Re: Hesh's Companion

Very insightful post, madribub.

I completely agree about the relative ease with which Tony was willing to give Marie money. Since we know Tony was cash insolvent enough to have to borrow 200K, 100K is far from a trivial sum for him. He dipped into his offshore assets just to scrape it together, and, up to the moment of his last reckless gamble on the Miami game, he intended to give her the full amount.

Even the compromise 18K showed his developing sense of responsibility. The fact that he didn't just offer a reduced amount but specifically tied it to a proposal for a "tough love" school, which sounds remarkably similar to the military school he wanted for AJ, was important IMO. He put thought into it. He wasn't just lowballing her on money, take it or leave it. He was also trying to do what might best help the kid.

Even though his own men encouraged him to blow Hesh off on the 200K, he manned up, "liquified" his offshore monies, and ponied up. That's taking responsibility. The monks would feel encouraged.

I had never thought of your point about Carmela's growing financial independence being liberating for Tony, but it's true. He's always seemed threatened by her independence, not only because of his need to fulfill the traditional male provider/family protector role but because he fears that money and power are his real magnets for Carmela, magnets with no pull if she acquires her own. He's always seen her as "driving the car" of his lifestyle. And so if he comes to believe that she's not there because she wants to steer the car but because she wants to journey through life with him, he could be liberated to steer the car himself in another direction. Very much like the CAC dream when Ralph has the map and is telling Carmela where to drive.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Hesh's Companion

True, we didn't know Renata well, but the scene is still quite sad, especially in retrospect when you see it was Hesh's final scene. You also have to look into the subtext - Hesh has a white daughter, so clearly he had a wife before. We never hear about her, my assumption is she also passed away. Renata, meanwhile, is much younger than Hesh, she looked somewhere in the 40-50 range. So she was a much younger woman than her husband/boyfriend, but old enough that they'd been together for a while, and had a genuinely loving relationship. From Hesh's point of view, he had to be expecting their situations to be reversed - Hesh, an old man, passes peacefully in the middle of the night, and Renata wakes up, cries, and mourns him. That would be a fine way to go, for Hesh. But when he's mourning his younger wife, it's unnatural and leaves a bad taste. It will be difficult to recover from. Great acting by Jerry Adler, by the way.

Tony didn't have any explicitly bad intentions in giving Hesh the money, he thought that was what Hesh wanted. However, at that point their friendship was already soured beyond repair. Tony started to see Hesh as greedy, and constantly tormented him, leaving them unable to maintain a real friendship. Meanwhile, Hesh had been fearing for his life, and rightfully so. Basically the only thing tying them together was the debt, and when that was taken care of, one way or another, they would no longer be familiar. Tony clearly had no intentions of trying to salvage their friendship at that point, either. He'd always seen Hesh as kind of a witty, jovial background figure. He has no interest in spending time with depressed, aging Hesh.
Taps, lights out, 2200 hours. What's missing? Give up? Television.
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