Re: Mercy killings, Godfathers and breakthroughs

#21
Interesting theory.. there was definitely more to it than just covering his own ass, although I think that was the main reason, seems like he used that baby shit as an excuse to try to justify what he did..

As for realizing he has to die to save his own family, I don't think AJ will do better with his father dying, when tony was in a coma he was actin stupid, trying to cop a gun to avenge his death and shit

Re: Episode 6.18: Kennedy and Heidi - Grades and General Rev

#22
[This is a response I was composing in the General Comments thread before your thread went up, chaseisgod. But I think it fits very well here, so I've copied it over.]
dad1153 wrote:after two viewings I haven't been able to 'get it' or to spot my own beacon, and to be honest I'm freaking frustrated that Chase saw fit to hurt the feelings of poor lil' Fly. She's so devastated I want to cuddle her and tell her 'It's OK love, shit happens when you trust a TV man (Tony, Chase, WHOMEVER) with your enlightened televised entertainment. Now buzz off and find another pile of TV dung to fall in love with like the rest of us.' No offense Fly! :icon_rolleyes:
royal trux wrote:Last episode, Tony told Carmela that hanging out at the frat and drinking beer was "the way back" and "the way back to college" for AJ. As ridiculous as it sounded, it was at least partly true. I think the same goes for Christopher's murder and "the way out" for Tony. As ridiculous as it may sound, killing Chris is exactly what Tony needed in order to "get it." And Fly... I've been reading your stuff for years, and some of it is phenomenal. Especially your defense of Meadow and her integral part in helping us understand Tony. But you've been waiting for years for Tony to "get it." You've also been extremely harsh (and rightfully so) in your judgement of Christopher. So Tony kills Christopher and screams out to the world, "I get it!" and you go about in pity for yourself? A great wind is carrying you across the sky!
Can I just say that both these posts had me roaring with much-needed laughter?:icon_biggrin::icon_biggrin: Yes, I have been going about in pity for myself since last night while at the same time trying with my limited capacities to withhold final judgment until all evidence is in.

Kennedy and Heidi was the first episode of this series that really made me cry. I was on the verge one moment in Join the Club, but that episode just produced a steady flow of bigger and bigger chill bumps rather than tears. Last night I surprisingly shed tears over Chris' death, primarily because of the fabulous Edie Falco and the complete authenticity she brings to those kinds of scenes and partly because of the stupendous use of a great song which swells in the soundtrack right when Tony turns to look at Chris and senses that he is a totally hopeless junky and lost soul:

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown, the dream is gone


And then Carmela later states that it's hard to not see Chris still as a child, as we all ultimately are in God's eyes. Children who all, to some extent, go wrong, are led wrong, are born wrong, or whatever.

But the real tears of the flowing variety were shed because of the one person in the episode who did not cry: Tony. He, afterall, is a child too, one of the flock that I hoped could hear his Shepherd's voice before he was eaten alive by a wolf. Now I fear that "the center has not held, that the falcon cannot hear his falconer".

I think there's a slight misconception about my prior post. I did not lose hope for Tony solely because he KILLED Chris or because selfish motives were PART of the picture. I lost hope because he seemed incapable of really grieving for the boy he once road around in a basket on his bicycle. He couldn't cry for the guy who, as far as Tony is aware, put love and loyalty to Tony above even his own fiance (incorrect as that was in fact). Tony's deluded description of that scenario to Melfi only damned him even more, acting like he did Chris a FAVOR by murdering Ade, one for which Chris should have been eternally grateful. This is so complete an abandonment of the humanity we've glimpsed in Tony over the years that it almost strains credulity.

I readily accept that Tony feared for Kaitlyn because she has a father like Chris. The instant that Chris first stated he wouldn't pass a drug test, Tony turned immediately and looked at the crumpled car seat. This was his FIRST response, which I would like to think makes it the most important. He goes around to help get Chris out, Chris starts suffocating on his own blood, obviously near death, while reiterating that he can't pass a drug test. Tony abandons the 911 call, suddenly is overtaken with a look of sheer evil, and finishes Chris off, looking a second time at the car seat while doing it.

Now because of the conversations, both dream and real, with Melfi, the whole Kaitlyn excuse feels less like the primary motive and more like an ad hoc justification for a hideously callous act of self-preservation. It further feels like a justification because of the lack of grief Tony felt after it all. Whatever selfish impulses accounted for the murder, they couldn't shield the Tony we've grown to know over the years from the inevitable attackes of grief and conscience that this event should have produced later on.

As I'm writing this post, it occurs to me that there is really only one possible, very uplifting spin to Tony's actions and later epiphany: by killing Christopher, Tony was acting out his repressed desire to kill his own father (his immediate focus on the carseat heralding his focus on Chris as the father of a baby girl). His jubilance and lack of grief was not because he rejoiced in killing his nephew but because he rejoiced in killing a no-good father who would bring nothing but pain and trouble to any child he raised.

