Ok now i've found another part of the series where this theme seems to be addressed. In "Whoever Did This", i believe Tony's motivation for murdering Ralph was not really about the horse, or even about the stripper, at its center.
In this episode Ralphie, arguably the most detestable mobster of them all, suddenly becomes a very sympathetic and possibly redeemable character. Ralph starts showing signs of what might genuinely be a chance at redemption. Was it really? Does it matter? No. As in Dr. Melfi's office, all that matters is Tony's perception of these events. Tony doesn't want to believe that Ralph can truly change, because that would not be cohesive with Tony's own self-image, the idea that he was born into this lifestyle and never had a chance to change his ways.
Tony is starting to realize that it's entirely possible Ralph can be a better man, but he's terrified at the possibility and doesn't even want to consider it, because this would make Tony culpable for his own actions, he couldn't just blame it on his father anymore. This has been in his subconscious the entire time. He was clearly unsettled when Carmela talked about Ralph sympathetically, and when he learned that Ralph actually talked to the priest.
When Pie O My was killed, Tony finally thought he had found evidence that Ralph hadn't really changed, and he jumped on it. This is why he went to Ralph's house, he wanted to see the prick confess. If Ralph had confessed to it, he probably would have lived. Tony could leave, satisfied that Ralph was still a monster, and therefore Tony's Freudian excuse remained in place. But the problem is, Ralph continued to assert that it wasn't him. Again, does it matter whether or not Ralph actually did it? No, it just matters that Tony was starting to be convinced. This agitated Tony and his defense mechanisms kicked in, he started accusing Ralph with more aggression and certainty, and finally things become physical when Ralph mentions meat.
Tony's murder of Ralph was quite similar to his eventual murder of Chris, in that it was seemingly impulsive and non-sequitir. Plus, the second half of the episode is dedicated to Tony and Chris disposing of Ralph's corpse. At one point Chris actually uses a cleaver to cut off Ralph's hand, and it seems like this particular event was something that inspired Chris to write Cleaver the movie. This, accompanied by Ralph's "beef and sausage" comment, gives us some call backs to Fortunate Son, and Tony's resentment towards his father.
Taps, lights out, 2200 hours. What's missing? Give up? Television.