Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#171
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:No. But I saw that he/she copied one of my posts over there and represented it as his own, LMAO.



you should take it as a compliment...while i don't necessarily agree with alot of what you say...i think your insight into the show is brilliant...and i can honestly say...you have made my overalll viewing experience more pleasurable. i think many people on this board probably feel the same way.

but i have to ask....if you really think the coma experience took place in another metaphysical plane of existance...and wasn't just a product of tony's subconsious....than how were all the people in the hospital able to influence tony's thoughts?

i mean, its sort of far fetched that paulie's talk of getting old somehow transcended the barriers of our reality and inflitrated its way into purgatory.

i asked this before but you never responded.

Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#172
UnoclaM wrote:AJ has an panic attack when he is told he is going to be leader of the football team. I believe this panic attack is linked to his view of his father being the big mob boss and AJ following in his footsteps as a leader (not necessarily a mob boss).


Excellent observation. I will also point out that in last season's terrific Johnny Cakes, AJ has his panic attack in the nightclub after one of his friends tells him "you the man!" He also reflexively dry heaves when Tony tells him outside the police station that it's time for him to "grow up". He is greatly fearful of having to live up to what it means to be a "man" in his father's eyes and professional circles.

I couldn't help but notice how Tony tried to build AJ's self esteem in the conversation in AJ's bedroom a few weeks ago, telling him he was "goodlooking, smart, hardworking" and, of course, "white":icon_biggrin: and that many girls were looking for a guy like him. While Tony may have actually internally choked on a couple of the adjectives he used, he did a great job of selling his sincerity. And prior to the Blanca breakup, AJ had been showing surprising industry at his pizza job, so there was some objective basis for Tony to positively reinforce those emerging aspects of AJ's persona.

As I think back to seasons prior to season 6, the only compliments I ever really heard Tony issue toward AJ were uttered in relation to AJ's football successes. In Johnny Cakes, he emotionally tells AJ that he's "very grateful" that AJ is a "good guy" (i.e., a guy incapable of cold-blooded murder). It's a poignant compliment that says as much about how Tony sees himself as it does about how he sees his son.

ETA: I think this shows that Tony is indeed trying, especially since his coma experience, to rectify the years of negative influence his lifestyle had on AJ and is trying to build a value system by which AJ can feel successful in his father's eyes without being an ass-whupping, macho guy.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#173
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:ETA: I think this shows that Tony is indeed trying, especially since his coma experience, to rectify the years of negative influence his lifestyle had on AJ and is trying to build a value system by which AJ can feel successful in his father's eyes without being an ass-whupping, macho guy.


Reconcile this statement with Tony being the sole reason that A.J. is now started down on the road of burning the toes off debtors, among other things, AJ having been forced to party with guys Tony knew to be amateur wiseguys.

Tony has made no progress that I can point to since his coma. I had really hoped he would have but he seems to have rejected by his conduct what that experience had hinted at.

Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#174
Joe wrote:you should take it as a compliment...while i don't necessarily agree with alot of what you say...i think your insight into the show is brilliant...and i can honestly say...you have made my overalll viewing experience more pleasurable. i think many people on this board probably feel the same way.

but i have to ask....if you really think the coma experience took place in another metaphysical plane of existance...and wasn't just a product of tony's subconsious....than how were all the people in the hospital able to influence tony's thoughts?

i mean, its sort of far fetched that paulie's talk of getting old somehow transcended the barriers of our reality and inflitrated its way into purgatory.

i asked this before but you never responded.


Joe, thans so much for the kind words. I'm flattered and very gratified to hear that my posts might increase someone else's viewing pleasure.

I did not intend to ignore your prior post about the metaphysical/physical dichotomies of the coma thing. There's just been so much incredibly deep and interesting stuff to absorb and talk about from this last ep that it's difficult to keep up with every tangent of discussion.

I have no problem reconciling the fact that aspects of the "real" world in the hospital room were influencing aspects of Tony's coma experience. That's principally because a spiritual or metaphysical plane of existence is still essentially a mystical, unknown, unknowable, irrational, yet, for many, a paradoxically "truthful" phenomena. When you base a belief on faith or primitive intuition or something other than man's limited rational processes, then rationality, as we know it, is in no way a constraint on your imagination and efforts to portray or understand the dimensions of that belief.

As far as I'm concerned, and as far as I understand what was being portrayed, Tony's physical self, and all the senses numbed by his coma, were in the hospital room. His spiritual self was no where physical because spirits do not have a location. "Where" is not a parameter of the soul. He was everywhere and nowhere.

But the spiritual experiences he had during the coma were relayed to us in a metaphysical (non real) location called Costa Mesa with metaphysical people (other souls, of which his is a part). The voices on the phone and from the trees were the spiritual messages of love sent by Carmela and Meadow. That's why when Carmela strokes his arm and asks, "Anthony, can you hear us?" and tells him she loves him, there are analgous experiences in Tony's spiritual realm (phone calls to his generic "wife"). When Meadow lies beside him in the hospital bed, Tony instinctively feels the spiritual, emotional equivalent of that (when he nuzzles an imaginary figure in the bed next to him).

