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6-16: "Chasing It" 2007.04.29 (recap)


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#331

Mao Lee

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 4:45 AM

I guess the boy in front of the Satriales was Carlo jr. . Tony misnamed Vito jr. calling him sometimes Carlo jr.

Another guess about Janice and Tonys very special connection to each other besides the fact they are brother and sister. I always wondered about Janice' murder on Richie Aprile. It was a very emotionally affect she did after he hit her in the face shooting Richie dead. I think maybe in her memories she was reminded on some kind of brutal behavior by her father he did against her in her childhood and maybe Tony was an accidentally but helpless witness of this scene. And Tony and Janice have forgot about this scene not to destroy the walls that surround the holy image of their beloved father until the latest epsiodes when Tony comes more and more to mind about the true brutally presence that their father personated in their childhood. And after this childhood event Janice became very irresponsible in her life accusing her brother not to help her out of this situation and also never wanted brually behaved by a man that reminds her of her father. So she choose the very fatherlike Richie Aprile to get her subconsciously revenge for what her father did to her and then she asked Tony for picking up Richies pieces to make good not helping her against their father in their past.

Edited by Mao Lee, May 1, 2007 @ 4:49 AM.


#332

themush1326

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 5:36 AM

One thing I noticed about this season vs the previous is that Tony seems to be using 100's to pay people for example he gave Hesh a ad or cash for 3K

When he paid for the Pie-O-My painting he did it with 6 or 7 bills so he would have have to use 1000's(dollar bill). Any thoughs on this?

#333

steambadger

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 6:34 AM

When he paid for the Pie-O-My painting he did it with 6 or 7 bills so he would have have to use 1000's(dollar bill).


There haven't been any $1000 bills printed in the US since 1945; anything bigger than a benjy is pretty much a collector's item these days. Maybe Tony was just putting up earnest money for Pie?

#334

themush1326

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 6:44 AM

He paid in full and got a reciept, maybe I'm over thinking this.

I know you are correct about the 1000 bill(not being orinted for years) but its always struck me as strange there bankrolls alwats seem to represnt more cash then you could fit in ones pocket

#335

chitowngirl

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 7:25 AM

Anyone else think he's done or will do better work in this season than in this episode?

That's interesting, because it seems to me that he thinks this is his best acting, so it makes me wonder what's coming up the rest of season.

#336

Milburn Stone

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 7:52 AM

I'm going to take one step further along what will probably prove to be a very thin branch, and suggest that if we had the same actors doing the same characterisations with the same plots but we had started from the New York Family's point of view, we would now be seeing Phil as a bastion of honour and the last noble Boss, and Tony as greedy, unstable, and uncouth.

Because then we would have defined Phil as the wolf on our side, and Tony as the wolf in the woods.

I think this is interesting, but incorrect, and I'll tell you why. We occasionally get glimpses that Tony has genuine love and compassion for people, defined as wanting to do something for them that he is not in any way obligated to do and that it is not in any way to his advantage to do. We never see that in Phil. Couple of examples. Tony takes much better care of Junior in his pre-confinement doddering years than he has any obligation to do, considering how Junior has treated him. And Tony feels the need to do something for Vito Jr., even though Sil is 100% correct when he says "not your problem." For a moment, he even seems to be considering giving Marie the 100K, though his offer ends up less. Since these impulses (and a few others) can't be explained by their usefulness to Tony, they have to be evidence of a good heart somewhere deep down there. This (and not just the random chance of point of view) is why we've sided with Tony all these years.

#337

Qjuad

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 8:09 AM

And Tony feels the need to do something for Vito Jr., even though Sil is 100% correct when he says "not your problem." For a moment, he even seems to be considering giving Marie the 100K, though his offer ends up less


He offered her less because he gambled most of it away, hence why he decided to go for the much, much cheaper option.

#338

dconner

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 8:14 AM

On Blanca, I see her behavior as fairly simple, no particularly complex motives at work. The A.J. - Blanca relationship was always a weird fit from the start - he's much younger, from a different cultural background, she's got a kid, etc. At the Cleaver screening, they focus on her when a character (the Boss character, I think) says something like "You need a man, not a boy!"

A.J.'s still a boy. I don't think it's much more complicated than that. (I thought that was a pretty damn cold breakup, though. If you trusted the guy enough to be alone with your son, you at least owe him a little more than that brush-off....)

#339

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 8:30 AM

Alderman (sorry forget his name)

[nitpick]Not an alderman, but an assemblyman (like a state or local representative). Zellman was the last name. Played by Peter "Boone" Riegert of "Animal House" fame. [/nitpick]

Was I overjoyed to see Cousin Brian! Who else but a hapless relative would buy Carm and Hugh's Money Pit of a spec house? And I love Carm's almost childlike whimper about keeping the profits from the house. "I kind of thought it was my money."

