Monday, June 11, 2007

The End of "The Sopranos" Final Episode: I Loved It

By MARC McDONALD

(Warning: spoilers follow).

It's nearing the end of the final episode of "The Sopranos," and it looks like Tony Soprano is nearing the end of the line.

Indeed, all the cliched indicators are in place. Tony has spent the entire episode, essentially saying goodbye to the important people in his life. Now, he is seated at a restaurant, along with his wife and son.

There are several suspicious looking characters in the place. One of them is a shady-looking man who keeps nervously glancing at Tony's table. He finally gets up and disappears into the bathroom, not far from where Tony's booth is.

Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," is playing in the background. The song is nearing its end. Tony's daughter is arriving late to the gathering, after having a difficult time parallel parking outside the eatery. Finally, she parks and runs across the street and opens the front door.

Tony looks up.

And then: the screen goes black.

I'm sure a lot of viewers are going, "WTF"?

A lot of them likely feeling confused and/or cheated.

But I thought it was brilliant.

No ending could have possibly topped this.

The audience was expecting some sort of concrete resolution. They wanted all the loose ends tied up. They wanted a dramatic finale. And most of all, they wanted a big, violent, climactic ending.

They wanted it to be spoon-fed to them.

But nothing beats the power and depth of the human imagination. And, so now, for all time, the ending will up to whatever our own imaginations conceive it to be. That's far more memorable than any cut-and-dried resolution could ever be.

It was a bold, creative risk on the part of the producers---and, for me at least, it worked.

158 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dope and idiot. Only a pretension fool could like this.

Anonymous said...

I'm very disappointed. I hate these cliffhanger endings, especially for a series finale. David Chase should have learned from the other great HBO series "six feet under." Now that's how you end a series.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I find the entire season comparable to hiring a $2000 hooker and not being able to have my happy ending.

This show was never about big thinking man style artistic endings and one certainly didnt belong here either. Just like every other Sopranos season, they creep slowly up to the end then leave you hanging for next season. Except this time, theres no next season.

Anonymous said...

He didn't show the ending because the whole family got whacked.

Anonymous said...

I can definitely see the attempt at an open-ended resolution to the show...but the way in which they went to black looked more like a fuck up on the cable transmission than a definitive "fade" in showbiz...if they would have done it a little more artfully, I could live with that. But all in all, I hated flippin out like my Tivo was screwed up. 3/5

Anonymous said...

The ending was very stupid. The writer should be wacked. Im glad it is over now we dont have to wait for anymore crap writing.Seasons 1-4 where the best.

John said...

I agree completely!

There was no way it could have ended that would have prevented people from complaining. It's amazing how many viewers become directors/writers/producers when something does not go as they expect.

very nicely done!

Michael Sciannamea said...

I am in total agreement with you. I thought it was a tremendous episode and I literally was at the edge of my seat at the very end--when the screen went black, I thought I would hear gunshots next. But nothing! It really was a bold move by David Chase to go out with that ending. I also don't think there will be a Sopranos movie. Gandolfini is sick of the character, and Chase has been quoted as saying that he is dried up of storylines.

Let's leave it for what it is/was--one of the greatest television dramas ever and one that we will remember for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

Anom is right.

Anonymous said...

I agree, if you stop and think about it for a minute, it becomes obvious. Tony is killed by the man who went into the bathroom.

Anonymous said...

The whole family did not get whacked. Blogs are wack.

libtar said...

I agree. It was a great way to end a wonderful show. It left it up to our imagination rather that slapping our face with it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how you contrived a visits to the people in his life as his "swan song" but ... The reality of the episode and title is/should be

Life goes on/maybe i am a sociopath.
the journey song was just that..don't stop believing and life continues

Anonymous said...

the whole family got done. The guy who went to the bathroom & those black dudes wacked the whole family. It was quite gruesome so he didn't show it.

shelley said...

The last words we heard were "Don't stop!" Remember, they might make a movie . . .

shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Brilliant! David Chase understands the human condition. All human beings want closure. All human beings want to believe in good and evil, heaven and hell. But as this episode has shown sometimes things just are what they are.

Anonymous said...

That was a weird ending. I know its trying to continue to be thought provoking but please. Don't hint at possibilities and not come through. Also, shouldn't there have been some fallout from the hit on Phil in front of his grandkids? To many loose ends...

Angela said...

See, I'm glad you enjoyed it because I'm taking heat on my site for thinking this ending was awesome! That entire restaurant scene was so intense. From the music, to the staggered arrivals of Tony's family, to Meadow's difficulty with parallel parking... Had David Chase ended it with them breaking bread, people would be upset. Had he ended it with a definitive whacking, people would have been left with nothing.

Mike said...

I almost ripped my TIVO out of the media center. I ran to the bedrroom where another DVR was recording thinking it got it. AARGH! THAT WAS the ending. No comment on whether it was stupid or brilliant but my blood pressure was through the roof watching the final scene. Was the next guy through the door gonna wack em all? Was the guy going to come out of the bathroom and gun him down? Was the whole place gonna expolode as Meadow walked toward the door? Whatever your opinion it was intense, right up to the blanl screen. I think what the rers are saying is - write youir own ending.

Trixie said...

Chase is going to need that extra security he hired because people were so pissed that he is ending it. Personally I thought it sucked. I as well thought my cable was screwed up and started having a heart attack because I was waiting for something, I wasnt partial to a big violent ending and I wasnt partial to a happy ending but any ending that actually ended and gave some kind of conclusion would of been a HELL of a lot better than what happened tonight....

Anonymous said...

that was totally lame. The sopranos suck

Anonymous said...

no way!!! Did anyone want to see Meadow get shot up. That's why he ended it there.

Anonymous said...

I think it may be too intelectual for your average watcher to swallow. Its really the same ending as Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls." The main character is in the midst of a battle and then the book ends - with an unfinished sentence. Is death really the cesation of all senses. I do feel a bit jipped that Chase didn't cary the light symbol from Tony's out-of-body experience through to the end. It was with Carmella in Paris, with Tony on his Peyote trip, and shining through the window (at night) when he was aiting with the rifle.

salgal said...

Anyone else feel like it was a big joke to see how many people could simultaneously jump up and yell WTF at their televisions, thinking the cable had gone out. Once everything made sense in my head, it made me think of Andy Kaufman.

