My Heartbeat must have been pretty high when AJ is sitting by the pool with a large stone in his hand, he takes a plastic thing and puts it over his head, and then jumps. Of cource he changes his mind when is is about to drown, and Tony comes to help him. God what love can do to you, it can make you happier than ever and suicidal. One of the last episodes, it is a verry good episode. Is there anything else to say? Not the best episode in the series but still one of the seasons best. End.
Doesn't this episode really sum up what the show is really all about? In the end, it's all about family. Tony may be able to take insults or disrespect, but threaten his daughter? Well, you might as well have tried to kill Tony himself.
There's really no turning back from Tony's impuslive and violent outburst against Philly's boys. It might have been better off to have just killed them both because no good can come of this.
The question from this episode is really is Phil losing his mind, or does he have the authority/power that he thinks he does. To broker a peace deal and then turn your back on it? To not come out of the house? Phil grabbed the reigns of power violently and who knows if that means he'll gain or lose allies in the upcoming war.
"Painful to Watch" but in a good sense with no hint of cynicism. Once again the writers hit the nail on its head, throw the dart right on the bull's eye, and . . . what other cliches to express how accurately they had written the unfolding story of AJ?
I will have to classify this as "Painful to Watch" but in a good sense, and without a hint of cynicism, because once again the writers hit the nail on its head; they throw the dart right on the bull's eye, and . . . what else? What other cliches to express how accurately they had written this particular storyline with regard to AJ?
The seeds had been planted a few episodes back, when AJ, finding his grooves back when he met Blanca and fell in love with her and her son. When the love of his life deserted him, he fell into depression and did not have a clue on how to extricate himself out of it.
But he was not without support: Meadow noticed the change in behavior, as well as Carmela. It was Meadow again who gave the foreshadowing about what might befall AJ if nothing was cared for (Meadow cited an example of a college student who showed similar tendencies before successfully committing suicide). The element of loneliness and hopelessness were conveyed accurately: first by the writing, and secondly, by the acting. When somebody is in depression, all he wants to do is to escape from the reality as far and as much as possible. The nights are hard because the darkness can be suffocating; but then the days are even harder because everything seems bleak. One wants to sleep but cannot sleep because of the many things that pass through his mind; but once he sleeps, he sleeps for a long time if he is lucky, although chances are, whatever sleep he gets is not ever enough because upon waking up, he is again confronted with the reality of life. Sooner or later, everything blurs and as cruel time continues to pass, he starts floating through life.
In such state it is not a surprise to take whatever is wrong with the world and place the burden of the world on his shoulder. AJ saw the unfairness, the injustice, the cruel aspect and the futility of life. He was helpless in the face of his own relationship problem, but he was even paralized when facing the cruel reality of the world.
And SNAP he did; but he did not really want to die. This was demonstrated by the length of the rope. For someone who comes from the Internet generation, if he were serious about doing himself in, he would have done research on how best to do it. After all, in a previous episode, when Meadow interrupted his Net surfing, it was shown that he had the capability to use the computer to find what he wanted. Remember a decade or so ago when a certain cult members drank some elixir or took drugs before shrouding themselves in Ziploc bags so that they would be suffocating but too "drugged" to release themselves? If AJ were serious, he could have taken an over-the-counter sleeping medication or any cough syrup with "soothing" effect before committing suicide. The ensuing blame-game was right on the mark, too, with Carmela saying that the "bad genes" must have come from Tony's side. Painful to watch, but true to life.
