<hr>First off, the phone calls home. His wife and kids are there. They couldn't really exist in a purgatory state, as they are all fully awake and coherent during the time in which Tony is "dreaming".<hr></blockquote>
Jayduck, my argument has never been that this is a purgatory state. I don't think that Tony is existing in some netherworld where the presence of people who are alive is precluded.
Rather, I see this as a glimpse for us (and possibly for Tony, depending on how much he remembers) of what his life could
have been, had he not been scarred by Livia and entered the mob life. As has been mentioned, several times references have come up that Tony thinks he might have ended up as a "patio furniture salesman", as he indeed did begin his career in his coma life.
I'm not endorsing the alternate reality angle either, as I do think that most of this is occurring in Tony's head. However, subconsciously, he may be viewing himself without
the traits and elements in his life that present his ultimate moral dilemma. Absent the mob, Tony could have been a gentle-mannered salesman, turning his charisma into sales, instead of using it to broker illegal deals that lead to violence and murder.
Your arguments make good sense if he is in purgatory, but I have always argued that in the coma we see Tony as he could have been, and in a path of life that would lead to a more positive karmic experience. (I don't mean to set off a bomb with that religious term, but I think you can catch my drift.) As I have articulated before, it is my personal belief that the dark spots of brain activity that the coma doctor diagnoses as Alzheimer's is in fact the aggressive/depressed/sociopathic parts of real Tony's brain that exist in real life, but are dormant in his coma.
Kevin Finnerty, to meld FOMW's thesis to my own a bit, could be Tony's subconscious desire that he could somehow relieve himself of the burdens that take him away from being more like Coma Tony (most likely a better father, without the mental anguish of his criminal choices, and without the burden of constant fear of death or separation from his family via incarceration). He wishes someone would shoulder his burden (briefcase) in real life the way that Kevin Finnerty does within the coma.
Without alleging the presence of Christ in the coma, it seems possible to me that in real life Tony will yearn for the release that he saw in the coma, and might see Jesus as the way to get there. I don't know that I can sign on to that yet, but its a thought.
I suppose to answer my own question that I posed to FOMW a couple of posts up without the benefit of her thoughts, I think that could help explain his reluctance to let go of Finnerty's life (briefcase). He LIKES Finnerty, and on some level he really desires to become Finnerty. Whether he will or not, or whether he is even able, is something for real-life Tony to discover.
In other words, the coma is not purgatory, it is in his head. But it is also possibly a view of the EXTREME OPPOSITE persona of real-life Tony vis a vis Kevin Finnerty. Maybe there is a happy medium, but I don't see the word "happy" in Tony's future, as much as I could wish for it.
I apologize if I have beat a dead horse, but I have seen this discussion veer away from my perception, and I thought I would share for those of you who are interested in an alternate view to the two that seem to have become mainstream in our little pond here.
I look forward to all of your thoughts.
EDIT: Anyone else notice when Tony asks the bartender "is it possible -- I am Kevin Finnerty?", then there's a pregnant pause, and almost like he's addressing the viewer, he says "alright, I'll stop". Its not like he ever got started, it just seemed a pretty significant nod.
</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge ... dCoffee</A> at: 3/31/06 1:47 pm