Monday, June 11, 2007 roll the dice, one moooore tiiiiime

The Sopranos finale was last night, and I loved it. It closes the book on what I consider to be my favorite drama of all time. If you haven't seen it yet, don't read any further unless you don't care about knowing how it ends.
I expected the reaction, after witnessing it myself and letting it digest, to be split down the middle between people liking it, and hating it. It seems now after 24 hours, more people hate it than I expected!
I can understand that some people will feel 'jipped' or 'cheated.' They didn't get a 'hit you over the head' ending with death, or Tony being arrested, or anyone flipping on Tony(save for the quiet Carlo storyline). However, there was most certainly a climax to this show.
The last few minutes of that show were the most intense moments of TV watching I've ever experienced. I am sorry to say that if you did not watch it last night, or today, with your friends or family, and watch that heart pounding DINER scene(yes, a diner scene was heart pounding) and only watch it after reading reviews and hearing your friends talk about it, I sincerely doubt your heart will beat up to your throat like every body's who watched last night did. I hope I'm wrong for some of you, but it seems to me it will be hyped too much and your expectations will be too high. It can't be described well enough to make up for it. If you missed it, I'm sorry.
That scene had all the history of the show, and any other mob movie or show for that matter, running through your brain. There was a Godfather reference, there were shady characters about, a man walks into the bathroom, two thugs walk in, all the while Tony sizes each and every person who walk in up with the same look of underlying paranoia and suspicion. Even when Carmela, AJ and Meadow finally make their entrances, he is barely able to crack a smile as they approach. While all this is going on, I shit you not, Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' is playing, Tony chose it on the jukebox and that song couldn't be more perfect for this scene. You are filled with absolute dread and joy at the same time. Appropriately still, 'Any Way You Want It' is the other Journey song available for selection, which is exactly how this show ends.
The last moment is when Meadow, after finally parking her car after a few unsuccesful attempts, gets to the door of the diner. Tony looks at a few more songs, hears the bell that the door makes when it opens, looks up, and BAM.
Nope, not a gun shot. Nothing. The screen cuts to black, the song cuts out, and there is nothing but a black screen for 10 seconds. The credits roll after those 10 seconds and in silence, the Sopranos show is over.
At the apartment, after we all took it in, we talked about it. Some said it's all so they can have a movie down the road. Some were mad that there was no resolution (IE - Tony didn't die, Tony didn't go to jail, Nobody flipped on Tony, we don't know what happens when Meadow walks in,we know nothing of what happens 'next').
Out there in the world, there are a lot of opinions too. Some out there feel it was a horrible, cop out ending. Some say the blackness and silence mean that Tony was killed at that instant, and just like Bobby Baccala once sermised - 'Maybe there's nothing when it's your time to go. You never see it coming, and it's just blackness.'
I don't believe Tony Soprano is dead, but I could be wrong, that's part of the beauty of the ending. It's open for interpretation, and there were enough teases in those few moments of the show that no-one will ever know for sure if they are right, save for David Chase telling everyone what he intended.
What I saw in that Diner was typical, miserable Tony Soprano, just trying to get through dinner with his family after the 'war' with NY was finished. In that scene we finally all felt that tension that exists within Tony as he lives his life. He provides all the comforts and pleasures for his Wife and Kids, they even made a point to show AJ driving an M3 Beemer, and Meadow was driving a brand new Lexus. All the while, he has to constantly be looking over his shoulder at who is there, around him, at all times, because as the boss, especially coming off a mob war, he could get hit at any time. Is that a fate worse than death? Is that how he ultiamtely pays for the being creepy, murdering asshole that he is?
The people in the diner are all seemingly familiar faces too. The cub scouts are like the kids that witnessed Bobby's death. The two thugs are like the two that tried to shoot Tony back in the 2nd season(or are they Hesch's friends looking for revenge?) The 'Man in the Member's Only' jacket looks like a perfect fit to be the man who whacks Tony, and ends up being the gent who heads to the bathroom, Godfather style. All these familiar faces, seemingly regular people to you and I, but to Tony Soprano, they could be the one who takes him out. That's terrifying, and we all experienced it along with Tony.
The way that scene panned out was extraordinary. The way a mundane task like parralel parking your car became such a moment of tension for the audience, it fucking kept me holding my breath. That diner scene, was more than enough payoff for me.
You'll hear people complain that they 'wasted their time' with this show. No fucking way! If any of us feel that tension and drama and fear and excitement that those last few minutes garnered again in our TV watching lifetime, we should consider ourselves lucky.
Some will say David Chase is a, I'm not so inclined to call him a messiah. But he did definitely hit a most memorable hot streak of writing and creativity that has cemented his place in TV history, for whatever that's worth to everybody out there. So, in the end, there is no way of knowing if Tony's been shot, or if they just enjoy their dinner together and go on living their life. That life being the type we just watched 6 seasons of unfold, where we grew to love and root for abosolutely despicable examples of human beings. Maybe David Chase just wanted to give a big ol' 'Fuck You' to America with this whole show? No matter how you slice it, The Sopranos will be talked about, studied, written about, and debated over for as long as we all live.
As I said, I loved the ending, and I loved this show. Yes, seasons 4 and 5 dragged a little, and we got a few too many filler epsiodes, but the build to the end was great, and that last scene was the big payoff. Personally I got what I wanted in the finale, I had these thoughts going in:
I did not want to see Tony die.
I did not want to see Tony go to jail.
I wanted to see Phil Leotardo get killed, and that fucking scene delivered 100 times over. "Ohhhh shit" = Incredible.
I got all three of those things, so I'm pretty darn happy.
In closing, as fans of this show 'Some will win, some will lose, some are born to sing the bluuuuuuues.'
The Sopranos will be missed.


Post a Comment

<< Home