「豚を殺しに」 (Buta wo Koroshi ni)
“To Slaughter a Pig”
「あわれな役者」 (Awa Rena Yakusha)
“A Poor Player”
Death death death death death.
Suffice it to say, Angelo is one crafty bastard. He’s elevated a simple revenge scheme into something truly sinister. There was doubt from weeks prior whether or not his newfound bond with Nero would alter his ultimate intentions. Had we grown too fond of his original enemy? Was he getting soft?
No. The answer is no.
It seems—as least now—that all along his goal was to ensure an asset in Nero’s friendship. It allowed to put into motion many gears in his diabolical scheme. First and foremost was discovering whether or not Don Orco was the mysterious author of his letter. In discovering that he was not and could provide no further use, he was quickly disposed of in a way which secured an ally in a formidable family.
Quick aside by the way—Fango is a goddamn madman. His character has taken a surprising turn—sharpening in general rationale—while still keeping hold of his signature lunacy. Once that lasagna rolled out for the Don’s former cronies—you knew. Even in his new status of power and respect, Fango refuses to let go of what makes him him. It’ll be nothing but chaotic unpredictability as far as what he’ll do what all of his new power and wealth. Some people harp on the guy’s sheer—perhaps misplaced—insanity amidst the cold, grounded tone of the show, but I don’t see it. He’s not loony to the point of absurdity, I think he’s just the right kind of loose nut to flavor the show a bit. I hope he doesn’t recede into the background as his role transitions from villain to ally.
Back to Angelo doe. I’m surprised to see how ruthlessly he’s willing to manipulate and rip his way through family ties to get what he wants. By staging Ronaldo’s attempted murder in Nero’s blame, the Galassias send a foreboding omen. This is misunderstood by Nero as a threat on his own life. He now knows that these guys are serious, and that his brother is actually willing to kill him—much to Angelo’s pleasure. This allows for the complete dismantling of Nero’s family structure, as ties are broken and relationships are utterly shattered. There’s no going back to the way things were.
Angelo is doing to Nero tenfold what he did for him. He’s completely destroying Nero’s family. Obviously familial themes run deep into the show’s DNA—it’s a crime family show for Christ’s sake. Despite whatever malintent they may harbor, every individual in the show is part of some kind family structure which his existence and personality is tied to. Except Angelo. He had that taken away from him and now he’s alone. He identified and capitalized Frate’s crippling insecurities in order to drive him towards madness—towards the same kind of isolation he feels. At that point, Frate relied on Ronaldo for a somewhat abusive sense of validation—to a clearly unhealthy point. Frate emotionally abandoned his own family to do so, and once Ronaldo was out of the picture, there was no one left. He was drugged out and alone. This is what happens when we are without our family ties. At the heart of it, isolation is madness.
Now, at the end of it all, with his family in complete shambles, Nero is alone. Until Angelo steps in to cash in his chips—his cemented friendship with Nero. By providing a familial lifeline of sorts, Angelo now has substantial power over Nero. A crafty bugger, the man is.
One thing though, I believe the show could have done a better job of building emotional tension. A lot of it got across fine enough, but in particular, I think Frate’s character could have been better developed—especially because so much of the plot hinged on him. More could have been said to flesh out his crippling insecurities that go all the way back to his childhood with Nero. Show more of the brotherhood that Nero is losing, but also the roots of the guy’s problems. I felt like I could’ve better offered more sympathy for the guy if I just better understood him. Same goes for his sister—in order to convey her as a greater sense of pathos and heartbreak. That way, we could also get a better sense of Nero’s loss. Now understandably, the writers probably had material like this in mind, but just had to cut it out because of time constraints. A shame, but the final product is still quality.
Author’s Note: Severe apologies for the late double-post. Some personal things happened to me in the past few weeks that seriously put me out of commission—but now I’ve recovered a bit and am fully committed to being punctual again. Thank you all for your patience.