Sal the lawnmower man

I have enjoyed Val's appearances since last season. He always seems to pop up as a reminder of the poor, innocent, put-upon worker who is sucked into the mob's dealings. I loved how Carm cheerfully said hello, and then commented "what a mope" when he trudged off. I guess she believes he gets paid?

In any event, the reason I started this thread is, a wild thought I had this morning before the coffee kicked in was wondering if Val's character has some deeper meaning. Like, maybe he serves as a marker character in Tony's progress, for contrast and comparison. In this episode we saw a swing -- in the very first scene Tony dismissed his request, but at the end he relented (true, I suppose Tony figured Bobby could do his own lawnmowing, but Sil was all but inviting Tony to deride him and it seemed Sal's "guilty" faux pas would be enough of a reason for Tony to insist he keep cutting the lawn).

Maybe if Tony really want redemption, he should aspire to be like Sal.

The name on the gardening truck was Vitro. I'm lousy at languages but Wikipedia tells me that In Vitro is Latin for "Within Glass." The Buddhist monastery name in Tony's NDE was Crystal. Is there a connection? Or do I need more coffee?


Re: Sal the lawnmower man

His way of handling his "Sacrimoni lawn issue" worked with Tony. How many other characters in the show had business requests from Tony but failed? Just look at Eugene's example.

The first good move was meeting Tony in his usual newspaper pickup spot. I think he said that "the bulbs aren't ready" or something like that, to which groggy Tony pauses and responds, "Oh that is good". Then, when he approached T and Sil and did not relent or flinch w/ his request, he won the respect of the boss. Tony did his best to rattle him and try to make him feel guilty, but this same approach that works w/ the other wiseguys sure didn't work w/ Sal.

Good job, Sal.


Re: Sal the lawnmower man

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Not sure. But, when he was in front of Ginny's house with that load of sticks on his back, I immediately thought of the cover of "Led Zeppelin 4". Stairway to Heaven, perhaps? <hr></blockquote>

Ha, I had the exact thought when I saw that scene (the album cover image, though the "Stairway To Heaven" connection went over my head).

I just remembered, Sal also mentioned something about the bulbs - perhaps symbolic of Tony impending blooming?

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... LaJimbo</A>
at: 5/16/06 8:19 pm

Re: Sal the lawnmower man

great thread. I posted in the 'tony's potential for change' thread before I saw that this was started. I am curious whether others saw Tony granting Sal's request as evidence of possible growth?

sal's smile after standing up to Tony was so great - i could watch it over and over.

I don't have much more to add except I like the idea of Sal serving as a marker for Tony and the entire F/family. This reminds me of season 5 when Carmela (or Tony?) compared Sal's son to AJ and Carm said `poverty is a great motivator.'

You would think that the threat of death also would be a 'great motivator' -but as we saw with Vito, these guys can't even make it through a morning of real work before calling it quits.

anyway, here's to hoping that Sal keeps popping up over the next 10 episodes.


Re: Sal the lawnmower man

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>sal's smile after standing up to Tony was so great - i could watch it over and over.<hr></blockquote>

I liked that too, it was so genuine - his expression of happiness as a response to a gift from Tony was a nice contrast to Janice's demonstration of "happiness" in the earlier scene.


Re: Sal the lawnmower man

Don't forget that Sal had the hassle with Paulie and Tony as they were some relative's landscaping business was muscling into his territority. As part of the deal to back off, he had to take care of J Sac's property as well as a few others. Of course it screwed Sal, having to eat the cost of labor on those 'freebee' jobs. Since J Sac's in jail, and no longer the owner of the house, it wasn't unreasonable to ask Tony for the out. Tony saw that there was no reason to continue to punish Sal anymore.


Re: Sal the lawnmower man

I've never understood the decision to force Sal to do their lawns.

I would think Tony would do a risk-reward analysis. The value of having Sal do his lawn would be peanuts compared to the risk of Sal going to the cops.

Tony must be seriously frightened of ending up like Johnny S and if Sal went to the cops, there'd be an excellent chance that Tony would have a big problem. Just imagine if Sal had been wearing a wire when he met with Tony.

I would think that Sal (and especially Sal's wife) would have seriously considered going to the cops over this several times. If Sal is a one man operation, he can't afford to do two or more monster homes - especially if he has to pay for extras like bulbs, etc..

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... plishak</A> at: 5/16/06 11:24 pm

Re: Sal the lawnmower man

Hoo boy...poor Sal. I concur 100% with your interpretation, YoLaJimbo, as to how Sal functions as a measure of Tony's oscillating and reconstructed emergence. When Sal appears, we know to wait for the appearance of either the lady or the unnerves me, actually. It was disappointing to see Tony exploit and bully Sal once again, especially as T is asserting a turned leaf. In the second scene with Sal, Tony lets him off the hook, but only because he (T) is finished with the Sacrimonis.

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