Monday, April 23, 2007

Synchronicity, The Sopranos and the VaTech massacre

Viewers of last night’s episode of The Sopranos were given an unsettling look at the phenomenon of synchronicity. Both of the plotlines in the episode had striking similarities to the events in Blacksburg this past week. While it could be argued that the producers re-edited the episode to heighten this coincidence, I don’t think that is the case. When films are recut in a way that drastically changes the original intent of the filmmaker the effect is always jarring and unfocused. Last night’s episode was tight, focused and ominous and falls in line with the production quality of the two previous episodes of this season.

In the first incidence of synchronicity, which takes place in the mental health facility where Uncle Junior has been placed, a young Asian male in his early 20’s befriends Uncle Junior. The young man has problems with controlling rage and the details of why he is in the facility are unspoken but inferred. However, based on the back-story that is told about this character it appears that his rage control issues exploded over some type of oppressive Father issue, problems that the character had with making friends and allusions to the characters perceived lack of success in life.

The second incidence of synchronicity involved a long and very tense scene on a boat where Paulie Walnuts came close to being killed by Tony Soprano. In this scene the first weapon that Tony considers using, or it is inferred that he is considering using, is a mysterious claw hammer that is secured to the bulkhead of the fishing boat that they are on. Of the photos that the VaTech killer sent to NBC one of the most odd photos shows the killer with a large carpenter’s claw hammer, raised above his head with a menacing glare on his face complete with an angry snarling expression.

The effect of the new character, his violent attack on Uncle Junior later in the episode, his inability to make friends, rage control issues and the inferred threat of violence with the ominous long shot of the hammer were quite jarring to me. It also brought up in my mind the issue of the photo of Cho with the hammer from the NBC package. As out of place as it was among that set of photos it has stuck in my mind as a disconnected fragment, which makes little sense in the bigger theme of guns and posturing in the photos. Other than the obvious symbolic relationship with the Norse God Thor and the title of an Arthur C. Clarke novel, I can’t make heads or tails of the symbolism of this image.

Before last night’s episode the last time I can remember a film or TV show foreshadowing events in the real world as eerily as this one was The China Syndrome in 1979. Did any of you see last night’s episode or have any thoughts on the issue. I’d really like to hear what you say as this was an unsettling experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for share........