Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We Get No Such Thing as An Soprano Ending

Friends of ours: Soprano Crime Family

We get a basket of onion rings, hailed by Tony Soprano as Jersey's best.

We get shifty-eyed diner customers, one of whom (whoa, look out!) just shuffled off into the bathroom.

We get a 25-year-old Journey song on the jukebox.

We get Meadow's abysmal parallel parking effort, reminiscent of a teen's first driver's test, outside the diner.

We hear the diner's front door open, and now our hearts are pounding and we're gripping our chairs waiting for what happens next.

And we got a spooky blank screen.

Did the cable just go out? Come on, who's sitting on the remote?

Nobody's sitting on the remote. The cable didn't go out. The greatest show in television history just stopped.

As it turned out, creator David Chase was just toying with us. He'd sooner subject himself to the kind of fate received by Phil Leotardo earlier in the episode (crunnnnch!) than provide a neat and tidy conclusion to the Sopranos.

Sure, we knew Sunday's much-anticipated finale wasn't going to tie up all loose ends.

Nobody should have expected the crazy Russian who Christopher and Paulie Walnuts chased in the snow a few years ago to turn up again.

We shouldn't have expected to see Tony pay a price for ordering the hit on Ade.

We shouldn't have expected to learn what happened to, say, the nutty Goth son of the late Vito Spatafore.

Fine. But let's cut to the (David) Chase: Does Tony live or die?

Does Meadow find her family dead once she finally manages to park her car? Is she killed herself? Or does she simply walk in, take a seat and enjoy Jersey's finest onion rings with her family?

And what about that psycho cat who kept staring at Christopher's picture earlier in the show? That has to come into play somewhere, doesn't it?

Of course not.

The best we can figure is, Tony will be indicted. (If he lives, that is). But what about Silvio? He's toes-up in a hospital bed. Is he a goner? Or does he make the same sort of miraculous recovery from bullet wounds that Tony did?

I liked the last Sopranos episode, but it left me empty, and because of an interruption, it took an extra long time to discover the resolution, or rather that there was no resolution.

My 5-year-old daughter emerged from her bedroom halfway through the episode, still wired from a long day at Holiday World, unable to sleep. This was just before Phil's head got smashed. Needless to say, the television had to go off and the DVR had to go on. My little girl fell in the arms of my wife, who looked at my distraught facial expression and tried hard to keep from laughing. The end of the Sopranos would have to wait until Caroline was back in bed.

But even then, we were still left waiting for an ending that never came.

Thanks to John Martin

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