But beyond that, I am still coming to terms with the ending. Part of me thinks it was great. The exhilerating build-up only to hit that black wall. But that's a one-time thrill. Tomorrow...I will want the closure that I will never get.

Maybe when that feeling hits me, the DvD set will have an alternative ending that I can pretend was the real one.

Anonymous said...

How dense does one have to be to not get the ending? The show's from Tony's perspective...he gets whacked...his perspective very suddenly "cuts to black". Where's the "cliffhanger"? Where's the mystery? this ending was briliant and crystal clear. Alarming, yes. But confusing? for a 12 year old; but they shouldn't be watching. or posting.

Anonymous said...

Flashback to Bobby and Tony in the boat last week: "you don't hear it coming and when you die I suppose it just goes black"....I'm afraid that's what happened here.

Anonymous said...

i think the writer of this blog is related to one of the writers. My opinion is WTF -- it sucked. Plain and simple. Just bad. This season left a lot to be desired. No brilliance, no great or clever writing.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what u smoke, but i wana some !!!

Anonymous said...

i think the writer of this blog is related to one of the writers. My opinion is WTF -- it sucked. Plain and simple. Just bad. This season left a lot to be desired. No brilliance, no great or clever writing.

shelley said...

Really good comment about the flashback and going to black--

Anonymous said...

Nah it was totally lame. That definately sucked at the end. What a bunch of horse squeeze

Anonymous said...

The writer of this blog is a dope. I will cancel HBO tomorrow a.m. My simple way of sending them a message. If others cancel as well, than they will get the message that the point is to entertain and not annoy.

Anonymous said...

The 3 final episodes will come out in random with the "box set".
Get it, Not all the of the final 3 will be in one set.

Anonymous said...

It was pathetic. A cop out. No emotion - only emptiness. I'm pissed.

Anonymous said...

This is kinda weird, but the episode I saw out here had the family being shot in the diner. It showed everything. The guy came out of the bathroom ala Pacino and when Meadow came into the diner, the guy had a gun pointed at Tony's head. Then, when Tony looked up, the gun jammed, he ducked, the wife got it in head, Meadow screamed and then Tony stood up. The gun fired again this time through Tony's stomach into his son's chest. Then, Tony was shot in the head.

What ending are you guys talking about? Meadow was the only survivor. I am in the Midwest..Kansas. And I'm telling you all, THIS IS the ending that we saw here. I have no idea what you guys are talking about...

Anonymous said...

Cancel, cancel, cancel HBO. They should like the creativity of that act!

Bangkokker said...

He didn't see Uncle Junior to say good-bye to him, he wanted to find out where Jun's stash of money was. I don't think he was making an effort to say goodbye to anyone.

You don't know what happened; there is no resolute ending. You can say he was killed, the whole family was killed, he was arrested, or they finished the onion rings.

Anonymous said...

The ending we saw - or did not see - essentially had the cable signal go blank. Hence the reason for the anger. Yes, canceling HBO tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

What a dick!

I should have learned my lesson from Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

The moral is: don't let yourself get involved in the works of egotistical "artistes" who have tired of the concept.

I know..."it's not about the ending, it's about THE STORY."
Bullshit! Don't we deserve better?

spickoli said...

you loved the ending? go suck a film school teacher....that ending (if you want to call it that) was cowardly at best

Jared said...

Tony asked Bobby what he thought it was like when you got whacked. Bobby said "I guess it just goes black" ... that's why it went black when Tony died. Sorry folks, no movie unless it's the life and times of Pauly.

Shiv said...

Its a stupid ending which is gonna be debated for a long time. The good part about it , no one who watched this show will ever forget how it ended, the bad thing is , no one who watched this show will forget how it ended.

This ending sucked. WHAT EVER HAPPEND TO THE RUSSIAN ??????

We will never know.

Anonymous said...

The end of the Soprano's is brilliant. A brilliant way for HBO to milk more money from a cash cow that died 3 seasons ago..movie? maybe, DVD's again maybe. One way or another they're going to try to make more money from this. Not me. I shoulda stopped watching at the end of season 4. The guy who said this is brilliant can have his pocket picked by HBO

YouCanCallMe...T said...

I'll be one of the dissenters. Yes, I would have liked to have seen more, but I think this was a brilliant end to the show. A perfect cliffhanger for a movie...or a perfect place to be left wondering what might happen next.

Jared said...

Lot's of loose ends ... but when you get whacked that's the way it is. Life doesn't get wrapped up with a neat little bow.

mark said...

The one thing that resonates is that the feeling of huge anxiety that we all felt watching that last scene -- expecting him to get hit any second -- is exactly what Tony feels all the time. He lives, but that tense feeling is always with him. Having said that, I didn't really dig this ending, it did seem like a cable fk up.

carrie said...

THe whole show I was watching the clock, waiting for something to happen. It was such a standard episode, I couldnt understand how he was going to pull off thi s big finish with so little time left on the clock, and Then of course it just ends and I am totally pissed, because I get what he was trying to do, that in the end he has shown that life trully does go on, but still - it seems like a cop out. Six feet under is still to me the best series finale EVER

Jared said...

I agree, I like the way the ending makes you think ... but I didn't really like it ... I thought my tv screwed up too.

george said...

Pure crap final episode that was consistent with the whole season. Chase is not bold or a genius. He's just a business guy making a buck and went one season too long. He didn't go out on top.You would think his writers walked out on the show and they had to get a few amateurs to jump in to finish this thing.The fact is they ran out of material 3 seasons ago when they shifted focus to "Carmella's feelings" and all the soap opera bullshit that followed. Viewers always expected the show to bounce back to its early strength .. but, the writers forgot what they were doing right and Tony became a caricature of himself this season.
The final episode was pathetic and a waste of time to watch.

Anonymous said...

Like most people , i felt cheated and confused , but the Sopranos has never been conventional. Why give people what they want, give em' what they need. Stir up a s#*@ storm , make people use they're imagination for once ..bravo Mr. Chase!

Anonymous said...

If only everyone could write finale's like Bob Newhart.

Serj said...

I think you're completely right about the finale. There was just no other way it could have ended. To me, it was perfect.