Conversely, when Paulie was going on about testicular injuries and how miserable "rats" are, Tony's spirit is dealing with the stress of that, trying to block out any influence from a man like Paulie on issues of masculinity, manhood, or the propriety of "ratting" or otherwise violating the code of omerta by talking to outsiders about the crimes it's designed to keep secret. And I'm increasingly convinced that it was Tony's appreciation that his son was sick (coma Meadow's "he puked, mom put him to bed"), paralleled in the hospital room by AJ's tearful confession that he would "put a bullet in [Junior's] fucking mummy head", that ultimately caused Tony to embrace life as Kevin Finnerty rather than embrace death as Tony Soprano. Meadow called him back, but AJ was his mission, his reason for returning. As a "solar heating salesman", he must rectify his failure to provide "solar heat". He must rectify his failure to love and guide his son as a son should be loved and guided. And to do that, he must slay his own father as a male role model.

The flaring "son" at the end of the peyote trip signifies, I believe, that he finally understands this mission. I think he also understood at that moment that slaying Chris, as a symbolic act of slaying his father, was part of the confounding duality, the "everything is one and connected" philosohy that emerged after his coma. In slaying one son, and having to accept the painful emotional crash that will ensue, he was taking a perverse step toward saving the other. An act of sacrifice in which both evil and good walk hand in hand.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#175
Lawguy wrote:Reconcile this statement with Tony being the sole reason that A.J. is now started down on the road of burning the toes off debtors, among other things, AJ having been forced to party with guys Tony knew to be amateur wiseguys.


To borrow billymacs brilliant observation about Heidi, Tony is "on his learner's permit after dark". Trying to be a better, more responsible father for his son is new territory that's requiring him to shed a whole lifetime of beliefs and conditioning. There will be many missteps, of which hooking AJ up was undoubtedly one.

But you cannot short shrift Tony's intentions with that act. He blew right past the fact that these guys were taking bets at school and focussed only on the stuff that he thought would be most helpful to AJ, which is that these guys were seemingly happy, well-adjusted COLLEGE guys learning about computers and ostensibly laying the foundations for successful futures in mainstream society.

Was he negligent in looking only at what appeared to be the plusses of the situation? Absolutely. Did he do it to actually push AJ towards mob life? Absolutely not. As he told Melif in a session that put his veracity above question, he is scared to death of AJ killing himself, perhaps because he knows all too well what it feels like to want to do that. Aside from his suicidal thoughts in season 1, don't forget that this man lit himself on fire in Funhouse after recognizing that he was diseased.

Underneath all the symbolism is the reality that Tony despises himself and is a threat to end his own life. As he told Melfi, he would give anything in the world to spare AJ that kind of pain. So I personally can reconcile the two Jasons strategy with post-coma Tony very easily.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#176
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:To borrow billymacs brilliant observation about Heidi, Tony is "on his learner's permit after dark". Trying to be a better, more responsible father for his son is new territory that's requiring him to shed a whole lifetime of beliefs and conditioning. There will be many missteps, of which hooking AJ up was undoubtedly one.

But you cannot short shrift Tony's intentions with that act. He blew right past the fact that these guys were taking bets at school and focussed only on the stuff that he thought would be most helpful to AJ, which is that these guys were seemingly happy, well-adjusted COLLEGE guys learning about computers and ostensibly laying the foundations for successful futures in mainstream society.

Was he negligent in looking only at what appeared to be the plusses of the situation? Absolutely. Did he do it to actually push AJ towards mob life? Absolutely not. As he told Melif in a session that put his veracity above question, he is scared to death of AJ killing himself, perhaps because he knows all too well what it feels like to want to do that. Aside from his suicidal thoughts in season 1, don't forget that this man lit himself on fire in Funhouse after recognizing that he was diseased.

Underneath all the symbolism is the reality that Tony despises himself and is a threat to end his own life. As he told Melfi, he would give anything in the world to spare AJ that kind of pain. So I personally can reconcile the two Jasons strategy with post-coma Tony very easily.


I think that principally, the show has always been about Tony and his quest for personal happiness. His quest for happiness is the reason he sought out therapy. While AJ is his child and he obviously wants the best for him, I don't think the culmination of the series is that Tony realises that he he has to save his son. It has always been about saving Tony.

To that end, Tony's internal struggles culminated in may ways in his
coma experiences in which he saw two paths laid out before him: the beacon (to live a good life) and the forest fires (to live a bad life). Tony came out of the coma seeming intent to life that good life that was laid before him but he has sadly been unable to put that plan into action because he has been unable to overcome two conflicting impulses in his own personality: the first is to be the victim of bad parenting, the second is to emulate those bad parents. Tony discarded the victim part of his personality by killing another victim, Chris ("He's dead"). He has yet to confront and discard that part of him that is like his parents.

