Re: Was the sitdown a smokescreen?

#11
I sort of see a little of the Judas theme if you will, in this meeting. Like kissing someone on the cheek while your planning to kill them in a few days. Makes people let their guard down. I almost think Tony knows he is going to die based on the scenes after the meeting. He seems at peace with it. Like he surrenders to it. But I think that this part of the episode is key to figuring out the ending. It definitely points to a connection between NY and a "whack Tony" scenario.

Re: Was the sitdown a smokescreen?

#13
Yes, to the benefit of Butchie, and others in Phil's branch of the NY Mob as well as Carmine Jr. I also agree that they wanted to smoke out Tony from hiding, to put the pressure on him to give or die and Tony wanted to flush out Phil as well.
Phil had started the war vs. Tony and his Northern NJ branch mainly as blood revenge for Tony's murder of his brother and others close to him. Both Tony and Phil knew that in a mob war as was happening, business suffers, income declines, you get too much attention from the Feds and others in law enforcement and too many innocents may die or get hurt. One has to wonder to if Butchie and others in Phil's branch didn't like Phil's takeover of the branch, how he wanted to do business or even felt he was even compentent enough to be a boss. He is also old (late 60's?) so how much longer would he be in power and hold up others in Phils' branch from moving up?

Re: Was the sitdown a smokescreen?

#14
TheBing wrote:Yes, to the benefit of Butchie, and others in Phil's branch of the NY Mob as well as Carmine Jr. I also agree that they wanted to smoke out Tony from hiding, to put the pressure on him to give or die and Tony wanted to flush out Phil as well.
Phil had started the war vs. Tony and his Northern NJ branch mainly as blood revenge for Tony's murder of his brother and others close to him. Both Tony and Phil knew that in a mob war as was happening, business suffers, income declines, you get too much attention from the Feds and others in law enforcement and too many innocents may die or get hurt. One has to wonder to if Butchie and others in Phil's branch didn't like Phil's takeover of the branch, how he wanted to do business or even felt he was even compentent enough to be a boss. He is also old (late 60's?) so how much longer would he be in power and hold up others in Phils' branch from moving up?
OK, those are the business reasons for the Liupertazzis to want Phil out of the picture (Butch also has a personal one in knowing Phil is pissed at him). Tony, besides wanting Phil for personal reasons, also has a business one--the envelopes in the safe house. "It's a little light", or "Guys are throwing in with NY". The war's hurting his business because the players are betting on Phil as the winner. What's the business reason for the Lupertazzis to want Tony dead after he takes Phil out? They certainly can't believe that with his crew cut to shreds, he's in any position to muscle in on their turf in Brooklyn.

Re: Was the sitdown a smokescreen?

#15
Just my two cents in regards to the "real life" mob war.

First off...the other four families are probably pissed about the war! They ask "Why did Phil hit New Jersey?"... the answer is .."for some shit that happened two years ago when John Sac was the boss." That foolish answer alone would piss off all the other families.

Now u got two captains dead and a boss still alive looking for payback..this is not good for any of the New York families business. I'm sure
Butchie and Al would have been hearing some whispers from the other bosses.

Thus Phil had to go because "he's changed" and he started this bloodshed. I doubt they would allow Tony to be killed after that sitdown. Cuz NJ would probably strike back. And then you are right back to the beginning.

Re: Was the sitdown a smokescreen?

#16
PFloyd69 wrote:If, and this is still obviously up for debate, Tony did get whacked at the end of the episode did that mean Paulie was right? Was the sitdown an effort by NY to lure Tony out of hiding and get him to let his guard down? I mean Butch knew that Phil was unhappy about not completing the job. Maybe they got that guy George to reach out to Tony and the phone call we heard was Tony calling him back.

Butch and Albie didn't contribute to Phil getting whacked in any way. So what if Tony found Phil, killed him, and then NY completed the job they had set out to do?


I think it’s a possibility actually. Under normal circumstances I could see it as a genuine truce to restore peace and continue business. But after going back and watching the episode again I can’t help but notice the blatant loss of respect and faith everyone around Tony has shown him in “Made in America.”

To recap quickly; from within T’s crew there’s Benny’s comment about “the gout” and not seeing Sil, there’s Carlo’s disappointment over not seeing Sil and the lament about the “power vacuum” and of course his eventual flip (the natural progression if he had doubt in Tony and the outfit) and then there’s Paulie turning down the promotion because of some superstition, but in reality he’s not confident in the position and thus the operation. You also have that awkward situation of Tony getting Patsy a drink and acting as a host, which reeked of submission at a time when absolute strength and subordination was imperative. And lastly the mention of the Cifireto crew running around like a “Chinese fire drill” is just one more stark example of the disorder, doubt and chaos that reflects poorly on Tony and his ability to run things.

…Which leads us to the most important factor, the perception from OUTSIDE the Soprano crew. Remember the collections were “light” again, a sign of doubt and disrespect. You have agent Harris who’s been this by the book, straight arrow Fed who always looked up to Tony in a way with respect, but now feels like he needs to help him to get him out of the trouble he’s in. A sign even he believed Tony was weak and in need of assistance in order to prevail. This is only reaffirmed when he gets the news Phil was “popped” and makes the “we’re gonna win this thing!” comment in a moment of genuine excitement and surprise (i.e. he was expecting things to happen differently).

