Bada Bing, Bada ::plink:: (Sopranos season/series finale spoilers)
And so it ends. The Sopranos is finally, finally over. After a season of watching David Chase meter out a slow roll of Scorcese style blood letting, he ends the series without passing judgement on his main character (and some articles suggest, alter ego) Tony Soprano.
The episode seemed to do two things 1) hit the “Star Trek” reset button. Trekkers know what happens when ever one of the starships and it’s crew undergo some sea change, like a major character’s death or transmorphing; some psuedoscience (usually time travel) makes it possible for everything to return to normal. Rather than using space mysticism, Tony simply buys and or bargains everyone off. He draws AJ back to being AJ by getting him a job that would ostensibly lead to some cushy Hollywood producer’s gig (don’t Tony’s deals often end up being worthless for everyone but Tony?). He ends the Leotardo thing by brokering a deal with Phil’s underbosses. It’s only Meadow, who true to character, continues to forge her own way, though we imagine it’s at her father’s good graces.
Still, as in other season finales, doom looms. So 2) is following the regular trajectory of the show. The Feds are onto him, even with friends on the inside, it’s likely Tony could do some time. Leotardo was hit, a boss, and there may be some reprocussions. Meadow’s new lad (a lawyer and his underboss’ son) may be onto a case that would put Tony in jeopardy.
I don’t buy the idea that the ending was left open to allow for a Sopranos movie. Chase really seems done with the series (based on reading the piece in GQ a couple months back) and Gandolfini seems ready to move on as well. I don’t think the ending was done deliberately to allow us to form our own opinion about whether Tony was going to finally meet a well deserved end with a 9mm bullet to the dome. The most likely answer is that their lives will go on in the way we’ve come to see them, just that we wont be peeking in.
Over the seven years the show has been on, it has been one of the few shows I’ve been compelled to watch without missing a beat. Chase and Gandolfini have been able to master what is usually considered to be a nearly impossible task, follow and even identify with a really nasty, devious, self centered, murderous, larcenous, mendacious human being (insert Bush joke here). They were able to attract a crapload of talent, though I’ll always remember the short stint by Steve Buscemi.
One may speculate on what will happen to the characters in the series. Too easy. Tony gets pinched, Meadow serves vainly on the defense team, Carmela makes a living by selling homes to hipsters who get off on being shown a home by Mrs Tony Soprano, AJ moves back home after making the mistake of greenlighting a sequel to Cleaver, Sil never wakes up, etc
I’m more curious about what happens to the actors. Gandolfini and Falco have careers prior to the show. Van Zandt has a career already established, playing with some crappy New Jersey band. Wonder what happens to Iler? Another pop record from Sigler?
Deadwood, Oz, and now The Sopranos, down. The Wire on the way out. Guess it’s time to dump HBO (HA! Like I’m hanging around to watch Entourage)