The Therapy Scene With Vogal

I mentioned this elsewhere, but in watching it again saw it more clearly. When Tony and Carmela meet with AJ's therapist, Mr. Vogal, they discuss much. But just after Tony notices the tooth (surely from Coco) the scene gets very strange - almost dreamlike. There is an odd editing cut, and then we see and hear Carm wonder why they teach such poems in school (without any prior discussion of any such poem.) Then another cut to Vogal as he asks AJ to discuss what Livia had told him.

What, if anything, do we make of this? Is it meant to suggest a dream? However, there were no other suggestions of that. Does it mean Tony dazed off and caught back up with the conversation later? Did he block something out? Maybe just bad editing? I'm truly curious if anyone else caught this and what they thought of it.
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Re: The Therapy Scene With Vogal

I thought it intersting that we are seeing a "tony junior" AJ was putting alot of his blame on his mother, she made him wear that yellow rain coat, I can't remeber off hand what else he was blaming her for, but it really is Tony's fault. Perhaps it is the same for Tony who has always blamed his mother and puts his father on a pedistal.

Re: The Therapy Scene With Vogal

I noticed this too, DH. I don't think the intent was to make it seem like a dream, but I do like your theory that it indicates Tony blocking something out, or losing track of the conversation as he notices the tooth. I'd have to go back and watch again, but are the others still talking when his eye catches the tooth, or does it just fall away to silence? I think that may have to do with the answer as well, and if there's complete silence, this may indicate the scene playing from Tony's specific point of view.

It could just be a bad edit, but I refuse to believe it. I feel like it had to be intentional, but I doubt there's any clue in the scene that would ever indicate the truth to us.

Re: The Therapy Scene With Vogal

Well, count me for the simplistic answer on this one. Tony was clearly hyped up and in super macho mode, having just returned from making sure Coco will be sipping his chocolate through a straw for all time. He was in full blown, super macho mode and not at all of a frame to be sympathetic to his son's "pussy ass" whinings that his mother once called him an "animal" for smoking marajuana on his confirmation day and sent him to school once in a dorky rain coat. The point where Tony noticed the tooth was when AJ was talking about why he spent so much time alone in his room: he was never comfortable expressing his feelings in the house.

I don't think Tony was necessarily more averse to hearing that complaint than any of the others. I just think this was one of those totally black, totally Sopranos moments of hilarity when a guy has to hide a bloody tooth that flew into his pants cuff from his wife, son, and a shrink. It underscores how everything of real import remains hidden, unacknowledged, un-talked about, even unasked about.

With the edit afterward, they seemed to me to be simply abruptly shifting to a further point into the session where Livia's lasting legacy to AJ would be aired out. I never had any thoughts of any portion of it being a dream.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: The Therapy Scene With Vogal

I cannot find any positive feelings for Vogel. He does not seem to have any genuine concern or affection for AJ. And I don't think his apparent lack of concern is based on any professional considerations.

Anyway, Vogel makes me wonder why people like him who obtain MDs go into Psychiatry. I may be misreading him, but his body language and everything about him suggests that he just doesn't give a shit about people. So, what is it that motivates him?

If you had struggled for many years to get into med school and then graduate med school and then you were faced with the choice of what kind of specialty you would like to pursue, would you choose psychiatry because it paid well? Because it would give you a good deal of prestige? Or can you think of any other reason aside from caring about people with mental and/or emotional problems who you would like to help?

I think that AJ could get almost everything that he gets from Vogel by clicking on some web site that recommends a psychiatric medication based on a series of Qs and As - and that is really scary - to wonder how large is the segment of professional interactions between a psychiatric practitioner and patient that could be accomplished by nothing more than a computer and a web site? Any guesses? I fear that based on the current methods employed in the field, this segment could be horribly large and not necessarily at all effective.

If I was AJ, I would be pleading with my parents to find someone else - hopefully, someone more empathetic. But, there's the rub. Do you think AJ knows how to phrase his problem with Vogel to his parents? And do you think he's capable of asking for someone new without phrasing it in such a way to cause his parents to freak out? I must say, that I really don't think AJ has the requisite skills to manage this problem. If he is able, I will be very happy for him and hopeful that he will have a good chance to get on the road to recovery.

Re: The Therapy Scene With Vogal

I think the editing of this scene was this way to give us Tony's perspective on the meeting, not as a "fly on Vogel's wall" - (sorry). We were given Tonys perspective of AJ whining, Carmella b1tching and Vogel doing nothing while Tony was more concerned about hiding the tooth in his hem than listening to AJ's crying. He had stopped listening even before he saw the tooth. That just gave him something else to do while they blathered on.

It underscores what we knew before. Tony doesn't care that much about AJ's issues - until it is blatantly obvious that something is horribly wrong - like the suicide attempt.
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