May 17, 2004

The Interpretation of Soprano Dreams.

After a series of episodes tinged with foreshadowing, last night's Sopranos episode was wall-to-wall foreshadowing. But what did it all mean? We have to pick apart the lengthy dream, full of old characters and movie/TV references. This is an episode that you have to talk/read about and then rewatch retalk/reread and write about. HBO really is aiming to take over our lives. I've always found it hard to keep all the secondary male characters straight. I've just never cared enough about the complicated criminal ties, even though I know understanding this sort of thing would make watching the show much more fun as various connections pay off in plot twists. I often read Television Without Pity recaps and think: Oh, so that's why they went there/did that, etc. (Aaron pays attention, so we don't have to.)

But it's certainly fair to say there will be a bloodbath in the end. These midseason episodes are marking the time until that happens, holding back the tide of blood. The device chosen to mark the time in last night's episode was the long dream, and you don't really have to get suckered into analyzing it and talking about it, as they want you to do. But what better media experience is available to us right now to take our minds off the troubles in the news? Going to see golden actor boys hit each other with their shields in Troy? Wondering if the force that is Diana DeGarmo will really continue to gather strength until the tiny teen defeats the towering Fantasia? I think we might as well speculate about just how the anticipated bloodbath will play out. We know Tony will die in the end, don't we? So the questions really have to do with other things, such as who will kill him. I offered my choices on this subject last week. Today, I'm just going to predict that the bloodbath will take place in Artie's restaurant.

For one thing, the entire show began years ago with an episode centered on Artie's old restaurant: the dramatic action began with Tony's attempt to help his friend by torching the place to spare him the notoriety of having a mob killing occur there. So it would be nicely symmetrical to have the whole story end with a big mob killing there. For another thing, there have been many dark, foreboding scenes in the restaurant this season, suggesting a spiraling closing-in on the place. And finally, the restaurant was in the dream: Tony arrives late for dinner, loses another tooth, etc. Artie was in the dream car full of dead characters.

My Clue-style prediction: Janice, in the restaurant, with ... oh, I have no good ideas here ... a fork.


Adam said...

I still don't think Tony dies in the end. Just a gut feeling.

What interests me more is the prospect of Adriana's role as a mole being revealed, and Tony being forced to order a hit on her -- maybe, that Christopher himself have to do it . . .

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, thanks for commenting! You're the first person to comment--I just turned the comments on.

I definitely agree that something, probably very bad, will have to happen to Adrianna, and that Christopher will be involved one way or the other. It might be that she'll play a role in his death, either killing him or leading him into a trap. Since the most dramatic murder ever on the series was when Janice killed Richie, I think there is a very good chance Adrianna will kill Christopher. And as you can see, I think Janice will be the one to kill Tony. I'm picturing female revenge all around. Maybe Janice and Carmela will simultaneously go to kill Tony in a kind of American Beauty/Man Who Shot Liberty Valance kind of event. Hey ... maybe that was foreshadowed by the appearance of Annette Benning in the dream. Carmela will be driving to up to the house (I mean the restaurant) with a gun, we'll see Tony shot, then we'll find out later it wasn't Carmela. Someone else gets there first.

Anonymous said...

...notariety...Lawyer typo.

Anonymous said...

Whoops. Thanks. I've corrected it. Plus, that made me do a spellcheck on the whole thing, producing the interesting suggestion to replace DeGarmo with Diagram, which seems to say something about the creation of a popstar.