June 10, 2007

"The Sopranos" -- finale.


Soooo... I assumed they were all killed and the blackout was just to spare us from seeing it. But over on Television Without Pity, everyone's all confused, saying what happened, curse you David Chase, and I thought my cable went out.

ADDED: The song Tony played in the jukebox in the end was "Don't Stop Believing."
Working hard to get my fill,
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin anything to roll the dice,
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on
So, maybe they do go on and on and on. Or maybe there's going to be a "Sopranos" movie.

Anyway, the song that played when Phil was killed was "You Keep Me Hanging On." Not the Supremes version, the Vanilla Fudge:

(That song was also played in an earlier scene, but I can't read my notes! Looks like: "Bevage von"!)

The song playing when A.J. parked the SUV on the leaves was "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)":
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.
Speaking of parking, Meadow had trouble parallel parking... and that was just about the last thing that happened in all these years of "The Sopranos."


Dave said...

The stupidest possible ending ever.

Curtiss said...

From the NYT article today

Michael Imperioli: “This show was never what people expected,

Tony Sirico: “We had a scene this season when Chris and I are talking in the bar about whatever happened to that Russian guy. And in the script we were supposed to go outside and there he was standing on the corner. But when we went to shoot it, they took it out. I think David didn’t like it. He wanted the audience just to suffer.

They were right. We should have expected to suffer.

Unknown said...

What a huge disappointment. Who were all those unknown characters? Whats with the cat? Lame, rotten ending.

Curtiss said...

The ending was perfect. You didn't think the guy was going into the restroom to retrieve a gun from behind the water closet, did you?

Dave said...

My guess is Curtiss is probably right--Chase wants us all to bitch and moan about how stupid the ending is.

Dave said...

Curtiss: that went through my head as well. But who knew that's where they were going for dinner? As I recall, Carmela and Tony talked about it in there house. Did Rhiannon give the location away to someone? If so, to whom? What would be her motivation? Or Hunter?

Unknown said...

Well, of everything that was predicted, I do not think anyone said that was how it would end!

Curtiss said...

This was Chase's last chance to extract some long lasting pain and suffering from his audience.

Bill said...

Was the last scene shown as if we are looking through Tony's eyes and the man walking into the restroom was a diversion for the unknown shooter?
Then, obviously Tony dies, hence the blank screen.

essaybee said...

I liked the ending. Just another American family getting on with their lives.

The last few minutes were a little nerve wracking, tho. I kept expecting the other (white) shoe to drop.

I love that T flipped an FBI agent instead of the other way around.

I liked Meadow trying to fit in. To the parking spot.

Curtiss said...

Over at the Powerline Forum, Glenn Bowen posts this:

Chase shot three endings and didn’t use any of them.


Anonymous said...

I loved it. Tony and his family weren't going to get shot because there was no one who had any reason to kill Tony.

The point of the ending was to show you and get you to feel what it's like to be Tony Soprano. Any moment could your last. Any person anywhere could be your assassin.

Despite all the stress, the man keeps it together and takes his family out for ice cream and onion rings.

Enlighten-NewJersey said...

The ending was whatever you want it to be – blank film for you to create your own finale.

Curtiss said...

seven machos: perhaps you're right. Or,.......it's movie time.

Tony once said: “There’s no retiring from this.”

Beth said...

The cat = Tony's nine lives? I dunno.

Last week I sat something on the Tivo remote and accidentally recorded 3 minutes of black screen during the hit gone awry on Phil. I thought I did it again tonight, but no, it was the actual story.

I'm going with the happy ending interpretation. The guy at the bar could have been a hitman, waiting for Meadow to arrive so he'd get the whole family, but why go to the bathroom? Why not just wait for her? And should we believe that after all this, someone would suddenly decide to whack families? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Someone at Television Without Pity said the cat is Adrianna. Interesting idea...

essaybee said...

No reason for a hitman to be at the diner. The crisis is over, Phil is dead.

And the cat = Adriana. Okay, not really, but that was hilarious that it was staring at Christophuh's picture.

Unknown said...

Obviously Mr. Chase suffers from a rare but serious case of raisin-sized-stugots. Hey DC, go take a Viagra and re-write the ending!

amba said...

I started out assuming that was Tony's death. By the end of my own post, I was less and less sure.

I think it was the perversely perfect ending. Sort of like -- for a totally absurd comparison -- the way the pilot ends up drawing a sheep for the Little Prince: just a box with holes

Anonymous said...

Another brilliant point at TWP: it was a HEIDI ending! Brilliant.

Jim Howard said...

Last week Phil seemed to have all the cards. Ten minutes into this episode his guys just say "well, I guess Tony's not so bad".

And then Phil gets caught all alone.

That was the only story thread that was resolved. Phil was a paper tiger.

Would it have too much to have at least one of the dozens of loose subplots resolved? I mean resolved in a way that was at least a little bit consistent with what came before.

hdhouse said...

