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The Sopranos Ends With a ... 519

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the quick-complain-in-the-forums dept.
If you still have your copy sitting unwatched on your Tivo, I'd suggest that you stop reading before you are spoiled. The show is done at last and apparently fans are freaking out over the bizarre ending. At my house, we thought at first that the DVR crashed until the credits appeared in silence. Personally I thought that a show known for such excess tried to take an artful bow: It didn't work for me, but I get it at least. Anyway, I had a number of Sopranos submissions this morning and figured I'd just post this comment to give people who were interested in discussing the end of the show a nice place to discuss before they cancel their HBO.
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The Sopranos Ends With a ...

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  • by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:16AM (#19464297) Homepage
    He's dead, Jim.
    • Re:He's dead, Jim (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zarkill (1100367) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:18AM (#19465011)
      Whatever the original artistic intent of this ending was, it occurred to me that if I was going to depict a guy getting whacked who never saw it coming - from that guy's own perspective - this might be just how I'd portray that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MontyApollo (849862)
        People had been complaining a lot for last few seasons about not enough whacking, so the creator gave the audience the ultimate whack - he whacked them. He set up a lot of tension and put you in the moment, while distracting you at the same time, and then whack - everything goes black. You never saw it coming.

        The 2nd to last episode was a trick to make people think they he had given in to the complaints and was going to have a whack-fest, but it was just a diversion. He was just setting the audience up to m
    • Re:He's dead, Jim (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jeremy_hogan (587864) <jeremy.hogan@hyp ... com minus distro> on Monday June 11, 2007 @12:53PM (#19467095) Homepage
      He's alive. And not just to leave it open for a movie or new series, but because the entire show was about this same cycle. The show was never about closure, or redemption, or the hero's journey. It was about making you sit in his seat for awhile, and see the world through his eyes, not a glorified "Top of the world ma!" go out in a blaze of glory type thing. It was an "end up in a wheel chair unaware of who you are" sort of thing.

      The break away to black was a crescendo to the tension they created with the folks walking in, looking shifty. "OMG, that guys gonna whack him!", "OMG, that dude is gonna shoot AJ", "OMG, Meadow's car will blow up."

      Why kill him? Why not show him being killed if he is? What lesson would we learn from that that we don't learn by him being alive, but trapped. By the life, the fear, the machine. He's not afraid to die, he's afraid of that senile old man in the chair.

      "This thing of ours, once you're in, there ain't no gettin' out." Which is a fitting prison for Tony, locked in a life of his own making, nostalgically trying to reach out for the "old days" when his Dad and Uncle June ran N. Jersey. But those days are gone, if they ever existed. There are no good old days, just days, and life goes on. Let's get some onion rings tonight, b/c there's a good chance we'll all be dead tomorrow.
    • Re:He's dead, Jim (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2007 @03:31PM (#19468803)
      I just got this e-mail from a friend, obviously a cut-and-paste but I don't know the source:

      "So here is what I found out. The guy at the bar is also credited as Nikki Leotardo. The same actor played him in the first part of season 6 during a brief sit down concerning the future of Vito. That wasn't that long ago. Apparently, he is the nephew of Phil. Phil's brother Nikki Senior was killed in 1976 in a car accident.
      Absolutely Genius!!!!
      David Chase is truly rewarding the true fans who pay attention to detail. So the point would have been that life continues and we may never know the end of the Sopranos. But if you pay attention to the history, you will find that all the answers lie in the characters in the restaurant. The trucker was the brother of the guy who was robbed by Christopher in Season 2. Remember the DVD players? The trucker had to identify the body.
      The boy scouts were in the train store and the brothas at the end were the ones who tried to kill Tony and only clipped him in the ear (was that season 2 or 3?). Absolutely incredible!!!! There were three people in the restaurant who had reason to kill Tony and then it just ends.
      This was Chase's way of proving that he will not escape his past. It will not go on forever despite that he would like it to "don't stop".
      Not the fans!!! Tony would like it to keep going but just as we have to say goodbye, so does he"
  • mmhm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mockylock (1087585) on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:16AM (#19464301) Homepage
    It completely sucked. It left you with thinking "he either got shot.. or didn't get shot."

