This post explores the aftermath of Tony’s accident and also dabbles in tackling his Series 2 episode.
In Series 1 we see Tony as this guy who seems to have it all. Then by his own lack of empathy and lack of self control he pushes the people in his life to the brink. Michelle begins to stand up for herself and Sid also starts to rebel against Tony. He is beginning to lose everything he had. Desperate to get his control back and his worshipers back he finally gives into their demands. Only to find himself hit by a bus.
The bus incident left Tony with a subdural hermatoma which is a form of severe head trauma. He was temporarily in a coma. Brain injuries are both serious and unique to the individual and also to the part of the brain that was effected. For Tony we can see that the main symptoms are: personality changes, irritability, dizziness, disorientation, mild amnesia, weakness and/or lethargy, and a decrease in motor skills.
Even though Tony’s personality does change quite a bit due to his accident. There is one thing that has not changed. His determination to get everything back as he stated to Chris in 2x5 and his frustration at having to rely on people. Tony has always been a person who was in control or had at least the appearance of control. He has also always been someone who could rely on himself and did not allow himself to be too vulnerable with people. His accident forces him to rely on people and has made him quite vulnerable to the people around him. However his accident has made him sweeter, calmer, and less drastic in his actions. He is though very Tony in that he has a plan and a drive to get everything back.
He has slowed and imperfect motor skills due to the accident as well. As evident by his issues with writing his name and pulling his pants up in the beginning. Also his inability to swim as well. This is striking sense Tony has a morning routine that includes a daily work out. He is someone who takes pride in his body and his ability to do things. This consequence from the accident leaves him both frustrated and helpless. Though throughout the series his motor skills improve greatly.
Tony also has mild amnesia. There are certain things he does not remember and also certain things he use to know that he has a hard time recalling. This is another are of frustration for not only Tony, but also for Michelle as well.
Tony is also prone to spells of disorientation and dizziness which is quite common among those who have had a serious brain injury.
All of this frustration and baby steps on improving his situation comes to the boiling point when we meet Tony in his Series 2 episode. Tired of sitting on the sidelines Tony decides enough is enough. He is going to party, smoke, and take ecstasy. He’s going to start being “Tony” the patience is running out. On top of this Sid and Michelle are together. Tony hates this, but pretends to be okay instead of laying it out there. Due to the drugs he took he begins to feel sick this is where he has the first vision of the mystery girl. Who knows things about Tony even though she is a stranger. Tony after feeling sick and upset about Sid/Michelle leaves the club and begins to run as the shot transitions to him waking up in his bed.
Tony then goes to University for an interview and tour. Throughout his time a the University reality is distorted in a surreal way. The mystery girl returns to drag Tony away from the larger group and show him how to rebel. He also sees a man with scars on the train who says “at least I wear my scars.” I feel like this statement was Tony goading himself about how he has let his injuries get the best of him instead of owning them like he should. He is frustrated by his progress and wants to be healed. The guy he meets on train turns out to be the head who is interviewing Tony for University only his scars are gone. In many ways the old Tony lives in this guy who is seemingly arrogant and lacks sympathy for others. Goading Tony about his animus (inner spirit) and belittling Tony at every step. I feel like this is in some ways the old Tony along with his bitter frustration over his situation shining through.
There are also times in which what seems for sure to be reality also seems surreal. For instance the tour guides find Tony in the pool alone (though Tony was with the mysterious girl moments before). Tony mentions this and the female tour guide says “don’t go with her.” This is why Tony’s episode in my opinion is more complex than Rich’s episode which has the same type of distorted reality.
I imagine that I will go in even further detail about this episode when I review it later on. I do want to jump ahead. At the end of the episode one of the major blocks that Tony has is his inability to have sex. In Tony’s mind sex is power. He has always felt this way and he has used sex on multiple occasions to display power and control. Tony finally overcomes his sexual dysfunction with the help of the mysterious girl he envisions. Also he sees the mystery girl receive a tattoo that depicts an image of fire in which we later on see that Tony has this tattoo. Fire is a symbol that depicts passion, control/impulse, and power. All things that represent Tony in many ways.
After this episode Tony goes back to Bristol and confronts Sid/Michelle about everything. He then begins to take control over his life and his recovery seems to speed up. Including the more than reality that Tony will go to University on his own.
Tony’s journey is one in which a boy who believed he had so much control over people he pushed people to their limits. To a boy who had to rely on other people to take care of him and then taking the journey back to a modified version of his old self.
Tony’s story is quite surreal yet powerful. One of my friends has a cousin who had a severe brain injury due to a car accident. My friend’s cousin’s personality changed drastically and he also had issues with motor skills. It is a real issue that does effect people. Though the bus accident it self was quite exaggerated the injury certainly wasn’t.