June 15, 2007

The Sopranos Finale Explained

 sopranos

We meet at our regularly scheduled Monday lunch spot, and my friend says, "did you see the Sopranos finale?"  No.   "It sucked, nothing happened.  It was completely unsatisfying.  It just ended with him sitting in a diner, eating with his wife."

"What did you expect would happen?"

"I don't know, something, some closure.  Maybe he gets whacked or something."

"How did it end?"

"He's just sitting there, eating an onion ring, and Journey's playing, and suddenly it ends. Like the film  broke.  And they go right to the credits."

I had never seen an episode of the Sopranos, but I knew at that moment that Tony Soprano had died.

Before I explain, I'll tell you that last night, drunk at a hotel bar around midnight, there was The Sopranos on the TV above me.   It was the last five minutes, but I recognized it immediately from my friend's description.  Tony sitting in a booth, his wife slides in and he gives her a grunt-greeting reserved only for the most familiar of contacts-- beyond love or friendship-- then another guy comes over and joins them.

Meanwhile, suspicious characters abound-- the Member's Only jacket prominent, a signal of belonging vs. exclusion; his daughter trying to park the car-- figuring things out on her own, she'll get it eventually--  and, of course, Journey's Don't Stop Believing.

And, like my friend said, the show simply stopped.  The bar I was in had been silent-- but a collective groan arose when the credits rolled.  Everyone hated it.

I was right.  He was dead. 

I knew he had died because I knew my friend.  He is a human being living in our times, possessing an element of natural narcissism common to all of us.   Remember, the narcissist believes he is the main character in his movie.  This is why they-- we-- have such trouble with death.  In any movie or show, even when the main character dies, the movie continues (the movie never ends/it goes on and on and on and on). It is still about him-- you see the reactions of other people to his death, you see consequences.  

But in reality, when you die, it ends.  There's no more; you don't get to see the reactions of other people to your death. You don't get to do anything.

I knew Tony Soprano was dead because it was too abrupt, too final, for my friend, and for everyone in that bar.  There was no denouement, there was no winding down, no debriefing, no resolution.  Not even a struggle for survival-- at least let him draw his gun! No death on your terms.  And, most importantly, the death didn't seem to flow logically from the show.   The death made no sense, it was arbitrary.  It was unsatisfying.

In other words, it was too real. 

We all have an element of essential narcissism in us, that's part of having an identity.  But it alters our relationship to death. We want it to flow logically from our lives, and most of the time it does.  But sometimes it doesn't.  Except for heroes and suicides, no one gets to choose the time and place of their death, nor the manner.  Nor can we control people's reactions to our death.  

All we can do is choose the life we leave behind.  Choose.








Comments

I partially disagree, in th... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2007 4:16 PM | Posted by emily: | Reply

I partially disagree, in the sense that I don't think it indicated that Tony literally died at that moment. I think the abrupt black-out was meant to force everyone to re-examine the series.

Tony's real enemy throughout the show has been has been his own mental state--his anger, his dissociation, his anxiety attacks, his selfishness, all the repercussions of having had a borderline mother and an absent father. It began with him initiating therapy, and in the second to last episode, he was dropped by his therapist.

The last season has included a peyote trip in which Tony babbled about the solar system and the relatedness of the paths of objects, and a cat appearing out of nowhere (like Schrodinger's) to eternally stare at the photo of a prominent character, now dead, who thematically mirrored another throughout the series.

Even in the first season, there was an episode in which Tony has a romantic adventure with the girl of his dreams, and it's revealed at the end to be a hallucination. Tony was having trouble with his medication. There were other episodes that were almost nothing but dream sequences.

In the last season, he was in a coma and we watched him, in his dreaming, wander in a state of limbo as the character "Kevin Finnerty", powerless and amnesiac, bullied by Buddhist monks for committing trespasses he doesn't understand.

As Tony walked into the restaurant at the end, there was an unusual editing choice which allows the reading that Tony entered, and saw he was already there.

If The Sopranos were a morality play, it would make perfect sense for it to end with Tony's death. But it isn't, and it never has been.

It's never been big on closure either, which any regular viewer can tall you if you ask them about "the Russian."

What we have seen is Tony's life repetitively approaching and retreating from reality and health. All the people around him are like a hall of mirrors for the most influential people in his emotional life including himself. And the tentativeness in the show to tie up loose ends in a satisfactory way, and the similarity of these characters' finally depicted choices to all the ones they made before suggest to me something much more subtle in the ending.

I would venture to say that in the final episode, we are being shown that Tony is, because of his own mind, doomed to repeat himself ad infinitum. His arc is a loop. He meets A.J.'s psychiatrist, and it's as if the show began all over again.

