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October 9, 2015

The Sopranos: Walk Like a Man

by Tom Biro, posted May 6th 2007 11:54PM
AJ Soprano(S06E17) Looking for a completion to a season and a series? Well, looks like the folks behind The Sopranos have got something in store for all of us. Christopher has seen a lot more face time this season that I thought he would when the premiere was running, and the previews have been more than pot-stirring so far, but I'm definitely just as hooked as I've been in a while, and am psyched to see what comes next.

As much as I like hearing what the New York family is up to, I've got to say it was pretty nice to have them pretty much out of the loop for a week. We got hit with a few big surprises this week, the earliest of which seemed to be the rug being pulled out from beneath Tony's visits to Dr. Melfi, but it wasn't to be. That said, A.J. seems to have some work cut out for him, Christopher is making life tougher for everyone around him, and Tony's looking to bank some support with the feds. Where this train will stop, no one knows. All I know is, as rough as we might have started off this season and seeing a few bumps along the way, I'm becoming more and more convinced that we won't be disappointed.

As mentioned earlier, I was really almost bummed out to see Tony's introductions to Dr. Melfi when he sat down with her early in the show. I really thought he was going to walk on her, but thankfully, his son's potential suicide situation (I can't believe I just wrote that) kept him coming back to the chair for more. While I'm happy to see him staying in therapy, I'm for some reason realizing how tense the discussions have become between doctor and patient. Is it as simple as her frustration with having him there, as she had discussed earlier this year, or is she just sick of it all as far as how her life has been affected since having Tony as a patient?

Christopher, seemingly right as rain when it comes to staying on the wagon, fell off, and hard. He had been such a hardass about Paulie's attitude and the boys' comments about his drinking - or lack of it - but after letting it all out in his AA meeting, he still went off and had a drink with Paulie. Yet again this season (is this the third time now?) we got the slow-motion treatment, this time with Chrissie seeing the boys laugh at him when Paulie joked about Christopher's daughter working at the club as a stripper one day. Obviously that was the firecracker that made Christopher jump out of his seat, but never did I ever think things would end the way they did with that situation. Popping Tim Daly's character? Wow. What I'm not sure is if that was just a defensive measure after hearing the reaction about Christopher being in the mafia, and what happened with Ade, and more, and he just snapped, or he realized that he couldn't dig himself in any more holes, and that by blurting out anything about the family, he could go the same way? Maybe it was a combination of both, frankly.

As an aside, between commenters here and some of my friends, everyone's been asking where Artie Bucco is. In fact, one person asked me tonight howcome JT had to get the bullet in the head, and not Artie for some apparent reason. While I don't side with that idea (I kind of like Artie), he is someone I'm hoping at least gets to make a guest appearance before the show's end.

But forget about missing characters, let's talk about A.J. for a bit. Sure, he managed to turn around a bit, and I'm guessing it wasn't just about the stripper on his lap after all, was it? I'd say there's a good chance he will get into the family business, and that could make for a good opportunity for a show ending, no? Either that, or he's going to get himself in a lot of trouble with the company he's keeping in the fraternity and gambling biz. It's a strange world we live in where a mother comes to grips with the fact that his father knows best by letting the kid go off and drink, hang out with a bunch of gambling college students, and go to a strip club where she knows some shady stuff is going down.

As far as the slippery slope that all the boys live on throughout this series, what are the odds that Christopher's outlashing at the end of this one is quickly followed up by either the police getting involved or Tony wanting to keep a possible loose cannon off the streets as part of his crew? And speaking of the authorities, funny to see that Tony didn't mention who "the people" were that he was speaking with when he gave the Feds the information about his Muslim pals from the Bing. Although there, I don't think it was for sure that he didn't want to tell Christopher what was up, as maybe the younger man figured it out on his own.

I'm going to give this week a six. I loved the ending (even though this show runs about as much of a full timeslot as Entourage these days), and think we got to see some great interaction between the Sopranos themselves.

And, it's almost time for the predictions to start rolling in from you all, and I'll throw out a few of my own here. I definitely think that Christopher will leave the living by season's end, but there's the possibility that it could be on his own volition. A.J. could become one of the younger members of the Jersey crew, especially if he starts becoming part of the hit crew that's bringing in big dollars from the college circuit.

Does anyone think there's any merit to wondering why Meadow's mystery date was being kept on the down low, or is that just a storyline that will sit on the sidelines, if only to show A.J. fitting in as the younger brother as the family sits down for a late meal all at once? Finally, while a true showdown of wits - or bullets - seems like it has to happen between Phil Leotardo and Tony Soprano, that's too easy of a solution for what ails the families, no? I think both of those crews will live on to fight another day, but I don't think that they'll be made up of the same main characters that they currently have, especially on the West side of the Hudson.