Anonymous said...

if there's a movie out by 2009 it was a great ending; otherwise, an artisitic ending forced upon an an unartisitic show that ran for 7 years is a garbage and shows that Chase and crew ran out of steam and punted the last season... very boring.

gullec01 said...

You are correct, the unknown is the best way to end. David Chase allows the viewer to come up with their own interpretation although I cannot shake the suspicion that the strange characters in the diner take Tony out. Either way, the viewer understands Tony's career is over and that jail awaits him in the near future.

The last episode was the last attempt to wrap everything up. Soprano's fans are so linked in with Tony's character that we struggle with the unknown. I would argue the unknown is reality and the writer's have kept us linked in for years for such brilliant cliffhangers: why is everyone so surprised?

Anonymous said...

The thought about what Bobby said a few episodes back makes sense. Whoever posted about the ending where the family is shot in the diner is a fucking loser.

You know, you don't have to show it, just let me hear the gunshots...I needed closure, and it looks like we wait until DVD to get it...hopefully.

Anonymous said...

It was a terrible ending. In fact the entire season left a lot to be desired.

chickpea said...

I know I'll probably get cursed, but I'm one of few that enjoyed it.

The music was great, the conversation was perfect, amazing suspense. Totally wasn't expected, and that's why I think it was great!

Anonymous said...

No way Tony got killed, especially from the guy in the bathroom. It would be way too cliche to rip from the Godfather after all the great writing over the years. Maybe I might have bought into it a little if the camera angle wasn't looking at Tony's face when it went black...had it been the case we would have seen Tony seeing Meadow walkin in then blackness...I mean hasn't anyone ever seen the end of "The Professional"?

Anonymous said...

I think it's clear that the guy in the bathroom or others involved were told not to kill the family until they all showed up. When Meadow came in and you heard her open the door, that was the symbolic ending of the family.

What WILL piss me off is if David Chase remains ambiguous about the ending. He will be hounded tomorrow for answers and if he pulls that "It's up to the viewer" bullshit, he better go into hiding.

Anonymous said...

Writing went downhill after writers Robin Greene and her partner Mitch were let go before this last season...

Long live Sil...

Anonymous said...

If you thought this was the perfect ending you are most likely a Paris Hilton/ George Bush fan and/or supporter. This ending sucked! No, Chase did not leave it blank because Tony and the whole family gets whacked you morons! He did it so he can steal another 2 hours or so out of your life along with $12; when he makes a movie! He is a sell out and I know that I am not the only one that feels this way. My time along with millions of others is to important to set aside and be wasted like this. HBO and their programming in my opinion has been going downhill and this was the breaking point for me and I have already called my cable company to have it removed! What a crock! Great episode….. Ya and Paris should be allowed to go home from jail because of her “Medical condition”. People need to wake the hell up!

Anonymous said...

So Tony didn't get whacked. But we did.

Anonymous said...

Chase is saying "You are Tony" by making the screen go blank when Tony gets whacked. Remember how Bobby says to him, out on the row boat, "They say you never see it coming?" well ....

Anonymous said...

I'm really confused. My TV didn't go blank. Tony, Carmella and AJ were shot, the only doubt was whether Meadow got shot

Anonymous said...

last episode rocked!

badspace.com

Anonymous said...

Bush-League ending...right up there with Seinfeld.

James Mueller said...

Why doesnt everyone get it? Tony was whacked!!!!!!! Didnt any one else notice the strange italian man that walked in before AJ? Remember the first episode when Bobby and Tony were fishing? Bobby asked Tony what it would be like to be shot and if you hear anything. Remember in the last episode when Tony was in the bedroom at the safe house, and then it cut to the scene again with Bobby and Tony fishing. The weird italian guy went to the bathroom (or so it seemed) and than killed Tony, it just went black and silent. Tony never heard it coming. I think butchy had Tony killed because he killed Phil infront of his family, and butchy was probably afraid of Tony after he shot Silvio, and Bobby. Because if Silvio wakes up, he is gonna want payback, remember that.

Demonknight said...

Despite what many of you think , the series could not have ended any better than that, leave it up the viever , use your imagination.. There is no doubt Pauley had something to do with the hit, hence his hesitation leaving the Bada Bing. long live Pauley Walnuts!!!

Anonymous said...

I really don't know what to say or think of the ending at first i thought it was stupid. i guess a part of me thinks it still is a stupid ending. It was a great show and it just finished like that !!!! But in the other end i kind of understanding why it ended this way ( even though i disagree with it) the fact is Tony was not gonna get wacked in front of his family... Too many people around - cameras and etc... 2. I think the writter did leave it to our imagination and let me tell u there was a mob war going on - when that starts its never over finished and that;s why they didnt make it a happy ending just.. tommorow is another day for Tony where he can get wacked then.. the fact is that once your in the mob ur life is always at risk no matter what... you never know when something happens to you ... and thats why it ended that why. However, as said did not like the ending I think the full show tonite kinds of sucked - I really expected more....

James Mueller said...

There is no way Paulie had Tony whacked. I know this because it is in Tony Siricos contract that he does not betray the boss. He said that is the only condition in which he would do the show. That is why he is the only one that is left at the end.

Web2.0PRDude said...

Tony way always high art - great ending

Anonymous said...

How come everybody who hated the ending made spelling mistakes in their posts?Just saying....

Anonymous said...

What a letdown, I'm totally disappointed and now promise I won't watch it next season. Seriously, I heard that David Chase had written and filmed three ending to keep the final episode secret. Instead, the truth is he didn’t have an ending. Now we fill in the blank screen. Let’s see, Tony, Carmela, Meadow, and AJ get food poisoning from the onion rings they were eating. They rush to the bathroom and find the suspicious stranger from the counter in a stall with AJ’s friend Rhiannon. Dr. Melfi taps Tony on the shoulder and says “Have you seen the ducks? They were delicious!” Brilliant! I see $$$ in the black screen, they left themselves open for a future HBO movie.

Anonymous said...

last episode rocked!

www.badspace.com

Anonymous said...

The last season of the Soprano's left alot to be desired. I couldn't help but think, will the Russians come back, what about the guy that had a crush on Carmela... then strange things kept happening week after week.