There seems to be a fairly strong connection with Dante's Inferno, which is referenced in the fifth season DVD cover, and through a consistently emotionally detached regular character named Dante that mirrored Tony at the end of the series. Some have suggested that each episode of the nine that composed "season 6, part 2" was meant to symbolize one of Dante's circles of hell. It's been too long since I've read it to analyze much of the show in that light, but I know that would leave Tony imprisoned for eternity in a lake of ice.

And that sounds about right to me.

Alone's response: Ok, clearly I have to go back and watch this show from the beginning. In the meantime, anyone want to speculate about who was in the coffin in Lost? (Locke.)

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In the end the judgment of ... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2007 7:04 PM | Posted by Brian Monroe: | Reply

In the end the judgment of Tony’s came which he worried about. But it came from himself long before the show started and it was fulfilled at that final (beginning) moment. By letting go of the psychological grip of his ego-’made’ reality he submits himself for sacrificing. He affirms his true identity and reaches towards being truly awake. Truly alive within his son. And thus we finally see the real Tony, his true spirit. It is as if he sacrificed who he thought he was to fulfill his ultimate true purpose as a father. Its kind of like the movie that was playing when Tony visited Sil in the hospital: Little Miss Sunshine. You know, the movie with the little girl running to get on that big yellow car (Almost like trying to get back on the bus our mother’s are driving. Hint, Hint). You know, the movie where all the hopeless and depressed family members find their purpose by sacrificing their lives for that little girl. And thus the great metaphors continue to point us to the ultimate reality.

check out more on my blog jakjonsun.wordpress.com

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Love the blog. Tony didn't ... (Below threshold)

June 16, 2007 8:51 AM | Posted by PHIL MCCUBBIN: | Reply

Love the blog. Tony didn't die, or at least, it's not as clear-cut as you're making it. (Seeing it as being simple and being entirely sure that you're right might by a sign of your narcissism, no?)

You'd have to have seen the series for years to get it. Many viewers did not, and they had been watching, so it was a challenging ending.

Every season ends with the family sitting down to dinner as a prominent part of the final episode. This was no different. Life grinds on. That's what the Sopranos was, a family drama at the core.

So I'm sorry but your post is waaay off- while it is not possible to empirically decide the issue, you could log onto NPR and listen to different critics review your theory, and almost all of them dismiss it.

But the idea that you could correctly interpret the ending of the show without seeing the other 99% of the content involved is kind of silly, no?

I get the Han Solo comment completely by the way.

Alone's response: First, thanks for your kind comments. Ok, so I'll grant you that my speculation is a longshot. The point of this post is to show how you might infer something solely by looking at other people's reactions to it. (That's psychoanalysis, in a sense.) Clearly, I am speaking way out of school about the Sopranos, having never seen more than 5 minutes-- those five minutes. But I hope I was able to convey an approach to "get at" a psychological truth.

That said, I stand by my guess that he is dead. The Member's Only jacket, the "Godfather" repeat of walking to the bathroom, the daughter trying to do things herself, and the suddenness-- sure, they could do a movie and say he was never killed. But nothing cuts to black faster than a homicide.

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Or was he just a salesman d... (Below threshold)

June 16, 2007 11:55 AM | Posted by ChuangTse: | Reply

Or was he just a salesman dreaming he was La Costra Nostra?

The amusing thing about these styles of endings, is our assumption tells us something about ourselves, it is a mystery that provokes more thought in those who care to think about it, and it is deliberate in design.

Though cynically these endings also allow for the series to return and for spin offs.

A writer's perspective is often very different to a readers. Was it a cheap ending, sure. Could you read more into it then there was, sure, for that was the technique employed.

One could look at the title, the Sopranos, now they are not Castros so at some point they will probably become Tenors, Bartones etc, perhaps it was that transition point the ending was about.

At the end of the day trying to read between the lines is fun, but a story will always just mean what it means, and David Chase uses that classical author's defense. Now, how did the Rockford Files end? :)

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You nailed it - he's dead -... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2007 4:19 AM | Posted by you're dead right: | Reply

You nailed it - he's dead - those who speculate otherwise can't face the fact that a real death eclipses cinema - (until this episode that is). In one sense this episode is the death scene par excellance; the ultimate realistic death. Even in the descriptions of the afterlife - sudden death plunges the soul into oblivion, if only for a period. Now we need someone to film the birth of the soul too.

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Following from "You're ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2007 8:55 AM | Posted by Alone: | Reply

Following from "You're Dead Right's" comment: this is also why speculation about how Tony dies-- bomb, gun, Member's only guy, terrorists (seriously? There are terrorists on that show?) etc is irrelevant. Death doesn't allow for a debriefing. And, most importantly-- and sadly-- it doesn't have to follow logically from your life.


And the idea of filming (metaphorically) the "birth of the soul" is awesome.


