May 30, 2007

The last 2 episodes of "The Sopranos" are coming up.

How do you feel about it? Are you mostly thinking about which characters will meet death, or are you prematurely mourning the death of the great, great television series.

22 comments:

Der Hahn said...

Sopranos.. that's the show about the Vienna Boy's Choir, right?

George said...

Is this really going to be the end of Rico, or is a movie possible?

Revenant said...

I don't see how they're going to satisfactorily conclude the series in only two more episodes. They wasted an awful lot of time during season six on what amounted to little more than filler, and now the conclusion feels rushed.

Telecomedian said...

Spot on, Revenant. I have already commented that Christopher's death seemed very rushed, and this whole asbestos deal with the New York family has me less-than-enchanted.

Plus, A.J. has always been the weakest, least-likeable character -and mind you, this is a show about criminals - and he's gotten an amazing amount of screentime this season. I fail to see why he is even the least bit compelling.

NSC said...

In two episodes it seems to me only two things can happen now - Tony kills the head of the NY family and becomes mega-boss or he dies at the hands of the NY boss. His getting indicted and tried and convicted on any charge would be way too much story to tell in that short a time. I suppose Tony could get caught and turn snitch, but again, there's not enough time to play that out.

Bring back Deadwood.

John Stodder said...

It's not been filler. The seeming digressions almost always have a point, and this season (the two halves taken together) are clearly about:

*Phil Leotardo's unquenched thirst for revenge, and Tony's uncertain, inconsistent attempts to manage it, especially after the death of Johnny Sack. The Vito-is-gay digression was ultimately wrapped into that story, revealing something about Phil's pathology as well as his power to inflict harm on Tony's crew and get away with it.

*Tony's recognition he has failed as a father. He utterly misunderstood Chrissy, and he has passed nothing of value on to A.J. about what it means to be a man. With A.J., he still has a chance.

*Tony's realization that he has been given a gift of time after his shooting, running up against his realization that he hates his mob life, that nobody in his crew "gets" him, that all his friends would "dime him out" in a heartbeat -- in short an existential crisis. Why was he given this second chance? Just to continue playing pool and plotting cons with a bunch of idiots? Or was it for a nobler purpose, something involving his wife and kids and his own soul?

In the remaining two hours -- the length of a full-length feature film or a play, mind you -- I think Chase & co. will find a brilliant way to bring all these threads together.

I think it's important to keep in mind that, at its core, The Sopranos is a dark comedy. Terrible things will probably happen, but there will be a laugh at the end. This isn't going to be like King Lear, or even the Godfather films.

Toby said...

A.J. has always been the weakest, least-likeable character -and mind you, this is a show about criminals - and he's gotten an amazing amount of screentime this season.

I think you're missing something, Telecomedian. Yes A.J. is the weakest character, but I think the last few episodes have shown us that he's the most decent human being on the show.

When the audience starts to feel too warm & fuzzy about Tony, the show has always pulled back a bit--usually with a short FBI sequence--to show us that he's really monstrous. Audiences are always attracted to strong characters over weak and foolish characters, but rarely do we root for bad people as thoroughly as the show's creators have gotten us to root for Tony.

Fen said...

I'm not expecting much from the series finale. Too many [like "Heroes"] have left me disappointed. I expect an unresolved cliff-hanger, or some lead-in for a movie.

Revenant said...

John,

It's not been filler. The seeming digressions almost always have a point, and this season (the two halves taken together) are clearly about:

Yes, I'm aware that the events of the last season have had plot impact. But they were related in an extremely lackadaisical manner. The Vito storyline, for example, was one episode worth of story padded out to several episodes in length. The coma dream sequences were drawn out far longer than was advisable. The AJ-is-depressed storyline is completely pointless unless, as I suspect might happen, AJ turns out to be the one who kills Tony.

that nobody in his crew "gets" him, that all his friends would "dime him out" in a heartbeat -- in short an existential crisis

This was all old material by the time season six started. Tony's been getting screwed over by his supposed friends and loved ones since the first season. We didn't need even MORE episodes to keep beating this dead horse.

Jim said...

I think Tony will give the FBI important information on terrorism, in exchange for which he will go into witness protection.

After he kills Phil, of course.

George said...

If the drama follows the ancient conventions of Green and Shakespearean tragedies, Tony has to die, either because it is his predestined fate or because of his fatal flaw. His death will satisfy the audience's need for a just resolution of the dramatic tension.

(Geez, was I an English major, or what...)

As in Greek tragedies, he's doomed because he is cursed by his parents' wickedness which modern psychoterapy cannot expiate. The shrinks are akin to the Chorus.

What is Tony's grand Shakespearean flaw? Pride? Stupidity? Avarice? Rage? Sloth? Gluttony? Lust? Envy? Yes, all the Seven Deadly Sins.

