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The Sopranos ended its legendary run last night and within moments of the credits, wait, make that within seconds of the credits, fans were already praising or it seems more often complaining about the ending. It was the perfect anti-climatic, anti-stereotype, anti-everything ending. It was nothing. It was mundane. It was all a big tease.
Just about every stereotype of the movie and TV mob hit was thrown in. There was some ominous orange in the episode in the form of the cat that showed up. For Godfather fans, oranges predict death. That was even carried over to season one of The Sopranos, when Tony was shot on the street. The first bullet shattered the orange juice he just bought. There were plenty of ominous looking potential shooters. One at a time, the guy with a ballcap, the guy sitting alone at the bar and finally a pair of teens who looked like there were up to no good. They came, they looked around, they did nothing. My heart skipped when the guy at the bar walked right past Tony and in to the bathroom.
The whole time, Journey is playing and Meadow is parallel parking her car, leaving us to assume her car position or her delay by her inability to park correctly on the street will be critical. It wasn’t. She walked in late, we were left to assume. Then fade to black. Cut music. Roll credits.
It’s life. Life rarely wraps up, good or bad. It just goes on and different problems replace old problems. Phil Leotardo got it but now Tony has a rat in his crew and impending legal troubles. Meadow seems to be fine but she’s marrying a guy who’s a lawyer that takes on cases that could relate to Tony’s business endeavors. A.J. seems to be better, but he’s still a whiny jerk as always.
Some internet posters seem to think the fade to black trick was a reference to Bobby B’s belief that when you’re shot it just goes to black with no sound. Tony even remembered it the episode before as he lay in bed with the gun trained on the door. Nope, I don’t think so. There’s no reason to believe he was shot. Who was after him? Nobody. For a few tense moments, the audience felt what it was like to be Tony. You felt the dread, you felt the end coming and you knew something was going to happen.
Oh well, the theories will continue but in the end that’s what made it a great ending. It’s open for interpretation and it has people talking.