Audrey/Cooper + Laura/Cooper: Parallels
The first series of The Sopranos starts with a topless Tony Soprano, watching intently as a bush in his garden starts to shake. Hesitant, he’s about to go back inside, possibly to fetch his gun, when a family of Canadian ducks waltz onto his lawn and make their home in his swimming pool. Little did the viewer realize at the time just how significant this moment was. Tony’s reaction at this point was peculiar. We hadn’t seen his character develop, so we knew little of the man, his ins and outs, his personality traits. As the ducks swam around each other, content in the water, Tony smiles a smile of the utmost satisfaction. Then comes the infamous title music. That is the beginning of the series, thematic in its portrayal of the essential inclinations of its main character as defined not by heinous acts, but by seemingly inconspicuous, relatively uneventful happenings.
As the rest of the series dictates, Tony is someone whose two distinct facets, his family and his work are melding together in such abominable ways that even he has no understanding of how to counter and separate it once more. Such is the importance of the retrospective moment right back at the very beginning. It’s often difficult to comprehend the humble beginnings, but it’s a comprehension that needs to be maintained and managed because like many of the great programs of all time, this is the point that oftentimes can define a large portion of what’s to come. It happens in The Wire, as McNulty bemoans the gun culture to one of his suspects. It happens in Mad Men, as Don Draper sits silently on his own, only to use the introduction of a cigarette to begin our association between this man and his work. These ducks naturally represented many of the conflictions that Tony felt. How could one manage his family amidst the confusion and concern of the business? The visual metaphor defines this man’s existence.
She was the love of my life.
Kyle MacLachlan & Michael Ontkean | Twin Peaks