There's an excellent Television Without Pity forum on last night's new episode of "The Sopranos." (Spoiler alert.)
Everyone is quite taken with the scene at the well-lit house in the woods. It reminded people of "Titanic" and "The Shining" -- that elegant invitation to join the dead in a beautiful place. Was it hell? Did we see Livia inside? Then it can't be heaven! Why was Steve Buscemi listed in the credits as "The Man"? Tony didn't recognize him, though he seems to have recognized his mother.
What does the briefcase symbolize? It's Finnerty's briefcase, but now it seemed to contain Tony's life or his identity. We all get the "infinity" reference by now: Kevin Finnerty (who "drives a Lexus," the guy at the bar joked last week, alluding to that non-Lexus, Infiniti). I think the briefcase is his soul, and if he goes into death with the wrong soul -- Finnerty's/sin-burdened -- he will go to hell. He needs to take his baggage back into life and make things right.
Lots of folks can't stand Vito. Why has he become such an important character? Surely, not merely because the actor has "slimmed" down. (He's still very fat!) It must be that they are setting him up for slaughter. (He should be fattened for that, though!) The TWoP commenters are rooting for killing Vito, because they find the character boring. And he is too boring to become a main character. So, it's true: he's got to go. There's the homosexual theme with Vito, and that seemed to have something to do with his wolfing down a bagful of little carrots. Oh, the symbolism is rampant!
Some commenters complained about the revival of the Christopher-as-a-screenwriter theme. But then someone pulled that together with everything else that was going on in the episode. Christopher's ridiculous movie plot has a murdered mob boss reassembling his body and coming back from the dead to take revenge on those who betrayed him, and Tony is about to come back from the dead, and we were just seeing how his various underlings are scheming to take over. Therefore, we'll see Tony go after these guys, right?
Everyone loved the scene where Paulie and Vito give Carmela the envelope and she takes a second look at them as the elevator doors close. Edie Falco did that well, don't you think? You understood that she understood. The fat envelope that Carmela was eager to set down resonates with the wrong briefcase that Tony gripped.
Someone raised a really good question that was bugging me too. Why were they acting like they were trying to talk Tony out of a coma when last week we heard that the coma was induced coma to deal with the fever and sepsis? The coma wasn't the problem! Now, suddenly, it is?
Anyway, great episode. I need to watch it a second time to appreciate all the details. For example, what is the writing teacher talking about to that class just before he's rousted out of it? Nuggets of insight must be embedded there. What is Meadow's role? Her lying in bed next to her father seemed important, and it was her voice that warned him not to enter the Death House. Will she be the only one in the end who can run the family?