I liked it. When it had 4 minutes to go and all the cutaways to the odd people going into that restaurant...i thought that the guy who went to the restroom was a bodyguard leaving to clear the way. Also that idea that Meadow might walk in and see it, not be at the table..

Anyway, pretty good.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cheesy and disappointing. The set up is for an upcoming movie. If you kill the main characters now, how can you have a mondo money making sequel.

I should have played canasta.

PatCA said...

I'm glad he didn't kill the whole family. That would have been cheesy, and heartbreaking too. Janice seemed to be turning into Livia so I thought she'd be the killer, but no. Great resolution of AJ--so much for "Yeets" and the Army if there's a Beemer in it for him, LOL! The most shallow bunch of killers ever.

At the beginning the credits said something to the effect that it's the last episode...for now or something, so I think they left it open for more story. I'm sure HBO would promise 72 virgins to get another season out of Chase. (David, wait until you're inspired!) Their new shows don't look they're worth $15/month.

Titus said...

For the most part I enjoyed the last episode. I need to process a bit more but a few things came to mind after viewing.

First, I thought there were too many music lyrics and television spots for us to decode. The twilight zone episode as well as all of the music lyrics was overwhelming at a first pass.

Second, I thought the AJ storyline was kind of useless in this last episode. I liked some of the other stuff that happened to him throughout the season though. It was interesting to see how easy he was bought off not to go into the military. Also, when he was with the girl I flashed back to when he started in the show as a chubby little boy.

Third, I thought the cat represented Adriana missing Christopher.

I thought the last five minutes at the coffee shop were great. Meadow not being able to parallel park made me think she doesn't fit in with the family. I am going to miss them-how weird is that to say about a fictional tv family? I felt the same way after Sex in the City and Six Feet Under.

Lastly, I do believe that the ending is whatever you what it to be. Then after the dust settles it will be a movie.

One last thing. I thought it was interesting how this family/program put New Jersey on the map. I loved New Jersey before this program and I love it even more. There is something gritty and colorful and exciting about Jersey and the Sopranos just highlighted it for many Americans. For all the jokes about New Jersey I think it is one of our greatest states.

Isn't Jersey where are delicious blogger is originally from?

Titus said...

Oh one more thing, Edie Falco was so good in that role. I loved watching her play the mother.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm originally from Delaware. I lived in NJ from 1963 to 1969. Important years for me, but I don't feel like I'm "from" NJ. I lived in Michigan just as long and in NY longer. I've lived in Wisconsin the longest. Delaware second longest.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, Edie Falco was great. Toward the end of the episode today, she came out and joined Tony by the pool -- the highly important pool -- and I thought, okay, this is they end, they'll have some scene. Then, it was just her saying they were going to go to the restaurant. Fake out!

Kyle said...

I love that when Tony got to the diner he could have chosen the ultra Italian/mobster Tony Benet song, but instead goes with Journey.

Don't stop believing. I like to think that they're all gonna be just fine.

Unknown said...

each popped an onion ring into their mouths...metaphorical communion wafers?

PatCA said...

I think the guy at the counter is definitely a hit man. Tony is going to be indicted, so he's vulnerable.

Again I notice Chase saying an era is passing, like the tour bus talking about how Little Italy is just one street now, and the mobster gets off the phone and sees all Asian faces around him there. AJ and friend discovering Bob Dylan. Paulie talking about how life goes on and death is in the midst of life. And Tony asking Uncle Junior in English about "this thing of ours," or costa nostra, and Jun doesn't recognize it.

I'll miss the family too. Peggy Noonan called Sopranos a masterpiece, and I agree.

mythusmage said...

The (shoulda been) True Ending

Tony and his shrink are talking in her office. The session comes to an end and the two get to their feet and set up the next appointment. As we follow Tony out the door this time a hospital setting is revealed. Past Tony's shoulder we see an orderly taking the shrink away, speaking calmly and soothingly to her.

Shot switches back to Tony, who is putting on a lab coat and talking with another physician.

Tony: We're really not making any progress here, she's still delusional and romanticising organized crime.

Doctor: Even after all you've recounted for her?

Tony: if anything, I appear to have made matters worse. I think it's time for Tony Soprano to die.

Doctor: I'll inform the board of your decision. Any ideas as to what you'll be doing next?

Tony: No, nothing that will be doing any good. The syphilis progressed too far and she has suffered too much damage to the brain for us to correct. We can only make her comfortable until the end.

Doctor: We should've caught that homeopath sooner.

Tony: Yea, we should've. It's times like this when I wish i really was Tony Soprano.

XWL said...

The Cat had a recording device implanted inside of it I tell you, Paulie knew intuitively, but couldn't express his doubts in a manner to convince the others.

Or David Chase found the good drugs.

Can't praise a series for exploding normal narrative techniques and then damn it for doing so in the final episode.

But, in the end the end isn't what matters, folks who want a *real* story, will believe that he gets shot and the guy checking them out was a hitman, folks who think living with himself (and both his families) is the biggest punishment for Tony will hope that night out will just be a night out.