Tony post-peyote in the casino starts laughing uproariously after he comes to a realization: "he's dead". Stoned or not, one would assume he was well aware of Chris' death, which begs the question of who "he" is. If he was realizing in that moment that he killed Johnny Boy Soprano, that he killed Dickie Moltisanti and Uncle Junior and all the other fake fathers that modeled manhood as a vocation of stealing and terrorizing and killing, then I can well understand his jubilation. Well-earned.

Since others have opined that the sun was not actually setting in the desert but RISING, this could fit very well. The sun flares brightly as it ascends in the sky, helping Tony "get" that he, as a SON, has finally vanquished the hold of his fathers. The son has risen.

If that turns out to be the epiphany, then I will humbly accept that "a great wind has been carrying me across the sky".:icon_biggrin: I'm just not sure that's where it's headed.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Episode 6.18: Kennedy and Heidi - Grades and General Rev

#23
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:[This is a response I was composing in the General Comments thread before your thread went up, chaseisgod. But I think it fits very well here, so I've copied it over.]





Can I just say that both these posts had me roaring with much-needed laughter?:icon_biggrin::icon_biggrin: Yes, I have been going about in pity for myself since last night while at the same time trying with my limited capacities to withhold final judgment until all evidence is in.

Kennedy and Heidi was the first episode of this series that really made me cry. I was on the verge one moment in Join the Club, but that episode just produced a steady flow of bigger and bigger chill bumps rather than tears. Last night I surprisingly shed tears over Chris' death, primarily because of the fabulous Edie Falco and the complete authenticity she brings to those kinds of scenes and partly because of the stupendous use of a great song which swells in the soundtrack right when Tony turns to look at Chris and senses that he is a totally hopeless junky and lost soul:

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown, the dream is gone


And then Carmela later states that it's hard to not see Chris still as a child, as we all ultimately are in God's eyes. Children who all, to some extent, go wrong, are led wrong, are born wrong, or whatever.

But the real tears of the flowing variety were shed because of the one person in the episode who did not cry: Tony. He, afterall, is a child too, one of the flock that I hoped could hear his Shepherd's voice before he was eaten alive by a wolf. Now I fear that "the center has not held, that the falcon cannot hear his falconer".

I think there's a slight misconception about my prior post. I did not lose hope for Tony solely because he KILLED Chris or because selfish motives were PART of the picture. I lost hope because he seemed incapable of really grieving for the boy he once road around in a basket on his bicycle. He couldn't cry for the guy who, as far as Tony is aware, put love and loyalty to Tony above even his own fiance (incorrect as that was in fact). Tony's deluded description of that scenario to Melfi only damned him even more, acting like he did Chris a FAVOR by murdering Ade, one for which Chris should have been eternally grateful. This is so complete an abandonment of the humanity we've glimpsed in Tony over the years that it almost strains credulity.

I readily accept that Tony feared for Kaitlyn because she has a father like Chris. The instant that Chris first stated he wouldn't pass a drug test, Tony turned immediately and looked at the crumpled car seat. This was his FIRST response, which I would like to think makes it the most important. He goes around to help get Chris out, Chris starts suffocating on his own blood, obviously near death, while reiterating that he can't pass a drug test. Tony abandons the 911 call, suddenly is overtaken with a look of sheer evil, and finishes Chris off, looking a second time at the car seat while doing it.

Now because of the conversations, both dream and real, with Melfi, the whole Kaitlyn excuse feels less like the primary motive and more like an ad hoc justification for a hideously callous act of self-preservation. It further feels like a justification because of the lack of grief Tony felt after it all. However he may have acted on an impulse of self preservation, that couldn't shield the Tony we've grown to know from the inevitable attackes of grief and conscience that this event should have produced later on.

As I'm writing this post, it occurs to me that there is really only one possible, very uplifting spin to Tony's actions and later epiphany: by killing Christopher, Tony was acting out his repressed desire to kill his own father (his immediate focus on the carseat heralding his focus on Chris as the father of a baby girl). His jubilance and lack of grief was not because he rejoiced in killing his nephew but because he rejoiced in killing a no-good father who would bring nothing but pain and trouble to any child he raised.

Tony post-peyote in the casino starts laughing uproariously after he comes to a realization: "he's dead". Stoned or not, one would assume he was well aware of Chris' death, which begs the question of who "he" is. If he was realizing in that moment that he killed Johnny Boy Soprano, that he killed Dickie Moltisanti and Uncle Junior and all the other fake fathers that modeled manhood as a vocation of stealing and terrorizing and killing, then I can well understand his jubilation. Well-earned.

Since others have opined that the sun was not actually setting in the desert but RISING, this could fit very well. The sun flares brightly as it ascends in the sky, helping Tony "get" that he, as a SON, has finally vanquished the hold of his fathers. The son has risen.

