Sopranos Final Episode: Fans Have a Right to be Angry

I put up a Sopranos open thread before the start of Sunday night's finale as I have every week the past two seasons. I was too angry after the show to add my thoughts. I waited until I slept on it and watched it again. My final reaction: Count me among those who are livid.

Like many viewers I've watched every episode of the show. Unlike the most obsessed viewers, I cannot recall all the players in all the episodes in all the seasons. I just enjoyed the show as I watched. It was entertainment. I never saw any greater message in the show, never cross-checked the minor characters with their real actor names to see if they re-appeared in future episodes and didn't analyze the dialog or action searching for clues.

But, at the end of each show I wondered what would happen next. I never expected that the final episode would be one in which nothing happened.


Usually I watch the Sopranos alone. Last night that was not the case. I spent the weekend at Hunter Thompson's Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado, outside of Aspen, as a guest of his wife Anita.

The occasion was a NORML legal seminar, where mostly veteran criminal defense lawyers lecture to mostly younger criminal defense lawyers on various topics related to defending drug cases.

For the second year since Hunter's death, Anita opened up Owl Farm to us for a Sunday afternoon party, with live music by Jimmy Ibbotson (formerly of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and a Woody Creek neighbor) and other musicians and a massive spread of fresh food, barbecue and libations. As you might imagine, no one mentioned the Sopranos. Except me.

Anita had invited me to spend the weekend at Owl Farm as opposed to the Gant where the seminar was being held and the other attendees were staying. As soon as could possibly be considered polite after my arrival on Friday evening, I asked her if she had HBO and told her I was conflicted because I couldn't miss the Sopranos and there was no way I could both spend the afternoon at the party and make it back to Denver in time for the finale at 7:00 pm.

Ever the gracious hostess and even though she doesn't watch the show, Anita called her cable provider and ordered HBO so I could see the show.

The party was outstanding. It was like stepping into a different world for the day, one populated by people who embrace life, can put world issues and politics aside for an afternoon to enjoy beautiful mountain scenery, open space, fresh air, freedom, barbecue, an open bar and the comraderie of 150 kindred spirits.

Around 6:00 pm the party was just winding down. Stragglers remained, wanting to see more of Hunter's home which remains exactly the same as the day he died and not wanting the experience to end.

By 6:45, I was planted on the couch in front of the humongous television in the famous Hunter kitchen, shoo-ing everyone out and shush-ing up those who remained. At 7:00 the show started. I was like a jail warden. No one was allowed to speak. The finale of all finales was about to begin.

The young interns at Owl Farm stayed to watch, curious about why I was so fanatical about the show. Travis, a local kid who had worked the barbecue all afternoon for the party-goers and had read about the finale in the news, came in to watch and see what the fuss was about. Not being Sopranos watchers, the interns soon left out of boredom while Travis had a million questions, each of which I replied to with "Shush."

Anita, also not a Soprano's watcher, came in about half-way through and tried to get engaged in it. Shelby, Hunter's long-time book editor who has seen many episodes of the show joined us.

I started worrying about having made such a big deal about the show after A.J. didn't get blown up in either the SUV or the BMW. I realized then nothing was going to happen. Every scene seemed like a filler to me -- Tony and Janice, Janice and Junior, Tony and Junior, Tony and Carmela with the prospective in-laws, even Tony and Paulie. The only satisfying scenes were Phil getting whacked and the FBI agent having an affair with a fellow agent and giving Tony secret information obtained by wiretap.

When the screen went blank at the end, like everyone else watching, I thought the cable system had failed. But, by then, I honestly didn't care. I didn't try changing the channels to test the system, I just didn't care any more.

When the credits rolled up after the 11 second black-out, everyone was silent. I broke the silence with "Oh, my G-d. They just totally f-ked us over. I am so embarrassed and so sorry I made such a big deal out of this. I made you get HBO, I shooed everyone out of the room, I shushed up those who stayed to watch and it was the biggest nothing ever. I'm so sorry."

Of course, they told me it wasn't my fault. But it was. Even knowing all along the show and its characters were fiction, I believed this would be a quintessential moment in television history. I was wrong. The ending was the ultimate cop-out. We were left just where we began, with a dysfunctional family for whom life goes on, despite the tragedies that befall them, the weaknesses that threaten to be their undoing and the occasional celebratory milestone like a birth, wedding or graduation that brings them together.

