Mirror Moments

This episode is beautifully directed by Steve Buscemi, who links at least three scenes together by their effective use of mirrors in illuminating a certain character.

1: Tony, hungover and disturbed by the dream of Gloria he's just woken from, downs Prozac and a fistful of headache pills, the camera capturing his glum visage from the bathroom mirror. Then as Carm's cries to him to come downstairs become more insistent, we get a great pan away from the mirror and to Tony's actual face, which with its strained half-smile is a picture of pretend-happiness as he lets out a "down in a minute!" So here we're seeing the two sides of Tony: him as he really is -- the sad clown -- and the face he puts on for others, the "comedian, the rapscallion" as Carm will later put it.

2: The most famous one, Artie's hilarious Taxi Driver-esque monologue delivered in front of a mirrored wall. We're of course seeing his self-image, him trying to mold it and coming up short, and the scene ends with a shot of the mirror capturing his dejected body slumped in the corner of the frame. Fittingly, the scene mostly captures Artie's reflection as well as his actual body, emphasizing his split nature. The mirror he stands against is fractured by several lines that cleave through it to make block-like shapes, fracturing his self-image.

3: Coming right after the Artie scene, as if to accentuate the mirror connection, we get a humorous but somewhat sad montage of Chris staring into the bathroom mirror with awe while his heroin buddy pukes in the toilet. Chris stares into himself as if seeing some great truth, but really he's just incredibly high. The mirror, as with Artie, is split into two at one point at this splits Chris's reflection in two.

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