badabellisima wrote:My take has always been that this whole show was a redemption story, and that Tony definitely achieved some level of redemption, even if it wasn't in the obvious sense like most people who live more "normal", 'socially' crime-free lives. His avenue of redemption included his journey through therapy and his progress in improving the way his children were raised compared to how he was raised. Introspection that resulted in actual changes- visible and apparent and real.
I agree that whatever redemption Tony earned (and I believe that's not much) had to relate to the fact that he was an immensely better parent to his own, biological children than his parents ever were to him. As you point out, that notion of "small progress" by each generation is one "message" of the show that Chase explicitly acknowledged in interviews post-finale.
On the other hand, Tony was a horrendous "father" to Chris, as bad as (or worse than) any father, real or surrogate, had been to him. And Tony's blindness to that fact persisted even as the cauldron of his own paternal hatred was erupting volcanically. He actually believed that he did Chris some sort of favor (an act of "'pity", as he tells Melfi) by murdering Adriana. The level of self-deceit, emotional myopathy, and moral vacuity it takes to maintain such a belief is truly staggering and has to be put on the other side of any scale that attempts to measure Tony's ultimate redemption or success at introspection.
I see it as Chase's own creation in acknowledgment of a parallel spiritual or metaphysical alter-reality where he feels free to use both familiar and completely original metaphors and symbols to communicate. I think of it as completely "real" in the sense that Tony experienced spiritually everything we saw in Costa Mesa while also experiencing physically what we saw in the hospital room. And to me the culmination was the NDE-like white light that he saw as he flatlined but which resolved into the bright light of his hospital room when he was shocked back to life. Truly a brilliant concept by Chase.i am not seeing a connection as to why, regarding the coma dream vs. a NDE, one precludes the other- but its possible that Chase intended the scene to have some of the markers of the classic Near Death Experience: The bright light at the end, etc. But it didn't have the classic tunnel imagery, so i dunno.
I can't get there. In order to receive forgiveness you have to first acknowledge that you need it. And I never saw any indication from Tony, inside the peyote trip or out, that indicated he felt the contrition that is a precondition to the authentic giving and acceptance of forgiveness. I would like to believe as you, but it just feels far too speculative (if you can keep a straight face hearing THAT from me, LMAO:icon_biggrin:).Which is why i can relate to Tony being possibly truly changed after his rising sun (Son) epiphany, regardless of the fact that he had killed Christopher and done many other horrible crimes. He was truly forgiven that day, and HE GOT IT. He received the forgiveness, and most importantly, accepted it. (i have other posts on this topic, so i won't belabor this thread with it). imho, Tony was a new man.
As I said before, his fleeting epiphany would seem to me to relate more to a firsthand appreciation for the unity of the universe that the physicist and Bhuddists talked about and to unity/symmetry in his own roles as bad father/wronged son.
As a side note, it really is a shame that the upcoming DVD box set will not (apparently) include commentaries on K & H and other episodes of its immense importance and dense symbolism. It's a blight begging to be fixed.
Back to the topic, the saddest thing about the prospect that Tony's murder of Chris was an expression of primitive rage against his own father(s) is that he never got to understand that connection. It was never appreciated in a conscious or sober state. Had it been confronted in therapy, who knows where it might have led. But, as we saw over and over again, Tony was never willing to be honest enough in therapy for Melfi to help him to those kinds of real insights.