Quid Pro Quo

Great analyses, Fly. I'd only quibble that Tony's gifts weren't always purely material. When Tony bought the Saks dress right after the Ginny Sack (!) debacle, he was telling Carmela that she was still beautiful and thanking her for not making him a laughingstock. That was the real gift. (Actually the dress and the fur call to mind Annie Hall's joke when the Woody Allen character bought her lingerie: "This is more like a present for YOU!") When he tried to surprise her with a vacation in "Eloise," he was offering her his undivided time and attention -- not so long before that would have been the greatest gift of all, but now Carmela could only see that he was getting amorous in front of Furio. (BTW, notice how the whole vacation issue went full circle between Furio's first episode and his last? In "Commendatori" Carmela wanted to go to Italy with Tony, and complained that they hadn't been anywhere in ages. Timing is everything.)

And in "From Where to Eternity" Tony offered a gift that wasn't material at all. After whacking Matt Bevilaqua he was desperate for some loving so he told Carmela that he'd have a vasectomy after all. You can read his mind from that witless joke he told Big P. in the restaurant -- it was about two men's fears that their wives wouldn't like their presents.


my $.02

carm is as big of a user as tony is. carm is as two faced as they come. i recently went through the whole series through season 4 and you can see it. she loves what tony's life has brought to her, but she puts on a "holier than thou" attitude to make herself feel better.

in season one she was one ready to jump the priest's bones, but as soon as nothing happened she snapped on him. she is always dining at artie bucco's place and getting things "compliments of the house". she used her "influence" to try and get meadow into georgetown. she constantly talks down on tony for the life he leads but wont leave the house that his dirty money built. she wants to be separated but takes tony's money as an allowance. if you look back on season one and you'll notice that she seems to like being a mob wife.

in season three, i think, she visited a shrink that told her the only way to get right was to leave tony. then a priest told her not to because she took a vow, and that's been her excuse. now she broke a vow herself by sleeping with the counselor. she's already separated and broke the vow so what's holdin her back? if she was as deeply religious and committed to her vows she would not have slept with mr. man. she cant bring herself to leave the life that she loves to throw back in tony's face.


Re: Quid Pro Quo

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I'd only quibble that Tony's gifts weren't always purely material<hr></blockquote>

And I'll only quibble a little back by noting that I said "almost always".:-)

But you make excellent points re the trip he organized in Eloise and the vasectomy. I'd add that even in "normal" relationships, expenditure of a lot of money on the other person, especially relative to means, is one of the most common measures of affection. So it's not like Tony is inventing the wheel here.

As much as Tony earned what Carmela gave him in Whitecaps (and worse), I felt sorry for him in the pool scene because I've no doubt in my mind that his pursuit of that beach house as a surprise gift for Carmela was largely motivated by a desire to please her and make her happy. He knew after she cut her hair, from her physical illness, from her fights with Meadow, and from the highly volatile emotional states she was going through at the time that something was wrong with her, even if he was clueless as to what it really was. He wanted to do something nice for her to put a "smile on her face again", as he put it. But it was the classic too little, too late since she was beginning to redefine what she considered expressions of "love".

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub132.ezboard.com/bsopranolandf ... fisWall</A> at: 4/13/04 11:31 pm


"And her innocent "Asking someone you're with for help is what people do" showed her values were far less out of whack, IMO, than Wegler's. Granted their relationship may have been a bit young to start calling in favors, but perhaps not for a love-starved woman being swept up in only her second romance in 40 plus years."

This is total and utter crap. Carmella isn't a naive woman. She knows what time it is. Every woman, no matter what her station in life, knows that you do not ask a man for 'favors' when you are about to get naked, naked, engaging in foreplay or in flagrante delicato. Nor do you ask immediately afterward. If there is anyway a sexual position is involved you do not ask the man for any exchange of goods, money or actions unless you are a whore. Ho's ask for help from the men they are sleeping with. That is what makes them ho's.

A woman who is interested in a man for romantic reasons will probably go out of her way to avoid any language or behavior that would suggest that she is in any way using here 'pussy' to influence him.

It was way too early in the game for Carmella to be asking for anything but a glass of water or where the bathroom was. Sure she had been out of the game for a while and sure this was her second lover since Tony, but like riding a bke, you don't forget how.

"I have to agree with Carmela. How is love demonstrated if not by DOING THINGS for the people you love?"

Carmella wasn't in love with this man. There was no love relationship established between these two people. They were dating and certainly lovers but in love? Not hardly.

"I don't think she would have been offended one iota if he'd asked her for some favor..."