Phil talking like a canary, Chris getting back into drugs then his death, the FBI guy turning in favor of the NJ Mafia, Anthony's depression, suicide attempt than full recovery, new charactors with absolutely nothing to do with the story....

Come on if we wanted a roller coaster we would have gone to Six Flags!

An earlier blog mentioned closure - we NEED closure - too bad HBO couldn't deliver

Anonymous said...

The last season of the Soprano's left alot to be desired. I couldn't help but think, will the Russians come back, what about the guy that had a crush on Carmela... then strange things kept happening week after week.

Phil talking like a canary, Chris getting back into drugs then his death, the FBI guy turning in favor of the NJ Mafia, Anthony's depression, suicide attempt than full recovery, new charactors with absolutely nothing to do with the story....

Come on if we wanted a roller coaster we would have gone to Six Flags!

An earlier blog mentioned closure - we NEED closure - too bad HBO couldn't deliver

Anonymous said...

Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on...

DumbAmericans said...

funny reading all the low IQ, dumb nuts who need to be spoon fed EVERYTHING so that they can thumbsuck it and appease their vacuous heads. This is, in a strange way, an indicator of the problems this country (and the west in particular) has. An overwhelming number of plebs who can't think for themselves, only programmed by social life and life is tv. I loved it and hated it too, must be the pleb in me from living amongst phlegms.

Anonymous said...

I think that they left it open-ended so they could do a "Lost" and "Sopranos" hybrid in 2011 when ABC and HBO join forces. Then they can continue to screw with the American TV watcher with their weekly cliffhangers for decades to come. Anybody notice John Locke peeling a guava with a knife at the bar? It was subtle...

James said...

I hate to break the bad news, but Chase said he is not going to do a movie. He said the last episode tied everything up. The 6th season is what he wanted to do the movie about. No movie guys!!

Anonymous said...

David Chase is a control freak. His ego basically told him to screw loyal viewers witht he worse ending since Bobby Ewing was in the shower and told Pam Ewing that the whole season was a dream....Screw him....

Anonymous said...

We are such SUCKERS! Cancel HBO for a few months and send the message... or stop your whining. Take action. I canceled HBO a few years ago a survived just fine without it. RESCUE ME on FX is coming to the rescue for those needing entertainment.

Jared said...

HBO just announced the Soprano's movie! It's going to be called The Soprano's, the life and times of Paulie. Tony is dead. The only question is whether he was shot in front of his family, or the restaurant exploded and they all died.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic ending. As usual everyone wants the spoon fed ending they have brainwashed to like and if they have to think then all they can do is say it sucked. Well it didnt, it was perfect. Personally I think over 75% of the audience for this show didnt understand what the entie series was about let alone this episode so their reactions are no surprise

Anonymous said...

The writers decided to screw the public. They knew that the viewers were tired of their shitty writing and were excited for some closure. How much are we all paying for HBO?

Anonymous said...

If you ask me, the guy who went into the bathroom is probably just an old high school buddy of Tony, the Black guys who came in were there to have supper, and Meadow sat down and ate the last onion ring, much to the dismay of that fucking AJ. But Carmela, she probably got shot in the face.

StJoe said...

You are one of many, my friend. There will be a lot of people out there who think the ending of the finest television program of all time was completely appropriate. However, you are wrong. As a film and television scholar and writer I can say this ending was pretentious and over wrought. The way it ended was, in my opinion, supposed to be a curve ball because the mass audience expected Tony to be killed or go to jail. Having neither happen leaves me with a sense of lose. Lose in the sense of nearly a decade watching this program. From the get go, we expected to see one of the two (either death or incarceration), and to be given neither is a travesty. The final episode will go down in history as the worst in the annals of the great television tome. Even Sienfeld's ending. Though obtuse, had finality to it. Chase owes us (the collective audience) more. But you should feel solace in the idea that you are setting yourself apart from the herd. Believe me though that the majority of people are against you, and rightly so. I am not sure if you have spent some time (and from the looks of your posting, not a lot of time) drafting your blog regarding this episode, but my suggestion is to set aside the feeling of self-congratulatory pomp and reexamine the way this story ended. If you decide not to take heed of my suggestion, please prepare yourself for the onslaught of criticisms you will no doubt hear. I certainly hope the irritation you face tomorrow is worth the feeling of “I am better than you because…”, if not, you are truly the poster child for the uneducated self important pariah of television criticism.

P.S. I know I have used a lot of big words that undoubtedly fall outside your lexicon (this is based on the assumption that you are, in fact, a trained chimp who has gotten hold of a keyboard). Luckily, Bubbles, there are things called “Dictionaries”. Large books with the meaning of words. So if you don’t grasp the underline theme that I think you’re an idiot, please feel free to look any words you don’t understand

Big Pussy said...

Yeah, right, Tony is eating at a local family restaurant where 2 black guys come in ... and it's all perfectly normal. I'm sure they sat down in the next booth and asked Tony if the manicotti is good.
For all the pompous intellectual posers who have written to say most of the audience are retards ... well, if the shoe fits. Let's face it, if these posers ( or poseurs) were the real thing intellectually, they'd be doing something different with their time.

Anonymous said...

At first I too was completely pissed. But now that I have calmed down some food for thought. The suspicious guy in the diner looked more like an FBI agent than a mob hitman. You would have to think that with Phil's murder, Tony is suspect #1 and was being tailed. What does the blank screen mean? Plenty of possibilities, I guess that was the point. Frustrating but I think Chase achieved his goal. Here we are wasting time talking about the ending.

Jon said...

stjoe:

I think you meant to write "loss" instead of "lose," you pompous asshole.

Anonymous said...

Why did the screen go blank?

Wanna see how it continues?

Go to www.thesopranets.com

Anonymous said...

Whenever a bell rings, an angel get it's wings. Anybody remember that one? They bought it, the whole family.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous.

Anonymous said...

www.thesopranets.com

thats is where is continues, with the fellas from www.badspace.com

the first internet gangstas!

Anonymous said...

I agree. A brilliantly conceived ending. BUT, I too spent a few seconds wondering if something had gone wrong with the tv, cable, or whatever. And the momentary confusion detracted from impact of the ending. This could easily have been avoided by having the credits instantly follow the black out. No question then that it was over. Nevertheless, a great finish to a great show I will be in withdrawal for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone catch all the songs that Tony passed up on the juke?

