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NED, DON'T READ THIS
11 June 2007
The same caution goes for anybody who hasn't seen the final episode of The Sopranos yet and doesn't want to read anything about it.
I know what that's like. I go out of my way to avoid any spoilers in shows that I follow and it bugs me when I accidentally stumble over the plot somewhere from someone on the east coast who has seen the show three hours before I do.
For me, the finale is part of the whole process, and it spoils enjoyment of the process to already know the ending.
(It's the same reason I don't read the last chapter of mysteries, too!)
Along with millions of fans across the country, I have been eagerly awaiting the last episode of The Sopranos. Theories have been flying hot and heavy across the internet. Everybody had an idea of how it should end. Tony should be whacked. Tony should be arrested on a RICO charge. Tony should go into the Witness Protection program. Nothing special should happen. It should just end. Period. Someone even thought Dr. Melfi would run him down in her car.
My attraction to The Sopranos began to waver a bit last season. I got hooked on it in Netflix videos and devoured the first four seasons in about 2 weeks. I finished Season 4 just about the time Season 5 was set to air.
Season 5 was a disappointment. It seemed the same show over and over again. I suppose devotees and those who examine each episode with a fine tooth comb found import in it, but by the end of Season 5, I was kind of tired of the language, tired of what had begun to seem like killings for the sake of killing.
But I stuck with it and I returned to watch Season 6, which was split in half, tantalizingly giving us half the first year and the second half two years later. (or maybe it only seemed like two years later).
Wherever we were when the last eight episodes began, the show took a giant step up. After the first episode, I thought "Wow! Now that's why I got hooked on this show."
The subsequent episodes have only built on that first one and so we all knew that the last Sopranos ever (they continued to remind us) was going to blow us out of the water.
I waited anxiously for the show to begin and as it moved forward there were all those tantalizing little bits that left you wondering what was going to happen next. All those opportunities for something catastrophic to happen. The stranger who passes by...does he have a gun in his coat? The funeral with everybody present. Will someone open fire and take down the whole crew? The FBI guy--is he setting Tony up? Son A.J., who attempted suicide a couple of episodes ago -- is his righteous indignation compounded by his depression and the discovery that he has a mean streak in him going to cause him to be the one to turn on his father? Is the smell in Carmella's house something nefarious? Does the flight of geese over Tony's house, bringing the whole series full circle, signify anything?
The teasers kept coming, but the show seemed to plod. I kept watching the clock. It was 6:45. Only 15 minutes for "it" to happen. Not much time to set up anything. Tony would be whacked. There wasn't enough time to do anything else.
6:50 and still nothing.
6:57. Only three minutes to go. Tony, Carmella and A.J. sit in a booth eating onion rings while Meadow tries to park her car outside. This means that Meadow will escape "it" because she doesn't know how to parallel park.
But no, in comes Meadow and joins the family in the booth, which is the signal for the creepy looking guy at the bar to get up and saunter by the table...and into the bathroom. OK--it's not the creepy guy.
The black guys come in at 6:58. Didn't realize that anybody contracted with black guys, but whatever.
My heart was pounding.
And then it was 7 p.m. and "it" happened. The screen suddenly went to black as I sat there thinking "what the fuck?" (Yes, nice little old lady like me thinking "what the fuck?") Had we lost the signal just at the crucial moment?
And then the credits rolled. Once again, David Chase had ended a show on a nice family having dinner after an hour of mayhem and bloodshed and catastrophes.
There will be exclamation points all over the internet tomorrow. On San Francisco Chronicle TV critic Tim Goodman's web page the first two comments set the stage for what I am sure is going to be the tone of the debate...well...forever:
Whether you loved or it hated it, one thing is clear — nobody who watched it will ever forget it. And probably few will have a blasé attitude about it.
Read Goodman's review and comments on the show here.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Another picture from our Brasilian son, Pujol
This is entry #2630