Theres also some other interesting things of notice in this episode that appear to be what I would dub “equal and opposite reactions” type thing in terms of quantum physics.
This is summed up nicely through a quote from Silvio thats a joke he’s reading from the newspaper, its very Quantum Entaglement
Paulie says something with a similar effect at Bobbys Funeral dinner in "Made in America" in which he declares with an overstuffed belly, pants unbuttoned, in a classic Paulie moment;
"If your nose runs and your feet smell you're built upside down.”-Silvio
Paulie is attempting to quote a famous Latin saying that goes(according to wikipedia);
“Even in death, we are in life,” he says, talking about how much he ate at the post-funeral meal. “Or is it the other way around?”
Pretty much describes many of the themes being explored in this section of this analysis in very simple and comical terms, but hey the great cosmic joke is always being played by the greatest joker of all, the Universe.
The first instance we see this happen in the episode “Members Only” is when Tony is in therapy with melfi Dr. Melfi calls the home that Tony put his mother in a "retirement community" and Tony corrects her and calls it a nursing home. Before this, whenever somebody called it a nursing home, Tony always corrected them and called it a retirement community. An interesting switch. A practical exact reversal and its obviously intentional.
"Media vita in morte sumus"
The title and first line of a Latin antiphon, which translates as "In the midst of life we are in death." It was erroneously attributed to Notker the Stammerer late in the Middle Ages, but was more probably written around 750 in France. Especially popular in the Baroque period, it was also used in Hartmann von Aue's Middle High German narrative poem Der arme Heinrich (V.93f.).
In another instance in the same episode of this kind of parallel is a converstation between Eugene and Silvio where Eugene receives an answer from Tony via Silvio about his request to go Joey "Bannanas" (aka "retire" in mafia terms.
We then see a scene where Eugene is called on the phone and we first assume its a meeting with Tony or another "made" guy but its revealed to us that Eugene has been flipped by the FBI. Listen to how similar the conversation is.
"Hey, by the way, your Florida thing Tony asked me to speak to you That's a no-GO.”-Silvio
"What? “-Eugene(in shock)
"Can't be accommodated. You're part of the team.”-Silvio
Another interesting observation on this theme:
Eugene choses death (suicide)
“Look,(FBI agent) Ron, We've talked about Florida, okay?”-Eugene Gene, "That's not gonna happen. Here among your friends is where you're useful.”
"I told you, you tell your bosses, I'd come back for any trial.”-Eugene
"Florida's just one of those things you gotta let GO.”-Ron
Death chooses Ray Curto (heart attack)
Both deaths end up being good luck in a way for Tony even though he never finds out they were both Rats for the FBI. I like this well written analysis about the suicide scene I found on avclub.com website where Eugene hangs himself in another classic gruesomely realistic unapologetic scene that makes this show so powerful.
Heres an explanation from wiki about the hanged man theme;
The sequence where Eugene goes from looking at photos of his son—who now has a drug problem that’s intensified Eugene’s wife’s desire to move to Florida and leave mob life behind entirely—to picking up a seashell presumably obtained on the beaches of Florida to hanging himself, all in a series of swift cuts, is both masterful and incredibly poignant. I can’t say I cared about Eugene much one way or another before this sequence, but by the end of it, it’s clear he doesn’t believe he has any other options left, at least if he wants to find a way for his family to be safe and financially secure. There’s a grim, almost undeniable logic to his choices here, and Chase, episode writer Terence Winter (who won an Emmy for this script), and director Tim Van Patten guide us through it in a succession of three shots that occupy under a minute of screentime. It feels inevitable. It almost feels right.
