March 20, 2006

Alternate-Universe Tony

Extremely weird "Sopranos" tonight, but I think I liked it (SPOILERS!)

It's yet another dream-sequence episode, which certainly will be too weird for some, but I think I liked it. While Tony lies in a coma clinging to life, with his family and friends surrounding him, we see a slightly different version of "Tony" on a business trip to California, having lost his wallet and unable to leave. This "Tony" appears to have a normal job and no mob connections at all, a different wife and different kids and- perhaps most strangely of all- less of a Jersey accent.

What's this supposed to symbolize? My stab at analysis is that it's an episode-length version of that moment last season where Christopher is about to surrender to the FBI, sees the loser getting in the car with his family at the gas station, and decides he doesn't want to "live the rest of [his] life like a schnook" (to quote "Goodfellas") and rats out Adriana to Tony instead. We get to see what life is like for Tony as a regular guy and... bad things happen, continually. The occasional presence of helicopters during the dream add to the "Goodfellas" motif.

Anyway, I'm interested to see where all this leads, especially since doctors keep repeating that Tony's not likely to live. And where'd A.J.'s vow to kill Uncle Junior come from? Is he destined for mob life after all?

A few other observations:

- More great, great acting by Edie Falco, the best I've seen from her since that season finale where she and Tony yelled at each other for 90 minutes.

- Tony getting into a fight with the two Buddhist monks was priceless.

- Does Meadow look terrible, or what? I guess that's just normal wear-and-tear that comes with getting married and divorced by the time you're 24.

- Vito's suddenly becoming a major character, though the writers don't seem to have much for him, besides the weight loss, the ambition, and the latent homosexuality. The fart was funny, though. And nice to see, in the coming attractions, that and Finn meet again.

- The season is shaping up well, I think. I still say the way Tony deals with the Junior situation will be the most fascinating arc of the year.

Posted by Stephen Silver at March 20, 2006 12:22 AM

Also notable: Paulie saves AJ when he insists on taking him home from the hospital rather than letting Vito do it.

Posted by: LilB at March 20, 2006 11:10 AM

Pretty good analysis. What is Doctor Melfi's reactions I wonder. I also thought it was hilarious how everyone made fun of AJ's long hair, esp. Pauly calling AJ, Van Helsing.

Posted by: A at March 20, 2006 01:59 PM
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