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Monday, June 11, 2007

Brilliant End to a Brilliant Series: The Sopranos

I was wrong in my prediction of the finale but not disappointed. I am very surprised by some of the "reviews" I've read this morning about the last episode of this magnificient series. "Fans Get Whacked" said one wag about the lack of "bang boom" ending.

Did these people learn nothing during the past eight years watching this show?

Creator David Chase could have even ended the series with the last episode and that had orignally be the intention. However, a few more loose ends were wrapped up with the finale (not all) but it wasn't a nice, neat package. There were no show-stopping events, not even the slaying of Phil Leotardo qualified for that. That was a typical hit with some interesting car action to add a solid period to the end of that death sentence.

What is it the supposedly disappointed fans of the series wanted? A bloodbath? Dr. Melfi changing her mind about having Tony as her patient? "Ade" showing up, never having been killed by turncoat Silvio? I did predict a death that would be a personal blow to Tony however I did not feel let down by Chase's script for the finale.

The main horror in this show is the life that has been chosen and the lack of psychological freedom. There is always something serious to worry about, usually life threatening. The whackings were a physical manifestion but not the ultimate horror except maybe to the person being whacked, of course.

Can you imagine choosing a life where you always have wonder if your closest friends are people you can really trust? You can't even sit at a traffic light without wondering who the people are pulling up beside you or even behind you. You never sit with your back to the door. I'm not feeling sorry for those who choose the life and have these consequences but it does make me wonder what kind of desperado wants to live this way. Tony Soprano seemed to be having some major breakthroughs in revelations about life and what was important. But those spiritual insights were short-lived.

The horror goes on for Tony and he continues to choose to live that horror. That was what the last episode was about: more of the same. Nothing really did change with Tony. He was continuing to live the life. There was no resolution. No conclusion. One character in his life lives and dies and another moves in to replace that character. The vicious cycle doesn't change. It will never change and neither will Tony Soprano.

That's what the last episode made so clear and evidently so many fans and reviewers missed.

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