    I guess their main objective was to leave question, but leave everyone realizing that he's got to spend the rest of his life in anxiety, wondering if he's going to get shot at any time.
    • Re:mmhm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:33AM (#19464513)
      he either got shot.. or didn't get shot.

      If Schrödinger wrote the script, all you had to do is open your TiVo box to know.
      • Supposedly the cat which we were repeteadly shown in the beginning but not in the end, and didnt know if he was killed or not, represented shroedingers cat. Which is what ended up happening to Tony.
      • Re:mmhm... (Score:5, Funny)

        by been42 (160065) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:43AM (#19465325) Homepage
        If Schrödinger wrote the script, all you had to do is open your TiVo box to know.

        Thanks for the suggestion!


        (Spoilers below):


        Tony makes a loud buzzing noise and catches fire. My house burns down. Damn, an interactive show finale! Great job, HBO!
    • Re:mmhm... (Score:4, Funny)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@@@gmail...com> on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:22AM (#19465063) Homepage Journal

      It completely sucked. It left you with thinking "he either got shot.. or didn't get shot."

      Try being a Blakes 7 fan. Meh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Robber Baron (112304)

      I guess their main objective was to leave question, but leave everyone realizing that he's got to spend the rest of his life in anxiety, wondering if he's going to get shot at any time
      No...the "main objective" was to leave the door open for future movie deals...
    • Re:mmhm... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ArcherB (796902) * on Monday June 11, 2007 @12:36PM (#19466831) Journal
      It completely sucked. It left you with thinking "he either got shot.. or didn't get shot."

      I guess their main objective was to leave question, but leave everyone realizing that he's got to spend the rest of his life in anxiety, wondering if he's going to get shot at any time.


      Their main objective was to have everyone talking about it, weighing in with their own theories as to what happened as the screen went black. I think it worked flawlessly.

      You may not like it, but you are still talking about it. Isn't that the goal of art? Not to produce something that everyone likes, but to produce something that has people thinking and talking about long after it's gone. You have to admit, it is brilliant!

  • The Sopranos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:17AM (#19464315) Journal
    I never was an avid fan of the Sopranos. My roommate was seriously in love with it and I'd catch an episode with him. I've seen only a handful and they spread across a broad spectrum from an interesting first season episode full of mob action & scheming to a kid shitting in a shower and stepping on it. Ok, so maybe I'm oversimplifying the episodes that slowly build up family strife and psychological problems that must come with being in organized crime families.

    Last night, it was very easy for me to accept the ending of the series finale. Because I wasn't addicted to the show. Logically, not all mob stories end in a Scarface-like explosion where everyone dies ... if they did, mobsters would have just killed each other off. But there are smart mobsters out there and what I took the ending to mean to me is that Tony is, after all, a smart mobster. He made it. Guys around him were dying left & right and his time had come but he struck a deal after holding out. I think they killed his brother or at least someone close to him but he was smart enough to write that casualty off. Not a lot of people could do that. Maybe this series chronicles the growth of an intelligent mobster? The old Tony might have made an offensive after that.

    I kept waiting for an assassin to pop out & kill Tony for the last half of the show. But, I didn't have a reason why that should have happened. Am I so trained by movies & books on endings that I can't accept one without a climax? My roommate new it was coming because he kept looking at his watch and saying stuff like "ok, shit better start happening because they've only got like 15 minutes." But you know, you're at the mercy of the writers and creaters of the show.

    It was unorthodoxed for it to end that way. I'm reminded of the utter ripoff I felt when I saw the last episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion. But that was due to funding, I think this was the idea of the minds behind the show. Good for them. I like seeing deviations from normality when I don't have to suffer from it. :)

    In the end, there were a lot of things that weren't wrapped up and I think that's the big problem a lot of fans are having to deal with. I think the reason so many fans are going to feel this is that the show started off as a badass mob series that attracted viewers of a certain nature who enjoy living a vicarious life of crime. Unfortunately, the ending just wasn't juicy enough to satiate that kind of appetite and I think that's why you'll hear so much about this. Personally, I liked it although I recognize that too many questions were left unanswered, too many futures were left uncertain & too many problems were left unresolved.

