Two Weeks Till the Showdown

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 11

Two Weeks Till the Showdown

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 11

Two Weeks Till the Showdown
Talking television.
Nov. 26 2002 11:50 AM

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 11

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Tony's departure from therapy was bone-chillingly serious. It was a sober, realistic reflection of what has and hasn't been accomplished in his therapy. We have all unfortunately been in this place in our practices, with patients for whom our own hopes for personal growth far exceed their own. Tony mocks Melfi both this week and last, almost like a lover trying to help a partner through a breakup by being the biggest jerk possible: "Here, hate me a little more and this will be easier for both of us."

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What does this termination presage about Tony's termination from the series? Gandolfini made a lot of noise last year about wanting out of his role as Tony Soprano. Could this be the writers' preparing us, letting us down easy? Will Tony not survive the pending confrontations between Carmine's crew and his own? I won't place any serious money on this premonition, because I have found trying to bet on the Sopranos even harder than on the market, but since it crossed my mind, I wondered if it crossed any of yours? Meanwhile, it's two weeks to the showdown.

Phil

Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and author of The Psychology of The Sopranos, inspired by this discussion. Philip A. Ringstrom, Ph.D., Psy.D., is a senior faculty member at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. Joel Whitebook, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Margaret Crastnopol, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Northwest Center for Psychoanalysis. All are practicing therapists as well. Daniel Menaker is the author of The Treatment, a novel about therapy, and is executive editor at HarperCollins. Judith Shulevitz writes the "Close Reader" column for the New York Times Book Review. Jodi Kantor is Slate's New York editor.