Tuesday, June 12, 2007

If THE SOPRANOS were on a major network

The finale would be at least two hours.

There would be a one hour clip show hosted by Bob Costas preceding it.

There would be live coverage of the cast party on the network’s local 11:00 news. It would be the lead story even if Hurricane Katrina hit that day.

There would be a little animated promo swooshing across the bottom of the screen after every commercial break of every other prime time show on that network for two weeks. A little gun would shoot a little mobster. The blood would spell out SOPRANOS.

Also, on the bottom of the screen there would be a little countdown clock for a month leading up to the finale.

The cast would be on that network’s late night talk show. If the network didn’t have a late night talk show they would create one just for this purpose.

An online contest would offer prizes if you guessed who would be whacked and when. That way you could watch the final episode and play along at home.

They would spin off Janice. Coming in September: WIDOW WITH CHILDREN.

They would insist that Tony’s mother return despite the fact that the actress who played her has died.

They would NEVER EVER EVER allow an ambiguous ending.

They would want the following changes in the last scene. Meadow should drive a Ford because that’s who is sponsoring. She should have no trouble parallel parking because Fords are easy to parallel park. The restaurant must be TGI Fridays – also a sponsor and much more colorful. The threat should come from a singing waiter wearing a straw hat, suspenders, and hundreds of fun buttons. A secondary threat should be an Arab terrorist with a scar. The Arab should pull his gun. The waiter should point his banjo (which is also a semi-automatic rifle). It looks like Tony, Carmela, and A.J. are done for it. Final commercial break. We come back just as Meadow bursts in the door with an Uzi and blows the bad guys away. Meadow, it seems, has just come from dance class and is wearing nothing but a hot leotards. Tony says, “That’s what I get for going to Fridays on Tuesday.” The family shares a laugh. Meadow sits down. Everyone hugs and declares their love for each other. Carmelo calls out, “Can we get ANOTHER waiter?” They laugh. One more hug. Long fade out, as music swells – Dino’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”. Fade out. Your local news is next.

So if you’re still pissed at David Chase for the way he really ended the series just think of the alternative.

74 comments:

wcdixon said...

You're a 'wickedly' funny man, Mr. Levine. Very well said.

Allen said...

It was awesome.

Bill said...

Yup. Yuppity yup yup, yup.

Joey H said...

This post is so funny, but also so true. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I suppose there would also be a reality show spin-off "Who Wants to Be A Mobster?" or perhaps a game show "Whack or No Whack?"

Andrew said...

Sorry, but I have to disagree. The "alternative" would be for the ending to have an actual.... ending.

I've been reading a lot in the past two days from TV critics, etc., telling us that we really should have liked the finale, and don't-we-know-any-better.

The problem I had isn't that there weren't enough "whackings", or whatever the media had been hyping; but that there just wasn't enough story. I didn't need everything wrapped up in a nice, neat bow; but I did need a bow, and so did the series itself.

It's one thing to say that Chase was trying to challenge the narrative form, defy audience expectations, etc. etc., and that's all well and good. But it's easy to defy expectations. Tony and his crew go off to fight Al Qaeda. Sixty minutes of blank screen. Whatever.

The challenge is to defy expectations and still make it good. That's what Chase had been doing for six seasons. Except, of course, for the last 60 minutes.

Gridlock said...

Just because we seem to be more and more outnumbered, I'll step forward and say that I loved the ending - 4 minutes of Tony's world, constantly anxious and justifiably so.

How do you end a show like that? I can't think of another way that would have been as satisfying yet remained true to Chase's longstanding battle in the War on Cliche.

Would you rather have had Furio and the Pine Barrens Russian turn up, avenge Melfi's rape, off the prosecutors and then battle it out at the safe house with Assualt Rifle Tony and legions of Lupertazzi thugs?

Seriously, you guys should watch The Prisoner sometime.

Greg said...

Nomather how the show would have ended, a lot of people would've been upset. So Chase draw the logical conclusion and tried to upset as many people as possible. ;-)

I kinda liked it. It was not perfect but the network version would've been worse.

Andrew said...

Gridlock,

Once again, sorry -- but offering up every possible, preposterously bad ending as the only alternatives isn't really a genuine defense of having no ending at all.