    But, hey, that's life, isn't it?
    • Re:The Sopranos (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FacePlant (19134) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:41AM (#19465307)
      I think the reason so many fans are going to feel this is that the show started off as a badass mob series that attracted viewers of a certain nature who enjoy living a vicarious life of crime.

      This show started off as a show about a mobster who's mother had driven him to panic attacks.
      It was not really until the actress playing Livia Soprano died that the show really took its turn into
      badass mob series. It was the quirk of a mobster in therapy that drew me to the show. It made for
      interesting drama.

      Unfortunately, the ending just wasn't juicy enough to satiate that kind of appetite and I think that's why you'll hear so much about this. Personally, I liked it although I recognize that too many questions were left unanswered, too many futures were left uncertain & too many problems were left unresolved.

      You have to give credit where its due. They sure as hell created massive tension in the last 5 minutes with all the cuts between the family at the table, the guy at the counter, meadow trying to parallel park, the other customers in the diner. The cut to black left me sitting in my dark living room, with my heart racing. It was a great ending. Life is tense. Life goes on. Life sucks, then you die. Shit happens. Shit fails to happen. Resolution is for the lucky.

      That was significantly better than a climactic gun fight, a last second hit, a wake-up from a dream, or, heaven help us, an animal-house-style what-happens-to-the-characters montage.

      Go black. Never go back.

      Ciao Tony Soprano. Thanks. It was fun while it lasted.
  • by ellem (147712) <ellem52@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:17AM (#19464317) Homepage Journal
    and I canceled HBO.

    Not just because the ending sucked but because there's nothing else I watch on those channels.

    But that episode really sucked. I get it, "You won't know it's coming. Everything will just go black."

    I don't care.

    Besides I really wanted to see Meadow and AJ beheaded. There I said it. I can't take it back. It's out there.
    • by OS24Ever (245667) *
      Entourage entertains me, if it wasn't coming back in a few weeks i'd have turned HBO off as well. once it's over though, HBO is off again until it comes back.
      • Entourage entertains me, if it wasn't coming back in a few weeks i'd have turned HBO off as well. once it's over though, HBO is off again until it comes back.
        There's a new Cathouse on Saturday.

        Just so you know.
    • by Gordonjcp (186804)
      I don't watch The Sopranos, and I didn't watch the last episode. What actually happened? Send me a private message if you don't want to post a spoiler.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:19AM (#19464337)
    That sense of tension and anxiety at the end is how Tony has to lead his life, every minute of every day. He doesn't know what's going to happen next, and now you know what that's like.
    • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Monday June 11, 2007 @11:02AM (#19465597)
      Yeah, that's exactly what I go out of it. The tension of that would drive me insane.

      People didn't get that? Christ, it was like a fucking neon sign. All they needed was a slow pan of a white wall.

      They set it up exactly as though there we going to be a hit on Tony. They did 3-4 minutes of just exposition, showing the happy couple, the Cub Scouts, the creepy guy at the bar. They played a memorable song (Journey's Don't Stop Believin' -- "it goes on and on and on and on...").

      People feel gyped because it wasn't a Hollywood ending. I loved the ending. It was memorable and it spoke to exactly what the series was about.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:20AM (#19464349) Journal
    Back when Slashdot was just a "stuff that Taco thinks is cool" site. I miss those days.
  • News for Couch Potatoes. Stuff that doesn't matter.
  • I felt like I was watching a David Lynch movie. It was a pure WTF!?! moment. I have psychological blue balls. As others have said, I think the cat was either Adriana, or Christopher. Despite the trick ending, there were a several fascinating plot tidbits.
  • I've read a few things this morning... I rather liked Lisa Schwarzbaum's writeup in Entertainment Weekly [ew.com].

    My wife was horribly dissapointed but I'm glad we get to wonder what they might be doing now, albeit without us watching...

    -S
  • He's dead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by avalys (221114) on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:28AM (#19464443)
    It was pretty clear to me that he died. Remember the flashback in the previous episode, where Bobby says "You never even hear it when it happens, do you?" Implying everything just goes black - you're dead before you even hear the gun being fired. Well, that's exactly what happened. The last thing Tony say was Meadow walking in the door.