What can I say that hasn't already been predicted? A.J would attempt suicide that almost ended his life but couldn't because his stupidity prevented him from doing so. The depression just built up to the point where it was inevitable that he would attempt something like that. His breakdown in the therapist room for witnessing and participating in the beatdown of that black student was the best indication of something big coming up for A.J. The Meadow situation just escalated as well, now that she is following the footsteps of Carmela by getting involved with a Patrick Parisi. The chain of her getting involved with mafia members is creating a haven for her to defend the Italian mafia life for what it is and how it is perceived. Thus, becoming the future typical mob wife. Her decision not to continue with Law school is just the start of the end for Meadow. She has always been aware of the violence that looms over the family (possibly because of the hundreds of funerals the family has attended). The season has shown a decline in Tony's following due to him being more aggressive but it could be the beginning to an end. Now a vicious beating that leads to a curbing of one of Phil's top earners to the Soprano children being a prime target for retaliation. I respected Phil for a while during the first season he came out of jail then it declined, but now it has risen again. He makes a good point by stating that he went away and was silent for 20 years only to come back to being shat on. He does deserve his cut but only if he stays within his own boundaries. He is only out for what should be his, although that can sometimes means the development of a hungry power ego. My predictions for the next two episodes are that someone has clearly got to go. It can be one of Tony's right hand guys but I would say it would go farther and be someone related to Tony that has nothing to do with the crime family (possibly Janice). This would not only cripple the NJ boss to make irrational decisions about deals but it would also cripple him to give up everything he has. Only time will tell, but damn I love this series.
AJ's storyline is, less just say...a drag. In my opinion, it seems to be way over done. I mean as soon as we see AJ look into the pool, we all said "Suicide Attempt" in unison. But this episode was special because through his storyline we were able to dive deeper into the emotions of the family. The scene in which the family "delivers" him to the "Observation Unit" of the Hospital was very touching, I loved Meadow's support for her mother. The short scene with Tony and the guys was hilarious though. The conversation about doing drugs was fun to watch. Then AJ interrupts dinner.Then Tony meets with Phil about the asbestos ordeal. Man Frank Vincent did a great job with that scene. He played the ultimate son of a b*tch. You hated to see Tony not get what he wanted, but we loved watching Phil be a smart ass. I loved the Meadow/Coco storyline. I thought he had made a big mistake when he beat up the first guy, but when he said what he said to Meadow, I knew he had bitten off more than he could chew. (lol). Tony proved that he still shouldn't be messed with...so you better not cross that line. I died laughing when the restaurant manager said, "Get a mop". By the end of this plot twist Phil reminded me of the annoying kid in the neighborhood that owned the basketball. He was a brat but you have invite him. But in reality Phil might be more crazy than Tony.
This episode just screams KILLER finale,it should be GREAT. I cannot wait, but even I may become "depressed" when I realize NO MORE SOPRANOS. What a drag. I look forward to seeing how the big picture looks when it is complete.
I can't take much more of this. Watching The Sopranos has always been a satisfying cerebral experience, but these last few episodes have hit me so hard, it's almost like a physical punch to the gut. Hurts so good...
Just when I thought it couldn't get any more intense, The Sopranos has upped the emotional ante. This episode (indeed, this entire season) will be with me for a very long time. Phil and Tony's negotations come to a dead end, with Phil provoking and disrespecting Tony in front of T's own men, despite Tony's attempts to reach a compromise. My hair stands on end every time those two are in a scene together(and I'm bald)- the growing tension between them is that palpable. AJ's story arc comes to a crucial, heartbreaking, juncture with his pathetic suicide attempt, and the scene depicting Tony's rescue and tender cradling of his son brings me to tears every time. Tony and Carm have another vicious row, and, as crazy as it sounds, I felt like one of the kids, huddled up in my room in fear while Mom and Dad shout at each other, wondering what's gonna happen to me if they split up.
We are treated to Two!, count 'em, Two! great therapy scenes between Tony and Dr. Milfy, err, heh, Melfi. And a scene between Melfi and her therapist once and for all points out the utter smarminess of this smug bastard. Enjoyable scene, nonetheless.
In one of the most bone-jarring smackdowns every seen on any screen anywhere, Tony personifies the avenging Papa Bear, going all American History X on one of Phil's soldiers who foolishly menaced Meadow. This one isn't gonna go away anytime soon- it's all the excuse Phil needs to officially start the all-out war that is already brewing between the two Families.
The episode ends with Phil issuing one of the strangest disses you could every imagine to an olive-branch bearing Tony and Carmine, and finally, Tony and AJ doing the Thorazine shuffle together down the hallway of AJ's psych unit.
Trouble is a brewin' folks- you don't need a $2,000 cappuchino maker to see that...
