Thursday, May 26, 2022

Rewatching the Sopranos S1 E11 "Nobody Knows Anything"

Family Events: Livia refuses to attend Carmela's open house party; Carmela comes to Green Grove and admonishes her for manipulating Tony. Livia refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing and instead complains about being abandoned. When Tony asks Bonnie to inform Livia that her house has been sold Livia retaliates by suggesting to Junior that Tony has meetings at Green Grove to talk about him with his crew, effectively setting in motion the plot to have Tony killed. 

Mafia Events: Pussy suffers an injury to his back and then gets arrested with Jimmie after fleeing an FBI bust at Jimmie's club. Junior criticizes Pussy for having run from the feds and for carrying too much cash. Makazian informs Tony that Pussy is "wired for sound" after being busted dealing heroin; Tony reacts poorly to this news but begins to entertain suspicions. Tony visits Pussy and listens to his concerns but immediately informs Paulie about the wiretap, saying he's "90% sure." Paulie offers to take care of Pussy but Tony insists that he actually see the wire before acting. Paulie surprises Pussy with a trip to the spa but Pussy refuses to get undressed and storms off. Silvio discovers that Makazian owes Pussy upwards of thirty thousand dollars. In the middle of afternoon traffic, Makazian pulls over after presumably being fired from his job as a detective and jumps off a bridge, killing himself. Jimmie gets released from prison and insists on getting Tony to talk about the Columbian money deal; Tony realizes Jimmie is the one who is working with the feds. 

Mental Health Events: Tony admits he's worried about Pussy; Melfi tries to refocus Tony's attention
on his own therapy but eventually suggests too much responsibility and secrets could be factors in someone's chronic back pain. In a passing comment to Bonnie, Tony mentions that Livia has always been "depressed." 

Significant Ideology: The strength of men is questioned: Jimmie and Pussy have charges serious enough to scare them into cooperating with FBI as neither of them feel strong enough to do jail or have the financial ability to stop earning. Makazian is not strong enough to handle his suspension after the raid on Debbie's place, or he's overcome by his sizeable gambling debt. Tony is the only one to put in motion what has to be done (re: Pussy) but he's very conflicted about doing it. Livia casually manipulates Junior into killing Tony with absolutely no remorse. Carmela understands both her husband and her mother in law and is the only one strong enough to confront Livia. 

The consequences that threaten the men are immediate and physical, jail or death; the consequences of Livia's decisions change in this episode from chronic emotional manipulation to also immediate and physical. She is willing to have Tony killed for the simple act of selling her home, and not only that, this is her second attempt. Informing Junior about the psychiatry introduced the idea of killing Tony but did not bring about immediate action. Livia may have been content to just revert to her usual emotional manipulation (as she has seemingly come to tolerate living at Green Grove) as evidenced by her refusal to attend Carmela's open house, but the news of her house being sold was enough to push her over the edge. This time she makes it personal to Junior ("maybe it was you that they were talking about!") and she knows exactly what she's doing.

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