Re: Tony's wound

calibercutchops, nice observations. I'm sure there were symbolic as well as practical reasons for the choice of the stomach wound, and I like what you offer on the former.

I'd add that I thought it significant that his real life-threatening condition was sepsis and that they were treating that by leaving that gaping hole in his gut where they could scrape out and drain copious amounts of bacteria. They are literally draining the poison out of his body.


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

As I read all the latest responses, I'm zeroing in more and more on what I consider the key feature of our different interpretations, and that is the extent to which we consider this experience "real".

I think I would be inclined to agree with you all were it not for Chase's own cryptic comment that he would not call this a "dream" and the decidedly different character these scenes have compared to any dream I've ever experienced or heard of and compared to the many exquisitely realistic dreams we've scene depicted on the show in the past.

Could we establish a definition of "dream" for purposes of this discussion that everyone is comfortable with? I would propose that it is any experience, perception, or seeming reality conjured entirely by and existing only in the organ of the brain (awake or under sleep, conscious or unconscious, drugged or sober) that does not involve or purport to involve a metaphysical or alternate plane of existence. I would view this in contra-distinction to other experiences, perceptions, or seeming realities that DO involve, or purport to involve, metaphysical or alternate planes of existence.

Anyone care to add to, subtract from, or obliterate (LMAO) this definition?

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=>FlyOnMelfisWall</A> at: 3/31/06 8:10 am

Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

Certainly the dreams we have seen in past episodes have been far more surrealistic than what we have seen in Join the Club & Mayham. This combined with Chase's comment suggest to me that there is more at work here than Tony's unconscious mind and that this near death experience is (heavily?) influenced by some higher, spiritual power.

However, I don't belive this has any impact on whether there was or was not a Kevin Finnerty who picked up Tony's briefcase.


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

hm, maybe we can say Tonys real character has to confront situations Tonys NJ mafia character, which has strayed far from what he was as a kid, is responsible for.
Maybe Tony will bail one day on his boat with his family and a bag full of cash to start over clean to avoid responsibility, just making a cut.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=>Hrurusch</A> at: 3/30/06 9:59 pm

Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

FOMW...Your questions are very well posed....I have wrestled with these very same thoughts in reaching my own perceptions about the coma experience. The hardest part for me in confronting them (and other scenes or dialogue that would support the idea of an actual switch) was (and is) trying explain them in a manner consistent with my belief that there was no “physical” switch of brief cases: that is, Tony arrived in the coma world as Kevin Finnerty.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Making it harder still is the possibility that there may be no way to consistently integrate or interpret the inconsistent and disparate events which you point out into a coherent whole with my beliefs. I equate it with trying to espouse a grand theory of unification between the theory of relativity and quantum physics. But, I will try to explain my thought processes here, although I admit that I am less adept at this than you, or DH or the other luminaries of this board.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp We first encounter Tony as he awakes on and arises from the bed in his hotel room. I think we all agree that this signifies his emergence from the body of Tony Soprano in the hospital bed into the coma world. But did he enter this world as Tony Soprano or Kevin Finnerty?

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp He looks like the person we know physically as Tony Soprano. And in the next scene, when he is in the bar across the street from his hotel, he walks away from the bar to make a cell call. He reaches an answering machine and the message indicates that he has reached the “Sopranos”. Although Tony seems to recognize the voices, they are not familiar to us. This is also the first time we hear Tony speak without his trademark North Jersey accent.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Here, I believe we are encountering the person formerly known on earth as Tony Soprano, now transported to an afterlife or alternate existence as Kevin Finnerty. However, Tony does not yet comprehend this, nor contemplate it. He continues to identify himself as Tony Soprano aided by shadowy remnants and vestiges of his earthly life as Tony Soprano still echoing within him. His connections to his former earthly identity and family however are shadings of his true former reality, resulting in the creation of a generic, revisionist and perhaps idealized “reality”: no North Jersey accent; children younger than his own and with different voices.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp But, it is also still equally possible at this point to conclude that he is still Tony Soprano (although perhaps with an idealized life), and not Kevin Finnerty. Nothing is certain yet.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp We next see Tony waiting to enter the convention. He gives his name to the convention representative as Tony Soprano. But, when asked to produce identification, he takes a driver’s license out of a wallet that identifies him as Kevin Finnerty. He then opens the brief case only to find that it too belongs to Kevin Finnerty. Tony still does not yet contemplate that he is anyone other than Tony Soprano, believing that the identity snafu resulted from have picked up the wrong brief case the night before in the bar.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp We, of course, did not see the “switch” of briefcases at the bar. Nor did we see the person allegedly resembling Tony there, whom he presumes was Kevin Finnerty. Consequently a “switch” of briefcases may have happened as Tony postulates. But, while it is quite possible for him to have picked up the wrong briefcase at the bar, it is less likely that he also picked up the wrong wallet. In my experience, very few people leave their wallets on a bar, especially in a strange town, away from home. It is even less likely, as far as I am concerned, that two separate men, allegedly resembling each other, both sitting at the same bar, would each have a briefcase and would each leave their wallets on the bar to allow for such a complete mistaken “swap” of identities between them. This first made me suspect that a “switch” might not have happened. Still, no certianties yet .

