Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

m6c3 wrote:This site is the best!!!!!! Have been reading since it opened... Tons of insightful, interesting, thoughtful posts...

One thing that some posters are missing. There has been 1 scene for sure, and, possibly others, that show Tony gambling on sports. One that I recall for sure, but can't remember the specific episode is when he was in the office of the Crazy Horse, and was making bets on baseball games. He used a cell phone to do this. It may have been Irregular Around the Margins, or the episode where Feech was in the Crazy Horse office with the guys... Not sure though, I'll have to go back and check... I am almost positive it was in Season 5... Anyone else recall this?
Yes, I do. But to the extreme he is going to now with the gambling? No. I don't remember his gambling back then interfering so much with his life that he needed to borrow as much as 200k and the fact that he dips into the monies from Carm's specs house speaks volumes.

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

I think you guys are reading all too much into every episode.

Personally, I think Chase it closing up the books on characters. This episode it was Uncle Junior and Paulie.

The final scene with Jun on the rocking chair petting the cat pretty much sums up his final days as a Soprano family capo.

Any question of Paulie and his loyalty to the Soprano family was set in stone and case closed in this episode. Chase showed the annoying part of Paulie (funny to us) but then he also showed the loyalty and in the end, Tony yelled at Carmela, stating it's guys like him who make their lives as plush as theirs. Whatever Tony was contemplating during the episode is case closed right there.

It's a show folks, not real life. Chase has been known since the first season to leave folks "wondering"

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

anthony wrote:I think you guys are reading all too much into every episode.
It's a show folks, not real life. Chase has been known since the first season to leave folks "wondering"
Well, this wonder is exactly why we are here....
And even in Tony's case it's a lot of money just for one night. Remembere how painful it was for him when Camr asked for that 64K(?) for the spechouse.....

Dave Scantino, JT Dolan all lost a lot, and Tony lost even more since at his position it was even harder to stop....
You can't have everything- Where would you put it? -Steven Wright

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

EEK wrote:I think you guys are looking a little more into it than what it is. 200K is a lot of money for normal people like us. But when your a Boss of a crime family, 200k isnt shit.. seriously, these guys make millions a year. 200k is just toy money, chump change for him. If it was really bothering him you would've seen him stress about it more than he did.
That's an interesting point, and the way the scene played, the phone conversation between Tony and Hesh certainly didn't seem on the surface to be indicating that borrowing $200k is a big deal. But I think this is more of a result of the the long, long history between Tony and Hesh, that they trust each other when it comes to business, not so much that $200k isn't a lot of money to them.

While it's probably true that $200k is a small fraction of what Tony earns, I think this is outweighed by his pettiness and selfishness when it comes to money, which has been shown to be true pretty much across the board for all the mafia characters on the show. It's one of the defining characteristics of these guys, petty greed over money.

I recently rewatched the episode where detective McKazian tells Tony that Pussy is an informer. Silvio checks into the matter and reports back to Tony that McKazian is in debt to Pussy for $40k from football bets alone, and so has a good motive to lie about Pussy. He tells Tony (not an exact quote, but pretty close), "I don't even want to think about what you or I would do to erase a $40k debt."

And that's $40k, not $200k!

Personally, I think this gambling thing is a new development for Tony, despite any prior examples of his small time gambling. I think it's also-- as others have already said-- a rebellion of sorts against his father, who instilled in him the idea that being a "degenerate" gambler is crime enough to warrant getting one's pinky chopped off (and worse).

And I also agree with other posters' comments about Tony's drinking. We've never seen him drinking this consistently, and this much, before. His drinking in the past was mostly casual: e.g., a cocktail while hanging out at the Bing, or wine with dinner, etc. The only times we've seen him drink to excess were in times of major crisis. It seems now that Tony's entire *life* is the major crisis, and this is reflected in his drinking.

He's also becoming increasingly paranoid in a way I don't recall ever seeing before. Even after getting the welcome good news from Silvio that the Overalls killing was attributed to Jackie Aprille, Tony's reaction was "What next?" He tells Beansie that "things are going good, finally", but only as a lead-in to adding that he's "waiting for the other shoe to drop".

And this is probably just the beginning, too. I think it would be a stretch for him to muster enough optimism to even consider each day to be a gift of a "pair of socks", as he complained to Melfi in 6a. . . he *definitely* seems to be "going about in pity for himself", that's for sure.

Great thread, really thought-provoking posts.

ETA by FOMW: Gary, I hope you don't mind but I have edited your post to make the font more legible. It was teeny tiny on my screen, much smaller than the normal message font.

Are you choosing this size for a reason? If so, I apologize. But I imagine others are having the same difficulty I was having in reading it pre-edit. And I definitely want to be able to read your posts.:)

Hey Fly,
No problem-- it looked fine on my screen, but then I just remembered that I have my browser set to display large text! I'll edit my other post today, too, if you don't get to it first. :)

"there's some folks out there that if they don't get it, you can't tell 'em." (louis armstrong)

Re: Tony Decompensating?! (gambling, wanting to whack Paulie

Hi EEK, and welcome to the forum.:smile:

Not to pile on with regard to the 200K issue, but I disagree that "when your a Boss of a crime family, 200k isnt shit.. seriously, these guys make millions a year." There's a common belief that high ranking Mafia figures earn ungodly amounts of money. According to all the annecdotes and evidence I've been exposed to, that just isn't true.

My aunt in New Orleans, now deceased, lived across the street for many years from a reputed captain in the crime family headed by Carlos Marcello. This was a modest, middle class neighborhood in Metarie, LA. And certainly if you go by tangible evidence of wealth and consumption, nothing she ever saw indicated this man had a lot of money. His lifestyle looked to be on par with that of, say, a high school principal or county judge and below that of doctors and most lawyers.

Among the other sources of info on this point, all of which suggest more modest earning figures for mob hierarchy than what you imply, are mob documentaries and highly realistic dramatizations like Goodfellas and Donnie Brasco. Consider the residences of the captains in the Sopranos. Paulie is in something that looks more like an apartment than a house, very modest. His one ostentatious display is his Cadillac, which isn't cheap but is far from the most expensive car on the market. Vito had a nice 2 story home, but nothing beyond the reach of many two-income households today. Pussy had a similarly "nice" home, but, again, nothing to make you say "wow". Tony and Johnny Sac have mansions, of course, and we can presume that, as bosses, they might earn 1.5 to 2 million a year. But I would not say "millions". And certainly not so much that 200K would seem like chump change. That is a substantial sum of money to anyone except people in the true upper echelons of wealth. To stingy guys who kill waiters over a $1,000 dinner bill, it's definitely a lot of money.

We will undoubtedly get a lot more information about this next week, but I think this episode marked a very deliberate effort to portray that Tony is gambling at a level that he's never come close to before and that it has the potential to snowball into a major problem. JMO.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"
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