Fade to black - thoughts on the finale of The Sopranos (spoiler alert)

Michael Boylan's picture

If you Tivo'ed this last night and haven't watched the finale yet - stop reading right now.

The show ended with an abrupt cut to black.

At first I thought my satellite had cut out, but then I realized that David Chase was going to just stop "The Sopranos," cutting us off cold turkey.

I thought it might have been the worst series finale in the history of television, but I am now warming up to it. I actually think it was brilliant.

Though "The Sopranos" was a television show, it was the story of a family and families lives don't always feature blazes of glory or neat, little endings. Creator David Chase put Tony and his family back in their comfort zones - Carmela is working on another real estate deal, AJ is out of his funk (bought out of it by material possessions) and Meadow is going to become an attorney making six figures right out of law school.

As for Tony, he visits Uncle Junior - who doesn't recognize him - and tells him that he used to run North Jersey with his dad. Junior responds "That must have been nice." The message to Tony - another 30 years and that's all it will be for you, too - a memory that someone else may have to remind you of.

Here's where the ending was brilliant though. Tony sits down at the restaurant and he is waiting for his family to come in. A bell rings every time the door opens and, at first, the people that come in aren't his family but shady looking people. The viewer starts thinking - "Oh, he's going to get whacked, right here," or "this dude is a cop and he's going to arrest him." One can argue that those are Tony's thoughts too - he starts to look around and think - "this is the guy who's going to get me," or "this is the one who's going to bring me down."

Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life, Mr. Soprano.

Add to that the tension of Meadow trying to park her car and almost hit things or pop tires - the viewer is thinking - "any minute now, something big is going to happen."

And it didn't. At least not on screen (an indictment for Tony is 99.9 % certain, but we will never see it). Your time with "The Sopranos" is over. Please return your seats and tray tables to an upright position.

I'm sure the water coolers will be buzzing today with how "low key" it was or what a disappointment it was.

What did you think?

Michael Boylan's blog | login to post comments