Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Sopranos Ending

****Spoilers abound below so don't read if you don't want to know****

So it's over. I didn't get to watch the finale until 5 hours after it aired, since I was at a concert in the city. I loved the majority of the episode until the ending. Phil Leotardo got whacked as everyone expected but it wasn't as gratuitous as anyone would have hoped or come to expect from the series. In fact all I thought when I saw the car roll over his head post-cap-busting was that it was a scene ripped off from Six Feet Under. The famous "beginning death" of all those episodes had one where a guy has a heart attack getting out of his car in his driveway, and his melon explodes open. Didn't come across original for me at all, and ended up being more comical with the 2 grandkids in the backseat than anything.

Going in there were SO many possibilities.

-Would Tony die? (No.)
-Would Tony's kids die? (No.)
-Would he be betrayed by someone from his crew? (No.)
-Would AJ do something ridiculous? (No.)
-Would the missing Russian from the Pine Barrens return?! (No.)
-Would Meadow not be able to park for 20 minutes? (Yes.)
-Would be see onion rings and a Jersey diner? (Yes.)

Hell I live in NJ, I know what the diners are like. I love the onion rings, but come on what a cheap cheap cut to black ending. I don't buy the critics and existentialist s blathering on that Chase was "staying true" to the show or himself. If you look at every season finale from him there was at least a feeling of resolution, even if nothing was actually resolved. Season 2 or 3 really sticks out in my mind where they play the Rolling Stones' "Waiting On A Call From You" while they pan around everyone going about their daily business like normal. The shot cuts to the Jersey coast, the ocean water where Big Pussy is now "swimming with the fishes." THAT was a powerful ending, even though we got nothing neatly tied up.

Did THAT ending answer any future questions? No, tons of things were left in the air but it was a brilliant ending. Using a very popular Journey song just felt like a cop-out (even though they've sampled much Journey in the shows soundtrack before a music-director's favorite to be sure as was Annie Lennox or The Eurythmics) and an insult.

Chase has stated that they weren't trying to mess with anyone but how could you NOT know that an ending like that would split fans? Rumors were flying wild that 2 other endings were shot and would only be included on the DVD which, if it were actually true, would be the most ridiculous thing yet.

"The line to cancel HBO starts here," wrote Hollywood analyst Nikke Finke on her Deadline Hollywood Web site. "What a ridiculously disappointing end. ... Even if David Chase ... was demonstrating the existential and endless loop of Tony's life or the moments before the hit that causes his death, it still robbed the audience of visual closure. And if it were done to segue into a motion picture sequel, then that kind of crass commercialism shouldn't be tolerated. There's even buzz that the real ending will only be available on the series' final DVD. Either way, it was terrible."

I couldn't agree more. I've come to expect more and instead I got:

-AJ's catalytic converter ignites his car
-Carmela builds houses
-Meadow parking for 20 minutes
-Tony back where he started, not in therapy and none-improved
-Paulie as superstitious as ever
-Silvio in a (un-Tony-like) dreamless coma
-"Don't Stop Believing" cut off while we're teased at Tony dying.

At least I can't say in the final episode there wasn't @(#$%!'in ziti.

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