As another aside, it is strange/interesting that none of my friends or coworkers-- especially coworkers-- never "highly recommended" the show to me. We talk about a lot of movies and shows, but somehow this one didn't come up as "you absolutely have to see it!"

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Your psychoanalytic point i... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2007 9:39 AM | Posted by Phil McCubbin: | Reply

Your psychoanalytic point is well taken. When it comes to psychoanalysis, I like your analysis.

Things going black would make sense if the show as filmed from the first-person perspective of Tony Soprano. It's not, it never has been. It's a 3rd person perspective. The camera has never been in 1st-person perspective in the 90 episodes they've filmed. Not once.

In the "Godfather," the reason there was a gun hidden in the bathroom is that it was a formal mob meeting and they searched them all to make sure they didn't have any weapons. It doesn't fit with the plot here.

If they wanted to whack Tony why not wait until he walked to his car? Mostly we have seen mobsters use common sense when they whack someone. They aren't stupid people, and they no better than to take a guy out in front of 75 people when you could do it on a dark street
or any number of places that Tony Soprano is known to frequent. We've seen mobsters chewing out underlings for pulling of hits badly or publicly.

Plus anyone who whacks Tony Soprano is going to get whacked by HIS family, so why do it in the most public place imaginable, where a camera will film you doing the act?

Many characters in the final scene look familiar, and many in the blogosphere are claiming that many of the people in the diner are characters from past episodes that have threatened Tony or have a beef with him. This supports the point of view that the perceived threat is symbolic (as it the entire scene), designed to show us what it is like to be Tony Soprano.

If you'd been watching for 90 episodes, you'd know Tony Soprano is still alive.

And there won't be any movie.

Best wishes!


Alone's response: I will have been watching (take that, plus que parfait) for 90 episodes in about a month. And I can't wait.


An interesting question qould be to find out what people under 25 thought of the ending-- a quick glance at the HBO message boards indicates they collectively hated it-- vs. those over 45. I wonder if the younger you are, the more you hated the ending precisely because of the abruptness and lack of logical continuity, while those who see death as a reality in their own lives maybe liked it more? Becuase it "spoke to them?" Just a speculation.


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This year's earlier final e... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2007 10:45 AM | Posted by Jack Coupal: | Reply

This year's earlier final episode of "24" ended the same way.

Jack Bauer standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and ... fade to black.

No explosion, gunshot, plot twist, just...nothing.

I like your interpretation of the evident absence of violence.

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For interesting illustratio... (Below threshold)

July 16, 2007 11:29 PM | Posted by Phil McCubbin: | Reply

For interesting illustration of these points see http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5875794959822337293&q=SOPRANOS+FINAL+SCENE&total=64&start=0&num=100&so=0&type=search&plindex=1


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He ain't dead - he was acti... (Below threshold)

August 10, 2007 11:38 PM | Posted by Not Crazy Either: | Reply

He ain't dead - he was acting.

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You're right - he died. <br... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2007 2:30 AM | Posted by Catez: | Reply

You're right - he died.
The guy who went to the bathroom didn't need to go get a gun there - that wasn't the point. It was to clue the viewer into the Godfather scene - and it also gave the guy the right angle to come up behind Tony Soprano.

People on the net have questioned why Tony would be whacked if he made peace with the other family. Because - it's a business, not a social club. Tony's lost Sil, Bobby, Carlo, killed Chris himself - and it's convenient for little Carmine to have Phil taken out by Tony - then they whack Tony. They get the Sopranos business that way, without having an internal war in their own family over Phil's death. And they don't have to pay Janice a cent. It's a business. These guys are not friends - they make money. The Sopranos were weak - take out the boss and take over the Soprano interests. That's the thing with the show - we start liking the characters and then the writers would remind us of what they were really like. "Peace" in their world means getting along in order to make money. If they can take you out and over your business then they will.

The whole thing with Meadow parking the car was what I couldn't figure. I had the sense she survived. There's a guy in the diner having coffee, and on the saucer of his cup there are three white things - couldn't make out what they were - looked like small sugar containers. But he picks up the sugar container from the table - so why are those there? There are threes all through that scene - three scouts, three Sopranos at the table, Meadow tries to park three times, three whole onion rings, and on and on. Three lights on the wall behind Tony - all of this is done deliberately - so I was left thinking that three of them die. But we don't know - because Tony dies and that's the end. He doesn't see his daughter get married (she arrives in a white car, like a late bride, and the bells on the door have a great double meaning - like wedding bells and bells tolling). I thought the tv station had accidentally stopped the tape and gone to black screen at first, and I was thinking, "come on, get the show back, come on..." Then the credits started and my first thought was "he's dead". That is what death is like - it's like that when some-one suddenly dies. You don't believe it at first - then you realise. They're gone - no opportunity to say anything more. So the ending was very like how it would be from Tony's point of view but also impacted the viewer because that's what's it's like when you suddenly realise some-one died and didn't expect it.