It's not that I wanted (although I expected) A.J. to kill himself, Tony to be wiped out or perhaps worse, indicted and sitting in jail without bond pending trial. I didn't want to see the middle-easterners Tony fingered really be terrorists. I wasn't looking for tragedy. I was looking for triumph.

I wanted David Chase and the show's writers to come up with something unpredictable, fresh and definitive. Something satisfying that made us say, "What a great 8 year run."

Instead, Tony Soprano and his family became human and ordinary. To watch ordinary, I don't need to make a date with the television every week.

Instead of a ride on the elevator of entertainment, we got the shaft. The banality of it all. I honestly didn't see it coming.

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    My God (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Strick on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:07:02 AM EST
    Why kind of house guest makes their host get HBO just so they can watch one program?  They air the Sopranos a gazillion times a week and you can always download it.

    Sorry you didn't like the episode.  The Sopranos were always just an ordinary American family who just happened to be in the Mob and live in a McMansion.  That's all it ever was.

    The finale had its weak points, but there was plenty in the episode to make it special if you took up Chase's challenge and filled in the blank for yourself.  I'm having a lovely argument at another blog on how there were plenty of reasons to think that New York would still want to wack Tony and how the 10 seconds of dead air represents the idea that the arrogant, self-absorbed Tony never saw it coming.  Each of us is drawing clues from the episodes we've watched through out the season.

    No way to prove either side of our argument, but maybe the very existance of the argument is the point.

    Hunter (none / 0) (#35)
    by Anita Thompson on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 04:30:24 PM EST
    Hi. It's Anita Thompson. I'm touched that some readers were concerned about Hunter's reaction to Jerri's blog entry about the Sopranos. Since I rarely  watch TV,  it was my pleasure to order HBO for her. She is a lovely house guest and has been a good friend to me since Hunter died. Although Hunter had no interest in the Sopranos, he was definately interested in the work Jerri was doing and taking a Sopranos break was just fine. It was actually pretty thrilling to watch the finale with her, despite the cheap ending.

    Thanks, Anita (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 07:48:57 PM EST
    for stopping by and for the support. You're the best!  

    That seems a little elitist (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 01:22:41 AM EST
    to tar all of television with the banal brush.  Many tv actors and television production personnel and writers are justly proud of their work. Cable channels like HBO showcase material that otherwise wouldn't be available.

    Plus, as I said in the post, I watched the show for entertainment. Entertainment is not a dirty word. All of us can use a little relaxation and escape and some television series provide that.

    Nor do I think television news and C-span is banal.

    Sure, there are ridiculous programs on tv. But there is also serious programming and well-acted and produced programming and movies and informative current events programming.

    The Sopranos was, as the ad says, ground-breaking. That the finale didn't fulfill my expectations doesn't mean the series as a whole was not worth watching.  

    If HBO hadn't picked up Bill Maher (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 08:19:54 AM EST
    I would have lost my mind this past year.  Only Bill Maher can make me laugh about it all enough to survive it.

    Karma (1.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Peaches on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:55:56 AM EST
    The party was outstanding. It was like stepping into a different world for the day, one populated by people who embrace life, can put world issues and politics aside for an afternoon to enjoy beautiful mountain scenery, open space, fresh air, freedom, barbecue, an open bar and the comraderie of 150 kindred spirits.

    As you might imagine, no one mentioned the Sopranos. Except me.

    By 6:45, I was planted on the couch in front of the humongous television in the famous Hunter kitchen, shoo-ing everyone out and shush-ing up those who remained. At 7:00 the show started. I was like a jail warden. No one was allowed to speak. The finales of all finales was about to begin.

    When the credits rolled up after the 11 second black-out, everyone was silent. I broke the silence with "Oh, my G-d. They just totally f-ked us over. I am so embarrassed and so sorry I made such a big deal out of this.

    Of course, they told me it wasn't my fault. But it was.

    Of course, they told me it wasn't my fault. But it was. Even knowing all along the show and its characters were fiction, I believed this would be a quintessential moment in television history. I was wrong.

    I am a fan of yours Jeralyn, but from your post you describe a beautiful day spent with beautiful people at the late Hunter S Thompson's home in the mountains. You enjoyed the moment with the anticipation of a television moment on your mind. Bed Karma, Bad Karma. Hunter's ghost was surely involved in the production of the finale and I'm sure he's laughing his ass off at your expense.

