Re: Tony Soprano: Degenerate Gambler/Fortunate Son

#11
I seems as though all his outlets are somehow closed off (physically or mentally) such that his last avenue for risk and excitement is the gambling (or starting a surely losing war with NY.) Regardless, the "fun" of this life wore off some time ago for Tony. All that is left is the financial reward of being boss which Tony seems bent on harming one way or the other - through gambling, poor placement of capos or a disasterous war with NY.


I'm wondering, what do you think constituted the "fun", the other rewards of being boss that fell apart as time wore on? What I'm curious about is, if the financial reward alone didn't warrant assuming the position as boss, what were Tony's other motivations? I'm not entirely sure myself, but I raise the question because understanding his conception of the rewards could shed some light on the recent downward spiral of self sabotage.

Re: Tony Soprano: Degenerate Gambler/Fortunate Son

#12
This thread raises several questions for me. The first concerns back story. How does Johnny Boy obtain Satriale’s pork store? Does the avuncular Mr Satriale gamble away his business Scatino-style to Johnny Boy Soprano?

The second concerns Christopher’s flick Cleaver. Everywhere you turn, you see a character with a Cleaver mug or a Cleaver DVD. Christopher’s movie may be the cinematic projection of his revenge fantasy against Tony. Tony admits as much to Melfi. Could the Cleaver visual motif be the narrative loop back to the Fortunate Son trauma? As Johnny Boy takes the cleaver to “degenerate” Mr. Satriale, Tony (Mr. Rage-turned-inward) is taking the cleaver to his finances and his family life, his crew and his blood kin.

T.’s vocational cover is Barone Sanitation; his speciality, waste management. Tony’s real work place is Satriale’s, which he inherits from his father. Fortunate Son to toil in such a psychologically toxic environment! Some one call Barone: it’s time to remove the offal from the pork store.

Re: Tony Soprano: Degenerate Gambler/Fortunate Son

#13
Of course, Barone is dead. Perhaps the son? :icon_wink:

And Johnny Boy did get part of the pork store in payment of old man Satrialle's debts. I think this was discussed somewhere near that episode.

To speak to ldrollins question, "fun" as Tony might have considered the possibilities of being boss, might entail the power to be sure, as well as the financial rewards of money being kicked up every week from the entire organization. The one position in the mafia that does not kick up is the boss.

Of course, Tony's power since the beginning has been belittled by New York - first by Johnny Sack moving out to Jersey, then Carmine taking profit from Tony's Zellman projects and finally by Sack and Phil as they continue(d) to show little respect for the "glorified crew" of New Jersey.

And as we can see, the financial profits of being boss are limited currently as Tony is losing his legit cover in Barone Sanitation, losing the extended profits that Vito and Ralphie brought to him, and unable to find anyone in his crew capable of bringing such in - Bobbie isn't doing it (until Janice steps in perhaps), Chris seems more interested in movies and the big lights of Hollywood, Paulie is...well, Paulie...and has not earned like that in some time (as is mentioned in the episode), Sil isn't really in the "earning" position anymore and is more valuable as consigliare, Carlo "should be sucking more cock instead of watching so much TV"...hmmm...so who does this leave really earning Tony the big money (and thus reward of being boss)?
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

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Re: Tony Soprano: Degenerate Gambler/Fortunate Son

#14
In “Chasing It,” Tony tells Melfi he hasn’t had a panic attack since his near fatal shooting. Elsewhere in the episode, the reel grinds to a halt after Tony loses 25 large on Meadow Gold. To me, the freeze frame shot is emblematic of the dissociated state one commonly experiences during a panic attack.

Tony dotes on Meadow; she’s got his brains, his finesse. He picks the horse that bears her golden name. How can he lose? Tony, for the moment at least, the “degenerate gambler,” lets it all ride on his the Philly (and by association his daughter) ... and loses big time. He is overcome with shame. And so the frame freezes. The boss dissociates. This is a panic attack minus the dead faint. Oh! The downward spiral.

Re: Tony Soprano: Degenerate Gambler/Fortunate Son

#16
"And as we can see, the financial profits of being boss are limited currently as Tony is losing his legit cover in Barone Sanitation, losing the extended profits that Vito and Ralphie brought to him, and unable to find anyone in his crew capable of bringing such in - Bobbie isn't doing it (until Janice steps in perhaps), Chris seems more interested in movies and the big lights of Hollywood, Paulie is...well, Paulie...and has not earned like that in some time (as is mentioned in the episode), Sil isn't really in the "earning" position anymore and is more valuable as consigliare, Carlo "should be sucking more cock instead of watching so much TV"...hmmm...so who does this leave really earning Tony the big money (and thus reward of being boss)?"

Very true. Interesting how Tony killed off his top two earners (I know that Phil killed Vito, but I think we all agree he was dead anyways) when the financial reward was the only thing really motivating him in the first place.

Re: Tony Soprano: Degenerate Gambler/Fortunate Son

#17
ldrollins wrote:I was anticipating - nay, hoping - that the slow motion was indeed a full blown panic attack. The way I see it, a panic attack in front of his crew would have sent him back to Melfi's office, head in hand, attempting to resolve the issue. A panic attack might have ended this downward spiral.


Agree with you 100% here. Unfortunatley it seems that his "coma adventure" as Kevin Finnerty might have been the last hurrah for his subconcious self trying to steer him in the proper direction. Is it possible Tony is beyond panic attacks? Has he crossed a psycho-emotional threshold that there is no turning back from? As his 'downward spiral' continues with nothing slowing him down, it may just be there is no hope for Mr. Soprano.
A little powdered sugar and he woulda been done!
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