The Paris Trip: Carmela's "Join the Club"

I feel the Paris trip was, for Carmela, close to what the NDE was for Tony. Just being in a place with such lengthy and storied history, where untold millions of lives have played out over many centuries, brought her to a seemingly profound cosmic perspective and contemplation of what her life means in the big scheme of things. The beacon at the end was a direct correlation to the beacon of Tony's NDE and, similar to that beacon, seemed to be calling her to a reckoning with herself, with what she really wants out of life.

There were a lot of sites used in the trip and a lot of closeups on various sculptures and architectural features of Paris. Unfortunately, I'm far too ignorant of the place to recognize any of them, save the Eiffel Tower.

Please use this thread to identify the various sites and places that Carm visited and to explain what, if any, subtextual significance they may have. For instance, can someone confirm if the statues on the bridge that she looked at were crowned with gold halos, or was that some other kind of wreath (i.e., were the statues representing angels or saints)? And the last sculpture she focussed on outside of some store, with a mass of flowers around the head, what was the name of the store? Did any of the sculptures depict real people in history?

Also curious was the mention again of Abelard and Heloise from season 5 . . . the story of a doomed romance between a history teacher (Tony as history buff and loyal history channel viewer) and the impressionable young student who became fascinated with him (Carm, who was fascinated by Tony as a young woman and gave up her own collegiate career to marry him). The story "ends badly" with the castration of the man by an uncle and a love story that carries on only through letters. Feels like it's some kind of foreshadowing.

Then there's the Ade dream, complete with a Paris cop telling Carmela that Ade is dead. Somehow, Carm's instinctive understanding of that fact would seem to figure into her future with Tony.


Re: The Paris Trip: Carmela's "Join the Club"

I'm not sure that it's important that we know the specific sites that Carm visited in Paris. My daughter and I were taken by the fact that she kept staring up at faces on walls, on statues, etc. Faces almost like angels. That, along with the beacon at the end, Adriana's appearance, and the conversation with Ro about Jackie Jr. gave us a sense of foreboding, perhaps about AJ's future. Meadow does seem safe now that she's out of range. But Carmela, I think, does see a "bad moon a'rising"


Re: The Paris Trip: Carmela's "Join the Club"

Fly, I'm not able to identify anything in Paris, never having been there. But I was struck by Rosalie hugging a crying Carmella and humming "As Time Goes By" (which is also used in the end credits). It takes me back to the movie Casblanca where Bogart tells a teary-eyed Ingrid Bergman (as they are about to leave each other forever) "We'll always have Paris".

I am going to devote some thought to the connections between Casablanca and this episode (and the show in general) during the week and see if I can come up iwth something there.


Re: The Paris Trip: Carmela's "Join the Club"

I wonder if anyone can help translate the sign that Carm said translated as, "August 20, 1944 - This man Francois Martine fought in the resistance and the Germans shot him - right here on this spot."

I know that wasn't even close. The sign read "Ici est tombe pour la liberation Le 20 Aout 1944 Le Fort des Halles Francois Martine."

I know enough French to be certain it says, "Here is where someone or something fell (fell could also mean die in this sense) for the liberation (definately not about the resistance) on Aug 20, 1944 Le Fort des Halles Francois Martine"

But I'm not sure about Le Fort des Halles. Fort means the same as the English word Fort and Halle means market. But I'm not sure if this refers to some kind of fort or something else.

The date would be consistent with the time when Paris was liberated from the Germans by the Americans. So if it was some kind of fort or market that fell, it would have been something that belonged to the Germans. Perhaps the full name "Le Fort des Halles Francois Martine" is the name of some old fort or market.

I googled for "Le Fort des Halles" and found some interesting links but all in French. I translated one and it seemed to indicate this name might be a job title - like someone in a market who performs a service for the public. It just got more and more mysterious after that. Now I'm very curious and would sure appreciate some help.

Anyone know French better than I? The only thing of which I'm sure is that I probably know French better than Carmella. After all, what could she have looked up in her French-English dictionary? She looked up "Aout" to see what month that was. Grin.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... plishak</A> at: 5/22/06 2:27 am

Re: Rosalie

Am I the only one whose dislike for Roe kept growing and growing during this trip?

It seemed that Carmella was truly interested in soaking up the culture. She had a beautiful appreciation and interest in everything and seemed to grow in a profound way.

But everything out of Roe's mouth was something about her body or food or some other trivial stupid thing. She couldn't even have a meaningful moment when she hugged Carm and needed to break out in song.

At dinner, Carm genuinely tried to reach out to her friend to offer her some support over the loss of her husband and son and how did Roe react? She lashed out at Carm several times asking her why she would bring up such a thing? Each time she did that, Carm apologized but Roe kept on doing this several more times.

I found Roe to be repulsive and an awful choice in a travelling companion. She was about as deep as a bird bath and came across like a bird brain. What did she get out of her trip to Paris?

By the way, re the name of the episode, Carm told Tony it was cold in Paris and then just before the scene where she and Roe hugged, Carm touched one of the stones with her bare hand. My interpretation was that went along with her thoughts about so many generations living and dying and everything being swept away at the end. All that is left are these cold stones (tombstones).


Re: The Paris Trip: Carmela's "Join the Club"


tombe is grave...the sign starts as "here lies"
liberation in french can translate as discharge/release (as in the discharge of a prisoner)
"les halles" was formerly the central food market in Paris. it is now also an interchange for public transport. was formerly known as the "stomach of Paris".
"fort" translates to "strong"
maybe this helps with the translation?

In the meantime I have many fluent french speaking friends, I will certainly be asking them for an accurate translation.

NB - it was Allied Forces, along with the Free French troops, that liberated Paris - in late August 1944.


Re: The Paris Trip: Carmela's "Join the Club"

Thank you. I forgot that "fort" can also mean strong. Although I don't see how it can be used in that way here.

The verb "tomber" means to fall (sometimes as in death). I thought the construct "Ici est tombe" means that "tombe" must be a verb. But I see that tombe also means grave and so you are probably correct about its usage. "Ici est tomb" can very well mean "here is the grave".

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... plishak</A> at: 5/22/06 3:24 am

Re: The Paris Trip: Carmela's "Join the Club"

I'll need a rewatch to figure some of the places out but here are a few.

Carm and Roe are on the Champs d'Elysees while in the Cab. Probable the most well know street in Paris. When Tony was watching the history channel this is the road the soilders were marching on. The French still have a miltary parade here on Bastille day. It's also a famous dinning and shopping area.

The bridge Carmela is on is the Le Pont Alexandre III. The four pillars are decorated at the base with statues representing the France of Charlemagne, France of the Rebirth, France of Louis XIV and contemporary France. This site has lots of pics of the top statues.

When they stop on the bridge. The gold dome behind them is part of Les Invalides. Began by King Louis XIV to be used as a miltary hospital. It houses the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Musée du Cluny is the museum Carm and Roe visit. The museum was an old medieval hotel that was built on the site of a 3rd century Gallo-Roman bathhouse.
Having been to Paris, I think Carm's reaction was perfect. The place is overwhelming. You can't help but wax philosophical in a city with that much history and beauty

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... store>Pork Store</A> at: 5/25/06 10:25 pm

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