Monday, March 20, 2006
Now I remember why I love HBO's original programming. This week's episode of the Sopranos was out of this world. The first ten minutes of the episode shows Tony at some sales convention where he gets stuck because he accidentally picked up some other's guys briefcase in the bar. Immediately you realize that this sales convention Tony, who looks like Tony Soprano and sort of sounds like him, is not really him. Is it a dream? Is it a clone? What the hell is it? Has David Chase just completely lost his mind? Then boom! Just as you are ready to throw a brick through your TV set, you are catapulted into reality. The reality of Tony Soprano, the real Tony Soprano, is in an ICU barely holding on to life. Then you understand exactly what you had been witnessing moments before. You had been thrust into the world of Tony Soprano's coma - his new and maybe his last world. A world dealt to him by a pistol wielding Uncle Junior in a dimented fit. Finally, the hit that Tony's mom ordered on her own son, may become a reality. Would Chase actually have the audacity to keep Tony Soprano, the cornerstone of the show, in a coma for the entire last season? Already, as Tony lay there Paulie and Vito start scuffling, positioning themselves in the shadow of Tony's probably demise: suggestions for future violence.
As Tony lie there in his other-world, we see Carmela and A.J. each alone with Tony, finally able to communicate with him without fear of his temper and wrath. Edie Falco, as Carmela, turns in an amazing performance as she opens her heart to Tony. He can't hear, but it doesn't matter. Carmela had things she had to say and feel and she does. She also seems to being to trying to reassure herself that he is a "good" man. She spends a bunch of time convincing herself of this as she talks to him. " You care about your friends and your family", she says. "I once told you that God was going to send you to hell, well you're not going to hell. I never should have said that, and I'm sorry. For that I will be judged." Carmela wants so badly for him to have been something that he's not, that even at this point she can convince herself that he's lived a stellar life. When A.J. is alone with Tony we start to see the new and possibly next Tony Soprano. He vows to "put a bullet in Junior's head" for what he did. The rage is eerily like that of dad and it's chilling.
It looks like next week we get to see the crew start to plan and plot one another's demise as they try and get themselves positioned for a Soprano Family without the Big S himself.