I get that it was clever. I get that the show was tweaking its viewership. But The Sopranos, at its best, approached being a drama for the ages. The ending felt like a gimmick, and gimmicks don’t endure. Of course, I’m happy to endure objections. Anyone?

UPDATE: One of Ross’s readers has another take. (SPOILER of sorts.)


  1. mark thomas lickona says

    This from Heather Havrilesky, author of Salon’s TV column “I Like to Watch”:

    And yet…is it possible that we’re witnessing Tony’s last moment alive? What did Bobby say to him on the boat, in the first episode of this last run? “You probably don’t even hear it when it happens, right?” Maybe the abrupt ending is Tony getting shot, without even realizing it?

    [This was actually the first thing I thought of.]

    That’s probably wishful thinking, like hoping that there really is a Santa Claus simply because it would make the holidays much more interesting. We’ve never seen things from Tony’s perspective, so why would we start now? And wouldn’t we at least know who killed him?

    No. Tony’s story simply ended abruptly. Since we didn’t have a chance to say it before, we’ll say it now: Goodbye, Tony. Looks like you won’t go to prison (not yet, anyway), and you won’t rat, and you won’t finally get your comeuppance, dying in a bloody heap. You’ll be immortalized eating onion rings, chuckling, focusing on the good times.

    Just like the rest of us. Going to hell in a red leather booth, with Journey playing in the background.

    This reminds me of the House season finale. There seems to be a vogue now in TV land to write big endings with no fanfare–as much to be po-mo/meta as to say “Hey, that’s life–shit just happens (or doesn’t).” Unfortunately, that’s not really true, even if no one lets on (or notices) that the world has turned out upside down or that the void looms. Thing is, I think this ending really does say “death”–of one kind or another. So the art here just might have revealed the deep-down truth after all…?

    Media Update: MY G-D, EVERYONE is talking about this right now, it seems…

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