No Soprano threads since the 6b premiere so I thought I'd get it rolling again.
The gambling and the major problems with Hesh continued the theme of Tony coming to terms with how he truly feels about his father. We have seen him seriously consider killing Paulie, who he said he wished was his father. He thinks Christopher, who he thought of himself as a father figure to, hates him and wants to see him dead. He is embarassed by stories of Johnny Boy shooting Livias beehive, because it makes their family seem dysfunctional. Johnny Boy always told Tony to never gamble, so now Tony gambles huge sums. Hesh was one of Tony and his fathers closest advisors and now that relationship has been ruined by Tony. Livia may have been evil, but subconsciously Tony seems to be realizing his fathers role in who he has become and rebelling against him.
And he has essentially become Livia. He spit venom at Carmella during the latest fight that would have made his mother proud. He brings the death of infants into conversations like his mother would do at the dinner table. He has no joy, the piano is over his head, he is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The decompensation Melfi talked about during 6a is heavily in progress. I don't know if this ends with Tony continuing to self destruct by gambling, or ruining every relationship in both his families (juding from the previews AJ may be next week), or killing himself. But he is a black hole and is taking everything and everyone down on his way. The hope of any type of redemption for Tony is pretty much gone. Even Melfi seems to realize this, and is ready to cut him off as a patient.
It is still amazing tv, but it is kinda tough to watch. It's not even just Tony, everyone on this show is unhappy. They have made this miserable lives for themselves and the house of cards is about to crash on them all. And nothing could be more fascinating.
I think he's been out because of the lung cancer. He's apparently been pretty unhealthy for a while, with respiratory infections and the like, until they realized that it was cancer. A link (news.yahoo.com) via Yahoo!