If you’ve been watching the Sopranos since the first episode aired and you were looking for some sort of closure, well, you might have been better off stopping at the season finale from last year. (That would be the episode that ended Season 6 Part 1 where everyone is gathered around a Christmas tree in a nice family gathering.)
Initially after the episode was over, I was a mildly disappointed. After having consumed myself with so-called “spoilers” for the past week, I was hoping for an explosive episode that would take the show out with a bang. Actually, most of the supposed spoilers turned out to be nothing more than “fan fiction” — and in some ways I wish those rumors were true. I heard rumors (and even speculated a few myself in the previous post) that Anthony Jr. would be “made” and follow in his father’s footsteps – hence, the show’s title, ‘Made in America’. There were also rumors of everything from Tony going to the feds and becoming an informant to Carmella and Meadow dying in a car bombing. But none of those rumors turned out to be true. (I guess I found out what A.J. was looking at.) The truth was much less dramatic.
But when you take the time to truly reflect upon the series and where it has taken us over the eight years that it’s held our attention (some seasons more than others) the signature style of the Sopranos (and now after having seen the finale, what I believe to be the theme of the show) has been the amazing degree of stability that such a violent life can maintain. For every monumental death that has taken place — whether that be Big Pussy, Johnny Sack, Jackie Aprile, Tony Blundetto, Jackie Jr., Adrianna — or even Phil Leotardo tonight — it is always followed by a period of almost unbelievable stability. Nobody freaks out. Families grieve, but maintain their daily routine. And even the grieving widows have a moment of mourning — but only a moment, as their facial expression seems to come a few frames short of them turning to the camera and saying that they knew this could happen — it’s the consequence of such a risky business.
As I sat down and watched Tony take that last ride into New Jersey through the Lincoln Tunnel, I was really happy when I saw the credits at the beginning of the episode indicate that David Chase — the series’ creator — was both the writer and director of this episode. Watching the series over the past few years, I’ve always thought that if Chase had directed each of the episodes that we might have had a bit more consistency. And I still believe that. But at least with this final episode, we would be getting the vision for how the show ends from the guy who started it all. And as much as I held a bit of disappointment in my heart for the way that the show’s final seconds played with our emotions, I feel like the hints that came during the episode before that weird scene in the diner were much more revealing about how the father of the series feels about his characters. As much as he respects them, it’s my strong opinion that he also loathes them. He thinks them petty. More than anything, he thinks of them as walking contradictions. Continue reading ‘Sopranos: Made in America – Review (And An Analysis of the Ending Moments)’