    Earlier in the episode, he was eating an orange, which is a reference to the Godfather files that has been made before in the series. They signify death, don't they?

    I thought it was an excellent episode. It would be so cliche if they just showed him getting his head blown off, or even ended with a black screen and gunshot. If you pay attention, you pretty much know what happened. But you have to think about it.
    • Re:He's dead (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830) on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:55AM (#19464713)
      No, what happened is that all the fanboys and fangirls wanted it to end with a big grisly bloody killing spree and Chase didnt let it happen. The suggestion here is that their lives go on but you dont get to watch them anymore. Plus not killing off the main Sopranos family opens the show up to movies.

      The oranges, etc are red herrings. The show is full of red herrings. Not to mention that the show isnt from the POV of Tony, so going black doesnt mean the "camera" died.
    • That was my first gut reaction in that instance too, though I'm not fully convinced the more I think about it. What kind of helped sell it for me was what happened to Phil. I kept thinking he didn't even know that he was being whacked - it just went black for him. If I was Tony I would have wanted Phil to know that he lost and I won - just give a him a slight moment of "oh crap!", then whack him. So it kind of made an impression on me that Phil had none of that, just black. So that was my first thought ther
    • by Jonny_eh (765306) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:09AM (#19464865)
      He might also have not been shot. I just had to point that out.
    • Re:He's dead (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PoderOmega (677170) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:29AM (#19465143)
      The best comment I have read (on the imdb forums) regarding the ending that it is the viewer who was "wacked" at the end. We didn't even see it coming.
  • Lady or the Tiger? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pedropolis (928836)
    After 8 seasons I was hoping for an ending that was little more then a riff on The Lady or the Tiger, with a parsnip of The Godfather all set to a Journey soundtrack. Chase apologists will say this was an artful conclusion to the series, but that only stands so long as there is no Sopranos movie. It's an audacious end to the series, but as with most great TV shows an 8 season burden of developing plots cannot be concluded in 65 minutes with total satisfaction.
  • by Torqued (91619) on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:34AM (#19464523) Journal
    Sounds like they got the Seinfeld writers to come out of retirement to do the series finale episode.
    • by mrzaph0d (25646) <zaph0d@[ ]ztech.com ['cur' in gap]> on Monday June 11, 2007 @11:11AM (#19465735) Homepage
      Jerry: It's a finale about nothing.
      Tony: Nothing?
      George: Nothing.
      Tony: WTF do you mean about nothing?
      George: What'd you do this evening?
      Tony: Well, I had a meeting with some guys, then I went to dinner with my family.
      George: There, that's a finale.
      Tony: How is that a fuckin' finale?
      Jerry: Well, uh, maybe something happens on the way to dinner..
      George: No, no, no. Nothing happens.
      Jerry: Well, something happens.
      Tony: Get the fuck outta here!
  • I could have tolerated the ending of the Sopranos if Deadwood was still there to help you fogetaboutit. But they canceled that, too. Didn't even bother to wrap it up. Suck ending to the Sopranos, no Deadwood and instead some stupid surfer show that doesn't even make sense and Big Love which should be renamed Big Snoozer. No decent concert series, their comedy shows have gone down the toilet and all the movies you want to see are available on Netflix. C'ya.

    That giant sucking sound you hear today are m

  • by TheFlyingWonka (1107171) on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:46AM (#19464619) Homepage
    You know, I came up with a rather nice ending about a year ago that involved Big Pussy coming back from the dead as zombie and using voodoo to take over Tony's crew, then going to war with Phil and then the rest of the Five Families. I even wrote a theme song (to the tune of the Three's Company theme song)...such a pity they didn't use it. Now that would've been a great setup for a spinoff. People like the mafia, they like zombie flicks...how could it fail?
    • You know, I came up with a rather nice ending about a year ago that involved Big Pussy coming back from the dead as zombie and using voodoo to take over Tony's crew, then going to war with Phil and then the rest of the Five Families. I even wrote a theme song (to the tune of the Three's Company theme song)...such a pity they didn't use it. Now that would've been a great setup for a spinoff. People like the mafia, they like zombie flicks...how could it fail?

