I know this discussion needs to wind down, but this is from James Lileks, who’s always welcome around here:
Jonah – count me among those who didn’t have to work very, very hard
to convince myself I’d just been exposed, for a fleeting second, to
the Naked Genius of David Chase in all its soul-scouring majesty.
(Nor did I think the cable had gone out.) I didn’t conclude Tony had
been killed; I didn’t conclude Chase was telling us Tony would go on
in this state of feral fear until he got the can or the lead pill,
and I didn’t conclude that we should take the words of Journey to
heart and never stop believing. But I know what I didn’t want to see:
I didn’t want him die, and I didn’t want to see him win.
Whatever that ending was, it was, as Jpod says about other things,
stunning, and it worked for me: I just sat there as if struck hard in
the face with a large mackeral, and there’s not much on TV that does
that. Except for the revelation that Paulie was a Cylon. In any case,
the explanations that followed later made for interesting conjecture,
which is something you’d never find in a message board about the Star
Trek Voyager finale.
Note: I’m someone who consumed enough fanboy Kool-aid to defend
Kirk’s dying words in “Star Trek Generations.” But only for a day; it
felt shameful, after a while. Forty-eight hours after the Sopranos
finale, I’m still content. And still thinking about it, too.
PS – you’re all correct about Meadow. I’m sure somewhere someone’s
insisting that her inability to parallel park was a symbol of her
difficulty accepting her place in the mob culture, but those are the
folks who also believe that the swap-out of one Darrin for another on
“Bewitched” was an overt statement about the corporate culture’s
ability to rob men of their individuality.