It's a choose your own adventure series finale, let a thousand fanfics bloom . . .

Unknown said...

Brilliant Chase ending...for now. All along in the series he had us thinking, blogging about...what's next after every episode and yet again he has done the same. That is plain and simple brilliant writing and the thought of leaving open the possibility of a spin off or movie or...maybe a lost episodes season or season seven is still out there. Does it happen? I don't know but it is intruiging and hopefully a reality somewhere down the road. Like the ending or hate it, that is brilliant writing.

James said...

I don't know what people were expecting (take that back, I read the comments on previous Sopranos posts, and saw how ridiculous they were). People were seriously predicting AJ becoming a terrorist or Meadow killing Tony and becoming the boss. The whole point of this show was to show aspects of real life in the mob setting. In real life, the bad guys don't always get punished like they should and the good guys don't always win. People like Tony continue to live on. The ending was just showing normalcy returning to the family. I thought it was great.

Revenant said...

I liked the open-ended ending.

Was Tony going to get whacked? Maybe, maybe not. Indicted? Maybe, maybe not. That's a day in the life of Tony Soprano, really -- Seven Machos pretty much hit the nail on the head here.

I don't see how this is a lead-in for a movie. There aren't any significant plot threads left open.

PeterP said...

Mercifully, I can make little sense of much of that - par for the course - so my future viewing pleasure remains unsullied and unspoilt.

To clarify what I think I've gathered:

Tony's in the washroom with his shrink who's dressed as a nun offering him onion-flavoured communion wafers [nice touch].

You can't see a urinal only a sit-down, so it may be the ladies room or then again maybe it isn't. Either way one of them shouldn't be in there.

Carmela's in the restaurant with the kids. She's aching for a pee but can't face the grubby washroom.

(Paulie's doing ragtime in some nut factory in Brazil [dir. Terry Gilliam], Uncle Junior's learning trout fishing in America, while the kids are still trying to figure that if they've got Gandalf for a father why can't they have a Hobbit for their birthday.)

Carmela can't hold it any longer and gets up to go.

Tony comes out of the washroom. He may or he may not pass Carmela. No sign of the shrink. He calls out for his mother. No one answers. The click of a trigger.

Carmela moans 'Bobby, Bobby.'

The screen goes black.

E.M. said...

The ending was simple. Tony doesn't get whacked. The audience gets whacked. We're watching the show, looking over our shoulders, paranoid, and -- bang -- it all goes black.

Isn't that what a wiseguy would experience right before being rubbed out?

David Chase whacked his audience. We had to go. Ain't nothin' could be done about it.

E.M. said...


If you follow the real New York-area mob, you know that Agent Harris' role in the final episode is a play on the current travails of FBI Special Agent Lindley DeVecchio.

It's alleged that DeVecchio was so close to one faction of gangsters that, during a New York mob war, when one of that faction's rivals was rubbed out, he was said to have exclaimed, "We're gonna win this thing," a la Agent Harris last night.

DeVecchio is currently under indictment.

Jerry Capeci has been all over it.

MadisonMan said...

So another must-watch drama that you have to watch ends. And I never saw an episode. Oh well.

Cemeteries are full of irreplaceable people.

Telecomedian said...

All that was missing was Tony waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette...

Laura Reynolds said...

MM: me too

NSC said...

All that was missing was Tony waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette...

Perfect. And a better ending. Where is Bob Newhart when you need him?

Triangle Man said...

The Triangle Man take on the Sopranos: A central theme of the Sopranos has been that the mob and mobsters are nothing special. If the show had some purpose other than entertainment, it was to de-glamorize the shameful behavior of the criminal enterprise. Just as Malfi finally recognized that Tony is merely a criminal, the viewer is meant to realize that the wise guys are just base criminals, common ignorant thugs who think only of their own illicit enrichment. The Sopranos has wiped away the veneer of quaint tradition in mafia life, and shattered the notion that there is any honor among thieves.

Unknown said...

we'll never know, unless chase tells us (he did write the finale alone), but i persoanlly think he spared us the gore of the entire clan being wiped out.

*i still also think the the three of them popping onion rings into their mouths has a metaphorical "last communion" ring to it...but hey, if i knew for sure...i'd get whacked before i could tell anybody.

PeterP said...

News Just In:

Tony Soprano to star in re-make of 'Falling Down'.

No syndicate, no family, he blames the Koreans.

"I'm the bad guy now? How'd that happen?"

Revenant said...

Tony doesn't get whacked. The audience gets whacked. We're watching the show, looking over our shoulders, paranoid, and -- bang -- it all goes black.

That's an interesting way of looking at it. I think you're probably right, too. The show has always conveyed that life goes on without you, no matter who you may be. It goes on without the audience, too, I guess. :)

Curtiss said...

After watching the last episode again, and the ending scene many times, I'm convinced that it was the best television ever.

It was just a show about the Sopranos.

Jason said...

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