Every season ending does finish with them eating - but if they wanted to show that the family just continued they wouldn't have so dramatically cut out. And no music - with the irony of the song - "don't stop-". That was classic - the finality of that, the way death does stop everything.

I think you make a great observation in your post about the narcissist wanting things to continue and believing they are the main character. I think perhaps we have ideas of what "closure" should be - that we should see or know what happened, see what happens afterward. That last scene left the viewer with the beginning of the process - the sudden shock, the disbelief, the lack of knowing the details. The finality and our struggle to actually accept it.

I saw it last night here in NZ so my comment will seem late. :-)

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If they wanted to whack ... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2007 2:51 AM | Posted by Catez: | Reply

If they wanted to whack Tony why not wait until he walked to his car? Mostly we have seen mobsters use common sense when they whack someone.

It sends a message to do it that way - they are taking over his family. And it fits with the whole family eating together aspect of the show.

Plus anyone who whacks Tony Soprano is going to get whacked by HIS family, so why do it in the most public place imaginable, where a camera will film you doing the act?

Tony's family isn't going to retaliate - they have no-one left at the top. Paulie has sided up to the opposition enough in the past to switch over - or it's possible they take him out too. I think the scenes with him are underestimated in that final show. He doesn't turn down a big promotion for the flimsy reasons he gives. Paulie can come across like a clown but he's a mobster - he's as ruthless as the rest.

The Sopranos are pretty much finished by the time the final scene rolls. They're weak. The Leotardo family are strong. Little Carmine is smart - he wants to be boss and he wants the Sopranos business too. Once Tony asks for a sit down he's showed his weakness. If he was strong he'd find Phil and take him out without a peace broker effort. I think that one of the big messages in that final episode is that these guys aren't friends - they'll kill some-one they knew for years in an instant. We see that in the previous episodes - like when Tony kills Chris. All the "friendship" stuff is false - narcissism rules in that world. If you look at it they way they do - self first and it's all business - then it makes sense from their perspective. For the viewer it's an awful realisation.

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How can you assume to know ... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2007 8:38 AM | Posted by blip: | Reply

How can you assume to know the ending of a show which, by your admission, you have never watched? That's kind of arrogant, isn't it? Judging a book by it's cover and all that? I hope that doesn't happen with your patients.

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Tony is dead; if for no oth... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2007 4:52 PM | Posted by Taylorstone: | Reply

Tony is dead; if for no other reason...the show and the character are dead.

The last show was thoughtful; showing how quick and dead death can be...especially for disgusting, socio-pathetic fully-corrupted men like Tony. If it was real life imitated by art, then it was good riddance.

The theme here; humans like to tune in and nibble on a piece of corruption. We'll take even bigger bites when the entree is presented as art.

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I would be interested to ge... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2008 8:17 AM | Posted by Lin: | Reply

I would be interested to get your opinion as to whether the diner scene is there purely to force us as an audience into judging our own paranoia?
Sitting down in a diner with your family is in essence an everday, routine scenario, where for the average man there is no fear of danger. However as an audience member, and having followed these characters for 8 years, seeing what they are capable of, and how their world is run and the codes and rules by which they rule the lifes, we have now elevated this moment to being a threat. Granted Tony operates in a world where his life is at risk, but one of the shows stongest themes is his fight with depression, paranoia, his mental state. Have we now not, adopted these feelings too, spotting danger at every turn - building up unease, even in family gatherings. Clever references asside.
All I'm trying to ask, is that whether it's possible that, that scene is litterally meant to be what it is. Our time watching the life of the Soprano's is now over and abrubtly, we are pulled out of it - only being left with Tony's Paranoia - his only gift to us?
Sorry if this sounds like drivel - but I'm just musing.

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Your right that he dies, bu... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2008 11:35 PM | Posted by Brian Monroe: | Reply

Your right that he dies, but you completely miss the meaning of his death.

I left the 2nd comment after the serious ending, and I still stand by my opinion: Tony must die to fulfill his role as a father for A.J. The series is thus the desperate grasping on to the security of ego gradually giving way to this reality of the self. You really should read my blog if you care about this show and discovering its deeper meaning (try to ignore my grammatical mistakes). I think you will enjoy it. It's at jakjonsun.wordpress.com

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Yes, he dies. Whether an e... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2008 2:07 AM | Posted by Carrie: | Reply

Yes, he dies. Whether an explosion or he was taken down (did you notice every family member was followed in?) he died....period. And so did the whole family. I can't believe a lot of people didn't get it. To those who say it was very real, you are right. I have had two immediate family members die suddenly and that's how it happens...when you least expect...and never how you imagined.

