Donâ€™t you think all the anger about the final episode “The Sopranos” is funny? I do. For the three of you who donâ€™t know, the greatest show in the history of television ended with a 10-second-long blank grey screen, right at a moment of incredible tension. The tension? Tony and his wife and son eating onion rings, while his daughter tried to parallel park outside. That was always the brilliance of the show: Tony could infuse a sideways look with paralyzing fear and drama. You never knew what was going to happen next, and usually nothing did happen next. Life just went on, from episode to episode, peppered with short bursts of violence and anguish. The show seethed. It always seethed.
In the penultimate episode, we saw the brutal murders of just about everyone weâ€™d loved to hate for the past 10 years. Tonyâ€™s shrink finally fired him, sick of the same-old same-old, a clear parallel to show-creator David Chase and star James Gandolfini being tired of doing the show for so long. In this last episode, we see Tony meeting a new therapist who may be somewhat younger, and with better legs, but he tries to rekindle the same relationship he had with Dr. Melfi by beginning to recount his own troubles. Carmela, Tonyâ€™s wife, gives him sharp annoyed looks because theyâ€™re supposed to be there for Tonyâ€™s kid. Because these last few episodes have all been about the next generation. Chrisâ€™ baby, who will never know his father. Uncle Paulie hitting on a way-too-young girl at the funeral of Tonyâ€™s brother-in-law, whose death leaves three children bastards (and whose mother/widow, Tonyâ€™s sister, is thinking only of herself). Phil Leotardoâ€™s head is run over by a car occupied only by two infants in car seats. The older generation just wants things to stay the same but in fighting change, the younger generation gets hosed. And all throughout, classic rock plays exclusively. (Other episodes often saw indie and modern rock thrown in with hip hop or true oldies like Sinatra.)
So we end it sitting in a diner, hearing Journey sing, â€œDonâ€™t Stop Believinâ€™,â€ waiting for someone to finally shoot Tony, and then, suddenly, while weâ€™re not-stopping-believing, the show ends. With no more sound.
Leaving us to imagine what comes next. We can think it will be high drama: That guy who went into the bathroom will emerge with a weapon and assassinate Tony. Paulieâ€™s sense of impending doom will come true. All that illegal asbestos dumping will catch up to the Soprano crew.
But deep down, we know that wonâ€™t happen. If the show hadnâ€™t cut where it did, to quote Journey, it simply would have gone â€œon and on and on and on.â€
. . . And because no crime music is compete without him, and because so many folks are ripping David Chase a new asshole right about now, Hate Me Now-NaS