I'll bet if he had asked her to get him a Rolex,

"...so she didn't conceive in advance that he would be offended by her suggestion that he talk to Union College."

Look, Carmella knows her son is dumb as a post. She may want to believe he has a lot against him like being ADD, hanging out with the wrong crowd, being lazy, having Tony for a father whatever. Carmella knows that AJ isn't college material and she damn well knows he isn't Union College material. Her asking/suggesting that Bob talk to AJ about going to Union College was way over the top and signalled to him and to me that she was using what she had to get what she could. It would be like asking him to get her into the Daughters of the American Revolution. It was an inappropriate request.

"The success and health of any relationship is ultimately based on the concept of quid pro quo. That Carmela understood this makes her, to me, far more socially insightful than Wegler and certainly more candid."

I don't know about your relationships, but I don't go into a love relationship looking for what the other person can do for me. I certainly don't think that is the basis of a healthy relationship. Certainly there are those that do. They are called hos.


carm etc

Cowbell, I think no one really goes into a love relationship entirely selflessly. We're always looking out for ourselves...not necessarily for financial support, but for support--emotional, moral, whatever. The "ho's" (or whoo-ahs, as Ralph called them) aren't in love relationships, they're in business relationships.

Carmela knows well the pitfalls of compromising values/principles in the name of love. She addressed it most recently in All Happy Families when she told Tony she failed as a mother because she gave into AJ's request for a city sleepover when she knew he wasn't ready--all because she wanted some of that love that he withheld from her and gave Tony all the time b/c Carm is always "bad cop".

But WOW, the stuff that's coming out on this thread all because Carmela addressed sexual urges and maternal urges in the same episode. That "Madonna/Whore Complex" concept is really true, eh?



Your posts are excellent, eloquent and thought-provoking.

A couple of things:

--I agree that Carmela did, in fact, like Wegler. It wasn't strictly a let's-see-what-I-can-get-from-this sort of thing. But in her life, love/sex/romance are so intertwined with favors and gifts that I think it's hard for her to separate the two.
The manipulation, as I saw it, came when she withheld sex (because, apparently, he wasn't all that interested in talking about AJ), then pounced on him after he talked to the teacher and the grade was changed (although it wasn't clear to me that Carmela knew this; we just assume it).
Wegler calls her on it, which is laughable and telling -- he waited until AFTER the sex to do so. He's a snake. Case closed.
The tragedy here, in dramatic terms, is that Carmela seems unable to grasp how using people ("favors") is so much a part of her life, and how it's keeping her from getting what she wants (pure love, no strings attached). She's in denial.

--Tony is absolutely a liar, but he shows no desire to change. It's as common to him as breathing. I don't think he lays awake at night thinking about his lies and contradictions.
Carm, on the other hand, does lay awake at night, because she is not the person she wants to be. That's why she goes to the priest and why she kicked Tony out and why she gets so angry at him (she's really angry at herself). But she still seems to think that her life will change when everyone else changes, especially Tony.
The tragedy here, in dramatic terms, is exactly the opposite of the situation with Wegler. She does, in fact, grasp her inability to become the person she thinks she should be, but she feels powerless or paralyzed to do anything about it, other than punish Tony. She's not in denial, but she still can't, or won't, act.

Which makes her, in my view, a much more interesting, complex and compelling character, much more so than Tony. This isn't the prediction forum, but I say her eventual crack-up is going to be much more interesting than Tony's, and may require more than Melfi's help. She's a volcano waiting to erupt. We only saw a hint of it during last season's finale.


Re: re

I think that Carmella is used to the relationship she and Tony have and she projected that on to Mr. Wegler. She does her "wifely" duties and she hints through her comments at what she wants in return. In response Tony gives her what she wants. She is so used to this relationship, sinceTony's the only man Carm's been with in >20 years, she is doing this with Dr. Wegler. Also I noticed when I first watched this episode that Carm was giving a lot of suggestions on how Mr. Wegler can satisfy her needs and I felt it was inappopriate. His pussy comments were too harsh.


carms blow up

I have to agree with others- She is the real threat to the family- I think Tony will allways be able to keep things somwhat undercontrol. But I believe Carm will continue to have a harder and harder time with they way things are. I suspect that she could be the one who realy goes over the edge.....


Carmela's needs

Carms needs are getting someone to get AJ on the right track and into college. Carm suggested to Mr.Wegler that he talk to AJ and that he should tell AJ that he was a slacker before college too. When they were lying in bed all she could talk about is how AJ tries so hard and needs help from someone (hint, hint)


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