But lastly, and most importantly in my opinion is what happens during the sit-down with New York, George and little Carmine. Through the entire meeting little Carmine is completely silent and when Tony comments on his absence from the conversation he looks at Tony and says, “it didn’t have to be this way.” That is HUGE. That is the perception of everyone in the mob world. Carmine didn’t say it to everybody; he didn’t say it rhetorically in a sigh looking up at the sky as if to say, “oh the helplessness of it all, but what can ya do?” No, he looked directly at Tony and said it to him as if to say, “you made this happen, you’re at fault.” Tony acknowledges the remark by rolling his head in a gesture that shouts “great, and another person who’s not seeing this my way.”

I think that’s more telling of Tony’s true situation than anything else. Remember in the mob world subtleties scream and perception IS reality. If the perception is you’re weak or a rat or a person with questionable integrity… then you are that person and people act on it (and you) accordingly. That’s why everyone is always so defensive and assertive, it’s why everyone is always testing everyone else to make sure the pecking order is where is should be. It’s because of this overt loss of faith that I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point after the sit-down the decision was made to get rid of Tony because he’s perceived as weak and unfit to run a family. His crews are diminished and in disarray, respect has been lost, his guys are turning rat and his judgment is questionable (see coco, war with phil etc).

It seems to me the damage has already been done and if NY maintains doing business with Tony then any of the doubt or disrespect or lack of faith that the community has for Tony immediately translates to NY for being associated. It seems pretty plausible that an outcome like that isn’t worth keeping Tony around and if he was killed in the dinner or at some point after I’m pretty sure that would be the reason for it.

Re: Was the sitdown a smokescreen?

#17
I have three theories about the sitdown.

1. (take it as face value) - Butch and Albie are really genuinely upset with Phil and want this war over. They want to reach out to NJ to make peace and they do. The war is over and they'll look the other way if Jersey decides to whack Phil. I also think that this theory (the one the show presents on the surface) would go along more with the "life goes on" theory at the end of the show. BC if NY is cool with Tony then who's going to kill him (unless his own crew takes him out)?

2. (the theory i presented before)- Butch, under extreme pressure from Phil, decides to reach out to Tony as a way to get him to put his guard down. Tony, thinking the issue has been resolved, goes back on the street and leaves himself open to getting hit. Also, you have to take into consideration that they way Phil got killed couldn't have sat right with NY. This is a 5 families boss and he gets shot in front of his family followed by his head getting run over. This would give Butchie and Albie even more fuel to go after T. Also, I'm still kind of puzzled that Butch would give in to Tony so easily. NY was already starting to take Tony's business. I could see why Jersey would want to settle but Butch (who is not portrayed as a nice or understanding guy) giving in seemed odd to me.

3. (NJ and NY underlings played BOTH bosses)- Hear me out. If Tony got whacked at the end of the episode in front of his family it would mirror the Phil hit. What if the way Tony got set up also mirrored Phil's situation? What if Butch and Albie reached out to Carlo, Paulie, or Patsy to betray Tony as Butch and Albie betrayed Phil? Tony's men are obviously not happy with him. Phil's men aren't happy with him. The war is essentially between Phil and Tony, but the other guys are the ones paying the price. What if there was an agreement to take out BOTH bosses and start doing business after the dust settles? We know that NY turned Burt. They could've easily turned a higher up guy as well.

Re: Was the sitdown a smokescreen?

#19
PFloyd that was profound on #3
That theory is very chase like if you think about it.
I think it is also noteworthy to see the charecter differences in the two bosses.
Tony at this point seems the "hey lets compromise and work things out!" feel good attitude. Phil had the "Fuck you I'm cutting your head off!" attitude.
In the the "second coming" episode we see a similar theme with AJ's references to the Israeli\Palestine War. Maybe there is a theme to be explored here. The mafia families being the metaphorical microcosm of the Worlds conflicts going on today.
The wars that kill innocents and family
When you said "mirror" too, i thought whoah thats very chase-like

Re: Was the sitdown a smokescreen?

#20
Granted we will never be sure of the answer. I have to go with taking the sit down at face falue. All players seemed pretty genuine to me. I do not agree with little Carmine saying "it did not have to be this way" in referance solely to Tony. Carmine has not agreed with Phil through out this entire war.

Also when Tony calls George, when the feds are listening, George said "your ears must be ringing because I just got off the phone with your pal, you know the son he isn't happy about the situation." (this is little Carmine no doubt about it). Then George said "the little one isn't happy either.

I think at the end of the day a war is hitting both families financially. I mean the joint construction deals alone have got to be at a stand still.

I also think if George, who I prosume to be another boss or at least a high ranking guy from another family, set the meeting up he would not like a double cross to come from it by either side. He would not mind for Phil to be taken out because that was OKed by Butchie at the end of the sit down.
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