I agree that Chase has waged a War on Cliche, but... having an ending isn't cliche, it's narrative.

Lots of industry people have been expounding on the creative courage of the decision; but it's just as easy to characterize it as creative cowardice.

Gridlock said...

It wasn't no ending - there could never be an ending, as it's largely the story of multiple people and specifically (going by the title) The Sopranos. So you either do a twee Animal House ending, or you have to 'leave' their story - and Chase went for the (admittedly extreme) version of the latter.

Rather than suggesting an ending I was pointing out that no matter what, some people would be disappointed that their "favourite" loose end wasn't dealt with.

Anonymous said...

Good article, Mr. Levine. The Sopranos finale wasn't an ending, it was a stopping. I didn't like it. To all the people who did, I say: Imagine your favorite all-time movies WITHOUT their endings. Would you have liked them as much?

Anonymous said...

While it is one thing to flout the conventions of television, it’s another to flip dramatic tradition, not to mention your audience, the bird. No, he didn’t owe us any neat endings, nor some sort of final word on the nature of good and evil. But after eight years, he did owe us catharsis, some sort of emotional experience that would, if not sum up the entire eight years, leave us with something more meaningful than heart-pounding panic and lingering irritation. In the end, the art of writing is the art of making choices. A series shouldn't end with the sophomoric gesture of a blank screen. Chase has offered us an epic novel with a do-it-yourself ending. Bah

Justin said...

Oh for goodness' sake! The 'catharsis' was last week! This was 'business as usual under the circumstances'. Everybody who moans about 'Chase let us down', what were you doing for an hour? You were sitting on the edge of your seat! Job done! PS Ken: don't forget 'The Sopranos - The Animated Series'. The cat could feature quite heavily.

J Moore said...

Written like a man who's been there, seen it all, and lived to tell the tale.

The ending was pretty clear to me, once I got over the shock and thought about it. Tony got his and he never saw it coming. I don't know if I would have wanted it any other way, either. A final fade-out of Tony face-down, bleeding into his onion rings? Nah, not so much.

But the people who wanted a different ending are making their points in a calm, literate way. Anything that inspires thought and encourages free speech has to be a Good Thing.

ThatGuyInVA said...

It was terribly unsatisfying to watch (I thought my TiVo had crapped out), but with a little perspective it now seems pretty clear. In the first episode of the season Tony told Bobby the following about death: "It's like you are sitting there talking then everything goes black..."

Add to that what David Chase told E&P magazine in an exclusive interview: "I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there... Anybody who wants to watch it, it's all there."

It wasn't neat and tidy, but I don't think it was ambiguous. Tony got whacked and everything went black.

Tom Quigley said...

Ken, you forgot the last line from the maitre d' to someone who's knocking on the door: "Sorry -- the restaurant's closed..."

Anyways, my theory about what happened: I thought it was a clever, if not brilliant way to say that, if TV (and film also) is the medium by which the fourth wall is broken, then we, as the viewers were also sitting at the table with Tony and family. And since we were the ones who experienced the sudden cut to black (it's said that you never hear the bullet that kills you), and since it was the end of the series, we the viewers were the ones who got whacked, as it were. The lives of the characters might continue beyond the series (a good story always ends before the ending), but without our weekly voyeuristic opportunity to watch.

The Home Office said...

Excellent post, made no less entertaining by its chilling resemblence to reality.

On Finale Plus 2 I fianlly started to get it; Tony got clipped. The better half and I are going to watch it again On Demand to see if it lays any better with us.

Anonymous said...

The Sopranos has always been full of these nothing happens moments and nobody should be surprised that it ended that way. At least the finale did not involve Uncle Junior singing for 15 minutes. That was horrible. This was just frustratingly artistic to the point of being stupid. Excuse me, Ken, but isn't the most basic rule of story telling that all stories should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This ending was far too self-indulgent on the part of the show's creator. If he wanted to say, "Life goes on," then why all the tension over Meadow parking her car. It was too cute by half. When it was actually telling a story, "The Sopranos" was great. When it was lame, it was really lame.

Gridlock said...

"If he wanted to say, "Life goes on," then why all the tension over Meadow parking her car."

She was pregnant, and therefore flustered. It's all there...