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I have a hard time taking a... (Below threshold)

December 8, 2008 7:44 PM | Posted, in reply to Phil McCubbin's comment, by Freya: | Reply

I have a hard time taking anyone serious that spells know as no.

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I don't get at all why you ... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2009 3:42 PM | Posted, in reply to you're dead right's comment, by victoria: | Reply

I don't get at all why you people are saying he definitely died. WHO killed him?
I think David Chase left to that way being so abrupt to specifically cause people to talk about it. If he was just "dead" there would be nothing to talk about. End of story. But there were so many metaphors in that end episode. Meadow having such a hard time trying to squeeze her car into the parking space (Tony was ALWAYS in some sort of a tight squeeze), the guy who goes to the bathroom has a flag on his hat symbolizing the freedom to live the way we want, and also a symbol of the government - the FBI - which Tony will have to deal with sooner or later. The black guys who come into the restaurant was out of place, it was like a symbolic "changing of the guard". Obviously, things in the Sopranos lives will change. I mean, he doesn't have a crew, for crying out loud. And the old days of the mafia the way it was is drawing to an end. So, I don't think they wanted us to think he died at all.

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I think there are four poss... (Below threshold)

May 11, 2009 2:59 PM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

I think there are four possible interpretations for "Made in America".

1. Tony died - There was ample evidence in the final episode to support this interpretation starting with the opening scene that looks suspiciously like a casket shot complete with funeral music on the radio and ending with the overt Godfather references in the diner. The one thing that makes me question this conclusion is the fact that even though Tony is sitting with his back to the restroom, AJ and Carmella are not. Surely Tony would be warned if someone was approaching with a gun. Also, the only one who new where the Soprano's were going for dinner was Rhiannon. She may have ratted them out, but why? There are clues in the show that would point to this and Tony being undone by his letting down his guard about her. Maybe Paulie or Patsy hit Tony to get in good with NY. Paulie could have schmoozed the dinner info from Rhiannon. Maybe that was what the post-funeral dinner scene was about?

2. Tony lives and life goes on - Again, there is plenty of evidence to read the finale this way. For this interpretation, all of the characters in the diner look like threats due to Tony's paranoia.

3. It was a dream - The final scene is surreal. The coloring is dark and off. The characters in the diner all vaguely resemble threats from the past. Members Only guy could represent Tony's guilt over Eugene's suicide. The white haired cub-scout leader looks similar to Phil Leotardo. The black guys vaguely resemble the guys from "Unidentified Black Males". All weird, but close to real life like a dream.

4. Tony has a panic attack - The series is full of them and Tony was certainly under enough stress. Who knows what triggered it? One time it was Ducks, one time meat. Maybe it was the bells?

There is certainly all kinds of strange symbolism to support (1).
* The opening casket scene
* The cat
* The references the the last supper (in the hospital and diner)
* All of the family wearing black (even meadow)
* The Godfather references (the orange and gun in restroom)
* The freaky onion ring communion
* The strange use of 3's (bells, creamers, parking attempts)

The problem is you can also interpret these things to back up (2), (3), or (4).

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TONY SOPRANO DIDN'T DIE<br ... (Below threshold)

June 26, 2009 5:37 PM | Posted by cartacci: | Reply

TONY SOPRANO DIDN'T DIE
THE KEY SEQUENCE IS WHEN HE ENTERS THE ROOM AND SEES HIMSELF
IT'S A DREAM OR SIMILAR, NO DOUBT

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...SURELY A DREAM, T... (Below threshold)

June 26, 2009 5:50 PM | Posted by cartacci: | Reply

...
SURELY A DREAM, THINK AT THIS:
THE JUKE-BOX OF THE ENTIRE ROOM IS OVER HIS TABLE, ISN'T IT SURREAL?

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Tony is certainly very dead... (Below threshold)

August 3, 2009 2:52 PM | Posted by manny: | Reply

Tony is certainly very dead. The signifigance of Meadow's parking trouble is that if she arrives and sits down, Tony slides in, foiling the easy shot for Members Only jacket guy. Meadow is Tony's gaurdian angel. It was her calls to him that pulled him back from entering the Finerty family reunion, (death). A very thoughtful resolution, I thought. As to who had him killed, my guess would be Furio. Carmela is his at last!

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its a preminition cut seen ... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2009 3:26 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

its a preminition cut seen to black indicates his impending doom via his legal troubles

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The collective "viewer" is ... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2009 8:02 PM | Posted by Sheddy: | Reply

The collective "viewer" is whacked. It's so obvious.

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"The collective "viewer" is... (Below threshold)

November 1, 2009 10:44 AM | Posted by Boogliodemus: | Reply

"The collective "viewer" is whacked. It's so obvious."

And also well deserved.

