Friday, July 21, 2023

Rewatching The Sopranos S2 E2 "Do Not Resuscitate"

Family Events:
Tony confronts Janice about the for sale sign, later at the hospital Livia accuses Janice of wanting to take her house. After speaking with Meadow ("what is she into?" "NEGATIVITY!") Janice uses a Pavarotti CD to charm Livia. When Janice offers to take Livia home to live, she says she'd rather go back to Green Grove. Janice tries to convince Tony to sign a "do not resuscitate" order; AJ overhears the conversation and innocently admits everything to Livia during a visit.

Livia calls Carmela from the hospital and babbles about nothing; Carmela hangs up on her when she begins to criticize her children but adds first, "THEY ARE ALL UNHAPPY."

Mafia Events: Tony visits Junior in prison; Junior insists that Livia had no part in the assassination attempt and that Tony make peace with her. Junior's guy Bobby Baccalieri meets the crew at Satriale's where Tony explains which of Junior's businesses he'll be allowed to keep. Junior is released from custody on house arrest due to his health issues but once back home falls in the shower. When he refuses an ambulance, Tony picks him up and carries him to the car. 

A group of Black activists protest at a Masserone Brothers Construction site; the owner arranges with Tony to handle the issue. Tony meets with the leader's father, a reverend, and likes him, but still orders his crew to attack the activists. 

In a flashback, Pussy is driven home after a medical procedure by Skip, revealing that Pussy has been working with federal agents since 1998.  

Significant Ideology: Livia throws out many contradictions, switching gears a few times throughout the episode. In what seems to be a one-off conversation with AJ, Livia says, "daughters take better care of their mothers," explaining how Janice comes every day to play pinocle with her but earlier criticized Janice for being unable to stay in New Jersey and for being unable to stand herself. She also introduced the idea that Johnny Soprano might not have been the "saint" she's been praising all this time and after hearing the disturbing news about the DNR, begins mentioning hidden money she has stashed away to both Janice and Carmela while bizarrely mixing up family names and whispering nonsensical chatter. 

The unnamed reverend Tony meets with unfortunately dies; Junior falls and has potentially broken his hip. The older generation is declining, as the reverend stated, but in all of the cases, the sons in this story are (or in Tony's case, were) the ones caring for their elders. Janice is an opportunist, in town only to capitalize on Livia's disability, and this has been observed and commented upon by Tony, Barbara, and even Livia, who may be confused, but who definitely knows her own daughter's cunning. While Tony has refused to make peace with her (as Junior and Janice have both encouraged), he is somehow roped into caring for Junior, the man who arranged to have him killed. While he hasn't explicitly stated that he forgives either of them, his interactions with Junior, first arranging through Bobby to allow him to continue earning and then physically hauling him to the car after his injury suggest that Tony still loves his uncle. The difference with Junior is of course that he has no one else; for the time being, Livia has Janice (and Meadow, who seems sympathetic). 

The insertion of the Pussy-being-an-informant into a crew heavy episode like this one shows the vigorous nature of Tony's position as boss and how the constant chaos allowed for such a problem. When he's not dealing with Junior, he's dealing with Masserone Brothers, when he's not dealing with staging a riot between his crew and the protesters, he's arranging with the reverend's son and hacking up construction deal spoils. When he gets home, Janice grills him about Livia's house and the DNR after he's explicitly told her not to mention their mother. There was no mention of Christopher (although his two finance bros derped their way into the riot) nor of Tony's mental health. Things were just too busy.

Italian Language: disgratziata (Pussy in regard to Livia when Skip says "this fuck tried to suffocate his own mother"): poor, wretched, unfortunate, unlucky