I’m rewatching The Sopranos a little bit right now, just filling in the gaps between job applications and large iced coffees. I had forgotten about this scene. This is where we first meet Furio Giunta, an Italian mobster – not quite a bodyguard and not quite a consigliere. A devoted soldier. This is when Tony’s Italian blood runs suddenly hot and he feels the thrill of power that comes with great wealth, and with great pain for his enemies.
In this show, and really in any Mafia-related piece of art, The Boss embodies the most interesting complexities engendered by “the family.” The Boss is a father. He is a protector and provider and a threat. And unless he is unseated (political outmaneuvering thus signalling his disgrace) he is a god – even when he’s old and frail.
That’s Don Vittorio in the wheelchair. A babbling little Italian geezer. The Boss. When his posse hears what first seems like gunshots, Furio doesn’t hesitate. Tony watches in awe as he literally throws his body over the Don, then beats a little boy and a woman in the street for setting off fireworks and causing the panic. This is familial loyalty, like a son to a father. Instinct. This is a guy Tony needs on his side in a practical sense, but also because he craves that devotion. A gut reaction: The Boss is the most precious cargo, he is my king. Tony’s true weak spot. I’m obsessed with watching the fear and utter intoxication play across his face.