    Inappropriate (none / 0) (#4)
    by rebrane on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 09:19:09 AM EST
    I seriously hope you don't think you're reaping the good karma with your sanctimonious act. How utterly presumptious to tell somebody that their dead friend is mocking them. You're a bad person.

    Perhaps, you are right (none / 0) (#5)
    by Peaches on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 09:30:04 AM EST
    I was not part of an inner circle with Hunter and I have no idea of Jeralyn's relationship with him. I am just a fan of his writing and a fan of Jeralyn as I said. In the mind of this lowly reader who comes across as a bad person to you, I don't think Hunter would be mocking Jeralyn as much as giving her a gentle ribbing.

    Sorry if you are offended and i'm sorry to Jeralyn if she is too.


    Just to further explain (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peaches on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 09:38:02 AM EST
    As a fan of Hunter, I just don't see him taking an television episode too seriously. But, I might be biased. I don't watch television.

    I think it is bad karma - kind of like the internet and talking to people. Bad karma. and we all reap the results. I value the moments with friends much more highly. And moments with friends in the mountains only adds to those precious few times when our souls get replenished from the constant drone of electronic media. That is what I mean by karma. But, I still agree with you that my mere act of posting a comment on TL brings no good karma my way. I get my good karma in the woods with friends, too.


    See Anita's Comment Above (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 07:49:59 PM EST
    Hunter would have thought it was just fine.  

    Thanks, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#42)
    by Peaches on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 10:49:09 AM EST
    and Anita,

    I wasn't really, really serious about Hunter and the whole karma deal. Just kinda-sorta.

    I really don't watch television shows, but I have my vices and I will sometimes watch a sporting event on the tube over something like paying more attention to my son and playing with him, or laying down with my wife. That's bad karma too.

    I was really just giving you a little rub and I think it came across too strong. Sorry about that. I am sure you are a great and trusting friend, just from the people you associate with (like Hunter and Anita) and the way you run this blog.


    What's the problem? (none / 0) (#2)
    by rdandrea on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:42:58 AM EST
    You said you wanted something unpredictable.  David Chase gave it to you. Would you (could you) have predicted that ending?

    Read the interview with Chase in today's Star-Ledger.

    et al (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:14:57 AM EST
    I was never a fan of the Sopranos. I watched them sometimes, mostly when my cable company was having a free HBO promo, or maybe in a hotel room... Sometimes I enjoyed, sometimes I didn't..

    But isn't this the perfect ending to allow the show to come back for a final final really sure 'nuff final season??

    BTW - I didn't see the show.

    Count me among those (none / 0) (#8)
    by nolo on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:25:52 AM EST
    Who thought the end was brilliant.  I'm not sure I'd have picked the final ep as the way to introduce the show to friends and acquaintances who weren't regular watchers, though.

    Loved it. (none / 0) (#9)
    by straleno on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:44:07 AM EST
    I thought it was brilliant, too. After I realized I'd been "had," sort of, I laughed out loud. Really, nothing else could have been as unexpected. Nothing else could have reminded us so well that, after all these years, the guy isn't a superhero (or supervillain) but rather a complicated, basically bad guy slogging through life. With his family around him, more or less.

    And the near-heart-attack inducing sequence of activity in that closing scene was just so well crafted. If you watch it again, everything becomes much less suspicious -- it's just how it's shown to us that makes it so suspenseful.

    Loved it.

    Also... (none / 0) (#10)
    by straleno on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:47:24 AM EST
    I thought it was one of the funnier episodes in a while, with a lot of good dialogue, the whole thing with Paulie and the cat, Phil's whacking...

    I agree (none / 0) (#11)
    by nolo on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:54:12 AM EST
    I felt guilty laughing when Phil bought it, but not that guilty.  And Paulie's goofball superstitions were great too.  

