How would you grade this episode on a 1-10 scale (10 being the best possible quality)

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Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#131
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:LOL. It's a sad state of affairs when not murdering is the barometer for love. You're right that that should make an impression, of course.

I think that if he opens up to her and lets it be known that he's unhappy and doesn't want that life anymore that she will support him, even urge him out, in a way he never expected she would. Who knows, that could be the emotional pinnacle of the series, the living equivalent of the moment at the door of the house in Mayham.

I can't contain my expectations of how great such a scene could be with Chase and his writers supplying the words and EF and JG bringing it to life. Kind of the flipside of Whitecaps.


That would be fantastic. Part of me is secretly hoping that Chase will do the unexpected. In other words, almost everyone thinks Tony the mobster thug has to be "punished." Crime does not pay and all of that.

Well, why? Not all "captains of industry types" get punished for their various crimes. I don't think Tony is going to escape sadness or suffering in these next few episodes, but who's to say he won't experience a few moments of redemption and grace as well? What if Carmella told him she really would be happy to sell trinkets alongside a Utah road, if it meant being with him and knowing he was safe, or at least safer than he is right now?

Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#132
P.S. I've always loved this quote from a 2002 Slate article: "What this season depicts so compellingly is how we humans can come face to face with and even grasp the nature of our own self-defeating mechanisms and follies—whether in psychotherapy or out—and yet all too often, we cannot loosen their grip."

Which is sort of a more eloquent way of saying, "Everytime I try to get out, they reel me back in."

I think we're about to discover whether David Chase thinks people really can change. Given that he personally was able to be assisted with therapy, I'm hopeful.

Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#133
chaseisgod wrote:P.S. I've always loved this quote from a 2002 Slate article: "What this season depicts so compellingly is how we humans can come face to face with and even grasp the nature of our own self-defeating mechanisms and follies—whether in psychotherapy or out—and yet all too often, we cannot loosen their grip."

Which is sort of a more eloquent way of saying, "Everytime I try to get out, they reel me back in."

I think we're about to discover whether David Chase thinks people really can change. Given that he personally was able to be assisted with therapy, I'm hopeful.


That is a great quote and so very true. Thanks for sharing it.

Don't you get the feeling that that would really be THE ending to "shock"? I've read many articles and posts accurately pointing out that the inability of a person to fundamentally change is a consistent, perhaps even overriding theme of this series. The better part of seasons 5 and 6 were spent ramming the point home with everyone from Christopher to Carmela to Tony S. to Tony B. to Janice to Vito. Leopards don't change their spots. And very few people expect Tony to. Jayduck and a few other posters from last year even felt vindicated by the time Kaisha came that Tony had done a complete reversion to his pre-shooting self and that he had not ever REALLY changed.

Yet clearly Chase believes it can happen because, as you stated, he has implied that it happened to him, albeit with the very imporant caveat that he was never a sociopath, LOL. Of course I've never thought Tony was one either, even though he's obviously very close to it on the personality continuum.

I know I'm repeating myself from the last couple of years, but what better way to examine the difficulty inherent in profound behavioral change, the extreme unlikeliness of it, than to show how many people fail in their attempts achieve it? How better to surprise an audience then by building year upon year the expectation of personality stasis, the expectation that people "are who they are", only to pull the rug out from under them at the very end?

Chase said something in an NPR interview after season 2 that I heard online and found very interesting (as all his interviews are, even while always being very vague about show direction). Though his comment is over 6 years old and was typically cryptic, some with strong aversions to spoilers may want to skip over the rest of my post so as not to hear how I relate it to the possible outcome of the series. And those who reply to this post are cautioned not to specifically reference his quote or inferences that may or may not be drawn from it without adequate warning.

They played the clip from House Arrest where Melfi explains that antisocial personalities have to find distractions to keep them from "thinking about the abhorrent things they do"and how what they do "affects other people". When not distracted they have to face "feelings of self-loathing haunting them since childhood".

In House Arrest, recall that Tony developed a rash from constantly abrading his arm, a physical manifestation of his need to distract himself from the torture of introspection that inactivity tends to induce. In The Ride, a similar theme played out, the need of a constant high and how, when you go too long without it, the "gift" of life becomes a pair of socks . . . or worse.

Chase said that the House Arrest therapy scene made him want to cry because, underneath everything, Tony was this guy that basically hated and found no value in himself. He alluded to some ambivalence when scripting the latter part of the second season, which he said he finally resolved by saying (paraphrasing), "Look, Tony Soprano is a gangster, and that's enough to say about his personal growth or lack thereof for now." The bolded portion always held some portent for me that there would come a time in the series where being a gangster would not sum up Tony's personality or capacity for personal growth.

We'll see if in fact all these years of therapy and NDEs and skirting around the issue actually bear that out. Certainly Cleaver (with Carmela and Roe's interpretive assistance -- proof that the ladies' movie nights were worthwhile afterall!) enlightened Tony to the fact that he is hated more than he is loved by his surrogate "son". Piled on top of an uncle/surrogate father that tried to kill him twice and a mother that tried once, he may be on the verge of the "crash" that Melfi talked about in House Arrest and later seemed to echo with talk of decompensation in Johnny Cakes.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#134
Can anyone explain how Tony can remember when Chrissy was born? First of all, isn't Chrissy Carmela's cousin? What do you think the age difference is between Tony and Chrissy? It would seem to me that Tony wasn't very old when Chrissy was born.

I don't know; that whole recollection of Tony's about Chrissy's childhood just seemed wrong.

Let me say how much I enjoy reading this board. Some of you are brilliant!

Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#135
Sunala wrote:Can anyone explain how Tony can remember when Chrissy was born? First of all, isn't Chrissy Carmela's cousin? What do you think the age difference is between Tony and Chrissy? It would seem to me that Tony wasn't very old when Chrissy was born.

I don't know; that whole recollection of Tony's about Chrissy's childhood just seemed wrong.

Let me say how much I enjoy reading this board. Some of you are brilliant!


I'm not one of the brilliant ones, and I have no answer. But I'm sure there's a good explanation.

Re: Episode Review and General Comments

#140
Sunala wrote:Can anyone explain how Tony can remember when Chrissy was born? First of all, isn't Chrissy Carmela's cousin? What do you think the age difference is between Tony and Chrissy? It would seem to me that Tony wasn't very old when Chrissy was born.


Sunala, there's never been an explicit reference to Chris' age nor to the age difference between him and Tony. However there is some clue to be found in Cold Cuts when Chris told Ade about his summers at Uncle Pat's farm. I can't recall (but I bet someone else can) how old Chris said he was this one summer, but my impression is that he was around 10 when the two Tonys tied him to a tree in the woods and left him there all day. They were still in high school at the time so they must have been around 16-17.

I think there has been some incongruity over the years in the representation of the age gap, as you would expect that Tony must have at least been a mid teen by the time Dickie died in order for Tony to consider him this mentor/father figure (and Chris was still at most a toddler when Dickie died). And you also have Tony thinking of Chris more as a son than a brother.

On the other hand you have the Cold Cuts thing and the fact that Tony was apparently still a kid riding a bike when Chris was a toddler. All things considered, I'd estimate there to be about a 10 year age gap between them, but others' mileage may vary.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

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