Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sopranos's Final Season: Every Episode an Ending

UPDATE: 6/11/07
Ending Episode an Every

There’s ten thousand endings as the plug is pulled. Choose one. Choose none. Every character took a final bow before something/nothing/everything happened. Such is life. Such is Journey:

Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

And you become the director; tie up the loose ends yourself. What does it all mean? Whose plug got pulled? Tony's. The show's? The viewer's. There's no right answer. There's only interpretation.

And critique. We wuz robbed. What genius! My cable died! No matter. It was David Chase's dream, and he invited us to dream along with him. Not for him. Not for us. The dream is over, as John Lennon once said. Deal with it.

And thank DC for his version and take on the American Dream.

With one interpretation of my own. The last thing you see in the final episode is Tony seeing his daughter enter the restaurant. The look on his face is one of gentle love. And that's all there is.

UPDATE 6/05/07

But what about some quick thematic strains from David Chase. They’ve always been there, but now they’re being resolved. The first is Tony as Everyman, and Tony as mobster. As Everyman, Tony is us, as effed up, as depressed, as violent and as full to empty with materialism. It’s this Tony that Melfi, the other side of Everyman is concerned with. It’s not the criminal mind she fires at the end, it’s the non-criminal. The mind that Psychology has failed, as either an enabler or a tranquilizer. It’s an indictment on the masculine and feminine sides of 21st century Everyman and Everywoman.

And there’s the terrorism factor. That too works both sides of the street. There’s the mob as terrorists. Not some romantic American cowboy, but some selfish violent sociopath who too often has been glorified. If this show had done the same in some ways, it’s making up for it now. But there’s terrorism all around. Collateral damage to spare. Falling back to American might leaving collateral damage all around.

It’s the end game, the end times, the rapture without enrapture. It’s on the screen in more places than HBO. It’s Psychology replacing theology. The mind over the spirit. It’s Prozac Nation. It’s the War on Terrorism without any sense of self-sacrifice. It’s mob mentality run amuck. It’s mine mine mine. It’s approaching the door, and we’re sitting there with our semi-automatic.

Is it Paulie? Is it Phil? Or will Melfi ride to the rescue?

Does it end with a note of optimism. Or burn in hell.

Let’s hope.

UPDATE 6/4/07: Wow! An amazing episode with all kinds of apocalyptic references. The Door's "The End". The FBI agent asking Tony if he was ready for the end of days, the rapture. And I'm sure that's just the surface.

As for my theory stated below, check out Tony at the end. The final stare-down.

But I have to admit that it seems like so much appetizers before the main courses. The rough beast is indeed slouching.

Original Post 5/12/07:

I've develped this theory about the Soprano's final season. I haven't seen it written elsewhere yet, although I haven't read everything of course. But it's this: every episode contains a season finale or maybe more than one, in the eyes of a particular character, as the character faces the wasteland of the future.

It began at the end of the first episode with Bobby holding his daughter and staring out at his little lost paradise, now that he had finally killed someone.

We've also seen such a climactic stare in other episodes from Junior, Paulie, Christopher, Hesh, as well as others. Some of which I've probably missed.

In the episode last Sunday, take a look at the eyes of Anthony Jr., as he watches the acid test performed by his friends. It's a look of excitement mixed with terror tempered by antidepressants. Such is the work of modern science and psychology.

The Final Four is coming. There we'll see the final looks, amongst others (I'm particularly looking forward to Sil's) of Carmella, Meadow, and, last but not least, Tony.

Every episode an ending! Amazing stuff as usual.

UPDATE 5/14/07: Again! Check Tony's staring at the sunrise at the end of episode 83. He gets it? Oh, he's going to get it all right. His climactic look came earlier than I thought. But like Christopher's dreadful stare as he hugged Tony at the christening foretold his short future, this one may do something of the same. But the future Tony sees, and may not really get, is hell. That's Tony's fate. I'm sure David Chase means figuratively (maybe metaphysically too) and literally. The next 3 episodes have been foretold in that scene. Prepare for the Sopranos as it enters hell. Judgement has been passed.


Anonymous said...

Let's face it--a major consideration in the Sopranos is Chases' view of his mother. Remember when Tony had his near death experience earlier and there was the suggestion as he approached the house which was his final destination that his mother was there. At this point we are being reminded that Tony is in fact a really bad, bad dude and when he expires in the last episode it is logical to assume that he will join his mother in hell. Any thoughts?

aum dada said...

No doubt; as Tony said last night: she's the bus driver. But Tony's not a one-dimensional character. Yes, he's definitely a bad dude. And a killer. Of his nephew even. Ther's a side of him that's as bad as can be. But there's another side, albeit a smaller side maybe, that showed last night with both his "idiot" son and his precious daughter. Remember that episode when he was about to enter that hell house where his mother was waiting, he was saved by the voice of his daughter. This is the overiding tension in the story itself since day one. The greatness of the show: I have no idea how this will end. Somedays I think it's going to be a Shakespearen tragic ending with bodies everywhere. Some days I think there might be some glimmer of hope. More likely it'll hold a little of both.

Anonymous said...

I think Pauly (and Beansy)have already betrayed Tony. And we'll see a look of surprised betrail on Tonys face as he dies. (slowly)
Pauly, the ultimate survivor has done so by hedging his bet all these years. He resents Tony anyhow for choosing Christopher and then Bacala over him. He showed his lack of loyaties when he told Johnny sac about the Jinny mole joke. Besides Pauly admires the big city Families.

Anonymous said...

O.k. I understand that everyone is upset. My heart started pumping too when the shady characters starting moving around the diner. And when Meadow couldn't parallel park. I though for sure that she was going to walk in the diner just as Tony's head splattered all over A.J . But, after my initial reaction of...Did the Cable go out??? I started thinking about it. Chase is a writer above all others. There is style that this episode was written in. It's called postmodern. Postmoderinism is the Era that we are currently living...It comes after the Modern Era...ya The Renissiance Era..Anyway, Google it. So the long and short of it is. Chase was writing in his Era, the Era of the Time.We will see many more movies, books, T.V. Shows ending like this. So get ready for it. Things are not going to be wrapped up in a Bow and Handed to you anymore. You are going ot have to use your imagination.

Anonymous said...

the whole finale is a dream. look for the clues. the scene where Tony and Carm are meeting with Aj's shrink, the napkin in Tony's pocket comes and goes. it's there when he flirts with the shrink, but gone when he talks to his wife. its a hint, a dream. tony never wakes up from looking at the door the episode before. when the screen goes black somebody shot him in his sleep. the last episode went much too well for tony to be reality.