Re: The Radical Change in Dr. Melfi via Last Episodes Sessio

As anyone (like me) who has ever been to therapy knows, those tissues are for when you start talking about your parents and the waterworks start <img src= ALT=":)"> Boo hoo!

I never liked Melfi. Her intellectual pandering makes me sick. She knows damn well that Tony has never even heard of Proust. Why bring it up? To show her superiority, that's why.

At least she's better than Elliot. Boy, does he irk me.

Maybe I need therapy because I don't like any of the TV therapists!


Re: The Radical Change in Dr. Melfi via Last Episodes Sessio

ah i see about those tissues.
and yes, she often seems very arrogant, maybe she is not from the business and is wondering how tony can be so simple and how she could easily rule the mafia hehe.
you often have that when you have mighty people that others look at them and analyze their farts and say how simple these people are.
edit: i take it, you could analyze this behaviour as real help in this case as well.
she is a somehow a complice and probably enjoys the power game quite a bit...if there wasnt carmella these two might have hooked up long ago.somehow everybody is helping him.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... rurusch</A> at: 4/11/06 5:23 pm

Re: The Radical Change in Dr. Melfi via Last Episodes Sessio

An ethical decision-making process is textured and more of a grey as opposed to black or white area. Further complicating ethical quandary is the fact that an appropriate resolutional decision often but not always parallels legalities. Ethics are aspirational standards; regs are codified and concrete. At no time have I experienced the character of Melfi as glib, cavlier or insouciant in terms of her therapy with Tony. Rather, I observe this character as preoccupied and highly ambivalent. She has demnostrated engagement in the guidelines of ethical practice, which across mental health disciplines advises the clinician to seek supervision as well as consultation. Melfi's continued treatment of Tony has always appeared to me to be born of a deliberate and often painstaking decision-making process. During her own post-rape depressive episode the weight (no innuendo or double entendre intended here) of her therapeutic alliance was especially palpable. She understands his diagnosis, has affected gains in treatment outcome, works skillfully within her frame, yet has the elasticity to treat with artful ecleticism. I have no concerns regarding her being called before an ethical review board...especially as a clinician of psychiatric medicine, whose infractions are adjudicated with the most leniency of all shrinks.

Seemingly light-hearted? Yes. Naive? No, not in my opinion. Tony has been in treatment with Melfi now for 5 or 6 years, correct? She remains very mindful of his diagnostic issues, more specifically of his personality pathology. He warped a directive. The aftermath of this corruption places the responsibility on him, not on her. I think that what may be experienced as an ease by viewers (not to be mistaken for boudarilessness) between these two is just what happens after years of therapy.

Melfi's hawtness/sexual tension: Therapists experience but do not ideally act upon the whole gamut of emotions and reactions to their patients: love, hate, lust, revulsion, boredom. fascination, frustaration etc. These coutertransferential experiences are rich tools, as they are templates for how others react and probably affected by the analysand. Their sexual tension really enlivens the entertainment value for us, anyway, right? At the same time the transference and CT themes of this tension are highly valuable clinical tools. The most valuable, IMO.


Re: The Radical Change in Dr. Melfi via Last Episodes Sessio

well, you gotta have standards when it comes down to murder.
edit: even carmella describes how she knew that somebody probably had his arm broken for the first present tony brought her.
edit 2: which is the kind of stuff we like never get to see in this show it seems.always are the others the bad, or the bad things are described in a funny or way too drastical way when paulie or chris for example commit the crimes.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... rurusch</A> at: 4/11/06 11:41 pm

Re: The Radical Change in Dr. Melfi via Last Episodes Sessio

So everyone's pissed eh?? That reaction never occured to me...

I think she's playing him... Her demeanour in most of the scenes suggests she is very confident and in control, more so then just her regular 'comfortable' demeanour. I think she knows Tony by now and knows that he has to mull things over, but when he does she'll finally have her chance to set him straight, psychologically. And I think that's what she's been so happy about. She likes Tony, and sees this as a chance to make him better. More specifically, I think she realized even before he came to her that he would be changed drastically by being shot by his uncle, b/c she knows him so well (We all know how this must have shaken him given how hard he clings to family). That's why she tries to push him a couple times to talk about the things we all know they should be talking about. Anyone notice where she's giving him the 'act as if' adivce that she says ".. as if you're the same old Anthony. Strong, <span style="text-decoration:underline">I'm sure</span> decisive" Notice her voice on "I'm sure"
Why would she say that if she didn't doubt that the experience had changed him. Of course, this on top of the obvious fact that the advice is 'act as if'. She's clearly saying <span style="text-decoration:underline">act</span> - b/c she knows its not true anymore in the sense it was before.

