Gratuitous Violence This Half-Season?

#1
Does anybody else feel that David Chase has surrendered (not completely but just enough) to the masses and critics that demand blood and guts with their weekly "Sopranos" viewing? Three episodes into the final nine we've gotten three rather violent and gory killings, a contrast to the past three batches of episodes (Seasons 4 and 5 as well as 6A) in which violence was rather stylized and not stared at directly in close-up (i.e. long distance shot of Vito shooting that motorist in the back of the head). Heck, between Seasons 4 and where we are the most violent whacking was Ralphie's but now its as if every episode must have one brutal killing to keep the mob (i.e. the blood and guts viewers) from bolting out.

Re: Gratuitous Violence This Half-Season?

#2
I took notice that there have been three episodes and three violent deaths so far as well, though I don't know how 'gratuitous' the violence in these situations has been; in every instance, the death has served a purpose in the major plotlines.

The hit in episode one, while the result of which remains to be seen, will undoubtedly prove significant later, as a possible turning point for Bobby’s character. If any of the other already-hardened killers in Tony’s crew has committed that murder, it would have seemed entirely inconsequential and beside the point. Because it was a member who had never committed murder before, however, and it was the person Tony is training to be his heir, the killing itself serves as a major plot point, even though the person he kills is of almost no significance at all.

The other two are the direct result of the power struggle in New York, as the in-fighting over who will take the boss’s seat continues. The affairs in New York have become increasingly important to Tony’s crew, as tensions between the two families have increased dramatically in recent years, thus making the conflict in NY another major plot point. And of course, we all probably knew Phil would take the reins over New York again before the series ended, and there would be only one way for him to do that – to kill his opposition.

As for how the violence has been depicted in recent episodes, I agree it’s been pretty “in your face”, the most graphic being the one on Doc. I’m not sure why this is, but perhaps after years of being desensitized to the violence on this show (Seriously, it takes a lot to stun us anymore, doesn’t it?), Chase has just felt the need to go one extra step to try to shock the audience – even if it’s just mildly more explicit, and without going to over-the-top.

Yes, the three deaths in the last three episodes have begun a trend of violence that we haven’t seen from this show in a long time, certainly as the series has slowed down the past few years. However, I don’t see this as Chase “surrendering to the masses and critics that demand blood and guts with their weekly "Sopranos" viewing”. As this brutality and bloodshed continues (which seems very likely, the way this story is going), I see this as visible evidence of the growing turmoil and dissension within La Cosa Nostra, as the lifestyle continues in its decline – its downward spiral into self destruction.

Re: Gratuitous Violence This Half-Season?

#4
I don't see what the problem would be with pleasing both sides of the audience anyhow... I think Chase, making a show about mob life, needs to play to the fans of gangster shit. I'm not saying they need to cut out all the stuff with the family, or crew character development, but a little action never hurt nobody. This people live a life where they can be killed at any second and this season is doing its best job at conveying that. Even with the non-kill of Paulie we still got some of the drama of what it's like in the life. Your best friend could kill you when he takes you fishing. This show is as much about death as it is about life.

Re: Gratuitous Violence This Half-Season?

#6
I also feel that the "hits" in this season have not been gratuitous and have all served a purpose. Bobby's and how it will affect him and change him forever from this point forward. The Hairdo hit kind of suprised me since he was Phil's right hand man. I would have thought that would have come later in the season, but it helped motivate Phil to step up and take control so it makes sense. The hit on Doc Santuro; everyone saw coming. That's why I feel they did it such a violent way. They weren't going to suprise viewers with it so they had to make it memorable. He was standing in Phil's way to the top, so he had to be taken out, because ultimately that's where we are heading, Phil in full control and his conflict with Tony.

Re: Gratuitous Violence This Half-Season?

#7
I agree..so far the violence has been justified...And we must remember this is a show about the Mafia. And like most movies related to this subject, the ending is going to be bloody...I think the most recent blood shed is just the tip of the iceburg.

Characters are going die. I'm pretty sure some of our favorite characters are going to die.

I doubt Chase is going to end the show with the entire Soprano family indicted on RICO charges.

I think the best is yet to come..this NY/NJ war has been building for while...something/someone is going to light the fuse..then the real/important -plots,murders, deaths, traders, survivors will come to light.:icon_evil:

Re: Gratuitous Violence This Half-Season?

#8
I agree Aprilemoney

The NY-NJ war, with the Tony Blundetto/Billy Leotardo incident has been building for 3 years now; for this very reason. The end. Phil never let it go and harbors deep resentment towards Tony. With John out of the picture, nothing will stop him from finally getting his revenge. And when he does, Tony will not just sit on his hands. It is almost time to "go to the matresses"

Re: Gratuitous Violence This Half-Season?

#9
Personally, I think the last three episodes is violence that is way overdue, not gratuitous. If HBO and the people didn't beg Chase for 10 more episodes, the episodes that we are watching now should have been the last 9 from over a year ago. Part one of season 6 was the most boring, cannon fodder episodes out of all 6 seasons.
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