Anonymous said...

The film and television scholar should learn to spell ... I guess that didn't teach that at tv school.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant final episode. Life goes on. Mostly mundane.

Anonymous said...

Of all the scenes over 7 years of the show, that one will be burned into my memory... Something about tense, mundane, and out of a strange environment.

Anonymous said...

far from a perfect ending, but yes everyone will be talking about it, my two cents is that David Chase who wrote and directed the last episode, is a self absorbed a-hole, the fade to black was to make guys like me, have an mba, freak out to see if the Tivo cut off the ending, which happened with American Idol when my daughters were tivo'ing it. The rest of the episode blew, who gives a rat's ass about AJ, the best scenes are between Tony and Janice and Paulie and the cat...

Anonymous said...

From a look at the posts it looks like Chase got his wish and people are just continuing to talk about what may have happened. This is fiction -- Life is full of surprises, I would have liked to know what the hell happens in that diner.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone stopped to think how for the first time, the family was happy ... Carmen was starting another house, AJ was in a job he liked, Meadow was starting a law career ... and then when they are all together and full of smiles ... whack!

archaeoj said...

We wanted a final episode to a great series. What we got was a final episode only worthy of a season. And hints and open ended story lines that point toward an ongoing future.

As for those who insist that Tony and family are all killed. Chase is not going to violate the rules of the fictive world he has created in its final minutes. Family members are not killed unless there is no choice. It makes NO sense to kill Tony's family. He has squared things with the New York family, even got permission to take out Phil. No on is looking to kill him. It makes no sense for the story line we have been given.

Instead, Chase pumps up the tension and tells us, this is Tony's life all the time, and it will go "on and on and on and on . . " as the song reminds us.

But he also cheats a bit, by slying suggesting the possibility of a sequel. "Don't stop, believing . . ." And with that bit of open ended narrative direction I am disappointed. I expected better things of a master.

I appreciate earlier comments about how "you don't see it coming . . ." when the end comes. I didn't see this and it sure went black for the viewer at an unexpected moment. We're the victim, not Tony.

Magilla said...

I think Meadow slips on a banana peel and whacks her head ... that's why everything goes black.

Anonymous said...

Here's San Jose Mercury's just published take on last episode. Smart, useful.

Anway, relax. And quick calling each other names. Bascially black screen is the cinematic equivalent of a flatline on a bedside hospital EKG screen.

In other words: "Tone" is officially dead. Others may or may not be. Doesn't matter.

Clever--protagonist perspective-ending. Whether it made you feel good/bad/confused.

Chase is into turning television conventions upside-down. He's subverting "expected" characters/plots/values/endings.

That's why television (and we all) "need" him. He's teaching us to empathize, to think, to imagine...

Bravo!

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6110292

Anonymous said...

I still think it was the banana.

Prof. Johnson said...

I agree, this banana theory has merit.

Anonymous said...

The ending was perfect!!! now we can imagine the ending we wanted...(plus it leaves a opening for more someday)....I was really mad at first but after a while I realized it was a great way to end a show......now I want to see how they will end deadwood LOL....

Anonymous said...

It was kinda like the end of The Young and the Restless ... no sorry, that show never ends!!!

Craig said...

Well, I have been a big fan of the show, so I figured I should express my opinion. First of all, I must agree with the person who mentioned that the credits should have rolled directly. I too was confused and I didnt have a chance for the ending to sink in. Secondly, I thought it was a daring ending. The whole episode, hell, the whold last nine where this huge build up to what was an enormous climax that although may have pissed off at least half the people here, no one could look away. HBO did their job in making this episode probably the biggest series finale in a long time. Also, if the ending wasnt to your liking, that just too bad. You arent going to be able to reach any point of resolution, just more questions and of course that was the point. There is no way Chase could have thought up an ending that hadnt already been done a thousand times. The point was to piss us off, to cause us to draw our own conclusions, to make us part of the story ourselves.
Now that I have said all of that, here is my take on the final scene. From the beginning of the scene with all of the ominous characters I never once thought that Tony was going to be killed. Sure, it may have been hiding behind my urge to see him live and prevail, but I still didnt believe it. We found out that Carlo had flipped and no mob hit is going to go down with more than one or two shooters. I assumed that these guys were tails, sent to watch Tony until all the endictments were in order until they could pick up. Hell, no one could have even known he was going to be there except for his family. A hit on a mob boss is going to take at least a little prep and not just some shooters showing up during a family dinner. Sure, Phil was killed in front of his family (which was one of the funniest deaths on this show) but that doesnt mean other people would stoop to that level to get at Tony.
With all this speculation however, there is no ending. Everyone needs to get over it and move on. Accept it, cause that is the way it went down.
Here's to the next great television show by HBO! Cheers.

Eric said...

the long black out is the key. like several other comments it "eludes" to Tony's death from his point of view...you never see it coming. Meadow's final expression is one of shock, which suggests that she witnesses the shooting. Seeing her expression is the last view the TV viewer has of the Series. The long black-out is the experience of Tony.

Anonymous said...

this is what happened i was at hbo in manhattan and i was told what happened but chase wanted all to figuare it out thats why it blanked
that was phil hit man in the bathroom and you know the blacks remember from the past episode in the crack house remember when they chased out the black fella now phils man hired thoes crack men to come and bring down the whole family the screen went blank cause they didnt show it you know it already see when one man gets involved with crime in the first place they can get the whole family jepordized music stoped he faced the bathroom straight but he didnt want to show it ~ now after they ran out and that was it ~ silvio remains disabled ~ paulie the rest got arrested

Anonymous said...

and just to say the black out was tonys view other side remember the bathroom .

Anonymous said...

Even if you think the ending was creative, you have to admit that the episode was horrible. There was way too much A.J., who is probably the worst character on t.v.

Anonymous said...

Our imaginations get to write our own endings! What a gift! Couldn't possibly be a better ending. You imagine yours - I'll imagine mine.

Perfect.

Anonymous said...

i personally think it was the greatest thing in the world

Anonymous said...

the final scene was average. way to many questions then answers. we all saw this coming.

