Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie)

#1
While watching this episode, I couldn't help but thinking "Tony is losing it!"(mentally)

First off! The gambling. Tony having a gambling problem and him losing significant amounts of money has never been seen or mentioned in any episode. Depression leads to destructive behavior. Whatever is trigging this sudden need to gamble (no risk no reward) does not bode well for Tony mentally. He has always displayed great business savy & always good with the money he earns. This seems way to out of character for Tony. Possibly early signs of a breakdown.

Second. The entire trip Paulie. For some reason, Tony wanted to kill Paulie. I'm really not sure why. It seemed the whole trip was to show how close Tony/Paulie's relationship should be. Tony even mentioned "wish he was my father sometimes". Tony looked up to him as a kid...They've been through so much together & Paulie has always been loyal to Tony(beside johny sack incident)..first two seasons problems with Jr. --Paulie never was questioned! and out of all the soldiers..as displayed tonight..Paulie is fearless! And at this point to would protect Tony at all cost!.

Even after Beansie assuring Tony that Paulie was a stand-up, loyal soldier..Tony still thought about killing him ..l.WHY!!!??

I think he's decompressing mentally..He's questioning everything in his life. and his future is so uncertain he beginning to second quess everyone he's associated with. He knows Paulie knows such much about everything....And that freaks Tony out. He's paranoid!

I think in future episodes Tony's behavior will start towards a drastic change! Not sure what...but tonights episode. gambling everything with Paulie makes me think Tony is having a break down!

Re: Tony Decompressing?!

#2
I think the gambling is merely another diversion for Tony. He cannot deal with what he's learning about himself and both his families. He can't accept responsibility for his decisions. (kinda like this blog for me sometimes).

Back to his father issues. Agree with all other posts about how this was highlighted this entire episode. Paulie, Junior, Christopher's dad.....all his surrogates.

I was struck by how he couldn't even stand to look at the old pix of his dad and Junior. He got a giggle from the Paulie pix, but the pix with his dad he quickly folded up and handed over.

Funny about "remember when being the lowest form of conversation" when that's what he did last week at the Melfi session about Christopher.

He didn't want the story of Johnny shooting a bullet in his mother's beehive 'remembered' by Janice either.

Also I though it was significant he made his first hit right before he became a dad himself.

All this is swirling around in Tony's head. I think it's obvious he is disgusted by what's around him and the choices he's made and has to make. I think he's questioning how much it was his choice versus being forced upon him.

We'll probably see another round of this when he gambles away the profit money from Carm's spec house. Carm will be 'against' him too.

When he takes ownership of making these choices, that's when I think he'll decompress and hopefully redeem himself. Right now he's 'going around in pity for himself' feeling like he was just 'carried along' with his decisions.

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

#3
aprilemoney, I took the liberty of editing your thread title to make it a bit more descriptive. A small point, but I'm assuming you intended the term "decompensate" because of the warning Melfi gave last year about that being in Tony's future. If not, forgive me for butting in.:smile:

I totally agree on the gambling, and I'm so glad you made a thread devoted to analyzing the importance of this development. I was shocked when I heard the phone call to Hesh and realized that Tony is apparently 200K in the hole on gambling debts and even more shocked at previews for next week which imply that he goes even further in the hole and uses Carm's spec house monies in the process.

As far as I know, this is the first time Tony has ever REALLY gambled. IIRC he didn't even bet on Pie-O-My at the track, getting his winnings in the form of a "taste" from Ralph. He visited the Indian dude's casino in season 4, but I'm pretty sure that on the first of those trips, all the gambling was entirely on the house.

Tony's aversion to gambling, and its origins, are well documented. When he runs down the guy in the pilot, he denigrates him as a "degenerate fucking gambler". His overt contempt for Makazian seems to owe in part to the latter's addiction to sports betting. Though he first tries to protect his friend Dave Scatino from himself, in the end he loses all respect for him when the depths of Dave's gambling problem fully emerge. And in the most important annecdote on the point, his father tells him essentially that Satriale deserved to get his finger cut off because he was a lousy gambler that owed him money and that Tony should "never gamble".

Striking to me is that Tony's forays into gambling are coinciding with increasing examinations of the role in Tony's life of his several father figures and of Tony's continuing resistance to taking Johnny Boy off the undeserved pedastal Tony put him on. Makes me wonder if this gambling isn't somehow a tentative, subconscious repudiation of his father as much as anything else, a first step toward admitting that Johnny Boy was a crappy father.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

#4
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:
Striking to me is that Tony's forays into gambling are coinciding with increasing examinations of the role in Tony's life of his several father figures and of Tony's continuing resistance to taking Johnny Boy off the undeserved pedastal Tony put him on. Makes me wonder if this gambling isn't somehow a tentative, subconscious repudiation of his father as much as anything else, a first step toward admitting that Johnny Boy was a crappy father.

Quite - almost a rebellion of sorts against the lessons his father "taught" him.
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

#5
But what about the "compensations"?

Barone is dead, and Tony can't really make business with Phil. Even Johnny wanted to leave him out. I agree that it was a desperate move. I don't if anybody noticed that the first image clearly reminisces the first image of Tony in bed in the pilot, when he starts talking to Melfi. And then to Beansie he makes the point that we never heard from him before: that "Things are going great."

But he is unsure.... Probably at this point this seemed like the only debauchery he could grab on. Aside from the hooker. He is desperate and wants quick solution.

Carm came to my mind from S4 "Or watch you can watch the news. nEverything comes to an end..." And Tony does see it. Phil is going berserk.
You can't have everything- Where would you put it? -Steven Wright

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

#8
I realize that this is TV and you must grant some artistic license, but it's pretty unusual for someone to become a compulsive, pathalogiogical gambler as suddenly as Tony seems to be. I'm surprised that we haven't gotten more hints of this, other than his betting on football games last week.

But there are other self-destructive signs as well. He was drinking those little bottles of booze last night with gusto, and he's obviously not missing many meals...

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

#9
How is all this connected to Tony finally dealing with Junior, after all this time since the shooting?

Why would Pat Blundetto, who retired years ago, try and help Junior escape? It was obvious they wanted him out so that they could whack him. Would they do this without Tonys blessing? No way, they where acting on Tonys orders! But why now? Tony has´nt even talked about the shooting since it happend, and Junior has´nt much time left on this earth anyways.

Many questions lingered after this episode, better watch it again a couple of (hundred) times :icon_biggrin:

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

#10
This site is the best!!!!!! Have been reading since it opened... Tons of insightful, interesting, thoughtful posts...

One thing that some posters are missing. There has been 1 scene for sure, and, possibly others, that show Tony gambling on sports. One that I recall for sure, but can't remember the specific episode is when he was in the office of the Crazy Horse, and was making bets on baseball games. He used a cell phone to do this. It may have been Irregular Around the Margins, or the episode where Feech was in the Crazy Horse office with the guys... Not sure though, I'll have to go back and check... I am almost positive it was in Season 5... Anyone else recall this?
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