Ever since Michael killed Claudia his behavior has been reprehensible and I have often wondered if this was the result of guilt or if he was simply using Claudia's murder as an opportunity to be more like Sonny. My suspicion was that after Michael killed Claudia he immediately felt out of touch with the rest of society so he gravitated toward the only life he thought he could possibly fit in, the life his father built. And while I think there will always be a part of Michael that idolizes Sonny, killing Claudia meant crossing a line that, for Michael, seemed to cement his fate into a life of crime.
I think that Michael always assumed he would follow in Sonny's footsteps at some point, given the fact that almost every male role model he has ever had has been connected to the mob in one way or another. And theoretically I think he always believed he could handle this lifestyle, even convincing himself and those around him, upon killing Claudia, that this is what he wanted. However, as I watched the scene where he was talking to his baby sister I became increasingly convinced that what he really longs for is innocence and a time before violence changed his life forever. The point of all this reckless behavior, whether Michael realizes it or not, is to evoke punishment. Deep down Michael wants to be held accountable for his actions so he can somehow get past what he did, but the adults in his life are so intent on covering up his transgressions that they do not recognize them as cries for help that no conversation with Sonny can fix.
Michael and Josslyn [no copyright infringement intended]