Sopranos Episode 67: “Join The Club”

27 Mar

Did anyone watch Sopranos yesterday? Episode 67: “Join The Club”

Major Spoilers ahead if you didn’t watch the episode!

Here is what I gathered:

Tony is in purgatory. His name Kevin Finnerty is a thinly disguised “Infinity”

Tony was trying to enter death/hell but was not permitted. When he is checking into the conference…he was not admitted – perhaps through divine intervention (his wallet and bag disappear). His old briefcase may represent his old life, the new one represents a second chance at life, especially because his dream identity and life is not his real (mobster) life.

Remember when he asks “I’m on the list right”? Then she says, “Yes” then continues with “Sorry, it’s a whole new world”. She is referring to the afterlife.
He is on the list, but can’t go yet. (because he is still alive in the hospital)

The bartender says “It’s dead around here” alluding to Tony’s true location. He is a optical tool salesman (representing clarity) who has his identity switched with Kevin Finnerty who sells Heating systems (hell)

Tony is on the 7th floor alluding to the 7 levels of Purgatory as mentioned in Dante’s Inferno and also ancient Judaic beliefs about 7 levels of afterlife, the 7th being Gehenna.

Tony sees a white light at the end of a tunnel, in his dream represented by a helicopter (he is always in fear of the feds)

Out the window Tony sees two bright lights, a shinning beacon (heaven) and a raging forest fire (hell) Since both locations are outside the building, this cements the idea the hotel is purgatory. The “conference” Tony is scheduled to attend was his death, and again, he is not allowed to enter since he is not quite dead yet.

The Buddhist monks represent everyone in Tony’s life. All living things he has come in contact with since his birth. They feel he is accountable. He is responsible for their suffering. (faulty heating system) If he takes this briefcase, this second life, he must now also as part of the deal, face his crimes. This could be done by either going to jail when he awakens, or confessing to the feds and turning informant.

Tony falling down the stairs represents his damnation, his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s (a death sentence) shows that he is damned to hell.

As is shown in real life, NO ONE in Tony’s mobster family gives a shit about him. They could care less about his living or dying. They were already fighting amongst themselves as to how to divide up the spoils.

The only people who genuinely care about Tony are his blood, his family. Earlier this season Tony told Anthony that you can only trust your family, everyone else will let you down. This is allusion to the future of this show, I think all of this is leading up to Tony turning informant. I think he will see that his family is all that matters, and his Mobster “family” doesn’t give a shit about him. He will do what’s right in the end. His 2nd personality was a goody two shoes, not a mobster. He was leading a decent life. I think this symbolizes also that Tony returning to earth holding that second briefcase means he will now become good, and beat that Alzheimer’s diagnoses, his damnation to hell.

The dinner with the businessmen in the hotel restaurant (especially his eating symbolized Pussy in earlier seasons dream sequences and Pussy was an informant..not to mention Tony’s newfound love of Sushi) probably means he will now become friendly with the FBI and inform. He would be an invaluable witness to help take down the big fish, the New York mob. (Even Carmella said “there are far bigger crooks than my husband”)

Tony said in earlier seasons there are only two outcomes for mobsters, Death or the Can. He forgot option 3, witness protection program.

At the end..when he is faced at the gates of the white house..and told to let enter his destination..I think that house was NOT heaven. I think it was hell. Especially since the gatekeeper was Steve Bucemi, a character who would NOT be in Heaven considering his life up until his death. He also seemed weasely..Tony could sense it. The woods called out his name for him to come back. The location of the mysterious alluring house in the woods reminds me of Dante’s Inferno Canto 1:

MIDWAY upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

On a side note, I loved how Silvo was seated on the “Throne” (the toilet) trying to manage the kingdom. That was playful symbolism and I thought it was clever of David Chase to include.

I also wonder, if David Chase chose the surname “Soprano” for Tony as a way to show his ultimate destiny, to “sing” and confess to the Feds.


One Response to “Sopranos Episode 67: “Join The Club””

  1. blackdave April 2, 2006 at 1:18 am #

    pretty insightful
    Pretty insightful, but I dont see all of what you’re saying happening, with Tony turning goody-two-shoes and all.
    I just don’t see it. Joining with the feds seems like a big leap forwards.
    Secondly, with Carmela’s assertion that there are bigger crooks than her husband, that doesn’t necessarily refer to the New York mob. It could just as easily be a reference to Politicians, Priests, other positions in society which “steal” in the name of good (ala Scarface’s assertion that politician are bad guys)
    Not saying you’re wrong, but I think its a little early to assume that Tony will throw in the towel and go to the feds.

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