Monday, May 22, 2006

Stomach Troubles

‘Sopranos’: Two made guys get whacked - Sopranos

I said last week that I didn't think Tony would off Vito. I also said I didn't think he would die--and boy was I wrong about that! But last night's episode did confirm the theme I've suspected for this season: Tony just doesn't have the stomach to do what needs to be done, and as a result his families are both spiralling out of control.

Tony's life has turned into one big Whack-a-Mole game (sometimes literally, as with Adriana last season), and his hesitation to really use the mallet and whack those who need it has opened up the field to lesser thugs. Last night we saw this clearly: Tony couldn't bring himself to take care of Vito in a timely manner, so Phil took him out in brutal fashion, with a pool cue rammed up his rear to ensure--well, what, really? That Vito's children would have to cope with even more than the death of their father? Later, Silvio and Carlo struck back, sort of, killing one of Phil's guys after his riffs on Vito's secret life touched one too many nerves. (What did he expect when he said that Vito was "found with Carlo's lipstick around his cock?" Perhaps not to be stabbed repeatedly with a cooking knife, but he can take consolation in the fact that his body won't be ground up at the pork store.)

All this mayhem went on while Tony was busy enjoying Carmela's absence, getting a blow job from one of the Bing dancers in a scene that started out looking more like he was having a heart attack. His eye has been off the ball all season! Look at last night: a full-scale mob war is breaking out, and the only effective action Tony took (in an episode that covered a week) was to force A.J. to start working construction. As if that will last!

Meanwhile, Carmela, too, appears to be losing her stomach for this whole enterprise. Yet another dream about Adriana haunted her trip to Paris, and while Ro was able to make merry, Carmela's mood seemed to mirror the chill in the air, as she contemplated what her life is about and how she's gotten what she has. It appears to be dawning on her that, contrary to what she told Melfi while Tony was in a coma, there may not be many men worse than her husband. She can go one of two ways now: Confront him about this revelation, or suppress it and try to imitate the business success of Angie. But it seems clear that she's going to have to choose: Sinner or saint?

What will happen now? Will Tony get his stomach back? He was prepared to make peace with Phil despite his anger--but can he do that now? Will he convince John, in prison, to sanction removing Phil? And will Melfi's real-life sister ever stop wailing that Vito Spatafore was a good man? There are no good men on this show, honey--just a bunch of petty crooks headed to a doom that appears to be gathering force with each episode. Vito may be lucky to have gotten out while the getting was good.

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