This is the type of Sopranos episode that has all the naggers and doubters jumping right back on the wagon realizing how amazing it is. The episode starts with the two Anthonys lying in bed (how many times are we gonna see Tony in bed?), AJ is still depressed and his medication is not working as he rants about how lousy the world is to his shrink. Tony is back from Vegas, and the beef with Phil is still not settled. Phil is being a real prick about it, making jokes about it at the sitdown where a frustrated Tony is trying to come to an agreement. Phil is still bitter about losing his brother Billy, as he still hints about it with smart ass comments. Frank Vincent is great in the role as the stubborn and bitter old man Phil Leotardo. Anthony Jr. is still tired of the world. As his ignorant mother leaves him alone to get to a fancy dinner of hers, she has no idea that her son intends to take his own life. The suicide attempt may be one of the most gripping scenes ever on The Sopranos. AJ tries to drown himself and as he clearly regrets this action and struggles to stay alive, Tony stumbles home going straight to the kitchen bench as usual. The acting of both actors in this scene is superb. From Tony slowly reacting to AJ's cry for help, to him running towards the pool jumping in to save his son. A very tearful moment indeed as he drags AJ out from the water with his first reaction being anger, "What's wrong with you," to him comforting his emotionally crushed son, holding him in his arms, stroking his head calling him baby. An Emmy award worthy moment if there ever was one. The episode has a lot of great therapy sessions, one which reveals AJ still baring the thoughts of his bitter grandmother, the late Lyvia Soprano. "It's all a big nothing." Tony's frustrated grin as all he has to say is the famous "Oh poor you" he got from Lyvia himself is priceless. This worn out man is probably more depressed than AJ himself.
Carmella being the hypocrite that she is, blames Tony for their son's suicide attempt, a very irritating scene indeed. She doesn't wanna hear about Tony's depression and claims it is simply a card he plays whenever he feels like it. Things heat up into another verbal fight proving once again that Gandolfini and Falco are not only the lead actors on The Sopranos, but also the most talented ones.
Oh no he didn't! Phil constantly disrespecting Tony in the open has clearly lead the New York bunch into thinking Tony is weak, a laughing stock. This is quite obviously proven when Coco, one of Phil's guys spots Meadow in a NY restaurant. He walks over to her and makes several obnoxious remarks, leaving Tonys little girl quite frightened and confused.
Tony hearing only a quite mild and censored version of what really went down, rushes out the door trying to play it cool as if he's headed to a meeting. But from the sound of his voice you can hear he is out for blood. He walks in on Coco in his own restaurant and pistol whips him several times in the face leaving him a bloody mess. Butchie tries stopping Tony but a gun to the temple quickly backs him off. Tony proceeds to give Coco a curbstomp, leaving him with his teeth splattered across the floor looking quite dead. Tony Soprano is back! Little Carmine is once again the man who tries to negotiate peace between the two families, as he gets Tony to come along with him to Phil's house to squash the beef. The annoying little weasel Butchie opens the door basically telling them to piss off, even though Phil clearly wanted Tony to drive all the way over there. As Tony is headed back to his car Phil can be heard shouting insults from behind his curtains in his suburban castle, telling him there's nothing left to talk about. It's quite funny to see how these cowards are afraid of Tony on a personal level, and it makes me think how much higher up the foodchain he would have been if the tables were turned and he was indeed the more powerfull one. The episodes ends with Tony visiting AJ at the loonie-bin. A really sad scene as Tony slowly enters the clinic and embraces his son, both Anthonys looking defeated in every possible way.
This episode had it's good points, Tony busting the guy that insulted his daughter, a couple of good one liners, but the distraction of AJ and Meadow, especially AJ is just not worth it. If AJ had offed himself, Tony would have crawled deeper into himself and his wife would have blamed him even more. Enough already.
Let's have someone off Phil Leotardo, make Carmine take over and let's stop with this over played drama. Tony had the right idea when Carmine said that Phil was going to call a strike on the Mall worksite, and Tony said let him go right ahead. Tony knows the only way that Phil will understand if it hurts him in the pocketbook. They have portrayed him as a greedy SOB, one who makes Johnny Sack look like a good guy to deal with.
