Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Sopranos Finale

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Play the music!

Have I mentioned that I have never seen this show?

Well, until last week, I hadn't. Having seen only part of one episode, the final episode, I feel well-qualified to give you my thoughts on how the show ended.

My new blog pal Biker Chick Janet (by the way, that's your new nick name, my friend, you are one of three Janet's here), mentioned the Soprano's finale with a well-written post that you can find at her blog. Janet posits that the ending of the show shouldn't have surprised anyone who has been watching the show all along.

Longtime philosophical brother-from-another-mother, and fellow blogger, The Thinking Black man had THIS to say about how the show ended... and I have to tell you that I almost fell out of my chair until I got nearly to the middle of his post! **NOTE TO TTBM: Don't do that again, dude, you nearly killed me**

Well, let's get right to it, shall we?

Having watched the ending of the show, I felt that justice was done. No, not the kind of justice that would land Tony Soprano and his entire crew behind bars for the rest of their lives, although that would have been a great ending for me (oh, don't scowl... I'm a cop, the bad guys SHOULD go to jail), but I digress. No, I don't mean legal justice. Nor do I mean street justice, wherein Mr Soprano would be murdered, or "whacked" in the vernacular of the state of my youth (hey, Tony and family lived in the next county over from me!). What I mean is that I believe that justice was done in the way the show ended.

Alright, I can practically hear some of you swearing as you read this. Some of you may be saying things like: "Well, what can you expect from an unbeliever" (BIG bonus for the person that can cite THAT movie reference!), or "GF wasn't a fan, what does he know?" Patience one and all, and I will share my thoughts with you.

You see, Tony Soprano was a brutal man. A barbarian that tended to settle things with threats, intimidation, and brute force. He would prevaricate when it suited him, he would even have other men, in his employ, conduct his violent business for him. Tony Soprano was a murderer, and nothing good ever comes from that.

For the last several years, faithful fans clung to this highly rated and much ballyhooed show, just wondering what Tony and company would do next, and for many years they were rewarded for their patience. I suppose, in their hearts, they just felt that they were owed a little closure in return for years of loyalty. The fans just wanted to know how Tony was going to end up. The blogosphere was abuzz, as were no small number of bulletin boards, talk shows, happy hour groups, and chat-rooms. What's going to happen next?, they all wanted to know.

Well, as all of you (who care) already know, by now, is that the final scene of the series took place in a Diner (shot on location in Bloomfield, New Jersey). Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" was blaring from the juke box, and a sort of nervous-looking chap was sitting at the counter... frequently looking over his shoulder at Tony's table or at the door. While this was happening, daughter Meadow Soprano was outside, trying to park her car... all of this was happening as the song rose to it's crescendo... The nervous guy at the counter goes into the men's room... is he going to pee?, or is he going to come out of there, guns blazing? (we'll find out in seconds), Meadow finally parks the friggin' car, and walks towards the Diner... Nervous guy zips his fly and is exiting the men's room, just as Meadow gets to the door... We hear the bell on the door of the diner ring, and Tony looks up and...




And now most of the people in the TV watching world are seriously pissed off.

What happened?, they wanted to know... did nervous guy whack the whole family? Did Meadow whack the whole family? Did nothing happen, and Tony and AJ got their onion rings ("best in the state" says Tony)?

I'll tell you what I think happened in the ephemeral mists of speculation (did you see that big word I just used?, and I didn't even go to college!). I think Tony and company continued to live their lives in the ways they always had. Doing evil things to make a buck... or lots of bucks. I think that Tony never gets out of the life. I think the final scene shows that nothing changes for people like that. There is no change of heart, no redemption, no "turning from a life of crime", no fairy tale ending, and no closure.

Tony Soprano was an evil barbarian warlord... people like that never have a happy ending. They just have an ending.


Brillig said...

Okay, so I've never ever watched the show--not even the ending, though I've seen the clips from the ending now since everyone's talking about it. And that's just it. Everyone's talking about it. it was the perfect way to make sure that everyone would talk about it. Why "end" it when instead you can have it live on in infamy?

jennifer said...

Well- I'm another one who never watched the show- I live in Italy, so I figure the real-life daily shootings in Naples are enough.
I didn't know you were a cop- I like that! I've never had the opportunity to see anything from that point of view. Makes reading even more interesting-

weese said...

i liked it.
tho i am easy to please.
no matter how it ended, most people would have complained.
my haven't we gotten to be a picky society.

the only daughter said...

I didn't care for the ending but I understood why it had to end the way it did.

I concur with weese, I'm sure there would have been some un-happy campers no matter what.

Bring on...
Big Love and then
Tony & his crew are forgotten already.

Biker Chick Janet said...

GF!! Hey love, it figures that just when my li'l blog gets an actual TRACKBACK, I delete it. Yep, I was up til 2 a.m. last night (this morning?) consolidating some blogs, and the Blogspot blog was sacrificed at the altar of efficiency. Not to worry, I moved the Sopranos post to the all-new blog at www.dmweblife.com. Hope your awesome readers will take a quick look there. (And I still have the full-blown bikerchick website at www.bikerchicknews.com)

Okay, enough shameless self-promotion.

As for the Sopranos - I *loved* seasons 1-4... after that, more of the same. Good stuff overall, but frankly they made us wait something like 18 months between seasons and I began to feel just a bit used and taken for granted.

My all-time favorite HBO series has been "Deadwood," which ran for three seasons, all of which were excellent (if horridly violent) and which ended in an equally ambiguous manner. I'd love to have a beer with Ian McShane!

Thanks again for the link back... you've been posting some really awesome stuff lately. I couldn't even comment on your story about your two daughters finally meeting each other - brought me to happy tears.

~ Janet

Hahn at Home said...

I don't think any ending would have satisifed me--that it ended at all was disappointing.

Paige said...

I am ultimately very uncool. I never really watched the show, except for maybe a little in the beginning, and have just heard plenty about this ending.


Janet said...

That quotation sounds so familiar, yet I can't place it. Please put me out of my misery.

DJ Black Adam said...

Well I wanted to see AJ and Carmella get whacked, Tony get shot (and survive) while Meadow watched. Tony is in the hospital, Sil gets out of his coma, Meadow takes over the family all Michael Coleone style and whacks the turncoat


Bob Markkett said...

I like the ending too, at the heart of it Tony and his family are good people in seriously misplaced environement. They all have the same regards on life and it transpire in what they are doing.

Gunfighter said...


That's what a travelling salesman said to Clint Eastwood's character in the "Outlaw Josie Wales"