    My husband laughed too (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:30:40 AM EST
    I threw my hand over my mouth and said one of those Oh My God things.  My husband won't watch the Tudors with me cuz he said he already knows what happens and how it ends ;)

    Jeralyn's judgment can still be trusted (none / 0) (#12)
    by Aaron on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:15:27 AM EST
    If I ever need a defense attorney....again, I'll pick Jeralyn. Because even though we may have areas of disagreement concerning the law and morality, and even though I might abrasively point out the privileged life she leads, and how utterly mortified I would be if I were with her when she went to a deceased literary icon's houseand and got the host to order HBO, unbelievable :-) (though let me say I admire her openness and painful honesty for revealing this, the kind of revelations that bloggers should engage in more often), at least I know that she still has the ability to observe and evaluate without allowing her judgment to be swayed by some starstruck popular consensus.

    Unlike some of you, you lawyers most especially -- who apparently allow their good judgment to be overcome by hype and spin, those of you who seem to have very little difficulty deluding yourselves whenever those delusions are affirmed by a host of others floating through the land of suspended disbelief -- unlike you guys, I know that when the judge sentences me to five years in front of a firing squad, Jeralyn won't turn to me and say, "What a fabulous outcome, see I told you I'd save your ass."  

    I encourage all of you to go back and watch the first few seasons of the Sopranos, when it was fresh, and the writers were eager to take us new places, places that few television shows had gone before.  Just watch those shows, and then compare them to this season, perhaps that will help you put things in perspective. I imagine most of you Sopranos fans would enjoy watching those episodes over and over again, but I wonder how many of you will bother watching this season and this episode again, years from now. I'd be willing to bet not many

    I'm not sure I would place ordering a (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:28:01 AM EST
    new cable channel in the privileged column.  I ordered Showtime an hour before the first airing of the Tudors.  I can always unorder it ;).  Perhaps having a friend who would be willing to order a cable channel for you to watch the final episode of your favorite show could make Jeralyn privileged to have such a friend but friendship usually cuts both ways for it to survive and grow so Jeralyn must be an equally good friend.  

    thanks for pointing it out (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 12:25:20 PM EST
    It cost $13.00 (for which she gets a month of HBO, cancellable at the end if she wishes)and was instantly available.  I didn't ask her to get it, she volunteered, (and then I just reminded her a few times on Saturday.) It wasn't so much the $13.00, it was that she had a million details to attend to including cooking and planning for 150 people to visit Owl Farm.

    OK (none / 0) (#16)
    by Strick on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 02:03:12 PM EST
    Then I apologize.  The last time I tried to order anything like HBO it seemed more expensive and one heck of a lot more trouble.

    Actually, I can't think of doing anything with my cable company without anticipating going through one heck of a lot of trouble, so I over reacted.

    I'll never be that kind of hospitable, I guess.


    Repeating story arc (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 02:23:28 PM EST
    I loved the last episode because it stayed true to its core.  The show is about Tony, his family, inner circle and the collateral damage associated with his choice of lifestyle.  The show to me was no different than any other episode, no more dramatic, no less.  Isn't that Tony's life?  Up and down, living in fear of murder/indictment and spending like there is no tomorrow.  Every close character accepts their lot in life and while some can change they ultimately decide not to because what they know is what they know. There was no way to close it completely unless they tried a 6 feet under (which was brilliant and again consistent with the show's core) and there was no reason to.  Tony is still philandering, killing, lying and manipulating.  Melfi is free.  Carmella is still stuck in the life (her own choice) and AJ and Meadow are the victims of what we can only observe as a rotten childhood and are dealing with it in different ways.

    Life goes on, even in the face of death and impending indictment.   Isn't that what the show has played and replayed for years?

    Every time a storyline closes in anyone's life, we simply address a less important one and it suddenly becomes the most important issue.  With all of our collective baggage in life we are similar in that regard and so the show's ending should be comparable as we were led to believe in its authenticity relative to a real life Don.

    I loved the show and I loved Tony and I should not have.  He is a despicable human being yet I rationalized that leotardo was worse etc etc.  I remember one time when Tony was cheating my wife said "No tony don't do it!" as if she could somehow change the script by yelling at the telly.  

    The bigger question is not whether or not they ended it correctly, but why do we love such a bad person?  Because it is fiction?  Or because the writers made us feel like it was real and that they were ultimately successful in getting us to cheer and pull for a very bad man with little or no redeeming qualities?

