Sunday, June 04, 2006

Soprano's "Kaisha" episode

The creator of the Sopranos, David Chase, was pressured into churning out an extra season of the series -- the this last "official" season was it. The season began with Tony shot and in a coma. Like the series itself, he almost died but was miraculously revived.

As Time said, the point of this season's pointlessness maybe "to show us that people don't truly change, that life resists neat closure, that we all return, like drug-addicted Christopher, to our old patterns and habits in different ways."

The "Kashia" episode in particular (and this season in general) seems to tease the viewers who like to watch the Soprano's see someone get "whacked." When Christopher was at the diner with his mistress/gumar, all the foreshadowing indicated that Christopher would get whacked by the NY family, Micheal Corleone-style. But then he didn't. Instead, things get resolved without violence:

  • Tony diffuses the building NJ/NY war by visiting Phil at the hospital.
  • AJ gives his bike to the street kids in exchange for going be loud somewhere else.
  • Tony gets Carmela off of Adrianna's trail by taking care of the stop-work order on Carmela's spec house.
As Lee Seigel comments in TNR:
Some people were disappointed that the finale ended without violence or drama. Not this fanatic. The closing scene has the Soprano clan and friends sitting in Tony and Carmela's living room on Christmas Eve watching Casablanca. How perfect. The impossible idealism of holiday and movie reinforced the perception of the widening chasm between these people's illusions and the truth of their lives, which is becoming less hidden every day. So did Meadow's phone call from California, the headquarters of the American Dream. (Do you think she'll escape? I don't.) The season began with the question of whether Tony could change. It ended with the certainty that Tony and everybody in his world can only change--like everyone in our actual world--along the lines of their own nature.