“You know what really pisses me off about my dad? He did all these really great things, then, before he was my dad…now he’s just an asshole.”
Tony’s second born and namesake, Anthony Soprano, Jr. is capable of causing his father more agita than the FBI’s entire New Jersey Field Office. Anthony Jr. is an uninspired (read “lousy”) high school student, a Nintendo cultist whose greatest talent is pushing his parents’ buttons. Some highlights: he crashed Carmela’s car while driving without a license; got caught smoking pot at his confirmation party; skimmed Nietzsche and Camus and declared life meaningless; went to gym class drunk on stolen Communion wine; broke into the school and vandalized the swimming pool; and, finally, was expelled for cheating on a geometry test.
Following the gym class bacchanal, school counselors informed Tony and Carmela that Anthony Jr. was on the “borderline” of Attention Deficit Disorder. Anthony Jr. was briefly in therapy, but his parents ultimately decided that Anthony Jr. was “just a kid who screwed up a little bit.” When Anthony Jr. was expelled, however, Tony decided it was time for serious action: A.J. was enrolled in the Hudson Military Institute, a strict boarding school where there’s no television and the day starts at 05:30. But when Anthony Jr. passed out while trying on his new uniform, it was discovered that he suffers anxiety attacks – the same malady suffered by his father and grandfather. As a result, his internment at military school was cancelled.
Post high school, A.J.’s aimlessness has continued. Partying with his friends and drifting from McJob to McJob, he’s caught between his father’s reputation and his own, essentially gentle, nature. He was determined to kill Uncle Junior for shooting Tony, but didn’t have it in him when he was face to face with the old man. His lack of direction infuriates his father, but A.J. is showing some signs that he is changing – not the least of which: his relationship with Blanca Selgado, a single mother, ten years his senior.