"Tony got clipped"

Pointless arguing one way or the other - when The Sopranos finished, he was alive. There is nothing that can confirm (confirm, not support) either your theory that he was killed or my theory that life goes on.. So it's an argument about opinion.

Oh, the hassle Chase could have saved with one simple SFX at the end there...

dave said...

Seriously, you guys should watch The Prisoner sometime.

HA! I thought I was the only one thinking that.

The reaction to eh ending of "Sopranos" is really quite "Prisoner"-esque - complete with its creator leaving the country immediately after until the heat died down!

BTW, Ken, Ford did get a product placement - in Phil's assassination scene. Although somehow, I don't think they want to known as the company with the SUV that crushed Phil Leotardo's skull.

R.J. Marcej said...

Ken, you summed up on today's blog (absurdly but truthfully) what I've been thinking since Sunday.

Since the ending Sunday night I just shake my head in wonder over all the people complaining and bitching about the ending. Isn't the reason why this show (along with most offerings from HBO) has been critically praised and loved by the viewers is because it WASN'T a typical network show? That it was DIFFERENT then anything American TV viewers had been used to for a weekly dramatic TV Show?

So guess what, the ending is DIFFERENT. It isn't the same-old-same-old that you'd see on CBS, ABC, NBC or FOX.

And whether the viewers like it or not, this show wasn't theirs. It's David Chase's creation. All his. I'm guessing that he was never bothered by HBO executives who wanted him to add a guest star or a wacky sidekick.

If you didn't like the finale, that's fine. But if you say Chase Shouldn't have, or he was wrong, you can't say that. The Sopranos was and always will be Chase's show. He has the right to do whatever he wanted to with the characters and the show.

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul1963 said...

When the black screen came up so suddenly, my immediate reaction was, "Oh, HELL no"--because I thought my cable company had lost the signal from the HBO feed. A completely silent, black screen is a rare, rare occurrence.

I'm sure Chase was trying to build tension during that last scene, and it worked--and the realization that this must be what it's like for Tony Soprano every time he goes into a crowded, public place came to me a day or so later.

As for it being a stopping rather than an ending, well, that can be said for a lot of series finales that I've quite enjoyed over the years: Murphy Brown, whose last scene beautifully mirrored the first scene in the pilot; NYPD Blue, with the last shot of Sipowicz sitting alone in the squad room doing paperwork; and, oh, yes, Cheers, where we knew all the regulars would be back the next night--we just wouldn't see them.
In all of those shows, there wasn't any real closure (although I will admit to having a completely-irrational thought that a gunshot would come after Sam closed the office door behind him in the last Cheers). Murphy continued to work on FYI while Eldin endlessly painted her house, the 14th Squad continued to work cases and Det. Jones was assigned a new partner (Medavoy had retired), and Sam continued to run his bar and chat with his regular customers (except for Frasier, who of course moved to Seattle).
And maybe Tony Soprano just had a nice dinner with his family and went home.
Or he got whacked by the guy who went into the men's room and Paulie Walnuts found himself suddenly running the family.
Only David Chase really knows, and obviously he ain't sayin'...

Matt said...

Just a quick note for ThatGuyInVA, the interview was done by a guy named Alan Sepinwal at the Newark Star Ledger, he's the only one that got an interview with Chase and he's one of the few critics that got the show. Also, Chase makes it very clear that,

TONY IS NOT DEAD, CARMELA, A.J AND MEADOW ARE ALL STILL ALIVE.

The episode ended, it just ended. If you think you didn't get closure watch the last two episodes again, pretty much every story is wrapped up, in a fashion.

Matt said...

Just a quick note for ThatGuyInVA, the interview you refrenced was done by a guy named Alan Sepinwal at the Newark Star Ledger, he's the only one that got an interview with Chase and he's one of the few critics that got the show. Also, Chase makes it very clear that,

TONY IS NOT DEAD, CARMELA, A.J AND MEADOW ARE ALL STILL ALIVE.

The episode ended, it just ended. If you think you didn't get closure watch the last two episodes again, pretty much every story is wrapped up, in a fashion.

benson said...

"To all the people who did, I say: Imagine your favorite all-time movies WITHOUT their endings. Would you have liked them as much?"

