Monday, June 11, 2007

More on The Sopranos Finale

Having just watched the series finale, I have to say that there is only one way that I'd wind up being upset at how The Sopranos finale turned out, and that would only be if they make a movie version.

Last night's ending -- with no "big finish," no deaths in the Soprano family, no jail time, and an intentionally unclear final few seconds -- works just fine with me. It's not a cop-out -- as long as it's not setting up a movie.

The viewers did not get whacked last night.

The producers do not tell us explicity what's going to happen to these characters. Rather, like a poem or short story, they leave it to our imaginations, giving us just enough information and clues about what is going to happen in the near future, while also setting a chilling mood that terror and ruin are just around the corner. Is somebody in the restaurant about to kill Tony? What happens after Meadow goes through the door? Who is that guy sitting at the counter? What about the person lurking about who just went to the bathroom?

My conclusion from the final scene is that Tony is headed to jail (if he's not about to get shot by the guy at the counter) and that his family will continue to live a life of paranoia, not knowing whether that suspicious looking guy in the next booth is just a random stranger, or someone else ready to inflict a brutal "Leotardo-like" (and "Tony-like") act.

In Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, you never see a knife enter Janet Lee's body during the famous shower scene. But your mind fills in the blanks, and the result is terrifying.

The Sopranos is over, and I hope they never shoot one additional minute of film about this family.

It's time for you to fill in the blanks. That's all, folks.

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