Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

FOMW...I am not sure that the conversation between Tony and his wife implies that there had to be an active switch. I have come to conclude that Tony arrived in the "nethereworld" with the Finnerty case, wallet and ID already in possession, and that he entered this world as Keving Finnerty. The "mistaken identity" was to continue to believe that he was Tony Soprano. Upon entering this world he had only one make his way to the reunion. It was designed from the beginning, without mistake and without coincidence.

All of his attempts to "escape" this path (i.e. trying to be Tony Soprano or trying to go home to "Tony Soprano's world") were innefectual. None worked. It is only when he followed the Finnerty path that he came to the place of exit...the house.

I tried to simplify my thoughts for DH on these matters in an earlier post:

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>DH, if I read you right, then Tony Soprano entered this coma world as Kevin Finnerty, and his case wasn’t actually switched or taken by mistake. He entered the “netherworld” with the case already and was meant to find the reunion of those awaiting him in hell, not by mere chance, but by design. His mistaken identity in that place was that he thought he was Tony Soprano. And, every effort to avoid being identified as Finnerty (by hotel clerks, bartenders, doctors, conference assistants, the monks and himself) was never going to get him “home”. He had to make his way to the reunion before he could “enter” and remain in his final destination or “leave” and return to actually being Tony Soprano. <hr></blockquote>

And, now I'm not even sure he had a choice as to whether or not he wanted to go in the house or leave. Only his physical recovery permitted avoiding that fate. Absent that he may have been compelled to enter the house.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=>billymac72261</A>
at: 3/30/06 11:22 am

Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

I agree with you billymac. Even though this isn't a "dream", per se, there are certainly dreamlike elements to it. One of those, is this deal with the wrong identity.

I don't think you can assume anything that happened outside of what was shown on screen, for Comatony. His coma-life begins with him trying to gain enterance into the conference.

ComaTony also talks about flying out to California from New Jersey, presents he got for Christmas and even his life as a salesman too. But we know that none of these events actually "happened". It is probable that the briefcase swtich never actually happened either and that, like for us, his first "actual moments" in the coma are him going to the conference.


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>And, now I'm not even sure he had a choice as to whether or not he wanted to go in the house or leave. Only his physical recovery permitted avoiding that fate.<hr></blockquote>

Ah, how frustrating are chicken/egg scenarios?:-) I would submit he only recovered from his sudden tachycardia and flatlining because he exercised the choice to live as Finnerty rather than die as Soprano. Brings me back to the whole "who am I, where am I going" thing. His time in this coma was spent looking for the answers to those questions, and, at the end, the answers were up to him.


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

Yeah, I am still assuming there was no switch only in that there was no one to switch it with. To my thinking, Tony IS Finnerty. The switch, if there was one, was of Tony to Finnerty. As Tony first finds himself in this stange place, he is still grasping at his life on earth (even if an idealized one, which I think is why he shows up as the salesman.) But as he moves through this dreamlike state, he loses more and more of that Tony until finally he is one with Finnerty...almost.

It's pretty much as billymac has described it, in my thinking, though I am not sure you could say he arrived as Finnerty as much as he had no choice but to accept he was Finnerty. It's a metaphysical thing, to be sure. But the reason he does not recognize the briefcase is due to his thinking he is still Tony Soprano, idealized or not.

And I think that explains much of his "who am I" questioning, up to and including his question to the bartender wondering if he actually is this guy.

You could also look at the Buddhists who seem pretty darn sure he is Finnerty and want him to accept responsibility, so I would hesitate to think that Finnerty is necessarily a good person (or would be on earth). In fact, the way the entire thing played out, it seemed that Tony's idealized Tony was a pretty good guy, but this Finnerty (and perhaps the real Tony destined to spend eternity after death) is not such a good guy. After all, it is Finnerty being served the papers. And thus, his struggle to accept that this is who he is. Not so much just a guy named Finnerty, but Tony finally judged and sent to live in eternity.

As for coming out of the coma, someone mentioned the tachycardia was very much akin to Tony's panic attacks (same symptoms and such.) I almost wonder if Paulie didn't provoke yet another as Tony/Finnerty was heading into that house (read:death) and that somehow caused him to come out of the coma. Still trying to piece that one together, but the mixture of Meadow calling after him, the sight of his mother in the house, the fear of Tony B. even if not recognized as such - all of these things have provoked his panic attacks before. And those attacks are trying to tell him something, obviously (and from the very first episode.)

So in a sense, I agree with Fly that this was what pulled him out - that is, some inherent desire to make things right (and fear of who he really is and what that means for his ultimate judgment.) But the question remains whether he will remember and then listen to that. I suspect Melfi will be of some help here.

There was a lot to think about in this whole thing, no doubt. As has been mentioned, I'm not sure any one interpretation is absolutely correct. But this seems to make sense to me based just on what I've seen thus far of the season.


