Be warned Sopranos’ fans: if you haven’t yet seen last night’s episode, please stop reading this now!
I tuned into the show ten minutes late, just in time to see a battered Tony and Chris in the aftermath of a bad car wreck. Chris, who’s in terrible shape and is coughing up blood, confesses to T that he’s not clean and begs the mob boss to help him. Chris is afraid of losing his license once the police arrive and he is tested for drugs. Tony, who’s gotten as far as dialing 91 on his cell phone, could make Chris’s worries go away simply by taking his place in the driver’s seat.
Instead, he shockingly suffocates his second cousin, blocking Chris’s nose so that he chokes on his own blood. The scene is particularly disturbing because it’s not clear whether Tony is convinced that Chris is going to die before an ambulance arrives and is merely trying to cut short his suffering or whether he is cruelly murdering him.
The latter proves to be the case: in imaginary (dream) and real sessions with his therapist, Jennifer Melfi, we learn that Tony despises his cousin. Tony sees Chris as a weak, sniveling drug addict who can’t be trusted not to rat to the Feds. His contempt for Chris knows no bounds: he beds one of Chris’s old girlfriends and does peyote with her, too.
Now I like Christopher Moltisanti, and I’ll miss him in the last three episodes. If I were the kind of guy who let envy get the better of me, I’d rejoice at Chris’s death. After all, he had the scorching hot girl, Adrianna (even if he ultimately had to off her), and he made a Hollywood movie, which I want to do. And Michael Imperioli, who plays Chris, isn’t just a good actor, he’s encroached on the writing world by penning several episodes of The Sopranos. What’s more, the real-life Chris had a bar in Manhattan—another dream of mine—and has a rock band, called La Dolce Vita, for which he is the lead singer and guitarist (while I am relegated to the ranks of the tone-deaf). Oh yes, and he and his lovely, talented wife also own a theater. But, as I said, I’m not the envious sort.