The Plaza is Heaven and the Bada Bing is Hell...

Its become clear that the Plaza Hotel is Heaven, and the Bada Bing is Hell. Tony is in Heaven and is talking on the phone, to Paulie, who is down in Hell, aka the Bing. And who manages the Bing? Silvio Dante, as in Dante's inforno, Dante's hell. So I think Episode 11 was incredibly important. I think it foreshadows the final episode of the show. Which I see contrasting, once again, the Plaza and the Bada Bing.

Here's what I see happening. Tony won't kill Tony B. So Johnny Sack puts a hit out on him. Carmela dies accidentally. Meadow kills herself. Tony takes A.J. and goes into hiding. At the beginning of next season, Tony comes out of hiding. But the situation has only gotten worse. So, with Melfi's encouragement, he flips in exchange for witness protection. The feds make the deal because while they have Tony, they don't have him on murder. Tony gets his freedom in exchange for testifying. Tony testifies against Johnny Sack, Little Carmine and others. They all go to jail. Tony and A.J. go off to Arizona to live in witness protection.

But then what happens? Johnny Sack's shark lawyers pull a fast one and get him out of jail. Johnny immediately puts huge bounty not only on Tony's head but on any and all family members of Tony Soprano's family. Sure, its against mafia rules, but Johnny Sack doesn't care anymore. He's gone ballistic. He wants to kill Tony Soprano and any and everyone Tony Soprano cares about. But by violating protocol, Johnny Sack spells his own doom. Paulie and Silvio protect their own hides by defecting to Johnny's family and swearing allegiance to him.

Members of Tony's family start getting whacked left and right. Janice. Bobby Bacala. Uncle Junior. Vito. Artie and Charmaine. They even find Christopher and Adriana, living in witness protection themselves, and kill them. Word gets back to Tony, who's in Arizona getting a tan and assistant coaching high school football, a job the feds got him. Christopher's been whacked. Tony is enraged, and Tony also remembers the guy he killed in season one. That guy was in witness protection. He got it anyway. He realizes that witness protection won't work. They'll find him eventually, and when they do, they'll kill him and they'll kill A.J. Tony tells the feds he has to leave witness protection. They object but he insists. He tells the feds he and A.J. are going to disappear. But Tony isn't going to disappear. He's going back east. Back to the Bing. Back to confront Johnny Sack once and for all. Back to avenge the deaths of Christopher and his other family members.

Tony arrives back in New York and he and A.J. go back to the Plaza, to the same suite we see in episode 11. While A.J. is asleep in the suite, Tony makes the phone call. "Tell Johnny Sack I'm back. Tell him I'll be at the Bing tomorrow. High Noon. " A.J. wakes up the next morning and Tony is gone. A.J. finds a note from Tony. A.J. looks out the window at the trees in the park and the birds. As we see Tony driving in his SUV to the Bada Bing, back to Hell, we see A.J. in the Plaza, Heaven, reading the note. We hear Tony's voice:

"Dear A.J., by the time you read this I'll be gone. Don't come looking for me, because where I'm going is a place you don't want to see. I'll be with your grandpa Johnny Boy, and your Uncle Junior, and Uncle Pussy. See A.J., I never had a choice in my life. Johnny Boy never gave me one. But you have a choice. That is my gift to you. And its what I owe your mother. Make the right choice son. Attached to this letter is instructions for how to find the money. Its enough money to last you a lifetime. You are the last of the Sopranos A.J., I want you to live a good clean life and make your mother proud. I love you more than my life A.J., always know that. Love Your father"

Tony arrives at the Bada Bing in High Noon fashion. Maybe they even play "Don't forsake me oh my darling" as the score. Tony walks into the Bing. Cars show up behind him. Johnny Sack and his guys. Inside the Bing, Tony confronts Paulie, Silvio and Johnny Sack in the big showdown, and there is a bloody shootout. Tony ends up killing them all, but he gets shot, and the Bing gets set on fire in the melee. Tony, bloody and dying, staggers back into his office after killing Johnny. He sits at his desk. He hears sirens outside. He puts the gun on his desk, and takes out a picture he has in his drawer. It is a picture of him and Johnny Boy, his old man. Tony looks at the picture, then lights a cigar with his bloody hands. And he smiles as the flames engulf him.

We see A.J. back at the Plaza suite reading the letter and staring out the window. He sees some birds flying away in the air. There are four of them. A whole family. The birds are free. They are happy. We hear Tony's voiceover from the letter again:

"See A.J. I never had a choice in my life. Johnny Boy never gave me one. My life was laid out for me the day I was born. But you have a choice. That is my gift to you. And its what I owe your mother. Make the right choice son." We see A.J. looking at the attached papers that tell him where the money is. And we see A.J. take some matches and set those papers on fire. He holds the papers in his hand as they burn. He watches the flames in his hand. Just as the ceremony where Christopher was being made. Except A.J. is being "unmade" He is making his choice.

The final shot shifts from the flames in A.J.'s hands, to a shot of the flames engulfing the Bada Bing. And we see the camera pan upward from the burning Bada Bing into the sky. And we see the same birds that A.J. saw flying in the air over the Plaza. The four birds. The family. They are still flying away. They are still free.


</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... ion1963</A> at: 5/20/04 9:45 pm
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