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Only a narcissist could wri... (Below threshold)

April 25, 2010 10:15 PM | Posted by Doc CH: | Reply

Only a narcissist could write this. It's all 'I knew, I knew'. Reminiscent of an over zealous child desperate to answer a teachers question.
An interesting but incomplete analysis. You didn't even consider the sudden end could be connotated as the viewers' death?
The real genius, as with the whole show, is the ambiguity
B- must try harder

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I just finished the final s... (Below threshold)

June 9, 2010 12:39 PM | Posted by HP: | Reply

I just finished the final show, and I too think Tonys dead. You gotta take into consideration the last thing you see is Tony smiling. Remember the cut scene where Tony was remembering Bobbi say that you dont even feel it when its your time. Theres tons of motive to whack Tony off at this point. Paulie was placed in that cursed capo job site, which to him could be a sign Tony doesnt care if Paulie dies. The look Patsy gave Tony at his house when he mentioned Meadow and Patrick getting together. Not to mention that they whacked Phil right in front of his family, which is against the rules. And again through the whole show we were following Tony through what he see's so it only makes sense it goes to black abruptly.

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Hey fans of The Sopranos, T... (Below threshold)

June 14, 2010 2:19 PM | Posted by TheSopranosBluRay: | Reply

Hey fans of The Sopranos, The Sopranos is out on Blu-Ray! Finally!


The Sopranos Blu-Ray

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thank you for the informati... (Below threshold)

June 28, 2010 7:44 AM | Posted by mutuelle: | Reply

thank you for the informations

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How does this relate to civ... (Below threshold)

July 4, 2010 3:07 AM | Posted by Knives: | Reply

How does this relate to civilization on earth as influenced by the followers of the religions that profess the existence of some form of after-life or -lives?

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I watch the Sopranos till t... (Below threshold)

September 20, 2010 8:09 AM | Posted by Mutuelle santé: | Reply

I watch the Sopranos till the last series, never understood the last series, thanks to this blog i manage to understand it a bit bette, like the film.

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"But in reality, when you d... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2010 4:14 PM | Posted by Gene Callahan: | Reply

"But in reality, when you die, it ends. There's no more"

That's what you hope. Unfortunately for you, it's not true. Thus, all the rum.

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No one hopes for that. It'... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Gene Callahan's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No one hopes for that. It's the worst of all things that could be.

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David Chase has dealt with ... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2010 10:25 PM | Posted by eatmorekale: | Reply

David Chase has dealt with clinical depression since he was teenager. His psychiatrist advised him to eat more fruits and vegetables. He has stated that this advice changed his life and contributes to his prodigious creative output.

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Interestingly, Aaron Sorkin... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2010 10:35 PM | Posted, in reply to eatmorekale's comment, by Mor Zoloft: | Reply

Interestingly, Aaron Sorkin has said the same thing about himself and his psychiatrist.

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It was kind of an accident ... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2010 10:39 PM | Posted, in reply to Mor Zoloft's comment, by Zoloft Sucks Mothrfcka: | Reply

It was kind of an accident that he became a writer; he originally wanted to act.

"One weekend, while house sitting at a friend's place he found an IBM Selectric typewriter, started typing, and "felt a phenomenal confidence and a kind of joy that [he] had never experienced before in [his] life."

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My psychiatrist advised me ... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2010 10:42 PM | Posted, in reply to eatmorekale's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

My psychiatrist advised me to have more sex and to do so on a regular basis. This advice has changed my life.

I suffer from manic depression. I prefer to call it manic depression as opposed to bipolar disorder.

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This is Aaron Sorkin, but I... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2010 10:47 PM | Posted by Zoloft Sucks Mothrfcka: | Reply

This is Aaron Sorkin, but I swear Alone could claim the same about his writing style.

"For me, the writing experience is very much like a date. It's not unusual that I'm really funny here and really smart here and maybe showing some anger over here so she sees maybe I have this dark side. I want it to have been worth it for everyone to sit through it for however long I ask them to."

I think Alone is Aaron Sorkin...what does everyone think?

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I think "The Farnsworth Inv... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2010 11:29 PM | Posted by Righteous Trailer Dweller: | Reply

I think "The Farnsworth Invention" is his best work overall. It is almost like an homage to his lifeblood, this technology we call television- It would be akin to a psychiatrist writing a play about the prescription pad .

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I think that you are right.... (Below threshold)

December 19, 2010 12:07 AM | Posted, in reply to Zoloft Sucks Mothrfcka's comment, by Thad Motta: | Reply

I think that you are right. It is totally plausible that Aaron Sorkin writes this blog, like it's sort of a writing experiment for him- maintaining this blog- to test whether he can pull off writing this cynical burned out American psychiatrist type character, to see if people would actually buy it. And when he saw that readers actually believed the character, he just kept on writing entries. I bet he's coming out with a screenplay based on a psychiatrist or the field of psychiatry! I called it !