In the real world, Phils actions would have been dealt with a lot sooner, Tony would have take serious actions to let him know that enough is enough, not just stopping a few no show jobs.
I saw an ad for the first part of this final year being offered for some insane amount of money, over $100, and that is for a half a season of mediocre TV, HBO get a grip. No one will buy it, the smart people TIVO it and burn it to DVD.
Please give us something good to end this series, not just another swirly.
What I find difficult to comprehend is that this episode is the third from the end and some people who disagree think this is good TV. It is far from good, the Sopranos have been mediocre in Season 5, and this one is worse. They are trying to do too much in too little time and doing a real bad job of it.
I'm quoting above my favourite line in this episode (when Tony sees A.J. in the pool yelling for help). I find they are finally defining Tony's personality in this episode. Showing that he is getting tired and depressed with his life. When he took his anger out on Coco with his 'curb kick' that was gross but interesting. I did like the tooth in his pants later on though. Don't mess with Tony. And what's up with Phil? Why couldn't we see his face in the window at the end? I'm thinking something seems suspicious there. His walk at the end when he went to see A.J. seems to reflect his feelings. I'm still hoping this show doesn't end badly.
Anyone who has seen this show knows that there is nothing but gray area, especially where Tony Soprano is concerned. This episode truly showed the anti-hero side of Tony and proved that no matter what, he would do anything for his children.
Somewhere in the back of my head, I knew that A.J. would've tried to kill himself. For a second, I truly thought that was the end for him. Then he relents and tried to pull himself out, and just in time Tony jumps in to pull him out without thinking twice.
In some ways, A.J. is like his father, having inherited his depression, panic attacks (though we haven't seen any in a while), and constant denial of his own shortcomings. The problem is that Tony's ambition has shown itself in the show, having become the Boss of the New Jersey family. That ambition has not shown itself in A.J. Even from her grave, Livia Soprano continues to be a negative force in the Soprano family.
There's also Meadow, the one person in the family who represents it the least. You know that in the entire course of the show she has proven to shy away from the mafia aspect of her family more than anyone. Here, I wanted to beat the crap out of Coco myself for making those comments towards Meadow. Her father is Tony Soprano. He killed Ralph Cifaretto for killing a horse. What the hell did he think was going to happen?
I am surprised that Tony was able to hide his fury when Meadow explained the truth. I do not feel sorry for the now toothless Coco in any sense of the word. As heartless as that sounds, it was unforgivable.
Carmela had her share of action as well. I have to say that coming after Tony the way she did was a little unfair. She doesn't know what it's been like for Tony. When she does, then she can complain.
Among all of that, Dr. Melfi learns that therapy only enables those who are sociopaths, but then Tony says something incredibly insightful and she is skeptical of Tony in general.
Phil Leotardo is obviously too concerned with his own ego to allow himself to capitulate to Tony Soprano or anyone else. His foolish pride will ultimately be his undoing, no matter what anyone says.
There was no black and white here, and there hardly is in this show. Tony Soprano leads a troubled life, but as we near the end, what will become of this Boss?
This review contains spoilers for this and other episodes of The Sopranos.
"The Second Coming" is a definitive episode of The Sopranos that I believe captures the heart and soul of what this show is about. Many of the conflicts that have driven the show make an appearance, including the rivalry between the New York and New Jersey families, Meadow's uncertain path to a future beyond the dark reach of the mafia, and Tony and Carmela's struggles as a couple, among others. We also see Tony's internal struggle between impulsive reaction and measured restraint, and his own doubts about himself and his life, which could be considered the crux of the show. Yet perhaps even deeper than all of these conflicts is the philosophical conflict the show has examined from its inception: the struggle between a nihilistic worldview in which nothing matters and a life-affirming view in which everything that happens matters, and matters greatly.
I've read commentary that proposes that David Chase sees Tony in unambiguously negative terms, as an unrepentant sociopath with little to no redeeming qualities. This stands in stark contrast to the views of many fans of the show who see something good in Tony. This episode explores Tony from both perspectives. On the one hand, we see the pessimistic view of Tony when Melfi's therapist cites a study that supports the theory that sociopaths who engage in talk therapy are not only not "cured" through it, but are even made more sociopathic, as the therapy becomes a venue through which to hone their skills as con artists. But on the other hand, we watch as a Melfi who very likely is feeling skeptical and cynical, if not angry, sits back in surprise as Tony offers some of his own surprisingly sharp insights into human behavior. Tony really seems to have understood something during his experience. Is it possible that Tony ever could actually "see the light"?
