Agent Harris' Appeal for Help: Is This Tony's "Out"?

#1
Agent Harris was always the "good cop" among the FBI personnel, starting when he knocked on the front door to carry out the first search warrant and politely offered Tony a minute to gather his family and explain what was going on. He was peacemaker when Grasso and Tony almost went at it, was quick to ensure that the broken dish would be cleaned up and replaced, and obviously did not approve of his boss' needling Tony while playing back the tape of Livia conspiring with Junior. He was the one who first approached Tony with a deal for immunity, comes by the Pork Store to eat, and most significantly committed what was certainly a breach of policy by warning Tony of the possible impending hit from the NY crew. So, for whatever reason, he's accumulated a track record with Tony that instantly distinguishes him from his colleagues and from the stereotypes Tony might otherwise hold with respect to FBI agents.

I've long thought that the two middle easterners that have been hanging around the Bing and doing business with Chris and company were red herrings. But it's appearing more and more likely that they are not. In his commentary to Luxury Lounge, writer Matthew Weiner specifically advises the audience to remember the mid easterner's connection to the credit card scam run by Murmur and Benny, obviously with the implication that it would prove important later on.

Now, with Agent Harris approaching Tony personally for help in nabbing terror suspects, given Tony's seemingly genuine disgust with terrorists, and with real, tangible signs to back up the subconscious signals coming out of Tony since season 5 about wanting "out" of the mob, the question has to be asked:might ratting on terrorists be Tony's "out" (and this assumes, of course, that the mid easterners are really funding terrorists with their illicit profits)?
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Agent Harris' Appeal for Help: Is This Tony's "Out"?

#2
Tony trying to find a way "out" always seemed quite unlikely to me, but I suppose this was only because it seems like such a predictable way for this series to go. And my mentality has always been, whether rightly so or not, that if something seems like an obvious route for the show to take, it’s probably not going to happen.

However, after tonight’s episode, it really feels like Chase might be leading up to Tony’s abandonment of the mob life. Perhaps this is simply a mislead, but it definitely seems more plausible than ever before. Carmine reminiscing about his dream really seemed to affect Tony. It’s feasible that this could trigger a change in his mentality, in which he finds it more rewarding to fill his “box” (life) with happiness and precious memories, rather than merely trying to find fulfillment in getting ahead in the business.

And ratting out terrorist activity might prove to be the perfect opportunity for him to start his life over, filling his box with the things in life that really matter.


Hey, it's my seventy-fifth post ...I'm now a Senior Associate, woo!

Re: Agent Harris' Appeal for Help: Is This Tony's "Out"?

#3
One thing I didn't understand was why Tony was so upset when he came back into the house after meeting with Agent Harris. Harris said nothing that should have gotten Tony mad - or did Tony view this as another request from Harris to come clean and flip? Or is Tony just tired of being "hassled" by the FBI? Tony getting the morning paper has been a constant on the series.

Did the other agent's comment about Meadow tick him off? Implying that she might be in danger? Implying that the terrorists he catches could save his own family? I don't think this would have been enough to set him off.

By the way, where is Murmur? He's not Chris' sponsor anymore. He knows about the credit card scam with the middle easterners and a lot of other mob events even though he was never "made". Could he be feeding the feds information? If they really were Muslims, would they be drinking alcohol in the Bada Bing?

Re: Agent Harris' Appeal for Help: Is This Tony's "Out"?

#4
tomahawk wrote:One thing I didn't understand was why Tony was so upset when he came back into the house after meeting with Agent Harris.


I read Tony's anger as owing to having to confront and consider things he's uncomfortable with. He genuinely hates the plague of terrorism, so we are led to believe, and would presumably applaud law enforcement efforts to nab perpetrators. At the same time, the idea of cooperating with law enforcement is so repugnant to his conditioning and conscious values that to even consider it is unpleasant. He gave himself away when he said, "there'a a word for that", meaning "rat".

The agents' way of making it more personal for him was to point out this problem threatens everyone and that his own daughter and family could be jeaopardized by the kind of people they're pursuing. It had an impact with Tony, you could see it, but it ultimately produced the anger of denial rather than the rational cool that comes with reflection.

These bits and pieces are chipping away, though. Carmine's wisdom (not an oxymoron afterall!), Johnny Sac's fate, Torciani's demise, Phil's narrow escape after years in prison, his own shooting and declining physical prowess, his arrest and the looming federal investigations, Eugene's suicide, Larry Boy's lack of freedom, Junior's lonely descent into legal quicksand and dementia. It's all adding up to show Tony a harsh reality about his ultimate fate, one which may be closer than he ever imagined before.

tomahawk wrote: By the way, where is Murmur? He's not Chris' sponsor anymore. He knows about the credit card scam with the middle easterners and a lot of other mob events even though he was never "made". Could he be feeding the feds information? If they really were Muslims, would they be drinking alcohol in the Bada Bing?


Good question. I suppose if Chris wanted to take the "change old habits" advice to extremes he could have changed sponsors. But that doesn't explain why Murmur wasn't at the movie. Have to wonder what's up with that.

