"Out, damned spot! out, I say!"
--From Macbeth (V, i, 38)
--From Macbeth (V, i, 38)
I waited until the buzz died down to give my say on the final episode of The Sopranos. First let me explain my relationship with the show. My family, a loud group of Italian-Americans, loves the show more than their only daughter (me). Religiously, they'd all sit around the television waiting to see what sort of violent act would occur each Sunday night. Then, my father would piss and moan for hours on end about how The Sopranos would end a season in April and come back two years later. It made no sense yet, my family held onto the show tightly investing themselves in the lives of the Soprano clan.
Then, there is me. Over the past years I've watched The Sopranos like a good Catholic who goes to church only on religious holidays. The rare occasions I viewed I would ask my parents obnoxious questions through out the entire episode trying to get caught up. "Who got whacked last week?" "Who is Tony sleeping with?" "Why is that guys name Paulie Walnuts? Why not chestnuts or peanuts? Does he have a thing for walnuts? Does he like nut crackers?" I was usually asked to leave the room.
As much as I couldn't latch onto the show I understood the obsession. The show had everything; sex, drugs, violence, and fat Italian men. Who could ask for anything more? It was well written and, at some points, deeply intent on giving the mob layers of emotion and characteristics. Ok, ok, and sometimes its fun to watch someone get whacked in the privacy of your home.
As the end of the show approached I didn't expect much of anything. I wasn't making predictions but thought it was fun to hear what others assumed. Based on what I'd heard from my family about this final season I knew, deep down in my soul, the ending would not be what people expected or wanted.
Then, it happened. "Dont Stop Believing" blared and Tony and his family sat eating onion rings while Meadow Soprano couldn't parallel park. I looked at my watch and thought, "They have 2 minutes to rap this up." Based on my family's tense silence I refrained from sharing my observation and sat wondering "Will Tony get killed? There just isn't enough time!" When the screen went black my mother yelled out, "Oh, the cable would go out right now!" and I laughed and laughed. Soprano lovers everywhere got whacked.
True fans are pissed. I, on the other hand, liked the potential symbolism of the all-American mob family going to dinner in a diner (nothing could be finer) and Tony's paranoia that danger could creep around any corner at any time. I liked it. It was just what the audience didn't want or expect. At the time the show was developed a show like The Sopranos was something audiences didn't expect. It went out with a bang, er, actually, no bang at all. Anyway, it ended in a way that you decide what happens and everyone has been talking about it for weeks. You can't say that about the FRIENDS series finale now can you?
Atleast Carmella and Meadow didn't, at the end of the show, have 3 babies between the two of them and everyone was happily married. Now THAT would've been lame.