These moments with Melfi provide the much-anticipated clarification of the closing moment of the previous episode, in which Tony watches a desert sunrise and shouts, "I get it!" Fans were moved to speculate that this moment of peyote-induced enlightenment was another moment of self-deception for Tony, who has shown himself to be prone to outwardly professing wisdom and insight about his life while continuing to think and act in the same ways he always has, endlessly excusing even his most heinous actions. Recently, we saw him engaging in this game of self-deception by fixating on the image of a tree limb piercing the baby seat in Christopher's car after their wreck as a way to justify his snuffing of Christopher's life. Tony turned to this image for justification of his actions, even though he obviously didn't kill Christopher out of some noble impulse toward Christopher's family, but because Christopher was an inconvenience for him. It seems to follow that his moment of discovery in the desert was just another moment of trying to fool himself that he is better and wiser than he really is, another lie to silence a guilty conscience and justify his selfish behavior.
Perhaps neither we nor Dr. Melfi should be surprised at Tony's capacity for dispensing language that sounds insightful. Throughout the show, Tony has shown himself to be interested in attempting to understand his life and his mind. His problem has not been a lack of pieces of wisdom to turn over in his head and reflect upon in the context of his life experiences, but his inability to do anything with them other than collect them like useless, tacky knick-knacks. A running gag on the show has been how Tony mangles words and phrases in such a way as to reveal his lack of understanding of them; he feigns a wisdom he really does not have. What gets in the way of his understanding any of the wisdom he's stored away in his mind is his inability to consider anything from a perspective that does not justify and support his actions. He turns even the deepest insights into self-serving defenses. And as a viewer, one expects this to ultimately be Tony's tragic downfall: his cowardly evasion of responsibility. We suspect Tony will carry his lack of self-awareness to the moment of his death.
Yet for as much as Tony is a sociopath, one who justifies his every self-serving action to make it seem more noble and brave than it really is, there is one realm in which, throughout the show, we have seen him held to greater accountability: the realm of home and family. In this episode, we see Tony at his most vulnerable and human in the moment he encounters his son floundering in their swimming pool after a botched suicide attempt. A.J.'s suicide attempt is a standout example of the pitch-black dark humor that has been a staple of The Sopranos; it's poignant, on the one hand, but on the other, A.J.'s ineptitude makes even such a dark moment comic. He shares his father's penchant for self-deception, having convinced himself of having more conviction than he really does. When the moment of truth arrives, A.J. discovers that he is terrified and clueless, not all-knowing and resolute about life as he thought he was. The tormented man of the world proves to be nothing more than a helpless, terrified boy.
It seems that the only people Tony sincerely places before himself are his own children. Throughout the show, Tony has expressed hopes and concerns that his children will not follow in his footsteps, and will escape the world of crime and violence in which he is embroiled. This wish for his children reflects his genuine ambivalence about himself and his life, an ambivalence he rarely faces head-on for more than a fleeting moment. This ambivalence is what makes him a tortured character, what gives weight to Sonya's telling him that unlike Christopher, who talked about sad things, Tony truly seems to be sad. Tony resists this characterization, even though it is an apparent part of who he is to those looking at him from outside. And what makes him this way is that underneath his pretense of happiness and success, he questions his life. This distinguishes Tony from most of his fellow mafia members, who unquestioningly pursue their own hedonistic impulses without being weighed down by the sorts of second thoughts that contribute to Tony's guilt and depression.