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp My conclusion is based on the fact that Tony finds himself with the briefcase and identity of Kevin Finnerty; the briefcase has a flyer for the Finnerty reunion. When he arrives, he is expected. He was meant, and required, to make his way to that reunion. That journey was not made as the result of a mere mistaken switch at the bar; it was an intended result. If he is not Kevin Finnerty in the first place, he would not have been expected there. And, if he arrived in the coma world as Tony Soprano, but had his wallet and briefcase switched (through the hand of God or otherwise) he would have continued to be Tony Soprano, not Kevin Finnerty, and therefore would not have been expected.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp And, no one, not even the bartender, ever actually agrees that there was indeed someone else in the bar who so closely resembled Tony as to be his possible doppleganger (looks wise).

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Also Fly, please understand that I am not discounting the participation in these events by the grand hand of divine direction. Nor do I think that my conclusion is mutually exclusive to the participation of the divine here. In fact I suspect divine participation, but I think it manifested itself in the transformation of Tony Soprano into Kevin Finnerty as Tony entered the coma world. Tony, reluctant to accept the fact that he is Kevin Finnerty upon entering this world, mistakenly and stubbornly clings to his now-left-behind identity as Tony Soprano, which literally gets him nowhere. And here we see that it is the divine transformation into Kevin Finnerty alone that propels him on the path he was intended to take.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp I’m sure I could do a better job of explaining my thoughts, but my head hurts from having thought about it this much! LOL.


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>hm, maybe we can say Tonys real character has to confront situations Tonys NJ mafia character, which has strayed far from what he was as a kid, is responsible for.<hr></blockquote>

got to clarify myself a bit here(just another way of interpreting it):

the doctors have given that human being basically a new life through the succesfull surgery and the induced coma, TS is totally this totally cleansed soul gets confronted with the shabby character of that wreck Tony Soprano...result are dreams.when he wakes up in a shockingly way through the stories of a killer like paulie which almost kill him and gets 'saved' through the laughing daughter the old Tony has eaten KF(who drives a lexes which means law in latin btw.)
almost completely.
chris with his life threatening idiocy will make sure there is not enough time to be KF/clean again.
the monk(ey)s (they, especially the old one, even look funny and laugh like monkeys) are ridiculous and they are ridiculously asking for somebody to take responsibility, which would mean to go back to the old life of the mafia family.the clean soul is still trying to flee from these funny people but then gets the ultimate awakening through paulie and the daughter.
the doctors knew of the 'bad' outcome kind of fast:the fat and wrecked body was too contaminated to allow room for a new and clean soul.
This complexe being went back to hell, to the life of TS.

just an attempt of a possible analysis lol.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=>Hrurusch</A> at: 3/31/06 2:44 am

Re: Def. of Dream

Fly, regarding your post above suggesting we come up with a shared definition of dream - that would surely be helpful. I'll certainly have to think on that when I get home from work and have the time. However, on first blush, I would be careful about relying too heavily on Chase's words that it was not a dream. If you recall from that article, he also made a face or some such to suggest that his statement was not a definite. In other words, I think Chase himself is unsure what exactly to call what Tony just went through. He's in the same boat we are (LMAO.)

Also, I'd refer back to my earlier post way up thread re: dreaming in a coma. Though still dreaming, they are unlike normal dreams in that they are far more linear even while including some very strange happenings.

But I'll revisit this certainly before the show Sunday night. And I continue to enjoy everyone's different and/or personal interpretations of this. We may just crack it by Sunday night if we keep putting our heads together...right.<img src= ALT=":lol">


Re: On the briefcase switch, Christ

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>The hardest part for me in confronting them (and other scenes or dialogue that would support the idea of an actual switch) was (and is) trying explain them in a manner consistent with my belief that there was no “physical” switch of brief cases: that is, Tony arrived in the coma world as Kevin Finnerty.<hr></blockquote>

I find it hard to argue in opposition because I agree that he arrived as Kevin Finnerty.<img src= ALT=":D"> He conveys an entirely foreign persona the instant we see and hear him. He just didn't start to realize his identity fraud, if you will, until he noticed the wrong ID credentials at the convention the next morning. And I want to underscore here the difference between "credentials" (license, pictures, credit cards) and true identity, which is who a person really is.

