What in the hell was with that ending? David Chase, creator of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” took one of the most hyped series finales in the history of television and came out looking like more of a whimpering buffoon than Tony Soprano’s son, AJ!
Here’s why that ending was one of the worst ever:
5. BAD TIMING – The series ending episode of “The Sopranos” competed with 2 other highly valued television programs. Game 2 of the NBA Finals aired concurrently with the Soprano’s, and last year’s Game 2 garnered over 12 million viewers. The Tony Awards also aired Sunday night, after having an audience of just over 7 million viewers last year. The Soprano’s are averaging just over 8 million viewers per episode this year, and if they wanted to return to its peak viewer-ship of 11 million (in 2002) for its final episode, it definitely could have picked a better night.
Side-note: It probably helped Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, of the San Antonio Spurs, quickly dismantled Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
4. GUTLESSNESS – There are two kinds of leaders. There’s the one that takes responsibility for everything, good or bad. And then there is the type of leader that picks and chooses where he takes the blame, but then goes ahead and takes all the credit. David Chase is clearly the latter. He created a great series and delivered a final season that had built up tremendous tension, monumentous momentum and intellectual intrigue into the series’ final episode. And to end the show, he took the route that was the most cowardly, he let the viewers decide the ending because he couldn’t take the pressure of being critiqued if his ending wasn’t well received.
3. NEW PLOT TWISTS – While some may see the insertion of new plot twists into the last episode as creative and new, I think it was rather misplaced. The FBI agents issue with his “woman,” the possible indictment, Janice coming after Uncle Junior’s money and several other things, were all unresolved and quite misplaced. They were interesting, but the whole time I was watching them, I was thinking “Okay, what’s the deal with Tony?”
2. TOO MUCH SENTIMENTAL BULL – Nobody watches The Sopranos for its lovey-dovey nature. While Tony Soprano’s soft side and faults are contributing factors to the show’s success, if he was just a nice guy, we wouldn’t care about all of that. But throughout the final episode, Tony is either getting sappy with Uncle Jr., reminiscing with Janice or giving into AJ. Tony doesn’t choke anybody, order a hit, and he barely even curses. We don’t even get his reaction to Phil’s death. Technically, we don’t even know that Tony ordered the hit; for all we know, it could have been insinuated that the New York mafia should take out Phil themselves during the sit down they had with Tony and Little Carmine.
1. TOSSING TONY – Why didn’t David Chase just have James Gandolfini sit this last episode out? Other than the first couple of minutes and the sit down with the NY family, Tony’s character was nothing more than a supporting role. And then in the end, when David could have turned all that around, he hides Tony’s relevance in a sea of ambiguity. In the final scene in the diner, we see Tony reaching for his gun (maybe), and watching his surroundings. The scene, however, is more about what’s going on around him than it is himself. I understand what Chase was saying about the meaning of life and how no matter what walk of life you come from, it’s all about being with the ones you love, eating good food, playing sports, talking and “focus on the good times,” but come on! There’s no conclusion with Tony at all. Not one! Yeah, he realized the aforementioned motto, but he’s come to that conclusion before. Are we supposed to assume he’s settled on smelling the roses for the rest of his life?
Come on Mr. David Chase, you could’ve done a little better. I know it’s hard, and I know you probably would’ve gotten ripped no matter what you did, but at least if you brought a conclusion to Tony’s character, you would have went out with some dignity, instead of going out like Pussy…”Big Pussy” Bonpensiero that is.