    Hated the ending too (none / 0) (#18)
    by byteb on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 02:30:05 PM EST
    I thought it was too art school cute...nothing more than a pretentious gimmick.
    Chase was telling a story to us for all these years, he should have made some attempt to end it rather than somekind of variant of the Lady and the Tiger.
    Imagine reading Great Expectations and then getting to the last chapter only to find blank paper?
    ps Cheers to Jeralyn and the good friends who love her.

    Completely agree... (none / 0) (#19)
    by aj12754 on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 02:54:51 PM EST
    Only it's an artistic cop out now being sold as a post-modern triumph when it is, as you say, merely a pretentious gimmick. Writing isn't for sissies.

    frankly, (none / 0) (#20)
    by cpinva on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 05:23:39 PM EST
    you got "had" from the first episode of this rather pedestrian "crime family" show. i only could stomach a couple of episodes. not, mind you, because i thought it too violent, or that it somehow glorified bad guys. no, it was much more basic than that: it bored the living daylights out of me. it was like watching nascar, but without all the cars, or the track.

    by comparison, "six feet under" and "deadwood" were brilliant, far surpassing anything on the "sopranos". actually, "sopranos" was a "rome" wannabe.

    i suggest you re-watch "goodfellas", for a much better take on the genre.

    I loved Deadwood (none / 0) (#22)
    by nolo on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:27:06 PM EST
    and adored "Goodfellas."  I still liked the Sopranos a whole lot too.

    Clear to me! (none / 0) (#21)
    by lectric lady on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:07:52 PM EST
    When you are Tony, and look up from your fries, or whatever, and then your world goes black, let's face it, you were shot dead. I am sure this is what happened to him. The rest of the family? Probably shot dead too, why would they leave them alive?

    What else? He fainted?? Had a stroke?? Don't think so!

    I concur (none / 0) (#23)
    by RustedView on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:28:43 PM EST
    While I didn't see this last episode, or watch most of them, I have read a lot about it.  From what I have seen, there was a conversation awhile ago between Tony and Bobby?  In that conversation, one of them said, that you wouldn't feel anything when you are killed, it would just go black.

    I understand some people are trying to make the argument that "no one would remember such an obscure reference" etc etc on any tv show.  I think that fan dedication is something you have seen in many places, just look at the people who really follow Lost.  They pick up on any and everything that is put out, even tiny inconsistencies.

    Now, maybe the Sopranos fan base is not that dedicated, but, that line, "it all goes black" fits too perfectly.

    He put in a 15 second spat of black, and silence, for that reason, it was over.  No fireworks, no life before your eyes, just over.  I'm sure that doesn't satisfy the people who are only there to "see" it, but, that just isn't the way it goes.


    I agree too.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:58:04 PM EST
    the key to me is that it wasn't a fade to black, it was an abrupt black, and the Journey record stopped cold.

    Tony took one to the dome.  And that's all she wrote.


    And Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 09:58:00 PM EST
    the electricity went out at that moment at the Diner. I won't spend a moment reflecting on the possibilities. It's not my job to be the writer, but the viewer, and there was nothing to see. The Emporer David Chase had no clothes on.

    But... (none / 0) (#26)
    by lectric lady on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:12:06 PM EST
    Could be, Jeralyn, but bad guys in the house... he looks up... and BAM, Death's Darkness. Occam's razor here. Chase nailed it.

    I didn't see the epi (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 12:00:49 PM EST
    but from my experience with filmed entertainment when the screen goes suddenly black and/or the music stops suddenly, that usually means someone died.

    Umm. . . (none / 0) (#27)
    by mmeo on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 12:15:18 AM EST
    You didn't see the banality of watching television?  Er. . .

    Okay, I'm reevaluating the last episode... (none / 0) (#30)
    by Aaron on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 10:13:06 AM EST
    ... and beginning to see in new ways.

    Without invalidating everything I said, and now that the last episode is starting to sink in, I'm pulling back from my harsh first evaluation. I've watched it again for the third time, without any external distractions this time, or the distraction of waiting for something to happen, as opposed to watching what was actually happening.  This time around I think I understand it better, and if I can ever get my On Demand to work again, I'll give you a segment by segment breakdown, I know you're all looking forward to that.  :-)

    I will say right off hand that the evaluation of the Journey's Don't Stop Believin' is in my opinion mistaken. Chase picked that song for a reason, it's a song about hope and moving on, by people who live in a world that is often without hope.  It was an affirmation that life continues for the survivors, and what makes you a survivor is nothing more than your hope and belief that things will be better tomorrow. I understand that song because I grew up with Journey, they were a part of my teen years and young adulthood, and it touches some of founding relationships in my life.  Great song by the way.

