April 30, 2007

The Sopranos - Chasing It - Episode 81

In each episode of the final episodes that I've seen so far, it seems like David Chase is slowly unraveling the world that he's knitted so carefully over the years. He's deconstructing his world by destroying Tony's friendships. Each week we see Tony Soprano losing hold of his world one person at a time. In last night's episode, we saw a different side of Tony's relationship with Hesh - one of many surrogate fathers Tony has adopted throughout the years of the show.

Question: What is pulling the on the loose string of their well knit relationship?
Answer: A $200,000 personal loan given by Hesh which Tony needed to cover some gambling debts.

It seems that through all the years I've been watching of the Sopranos, I missed Tony's gambling problem. But it makes sense, right? I mean. Aside from being unfaithful to his wife, Tony doesn't really have any vices. He seems bored and lonely. With the exception of that dead body the feds dug up in the previous episode, everything seems right in his world. But is it? He's so bored, he distracts himself with gambling and losing badly. Things are going well with his wife, so what does he do? He creates conflict. Over what? Gambling.

Add that he probably doesn't like to watch his wife succeed. Why else would he want to use the money she just earned from the sale of her spec house (to her cousin, no less) to gamble? It's a good thing she said no to that sure thing. Aside from the fact that he was reaching rock bottom he was also trying to undermine Carmella's newly restored self-esteem.

We also saw the beginning of the end of his relationship with Dr. Melfi. She doesn't want to put up with his crap anymore and told him basically to shit or get off the pot after he told her that he considers her office an oasis from the week. Dr. Melfi didn't like that.

It's worth mentioning that AJ proposed to his girlfriend and she refused him. Poor AJ. Honk twice if you think he's going to be killed by Phil Leotardo in vengeance.

Oh. And in the spirit of not leaving any loose ends, David Chase et al treated us to a storyline about the gay gangster's surviving family. It seems his teenage boy has turned goth, antisocial and borderline psychotic since his father's death. The gay gangster's widow goes to Tony for help. She needs $100,000 to relocate and set her family straight. But Tony loses the money on a bad bet and ends up sending the kid to an $18,000 boot camp for messed up kids.

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