Don't know about all movies but with MASH, to have BJ Hunnicutt spell
"G O O" would've been a major improvement.

Alexander said...

"Imagine your favorite all-time movies WITHOUT their endings. Would you have liked them as much?"

Most of my favorite television shows turned south well before they were forced to end because they'd run too long. So, yeah, I actually tend to like them better without their endings -- and I can't think of a single American-made television program where I think very fondly of the ending.

tb said...

I did like the Seinfeld ending though

Anonymous said...

Have you heard this one? That Adrianna was the cat in the final episode? That's great. (The ending? Not so great.)

Anonymous said...

"Imagine your favorite all-time movies WITHOUT their endings. Would you have liked them as much?"

Yeah... If David Chase had made The Wizard Of Oz Dorothy and gang would still be wandering around the Emerald City. If he'd made King Kong he'd have faded the story to black while Kong took a break from terrorizing New York. If he'd made The Searchers John Wayne would still be searching.

RAC said...

As at the end of the Truman Show:

What else is on?

Yeah, let's see what else is on.

Where's the TV Guide?

Chris said...

"Have you heard this one? That Adrianna was the cat in the final episode? That's great. (The ending? Not so great.)"

It was a male cat.

ewright said...

Great storytellers end stories, even if they're open-ended. Chase ended The Sopranos with an over-the-top conceit that wasn't new to the show, this one was just the most egregious.

The Sopranos was at its best when it melded and contrasted true style Mafia conventions with American style family values, and the conflicts in both.

No Mafia outfit would have a boss (or likely even a soldier) hit in front of his family, particularly his wife and kids. When it happens to Phil, it's great for dramatic effect, but for practical reasons, it's just not done. It would be the same for Tony.

But it's all speculation, and that's the cheap trick David Chase played for his "artistic" amusement. Ha, ha, ha, all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

>>>>But after eight years, he did owe us catharsis...

Chase and in a broader sense all art owes us nothing.

You can tell that there are a lot of wanna-be or bad screenwriters and TV writers commenting on this blog.

Great Big Radio Guy said...

Yeah! And I'm one of 'em!

Uh...wait a minute...

Anonymous said...

Chase is no more an "artist" than you or I. The next time i don't finish my report for work, i'll just claim it's art.

Anonymous said...

I think the Soprano's went out with the bang that Chase wanted. Everyone is talking about it.

Paul said...

I don't think they'd have an arab terrorist. That wouldn't be PC. They would have a terrorist from some group that has CONNECTIONS to Al Queda, but isn't an arab himself. Probably eastern European or African or something.

BF said...

I agree it wouldn't have been a terrorist. It would have been special guest star James Caan.

Anonymous said...

I love all these people who say, "David Chase owes us". Man, if David Chase owes us something, I can't even contemplate how much I'm owed by every other person who ever created a television show. Because, as far as I'm concerned, David Chase's television show has given me a lot more than any other show has.

As funny as Ken Levine's network ending is it's also totally inaccurate. A network would have forced Chase to end it on a moment of redemption or maudlin sentimentality. "That's what I get for coming to Fridays on tuesday" is a great line - it actually sounds like something Tony would say. As a matter of fact, I would have enjoyed the ending Ken Levine suggested, just not as much as the one David Chase gave us.

Beckylooo said...

From "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" which played as AJs car burned:

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something
They invest in...

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.

Max Clarke said...

The series stopped, it did not end. A smart Chase move.

Jim said...

Am I the only one who thinks a dark comedy about Janice Soprano Baccalieri, a mob widow in McMansionland, has enormous potential?

As long as there are never any Very Special Episodes with visits from her relatives.

( Joey H: "I suppose there would also be a reality show spin-off "Who Wants to Be A Mobster?" or perhaps a game show "Whack or No Whack?"
--I'm sure Stephen Schirippa is trying to pitch that left and right....)

Anonymous said...

Gee Ken, I just came across this link to your site on the gossip blogs aggregator, wesmirch. You're work is moving up in the rankings I guess, or the Sopranos is just so hot it carries everyone with it.

D. McEwan said...

This long column of comments makes me very glad I watched the Tony Awards instead.