Anonymous said...

i think the ending is awesome...the guy that goes to the bathroom is gonna kill tony...we all know that...its him getting killed infront of his family when there all together

Anonymous said...

Anybody know what to make of the poster who said they saw a different ending in Kansas?

I understand the posters who would argue that I'm a pinhead, but I appreciate the ending.

I do believe that, given the incredibly tense set-up of the scene (the cutaways to suspicious characters, etc) we're supposed to assume Tony, Carmela & AJ got whacked. But did I really want to see it played out? Not so much.

But hey, that's just me, a pinhead.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was hilarious. No matter the ending it's going to piss someone off. With this ending everyone is mad equally.

This was the second episode of Sopranos I'd ever watched (the first one was the first episode) and the moment the screen went black I just about fell out of my chair laughing. I knew there was a collective yell across the nation and millions of people were breaking their tevo's.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that guy at the counter in the diner sure looked like the guy that wanted to retire and go to Florida (or at least his wife wanted to), but he offed himself, right?

I was hoping to see the Russian or Furio coming back (in cahoots with Carmela). Or, Chrissy coming back from the dead in an art imitating life in art thingy (technically speaking) (like Cleaver).
I'm a moron. There, I said it.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the screen going blank. I too uttered a 'WTF' and for an instant thought it was the cable company and/or TiVo malfunction.... then realized that was the ending. Then I thought about it for about three minutes and decided "Tony dead? Tony alive? It's just TV and I have to go to bed so I can get up and go to work tomorrow." After all, just like James Gandolfini, I live in reality. Sopranos is over but don't cancel your HBO because a new season of 'Big Love' starts tomorrow! (And no, I don't work for HBO.)

Anonymous said...

Your screen went blank too?

Wanna see where the Sopranos goes from here?

See www.thesopranets.com

Run by the boys from badspace.com

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice as Tony first walked into the diner he had a different shirt on. He also saw himself sitting down with a different shirt on. Was everyone in the diner already dead past character thst were killed?

Anonymous said...

OMG.... you're all reading waaaaay too much into this. It's TV. By the way, we're in the middle of a war and people are dying needlessly in Darfur. Put your anger over the ending of a TV show to good use and maybe write a letter to your congressmen instead of wasting time posting comments about your TV going black. There are bigger issues to be angry about, aren't there?

Anonymous said...

I think there were some deceased characters in the diner.

Anonymous said...

Chase didn't give it an ending because the f**king moron didn't have one! What an idiot! I think everyone should call their cable provider and cancel HBO in protest!

Anonymous said...

That ending was horrible. David Chase knew he couldn't please everybody, so he didn't have an ending at all. The Sopranos had way too many loose ends. People who like this ending are people who would justify any possible ending. They just threw the last two episodes together. I am very dissappointed.

Anonymous said...

I personally thought the whole final episode was boring and that the ending was irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

First, I was WTF. Then, trying to mess with the remote, thinking with all the times, this is when the TV/Satellite gone bezirk. Then I figured, that was it.. THE END.
I thought it kinda suck at the beginning, then I realized it was BRILLIANT. David Chase pulled off the chair as we are trying to set our behind for an explosive ending. Just like the Official Soprano website says, It will be "GROUND-BREAKING".

So folks, it is. I could have never thought of a unique ending as that. Now I just smiled and chuckled on how D.Chase had us all. It's all up to you, That's why the last song is by Journey's "Don't Stop Believin".. We put our own ending to it..Til' the MOVIE comes out. And YOU KNOW, no matter how much you complain about the ending, you will watch it. "Only in America"....

Anonymous said...

The guy at the bar is also credited as Nikki Leotardo. The same actor played him in the first part of season 6 during a brief sit down concerning the future of Vito... Apparently, he is the nephew of Phil. Absolutely Genius!!!! David Chase is truly rewarding the true fans who pay attention to detail. So the point would have been that life continues and we may never know the end of the Sopranos. However, I do think that going back to Bobby and the comment about everything going black makes more sense...Tony got whacked. The skipped songs are a clue too. And Tony's final choice of the Journey (get it..."Journey") Don't stop believing and ends right on don't stop with a finger tap on top of the jukebox selector...If you pay attention to the history, you will find that all the answers lie in the characters in the restaurant. The trucker was the brother of the guy who was robbed by Christopher in Season 2. Remember the DVD players? The trucker had to identify the body. The boy scouts were in the train store and the black guys at the end were the ones who tried to kill Tony and only clipped him in the ear (was that season 2 or 3?).

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
OMG.... you're all reading waaaaay too much into this. It's TV. By the way, we're in the middle of a war and people are dying needlessly in Darfur. Put your anger over the ending of a TV show to good use and maybe write a letter to your congressmen instead of wasting time posting comments about your TV going black. There are bigger issues to be angry about, aren't there?

10:41 PM
What a hypocrite... You seem to be "Waaaay"to into it to. After all you wasted your time to post a comment. Also, everyone in our contry knows that we are at war, and some even know about the horrible deaths in Dufar. But let me ask you had you even heard of Dufar until recent media? I do belive that every life is equally important, however, what about the thousands of tax paying Americans(mostly children) who didn't have a meal today, or the millons of Americans who do not have health insurance. Shouldn't this be a more appropriate issue to be writing their local congressman(or woman).
After all, that is what we are paying them for. I will close by saying that to help some one else, or some other country, before we ourselves are on a better track,is absurd. Over the years
as a mother I have learned in order to raise healthy,well adjusted, and successful children that it is difficult (if not impossible)to do unless you yourself are in a stable condition.
How can we expect to make everyone elses problems (at our expense) if we can't even help ourselves?

Anonymous said...

First of all, there is no way the family got killed. In the previous episode, Tony made it clear that family members don't get touched. Secondly, any other speculation is really without merit. What happened is what we saw happen. When the screen went black, that was it. There is no mystery. We can't leave it up to our imaginations. The end of the episode was the end of The Sopranos, plain and simple. And I think that just plain sucks.

Just as a side note, I agree that it was a mistake to let the screen remain blank for so long at the end.

Anonymous said...