(Ha, ha, caught you, Aaron! Sorry for calling you out. I love your work, man. I think you are one of the greatest writers in American history. I'll stop now.)

I have to say that the prescription drug "slide deck" posts are genius- these were the clincher for me believing that this 'character' is actually a psychiatrist. How the hell does Sorkin grasp that subject matter so well?! He is a fckn genius, I swear.

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"No one hopes for that."</p... (Below threshold)

December 19, 2010 12:46 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"No one hopes for that."

Many, many people do. It gets them off the hook.

"It's the worst of all things that could be."

Nonsense. Eternal damnation?

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Thanks for your comments. I... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2011 1:23 AM | Posted by ubik: | Reply

Thanks for your comments. Its an interesting interpretation that keeps with the philosophy underlying some of the other seasons. Much of the show seemed to derive ironic meaning from the tension played out between the various meanings of "family" both personally and politically for the characters in The Sopranos. I was feeling this tension to a great extent in the final scene. I'm going to be thinking about this for some time. I like your "lights out" theory.

AT

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Thanks for your comments. I... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2011 1:31 AM | Posted by ubik: | Reply

Thanks for your comments. Its an interesting interpretation that keeps with the philosophy underlying some of the other seasons. Much of the show seemed to derive ironic meaning from the tension played out between the various meanings of "family" both personally and politically for the characters in The Sopranos. I was feeling this tension to a great extent in the final scene. I'm going to be thinking about this for some time. I like your "lights out" theory.

AT

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thanks for the infor... (Below threshold)

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Don't have cash to buy a ca... (Below threshold)

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HI! I LIKE YOUR POST,YOUR ... (Below threshold)

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Love all the explanations g... (Below threshold)

April 23, 2011 3:19 PM | Posted by Glasshalffull?: | Reply

Love all the explanations given here. I really respected the creators for ending on such an ambiguous note, leaving it open to a very personal interpretation for the audience. For me rather than a scene depicting Tonys literal death, it felt more like a point where he first accepts his wanting to die. In that final moment the depression and paranoia have developed to the stage where this is how he now sees his world. Seeing everyday people as potential threats, hoping they will bring his death. Because ultimately at that point he is no longer selfish for his actions he wants to be killed because of them. For me it's all about him giving up but not being given an easy way out.

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I couldn't have agreed more... (Below threshold)

May 9, 2011 12:02 AM | Posted by indian cuisines in schaumburg: | Reply

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My concern with the final e... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2011 4:42 AM | Posted by Gerry Lister: | Reply

My concern with the final episode is that for the entire series the
Soprano family almost exclusively ate out at higher class food establishments and relished top class foods. Why did they go to this lower level "burger-bar" ? even allowing for "old-times sake"
it was an unexpected choice of venue.

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It's been great while glanc... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2011 2:44 PM | Posted by Disneyland airport shuttle service : | Reply

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What's with these fucking g... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2011 3:02 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

What's with these fucking generic comments posted by people with bussinessesque names?

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The final scene was mean to... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2011 5:38 PM | Posted by David: | Reply

The final scene was mean to be ambiguous, with no easy, clean cut explanations. Life rarely allows simple answers or motives, a theme repeatedly and brilliantly used throughout the series. Many theories have been spun explaining why and how Tony was killed by MOJ, but the arguments, while clever and witty, do not convince. The same level of analysis can be used to explain that Tony lived, and that the brief comments over the family dinner reflected the ongoing tensions for the rest of his life, the same tensions that existed throughout the series. MOJ is clearly not irrelevant; rather, he reflects the tensions and paranoia of living as a boss, a mobster, a target. It's wonderfully done, subtle and menacing. Just a few thoughts occur to me as I write this, thoughts that keep reoccurring: if Tony was killed and the screen goes black to reflect it (reflecting that there is nothing after death), then the whole Kevin Finnerty coma subplot meant nothing. Further, Tony's breakthrough in therapy about how mothers are buses, and that there is more to life than we can see, also means nothing. Also, Paulie's Virgin Mary vision would mean nothing, as would Tony's insights while under influence of peote ("I get it!"). It is no accident that these themes are revisited during the final show. Finally, the Tony was whacked theorists have never adequately explained why he was whacked, or who ordered it, since the war with NY was resolved, Phil was killed (with the little guy's implied approval), and no other enemies are shown plotting Tony's demise. Still, all thing's considered, it was a wonderful ending to a brilliant show.