      Comming next: "a made for sci-fi orginal movie"

    • People like the mafia, they like zombie flicks...how could it fail?
      Will zombie Yakuzas [imdb.com] do?
  • This mental patient wakes up and we realize the whole series was just a dream.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by robbkidd (154298)

      This mental patient wakes up and we realize the whole series was just a dream.
      Just so long as the mental patient doesn't get up from bed and find Bobby in the shower.
  • Life goes on even though there is the impending "threat" of violence. It was an attempt to let us see through this character's (Anthony's) eyes a constant threat, similar to that of many Americans. If you let it consume you, you will end up anxious or worst case scenario, preemptively attacking another country, "God forbid."
  • by antdude (79039)
    I don't watch this series, but it was interesting to see how the rating was on TV.com [tv.com]. I guess everyone didn't like this series finale. :(
  • by technomom (444378) on Monday June 11, 2007 @09:55AM (#19464717)
    HBO hates, hates, hates time-shifting and anything else that replicates their content without paying them tribute. It was not in their best interest to put on a great show that would be Tivoed and passed around the internet.

    It has been stated many times that Chase filmed several endings. He did not do that to keep the actors and writers from knowing the ending.

    He did that so that HBO could put the better, alternate endings onto highly marked up "collector's edition" DRM'ed DVDs for us to buy.

    Here's my belated Sopranos prediction: Within a few short months, certainly in time for Christmas, the alternate endings will appear on DVD. This will be heavily advertised. The base price DVDs will be a piece of crap. Ysou'll have to buy the collector's edition to get the alternate endings plus other "exclusive" content. The DVD will use a "better" encryption than ever before, followed by the inevitable posting of the decryption key or keys by some geek on digg.

    It's not personal, it's just business.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by antifoidulus (807088)
      Actually, of all channels in the US, HBO should care the least about TiVo beause it's main purposes are time shifting and skipping commercials. However, since HBO doesn't have commercials, they don't care if you skip them. And why should they care if you use a TV to timeshift? You still paid them. Also, I doubt most of the shows on torrent sites originated on TiVo, so much easier to go the old tv capture card route(and get software to snip the commercials or just do it yourself)
    • huh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Animaether (411575) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:37AM (#19465237) Journal
      "DRM'ed DVDs" and ''DVD will use a "better" encryption than ever before''

      huh?

      If it's a plain ol' DVD, that will play back in any regular ol' DVD player, then there's no DRM. There's encryption, sure, but the CSS encryption was cracked completely. Done. They *could* encrypt the thing better, but then it won't play back on DVD players - it's no longer a DVD.

      Now perhaps you actually meant it'll only be available on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, and by some magic way the HD-DVD version won't be 'cracked' almost instantly (as the keys have been found for HD-DVD perpetually).. or, knowing that HD-DVD's only protection is swiss cheese, only go with Blu-Ray and its additional protection layer.

      Or maybe it is a DVD - but a data DVD, and you can only play it back on a special HBO set top box media center thingamajig?

      Anyway.. if it comes out on DVD at all, it'll be ripped in no time.
      ===
      Other than that, I fully agree with what you're saying - production companies are exploiting the Regular > Special Edition > Collector's Edition > Director's Cut > Director's Cut Collector's Edition > etc. thing up the wazoo. I wish it would stop - but it's a moneymaker, so I doubt it will. As you said - it's just business.. but it's pretty dirty business.

      I don't mind the model in general - I don't mind paying extra for additional content if that's what I want to see. What I do mind is if you have e.g. a Special Edition which has bonus features A, B, C and a Collector's Edition which has bonus features B, C, D, and a Director's Cut which has features B, D, E and F You'd have to buy all three to get the full extras. That's just lame.
  • I'm curious, of the people who watch Sopranos and are old enough to have gone through the previous pop culture obsession with the mob, around the time of The Godfather, what's the attraction still? It all seems so '80s to me.

    This probably reads like a troll, but I'm genuinely interested, because I so don't get it. Think of it as a personal failing on my part, and point out the cultural riches I'm missing out on.
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:28AM (#19465117)

      I'm curious, of the people who watch Sopranos and are old enough to have gone through the previous pop culture obsession with the mob, around the time of The Godfather, what's the attraction still? It all seems so '80s to me.

