Nobody Here Gets Out Alive?
SPOILERS! With the penultimate Sopranos episode, Tony's isolation has multiplied drastically. As for his mob family, he is left with Paulie, his birthday present from Bobby (the automatic weapon), and not much else. That he has to rely the most on the second of these--with which he cuddles, alone, as the episode ended--is indicative of the sad position Tony finds himself in. And at least poor Bobby ended up going down in his favorite store--maybe a little overdone, but I loved watching the trains derail. Not that Sil and Bobby were geniuses, but they at least were very useful aides to Tony.
And as the core of his mob family is gone either by the hands of others or by Tony himself, he too is abandoned by Dr. Melfi at a particularly inopportune time. After years of trying, Elliot finally got enough under her skin to get her to abandon Tony. Yeah he ripped out the steak recipe from Departures (not an accidental magazine title), but Dr. Melfi had to know--as we surely do--that her therapy was actually doing Tony some good. Not that he was on the straight and narrow, but his mental health had improved. He is going to need some serious psychotherapy if he survives.
But what of his other family? At the moment, they are all okay (physically), but this will not last. Okay, they are all in mental disarray as was evident at Artie's restaurant when Tony and Carm lied about how they were thrilled with Meadow's career choice and lied about what it was and lied about how thrilled they were with her new boyfriend and lied about how well AJ was doing. (Btw, great cameo by Mr. and Mrs. Eric Mangini. For Red Fraggle: J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.) So they may be temporarily safe, but they are not well.
So whither Tony Soprano? I think that next week Tony will survive but not without both of his families being decimated. Go back to the ur-Sopranos: The Godfather. The second one ends with Michael all alone--his father and brothers dead (one by his own orders), his wife having left him and having had an abortion, and most of his closest allies gone as well. I don't think this will end much differently. Although I don't think Carm, Meadow, and AJ are all destined to sleep with the fishes, at least one of them is going to go. Tony's telling Carm that families don't get touched seems like wishful thinking. I think that either Carm or Meadow is going to get whacked (and I think that Phil too will be gone after the completely screwed up hit on him this week). The show has had a consistent theme of Tony's isolation and abandonment; it will end with him more alone than ever before.
I am already sad thinking that I have but one more Sopranos post.