But while I agree with everyone that this Tony was instantly different, I also have to try and integrate a number of facts that, with each viewing, seem to increasingly suggest a mysterious, divine intervention by Christ or a Christ proxy at the bar that saved him from the fate accruing to the real Tony Soprano:

(1) He momentarily left his wallet on the bar (as several shots clearly show) and left his briefcase unattended while he turned his back, took a few steps, and made his phone call. The framing of that shot is such that Gandolfini's hulking frame entirely obscures his wallet, briefcase, and the area at the bar that would have been to his left as he was sitting at the bar (around a 90 degree corner). The establishing shot (normally very wide but not in this case) never shows this location before hand, so there's no way to know who or what was there before Tony returns to the bar after the phone call and the area is first scene unobscured. Given especially that this was a David Chase-penned episode and that he was therefore almost certainly on set when it was filmed, I don't find this shot selection a coincidence.

(2) If we all accept (for the purposes of this question only) that this experience was "real", e.g., that Tony's "soul" went to a metaphysical location called Costa Mesa and interacted with what it recognized as various "people" and phenomena there, then I think we have to also accept that this soul did own a metaphysical Bally briefcase given to him by his wife (ComaCarm) for Christmas, that he had it when he left for the convention (we hear over and over how "his whole life" was in the case and how important it was to his business there), and that he possessed the proper Tony Soprano wallet and ID upon departure, else (as he reminds us later) he wouldn't have been able to fly from NJ in the first place. He was recognized as Tony Soprano when he left NJ, but by the time of his arrival at the convention, he had a different wallet, briefcase, and identity credentials. Ergo, those things must have changed somewhere between being on the plane from NJ and arriving at the convention.

(3) The people at this convention were expecting Tony Soprano. He was on the list. So he was slated to "reap his reward", such as it may have been, on this occasion. Only the fact that he'd lost his Tony Soprano credentials between the plane from NJ and the arrival at the convention interrupted this fate. When he realizes he has the wrong ID, he immediately fixates on the bar as the place it must have happened, very much IMO like we all do when we've lost a wallet or purse or something important and we retrace our steps to pin down the last place we were when we knew we had it. I would even argue that he had to have had the correct wallet when he paid his bar bill since he had to go in it for money and presumably would have noticed the strange license. All this apparently happened right before the bar phone call, which explains why he left the wallet on the bar and why it was vulnerable to a switch at that exact moment.

(4) When he goes back to the bar, he goes to the location that had been obscured in the shots the night before while the man that enlightened him to the "Kevin Finnerty"/Infinity parallel was sitting in the location he (Tony) had been in the night before. A switch of positions with a man who ultimately ended up paying for Tony's meal (again, an intervention on Tony's behalf). Not to belabor the point, but when Tony relates that he picked up a wallet and briefcase there the night before that "weren't his" (meaning they were someone else's), the bartender's reaction was a little over the top and highly suggestive: "Oh Jesus." As if to confirm that this was no mere coincidence, the bartender exlcaims, "Oh God that's right" when Tony explains that he can't even get on a plane without a picture ID. Tying it all together is the fact that the bartender remembered a guy that was Tony's height (which I take to mean resembled him enough that it could have caused confusion with the suggestive and dichotomous "fish" orders) sitting next to Tony (obviously in the obscured portion of the bar) who left before Tony and never returned.

(5) All of the conspicuous references at the Omni and in the ER, even to the point of taking an imprint of the credit card, to underscore the fact that "Kevin Finnerty" (whoever he is) was paying for Tony's ability to find shelter and medical help while in his state of limbo.

However predisposed to a certain paradigm I may be, I'm utterly convinced that Chase is portraying a deliberately mysterious yet heavily suggestive episode whereby a Christ-like figure provided "salvation" to Tony in Costa Mesa at the bar via the vehicle of a switched briefcase & wallet, which offers the exquisite symbolism of Christ literally picking up and "shouldering the burden" of Tony's life and sin by taking his briefcase.

If I'm trying anyone's patience by prolonging this discussion, I apologize. Just want to explain my interpretations as fully as possible.


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