Monday, June 11, 2007

Sopranos Swan Song, An Aria

HBO: The Sopranos: Episode Guide: Summary: Season 6: Episode 86

"Try to remember the times that were good." AJ Soprano

Will everybody please stop bitching about the Sopranos finale! It was perfect. David Chase gave us exactly what we paid for: da family, da crew, familiarity, tension, suspense, riveting entertainment. And if not closure, then release.

Is there anyone who didn't gasp with surprise, fill with impotent fury and want to put out a hit on whoever screwed up and sent the show to black at the most critical moment?

For my money, the best Gotcha of The Sopranos, or any series.

And when you finally got it, did you Really get it?

We did. My husband sat, shaking his head in disbelief, "Sonovabitch." I yelled, "Yes! Freakin brilliant!"

After all the fun we had speculating, David Chase gave us the ultimate gift: the opportunity to come up with our own ending. He wrapped up a few loose ends -- Tony sees Junior, Paulie's not a rat, Phil bites it bigtime, Tony will get indicted. The four Sopranos are still a family.

Then Chase set the scene for anything to happen. Nothing out of the ordinary -- just Christafah da Cat, scratching at the superstitious beast in all of us. Which is the way it's been from the beginning.

Business as usual. Until it's not.

In the finale, some bad guys bought it, some didn't. Some will go to jail, some won't. The FBI isn't a fairy-tale-perfect organization. Mobsters are monsters who live everyday lives, regardless of--and mostly oblivious to--their heinous behavior. Probably more true to life than we know.

Anyway, what ending did you expect, a Quentin Tarantino bloodbath? A David Lynch slow-mo dream sequence? A Francis Ford Coppola neatly crafted reality lesson?

Nope, Chase remained true to himself, his show and its viewers. He gave us the characters and the story, then let us figure it out.

My take on the ending is the same as my view since the beginning: No matter what, the five Sopranos (including Janice) are survivors.

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