    I still have a problem with much of this last season, and the blackout gimmick which was designed to do exactly what he did, allow people to insert their own ending. Those who wanted to see Tony get whacked get what they want, and those who would have preferred a pullback longshot of the happy family in the restaurant can almost have what they want as well.  Perhaps Chase was bowing to the wishes of his audience by not forcing anyone to accept a definitive ending without ambiguity, some of us appreciate a little ambiguity, because life is filled with it.

    Journey -- Don't Stop Believin' (none / 0) (#31)
    by Aaron on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 10:59:22 AM EST
    A few other observations...... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 11:13:36 AM EST
    These thoughts came to me via a chain email going around.

     The truck driver who walks into the bathroom was Phil's nephew Nikki Leotardo...somebody with plenty of reason to whack Tony.

     The bell on the diner door rings everytime someone enters...except as Meadow enters.  Tony is shot dead the instant before she enters.  No bell ring, screen goes black, music stops.

     And earlier this season when Bobby and Tony are fishing, Bobby says "...at the end, you probably dont hear anything, everything just
    goes black"

    Brilliant ending...I know I didn't need to see Carmela and the kids covered in blood for "closure".

    the chain mail is bogus (none / 0) (#34)
    by nolo on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 04:17:42 PM EST
    The actor who's supposed to be "Nikki Leotardo" had never been on the show before.

    Thanks nolo.... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 07:57:32 PM EST
    I had my doubts about that one, figuring Tony would have recognized him.

    Still think the boss is dead though.


    but was there a specific person's point of view you were you seeing when it went black? Like Tony or another actor's POV/what they were seeing as they looked at someone else's face or something? Or was it a fly-on-the-wall POV, just showing the whole scene, characters, etc?

    Reason I ask is because if it was Tony's POV, and then his POV went black, I think that's a pretty good sign he was killed.

    Interesting Point (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 07:52:33 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure the camera was on Tony's face.  Funny that I've seen the episode twice and don't recall. Guess the blackout made me too angry.

    At the risk of being a complete prick... (none / 0) (#41)
    by JHFarr on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 10:44:02 PM EST
    ... I have to say, Jeralyn, that that's what you get for watching television.

    The whack and the sequel (none / 0) (#43)
    by Madison Guy on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 02:56:19 PM EST
    Didn't see it (refuse to invest in cable) but have watched the show on DVD, and feel I saw this episode from all the commentary and clips.

    It seems clear that Tony and his family members in the diner got whacked, but Meadow, who was late, didn't.

    Aside from being a perfectly appropriate ending -- what else would work, really, without being hopelessly over the top? -- this seems to be a great setup for the sequel movie in which Meadow tries to pick up the pieces, while struggling with memories and flashbacks of her parents and brother. It would be a way to show the family dynamics from a whole new perspective.

    I'd go see it.

    Genius (none / 0) (#44)
    by Tonyfanfrombelgium on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:48:23 AM EST
    Just typed in "Sopranos final episode" in Google and stumbled upon this discussion. Just watched the final episode on DVD this evening and I found it pure genius. The fact that so many people moan and mope about it, makes it even better. It's unsettling to read that people expect a work of fiction to end with a blast or with a big gesture of some sorts. "we need closure!", the masses cry!
    That's so old-fashioned. Is it a typical american reaction? Judging from the junk Hollywood spits out one might be inclined to think so. Enter David Chase. With an episode called "Made in America". Eat that america-bashing europeans! (I know I am one of those from time to time). The title is the best summary of the Sopranos as a series. In so many ways.

    I would have loved to have a novel which is called "Great expectations" to end with a couple of blank pages. That would have undercut the title of that novel in a magnificent way. People had great expactions for the Sopranos' finale. Chase could have never matched any of those expectations, so he left it open. Letting the public fill it in with their own wild imagination. Letting the public be disappointed. Letting the public to do with it whatever they want.  I think that it takes guts to do such a thing in a pre-chewed, plastic, cliché-ridden entertainment industry. The Sopranos is literature. There, I said it.
    I show David Chase and all the other writers my respect.
    And the same for anyone who disagrees.