Christopher's Arc

#1
At the beginning of Season 6, Tony and Chris are working out percentages with Phil Leotardo. Afterwards, Chris asks Tony "Why do you always cave for this prick?" Tony says "It's a strategy".

At the end of season 6 (the beginning of the episode in which Chris is killed), Chris and Tony again work out percentages with Phil. In the car, Chris says "Just let him have it. Life's too short". That is when Chris has finally reached his arc and cares more for life, than money or material things. Tragically, he is killed immediately after.


Chris' friendships directly tie into his arc: Brandon (season 1) was a true friend of his, and seeing him dead in the bathtub noticeably affects Christopher (reference the prolonged look on his face). Throughout the rest of the series, Christopher appears cold and unaffected by dead bodies. When he digs up his first victim in "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti", the big Bing bartender vomits while Chris waits patiently for him to recover. "Georgie!" By this time, Chris has already become 'comfortably numb' to death. (The last lyrics played before his car rolls down the hill in s6)

With J.T., Chris has to be in a position of control. Once the money is owed, Chris becomes like a monster in J.T.'s life, utterly destroying it. But Chris still sees J.T. as just a friend. "I will not enable you." Then Little Paulie begins stealing from Chris in season 6, taking advantage of his absences. Feeling betrayed, Chris throws him out a window saying "You were my friend!" He can't seem to see the difference between friendship and continued extortion of a colleague.

When he kills J.T., it is because Chris realizes he will never have true friends. Not while he is in the mafia. So he may as well make the best of what he's got.
He kills J.T. because he knows too much, plus Chris had just threatened to expose the entire Family in front of him. Chris goes home and plants the tree in front of his house -- this represents that he still has hope for the future. Unfortunately, that hope is cut short.

That's what I think Chris' arc was. Not Adriana's death, and not being shot in season 2. After those events, Chris was still the same. After being shot, Carmela and Tony even say: "How was he?" "Fine... the same."

Re: Christopher's Arc

#2
short version:
When J.T. says "Chris, you're in the Mafia." That is the breaking point, and the moment Chris hits his arc. We just don't know it until the next episode, when he demonstrates true change. Then his life is cut short.

Re: Christopher's Arc

#3
I always found it paradoxical how Chris would beat JT and then would still act like his sponsor and ride him about falling off the wagon. Bizarre relationship dynamic. Perhaps it indicates unhealthy development under abusive caregivers (the child becomes accustomed to those in authority who are expected to provide care as causing pain and sees nothing unusual about that. It could certainly be said his relationship with Tony fits into that definition).

Dave Scatino was worse from the victim side than JT though, no matter what Tony did to him he still talked to him like he viewed him as a friend. When he is moving out west, having lost his business, marriage and his son's place in a good college, he still invited Tony to come visit and "hang out". Perhaps a kind of traumatic bonding. His father was in the military so perhaps he suffered at the hands of an authoritarian father and it was a familiar relationship dynamic. It's said that sociopaths can identify victims who will be susceptible.

Re: Christopher's Arc

#4
I also think Christopher has trust issues with friends after Sean and Matthew tried to murder him in season 2. Then Jackie Jr. in season 3. His friendship with Paulie deteriorated over money. Then Little Paulie betrays him by stealing work from him. Chris may not have been ready to trust again, so he took a position of control?

When Paulie says to Chris "Don't bring our friendship into this, I'm not the one with the short envelope", I think that also set the stage for how Chris would treat J.T. Friendship comes second. Even though Paulie later regretted throwing out his friendship with Chrissy over money.

TheJacket: Your psychological analysis is interesting, but if that were the case, wouldn't Chris be engaging in that behavior prior to/during season 1? (maybe there are examples I haven't picked up on) But his friendship dynamic seems to slowly change throughout the series, until finally he finds himself the victim of fun during the slo-mo laugh scene in the bar, after Paulie's daughter joke. He sees everyone in his circle mocking him and comes to the conclusion they've all turned on him. He's lost everyone, even Tony (which cuts him the deepest, by the look on his face). So he storms out to get support from J.T., realizes the support isn't there "I'm pouring my heart out, man" "And I'm very sorry."

All he really has at that point is his junkie lover girlfriend. In that relationship it is made apparent he's relinquished all control over to her. He's indecisive and will follow her lead, and she isn't too impressed with this. I don't think they would have lasted too long.

"Nothin' ever goes my way", he says once while prepping heroin.

Re: Christopher's Arc

#6
And all that chocolate cake smeared around baby Chris' nose and mouth might foreshadow the blood around that area when he dies.
The baby is wearing white, his father in black (death). When Chris dies he's in black too, etc. The frame of the picture has growing plants and roses (roots), and Chris replants the tree in front of his house before his death. His seed will live on. Many possible connections all over

Re: Christopher's Arc

#7
jj21 wrote:And all that chocolate cake smeared around baby Chris' nose and mouth might foreshadow the blood around that area when he dies.
The baby is wearing white, his father in black (death). When Chris dies he's in black too, etc. The frame of the picture has growing plants and roses (roots), and Chris replants the tree in front of his house before his death. His seed will live on. Many possible connections all over


Awesome. thanks for that... I was seeing it more like strawberry jam (off a sponge cake), as for the other symbols didn't notice them. thanks for that


... my reading was that his father is ultimately responsible for his death (also inspired by the patricide thread theme of network of connections in this area of murder within the close family). Directly - Because he put him in the social environment which ultimately killed him. Indirectly - Because acting as a role model for Tony, he had responsibility in the creation of the 'Frankenstein' which ultimately killed his own son.

Those symbols of black and white are a nod to the Nurture point of view of the show, IMO. White, as in innocent/untainted yet by the ills of society. Black, as in scarred and transformed by the evil and pollution arising from people's interaction with each other.
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