On the drinking thing, some of the 9/11 hijackers attended a bar in, I believe, Miami, even though others in their circle were vehemently critical. If I'm not mistaken, a few of the hijackers even went to the bar a couple of days before the attacks. Typical duplicity, putting down American vices and the open sexuality of women yet availing themselves of it.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Agent Harris' Appeal for Help: Is This Tony's "Out"?

#5
Well, Tony's anger when coming back intot he house was (I think) two things - first, that the other agent would mention Meadow riding in the Tunnels to get to NYC is a veiled threat and a not so subtle push to "cooperate because it could be your kid that's killed next time". Second, when you first see the car, you at first don't neccessarily know who is in the car - is it the cops? Or a crew out to whack Tony? Perhaps Tony is feeling a bit more cautious about his mortality, and does realize that he could be whacked at any time, even while doing something as simple as walking down his driveway. Shrug.

I don't see the whole M E subplot as the "out" - after all, who does that provide a mafia member an out? By letting the cops know if he sees anything? What has that got to do with the WPP or divulging LCN secrets? if Tony was going to flip, he'd flip to save his or his family's ass. Sorry, I just don't see the connection at all. It's an obvious plot point of course, but how?

I'd be pretty bugged if in two months, at the end of the season, we're looking at either Tony entering the WPP (ala Goodfellas) or pulling some bullshit terrorist attack - they have to do better than that, IMO.

Re: Agent Harris' Appeal for Help: Is This Tony's "Out"?

#6
awpilot wrote:I don't see the whole M E subplot as the "out" - after all, who does that provide a mafia member an out? By letting the cops know if he sees anything? What has that got to do with the WPP or divulging LCN secrets?


It's not an out at the moment for anything. But the winds of change are blowing on his fortunes vis-a-vis law enforcement. That was announced with the first scene of this new season. The previews for next week indicate that a body that must have some connection to Paulie and/or Tony is discovered by the FBI, with Beensie offering that Paulie is a "stand up guy" and Tony questioning whether he's ever been really "put to the test". So we could be going from a weapons charge with really dubious evidence to a homicide that could perhaps be linked to Tony through Paulie. That would obviously be a SERIOUS problem for Tony. And even if Tony clears that hurdle or if it turns our that this preview was misleading, I just get the feeling that something is coming that's going to eventually stick, enough to at least support an indictment on a RICO.

If that happens, what kind of leverage can he get from Agent Harris' approach? In this day and age when LCN is on the decline and an afterthought compared to terrorism, would the potential to bust open a terror funding ring be more valuable to law enforcement? We know that the US attorney will opt for Tony for the headlines, the Mafia trophy, and vindication that he's not wasted thousands of dollars and man hours on a futile chase. But Harris and company will be much happier with PR about how they intercepted monies that were supporting some bomb-making school in Pakistan. So I can easily forsee a scenario in which Harris goes to bat for Tony to walk on the RICO charges in exchange for information/testimony leading to the arrest and conviction of those running a terror ring.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Agent Harris' Appeal for Help: Is This Tony's "Out"?

#7
Hello all,

After several years of lurking both here and at Sopranoland I have decided to finally sign up for the last season.

Fly, I have always enjoyed your analysis of episodes and I agree with what you're saying here WRT Tony's anger. I would like to add, however, than I believe his particularly visceral reaction was very much a product of the FBI's intrusion into the personal. Firstly, by interrupting his morning routine of fetching the paper, the Feds caught Tony in a vulnerable position. (I believe that the only other time his paper-fetching has been interrupted was Pussy's return in season 2, so it is no surprise that Tony would react unpleasantly to meeting a car at the bottom of his driveway.) In this way, the FBI brought their implicit threat "home" to Tony in a way that has not overtly occurred before except, perhaps, during actual arrests. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the agent's implication that Meadow could be harmed strikes directly at Tony's most conspicuous fear: that of losing his family, as symbolized by the ducks. I think most would agree that, if Tony ever were to turn government witness, his family would be the primary reason to do so. This painful reminder of his family's vulnerabily, I think, would account for his anger inside the house even more so than any feelings of disgust toward the FBI or toward the idea of ratting.

- Sushi

Re: Tony's Anger after meeting Feds

#9
Part of Tony's anger when he comes back in may also be attributed to the agents mentioning that they offered this deal to Chris as well, something I doubt Chris ever mentioned. I doubt Tony likes the idea of Chris talking to these guys in any way (any more than Tony likes that he himself must talk to them.)
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Agent Harris' Appeal for Help: Is This Tony's "Out"?

#10
Remember the recurring theme -- "Everytime I try to get out, they pull me back in."

I could see this being an "out" only if it adds to Tony's general torment. For example, what if he can save himself only by giving up Christopher? Christopher has been much more involved with the Middle Eastern guys, hasn't he?

This would put Tony in the position between chosing his country and ratting out a family member to save his own skin.

I don't know, it still seems like too obvious a way out for Tony, but I do think Chase wants us to think that's a possibility.
Post Reply

Return to “Episode 6.14: Stage 5”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest