Now certainly I agree that his sudden desire to take peyote, and with a former goomar of Chris' to boot, suggests that Christopher was a big part of the motivation, maybe all of it. But there is a difference between saying the killing affected him or had some impact on him and saying he experienced any remorse, self hatred, or grief over it. Perhaps he wanted to take peyote precisely to understand why he was so devoid of the emotions that he knew he should be feeling.
OK, I'm not a Freudian, but according to Freud, one way to deal with the loss of a loved one (through death or abandoment) is to incorporate that person into your own psyche, to become them in sense. That way you don't have to deal with the reality of their loss because they're not "really" gone. This form of extreme denial can be seen in Hitchcock's Psycho, for example. (If you've seen it you'll know what I mean.) So in one sense Tony's Vegas trip is like becoming Christopher, and I agree with those who say that Tony's so far in denial that he has yet to confront the loss. But the choice of peyote over heroin or some other more obvious drug does suggest the spiritual nature of the quest.
Back to Freud again, if you'll bear with me. Freud said that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. If you break up with someone, for example, or disown your parents, and there are no more emotional entanglements, then you genuinely do not care where they are, what they’re doing, or what they think. They really are nothing to you. Of course, it seldom works out that way. Tony is not indifferent towards Christopher and his death. I think that “Kennedy and Heidi” treated his death in an almost offhand manner, perhaps mirroring the way Tony wanted to treat it. But if he were actually indifferent, he wouldn’t be so irritated by everyone else’s displays of grief or by their unwillingness to see how “deserved” the death was or even share in his relief. And we have yet to see whether the fallout from AJ’s suicide attempt is going to lead Tony to any further reflection on his feelings toward Christopher.
And let me interject here, since the question was raised, that my personal feelings on this are in no way influenced by how Chris' death was handled in the larger sense. I essentially never liked Chris and, in fact, had grown to hate him. I was actually happy that he was gone with several episodes left so that he wouldn't usurp time from the resolution of Tony's character and personal family issues. So my criticisms of the portrayal of Tony post-murder have nothing to do with my feelings about Chris and everything to do with Tony's supposed feelings about Chris . . . and my feelings about Tony.
I'm not sure this in response to something I said, but it's interesting you feel this way. I loved Christopher as a character, and, as I said before, when he died I felt cheated that we'd never see him confront his own disloyalty to Tony (and that I wouldn't get to watch Michael Imperioli act in the last episodes, unless he comes back in a dream or something). But I agree that if we do get to the end of the series and we get nothing more out of Tony on this, I'm going to feel cheated, too. I just think it's premature to think this isn't going to come back. All in all, though, I'm far more morally outraged by Tony’s lack of concern over the asbestos dumping than his lack of remorse over getting rid of Chrissy.
As far as the relief Tony feels at having Christopher out of the picture, let me share in incident. The very morning of the Sunday that “Kennedy & Hiedi” aired, I let the dogs out the back door, then toddled to the front door, a la Tony, to get the paper. I arrived just in time to see my dog get run over by a car. The paper carrier had left the front gate open somehow. As I stood on the porch screaming her name over and over again in horror and watching her be dragged and tumbled down the street by the jerk-offs, who kept going, I had a sudden flash of relief—“Well, at least now I don’t have to worry about her any more.” I love this dog, but I made the mistake of getting a second dog, and together they are holy terrors and have caused no end of expense, grief, stress, failed attempts at training, terrifying visitors, etc. So, even though I love her so much, my life would be much less nerve-wracking without her. When she leapt up and ran back to me, covered in road rash and hot motor oil and burns, I was stunned and almost disappointed somehow. How could anyone survive what I had just seen? So, I wasn’t off the hook and down to one dog after all. (After a trip to the emergency vet the dog is totally fine, now BTW.)
All these thoughts and feelings happened in the space of a few seconds, followed by horror that I could even think anything so appalling. Watching Tony’s reactions that night only made me feel worse—I’m just like Tony Soprano, wishing I could get rid of this albatross around my neck, no matter how beloved. But isn’t that often the difference between Tony and a “normal” person—we might all feel like we’d like to break Coco’s jaw or bash Ralphie’s head in, but Tony actually does it.