If that turns out to be the epiphany, then I will humbly accept that "a great wind has been carrying me across the sky".:icon_biggrin: I'm just not sure that's where it's headed.
Fly, I realy think, "He's dead," does apply to Johnny Boy and all the other father stand-ins....now the question is, if Tony's fathers, real and symbolc, have been killed, and that's a good thing, what does that mean for A.J. and his father? What if the old man is hopeless but the kid "gets it" and decides that he's not going to follow the father's path? Or, and this worries me, what if he decides that his old man and his friends have caused too much pain and decides to put an end to it?

Maybe A.J. is the one who has the breakthrough.

Re: Episode 6.18: Kennedy and Heidi - Grades and General Rev

#24
chaseisgod wrote:Fly, I realy think, "He's dead," does apply to Johnny Boy and all the other father stand-ins....now the question is, if Tony's fathers, real and symbolc, have been killed, and that's a good thing, what does that mean for A.J. and his father? What if the old man is hopeless but the kid "gets it" and decides that he's not going to follow the father's path? Or, and this worries me, what if he decides that his old man and his friends have caused too much pain and decides to put an end to it?

Maybe A.J. is the one who has the breakthrough.
Well, I will point out one beautiful piece of symbolism from season 5 that I always thought had the potential to play out in some fashion, not literally but figuratively. The bear, representing the gangster side of Tony, was terrorizing AJ (uninentionally). Carm came out with pots and pans to shoe him away instead of doing what AJ later told her she should have done: popped a cap in his ass. AJ in a later episode wrestles with Tony and surprisingly warns: "One of these days, I'm going to kick your ass!"

The first scene is an indictment of Carmela for having a son with a man like Tony and continuing to let him serve as the male role model for the child well into his adolescence. And the second scene always sounded a bit like a warning to me that AJ would someday be the cause of Tony killing his inner gangster.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Episode 6.18: Kennedy and Heidi - Grades and General Rev

#26
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote: Tony post-peyote in the casino starts laughing uproariously after he comes to a realization: "he's dead". Stoned or not, one would assume he was well aware of Chris' death, which begs the question of who "he" is. If he was realizing in that moment that he killed Johnny Boy Soprano, that he killed Dickie Moltisanti and Uncle Junior and all the other fake fathers that modeled manhood as a vocation of stealing and terrorizing and killing, then I can well understand his jubilation. Well-earned.
Thats a good fuckin post right there, I thouht his jubilation was because with Christopher out of the way, Tony's unlucky run was over..

"At the Borgata Casino, Tony decides to let it ride after winning at roulette. Bobby, Christopher, Silvio and Paulie watch nervously as the croupier spins the wheel - and T loses everything he'd won, and then some, on 23."

Thats the HBO recap from "chasing it"

and the number tony wins on when he starts laughin is 24, dunno if it means anything tho, the whole bad-father theory seemed more concrete

Re: Mercy killings, Godfathers and breakthroughs

#27
Just thought of a couple other bits that strengthen Tony symbolically killing JohnnyBoy when he killed Chris. Recall In Camelot was the ep that first made a tenuous breakthrough in Tony overcoming his hero worship of his father. "Camelot" was the term used to promote the romanticized fiction of the Kennedy whitehouse, a fiction later emphatically debunked with accounts of pool-side sex, endless women on the side, and liasons with women like Marilyn Monroe and gangster's molls like "Fran", who coincidentally banged both JFK and JohnnyBoy. Of note is that Tony himself seemed to admire JFK, so much that he paid big bucks for his captain's hat and pumped Fran for annecdotes about their encounters.

Also in Test Dream, Tony is at one point being shot at by an assassin leaning out of a school book depository-looking building, an assassin who looks much like JohnnyBoy, evoking both the Kennedy infatuation and his notion that gangsters like himself and his father are "little" JFK's themselves.

Someone mentioned that Chris was conspicuously clad in his Cleaver hat throughout the car scene, and Tony in fact focuses on it while lying on a gourney later. I'm seeing that hat now for more than just a flashpoint for Tony's anger over how Cleaver depicted him. I think the bloody cleaver in the logo itself is increasingly representing JohnnyBoy, the stone gangster, symbolism indelibly imprinted onto Tony at the age of 11 when he witnessed the horror of his father chopping off Mr. Satriale's finger with a meat cleaver.

It appears, even as the symbolism is continuing to emerge that the killing of Chris was a long-delayed slaying of an unworthy father figure, that Tony is still not consciously "there". He admits he feels no remorse, grief, or regret, but he is only able at this point to feel or express it in terms of selfish motives: he's rid himself of his worst professional mistake, rid himself of the guy most likely to betray him to the FBI, rid himself of his problem child.

