Splishak, I discussed this briefly upthread:
<hr>Of course against these motives are all the contrary subconscious motives, like doing the right thing, not killing another person, let alone a family member. And the clash results in delay after delay after delay followed by a poorly thought out plan that was almost certain to end in his arrest (killing or no killing). In the culminating moment of truth, in contrast to the tactic-driven, physically competent moves he showed in the "fake" knife fight at Blockbuster
, he is so flustered and uncoordinated that he drops the knife before even being able to draw it from his jacket. The subconscious motives of the good little suburban kid that "had the concept of sharing before any other toddler" won out and kept him from betraying who he really is.<hr></blockquote>
To me it was there to show not that AJ lacked the physical deftness or coordination to kill Junior but that his fundamental aversion to actually doing it would act to sabotage his physical capacity in the moment of truth.
I must say that I'm shocked at the complete lack of compassion for AJ and the repeated dismissals of him as a stupid loser.
He's no Meadow, but I don't see him as stupid at all. He's probably a little above average in intelligence, just never studious. So he's never "raised his IQ", as my father used to joke, by learning.
And I see his "loser" status as not at all set in stone. He is still a kid at the cusp of adulthood, afraid of what adulthood, in his context, really means. To me it's no coincidence that he started to wretch when Tony told him he had to "grow up" and had the panic attack when the guy in the club, alluding to AJ's ability to command Mafia "muscle" for his friends, called him "the man". He is afraid of what it means to be a man in the culture in which he was raised and in which he is currently immersed
. . . where the father he revered as a boy is a violent crook; where "uncles" are sociopaths like Paulie, who openly fights to drive him home just to score points with the boss; where cousins are guys like Chris, who abuses the heck out of his girlfriend and forces AJ to seek refuge in another home when he threatens to kill his father; where his grandfather figure shoots his father because he's lost the ability to regulate in any way his evil impulses; where "friends" are leeches looking to exploit his name and Mafia pedigree for personal gain, entertainment, and image enhancement in front of a gaggle of naive onlookers, like a 15 year-old club hopper who thinks AJ is "intense" after he threatens to avenge his father's shooting.
I don't see how AJ isn't terribly sympathetic in this scenario. As a nice, regular, soft suburban kid who loved video games, hanging out at the mall, and cartoons where characters fart fire, AJ grew up like many boys, thinking his father hung the moon. And he couldn't accept otherwise, even after he began to learn around age 13 that the heroic image he had of him was extremely flawed. He is not Meadow. He doesn't have her intellect or academic bent. He wasn't therefore genetically equipped to take the path of learning to "success" in life. And, most importantly, he doesn't have two X chromosomes to shield him from the comparisons to his father and expectations of what manhood entails.
I feel more sorry for AJ than I ever have before. The kid would not have been a "loser" if his father hadn't been in the Mafia.
</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge ... fisWall</A> at: 5/2/06 10:17 am