Sunday, August 22, 2021

Rewatching The Sopranos S1 E2, "46 Long"

Family Events: AJ's teacher's Saturn is stolen, Carmela suggests Tony help find the car. When Tony calls Livia to check in on her she neglects a pan of mushrooms on the stove and starts her kitchen on fire. After the fire department leaves the house, Carmela tries to reason with Livia, suggesting she get someone in to help her, but Livia refuses. Eventually Perrilyn, a Trinidadian housekeeper, is hired to help but Livia sabotages the relationship almost immediately. Later Livia accidentally injures herself and a friend with her vehicle and Tony insists she live at Green Grove Retirement Community. When clearing out his mother's house, Tony becomes emotional over old pictures of Livia smiling.

Mafia Events:

As Tony and the gang count money they watch a former wiseguy turned informant discuss the overall decline of organized crime. Unwillingness to do hard time for drug charges is what has brought the mafia down, the man explains. Later, Christopher and friend Brendan Filone hijack a semi full of DVD players and distribute the goods to the crew. The truck belongs Comley, one of Junior's legitimate business partnerships, and after a sit down between Tony, Junior, and boss Jackie Apriel, the two are made to pay restitution to Junior. Feeling unappreciated and ignored, Chris and Brendan plan to jack another Comley truck in defiance, this one full of Italian suits, but Chris backs out at the last minute. Tony and the crew keep some of the suits but chastise Chris for not stopping Brendan.

Mental Health Events: Tony speaks with Dr. Melfi about his guilt over Livia's living situation; Melfi tries to gently draw attention to Livia's parental shortcomings but Tony becomes defensive. Tony later relays his near panic attack during the cleaning out of Livia's house and Melfi points out that he's made progress in having awareness of his sadness but that he needs to acknowledge his anger before it seeps out to other outlets. Tony scoffs at this idea but then randomly beats Bada Bing bouncer Georgie for not being able to manage the telephone.

Significant Ideology: It's interesting that this episode begins with a mafia informer telling the audience that long prison time (hard consequences of criminal acts) led to the demise of organized crime as the crew looks on in agreement while counting piles of cash, presumably earned from the same actions described, still ongoing within the business. They acknowledge the truth but refuse to make changes that may help them avoid the very outcome being discussed. They don't listen. Or if they do listen and understand it doesn't matter because they don't change their behavior. 

The same thing happens with Chris and the Comley trucks. He listens, nods, agrees, but does little to show Tony he understands the problem in his rogue act and what it means for the organization, not to mention Tony's relationship with Junior. When Melfi tries to make Tony aware of the anger he's stifling, he listens to a point but then stomps out of the office, unwilling to admit she's right. He is so angry about his mother's treatment of him that he releases physical violence on an innocent colleague. 

Tony and crew have shown they have the ability to think critically about topics such as cloning or cultural appropriation (ala Starbucks), they also have advanced capacity for strategy: the Mahaffey scam, playing Chris and Brendon's misdeed for an ultimate financial/material gain, obtaining the science teacher's stolen car for leverage with AJ's grade, and so on. The fact that a hard warning waved in their faces does not deter the actions of any of these men suggests a very primitive way of thinking and behaving. Are they defiant (if you try to tell me what to do I'll do the exact opposite) or simply impulsively selfish (I want this thing so badly and so immediately that I cannot think logically and must have immediate gratification in getting it)? 

Italian Language

Indifendibile = indefensible (Paulie shouts this or something like it to the tv)

Chiaccherone = chatty (Paulie refers to the informant on tv)

pastin = "pastina" or little pasta (Carmela offers to make Livia some pastin to get something in her stomach after the mushroom fire incident)

O trippa di zia = or aunt's tripe (Pussy laments this after going through the paperwork at the body shop after having been away for six months).

Marone = Madonna or Madon, used similarly to 'dammit.' (Paulie laments this in frustration at the many options at what is meant to be Starbucks). 

Puzzi = stink (Paulie explains Americans ate "puzzi" before Italian cuisine became available). 

Fiori = flowers

(il tempo e la pazienza) cambiano la foglia di gelso in seta = Time and patience change the mulberry leaf to silk (Bonnie DiCaprio at Green Grove says this to Livia).