How ironic if Tony, in acknowledging the least sympathetic, most nakedly ugly motives for his actions and jubilance, requires Melfi to help him see and admit the real reason for the murder and his jubilance: that he killed his own father.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Mercy killings, Godfathers and breakthroughs

#28
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:Just thought of a couple other bits that strengthen Tony symbolically killing JohnnyBoy when he killed Chris. Recall In Camelot was the ep that first made a tenuous breakthrough in Tony overcoming his hero worship of his father. "Camelot" was the term used to promote the romanticized fiction of the Kennedy whitehouse, a fiction later emphatically debunked with accounts of pool-side sex, endless women on the side, and liasons with women like Marilyn Monroe and gangster's molls like "Fran", who coincidentally banged both JFK and JohnnyBoy. Of note is that Tony himself seemed to admire JFK, so much that he paid big bucks for his captain's hat and pumped Fran for annecdotes about their encounters.

Also in Test Dream, Tony is at one point being shot at by an assassin leaning out of a school book depository-looking building, an assassin who looks much like JohnnyBoy, evoking both the Kennedy infatuation and his notion that gangsters like himself and his father are "little" JFK's themselves.

Someone mentioned that Chris was conspicuously clad in his Cleaver hat throughout the car scene, and Tony in fact focuses on it while lying on a gourney later. I'm seeing that hat now for more than just a flashpoint for Tony's anger over how Cleaver depicted him. I think the bloody cleaver in the logo itself is increasingly representing JohnnyBoy, the stone gangster, symbolism indelibly imprinted onto Tony at the age of 11 when he witnessed the horror of his father chopping off Mr. Satriale's finger with a meat cleaver.

It appears, even as the symbolism is continuing to emerge that the killing of Chris was a long-delayed slaying of an unworthy father figure, that Tony is still not consciously "there". He admits he feels no remorse, grief, or regret, but he is only able at this point to feel or express it in terms of selfish motives: he's rid himself of his worst professional mistake, rid himself of the guy most likely to betray him to the FBI, rid himself of his problem child.

How ironic if Tony, in acknowledging the least sympathetic, most nakedly ugly motives for his actions and jubilance, requires Melfi to help him see and admit the real reason for the murder and his jubilance: that he killed his own father.
Just excellent. And it answers for me why there was that strange moment last night when Tony looks at Kelly and says, "Jackie Kennedy."

I've got to say, though, I'm not taking this no-remorse, no-guilt visage too seriously. From the accident to the end, didn't Tony just seem a little off, a little fuzzy -- maybe on pain medication, or in pain, or in shock, or on drugs? I think he's shocked to the core, and his mind is protecting himself right now. I've heard that parents who have lost children often are able to somehow get through the funeral in a haze of shock, then the grief really hits them after the ceremonial aspects are over.

I think you're right -- he's jubliant because he subconsciously killed Johnny Boy. But he'll also have to deal with the crushing grief and guilt when he realizes that he also killed a kid he had loved his whole life. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the fact that it hasn't occurred yet. I'll be very surprised if it doesn't. In fact, I think that's how they redeem Tony for us, when he realize that he truly did love him and collapses in grief.


The more we come closer to the end, the more I remember Melfi talking about that shark diagnosis -- about people having to stay moving at all times lest they realize what they have done. I see that more and more here. The trip to Vegas was just another way to keep moving, keep escaping.

Re: Mercy killings, Godfathers and breakthroughs

#29
chaseisgod wrote:Just excellent. And it answers for me why there was that strange moment last night when Tony looks at Kelly and says, "Jackie Kennedy."
Duh, I'm just realizing that I was laying all that out to build up to the significance of the look Tony gave when he saw Kelli and said "Jackie Kennedy". And then I forgot the punchline. Thanks for getting my back. Obviously, if Jackie is the wife, then Chris is JFK/Johnny Boy and the In Camelot connection, as well as the meaning of title "Kennedy and Heidi", is complete.
I've got to say, though, I'm not taking this no-remorse, no-guilt visage too seriously. From the accident to the end, didn't Tony just seem a little off, a little fuzzy -- maybe on pain medication, or in pain, or in shock, or on drugs? I think he's shocked to the core, and his mind is protecting himself right now.


I think you're right -- he's jubliant because he subconsciously killed Johnny Boy. But he'll also have to deal with the crushing grief and guilt when he realizes that he also killed a kid he had loved his whole life. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the fact that it hasn't occurred yet. I'll be very surprised if it doesn't. In fact, I think that's how they redeem Tony for us, when he realize that he truly did love him and collapses in grief.
Well, that would certainly make for a freaking beautiful ending. It's amazing how my attitudes have changed over the last several hours from just posting and reading and rewatching a few scenes and hearing that others are on a similar wavelength.

I've gotta say though. If that's where we're going, Chase has outdone himself. I don't have words for the profundity of what I feel in all this.
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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