It's Wednesday and we're STILL talking about "The Sopranos".
I've heard it all, from people cancelling HBO out in protest over the way the show ended Sunday night to others assigning deep, philosophical meaning to each and every scene in the series finale.
I just don't think it's that complicated, and apparently, creator David Chase didn't mean anything quite so deep, either, at least not judging by the one and only interview he's given since the credits rolled.
Was it the audience getting whacked when the screen went black? Were the different characters in the final restaurant scene ready to either kill or arrest Tony?
Chase made the show's final moments some of the most tension-filled ever--we all were looking over our shoulders as the family munched it's onion rings, oblivious to what went on around them. Brilliant.
Each of the Sopranos said or did something in those final 61 minutes to let you know that they hadn't changed one iota in the whole time we'd been watching them--even A.J., who seemed to be in his own solar system, eventually found a comfortable orbit in the family's galaxy.
My only criticism of the last episode is the neat-and-clean way in which Phil Leotardo's underlings so easily agreed to meet with Tony and kick their boss to the curb. That, and the way Tony's longtime FBI nemesis suddenly became a Sopranos fan, giving the what was left of the Soprano clan Phil's location so he could be whacked. Granted, the agent had tipped Tony off to the plot against him, and there is a basis in reality to what he did, but it still came together just a little too easily for my taste.
Then again, don't some things in life do that, too? After days, weeks, months or even years of angst and agitation, don't you find sometimes that a problem just...solves itself in virtually no time, with little or any cost or effort? That is the genius of Chase, who makes his shows so lifelike. Not all story lines wrap up. People come, and go. Who amongst us has ever had an episode in our own existences wrap up neatly in 60 minutes or so, as climatic music plays and credits roll?
Think about how many times you expected something to happen in that final hour--only to be left wanting? Perfect. How often is life THAT obvious?
Be pissed about the finale, if you will. Don't write the series off just because the end left you wanting. Think. Talk. Discuss. Process. Watch it again. Enjoy it for what it was.
A show that remains top of mind, three days after the fact.