Using our new device of concealing the rest of the post below the “fold” I can now pile up email from readers without clogging the Corner or annoying people who don’t care. An extra kipper in Chaka’s rations! Anyway, email-with-spoilers after the link
From a reader:
The gentleman in the Members Only Jacket killed Tony, Carm, and AJ.
Homage to Louis’ Restaurant in the Bronx scene in Godfather I. Shooter enters bathroom and comes out blasting – everyone at table killed. (Note “Best Onion Rings in NJ” vs. “Best veal in the city” line). Onion rings function as communal wafers (rewatch the scene – it’s not subtle) for last rites.
BTW: Meadow is pregnant.
I think there are two explanations why the NY captains said what they said. The first is that maybe one of the guys wanted to take Phil out since he’s not sharp and was never viewed as “boss” material. So, they basically sell him out in a magnanimous gesture, rather than take him out themselves and risk fallout. The other reason may have been to put Tony at ease. He was bunkered down and nearly impossible to reach. Easing tensions could flush him from the safehouse and the protection of six (or so) armed thugs. The relaxed Tony makes more public appearances. Easier to hit him.
I think it’s clear Tony was killed. Phil’s murder was a foreshadow to the “You’ll never see it coming” idea and Meadow’s parking problem (realistic for a kid from the burbs) is just a way to show that the little things separate seeing your father murdered and not.
This is not to say I’m a fan of the way things were handled this season. Chase seemed to go out of his way to waste viewer’s time with subplots about Vito’s kid (for example). If it develops the characters in some way, I’m okay with the unresolved side plots. That just never seemed the case in the last year. Trainspotting.
Jonah you’re dead on with your analysis of the Sopranos finale. Chase wanted to have it both ways. Sure you can read it as Tony gets whacked, or you can read it as Tony & family survive and continue with the mundane mob life. To me this is the ultimate cop out. Fiction isn’t real life and too often creators forget this when trying to create real ambiguity. The fact is that when you read or watch a story you expect an end. Not necessarily to everything, but definitely too the story. Everyone didn’t die in the last episode of MASH nor did we see them back in America, but they had their story finished. What came next? Who knows, the point is the story that was being told, that of a surgical hospital in Korea, came to an end. And here’s where Chase failed, and in fact has failed all throughout the series. People come and go, people live and get whacked, but there’s been precious few who’ve had a story that’s come to a real conclusion, Uncle Junior being one.
For what’s it worth, I thought the finale was entirely appropriate. It’s exactly like David Chase would end the series, isn’t it?
Who says that you have to go out with a bang? The penultimate episode was The Sopranos’ Big Bang, and it served the purpose of making people think that the last episode was going to be uncharacteristically straightforward.
It wasn’t great. It certainly didn’t achieve the same greatness as the LOST season finale. But it’s entirely in line with the the sort of existential nature of the show.
I think that the argument that Tony died when they cut to black it powerful, but I can’t say that I subscribe to it. Not to get all pretentious, but I think the message was that the show ended, not the lives of the Sopranos. They simply stopped making episodes, and Chase saw no reason to tie it up with a big bow on top.
It’s what he’s always done.
The Sopranos finale was terrible! The final episode was consistent with rest of the season. It was filled with so many inconsistencies and incidents that would not have happened (e.g., Tony’s sudden gambling problem). You’re probably getting a barrage of emails detailing these inconsistencies. Here’s one that is really bothering me: Why would Carlo flip and go to the Feds? Carlo was a made guy and one of Tony’s biggest earners. He was obviously in the upper echelon of the made guys because he was given Vito’s jobs after his fall. He had Tony’s faith and would have known that. But what really pisses me off is that he was so close to being boss. He had to have known that after the NY/NJ war, with Bobbie and Silvio already out of the picture and assuming Tony didn’t make it, he would be the new boss (or Paulie, but more likely him). What was Chase’s excuse for Carlo’s flip? His son was arrested for selling ecstasy. You have got to be kidding me! How ridiculous is that? The writers obviously used this as the vehicle to get Tony indicted. This is just another example of the laziness and a lack of creativity consistent with the Soprano story lines.
The clue was the reference to writers being the most important thing. Chase has been playing with that theme for a while, with Christopher, with Cleaver, with JT. The cat was exactly as Mona described and also a throw back to Burrough’s Seven Souls from the start of Season Six. Tony did not die (at least not yet). The point of view was ours when the screen went blank. It is up to us now to complete the narrative. Does Tony die, does he get arrested, are any of his family hurt? Or does he live a life looking over his shoulder? Chase turned the writing over to us. Satisfying. Nope. It is hard work topping yourself each week. Welcome to David Chase’s little hell that he just turned over to all of us. Bravo.