You wanna talk about great TV and great writing. THE WIRE! The sopranos has nothing on The Wire. Watch that and tell me that's not great writing, deep, complex. That is a brave show that has only gotten better. They don't do that pretentious junk. Honestly no matter what happened in this last episode it would have sucked. i stopped caring about this show after season 3.

Anonymous said...

to sjtoe, the television scholar,

A dictionary may help you, but you should really look into a basic grammar book. Spelling and big words are one thing, but using them is a whole another thing. I guess they don't teach such stuff in wherever they mint such scholars.

tleib said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, speculation as to what "happened" is merely tilting at windmills. This is a television show. The only thing that happens is what is shown on that beautiful small screen. and that was the point!

Make of it what you will, but Chase made a bold choice and even bolder statement. History will be a kind judge.

- TL

Anonymous said...

I went back and checked and there was never a character named Nikki Leotardo. This assertion has as much merit as the the claims by the moron/liar from Kansas.

Anonymous said...

That was the gayest possible ending ever: the denial of an ending. If the series was somewhat noir i'd understand, but that shit was explicit. THAT HAD NO BALLS. Should have showed them getting whacked. when i saw the black screen i thought the cable was down, then came the credits, and i was like wtfffff i missed the ending noooooo, but then i realized that the human lameness is limitless, specially when they can make a movie or something. THAT WAS SHIT.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sheep,
SUCKERS ALL! But, then again, you have been suckers for watching the most over-hyped TV show of all time. Smoke and mirrors that would make PT Barnum proud.
David Chase aka Farmer Brown

kobalt_blue said...

At first I was really pissed about the ending, but it's ultimately about what it's like to be a Soprano. Even when the family's doing well, Tony's always looking over his shoulder - paranoid that the next time the door opens, it's going to reveal someone who's going to try to kill him. The show started with anxiety and ended with it too... it's making a statement about the harsher realities of the mafiosi lifestyle. No matter what, the family can't ever be 'normal'. I don't think he got whacked, but as he's afraid of it at every turn, he might as well have been. Kind of a sad life that's lived in fear, just like our final shot of Pauly. Good job! Please don't wreck it by making a movie.

Anonymous said...

To St. Joe,
A television scholar? A television scholar?? STFU, wouldja?

To the rest of the little people like me,
It's kind of funny that so many are so pissed. It was a brilliant ending - think about it. We are analyzing every fine detail in the final scene because each detail was intentional to create the emotion we all were going through. When the camera went blank, it took a long while for it to sink in and all I could say was Wow. Oh, then my breath came back.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Tony just had another panic attack and fainted again, as he had done throughout all the episodes. This would explain the choice of music "life gones on" and blacking out. I do prefer that he got wacked as many have speculated before and relating to the scene with Bobby about what happens when you get wacked and die. It would be strange for it to end as it began.

KDawg said...

Sorry Folks.
Tony is dead.
Life sucks and you die.
Blackness.
No sensation.
Like the flashback indicates (maybe foreshadowing?)

Get over it.
Stop being a bunch of winers and accept that fact.

Anonymous said...

Wow. To all who for some reason feel superior if they enjoyed the episode last night, and even feel the need to bring up IQs and even a social commentary about Western Society, I really believe you are some of the most despicable losers in Western Society. Well I apologize in advance for my run on sentence and any possible spelling errors, but remember this is a blog you arrogant, "artistically superior" fags.

Anonymous said...

I think that the ending scenes were quite stressful. It kept your thoughts racing, and your heart pounding. It actually put you right in the very shoes of Tony himself, we felt exactly what Tony will feel always, we dont really need a dramatic ending to know that emotionally Tony is already dead, i think it was brilliant!!!

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you exactly why they ended it that way, they ended it that way so in a couple months A&E can show it also without any cut scenes. because the director wanted to be able to sell it after hbo had its run he still wanted it sellable to another market WELCOME TO AMERICA AND THE MIGHTY DOLLAR

Anonymous said...

LOL.
"It was a bold, creative risk on the part of the producers---and, for me at least, it worked."

It is lazy writing. These types of endings are so cliched and played, out that they are predictable.

We won't resolve anything then try to make the claim that we want the audience to 'think and imagine'.

Really what we want is an opening to cash in on a movie.

Wendy said...

I'm hoping it's not only the end of "The Sopranos" -- but that it's the end of the entire genre of Mafialit: movies, tv shows, novels.

Goodbye, Jessie James; goodbye, Tony Soprano.

Great drama -- and now we need to find another form of "outlaws" in America that also have, if not "white hats" (The Sopranos had none) .. at least gray hats.

ramblin' pete said...

Frustrating as hell, but briliant.

If the final scene had ended, say, with Tony going out as usual to get his paper...then pulling back to show a log cabin in Alaska? Well, too "Goodfellas."

The guy in the bathroom retreiving a piece? Too "Godfather."

A bloodbath? Too "Scarface."

Obviously the sound of gunshots after the cut would have been interesting. Tony whacked? The whole family? The black guys that came in (or somebody else) holding up the restaurant? Tony seeing an assassin and shooting first?

All I know is that it seems masterfully manipulated from an economic standpoint. there's a large cash cow out there the size of Ginny Sack ready to be milked in a few years.

And today David Chase is probably holed up in a Beverly Hills safehouse lying on a bed and clutching an assault rifle...

sopranofreak said...

I knew this series would end a cliffhanger but I didnt think it would end at a restaurant. Like Marc McDonald said some viewers might feel confused or cheated, I know I sure did . It was a good ending but kept me wanting more. The imagination is truly a wonderful story book of its own. Anyrhing can be what you want it to be. One thing im going to miss is the excitement of the next episode and wondering what happens next. ~ Good-Bye Sopranos ~

Anonymous said...

Whether or not you liked the end of the final episode or not (I personally didn't, even though I think it was creative), not many people have brought up the fact that the ENTIRE rest of the episode was completely and totally BORING. Yeah, the final 5 minutes was tension-filled, but the rest? Blah. And while I'm at it, the rest of the entire season was completely and totally boring. What a bad way for a great show to go out. AJ's bitching and whining? Meadow's career dilimma? Tony's gambling problem? I find it hard to believe that David Chase and his team couldn't give us a season with a bit more excitement. There was all of 2 episodes spent on the war between the families? Come on! How much time did they spend on AJ's depression? All I know is this past season gave ME depression.

Anonymous said...

He was killed...

in fact, the ending was genius if you've paid attention to the show
or are just a fan of well developed well thought out plots that all
tie together and have the memory of a champ to remember it all

the ending was simple, he got killed, but let me tell yall why and
explain in detail... There was 3 people in the room total who had a
reason to kill tony...

the two black guys, they were paid before to kill tony but he was
only shot in the ear, this was in one of the earlier seasons,

also in the earlier seasons, the trucker who was sitting at the bar
stool, who the camera kept focusing in on, is Nikki leotardo, Phil
Leotardos nephew, he was in one of the early season episodes where
Phil and Tony have a sit down...

heres where the genius comes in...

When tonys walking in the diner,you see the camera focus on him, then
it switches to his perspective, and you see him looking @ the booth
hes gonna sit at...

then the camera switches back to tonys face, then it once again
switches to his perspective, and it shows him looking @ the door and
looking @ the people come in... Everytime the door opens the Chimes
sound... Carmela walks in, Chimes, AJ walks in Chimes, this when
Meadows parallel parking, still trying to get inside the
restaurant...

at this point the camera switches back to the trucker who goes in the
bathroom...

Then it goes to a scene where meadow finally parks and starts running
in the diner...

the doors about to open, Tony looks up...

and No Chimes...

No Music...

Everything just goes black...

In one of the early episodes of the sopranos, tonys talking with
bobby about what it must feel like to die..

Bobby says "at the end, you probably dont hear anything, everything
just goes black"

part of that was revisited in the second to last episode during the
last seconds of it, when tonys about to go to sleep and he flashes
back to the memory of him and bobby on the boat... "You probably dont
hear anything everything just goes black"

so in the end, the Journey song was playing,"Don't Stop Believing" the chimes on the door
sounded but when meadow came in, the guy in the trucker hat came out
and killed tony...

its the reason you didn't hear, or see anything when he died... it was
from his perspective... and everything went black, then the credits
rolled.

Anonymous said...

First of all, why would the black guys still have any interest in killing Tony after so much time goes by?

Second of all, there is no boss in New York any more. Tony did a favor for Little Carmine, and Butchy killing Phil. Butchy told Tony "Do what you got to do", they were against killing Tony from the beginning.

Third of all, when ever there was anyone getting whacked in the sopranos, it happened as soon as the person walked in. Why would the trucker would order a coffee, allows everyone to see his face, finger prints, etc, and etc. The trucker whacking Tony seems VERY unpractical.

David Chase said he was not going to what the audience wanted him to do, which was to see Tony "whacked". The episode displayed how Tony's life was to continue, and he has to live the rest of his life looking over his shoulder in an uneasy fashion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said (in response):
What a hypocrite... You seem to be "Waaaay"to into it to. After all you wasted your time to post a comment. Also, everyone in our contry knows that we are at war, and some even know about the horrible deaths in Dufar. But let me ask you had you even heard of Dufar until recent media? I do belive that every life is equally important, however, what about the thousands of tax paying Americans(mostly children) who didn't have a meal today, or the millons of Americans who do not have health insurance. Shouldn't this be a more appropriate issue to be writing their local congressman(or woman).
After all, that is what we are paying them for. I will close by saying that to help some one else, or some other country, before we ourselves are on a better track,is absurd. Over the years
as a mother I have learned in order to raise healthy,well adjusted, and successful children that it is difficult (if not impossible)to do unless you yourself are in a stable condition.
How can we expect to make everyone elses problems (at our expense) if we can't even help ourselves?

In response:
Yes, I had heard of Darfur prior to media coverage... and I've visited concentration camps and have traveled extensively and have seen tragedy firsthand. As for you successfully raising your children - I'm sure you can't take all of the credit as your spelling is horrible. As is your grammar. My point was and still is, there are bigger issues in the world and I just think it is sort of absurd for people to be 'pissed off' over a TV finale. And finally, yes, we have our own problems on our own soil. Our tax dollars supposedly address these issues. Our sympathetic dollars address world issues. Smarten up!

Anonymous said...

Well I apologize in advance for my run on sentence and any possible spelling errors, but remember this is a blog. It is not neccecary be so arrogant and "artistically superior" You may have traveled "extensivly" and seen tragady first hand but what have you done about it? I, like you, believe there are much bigger issues in the world than a final episode (or any tv show). My point was, and still is, charity starts at home. And your response to our tax dollars leads me to believe you feel the same way. You said, "Our tax dollars SUPPOSEDLY take care of these issues. Our sympathetic dollars address world issues." Supposedly they should take care of these issues, but obviously they don't. As for my sympathetic dollars I will start cashing those in right here in my country. Like I said before and will say again- How can we (successfully)and why should we fix ever other countries crisis until we have our own issues and problems under control?

Anonymous said...

The Wierd Guy in the Grey Jacket, did NOT Whack Tony or His Family, Here is My Theory, I think when he came out of the Restroom and the whole family was there, so Tony Wouldn't do anything Drastic, He Walked up, Flipped Out His FBI ID, and Told Tony he had a Warrant for His Arrest, for Acts Committed Against the Rico Statutes; Or that is My Idea for the Movie Final Coupe De Gras, Have Him and the family going through the Trial, and See the Family Come Apart, Except for Pauly Whom Steps Up and Finally Gets His Shot at Running Things, first Order of Business Taking Out That Weasel 2nd In Command Boss of New York, This Story would End with the Silver Winged Phobia Ridden Prince that Survived Johnny, Junior, and Tony's Reign, Finally we get to see the Funniest, and quite possibly one of the best characters to get his do.

Or Tony did Get Whacked, as is suggested in Paulies Commercials for A&E, Where he asks, Will You Be there to Help Me When theres a Death in the Family, and they show Presumably Tony's Hand and Bracelet, But even this way, we could have a Killer Movie or follow up story about Pauly Taking the Reigns, Sil Comes out of the Coma only to Find Out Pauly is Running Things Now, still plenty of suspense and drama with AJ and also with New york.

If Chase is Really Tapped Out, I could Definitely Write the Script from here, I have watched ALL episodes so many times, I feel like I know his writing style, and have themes and ideas of my own to add to it.

Ciao' Mano.

Christopher Moltisante