Soldiers Don’t Go to Hell

This post contains some spoilers for The Sopranos

I’m halfway through watching The Sopranos and this scene is my favorite thus far.

For context, The Sopranos is about a mob boss, Tony Soprano, going to therapy. In the week prior to the scene, Tony’s underling, Chris Moltisanti, was shot multiple times in the hospital and was struggling to survive. Tony paid him a visit and Chris shared his dream of visiting Hell, and that he soon would be there forever. Dr. Melfi asks Tony if he believes Chris will go to Hell.

Tony: No. He’s not the type that deserves hell.

Dr. Melfi: Who do you think does?

Tony: The worst people. The twisted and demented psychos who kill people for pleasure, the cannibals, the degenerate bastards that molest and torture little kids. They kill babies. The Hitlers. The Pol Pots. Those are the even fucks that deserve to die, not my nephew.

Dr. Melfi then asks, what about you?

No, for the same reasons. We’re soldiers. Soldiers don’t go to hell. It’s war. Soldiers they kill other soldiers. We’re in a situation where everyone involved knows the stakes and if your gonna accept those stakes you gotta do certain things. It’s business. Soldiers. We follow codes, orders.

Throughout the series, both Chris and Tony commit many crimes. Chris robbed a benefit concert, Tony choked a man to death, and they made their living through extortion and racketeering. From a viewer’s perspective, they certainly deserve to go to hell. You can also tell that Dr. Melfi thinks so too and is disgusted by Tony’s justification. This show provides insight into the mindset of the media, and how these criminals justify their actions.

September 10, 2023

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