Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Sopranos Finale: Were We Whacked?

There are so many theories out there regarding the final scene of the final Sopranos episode, that my head is starting to feel a bit like Phil Leotardo's must have felt -- even after getting shot. You think the folks at Ford liked that scene?

* Tony got whacked, and the screen going black is his perspective at his final moment. The whole "you never see it coming" angle that was mentioned several times this season.

* The screen going black is series creator David Chase's way of whacking the audience.

* Life goes on. There is no "ending" to the story. Tony and his family are having a meal together, and that's that.

* Choose your own ending. Chase sets up tension with the shady guy in the Members Only jacket (possible hit man?), and the extra time showing Meadow trying to parallel park (to purposely make her late as to avoid tragedy), while never paying off with showing us any real conflict. This way, when the screen goes black, if we want to believe Tony gets whacked, we can. If we want to believe they simply had a delightful order of onion rings, we can. If we want to believe that Tony was about to be offered the job as host of The Price Is Right, we can.

* The ending was left ambiguous in order to set up a movie down the line.

Lots of theories. Even the cast members are a little confused. Apparently there was more footage from that final scene that was left on the cutting room floor. Interesting comment from actor Matt Servitto (the FBI guy) in a story on
''In the script, the scene in the diner went a little further,'' Servitto
revealed. ''The gentleman sitting at the counter was much more mysterious, almost like he's walking to the table to shoot Tony, and then end of script.?
Interesting. And what about the Members Only guy? He indicates that his character had a motive, but wouldn't elaborate. An AP story says that
He claims to know definitely his character's intent and what happens following the episode's conclusion, but won't divulge it. "I do have an idea, but I cannot really talk," says Colandrea, who was discovered by a casting agent. "I have papers signed that I can't make any comments on that."
So, what is he hiding? All a ruse?

Maybe this was Chase's plan all along. Give the audience nothing, make them think about it for themselves, and have the debate rage on forever.

Personally, I wanted an ending. A legitimate ending. I'd rather have something I can agree or disagree with, than something I have to make up on my own.

Would you read a book if at the end, there was a blank page instead of the text telling you how things end? I wouldn't. I don't care about how "brilliant" David Chase is, or how unconventional his style is, or how we should expect nothing different than what Chase gave us, becuase "that's just how David Chase is".

I wanted more finality. And a Meadow nude scene wouldn't have hurt, either.

Now, pass the gabba-gool.

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