Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Rewatching The Sopranos S1 E7 "Down Neck"

Family Events: AJ gets busted drinking communion wine at school and gets suspended. A school psychologist wants to test AJ for ADD. During his suspension AJ visits Livia at Green Grove and lets slip the fact that Tony sees a psychiatrist. Eventually AJ asks Tony about being in the mafia but Tony deflects. AJ is determined to be a borderline case of ADD; Tony doesn't agree. 

Mafia Events: Tony asks Pussy about his children's knowledge of the business, Pussy admits they knew but loved him anyway. Chris steals watches from a FedEx truck; Tony scolds him for it.

Mental Health Events: Tony admits to Melfi has a girlfriend but can't turn off his feelings for her. He asks her about AJ's ADD diagnosis but Melfi wants to direct his attention to his feelings about his own father. Tony has several flashbacks about his father, first beating a man who owed him money with Junior, and of him taking his sister Janice to a carnival. Tony remembers his father getting arrested at this carnival and realizing his father wasn't like other fathers, also two specific incidents of Livia threatening him (with a meat fork and pillow).

Significant Ideology: Jefferson Airplane is used to introduce Tony's memories of his father in the late sixties and again at the end of the episode to show Tony's love for AJ as he makes sundaes for them. Tony admits to Melfi he doesn't want AJ to be like him, despite having not really harbored any negative feelings for his own gangster father. How will AJ fare as a Soprano? He also has a gangster father (and knows it now) but he also has a good relationship with his mother, unlike Tony. If the show is taking the position that Livia did more to screw up her son's mental health than the entire North Jersey mafia, it's one hell of a reveal. 

Italian Language: 

ubatz = crazy 

caporegime = captain, ranking member

AJ spills the beans: