Universal Polymath wrote:On the topic of the music in this episode, though, as well as on the topic of Junior, I thought the use of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" was the perfect song, during the scene in which Carter turns on Junior. I rewatched that scene, and I'm not sure why I like it so much, but it really got to me. It starts with all the patients singing that song, and then as Junior shows disdain towards Carter's antics, and the camera slowly pushes in on Carter's face as his smile fades - The immediate rejection and abandonment that kid is feeling is just written so clearly in his expression, right before it turns to rage. I really feel bad for that character, to think he'd live his whole life without ever really finding any peace or stable relationships.
Assuming Carter is meant to be Tony as a troubled youngster looking up to a (gangster) father figure, Carter's decision to attack Junior for his betrayal stands in sharp contrast to Tony's decision to control his anger and not off Paulie for his perceived betrayal (i.e. Tony knows Paulie told the 'fat' joke). While Tony is still seeking therapy and mental treatment for what troubles him with Dr. Melfi (on his own) Carter's violent outburst presumably got him kicked from that hospital, and likely on a path of self-destruction and violence that young Tony took early on. I was also reminded of the last "Star Wars" movie when Anakin Skywalker gives in to the dark side and turns bad. Carter is a lost cause and, ironically, what kept him from going completely bonkers was his looking up to a gangster father figure. It's as if Chase is saying that having thugs and criminals as positive role models for an impressionable young man (especially one with mental problems) is bad, but not having any male role models to look up to is even worse.
And thanks to whoever pointed out the similarities between "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and this episode with the Junior/Carter scenes. It completely went over my head the first time, but on repeat viewing it stands out more clearly.