The Series Coming Full Circle

(Forgive me, I haven't a clue just yet where this post belongs. Please move to the appropriate thread.)

I've noticed in reading people's predictions, people reference an important plot development in the final eight episodes that Chase says will somehow tie in with season one, therefore bringing the series "full circle". I haven't read or heard in any interview the manner in which he actually stated this, but I've been made quite aware by plenty of secondary sources that he made this promise.

What if the series comes full circle by completing a possible plot thread laid out by the very first episode? In the pilot, Tony is overcome by emotion when a family of ducks residing in his pool finally leave. Later, he describes a dream to Dr. Melfi in which a bird flies away with his penis. Their discussion thereafter brings them to the conclusion that Tony is afraid of losing his family. He fears that something terrible will happen, but his fears point to nothing specific. It's just an underlying insecurity and feeling of discomfort that someone he is close to will disappear, much as his beloved family of ducks did.

Throughout the series, there are numerous (but fairly small and insignificant) references made to the ducks. From time to time, a shot will linger on Tony watching birds flying overhead, bringing the ducks to the viewer's mind. Tony's duck feed attracted a bear to the back- yard in season five. There are others, but forgive me, specific references escape me at the moment.

However, I believe the ducks will come back in a much larger way in the final eight episodes. Perhaps another literal family of ducks will move back into Tony's pool during the last remaining episodes of the series, and perhaps during the last peaceful days of Tony's life as he's known it for six years. During one Melfi session, Tony told his therapist that there are only two ends to guys like himself - prison or death. Was this, perhaps forshadowing? Does that line signify Chase's intentions to show Tony's downfall and destruction as the conclusion to the series?

Perhaps the series will come full circle when a terrible end comes for - not Tony - but a close member of his family (maybe even more than one member). Maybe the fear of loss and abandonment that Tony is so troubled by in the series pilot will prove to be valid by the end of the final eight, as Tony's world is shattered by the death of one of his children, or Carmella herself even. In fact, this is one piece of speculation that I am personally almost sure will come to pass:
A very close family member will not make it out of this series alive, you can be sure of it. Just as Tony was forced to watch as he lost his family of ducks that he came to love so much, he will be forced to lose one of his own.

"You didn't let me finish... there's a third way. A business man that I respect ... only gave orders through his son. You depend only on family." We see Tony putting Christopher to use in this manner, as he explains to his nephew that he will lead the Soprano family into the twenty-first century. However, if Christopher and/or AJ were to meet a tragic end, not only would Tony be faced with the grief that accompanies a death in the family, but he would also have no family member left to carry on the business.

It's as Tony said in Members Only, that no matter who one comes across in life, they will all disappoint in the end. You can only always depend on family. However, just a few episodes later, Paulie, after just learning about his true mother, said (in what was undoubtedly a conscious callback to Tony's earlier comment) that you can't even depend on family-that in the end, there's no body. Will one belief or the other prove to hold true for Tony by the end of the final eight episodes? Perhaps Chris will end up "disappointing" Tony himself, by self-destructing due to his drug problem. Or AJ, trying to "move up", could meet an end that would mirror Jackie, Jr.'s own demise.

Tragedy will undoubtedly crush Tony Soprano; it can't be forever that this mob boss considers every day being a gift. His prior comment about prison or death being the only two ends for people like himself simply indicates that it is quite a rarity for members of the mafia to receive happy endings. Sooner or later, whether it's with his own life, or the life of a loved one, Tony's world will crash down. And that crash will come hard and unexpectedly.

This is, I believe, what was meant by Chase's claim that the series would come full circle. The Sopranos saga opened with Tony afraid of losing his family and the devastating effect that would have on him as a result, and after six years of ups and downs, the series will close with Tony being completely devastated by the actual loss he had feared all along.

Re: The Series Coming Full Circle

I don't think it was ever a comment of "coming full circle". If I remember correctly, it was more along the lines of "resolving an issue from the first season" that hasn't been dealt with.

