Hogan's Alley

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Saddest Sopranos Episode Yet

Last night's Sopranos episode, "Johnny Cakes", was sad to the point of moving me almost to tears, which has not previously happened. Vito's call to his wife, his inability to even speak to his son without breaking up, and the hopelessness of any return to the "normalcy" of his criminal life were poignant. But the most moving was poor AJ. His hapless attempt to play Michael Corleone and revenge his father's shooting against the now doddering Uncle Junior was hard to watch. Tony's anger, then tears, as he realized the terrible bind his life has placed on his son were palpable. However, Tony's conclusion that AJ is too nice a guy for the mob must be based on evidence we have not yet seen. AJ has always been presented as a wise ass kid. He seems barely able to function on any level and he has yet to find any pursuit in life that he loves, beyond clubbing and getting high.

As of this morning's light I am choosing to take the ending of last night's show as the hopeful sign of a turning point in the lives of AJ, Vito and Tony. Has AJ finally realized that he cannot handle the stress of being the Soprano heir apparent? Has Vito finally accepted who he is and begun a new life in New Hampshire? Has Tony finally made a moral choice in his life with his determination, at least for the moment, to remain faithful to Carmella? Only time will tell, and I can't wait for next Sunday.