By nature the consigliere is the guy who's gotta read between the
lines, see more than just the forest and the trees. He's like the
E.F. Hutton of the Jersey family. Sil's always been a pretty quiet
guy, right? But then he pops off some sage yet brief opinion to Tony
that slaps a sense of realization into not only the boss, but the
viewer as well. Chase and the writers have always used the character
of Sil to that end. It can be argued that the fact is no more apparent
than it is now.
For the duration of Tony's rule, the circumstances have been pretty
cut and dried. He's had some issues, no doubt, but he's also had the
reassurances of an implicitly trustworthy consigliere and a nephew
who's not only complicit in, but keeps his mouth shut about, Tony's
forays outside the lines of old-school rules (for example, whacking a
made guy like Ralphie). Sil is being a realist, but in the true
nature of his character, he's being mute about his deepest concerns.
Hitting those inhalers as much as he has is a classic sign that he's
internalizing his worries.
So what's he worried about? Tony, his FRIEND, is on death's door. Sil
is the only one of the crew who REALLY seems affected on a personal
level by the potential that Tony could die. Sil, also true to his
nature as consigliere, can see beyond the immediate circumstances.
He's clued into the larger picture-- Tony the BOSS may die. Junior
is out of his mind. Sac is in the can. Leotardo, the one acting in
Sac's shoes, has an axe yet to come to grind. And the crew--
everybody's got a bitch, everybody's more concerened for his own ass
than for the good of the family. Sil is clued into all this shit and
sees the long-term ramifications. The entire fibre of the family is
breaking down, the cosa nostra principles are fading in favor of "he
for his own ass". And Sil know he's first in line to inherit the
breakdowns, to have to deal with them in an effective manner. And he
knows in his heart of hearts that a lot of what's coming down the pike
is of Tony's doing, which causes him grief because he's criticizung
his friend's judgments. But Sil also know that there's no one with
the stugots and the foresight to be able to step up and save the
family. He's scared shitless that it's down to him and he's gonna be
the man when the family gonna falls.
He knows in his gut that he's got no one reliable to step up to
He knows in his gut that he's got no solidarity amongst the capos and
And he knows that on the verge is an all-out blood bath between New
York and Jersey.