How would you grade this episode on a 1-10 scale (10 being the best possible quality)

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Re: Episode 4.01: For All Debts Public and Private - Grades

This is such an obvious question that I'm sure it has been discussed, or at least mentioned before. If so, apologies. The central plot-line of this episode is of course Tony " giving" Chris the cop who murdered his father. The ulterior motive on Tony's part is to link Chris to him, in some sort of unholy alliance and make it more difficult for Chris if he ever thought of flipping. They both would have this killing on their hands. But was it really the guy who killed Chris's father ?

We have no way of knowing this. But as Chris says " it doesn't matter anyway, he wants you dead". But I have to say, IMO, the denial on the cop's part always strikes me as absolutely genuine. Like Ralphie's denial of the fire at the stables. The way he says " you're being set up", rings very true to me. Why would Tony lie though, you might ask ? If he wanted him dead he could just give Chris the contract and it would be done anyway. But this way, there is the sense of Tony helping Chris resolve something that has eaten away at him all his life. More personal. Something that only the two of them know about. This confirms Chris as a confidante and someone he can trust. Tony will give orders eventually through him alone. But it doesn't mean there is a word of truth in it.

Re: Episode 4.01: For All Debts Public and Private - Grades

Tony skirts around this very point in a session with Melfi I think. He is referring to how he will be bringing Chris closer to him and " has taken steps " to that end.Something like that anyway. Of course he could mean he gave Chris his dad's ACTUAL killer as well and not just spun him a yarn about who this retired cop was. We'll never know, but you're right, Tony is certainly clever enough and devious enough to come up with the whole scenario to suit his own ends-i.e. to " tie" him to Chris.

While I'm on this I'm reminded of a similar thing, at least to my thinking. Remember the hit in "Soprano home movies"? The guy Tony gets Bobby to kill out of pure spite because Bobby whups his ass in the drunken brawl ? The guys who ask them to do the hit spin them some line about one of their daughters wanting a divorce from this guy but he won't agree to it ? And how he's a drummer in a rock band taking their kid on tour with him ? This always sounded baloney to me. More likely he was just a guy they owed money to and rather than pay him they see an opportunity to have him whacked. Again we don't know for sure but that's what I suspect anyway.

As an aside to this, I believe this was the beginning of the end for Tony. An earlier Tony would never have directly involved himself with something like this. And then a hit tied in as well ? No way. He then falls out with Hesh over gambling debts. Murders Chris. Devours his soul by " taking care of Chris's business" in the desert. I personally believe this was an effort by Chase to ensure we DON'T care about Tony at the end. I know he said in an interview that he believed Tony to be bad from day one and DIDN'T become worse as the show progressed but I think most people agree he DID become worse. Utterly degenerate, morally null and void and without any redeeming qualities whatsoever by the show's end.
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