      This probably reads like a troll, but I'm genuinely interested, because I so don't get it. Think of it as a personal failing on my part, and point out the cultural riches I'm missing out on.
      People have a fascination with badasses and few people have a better image of badassery than mobsters. All of us live life constrained by the rules and subservient to those with power. Mobsters take power and make their own rules. We see the danger they live in and see ourselves as too timid to embrace the prospect of self-destruction at any moment but our popular image of the mobster is that he lives and dies hard. Of course, since most of us also have no direct experience with these people, we fill in the blanks with our own romantic ideas of what goes down. I remember reading about one mobster who went with his mugs to go see a crime picture. He was very impressed with the fictional mob rites of loyalty and oath-taking. "Dis stuff is good," he said to one of his goombahs. "We need to be doin' dis."

      Mobsters were simply the latest flavor of the generation. Before the mobster fascination we had cowboys and gunfighters. Before that we had romantic notions of pirate kings and exotic foreign lands. If you think the mobsters are bad, you don't even want to read about what hardcore pirates were like. The level of violence and brutality is sickening to see described in words on paper, I cannot even imagine what it looked like in person. And somehow, despite all that, we see pirates celebrated as shady but with hearts of gold.

      But here's the funny part. What do you call a truly successful pirate or mobster? Your majesty. Seriously. Where do you think the ruling houses and nobles came from? Sure, ten generations down the line the House of Someguy is represented by some effete twit but I guarantee you the original Someguy was a badass you did not want to cross. And the best mobsters were the ones who figured out how to operate with the law on their side. Robber-baron was not a title of pressroom hyperbole. Where did Daddy Kennedy make his money? Rum-running. How did George W. Bush's grandpappy get rich? Doing business with the Nazis.

      We don't see movies made about average joes living contented lives. We never read about the farmboy who stayed home, obeyed his fathers wishes and took over the farm. We read about his brother, the one who ran away to join the Navy, who decided to fight in some noble war in some far-flung land. We read about the man with the ambition to do something great, no matter how much blood was needed to grease the wheels. It is spectacle, it is horror, and it is a dreadful fascination, and newspapermen will continue to make money feeding that curiosity.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by alienmole (15522)
        Thanks for the reply. But you've tangentially hit on exactly why I don't find the classic fictional Sicilian mob very interesting: they're dumb. They physically hurt or kill each other for no good reason, or for reasons which only make sense in their twisted reality frame. They don't seem able to rise above this dumbness, no matter what happens. They're uncivilized, literally: they haven't quite figured out that "do unto others..." doesn't mean "do others before they do you".

        Mobster movies never end wit
        • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday June 11, 2007 @12:45PM (#19466963)

          Thanks for the reply. But you've tangentially hit on exactly why I don't find the classic fictional Sicilian mob very interesting: they're dumb. They physically hurt or kill each other for no good reason, or for reasons which only make sense in their twisted reality frame. They don't seem able to rise above this dumbness, no matter what happens. They're uncivilized, literally: they haven't quite figured out that "do unto others..." doesn't mean "do others before they do you".
          Prepare for more disappointment in life: humans in general are dumb. The dotcom I worked at had so many deals walking in the door it wasn't even funny. Management could have actually paid to develop the snake-oil they were selling and turn it into a real product. Unfortunately, that wasn't even in their radar. You'd think that people would see the benefits in taking a modest cut of whatever business they're in and spread the wealth around, improving the quality of life for all and thus indirectly benefiting themselves. But people don't work that way. You remember what Milton's Satan said, "It's better to reign in hell than serve in heaven?" If you gave these power-crazed fucks the option of living in a high state of luxury along with everyone else or living in a dark ages castle as the king, they'd pick the kingship every time. Why? Because they have to be the king of shit hill. Life has no meaning if they cannot have more than someone else, a way of demonstrating superiority and dominance. So what if it means the kingship's living standards are worse than anything our modern American poor would put up with, that fuck still gets to be king.

