Right Turn? The Sopranos Redux
getting better and better. If Episode
32 highlighted the seriesí aggressive core, Episode 33 goes
further in featuring a character with a full-blown conscience.
the time Carmela Soprano sees a psychiatrist in Episode 33, her
husband Tony has committed battery, assault, and taken a baseball
bat to someoneís car standard thuggery for the seriesí antihero.
Dr. Krakower is no placative shrink, however, and lays the smack
down (to borrow The Rockís phrase) on the mobsterís old lady:
Heís a good man, heís a good father.
KRAKOWER: You tell me heís a depressed criminal, prone to anger,
serially unfaithful. Is that your definition of a good man?
I thought psychiatrists werenít supposed to be judgmental.
KRAWKOWER: Many patients want to be excused for their current predicament
because of events that occurred in their childhood. Thatís what
psychiatry has become in America. Visit any shopping mall or ethnic
pride parade to witness the results.
for another incisive exchange:
He betrays me every week with these whores!
KRAKOWER: Probably the least of his misdeeds.
Krakower argues that if Tony turns himself in, reads Crime and
Punishment, and "reflect[s] on his crimes every day for
seven years in his cell, then he might be redeemed." In the
meantime, Carmela should secede from the marriage. (Krakower wonít
even accept payment for the session because "I wonít take blood
money." What a guy!)
doesnít romanticize Tonyís disposition or coddle Carmela with "Youíre
doing your best, thatís all you can do" inanity. The good doctor
assesses Tony to be the irascible adulterer and criminal he is.
This is one of the few times youíll find a Mafia-oriented drama
overtly identify its subjectís deviancy. (Donnie Brasco comes
close with its bleak portrayal of the supposedly glamorous Mafia
Dr. Krakowerís moral commentary, The Sopranos seems to be
taking a right turn insofar as it includes an admirable conservative
character. (Note Krakowerís derision of contemporary Americaís mindless
mall culture and neurotic tribalism.) If you havenít seen Episode
33, let me assure you that Krakower is depicted as a first-class
speculate The Sopranosí bigwigs are closet Rothbardians.
Krakower is a short, elderly, magisterial yet folksy Jewish man.
Have the powers that be been listening to the Ludwig
von Mises Instituteís audio excerpts of Rothbardís lectures?
being facetious, of course, but the old-school sagacityís still
there. In fact, if we extend Krakowerís critique of Tony to government,
we find a pretty accurate description of our most recent ex-presidentís
phallocentric foreign policy and periodic philandering that were
criminal through and through. (Ok, so Bomber Billís a lot brighter
than Troglodyte Tony. Thatís actually worse given the persuasive
powers of intelligent criminals Clinton case in point.)
Joshua Halberstam observes that "When you refuse to judge someone,
you refuse to take that person seriously." Dr. Krakower doesnít
hesitate to call a spade a spade, and his candor shows more respect
for Carmela Soprano than the leftist quacks that would appease her
Kantor lives in Boynton Beach, Florida.