(The Sopranos - S06E17) How do you rate this episode?
1 - Worst5 (1.2%)
210 (2.5%)
311 (2.7%)
425 (6.2%)
588 (21.9%)
6181 (45.1%)
7 - Best81 (20.2%)

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I think this episode reminded us of two very important themes that have run through this show from the beginning and I think that foreshadow the final ending:

1. The sins of the fathers are constantly relived in the sons. Christopher reminds Tony that his own father (and Tony's mentor) Dickie Moltisante was drug addict and alcoholic, much like Chris is. Tony on the other hand exhibits his own fathers traits of unhappiness, volcanic temper and panic attacks, and it is now becoming increasingly apparent that A.J. shares these traits and they may just doom him to his father's fate.

2. Once you enter the "family", there is no getting out. We've seen over and over again that the only way out of the family (whether you turn informant and get relocated to Maine or inherit millions of dollars or get cancer while in jail) is death. Tony's known it all along... Christopher is starting to fully realize it... and, now, A.J. is flirting with it. Will he decide to join the family and seal his own fate?? Has the decision already been made for him on a cosmic level??

May 13 2007 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Tony is killed, here are how I rank the liklihood of who will do it (out of 100%):

"New York" 35%
Christopher: 15%
Paulie: 15%
A.J. 10%
Carmella: 5%
Silvio: 3%
Bobby: 3%
FBI: 2%
Terrorists: 2%
Adrianna's mother: 1%
Melfi: 1%
Other: 8%

May 09 2007 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked the beginning with Tony singing Pink Floyd - Confotambly Numb. Classic!

May 08 2007 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that AJ is definitely going to get killed. He doesn't have the street smarts to make it with his dad's crew. He's too much of a follower and not enough of a thug.

Is Christopher going to take Tony out?

May 08 2007 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thought this was a disappointing episode. The storylines and character arcs all seemed rushed: like they were trying to squeeze in too much too soon on the way to the finale. A.J. seemed to go from suicidal to frat boy jerk overnight. I know people will say it was the meds and the booze but he was awfully rationale talking to the shrink before he got the Lexipro. Christopher's behavior seemed all amped up, too. Because we've seen so little of him this season his inner turmoil has been short changed and not well developed. My finale prediction: Paulie kills Tony.

May 08 2007 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A. J.'s look at the torture was priceless. Ted Danson had something like that in Body Heat where it signaled a story shift. The killing of the Daly character took Christopher out of the even vaguely sympathetic column. No more rooting for him. But the Law and Order reference made the scene doubly tragic. When we first meet Daly, Christopher got him back into gambling, and he was hoping to get money from writing work on Law and Order that never materialized. FYI, there was a reference to a Dr. Rapke a season or two ago. He would be Jack Rapke who is a major Hollywood agent.

May 07 2007 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think when Tony was talking to the Feds and phoned Christopher that "some people" is their standard euphemism for the Feds (like "this thing of ours" means Mafia). I'll give David Chase a lot of credit for some fine tension created in the last few episodes...I did expect Christopher to explode after the crack about his daughter, but not at all when he shot J.T.

I think the ending is definitely going to involve A.J. in some way, but don't know if Chase has decided to continue the Soprano family dynasty by having him sucked into the family business, or end it by having him killed.

May 07 2007 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Has anyone thought AJ's (ex) girlfriend might be working for FBI? Why was she always so nervous and then broke up with him so fast?

May 07 2007 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I mentioned last week that I think this show will end in a way that surprises us all. For example, I don't think it will end simply with Tony being arrested b/c Christoper ratted him out or by Phil killing Tony. If he does get arrested or killed, I think it will be the doing of someone we are not expecting. Here are some thoughts:

A. Melfi hears too much and reveals what she hears from Tony to her therapist, Elliot. Elliot then speaks to FBI leading to Tony's arrest. It would be ironic that the therapy, the thing that has helped Tony all along, does him in.

B. Vito's son from a few week's back discovers that both Phil and Tony are essentially responsible for Vito's death and he kills them both. I could see the final episode starting with Tony and Phil arguing and then they both get shot by him. The show would then show us what occurred leading up to that scene.

C. Tony killed in a terrorist bombing by the guys he knows from the Bing.

D. Final thought: One person who has had extremly little face time this season is Silvio. Why? He would be the unlikely, yet ironic, player to do Tony in. Maybe he is working with Feds? He knows the most of all the guys.

Just some thoughts.

May 07 2007 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yeah, there was a woman checking chris out in AA that I thought might be a fed, and then the scene in the stairwell after... it certainly seemed like the guy was F.B.I. to me. It's gotta be fairly common knowledge that the producers of Cleaver have mob ties (at the very least the feds know about it), and then the screenwriter is hit execution-style? He was also Chris' old sponsor. This is gonna get him nabbed, and then maybe he start talking?

May 07 2007 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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