I hope this isn't the last we see of Hesh, although it looks like it.

#340

Milburn Stone

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 9:02 AM

Anyone else get a kick out of Chase referencing his friend and fellow Producer/Writer David Hackel (Wings, Becker, etc.)? It was his name on the tombstone that Vito, Jr. knocked over.

Is Chase really Hackel's friend? I assume he's alive--putting a living guy's name on a grave monument, and then desecrating it, hardly seems like the act of a friend. I mean, a guy who would do that would probably make his loyal audience look at someone taking a dump, or something!

#341

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 9:23 AM

AJ said it was the "Latino Day" Parade, although he was sporting the Puerto Rican flag, I believe.

Maybe he's like Turk on Scrubs--hee!

#342

Herb

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 9:45 AM

I loved Phil's "old school" speech to the kid--it's very repressed suck it up silent generation of my parents (of which I am a late-life child of, much like Claire Fisher), so I *got* it, even if Vito Jr. didn't. (Hell, I got the "suck up for your mom's sake" when her my maternal grandfather died--when I was nine--so I don't see what was so bad about having to sack the fuck up.)


Maybe because Phil was the sack of shit that killed the kid's dad and messed up his life...? Took a lot of nerve for him to say that if you ask me.

Edited by Herb, May 1, 2007 @ 9:46 AM.


#343

jlo123

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 9:53 AM

And I don't know what this means, but I thought it was interesting that in the meeting between Tony and Marie, T stands up because he obviously wants to end the conversation as soon as possible...then a few scenes later, Melfi does the same thing, as a signal to end. It's probably just a coincidence, but it caught my attention.

#344

JBFC

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 9:56 AM

According to the HBO website, it was in fact the Puerto Rican Day Parade. That means that the writers were guilty of a major, major gaffe in last night's show that bothered me from the moment I noticed it.

The Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC takes place in June every year. Blanca dumps AJ at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, so it's June in this episode. Except Tony is betting on all these NFL games--and as we all know, the NFL plays from September to January. On top of that, a Jerry Stackhouse 3 gives the Mavericks some kind of win that costs Tony, so the NBA is in season as well, meaning it's actually November at the earliest.

Which is it, Chase? June, September, or November? Huh, Chase? Which is it? If you're supposed to be so smart, how come you made such a major screw-up, Chase?

A very sloppy, very lazy, very disappointing error that is unbecoming a show of this caliber.

Edited by JBFC, May 1, 2007 @ 9:58 AM.


#345

Postkantian

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 10:02 AM

I'm not sure why we're assuming that Tony possible death (and living in hell) is some kind of 'dream'. Maybe Tony's decent into hell is to be taken literally, and corresponds the Seven Souls 'poem' that opened the sixth season (prior to him being shot)

The ancient Egyptians postulated seven souls.

Top soul, and the first to leave at the moment of death, is Ren, the Secret Name. This corresponds to my Director. He directs the film of your life from conception to death. The Secret Name is the title of your film. When you die, that's where Ren came in.

Second soul, and second one off the sinking ship, is Sekem: Energy, Power, Light. The Director gives the orders, Sekem presses the right buttons.

Number three is Khu, the Guardian Angel. He, she, or it is third man out ... depicted as flying away across a full moon, a bird with luminous wings and head of light. Sort of thing you might see on a screen in an Indian restaurant in Panama. The Khu is responsible for the subject and can be injured in his defense-but not permanently, since the first three souls are eternal. They go back to Heaven for another vessel. The four remaining souls must take their chances with the subject in the Land of the Dead.

Number four is Ba, the Heart, often treacherous. This is a hawk's body with your face on it, shrunk down to the size of a fist. Many a hero has been brought down, like Samson, by a perfidious Ba.

Number five is Ka, the Double, most closely associated with the subject. The Ka, which usually reaches adolescence at the time of bodily death, is the only reliable guide through the Land of the Dead to the Western Lands.

Number six is Khaibit, the Shadow, Memory, your whole past conditioning from this and other lives.

Number seven is Sekhu, the Remains."


Maybe what we're watching is a soul laid bare as it is being put to rest, or prepares for the next incarnation.

(disclaimer: not that I believe any of this - just wondering).

#346

SuzN

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 10:43 AM

Actually, marty118, you are helping me clarify my feelings about Tony. By ďgoing along with the herdĒ, I mean I donít ďgo alongĒ with the masses in liking or idolizing a charismatic leader or celebrity. I donít ever ďlikeĒ Tony, but I sometimes sympathize with him and tend to take his side. What we see in the writing and the portrayal by Gandolfini is that for all the evil Tony does, he has some feelings for others beyond what they can do for him. In this episode, Tony talks about what little Francesca is going through with some concern for her. In this episode, Tony was desperation personified Ė on some level I could empathize, hence my tension throughout.