I think she's just pushing him in different ways to start talking. Also, to a not so diminutive extent, I think part of her joy is also professional joy. As Tony says 'Gloom is your business and business is good.' Now mabye it's not the fact that she's happy about the gloom, but the fact that Dr.Melfi can now explore something new in her field. A dramatic change, etc., etc..


Melfi's Wardrobe

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>she is looking very 'horny' in the first session with the red blouse and the ponytail<hr></blockquote>

LMAO, Hrurusch! I've always taken more note of Melfi's wardrobe than any other character's, partly because she's the character I most identify with on the show and because her wardrobe has occasionally reminded me of how I used to dress for the four months I dared to actually practice law. Clothing is also one of the many subtle tools Chase uses (he sometimes reputedly even specifies the color of a character's SOCKS) to communicate things about the characters and storylines, so it pays to notice that stuff.

The instant I saw Melfi's wardrobe in the first therapy scene, I thought, "She's dressing for Tony today." Her attire usually comes in two flavors, business skirt suits and business pant suits, matching jacket and bottom in both cases. Very occasionally she mixes in a dress, though I can't even recall the last time. The colors are typically business conservative (black, navy, grey, brown, white, beige). Fabrics are also business conservative.

So what does she wear in her first meeting with Tony since he nearly died 2 months before? A long, highly-tailored and fashionable (not business) black skirt, extremely pointed pumps, hair up to accentuate the neck and shoulders, and a silky, slinky, shiny dark red/rust-colored blouse (sans any suit jacket), unbuttoned at the top enough to land somewhere near but shy of suggestive. I bet she even went out and bought the whole outfit once she heard he was ready to come back to therapy.:-)

She appeared secretly pleased that all that subtle seduction paid off, her face clearly a battleground between a broad smile and a feigned expression of disapproval at Tony's first and hilarious remark, "Is there any chance of a mercy fuck?"


Re: The Radical Change in Dr. Melfi via Last Episodes Sessio

Corrado Junior Soprano, very good observations. If I can modify what you stated a bit, it makes sense that perhaps her lapse in judgment is due to her excitement at the prospect that he may finally be on the verge of real character change (quite understandable since she's been daring to hope for it for 7 years). As you cogently illustrate, she does seem utterly convinced (even at this early juncture) that this experience has to alter Tony in some pretty fundamental ways.

The bottom line is I've never seen her so naively, insouciantly willing to advise Tony on matters that clearly deal with his "business" relationships. They've certainly veered near the business stuff before, as when the lines are naturally blurred between business and personal (e.g., advising on how to deal with "elder family" that resulted in Tony letting Junior have the boss title); commenting on the kinds of psychological stresses that could manifest in physical pain (Big Pussy); some fairly harmless banter about promoting Ralphie in season 3; the first circumspect (Unidentified Black Males) and later negligent and frustrated counsel (All Due Respect) regarding Tony B. But this is the first time to my knowledge that she seemed totally unguarded and even gleeful about advising Tony on essentially business matters. The "glad to be of service", stated with a huge smile, just made me go, "Huh"? What drugs did she take before this session?

But if I can go back to the sexual subtext in their relationship, all this flirtation, all this "foreplay", all the metaphorical fondling in episodes like Down Neck, Isabella, Fortunate Son, Amour Fou, Army of One, Calling All Cars, Irregular Around the Margins, All Due Respect, and most especially Unidentified Black Males begs to lead to some major metahporical sex and (pardon the expression) a huge metahporical orgasm in the form of a major release of "truth" from Tony in therapy. If you buy that the very name "Soprano" conveys that this character will at some point "sing", and if you believe that doesn't mean "flipping" because Tony isn't the flipping kind, then confession in therapy seems the most logical choice.

You can even argue that this result was ordained by Tony choosing to live (as Finnerty) rather than die (as Tony), and that the ER doctor's oft-repeated directive -- "Talk to your docs back home" -- is foreshadowing that Tony will at some point be true to his last name in therapy. He will talk to his doctor and she will help him with his "Alzheimers" (a major advanced symptom of which is the inability to recognize people and one's self -- read, identity crisis). I wonder if Tony will say something to Melfi by which she can infer he beat the crap out of someone after she advised him to "act as if" and whether this will be a catalyst for a much more serious and truthful chapter in the therapy.

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