As some have been clamoring for, it could be something as silly as the Russian in "Pine Barrens" (which I don't believe, but mentioned to illustrate a point).

Or, it could FINALLY be resolving Tony's therapy, having some sort of "breakthrough" session where Tony finally realizes that his father wasn't the demigod Tony made him out to be, that Livia was actually the victim, etc, and bringing closure to his resentment of Janice leaving, his mother's actions, and Jr's complicity.

There has been some continuing hints about this, as quite a few Melfi sessions over the years has included Tony mentioning the fact that he thinks the therapy hasn't done shit, and it's not going anywhere, and nothing is being fixed.


Re: The Series Coming Full Circle

This is pure speculation, but I keep thinking the plot strand from Season 1 will have more to do with Melfi than Tony. I'm dipping into Season 2 here, but wouldn't it be interesting if the family of the patient who committed suicide while Melfi was "on the lam" would sue her for malpractice....forcing her to disclose why she was "on the lam" in court?

It certainly would give poor Melfi more to do than she had so far this season. One of the recurring themes I've always enjoyed is her conflict about treating a Mob boss. I'd like to see that come back again.

Or maybe she'll reveal that she's gay and start dating Vito's wife.


Re: The Series Coming Full Circle

I think this the the BEST post/topic yet.

How many people have watched that first episode, of the first season lately?? Have you noticed that it is purely THUG HUMOR?? Sure you have some emotional ties to ducks and family..but the show wasn't that DEEP.

Maybe David Chase wants to end the show like he started the show. A messed up DramaCoM-mob-funny show.

I think based on the last few episodes, I think Full Circle is the highest expectation we should have.

I doubt any of our questions will be answered, from this season.


Re: The Series Coming Full Circle

When the FBI agent warns Tony that the NY mob
plans to kill someone very close to him, Tony
immediately hightails it over to Brooklyn and
visits Phil Leotardo in the hospital after the heart

Tony tries to convey to Phil his NDE and how it
made him realize what's important, e.g. grandkids,
etc. Phil tears up a bit. His hallway henchmen seem
somewhat appeased by Tony's visit and Tony goes
home to a ritual Christmas, Italian style, in his
"beautiful home."

This is where Chase leaves us, until the final 8
episodes in Jan. 2007.

If A.J. was the target of NY's revenge on N.J., he's
a sitting duck on that construction site as Tony's
son. I don't think killing A.J. would accomplish
anything. Same with Christopher. If he od's or
is whacked, it would already be a dead issue.
He's certainly proven himself to not be Boss
material in any case.

That leaves Carmela, who's too shallow for
any leadership power in the mob. Even Victoria
Gotti (NY) makes Carmela look very inadequate
in every way imaginable.

Maybe Janice and Bobby Baccala hold the keys
to the NJ mafia kingdom in the end.


Re: The Series Coming Full Circle

Two thoughts on the 'full circle'
1) Tony could have a panic attack perhaps early in the last 8 episodes, where he puts himself or others in danger. We really didn't see a panic attack in the 6-part A of the season, so perhaps we will seen it in part B.
The panic attacks were a major feature issue in the 1st season of the series as to Tony. From what the story was in Season 6, Tony is under a lot of stress from his family, his mob family and some of it's members, and from the NYC branches of the mob (like the thug under Phil). Then add the many issues from his mob life (like Ada's death) and it could set up a doozy of a panic attack with subsquent issues.
2) Perhaps the loss to Tony in his family will be Carm and not AJ or Meadow. The kids are already adults and are already going their own ways to some extent. Carm did have some medical scares in past seasons. She is in her mid-40's when menopause sets in and changes to her body that could mask for a while signs of Cancer or other medical problems, perhaps too late to save her. That would be the ultimate loss for Tony as to family. Despite the problems in their relationship, he always goes back to Carm. Without her, he would be lost in his life, have really nothing to live for, someone to keep his life stable, despite his screwing around with other women.


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