Sunday, August 22, 2021

Rewatching The Sopranos S1 E3 "Denial, Anger, Acceptance"

Family Events: Meadow feels the stress of studying for SATs; Tony and Carmela visit Artie and Charmaine Bucco in their new house. To help the Buccos, Carmela hires them to cater a pediatric hospital fundraiser at the house. Charmaine is receptive to the honest work until Carmela gestures to her as she had done earlier with her housekeeper. As they box up the effects after the party, Charmaine admits to Carmela that she slept with Tony back in high school and that she's fine with her life decisions. Meadow asks Christopher and Brendan to score her some crystal to help study for exams, which he does. Tony joins Carmela for Meadow's choir concert and is moved to tears by his daughter's singing.

At Green Grove Junior floats the idea of punishing Christopher to Livia but is surprised to hear Livia profess her love for Chris ("he put up my storm windows for me one year,"). Suggesting that Chris could rather use a talking-to but shrugging an implication of something more severe for Brendan, sly Livia colludes with Junior to hurt Tony. Junior arranges to have Christopher roughed up by Russians but sends his own man, Mikey Palmice to shoot Brendan. 

Mafia Events: Chris and Brendan return the jacked truck to Comley; Junior is not placated. Tony and the crew visit boss Jackie Apriel in the hospital and discuss getting involved with Teittleman, a Hasidic Jew, who wants a divorce for his daughter. Tony gifts Jackie an escort and booze in his hospital room while Paulie and Silvio assault Teittleman's son-in-law, Ariel. After Ariel finally agrees to give them what they want, Teittleman tries to get out of paying Tony the agreed-upon sum. Tony tries to relay the drama to Jackie back in the hospital, but Jackie is preoccupied with his temperature.

Mental Health Events: Tony accuses Melfi of hanging a depressing painting of a barn outside her office to trick him but then admits he's worried about his friend Jackie, who has cancer. Later Tony asks Melfi for her medical thoughts on Jackie's cancer but becomes immediately defensive when she tells him her honest opinion and stomps out, again mentioning the painting of the barn. Later with his Russian mistress, Irina, Tony asks her what a poolside painting above her bed means to her. 

Tony eventually comes clean with Melfi about mourning Jackie but insists he's not afraid to die for a reason.

Significant Ideology: Faced with the devotion of the Hasid,  Tony comes to terms with the fact that some deaths have more meaning than others. He realizes Jackie's death is imminent and will be a cancer casualty, and will not reflect the strength of the man he once was. Tony references Jackie's appearance and formerly harsh attitude as if to reinforce that the gangster inside Jackie still exists and brings him a Bada Bing employee to enjoy (Jackie may be sick but he can still bang). The full masculine power of the mafia is in focus during this episode, so it's no surprise that the final threat to Ariel is to remove his manhood, what could possibly be worse than that?

However, Tony seems to be learning in therapy. After Melfi explains how the ducks and the barn painting "took on another meaning" for him because of his inner feelings, Tony asks Irina what she thinks of her painting. Teittleman calls him a golem, a Frankenstein, but Tony all but sheds tears for Jackie in Melfi's office and also during Meadow's choir concert. 

Italian Language

Statti zit = shut up