Everyone who knows me well knows I've been a huge Sopranos fan ever since it started airing in 1999. They know the drill: do not call Stately Kristasphere Manor on Sunday nights between 9-10PM because I don't answer the phone while The Sopranos are on. Watching the show a slice of chocolate pie has been my Sunday night ritual since the beginning.
So it was with mixed emotions that I watched the final episode in this landmark piece of television drama come to a close. It wasn't for everyone; if you don't get into symbolism, quick one-liners, complexity, backstories, dream and hallucination sequences, and complex plots, better for you to watch King of Queens. For example, everyone who died had white shoes on: Silvio, Bobby, and Phil. When Chrissie was still alive and dealing with his drug addiction, a movie was playing with a song about 'a monkey on your back' (slang for heroin addiction) on the television in the room while Chrissie shot up.
Call me the contrarian in the bunch, but I thought the finale was just perfect. From the media 'outcry' among Sopranos fans though, you'd think it got preempted by an episode of Entourage or something.
Why did I love it?
Because it gave closure, and embraced the basic premise of the series that made it unique from the start- The Soprano family. I mean,we've seen gangsters in film from James Cagney to Henry Hill. What we haven't seen is one have to rush home because the water heater busted and flooded the basement. Or take his daughter on a college visit, and whack someone while he's waiting on her to get out of an interview.
What I saw was, Tony made peace with and/or took care of everyone he had an open switch with in his life: Janice, Silvio, Uncle June, the FBI, and the Brooklyn family. Got Phil Leotardo popped. His family was able to move back into the best-known home since the Huxtables' Brooklyn brownstone. He and Carmela got AJ back on track with his life. Meadow's future career and marriage meet with his approval. What's to do but go eat with the fam, and fade to black?
If you wanted to see Tony get popped (wasn't Phil's enough?) I can see where you'd be disappointed, but come on, Tony has 9 lives guys! You should have known that when the feds showed up at Johnny Sack's and Johnny was the only one sitting in prison.
The finale also left the door open to the pipe-dream possibility of a spin-off, revival, or movie. One can dream. For now, here's to the hope of a good deal on the boxed set of all the seasons on eBay. Te Salut, Sopranos. Grazi!