"'To all the people who did, I say: Imagine your favorite all-time movies WITHOUT their endings. Would you have liked them as much?'
Don't know about all movies but with MASH, to have BJ Hunnicutt spell 'G O O' would've been a major improvement."

Benson, very funny, but BJ Hunnicutt is not in the movie of MASH.

Paul1963, Eldon finsihed painting Murphy's house, became her son's nanny for a while, and then left the series altogether BEFORE it ended.

I disliked the ending of OZ. An unexplained toxic spill (Who sent it? Why? Apparently HBO sent it.) and the prison is abandoned. Half a dozen plots left unfullfilled.

HILL STREET BLUES, one of the greatest series ever, did a fine "Life Goes On" ending, with the night shift coming on, and the final line being "Hello. Hill Street Station."

I remember liking the DALLAS ending on a cliffhanger so much (Did JR shoot himself or not?) that when they came back with a TV movie and cleared it up (He shot the mirror.) I was disappointed.

Similarly with DYNASTY, where they ended on multiple cliffhangers, and the show had gotten so bad anyway, that I took a pleasure in thinking that all the cliffhangers went bad. Sadly, they also did a resolve-everything TV movie.

FALCON CREST (Which I indefensibly loved) did a real wrap-up of all storylines, and brought back the remains of Jane Wyman to do a sentimental closing speech. The problem was, when the show began it was about an interfamily confilct between the Gebertis and the Channings, only the last of the Gebertis had died a full season earlier, so the show's central conflict was long since over.

And then there's ER. There is NO ONE left on the show who was there when it began. The show IS over, and has been for a couple years now, only they keep on making it. Someone needs to tell them it's long since done.

I was amused to read someone mentioning ST. ELSEWHERE as an example of ending a show well. As I recall, fans were LIVID at the time, just as livid as with THE SOPRANOS now, about turning the whole run of the show into an autistic child's fantasy. (Boy, did that autistic child have a vivid imagination, strong understanding of human nature, and tremendously detailed medical knowledge!)

But has any show ever ended worse than ROSEANNE? But they skillfully prepared us for the lousy ending, by making the entire last season suck like crazy, so that, no matter how crappy the conclusion, we were all just glad that once-GREAT series was over.

Anonymous said...

To those who feel Tony got whacked I have one question. Why is this the best way to express this? If Tony was whacked then the 10 seconds of black is his point of view. Why is that interesting, rich, complex? If that is what David Chase intended then put me in the camp that feels this ending is a failure. I don't think that's what he intends. But I would be curious to read a defense of that ending if you think that is what he intended.

Also, if Tony's death is not what he intended than what was the 10 seconds of black? That was in the body of the show and must be accounted for. The show doesn't end on a close up of Tony. The show ends on a 10 second shot of black. I am in the camp that believes it was the audience that got whacked. We are witnessing the 5 stages of dying. 1. Denial - "The Cable went out! That's not the end!"
2. Anger - "That c*cksucker David Chase! He owes us!"
3. Bargaining - "Tomorrow I'm calling HBO and if they don't get someone down to that ice cream parlour and shoot a real ending, I'm gonna tell them I'm cancelling my subscription."

I don't think we've arrived at depression or acceptance yet.

Mark Netter said...

I did a breakdown of possible ways to read the ending (which in retrospect seems better and better) here:

The Hit

Karen said...

My sister-in-law has a saying, "Most American movies last 5 minutes longer than they should." She means that Hollywood loves to tie things up in a bow, but life really isn't like that. Often, the ending doesn't even really reflect what those characters would do--it's just a way to keep the viewers happy.

She (and I) have always been fans of ambiguous endings. We write our own, or we have to sit and think over everything that happened to puzzle out where the writer was sending his characters. It's really satisfying. In my opinion. YMMV.

I think the abrupt ending is genius. GENIUS.

Seriously, you guys should watch The Prisoner sometime.

Oh, Gridlock, you cracked my shit UP on this one. Yeah, that final episode is one long mind-fuck.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL, LOL...Brilliant! And no doubt true, down to the "hot leotard"...
My favorite are those things that come out of nowhere during the show to distract you..."With the blood spelling out, "The Soprano's"
GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!

Vince said...

One more thing, Ken. In the ABC version, Ted McGinley would have been in the next booth, making goo-goo eyes with Carmela.

