“College” is an essential episode as it artfully examines the themes of family duty and loyalty carried throughout the rest of the series. At one point, Tony sat at Bowdoin College and read a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne: “No man can put on one face for himself and another in front of everyone, without ultimately feeling it. confused about which could be true”, a clear example of Tony’s good and bad sides. Tony grapples with his dual identities as a vulnerable father and a barbaric criminal of the underworld and tries to reconcile the two in therapy, searching for a sense of self that can never found.
The episode smashes different worlds together as Tony is torn between his relationship with his daughter and finding his Mafia family. Towards the end of the episode, we see a scary side of Tony. Director Allen Coulter filmed Petrulio’s death in uncomfortably tight close-ups as Tony gleefully squeezed the rope, which dug deep into his tomato-red neck. Coulter shoots from below, leaving Tony in the frame as a formidable cold-blooded killer. Former HBO Entertainment President Carolyn Strauss elaborated on the importance of the scene:
“For David, killing that guy and we found it to be complex, compelling and really real. David is very confident that you can’t just portray this guy as a likable family man. . .”
All of Tony Soprano’s grotesque qualities are evident in “College,” solidifying him as a multifaceted protagonist that will captivate audiences for years to come.
https://www.slashfilm.com/966511/the-make-or-break-moment-for-tonys-character-came-early-in-the-sopranos/ The defining moment for Tony’s character comes early in Sopranos