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

billymac, jayduck, & DH, if you believe there was never any separate embodiment of Finnerty at all and only one briefcase, I'm wondering what you make of:

(1) the guy on the license who looked like Tony but clearly wasn't;

(2) the bartender having seen a guy that looked like Tony at the bar at the same time who ordered a similar yet distinct meal and who left and never came back;

(3) the fact that the briefcase Tony owned (as corroborated by Carmela) carried a distinctive brand missing from the one he shows up with at the convention.

To me these smack of a mystical figure whose physical existence we have evidence of but whose ultimate meaning we can questsion.


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

All good questions, Fly...but of course, they are.<img src= ALT=":D">

For the picture, I would lay that on the idealized Tony not recognizing his true self. As I stated above, when Tony first finds himself here, he is not yet ready to see himself for who and what he really is. Thus, it might make some sense that he would not recognize the true Tony. Granted, WE see a slightly different person, but the picture (to be quite honest) looks just like an uglier version of Tony. Seems fitting, I would think if the person in the picture is said true Tony (read:Finnerty). Chase wants us to question it just as much as coma-Tony does.

As for the bartender, this too I would stack up to Tony's inability in his mind to accept his true self. Thus he includes a figure that "helps him" if you will think he is different from this Finnerty (again - the true Tony.)

The briefcase? I would not go so far as to say anything was corroborated by Carmela. Coma-Carm, yes. But Coma-Carm is nothing more than bits and pieces from the Carm Tony knows. She corroborates in his mind that he is a good guy. She is also telling him this while he lays in the coma. I'm not sure the brand has very much to do with it other than to give another assist to the desired difference between idealized Tony and the true Tony. And once again, that immediate desire comes from Tony himself.

Those would be my ready answers to such questions, though they remain open to further consideration, to be sure. This does not suggest something mystical is not happening. But even if so, I don't know what purpose another "actual" being serves. To me, it is simply Tony attempting to come to terms with himself. In order to do that, he must first recognize the separation he allows in his head - as much as Tony thinks he is a good person (or Carm for that mater too - "there are worse crooks"), he is not. But to effect any change in his life, he will need to confront that dichotomy.


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

(1) the guy on the license who looked like Tony but clearly wasn't;

Many times, in dreams, people are not who they physically look like. I'm sure we've all had dreams where you knew who somebody was supposed to be, even though they didn't actually look like that person.

Even though this isn't a dream, per se, in the mold of the other dreams we've seen in the series, this place is still a dream, of sorts and those rules don't apply.

(2) the bartender having seen a guy that looked like Tony at the bar at the same time who ordered a similar yet distinct meal and who left and never came back;


If you are going off of the assumption that Tony is in an "actual" place, and that the people there have a life outside of Tony being there, then you would have a point.

But, again, this is not the case. And again, in dreams you often have a "backstory" that never actually happened. That you never even dreamed. You just kind of hit the ground running and go with it.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>(3) the fact that the briefcase Tony owned (as corroborated by Carmela) carried a distinctive brand missing from the one he shows up with at the convention.<hr></blockquote>

See, this is the part that should make it clear that these Coma-dream people don't actually exist outside of Tony. Carmela isn't there. She can't corroborate anything that takes place inside the coma as she clearly has never been there. If you accept that Tony's wife, in that place, is Carmela, then she can't actually exist in that place.

Coma Carmela has a husband that is a salesman and SHE bought him a briefcase. These events never took place in real life, nor the dream. They are backstory that predates Tony getting there.

You can't trust what they tell you happened when Tony wasn't there, because that place doesn't exist without Tony being there.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=>jayduck</A> at: 3/30/06 6:01 pm

Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

Hi all,

I agree also that there was no switch for the reasons stated by billymac and DH. To answer your question FOMW, I believe this experience whether it be a dream, a NDE, or an out of body experience is happening from Tony's perspective. The whole story flows from Tony and his experience at the bar, in the hotel, and with the monks. Therefore, it seems reasonable to me that Tony's subconscious is trying to make sense of what is a metaphysical event that no human can explain. It exists on plain that we can not explain logically. But, when we experience it our brain (with all of its limitations) has to try to assimilate that experience and try to make sense of it. This is why, IMO, Tony's subconscious has created this story to try and make sense of his situation. I do not think that events 1-3 from your post are to be interpreted literally, but rather symbolically.



Tony's wound

The topic of this season is greed, consumption.

What major organ is involved with that? The stomach.

Tony is fatter than usual, and they made a point of this when they showed him weighing himself on the scale.

Earlier, they made him have some slight stomach trouble when he was eating the sushi.

He ended up getting shot by Junior in the belly.

Could his recovery be a renunciation of his greed and his steps towards finnerty (infinity = forever = immortality = afterlife)? Just wanted to throw it out there.


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