Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sopranos 6.14 "Stage 5" notes

Carmine Jr is priceless.." The sacred and the propane"?

Doctor in jail telling Johnny he killed his wife..and her aunt..and the mailman.Completely hilarious how he kept on calmly tallying up his victims.

What struck me most about this episode was the seaminess of mob life, the "let down" at the end of the "ride." One saw it in Gerry's bullet-riddled body, Sack's cancer-ridden body, while stuck behind bars, and Phil's exhaustion. I thought Carmine's speech to Tony was a great moment--and a telling one.

I know Chase has misled us in the past--and maybe he has this time too---but I really think that this series is going to end with the Mob turning on Tony, and Tony turning on the Mob and the terrorists. I think the terrorists are Tony's way out---to a better life. But I don't think he's getting out unscathed.

"Isaac Newton, some asshole hits him with an apple and he discovers gravity." First of all, it is so Christopher to automatically equate being struck by an object with "some asshole" having thrown the object - ha. And, as I realized later, not only is it funny because of its intimation of Christopher character's constant feeling that people are assholes and he is always getting hit with something, but also because if some asshole threw the apple in the first place, that doesn't explain gravity!

The "Saw"-inspired gore film that seperates Tony and Christopher (because of Christopher's revenge fantasy) is titled "Cleaver" which, in addition to being a murder weapon, also means to separate.

The writer JT tries to fool Tony into thinking the revenge fantasy was inspired by the movie "Born Yesterday" To which, Tony shows he wasn't born yesterday, asking what happended to JT's face. Since JT was forced to try to fool Tony, perhaps his selection of "Born Yesterday" was an intentional signal.

Tony to Dr. Melfi: "I've been coming here for years. I know too much about the subconscious now."

I see Johnny's final days as very instructive about what is happening with Tony and Phil - Johnny's shock to the system was getting pinched, Tony's was getting shot, and Phil had his heart attack. Immediately after, they all decided to ease back - Johnny to quit smoking and clean up his diet, Tony decided to cut out (down?) the running around, and both Tony and Phil decided to be more appreciative of life. (Well, at least their own.) But too little, too late doesn't change the person you've made yourself into. Quitting smoking for a few months after 38 years didn't erase the cancer that'd been building in Johnny's lungs. In this ep, Johnny Sac's character was used brilliantly to show that a sudden change of heart doesn't absolve you of the consequences of your lifestyle, and that change is hard to sustain, and ultimately, you will fall back into the "old habits" Chrissy talked about with his new sponsor, if for no other reason than because it's easy. The tempatations are even worse for Johnny, Tony, and Phil -these are men who have become accustomed to getting what they want through instant gratification. Johnny quit smoking and it didn't immediately make his cancer go away, so he gave in and went back to it. Phil is clearly ready to give up on "the rules" and give in to his vengeful nature. Tony has learned a lot, but he's even slipping. He says at the premiere that he KNOWS spicy food will agitate his condition, but earlier in the ep we saw him eating it (and it bothering him) anyway, because damnit he's still the virile head of the family and he should be able to consume whatever he wants. "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine," as his Cleaver counterpart says.