My guess is that either his son or wife will kill him. In any event, they've got to die, too, and probably in such a way that will cause Tony great suffering, just as Cordelia died in Lear's arms.

Me? I'm especially looking forward to the death of Sil, as payback for his beastial execution of Adriana.

Of course, if there's going to be movie, you can ignore everything I've said.

John Stodder said...

I dunno Rev, to me, the show is all about the digressions. They're funny as hell. Vito wandering around antique dealers and getting all moony about a volunteer fireman...Phil Leotardo yelling at Tony from that turret, "Go back to Jersey!"...Tony trying to explain his peyote visions to the likes of Silvio and Paulie...Junior selling candy bars at the poker game...Carmela and her father chiseling on their spec house... it all works for me.

Revenant said...

the show is all about the digressions

I'm going to be disappointed if "The Sopranos" turns out to be nothing more than an eight-year-long shaggy dog tale.

Joan said...

I'm more in John Stodder's camp than Revenant's, at least on the Sopranos.

I have always detested AJ, but Robert Iler's performances in recent episodes have been spectacular. But AJ's storyline is spun out, and Meadow's has just begun. I will be astounded if Meadow survives. Coco menacing her in last week's episode was so beyond acceptable to the Family that Tony would've been within his rights to kill Coco. Phil's refusal to acknowledge that what Tony did was justified signals to me that Phil will order something truly horrid as payback of Tony's attack on one of Phil's made guys, and I'm expecting the target to be Meadow.

It's odd to say I'm looking forward to these last episodes, because a big part of my feelings involve dread. I dread seeing Meadow or Carmela murdered, mostly, and I'm afraid that one or both of them will be. Whether or not Tony survives depends on what happens to Phil, of course: either Phil takes down Tony, because he (Phil) is completely nuts, or Tony takes down Phil in retaliation for Phil's strike against Tony's family.

Seven Machos said...

I say that a lot is going to happen but that, in the end, Tony kills Phil and walks off into the sunset somehow.

I worry about Paulie and how he might kill Tony...

joe said...

I don't know how they will resolve the Phil/Tony confrontation, but I just picture the final episode fading to black as the boys sit around outside Satriale's... life goes on...

PatCA said...

Good comments all.

I do mourn the end of the series and am too filled with dread for these characters. I'm sure it will end in Shakespearean tragedy and bloodletting, but these modern characters resonate so much more deeply with me than the ancients Will immortalized.

David Chase is tremendous, a writer at his full power (even in the less spectacular episodes). I think when the dust clears I'll watch the first season again. Like Shakespeare again, there's always something new to discover.

amba said...

Amazing that anticipation of the end of a TV show has got us feeling DREAD. But I do. That's the right word.

Remember that Tony told Melfi "there's something else, beyond all this" (approximate wording). That sets us up for his death. But David Chase seems to delight in eluding all expectation. That means that none of us will probably have accurately anticipated or predicted what it's going to be. And that's just breathtaking. Life-like.

Story52: The WelBlog said...

hey there george and all...

Me? I'm especially looking forward to the death of Sil, as payback for his beastial execution of Adriana.

It was Paulie who killed Ade, wasn't it?

Seven Machos said...

Sil killed Ade.

Cedarford said...

Final act opens with hunter stumbling in the Pine Barrens, looking up in a tree and seeing a corpse wedged in the branches. The missing Russian commando, who brain-shot, crawled up there to die.
The bullet found in the body curiously matches a dead deer found 4 years before that Paulie shot.
Worse, it was from the 9mm that Paulie "borrowed" from Tony, the one Mr T dropped in the snow that he was arrested for at the beginning of this Sopranos season.

Yes, the episode continues, with Phil ensuring Carmela is whacked mainly for her nasal whining, "Evewy Ting comes Towan End!", Chase's homage to fans along with finally explaining the fate of the Russian (a sore spot with Chase) as a fan pleaser. Then Tony kills Phil.
Tony is arrested for deer poaching and killing the Russian ex-commando. With Johnny Sack, Phil, and Tony accounted for, the FBI isn't interested in immunity.

After Carmela's funeral that Tony attends with Fed Marshalls, AJ gets word from Tony and spends a few days digging for and finally gets the bowling ball bags full of money Tony set aside through the Russians at the farm plot where Busemi's character bought it with Tony's shotgun blast. And heads out with his new family to California.
Tony's slick Jewish lawyer (Sy?) gets his permission to contact Dr. Melfi for planning an insanity defense.

Bobby reveals he is far smarter than people thought. The shocking "reveal" at the end, with Bobby and Janice now in charge of the Soprano Family and Bobby "taking care of a few Tony loyalists" a la Michael Corleone - is that Bobby was the hunter who found the Russian's body.

ricpic said...

"...I just picture the final episode fading to black as the boys sit around outside Satriale's...life goes on..."

Sorta like the ending of Seinfeld?