But seriously, while I watched every Sopranos episode, many, if not most viewers Sunday night did not. The show averaged, what? About 7 million viewers this year, but a huge 12 million were tuned in for the finale.

Those "occasional" viewers are the ones I hurt for. They're not tuned in to the bizarro "genius" world of David Chase, and to a person, they feel screwed. Like it or not, they were weaned on traditional (usually bad) TV, and they're the ones who feel ripped off, and are cancelling their HBO.

While I admire Chase's motives, and it sure as hell created some watercooler talk, I'm not sure it had the desired result in most viewers minds.

Anonymous said...

Over 11 million watched on HBO. If it were on NBC, it would be less. But then the cast would all be drunk on Leno.
WK

Will Teullive said...

Ken - If it was TV, your friend J.T. Dolan would have returned to a weekly series after being whacked...

"Wings" - "The Fujtive" -"The Nine"- "Eyes"- "2008 yet to be announced midseason replacement starring Tim Daly"

The Rekcanturc said...

After reading all 28,397 "I hated the ending" posts on IMDB, or worse, the ones that found deep hidden meaning in the grease stains on the back of the Holsten's menu, I have to say this was refreshing! Bravo!

Greg said...

"I can't think of a single American-made television program where I think very fondly of the ending."

I've got one. Angel: Not Fade Away.

Curiously enough, that finale also cut off before the story was finished, but it managed to end on a note of resolution. We knew exactly how the story would turn out.

Anonymous said...

David Chase still sucks. But that scenario sucks so much more. And totally how it would go. Dude, the gun that shoots the blood that spells Sopranos -- that was funny.

steve m said...

Excellent piece, Ken. I gotta say though, the last ten to fifteen minutes before the episode, HBO was really shilling the new lineup in what seemed like a kind of frantic "don't leave folks!" format that felt like the networks during a Super Bowl.

But no, nobody from Cincinnati surfed on the spew from the Leotardo murder witness, so, yes, this was different.

I'll stay for my local news, btw, so I can discover how Action News puts me first!

Anonymous said...

As Homer Simpson and previous posters say, "It's funny because it's true."

Other alternate, conventional ideas for the finale:

http://blogs.clevescene.com/cnotes/2007/06/alternate_ideas_for_the_sopran.php

molly said...

Hey I'm pitching a reality show. A docu-soap set in several locations: a strip joint, a butcher shop and a waste management office. We're calling it Goombah. You wanna write my voice over?

Deb Jensen said...

For one hour I forgot about the President,the war, the economy. I was on the edge of my seat more excited than I have been for a long time! I not an intellect so I won't spend time talking on a high level or use words that are 15 syllables long - I liked it because, like my own life, I don't know how it ends!

Anonymous said...

I think the notion that is being lost here is that the show was about a family. The mafia angle is merely the axis on which the series rotates. Four people, two of them parents making life choices, and the ensuing results. I think the ending clearly defined the direction these four (count em four) people are heading. Tony forever looking over his shoulder for the indictment, whacking , heart attack that is coming. Carmela keeping her head in the sand. AJ manipulating his parents and coasting through life. Finally Meadow somehow distancing herself from the whole dysfunctional mess and going her own way. There two cents delivered. Cheers Ken, love the blog.
p.s. not deliberately anonymous, cant remember the password i picked...Radish74

Conrad said...

I was so pissed, that I wanted to see John from Cincinnati get wacked.

Anonymous said...

Vince,
Sorry to hear that you are "hurting" for the occasional viewers who feel ripped off by David Chase.

What can we do to make the pain go away?

Ron said...

You do yout thing Vince; you do your thing.

Malachy Walsh said...

Best, most appropriate ending ever.

I'm glad it threw everybody.

That, in itself, is more satisfying than almost any other fictional moment I've ever seen on a television set.

JP Stormcrow said...

Michael Bérubé, blogger and professor of literature at Penn State, has an interesting semi-serious analysis here.

He ends on a semi, rather than "serious" note with Tony's musical taste being the final offense.

And the suspicious guy at the counter kills Tony not because of his mob connections; indeed, the suspicious guy at the counter, despite his extra suspicious Members Only jacket, has no mob ties at all. Rather, he kills Tony precisely because Tony has subjected the entire restaurant to that damn Journey song.

