Killing The Sopranos: Five Minutes with the Finale

Audio: Use controls to play, pause, etc.

Download 'The Sopranos' Finale: Five-Minute Commentary Track (mp3, 1.7 MB).

And ... cut! The final shot of 'The Sopranos'Have you calmed down yet?

Are you over the orgasmic delight you felt at the way David Chase defied all predictions about the end of his beloved series, The Sopranos? Have you recovered from your rage about ambiguity, a lack of closure, and Journey?


Now let’s clear a few things up. Tony Soprano did not die. That last scene was not at all a cinematic expression of Tony’s anxiety, and therefore David Chase did jab his middle fingers into your eyes. Yet there was nothing wrong with the way it ended, even if it was manipulative.

In this “Five Minutes” audio commentary, Culture Snob will explain all that and more, without abruptly cutting to silence mid-sentence.

First of all any oral essay that mentions editing seemingly in every other sentence, might consider naming the actual editor who is responsible for the controversy. As much as I like David Chase and his music choices, he isn’t the credited editor, and for all intents and purposes he approved that scene he did not cut it.

The “cheapness” of this contrived ending I would blame on Chase. Excessively juxtaposing Meadow’s diffculty with her parallel parking with Tony inside the restaurant seems totally random.

“Any fool can throw a rock into a lake that 1000 wise men will never find.”

While I agree with the Culture Snob on the literal interpretations, this ending has a muted quality that is like comparing the old Star Wars movies to the New Ones.

This was clearly not an exercise an execution. Dr. Melfi having her sudden change of heart, because of some weak attacks on her intellectual vanity. Random and stupid. Dr. Melfi has never been one to succomb to such trivial values, but the Finale really brought out her inner mediocrity.

Oh and then some charachter that I hardly know is allegedly going to get Tony indicted. That was random and mediocre.

Nothing about this awesome show percolated to the surface in this finale. It was cheap and random.

“A fool can throw a rock into a lake that 1000 wise men will never find.”

A fair point on the editing. The episode was cut by Joanna Cappuccilli.

Nice commentary.

I tend to agree with you; still, I think there’s a bunch of stuff in the following article worth considering (with some stretches, too).

What do you think?

p.s., I found it kind of tricky to comment on your blog, but maybe that’s just me.

Bluntly, I’m not going to be convinced that Tony gets shot in or following that final scene.

But the article you link to is a strong close reading and worth considering. I’ll read it fully in the coming days ... .

Bob Harris has the most convincing perspective for his interpretation. Culture Snob has the most perceptive argument against by analyzing the editing.

While this discussion of opinion will no doubt grow a little dated, I wonder if time will tell that this particular open-ended finale will remain a cheap fuck-you, or if Chase did in fact to his fans right.

Is there any way the final scene holds all the religious significance Bob Harris, but it’s all MISDIRECTION to make you THINK Tony got whacked?

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