However, most importantly, I think that Tony has seen that the two paths, the beacon and the forest fires, are really only one: the flickering fire of the sun. I beleive that Tony has discarded conventional morality.

Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#177
Lawguy wrote:To that end, Tony's internal struggles culminated in may ways in his
coma experiences in which he saw two paths laid out before him: the beacon (to live a good life) and the forest fires (to live a bad life).


I don't think the beacon represented "good life". It represented death, principally, and derivatively a reckoning of his two selves, a reckoning of what identity and legacy he wanted to leave on earth. Did he want to leave the legacy of Tony Soprano to his family, and especially to his son, or did he want to leave something else? Did he, as the monks urged, want to be the man who took personal responsibility for ending the cycle of bad fathers raising bad sons, or did he want to perpetuate the cycle by leaving a son who would murder his great uncle or kill himself?

He looks out at the beacon longingly when he hangs the phone up before completing his call home but after learning of his Alzheimer's (identity crisis) and realizing that to continue living would subject him to much hardship. The song provides insight into his thoughts: "I don't want to swim the ocean, I don't want to fight the tide . . . when it's cold I'd like to die." He wanted to die but was pulled back by love for his family and the desire to leave them something better than he'd left them thus far.

The forest fires represented his proximity to Hell, and certainly if there is any personal hell for Tony, it would be living eternity with the mother whose "welcome" to him at the house was a quick turn away. The look of pain and recognition on his face spoke volumes that he was about to enter hell there unless he embraced the life of Kevin Finnerty, symolized by the briefcase.

All of this is obviously only my own, very subjective interpretation.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#179
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:I don't think the beacon represented "good life". It represented death, principally, and derivatively a reckoning of his two selves, a reckoning of what identity and legacy he wanted to leave on earth. Did he want to leave the legacy of Tony Soprano to his family, and especially to his son, or did he want to leave something else? Did he, as the monks urged, want to be the man who took personal responsibility for ending the cycle of bad fathers raising bad sons, or did he want to perpetuate the cycle by leaving a son who would murder his great uncle or kill himself?

He looks out at the beacon longingly when he hangs the phone up before completing his call home but after learning of his Alzheimer's (identity crisis) and realizing that to continue living would subject him to much hardship. The song provides insight into his thoughts: "I don't want to swim the ocean, I don't want to fight the tide . . . when it's cold I'd like to die." He wanted to die but was pulled back by love for his family and the desire to leave them something better than he'd left them thus far.

The forest fires represented his proximity to Hell, and certainly if there is any personal hell for Tony, it would be living eternity with the mother whose "welcome" to him at the house was a quick turn away. The look of pain and recognition on his face spoke volumes that he was about to enter hell there unless he embraced the life of Kevin Finnerty, symolized by the briefcase.

All of this is obviously only my own, very subjective interpretation.


I promise not to respond to every post like a slobbering sycophant, but Fly, you knock me out. I feel like I'm auditing a graduate literature or theater course when I sign on here. Thanks.....

Re: Vegas and Peyote/Tony's Motives for Killing Chris/What D

#180
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:I don't think the beacon represented "good life". It represented death, principally, and derivatively a reckoning of his two selves, a reckoning of what identity and legacy he wanted to leave on earth. Did he want to leave the legacy of Tony Soprano to his family, and especially to his son, or did he want to leave something else? Did he, as the monks urged, want to be the man who took personal responsibility for ending the cycle of bad fathers raising bad sons, or did he want to perpetuate the cycle by leaving a son who would murder his great uncle or kill himself?

He looks out at the beacon longingly when he hangs the phone up before completing his call home but after learning of his Alzheimer's (identity crisis) and realizing that to continue living would subject him to much hardship. The song provides insight into his thoughts: "I don't want to swim the ocean, I don't want to fight the tide . . . when it's cold I'd like to die." He wanted to die but was pulled back by love for his family and the desire to leave them something better than he'd left them thus far.

The forest fires represented his proximity to Hell, and certainly if there is any personal hell for Tony, it would be living eternity with the mother whose "welcome" to him at the house was a quick turn away. The look of pain and recognition on his face spoke volumes that he was about to enter hell there unless he embraced the life of Kevin Finnerty, symolized by the briefcase.

All of this is obviously only my own, very subjective interpretation.


To me, the beacon and fire have to represent, if not good and evil, at least two things that stand in contradiction to each other. They certainly were presented to leave the impression that they represented two conflicting paths. If the beacon is death and the fires are mealy mob life, I can see no such connection.

The flickering sun had elements of both the beacon (flicker) and the fires (the sun is a ball of fire). It appears to be a melding of the two paths into one.

I am not sure that the other matter that you spoke of had a direct connection to either.

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