Tony's suffocation of Christopher is especially poignant in light of the fact that Christopher was the only other member of his crew who shared Tony's subconscious distress over their lifestyle. For Christopher, this unease manifested in the behavior of addiction. Christopher's life was tragic because he retained a certain innocence that those around him did not. He fought hard to be a better person, but lacked the ability to recognize the source of his struggles. While he shared in Tony's ambivalence about mob life, his inability to connect his psychological and emotional difficulty with the results of his harmful actions and choices came not from the active resistance of this knowledge through forceful denial, as it does for Tony, but through a lack of insight. Chris struggled to understand and to better himself in a way that Tony never did, at least not as sincerely, and fittingly, Tony and his fellow crew members mocked Chris for it. Whereas Chris never could see himself clearly, despite his attempts to do so, Tony has the capacity to see himself clearly, but refuses it.
Tony seems to have no reason to give up his persistent state of denial. He lives a comfortable life, surrounded by access to every luxury and pleasure imaginable, and enjoys a rare level of power and status. To admit to himself that his depression is driven at least in part by a guilty conscience would mean seriously having to consider giving up all the things he's come to enjoy. We have seen this cyclical pressure bear on Tony throughout the show, as he has continuously resisted facing his guilt in order to hold on to the pleasures provided by his lifestyle, even if he can never fully enjoy them because of his uneasy state of mind. But the one thing that has the potential to break Tony out of his self-serving game of denial is the realization of the impact of his actions and choices on his children. In this episode, we saw that even Meadow was not safe; a man from Tony's world could find and threaten her, and on top of that, we saw that even this far along in her life, she could fall away from the successful career that seemed almost guaranteed for her, and back toward the violent criminal world in which her parents are enmeshed.
And, of course, there is A.J., whom we have also seen tragically drift toward his father's world and into his father's footsteps. He has shown himself to have his father's dangerous mix of sadistic urges and a violent temper with a dramatic capacity for denial. But A.J. lacks his father's ambition as well as his father's tenacity, and his ability to survive in the world in which his father lives is questionable. The tragic consequence of Tony's self-serving denial could be the loss of the one thing that means more to him than his wealth, his status, or his many hedonistic pleasures: the health and happiness of his children. The poetry of this episode was seeing exactly what Tony stands to lose, which is the hope for redemption in his children's futures. What Tony refuses to see in his own life, he will be forced to see in his children's lives as they begin to falter and stumble through the same errors he made.
This challenges the nihilistic perspective sometimes hinted at by the show, as the consequences of Tony's actions are not insignificant. There is something more at stake in these final two episodes than Tony's life or security, and that is the fates of his children. Hinted even further by this episode in A.J.'s lamenting of the situation of his country and the world is a larger scale view: that the fate of the entire world depends on whether or not people like Tony can ever see themselves and their motivations clearly and set aside their self-interests. If people cannot do this, the generations that follow them will be doomed to repeat their violent and self-destructive mistakes. As a result, every action has meaning and significance, as every action creates the conditions for the future.
Tony jumping into the pool was enough to remind me why I became hooked on this show. All the naysayers who said he's turned into a monster, bah! He jumped into the pool without a second thought. Of course, he did mangle Coco a short while later, but Coco deserved it. What does Meadow have to do with anything? And how can Phil be such a jerk, would he have tolerated any of Tony's guys speaking to the girls in his family like that? My question now is what's the deal with Melfi? Is she going to roll on Tony? It's all unraveling in quite spectacular fashion.
I thought this episode was a tremendous success. It was emotionally heart-wrenching at times; I felt myself full of rage during other parts; I found myself totally entertained and enveloped in this episode from start to finish.
AJ attempts a suicide, but fails, thanks to Tony arriving home at the right moment. A lot of this episode contained many Soprano family scenes (Meadow and AJ talking, Tony and Carmela at each other's throats one minute - then in each other's arms the next). AJ is admitted to a psychiatric hospital to be evaluated.
The scene where Tony obliterates 'Coco' was one of the absolute best scenes I can (and always will remember) in Soprano history. The end, where Tony practically reenacts a scene from the movie American History X is just fabulous. Gruesome, bloody and fabulous. For this guy Coco to say the things he had said to Meadow was beyond forgivable. I was saddened when I learned that Tony didn't actually kill Coco for what he had done.
Finally, the scenes in therapy between Dr. Melfi and Tony were excellent. The writing of this episode was fantastic, and as only the cast can, they deliver their lines to perfection. I would not be the least bit surprised if this episode is up for a writing or directing Emmy award. Fantastic.
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