America as a title means to me that you might get "made" to be in the mafia, but ultimately its America that "making" you or is the letting you get "made". Even the mafia gets "made" by America.
[font="Franklin Gothic Medium"]You know, Vito called me “skip” the other day. Slip of the tongue, no doubt. But I noticed he didn’t correct himself.[/font][SIZE="1"][/SIZE]

Re: Kennedy and Heidi dream theory

#5
Didn't the white light represent death, not life? Remember Finerty was attracted to the beacon, and when he got to the house where the dead people were, the white light was eminating FROM the house. He heard Meadows voice, and chose NOT to go to the light, and returned to life in the hospital. In my opinion, thebright white light eminating from the house where Tony B was, represented death, not life.

Re: Kennedy and Heidi dream theory

#6
Well, turangawaewae, thats the sticking point that has mystefied so many posters so many times! Maybe Tony just chose a different journey than the people at the Inn chose. i guess the bright light/beacon could be interpreted as "death" or "the other side" while he was at Inn at the Oaks, and at the same time, when coming back to "earthly" life at the hospital during Meadow's voice calling, we are shown the bright white hospital light overhead. So-- the white light at the hospital wasn't death. The white light could then be interpreted as either. So i take it that Chase is using bright light as a symbol of the actual experience of crossing over or coming back or making a choice- in and of itself- not necessarily the actual destination itself. Make sense? The white light is the journey, not necessarily the actual death, anymore than the black at the end of the final ep necessarily symbolized actual death. (which begs the question- if Tony was on a "black journey", where would he wake up to?). Maybe we all go thru the white light on our way to...??- Perhaps to go thru some black light too? Even Jesus descended to the dark dead for three days before rising up and resurrecting to the light....

When i was clinically dead after my lightning electrocution, i went kind of upwards and to the right at a gentle angle in a bright tunnel leading to an incredibly brilliant white light. I chose to go forward and woke up alive here on earth, but i didn't go fully thru the white light to the other side, either heaven or hell. I didn't respond to anyone's voices to call me back to "life". When i woke up, i had brilliant white light inside me and behind my eyes, burning me. It stayed with me for a long time, and when i looked at anything, i'd see the imprint of the veins of my retina on my field of view, like what happens when you look directly into an old-fashioned flash camera. Deep dark blackness was never part of my destination experience, except outside the tunnel maybe, yet i still approached and experienced something of "the other side".

i do believe Tony's peyote experience with the sun (son)light was very real, if perhaps dream-like, per my previous posts on this topic in that thread (where i argue that Tony discovered Forgiveness and Peace from the Son (Sun)...). To me, its actually just about the most important moment in the whole show; and vastly underrated. I see the peyote as somewhat symbolic of Communion. Silvio's posts on the connection to peyote are very interesting. .

Re: Kennedy and Heidi dream theory

#7
Maybe the house with the bright light and Tony B on the porch was just Tony's PERCEPTION of death, after all, it was HIS dream. It wasn't necessarily an after life experience, just Tony's perception of what he thought the afterlife would be. It was rather simplistic, everybody he knew was there, they were still all in their human form, in a house, having a good time.... Sounds a little too good to be true!!
So that was what he believed death would be like, but the I get it on the peyote was when he realised it wasn't like that maybe??

Re: Kennedy and Heidi dream theory

#8
turangawaewae wrote:Didn't the white light represent death, not life? Remember Finerty was attracted to the beacon, and when he got to the house where the dead people were, the white light was eminating FROM the house. He heard Meadows voice, and chose NOT to go to the light, and returned to life in the hospital. In my opinion, thebright white light eminating from the house where Tony B was, represented death, not life.


Exactly my interpretation. I'm also reminded of Meadow's explanation of the Robert Frost poem to AJ way back in season one. AJ said, "I thought black represented death?" Meadow replied, "White, too."

When the total white gradually faded to the scene in the hospital (the "Finnerty Family Reunion"), the flatlining heard on the monitor reversed only in those last moments as Tony opened his eyes. So Tony's momentary clinical death was actually represented in that episode by a gradual fade to pure white, the exact opposite of the end of MIA.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Kennedy and Heidi dream theory

#9
SilvioMancini wrote:I think part of Tony's epiphany is that there is no Moral code to the solar system. There is a purpose and function of the Universe that doesnt always run on Human dictated morality.


