The Center Cannot Hold

As I watched this episode again, I began to recall the session from season five where Tony and Melfi have the breakthrough regarding Tony B. where Melfi goes into her "center cannot hold, the falconeer cannot hear the falcon" bit or some such (was this Unidentified Black Males? And if so, then check the scene in Join the Club as AJ comes to see his father finally - they wheel an unidentified black male through the ward as he enters.) I always thought her words were a little out there, but this episode was very much that and thus brings a little clarity to her statement and what it may mean for the future.

While Tony is in his coma, the rest of his world is quickly going down the drain it seems. His captains are going off in wild directions - Vito and Paulie and their greed, Chris and his wild fantasies of the movie business returning, AJ and his (crazy) desire to get revenge with Junoir. Even Carm and her crisis.

And Sil, most of all. He is surely now understanding the talk he and Tony had at the end of season five. Tony tells him it's lonely at the top and Sil must understand that now.

Without Tony's leadership, this thing of theirs is going to hell in a handbasket, but quick. Strange words I use there as Tony just missed hell himself. But it's true. Would it be such pressure that moves him to take real action finally? I don't know, but I found it interesting, to say the least.


Re: The Center Cannot Hold

Detective Hunt:

Great thoughts, I want to chew on that a little, I just wanted to make the obvious connection in your post that "the center" is Tony, and thus:

"Tony cannot hold" when he is being pulled in so many directions. Will he be a good mob boss and maximize profits? Will he be an uncle/father to Chris, or will he actually be a father within his own family?

Its becoming increasingly clear that he can't do all of these things, and I think your observations are right on the mark.


Re: The Center Cannot Hold

Good thoughts DH. The poem is by WB Yeats and is called "The Second Coming" (somewhat fitting). The first verse is quite apropos.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>The Second Coming -- W. B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.<hr></blockquote>

full poem,


the downfall

Thanks to the medium (tv series) we could see more of the thing which we fell in love in Goodfellas (amd of course The Godfather back then...)

There had been much discussion about the end of the series, (I am myself had created a topic on it<img src= ALT=":hat"> ) and now I can say: we are looking at a great saga.

In Mayhem, now we had the chance to get more details, more human characteristics.

We saw Sil's place, also big and elegant, (amazing horse sculpture at the entrance! I think it is based on the Leonardo one.) We also saw another weakness: Tony is depressed, while Sil is fightinhg the asthma, and greatly indecisive over the moneyhungry family members: Bobby, Vito, Paulie, and also Gab.

Gab turned out to be an annoying thing: she might be more greedy than Janice ever: her constant yakking into any of the Sil's ears she could find. She is manipulative, (-I read the other post, and the Lady Machbeth metaphor was great!- I mean, even telling him how Benny is honoured to drive him-like Sil would care!)

Paulie is another selfish pr... But his attiude toward Carm must come from his distancing from Tony in the past... The ugly girl in the dance, you know.

Vito? His greed for meat or money will take him.

Chris was the most saddening. As a matter of fact I never saw him trading Ade's life for a new car back in S5 as it was pointed out in another post. For me, earlier, this move eventually, seemed as a move of a confused boy who needs the father (T). Also, the omerta was was that made me accept the move- but now it was the money- "I gave you Ade"-it was terrible. The monstrous side had really appeared. But this move- it was still just as confused and stupid, as anything we saw from Chris.

Bobby Bacala- the feeble guy, whom nobody could hate-is also greedy, no wonder when your wife is Janice. It must be a great pressure. And what we saw in the trailer he will show his teeth.

But the explanation may lie in the fact that it is not a family but a glorified crew...
With all the previous discussion many of us thought about goodfellas/ Godfather endings-but it will be much closer to Casino- Having everthing and it all up

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=>wizdog</A> at: 3/28/06 3:18 pm

Re: the downfall

Good stuff on this thread. The Yeats poem portends bad ends. I do agree that Tony is the "center" of both families, and he won't "hold." The only questions concern how the writers decide to play it out. I suspect that we'll see the disintegration of Tony's mob family, perhaps forcing him to join New York, or turn to the feds, or maybe something else. I suspect he'll come finally to realize that he has caused much suffering for his blood family, as well. A.J. is heading for trouble, Carmella has shared her doubts about "loving" Tony with Melfi, and if Vito gets whacked (seems to be heading that way), Finn is probably going to drop Meadow and send her into a tailspin. However the two families end, it won't be happily. Or, as Michael Imperioli said, "it won't be pretty."


Re: the downfall

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>and if Vito gets whacked (seems to be heading that way), Finn is probably going to drop Meadow and send her into a tailspin<hr></blockquote>

Why? Do you think Finn will miss Vito?<img src= ALT=":)">


Re: The Center Cannot Hold

a very thoughtful and provocative thread... i wonder.. does anyone here really think that any kind of 'happy ending' is even remotely possible? one of the reasons this show is so compelling and honest, is that anytime we get too comfortable with these characters, chase reminds us of what they really are.. by showing us their venal, violent nature... Chris showed us this week, in spades, what he really is, his 'love' for T notwithstanding, he took advantage of the situation to involve himself, and the crew, in something he knew damned well Tony would never sanction... then, in an extraordinarily brazen display, he presents it to his still drooling uncle as a fait accompli, and moreover, something he was 'owed'. there can only be tragic consequences ahead for all... but rest assured, from all indications of the outstanding quality that has returned this season, it will be classic... dare i say.. shakespearian?

Post Reply

Return to “Sopranos Symbolism and Subtext”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest