Carmela Gets Her Groove Back

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I love the Sopranos episode “Sentimental Education” (5×06) it’s one of my favorites of the series so far. Carmela’s single and ready to mingle with Anthony’s teacher, Mr. Wegler, and I love it, which is not to say I love him. I’m coming to accept that there’s something really appealing to me about Jersey style, since I admire Carmela’s plunging neckline and subsequent display of her glorious endowments, which are, of course, supporting about ten pounds of necklace. And all this for a parent-teacher conference!

After a date she’s goes for a girly post-morten with her unwitting not gay gay best friend, Father Intintola who definitely still has feelings for her. Obliviously, or maybe awesomely bitchily she’s all “I met someone! I thought he was gay, he reminds me of you!….. You know… an intellectual.”
He wants Carmela to talk it all out with Tony and is basically like, “You’re just horny.” And she doesn’t say as much, but intimates “And you’re just jealous!”

Perhaps I’ve seen too many of those Italian “hot men of the cloth” calendars, but I reeeeeeeally want these two to hook up, especially since he’s way hotter than Mr. Wegler. Happily, Nurse Jackie exists, where they bone in closets all the time.

Anthony jr. decides he wants to come home since Tony never has any food except fruit roll ups and pop tarts, which actually sounds kind of awesome. I love fruit roll ups.

Carmela is kick ass: “For me to even consider having you back we’re going to have to establish some non negotiable ground rules. First and foremost, school comes first. That means putting the breaks on your social life: parties, phone calls, Devon. You’re at a crisis point gradewise so you’ll make sure that your work is done on time and correctly. I will not tolerate cursing. This is my house, you’ll treat me with respect. I want you to involve me in your life a little.”

Anthony agrees. I love that Carmela is asserting herself and demanding what she needs, we definitely see this again with Tony later in the season. Tony tries to take credit for Anthony’s improvement, but neither Carmela nor I buy that weak crap.

Carmela is all nervous about her “first time”– since Tony anyway. While I love Carmela getting back on the horse, I am less than fond of the horse she’s chosen (I think that’s probably fairly evident). Mr. Wegler just seems like a huuuuge poser to me. Reading Abelard and Heloise in the bathroom? Who does that? And he’s all condescending at Carmela about Madame Butterfly. Um whatever dude, you teach high school, stop acting like you’re dean of Yale.

Anyway, Carmela confesses the sexin’ to Father Phil. She feels guilty, but she’s not stopping because “something” has been reawakened. Mmmmm yes, but maybe not anything very spiritual. Father Phil reminds her that she took a vow and tells her to do something nice for Tony or to pray for God to touch both of their hearts.

“Sex agrees with you, you look great!” Rosie Aprile is both completely correct and all into it and wants details, and Carmela is all “He took his time.” Awwww yeah.

Anthony jr. comes home all “Mr. Wegler is faaaaaag!” Probably not. Tony says the same thing and Carmela is like, “Oh really, what are the signs? Education, culture?” and points out that since he’s so worried about it, maybe Tony is gay. I feel confident is saying that Tony is the least gay man I’ve ever seen.

Mr. Wegler is trying to get his swerve on, but Carmela rebuffs him out of concern about Anthony’s plagiarism. He kisses all over her while she’s talking about Anthony. Gross! No one wants to talk about a family member while getting it on. Carmela says: “I can’t right now, I’m too upset.” Mr. Wegler takes it on himself to talk to Anthony’s English teacher about manipulating his grade up to passing.

Now when I first watched this I thought maybe Mr. Wegler had a point about Carmela being a user (though I thought it was subconscious) but now I think that he’s just a disgusting sleazy hornball and that Carmela is a real person who has concerns outside of getting laid.

Particularly since Mr. Wegler waits until after sex to initiate the following conversation:

Mr. Wegler: I don’t know any other way to put this. I’ve been thinking and I don’t know, I think you’re a user Carmela. Maybe you saw an opportunity in me and you took what you needed.
Carmela: That is not true, I am here because I enjoy being with you. It was wonderful, in fact. How can asking someone you’re with be using them, that’s what people do! Bob, this hurts. Oh my stomach I feel sick.
Mr. Wegler: You strong armed me using the only weapon you have– your pussy. [Mixed Metaphor Alert! Now I am picturing some kind of internal arm, but like a really beefy Popeye arm.]
Carmela: How dare you talk to me that way.
Mr. Wegler: Okay, pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Carmela: I don’t. OF course I don’t have a fucking Master’s degree.
Mr. Wegler: Leaving me with a massive hard-on the other night [please, I’m SO sure it was “massive” Mr. Wegler. So sure.] and then practically attacking me sexually after you got what you wanted.
Carmela: You know what Bob? You are fucked up. You need help. What a fucking idiot I am. Believe it or not I thought you cared about me.
Mr. Wegler: I thought you should know how I feel.
Carmela: Fuck you! You’d better watch your step.

You had better watch your step! I hope Mr. Wegler gets whacked. (I’m not this bloodthirsty in real life, but in fiction I’ll kill for the slightest indiscretion.)

Carmela has herself a good cry realizing that “Whatever I say, whatever I do, because I was married to a man like Tony my motives will always be called into question.” Well, definitely if you keep dating jerks.

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4 Responses to “Carmela Gets Her Groove Back”

  1. Sadako Says:

    “Obliviously, or maybe awesomely bitchily she’s all “I met someone! I thought he was gay, he reminds me of you!….. You know… an intellectual.””

    Heh. I remember this line. It was SO bitchy!

    I had the opposite reaction of you with Carmela/manipulation. The first time, I thought she was genuine. The second time I was kind of like, “Whoa, she played him.” Not so sure now…the fact that she was SO into him after he gave her what she wanted seems suspect but who knows? Agree that Wegler’s a douche who had no business going easy on Anthony Jr. Anthony’s a lazy ass and there’s no reason to sympathize with him–clearly he wanted to get into Carm’s…good graces.

  2. gnatalby Says:

    I find Carmela Soprano to be just endlessly fascinating. I kind of can’t figure her out.

    Do you watch Nurse Jackie? I find her character is similar there as well, like, clearly very calculating, but also clearly in possession of a complicated inner life of ambivalent morality and loyalty.

  3. Sadako Says:

    Carmela is fascinating. Edie Falco’s so awesome.

    I don’t watch Nurse Jackie…it’s on Showtime which I don’t actually have. I should really make an effort to get over to someone’s house who does have it. Have heard good things. Edie’s great with the complex, nuanced characters, isn’t she?

  4. arioflight Says:

    I just watched this episode again. I have a better insight. Carmela wasn’t playing “Robert Weigler”, it was just how she knows how to get stuff done. Remember the college letter for Meadow? Same thing. She wasn’t threatening, but why not ask? I baked you a pie, you write a letter!

    Carmela was really upset, because as she was lying there talking to her father, she blamed Tony’s reputation as why she wont’ be free. Her father even said, “Hmmph”

    Great post!

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