We can see the association being made with the Tarot theme especially the part "the destruction of self brings life to humanity", we see that theme on The Sopranos as well
While searching the same episode for other similar themes being expressed I came across this little piece of dialogue that showed another reverse parallel;
The Hanged Man (XII) is the twelfth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
It depicts a pittura infamante, a shameful image of a traitor being punished in a manner common at the time for traitors in Italy.The Hanged Man's symbolism points to divinity, linking it to the Passion in Christianity, especially THE CRUCIFIXION; to the narratives of OSIRIS IN EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY, and Mithras in Ancient Persian mythology and Roman mythology. In all of these archetypal stories, the destruction of self brings life to humanity; on the card, these are symbolized respectively by the person of the hanged man and the living tree from which he hangs bound.
The Hanged Man is also associated with Odin, the primary god in Norse mythology. Odin hung upside down from the world-tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days to attain wisdom and thereby retrieved the runes from the Well of Wyrd, which in Norse cosmology is regarded as the source and end of all sacred mystery and knowledge. The moment he glimpsed the runes, he died, but the knowledge of them was so powerful that he immediately returned to life.
After he returns from doing the hit and talks to Silvio about the “Florida thing” aka retiring Silvio says;
"I got a call from Fritzie up in Boston.There's a guy named Teddy Spirodakis, owes some money.”-Chrissy
"You want me to collect?”-Eugene
"That SHIP sailed.”-Chrissy (meaning time to kill the guy)
The implication it appears on the show is that with Tonys cut of Eugenes inheirtance that he is given, he bought a new Boat which was also the place Tony gets called by his sister Barabara to tell him she has to leave Jr suddely because her husband was injured due to a smoke inhalation injury. The Boat seems slightly connected to the shooting of Tony later on by Jr. in a sense. So much is connected but so is life, yet so rarely does art so perfectly articulate it unless it something called a masterpiece.
It seems fair to say that through these observations, I have demonstrated that the theme of Quantum Entaglement is being set up in this episode. It also has been a theme at play for the entire show on some levels, although non as explicitly so as it is in Season 6, which Chase and CO took and unprecedented 2 years just to write! That says a lot to how complex they really were really able to get with it. Yet its done in that subtle Lynch\Kubrick style which makes it seem effortless and unnoticeable to most viewers and surrealistic. It becomes subliminal. Before we move on I want to end with dialogue between Tony and Melfi in their therapy session in “Members Only”. Notice how he again tells an opposite version of things in reference to the “pillow incident”. My reasons for ending with this is I feel it hits home the point one last time. The scene starts with Tony telling AJ something Ironic, that then segways into his dialogue with Melfi;
"Can't be accommodated.You're part of the team.”-Silvio
"But i just did that thing.”-Eugene
"That's not my department.”-Silvio
"Well, can I talk to Tony at least? I wouldn't bother him.”-Eugene
"He's out on the new BOAT.”-Silvio
I always get a little giggle out of that "smother your mother" quote. Now lets move on to the next part of Mr Wizards words, and how it relates to the Cat in the finale…..
"Let me tell you something, A.J.I don't care how close you are, in the end, your friends are gonna let you down.Family.They're the only ones you can depend on.”-Tony
(scene switches to Melfis office)
"He was vital, my uncle, alive. For all his faults, he was sharp in his day.
But now…. We stopped at a LIGHT yesterday, And I see this nanny, black girl, pushing a baby carriage.Coming the other way, there's another one, with this old lady in a wheelchair staring off into SPACE.”-Tony
"The CIRCLE of life.”-Dr Melfi
"The CIRCLE jerk of life. Where's the dignity?”-Tony
" If you're lucky, in the end you can let go of your pride, let your loved ones care for you.”-Dr. Melfi
"I'd rather they hold a pillow over my face.”-Tony
"I find it interesting you would say that.You tried to smother your mother with a pillow.”-Dr Melfi
“What?" - Tony(acting like he forgot)
"In the hospital, after her stroke.”-Dr Melfi (reminding him
"The fuck I did! I grabbed a pillow, but it was just to keep my hands occupied.”-Tony (emphasis added)
You know, Vito called me “skip” the other day. Slip of the tongue, no doubt. But I noticed he didn’t correct himself.