          Mobster movies never end with a conversion into legitimate business. Casinos don't count, since at least in their fictional representation, they're little more than fronts, an excuse for the same murderous macho silliness in a modern context. Attempts at such a conversion typically end in disaster, presumably as some kind of morality play. So Sicilian screen mobsters are not like the Kennedys, Bushes, Carnegies, or Windsors.
          Um, have you paid any attention to the current war we're in? "Murderous macho silliness in a modern context" sums it up nicely. As for the Kennedeys, their worst scandals have been with the kids that will never amount to anything. With Windsor, it's been so many generations since they became a line of nobility that I don't think the family historian even remembers how they made their fortune. Carnegie was a motherfucker who built museums and contributed to charity to make himself feel better at the end of his days when he thought back to how many died to build that fortune. He used Pinkertons to break strikes and if there is a hell, he'll surely be burning there. I don't remember hearing anything about his descendants. If he has any, they certainly know how to keep a lower profile than Paris.

          Perhaps it's similar to the fascination with celebrities and rich people having troubled lives: showing that the behavior we can't have doesn't lead to anything good, anyway. But in this case, who ever imagined that it did?
          I think it's more a matter of schadenfreude. Look, those rich bastards aren't enjoying it any more than we are. Or it could just be that the average tabloid reader's life is such a yawning chasm of emptiness that they are forced to live vicariously through the thrills of others. "The only mark I'll leave in life is the splat on the sidewalk when I finally jump. To kill time until then, let's see what the beautiful people are doing."
  • by minniger (32861) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:03AM (#19464785)
    At first I was like: WTF?

    But then I realized we were looking at every action around him as a source of danger... Expecting anything to happen. And for that short few minutes we knew what it was like to be Tony. Could be the FBI waiting to grab you, could be some hired killers edging their way toward your table and entire family, the whole damn place could explode, etc...

    No nice tidy bow wrapped ending for us or Tony, just another rev of the same wheel.

  • by grev (974855) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:07AM (#19464833)
    I don't believe there is a correct interpretation of the ending, I think that's the whole point. Offer the viewer no solace, force them to think about what they have just watched, and let them decide on what that may be, regardless of what it is.
  • ...a cop out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killmenow (184444) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:12AM (#19464927)
    That's exactly what the series ended with. You can read into it all the "meaning" you like. The fact is, the writers, directors, producers, et. al., left it wide open. "How do we end it?" they all said to themselves. Then, HBO executives, said: "Just don't. Don't end it at all. Don't have Tony dead. Don't have him in jail. Don't have him run to his new FBI friend and make a deal. Don't resolve anything. Don't do anything that will lock us into or out of possible future revenue. Just cut to black." And the rest of them, in unison, standing their in muffled awe, breathed "Genius."
  • by tedgyz (515156) * on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:18AM (#19464999) Homepage
    I'm on Season 6, Episode 7. Thank you Netflix. This season is great and I can't wait to see Season 7 - it is getting hard to dodge the spoilers.
  • by keytohwy (975131) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:28AM (#19465129)
    It reminded me of that Beatles song, "She's So Heavy" on Abbey Road. They'd worked themselves into this song and didn't know how to end it. Eventually, the editor took a pair of scissors and cut it at a random spot. I wonder if there isn't some correlation. David Chase is a huge music fan. Anyway, it's not the ending many of wanted or expected, but I liked it. keytohwy
  • by kinglink (195330) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:38AM (#19465265)
    The last show kind of spoke to me in an odd way. I mean don't get me wrong, I loved the episode before with the huge blood bath, but that is a very rare occurrence in Sopranos. Sopranos is more about the drama, and that's what we get in the episode.

    That being said the ending had me hooked because every couple seconds I was saying "oh god don't do it here" and I had a feeling it was his final scene. But I believe the ending was his death, as Bobby Baccala said in the first episode this season you don't even hear it. Why else cut the music and the screen? I think the show was over and so was his life.

    But that will be a series ender people will talk about for years, and as such kudos to David Chase.
  • Good riddance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swordgeek (112599) on Monday June 11, 2007 @10:50AM (#19465423) Journal
    OK, I may be in a minority here, but I'm ecstatic that this show is finally over. Glorified sex, glorified violence, and power. The typical bullshit of "holding a mirror up to society" is more of a lie with this show than most movies that similarly glorify street violence, etc. Worse, they lower society's standard of acceptable behaviour.