Scott said...

Feeling like Chase owed you/someone a certain ending is like telling an artist like Rembrandt, "You need more pink in that or I won't be happy." This is Chase's show, not your's. He can do any dang thing he pleases with it. If you don't like it, you shouldn't have watched.

Paul said...

The tension Chase created in that last scene is the tension Tony lives with every day. He never knows who's coming in the door next: the Feds, his daughter, an assasin, his son, his wife.

Great ending. Final scene looks like a mash-up between a Norman Rockwell painting and a Weegee print. The life Tony imagines for himself, and the life he's got. Plus, Chase made Journey cool forever, and who'd think that was ever possible?

oclaster-of-icons said...

My final eppy, written before 6/10:

A mother duck hatches ducklings next to asbestos.
Tony's on the verge of being caught by Phil's mooks.
The FBI swoops in and busts Tony for possession of the unregistered machine gun Bobby gave him.
He gets sent to jail, somewhat out of Phil's immediate reach.
Melfi picks up her newspaper at the foot of her drive. Under the "Jersey-mob-boss-busted" headline story and below the fold, is a small report of Elliott having been found dead, an accidental victim of auto-erotic self-strangulation.
Melfi feels guilty about her treatment of Tony, reconsiders, and visits him in jail as his personal doctor.
Tony tells her that being in jail the past 3 days has really depressed him.
Melfi files papers with the jail's sheriff swearing that Tony is sad in jail, which is a medical condition, jail makes it worse, therefore he should be released from jail.
The sheriff agrees. "The thing to do is not to leave someone in jail and make a medical condition worse."
Tony is released.
Phil's guys whack him a block and a half from jail.
Tony, who has stopped in a deli, falls. Freshly cooked meat tumbles from his lifeless hand.
Paulie turns on a tv he stole from the old dead broad's house. He flips to TVLand and immerses himself happily in All In The Family. (Dat Arch, now dere's a guy dat knew what's what.) He likes the volume loud and doesn't hear his kitchen door being jimmied open by the Russian. Paulie survives the evening; his walnuts do not.
Before Junior can be transferred to the state hospital, the Chinese kid breaks out, makes his way to Virginia, buys guns, goes back to Jersey and kills Junior and the sing-along lady.
Flash-forward five years, Sil wakes up and groggily looks around. Uma Thurman is in the next bed. Buck, an orderly also in the room, notices Sil is conscious, curses, and smothers him with a pillow.
Back to the present. Carm takes Rutgers adult education classes to become a stockbroker.
Meadow takes up with Coco's son, another Jason.
AJ and Rhiannon drive to the Muslim section of Newark and ask around for anyone who can sign them up in Hamas. The FBI swoops in (again... 2nd swoop this episode) and renders them to an unmarked prison in Romania. Rhiannon is never heard from again, but, flash foward 3 years, AJ turns up in Italy on Furio's doorstep. He's dirty, disheveled, and, of course, weeping. He has an Oceanic Airlines golden ticket in one hand and no toes on one foot.
Melfi's rapist delivers pizza to the Baccala household. Three weeks later he and Janice marry. Three months later Janice kills him.
Hesh gets arrested for stalking Jennifer Hudson.
Phil decides Little Vito is actually kinda cute.
The mother duck and ducklings near the asbestos cough up blood and die.
Close curtain.

Anonymous said...

Bravo!You hit it on the head. Well done.

njofficewizard said...

The real ending was soooo lame. When the faded to black they should have had SOME sound or something to keep you guessing. A friend of mine made a suggestion on his favorite ending. It would have been Tony reading a newspaper, and Carmela comes up to him and says "you just can't get good canolis in Phoenix". I think anything would have been better than paralel parking and onion rings.

Comerica said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.

vijay said...

Awesome blog with awesome post.I also have a blog to watch the sopranos for free but its not as funny as yours.

Anonymous said...

Bob Costas can make everybody interested.And he made me so many times in this clip show of the finale of the sopranos episodes it was such a great feeling to watch it.

Anonymous said...

awesome...post thanks for sharing this interesting post although i have seen this finale and wondering to download the sopranos episodes finale to watch it again.

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