I'm not really disputing that, Silvio, at least not in terms of what Chase might be intending to communicate about the nature of death or the existence (or lack thereof) of divine "judgment" and its consequences. I recall that in an interview after Join the Club & Mayham aired, and speaking elliptically about Tony's coma experience, Chase made the comment, "He [Tony] has already made his choice."

The choice to which he's referring would seemingly have to have occurred at the door of the Inn when Tony held on to the briefcase and would not let go (which we infer from the fact that he lived beyond that moment). Tony B was pulling him to come in and Meadow was pulling him to stay out. Had he chosen death in that moment, it apparently would have involved his submersion into the light inside that house with the implied spiritual presence of deceased family members. The idea was repugnant and frightening to him, both at the door of the Inn and in terms of the vague residue of the experience as he related it to both Hal Holbrook's character and Phil Leotardo.

So the way I interpret Tony's "choice", in light of Chase's cryptic cliff note, he had the chance at the Inn to die a "white death", a death that fulfilled the notion of family reunification and of there being "something else" out there. Having declined that option, the death he would reap, whenever and however it would come, would be a "black death", one where there is NOTHING else out there, no family, perhaps not even a consciousness of death.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Kennedy and Heidi dream theory

#10
badabellisima wrote:
When i was clinically dead after my lightning electrocution, i went kind of upwards and to the right at a gentle angle in a bright tunnel leading to an incredibly brilliant white light. I chose to go forward and woke up alive here on earth, but i didn't go fully thru the white light to the other side, either heaven or hell. I didn't respond to anyone's voices to call me back to "life". When i woke up, i had brilliant white light inside me and behind my eyes, burning me. It stayed with me for a long time, and when i looked at anything, i'd see the imprint of the veins of my retina on my field of view, like what happens when you look directly into an old-fashioned flash camera. Deep dark blackness was never part of my destination experience, except outside the tunnel maybe, yet i still approached and experienced something of "the other side".

i do believe Tony's peyote experience with the sun (son)light was very real, if perhaps dream-like, per my previous posts on this topic in that thread (where i argue that Tony discovered Forgiveness and Peace from the Son (Sun)...). To me, its actually just about the most important moment in the whole show; and vastly underrated. I see the peyote as somewhat symbolic of Communion. Silvio's posts on the connection to peyote are very interesting. .


Thanks for sharing more of your own, compelling NDE, bada. I'm always keen to know as much as I can about experiences like the one you had.

I concur about the importance of Kennedy and Heidi and Tony's epiphany, although I still don't have a firm notion of what that epiphany was. At this point, I lean to him simply gaining an insight that his mother was wrong, that it's NOT "all a big nothing"; that, unlike his nightmare in Funhouse, "everything is [not] all black"; and that, as he told Melfi, "there's something else out there," something he couldn't define but which he seemed to welcome. Unfortunately he lacked the insight that he was irrevocably forfeiting his chance to ever experience that "something" when his time on earth was up.

Quite apart from what I think Chase may have intended to say with the "I get it", I can't accept that Tony experienced anything like Christ's peace and forgiveness in that moment because the antecedent to both is genuine contrition for sin. To me, Tony seemed farther from contrition in Kennedy and Heidi than he ever did at any other point in the series. His complete lack of remorse, in fact, was what I found most revolting and indicative of a negative character shift, especially vis-a-vis the Tony we knew through the first three seasons.

Over the months since the series ended, I've gradually come to allow that no matter how much I loved Tony and hoped for some kind of moral/spiritual redemption for him, the very idea of redemption would be meaningless if there weren't an equally possible and real phenomenon of condemnation. Stated differently, there can be no salvation absent a junk heap from which to salvage.

It's a far less hopeful and comforting outcome for Tony, but I can't argue that it wasn't deserved or that it ultimately serves as a less valid treatment of the whole notion of salvation.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

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