    The last show I was this happy to see check out was Friends. Finally, another execrable piece of shite not wasting any more resources that could be used for a worthwhile purposes.
  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday June 11, 2007 @11:35AM (#19466023)
    "If you still have your copy sitting unwatched on your Tivo, I'd suggest that you stop reading before you are spoiled..."

    I'd just like to thank those involved for learning a lesson over the Lone Gunmen fiasco.
  • by moxley (895517) on Monday June 11, 2007 @11:53AM (#19466295)
    It's amazing to me how many people really just didn't get it.

    The ending left a lot open to speculation, but one thing that it didn't leave open (IMO) is Tony's fate.

    Tony is dead - if you watch episode #78 "Soprano Home Movies," while Tony and Bobby are on the lake they are talking about what happens to people like them, and specifically about what it's like to get killed. Tony says something along the lines of "you don't hear the one that gets you," and Bobby asks "what do you tin happens when you die," to which Tony replies "nothing, everything just goes black."

    Then, in last week's episode, "#85 The Blue Comet," Tony flashes back to this scene while he is lying in bed "everything just goes black."

    Even David Chase said in an interview that the key to how it ends is in that first episode (Soprano Home Movies), and to make sure people would remember this he put Tony flashing back to that moment at the end of "#85 The Blue Comet."

    On top of all of that there was so much death symbolism in the episode...I definitely had to watch it twice, but he definitely got clipped - and I think the finale was awesome.

    In addition to the death symbolism and foreshadowing, the show made a lot of points about America - hence the title.
    • Here is the exact dialog from that episode:

      'Bobby: "I mean yeah, our line of work, it's always out there...bet you don't even hear it when it happens, right?"
      Tony: "Ask your friend in there, on the wall"
      Bobby: "(laughs) Listen to us...morbid fucks." '

      Nowhere does anyone say 'everything goes black', or anything even remotely like that (and if you want to see what it looks like to 'not even hear it', I suggest you re-watch the execution of Jerry Torciano). The truth is that there are some people o
  • Tony is not dead! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bueller_007 (535588) on Monday June 11, 2007 @01:56PM (#19467769)
    I would like to espouse the theory that Tony is not dead. I believe *the viewer* is dead. People may have had a point about Tony dying if the series were shot primarily in first person. But it's not. And besides, Tony tied up most of his loose ends during the episode. Who was left to whack him? (Not to mention that David Chase seems to have taken some pains to add the little-known song "I'm Alive" by Tommy James & The Shondells to the jukebox list, and the fact that the final song was called "Don't Stop Believing".)

    No. *We* got shot by the suspicious Italian guy when he was coming out of the bathroom, or perhaps by the two African-American guys (just like Tony's close encounter in Season 1).

    Clearly the end was meant to be somewhat ambiguous (to understate the point), but I truly believe that the intention was to kill US, not to kill Tony. Life goes on for the Soprano family, just like it has in every other episode. It does NOT go on for us. The viewer finally experiences what has happened to so many other characters on the show. We're dead before we even hear the shot.

    Tony didn't get whacked. WE DID.

    I find it hard to believe that anyone would complain about the ending. It's difficult to get more closure on a TV show than one's own death.
  • I feel... (Score:5, Funny)

    by christurkel (520220) on Monday June 11, 2007 @02:20PM (#19468059) Homepage Journal
    ...a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out, "The fuck?"
  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Monday June 11, 2007 @06:59PM (#19471879)
    The point was to make the viewers feel, if only for a few moments, the way Tony Soprano feels every single moment of his life.

    The absolute paranoia. The focus on every single little detail. The search for the smallest scrap of meaning in anything as if our lives depended on it because they do.

    I watched it with a bunch of friends and every single one of us was on the edge of our seats, every single one of us was muttering something along the lines of "oh, no, here it comes," and every single one of us jumped when it went to black, just completely confused.

    As endings go, Six Feet Under was *closure* and it was brilliant. The Sopranos wasn't closure, not by a long shot, but it left me with something just as satisfying - I got it. I finally understood, just for a minute, how Tony Soprano works and I felt sympathy for this monster.

    That's pretty good in my book!

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