For those of you who, like this Turkey, anticipated a smashing finale to one of the great series ever created for television, The Sopranos, Sunday night’s final episode was a limp disappointment.
All the speculation, including my wacked out scenario, about whether Tony would live or die, go to prison or remain a free man, or whether his psychiatrist would turn state’s evidence, went for naught. Few issues were resolved by this episode; everything was left hanging.
Well, except for old Phil Leotardo. Thanks to a tip from dat friendly FBI agent, who was mysteriously portrayed having problems with his gun-packing, law enforcement wife, Tony’s boys got to Phil. ??? ????? Just to give us one final, unforgettable whacking, Phil had his brains blown out at point blank range in a Long Island gas station, after which his SUV containing his two bawling infant grandchildren rolled over his head—a great, big, freakin’, graphical, metaphorical bada bing! for all that creator David Chase has tried to portray about da mob: cold hearted violence, cruelty, and distorted familial relationships.
Further drama involved Tony and Carmela’s brooding son A.J.’s SUV blowing up in the woods, as he and his high school age girlfriend prepared to get it on to the haunting refrain of an early, pre-nasal Bob Dylan ditty. Tony had warned da kid about the catalytic converter and the leaves and all, but da kid, as usual, didn’t give a rat’s ass. He and little, budding fashion model and fellow environmental maven, Rhiannon did escape the car just in time. So, the gentle yet schmucky angst of A. ???? ???? ??? ??? ???? J. provides a textural counterpoint to the great majority of his violent family’s machinations. (I don’t know what the hell I just said, but I’m just trying to mock the dime-a-dozen, know-it-all weenies who think they can analyze David Chase’s motives.)
Apparently, BMW paid big bucks to showcase its cars in this final episode, because the next car we see A.J. driving is a shiny, new Bimmer M3, with the camera zooming in tight on the M3 marque. And in the penultimate scene, Meadow, who, although not yet finished with law school, apparently is being offered a 0,000 per year job as a lawyer defending high-profile criminals at the Mafia-connected firm of her boyfriend, Patrick Parisi, is trying to park a shiny, silver BMW 6-series. ???? ???? She had enough trouble parking that we got to see the Bimmer for a good little while. I’ve gotta give dese Soprano kids points for their choice in cars, but what was Chase trying to say wit dat parkin’ scene? Broads can’t parallel park?
So how did it end?
Tony, Carmela, and A.J. are sitting in a greasy spoon diner waiting for Meadow. The camera follows several shady looking customers, just so’s we t’ink dat one or more of them will pull out a gun and whack Tony. And then, …
The Redhead says
Was it a rip-off, or a kiss-off?
I don’t like the feeling I get when I sense a film director is playing with my head. In addition, I think it’s a cop-out when a director doesn’t resolve a storyline. However, I also believe there is something to be said for not neatly tying things up–life isn’t that way, after all.
That being said, I offer a few points on last night’s show:
1. I’ve read some interesting columns today suggesting that Tony was actually killed at the end of last night’s episode. Why? In the previous episode, Tony remarked that when you die suddenly, everything just goes to black. Well, isn’t that what happened. In the last shot (no pun intended) we see Tony look up from the table in the diner, and then–lights out. So, this argument goes, from Tony’s point of view, that’s all there is, folks.
2. Chase has been giving out little musical “clues” as to what he was up to. On a recent episode, we heard The Doors’ song, When the Music’s Over which includes the signficant lyric: When the music’s over, turn out the lights.” And isn’t that just what Chase did?
3. And of course, there’s the possibility that Chase “offed” the audience. His little joke on us. Personally, I think that’s pretty arrogant and not very funny but there are TV critics insisting that’s right in the spirit of the show. It does seem that David Chase had fun choosing the soundtrack for the final episode. The Dylan song you refer to, Turkey, is It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding. Ha!
So, either Tony got the kiss off, or we did. Or maybe none of the above. Then there’s the possibility that a movie is in the offing. Personally, I don’t think so, I think Chase was ready to leave the Sopranos behind. Word is he couldn’t be reached for comment today as he’s in France. Perfect timing!
It’s hard to successfully conclude a popular, beloved, and long running series. Remember the botch job with Seinfeld’s finale? Perhaps, leaving things open was a smart move. Word is Chase filmed three different endings. Guess we’ll have to wait for the DVD to see those.
The Nittany Turkey says
My money is on the movie. I think Chase, as well as the cast, can contemplate earning more money for one movie than they earned for the entire 7 years of the TV series. While the cast has publicly expressed that they fear being typecast in their Sopranos roles, I think they’d take typecasting if they could instantly double their wealth. Besides, I don’t see Tony Sirico (Paulie) playing a “sensitive male” role anytime soon (although he possibly could make the transformation to comedy acting, as did fellow “gangster” Peter Boyle).