Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Rewatching The Sopranos S1 E6 "Pax Soprana"

Family Events: Livia seems happier at Green Grove, but when Junior comes for a visit she implies that Junior should receive monetary benefits from Tony's relationship with Hesh. Carmela tries to voice her frustration with Tony's not being sexually interested in her any longer, later she buys furniture to soothe herself. Carmela discusses her jealousy of Melfi with Father Phil, who tells her she's not blameless. Tony apologizes to Carmela and she admits she wants to be the woman who helps him.

Mafia Events: Junior makes changes down the ranks: strong-arming a card game, taxing Hesh, and seeking a drug dealer who sold deadly stuff to a colleague's grandson. Tony meets with New York's Johnny Sack about how to handle Junior and the two cook up a scheme to get him to come down on the tax amount. Mikey murders Rusty Irish, the drug dealer in question, by throwing him off a bridge, and the captains discuss how to handle Junior's recklessness. Tony persuades Junior to distribute Hesh's tax among the top five captains; Tony returns his share to Hesh.

Mental Health Events: Tony continues to have Makazian spy on Dr. Melfi. In
session, Melfi suggests Tony's choice of her (female, Italian) as a doctor might indicate his desire, through "coming clean" with her, to dialog with Livia, Carmela, and Meadow. Tony informs Melfi he has been experiencing a decreased libido from the prozac but keeps having sexual dreams about her. In the next session, Tony lies about events that happened with Irina and after complimenting Melfi, tries to kiss her. Melfi suggests they need to talk further about this event but Tony refuses. Later Melfi discovers someone has had ailing starter on her car replaced. Tony admits to fixing the car, and then tells Melfi he loves her. Melfi tries to explain that he's feeling this way because the therapy has progressed well.

Significant Ideology: Tony seeks a relative peace (Pax Soprana) within his both of his families---with Carmela over his lies and therapeutic relationship with Melfi and with Junior, over his need to make a splash as he takes the reins as new boss. In both cases, Tony is dishonest and manipulative, to Carmela, whom he professes to love but devotes all his energies to pursuing Melfi, and to Junior, behind whose back Tony schemes with Johnny Sack, Hesh, and the captains of his own crew in order to establish control. Funny how despite this need for control, Tony accepts Melfi's rebuff and continues therapy. While being told "no" might not be something Tony is used to, he takes it from her and then later paraphrases her words to Carmela ("what you think you're feeling, you're not feeling, and what you're not feeling is your real agenda,"). Tony seems to respect her enough to realize on some level that Melfi is right. This power differential is both unlike and exactly like one he's already experienced, he just isn't able to see it yet.

Melfi has been right about a lot of things so far, but her being an Italian woman does create an interesting dynamic in how Tony views the therapy and himself, given how much he personally needs a strong, compassionate person in his life. This powerful transference of Tony's needs onto Melfi could make for an explosively dangerous situation down the line if not addressed, but Melfi addresses it almost immediately. Tony has likely encountered men who have had more power and control in his life, but Melfi is teaching him how his mother (and her own mental illness) has colored his perceptions in his family and business life,  and why this matters at all: 

1. What do your mother, your wife, and your daughter all have in common?

2. It's not appropriate to bring me gifts.

3. You've made me all of the things that are missing in your wife and in your mother.

The panic attacks were just the beginning.

Italian Language: 

Morte = dead 

Putan' = prostitute (Livia to Junior,  "What are you wearing? You smell like a French putan'")

che brutta = how ugly (Livia, "I'm going to the dining room to get away from the che brutta activities lady,")

Capisce = he understands

mezzo morte = half dead (Junior to Tony, "You been walking around mezzo morte all week!")

Livia accepts biscotti ONLY IF THEY ARE ALMOND: 

Junior gets a new card