I think the ending was absolutely in keeping with the tenor of a show that's about family and rarely offered closure (just like life itself).And James Wigderson says: "Jessica McBride is out to prove WISN-AM's Mark Belling wrong that women aren't analytical enough to truly appreciate the Sopranos."
In contrast, my good wife is seriously annoyed with the lack of closure. (Not unlike Dave's wife.) Is that a gender difference?
So, various guys are reporting that it was the wives who were hoping for a big climax? Hmmmm... my thinking just got completely derailed! Staying with it all that time and not getting a climax in the end.... why does that especially piss off women?
Back on track: It surprises me that women are the ones who were watching for the bloody outbursts, and that men were the ones examining the complex details. Or, to put it slightly differently: Do women want a story arc and "closure," and do men feel satisfied swirling around in an open-textured narrative? Obviously, self-reporting from the marital sofa is not scientific, and even if we had a scientific study, it would generalize and there would be individual variation. But what if this gender difference is true? Would it not challenge the usual assumptions that men take to violence and linear thinking and that women are more multidimensional and interested in relationships?
The show is the creation of a man, David Chase. Alan Sepinwall has an interview with him, which has this:
I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there," he says of the final scene.Of course, whatever ending he decided on has got to seem right to him, so he's on the side of those who are not angry at the ending. Yet he's not saying you shouldn't expect your investment in the story to pay off in violence. But it seems to be the case that hating the ending means that you didn't get the show. And if you realize that you didn't get the show this late in the game, after watching the equivalent of 40 movies, you really do have reason to be angry... though perhaps you should be angry at yourself.
"No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God," he adds. "We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people's minds, or thinking, 'Wow, this'll (tick) them off.' People get the impression that you're trying to (mess) with them and it's not true. You're trying to entertain them."...
Chase has had an ambivalent relationship with his fans, particularly the bloodthirsty whacking crowd who seemed to tune in only for the chance to see someone's head get blown off (or run over by an SUV)....
"... Like everyone else, I get off partly on the betrayals, the retributions, the swift justice. But what you come to realize when you do a series is you could be killing straw men all day long. Those murders only have any meaning when you've invested story in them. Otherwise, you might as well watch 'Cleaver.'"