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Thank you! The content is e... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2011 10:25 PM | Posted by cheap jewelry: | Reply

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Hello, I was very en... (Below threshold)

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lol, your all nuts, if you ... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2012 10:31 PM | Posted by Lewis: | Reply

lol, your all nuts, if you ask me, the doors been left open for a return, was a bit peeded off the way it finished, but never the less was a brave intellegent decission, I did think 'T' would leave the family if Im honest, but someone I know told me he was killed. Ive only just finished watching it this second,and have watched all the series from start to finish, truely amazing and worth the sleep deprivation, felt an attachment to the cast after a few episodes and found I had to watch it to find out what they were all upto...Time for the return of Antony junior and the riffraff he was starting to associate with perhaps

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I think ill except this, tr... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2012 10:42 PM | Posted, in reply to Sheddy's comment, by lewis: | Reply

I think ill except this, tres bon

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totally agree pal... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2012 10:53 PM | Posted, in reply to Lin's comment, by lewis: | Reply

totally agree pal

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The symbolism that is portr... (Below threshold)

June 1, 2012 6:57 AM | Posted by Gary: | Reply

The symbolism that is portrayed in the last scene is quite creative.

Tony in the booth, and his wife and son with him, seem to be at ease in their booth.

The Man in the jacket goes to the can, and then we switch back to Tony and he looks up, black screen.

So what was happening here? The series was being killed off. So Mr. Lynch decided to play on that theme. When the screen goes black it means that the series has been killed. Tony does get killed but only in that he is part of the cast.

It is a David Lynch joke. The fans have been essentially cut off or killed in that they can't watch the program any longer. In other words this was the death of the show, and the death of all it's cast members and production teams, and, most importantly the viewer.

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AJ was followed, I was wond... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2012 12:09 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

AJ was followed, I was wondering why they had the scene where AJ was getting into his car, it appeared that AJ was being followed, but they showed no one following him. The guy walked in right in front of AJ. Clearly to come in at same time and distract Tony.

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How has nobody noticed that... (Below threshold)

February 20, 2013 2:46 AM | Posted, in reply to Gary's comment, by J.P. McDevitt: | Reply

How has nobody noticed that this Gary guy thinks that David Lynch is the creator of The Sopranos?

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Tony is dead, and his fans ... (Below threshold)

April 28, 2013 9:41 AM | Posted by Al: | Reply

Tony is dead, and his fans went through all the typical stages of loss: disbelief, anger, dspair, eventually acceptance. As time goes by you too will accept the fact that Tony died at the diner, and he never saw it coming.

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DID TONY SOPRANO DIE? Here ... (Below threshold)

June 24, 2013 6:07 PM | Posted by Luis: | Reply

DID TONY SOPRANO DIE? Here is the definite answer!
start watching from minute 32 and then watch the last scene. what are the kittens looking at? DEAD MEN
https://sites.google.com/site/aebatres/

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David Chase wanted us to de... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2013 6:00 PM | Posted by rick: | Reply

David Chase wanted us to decide what has happened. A lot of people did not want to see him dead and a lot of people thought that he has to die. If you want Tony dead, then he is dead. If you want Tony alive, then he is alive. It is up to the viewer. The ending is too ambiguous. When the scene cut to black, we didn't hear any gunshot. We saw his daughter was just about to come into the restaurant, and the man just went into the bathroom. He looks up, but where is he facing? The bathroom or the main entrance? He didn't turn his head, and the killer wouldn't walk up to be in front of Tony.

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I don't think that Tony die... (Below threshold)

June 11, 2014 12:16 AM | Posted by BarB: | Reply

I don't think that Tony died for many reasons. 1) the series really revolved around his panic attacks (his issues were inspired by David Chase's own issues with his mother); Chase once said that he could have made Tony an accountant, but no one would have watched. 2) what happened when Tony panicked? HE BLACKED OUT. 3) Tony's interpretation of Death was demonstrated in Season 5 in his Kevin Finnerty dreams. Was Death black? No. It was the beacon in the distance (going to the light). 4) Meadow explaining the Robert Frost poem to AJ in Season 3. AJ: " I thought that black was death." Meadow: "White too." 5) In every other hit shown, the hitmen were in and out. They didn't sit down long enough to be recognized by witnesses. 6) The scene was shot POV with the tension building from Tony's perspective. Many people in that scene resembled people from his past (especially the guy in the Members Only jacket). There was a bunch of symbolism in that scene. However, we were seeing it through Tony's filter as it was POV. What happened when Tony experienced anxiety? Think about the Uncle Ben scene...he BLACKED OUT.

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And now, consider FWIW:... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2014 8:05 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

And now, consider FWIW:

The Sopranos creator David Chase speaks up.

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That was interesting! (Even... (Below threshold)

September 1, 2014 9:09 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by johnnycoconut: | Reply

That was interesting! (Even though I've never seen The Sopranos.) He sounds like a real artist. Though it's funny how he backpedals in his response to the article like "No wait, I didn't mean that--it's ambiguous! You took me out of [an imagined] context." Sounds like something I would do.

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