Itís not a simplistic as there being some good in everybody, because I donít even believe that. Itís more there are glimpses of the man Tony might have been like if he hadnít had such toxic parents and been raised around people to whom a life of criminality is the norm.

Milburn Stone:

We occasionally get glimpses that Tony has genuine love and compassion for people, defined as wanting to do something for them that he is not in any way obligated to do and that it is not in any way to his advantage to do.


Exactly.

#347

erzulie

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 10:55 AM

Which is it, Chase? June, September, or November? Huh, Chase? Which is it? If you're supposed to be so smart, how come you made such a major screw-up, Chase?

A very sloppy, very lazy, very disappointing error that is unbecoming a show of this caliber.


Knowing when the Puerto Rican Day Parade is, and knowing that that date wouldn't normally jibe with the NFL season doesn't lessen my enjoyment of the episode. It's not real life, so if they want the Puerto Rican Day Parade to be in September for dramatic purposes, I can deal with that. I'm confused by all the personal animosity people (in articles I've read, as well) seem to have toward David Chase. He's in charge of this story - it's his. If he wants Tony and Carmela to move to Ecuador and open a B&B in the last episode, then that's the ending he wants. I may think it ends stupidly, but I'll believe it if he believes it and so far, I completely believe where Tony is going. (The gambling thing, not Ecuador.) Chase doesn't owe me anything and I don't care if the timeline is goofy. It's fiction.

I've felt Tony has seemed to be rotting inside since 6b started. I felt like the gambling was just another manifestation of that; it seemed organic and right to me.

#348

lovinbob

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 10:56 AM

He is losing everything by degrees.

Tony is deteriorating. His foundations are crumbing. He now trusts no one. He now realizes that he really has no one who will support him unless they can get something from him. Even Melfi is ready to cut him loose.

Maybe this is totally obvious and goes without saying, but in this episode it really struck me how Tony's sources of wisdom and counsel were completely abandoning him. Sil's absolutely blind acquiescence to Tony's gambling, Melfi's confrontation, the tension with Hesh. More than being without allies, he's without wisdom. It could be (and seems to be) his downfall, causing him to act irrationally. It could also be interesting if he turned it on in the next few episodes and started taking decisive action to improve his situation, take care of his family, etc. Like maybe he could prove himself the Boss/Varsity athlete (choose your own leadership metaphor).

But the truth is it took 10,000 years of selective breeding to make it safe to bring a dog into the house at night without a rope. Men like Tony are a long way from being safe to know.

This gave me chills. What a great analogy.

I really felt for Vito Jr. The shower scene was gross, but I took his action as: Yeah, you think I'm a freak? Here—this is really freaky. Maybe now you'll leave me alone.

Edited by lovinbob, May 1, 2007 @ 10:57 AM.


#349

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:00 AM

Re: Gandolfini saying he would submit this eppy for award... I can see why only b/c of the range of acting and the sublty (and not so, sometimes) of his acting. Tony is slowly unravelling in front of us, and Gand is being masterful in portraying it. Just MO.

#350

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:10 AM

Maybe this is totally obvious and goes without saying, but in this episode it really struck me how Tony's sources of wisdom and counsel were completely abandoning him. Sil's absolutely blind acquiescence to Tony's gambling, Melfi's confrontation, the tension with Hesh. More than being without allies, he's without wisdom. It could be (and seems to be) his downfall, causing him to act irrationally. It could also be interesting if he turned it on in the next few episodes and started taking decisive action to improve his situation, take care of his family, etc. Like maybe he could prove himself the Boss/Varsity athlete (choose your own leadership metaphor).


This fits a theme that organizations spend much of their time fighting outside adversaries (the New York mob, FBI) but are ultimately destroyed from within. It started with ducks (loss of Family/family) and has been picking up steam with the lack of talent and succession within the NJ crew and Tony's personal disintegration.

BTW, I also was confused by Hesh's comment that Tony paid $3.2 million for the "boat." If he means Stugots, there is no way it cost that much.

#351

steambadger

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:11 AM

Which is it, Chase? June, September, or November?


Well, it ain't June -- the first episode took place on Tony's birthday, and it's established that that's in late August. Also, harness racing doesn't start at Batavia until July. I could forgive the Puerto Rican thing; the HBO summaries are notoriously sloppy, and the show just said it was the "Latino Day Parade." It's hard to believe it's November, though -- everybody's wearing short sleeves, and it looks very much like late summer or early fall -- so the NBA thing is bothersome. The show is never very clear about how much time has passed between episodes; I suppose we could have gone through three months since the first episode, and the weather is just unseasonably warm?

#352

jlo123

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:16 AM

Also, time passes quickly within episodes. The loan was last episode, we can guess that some time has passed to make Hesh nervous, and then at least 2 more weeks pass by.

#353

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:18 AM

I imagine they probably called it the "Latino Day Parade" specifically *because* of the timeline issue - it's a fictitious parade that might happen in September or October....

#354

jodyt

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:23 AM

In this episode, Tony talks about what little Francesca is going through with some concern for her.


BUT - I noticed Tony didn't/couldn't immediately recall what Francesca was called - which Bobby then easily supplied.

To me, this is one of those tiny, perfect flourishes. Tony is sentimental/caring in an abstract way about little girl's undeserved suffering, Bobby - the better dad - actually knows Vito's daughter's name.

#355

Extrasonic

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:27 AM

Itís not a simplistic as there being some good in everybody, because I donít even believe that. Itís more there are glimpses of the man Tony might have been like if he hadnít had such toxic parents and been raised around people to whom a life of criminality is the norm.


I don't want to stray too far off topic, but since this show is as much a character study as anything else...

I don't think it's quite fair to boil this down to "nature vs. nurture", SuzN. It's not like Tony's a would-be saint who was corrupted by bad parenting and the circumstance of his environment. Tony's a smart(-ish) guy, and with "all that entrails", he knows that he's had choices to make. He went to college, he must've seen and experienced other ways to live. If Johnny Boy really, truly wanted Tony to go into the family business, he would've sabotaged Tony's college aspirations. But given the chance, Tony was morally lazy. When he had a chance to buck up and do the diffcult, right thing or fold and do the easy, wrong thing, we know which he chose - and we know what sort of fantasy he had to sell himself about his dad in order to justify it. Not to mention the Kevin Finnerty scenario that sprung fully-formed from his subconscious; how much has he been thinking about "the life that could have been" for all those details to come out while he was in a coma?

He doesn't want to be the "poor me" guy for what he has had to deal with. He doesn't want to "go about in pity" for himself over his upbringing. His parents and his environment may have made his choice to be a criminal easier, but he still had to choose to walk through that door. Then, once he did, he had to choose how far to go with it. He doesn't believe that his life is beyond his control, he believes that he makes his own luck. So why should we give him a free pass based on his circumstance when he wouldn't give one to himself?

I don't think Tony's pure evil, and often I find the way he agonizes over hard decisions or how he feels about his family very sympathetic. I think that a lot of people see that Tony cares about and struggles with the things that any person would, and that also makes him sympathetic until he starts choosing to color way outside the lines of accepted societal/legal norms. I just don't think it's right to characterize him as a "good man gone wrong, trapped in the life of a criminal for reasons beyond his control".

To try to tie this back into the discussion, it's interesting to note that AJ's already followed in his dad's footsteps and dropped out of school; hopefully his work experience has given him enough of a taste for (pseudo-)independence and honest living that he can make the hard choices Tony couldn't. Tony's dad probably brought Tony in to the family business either out of exasperation that Tony wasn't going to do anything else with his life or out of indifference toward the consequences it would have on Tony. One of the things that I've wondered over the course of the whole series, not just this season, is at the end, will either Tony or AJ have the strength to keep AJ out of "the life"?

#356

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:30 AM

The Mexican Independance Day Parade does take place in mid-September, though judging from the flags AJ was flying, I am gonna say that it wasn't that parade. Still, I am willing to accept that it was a generic Latino Parade. Which parade it was is not completely essential to the action.

I really felt for Vito Jr. The shower scene was gross, but I took his action as: Yeah, you think I'm a freak? Hereóthis is really freaky. Maybe now you'll leave me alone.


The irony being that in fact he would not be left alone. Vito Jr.'s completely disturbing and anti-social act of defecating in public like that ensures that he will always be watched. The kids problems go deeper than simply being picked on and unpopular.

Edited by reggiejax, May 1, 2007 @ 11:33 AM.


#357

littaguy

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:40 AM

One of the things that I've wondered over the course of the whole series, not just this season, is at the end, will either Tony or AJ have the strength to keep AJ out of "the life"?


This is where the Bianca breakup could fit nicely into this theme if she were to tell him it was his "loser career path" (pizza shop manager) and lack of money that instigated the breakup. I still believe she got together with AJ for his name and had designs on the spec house and all the riches Carmella enjoyed. It simply makes no sense for her to seek out some kid working construction, who happens to be 10 years her junior with a different ethnic background without some kind of hidden motivation.

#358

jlo123

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 11:53 AM

jodyt Wow, great pickup. You're right, that quick moment shows how he cares only in the abstract.

#359

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 12:08 PM

I know Blanca's older than AJ, but where is everyone getting "ten years" from?

#360

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 12:13 PM

I got the feeling in this episode that Bobby is positioning himself for a much higher role in the family. His sense of style, language, all has improved, that and he knows Tony is in a tailspin.