Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The definitive

I know discussion of the "Sopranos" finale is approaching Paris Hilton-level inundation, but bear with me for one last theory. And you might want to - because I'm right.

After watching and rewatching the show's final five minutes many times, I'm confidant I've uncovered creator David Chase's truth. (After all, he did imply the answers are "all there" in his one post-finale interview.)

And here it is:

Tony Soprano is alive. Carmela is OK. Meadow and, sadly, AJ will live to see another day.

That doesn't mean there wasn't a hitman in Holsten's that night, though. Oh yes, there was - and he did fulfill his obligation.

You got clipped.

And so did I. We, the viewer, were the ones forcibly removed from that universe on Sunday night, while the family continues to breathe, continues to face indictment, continues to face the possibility that the next hitman will be for one of them.

Here's my reasoning, by way of debunking other theories:

1) The diner was full of people from Tony's past, including the two black men that shot him, Phil's nephew, and Robert Patrick's gambling addict character.

No, it wasn't. This myth has raced around the Internet, but it ain't true. Nobody from that diner scene - except the obvious Soprano family members - had ever appeared in a previous episode.

2) The final scene was meant to show how Tony will be for the rest of his life. Pervasive nervousness, constantly looking over his shoulder ...

Yeah, fine, Tony might do all of those things - except this scene didn't exist to show that. Look at it again. He was too occupied with ordering onion rings to worry about any lethal weapons in his near future. Sure, he glanced up each time the restaurant door opened, but there was no sense he was anything but calm. He was just looking for his family. So who was acting jittery? Us. We were the ones looking around the restaurant for suspicious faces, and we were the ones acting nervously. That puts us in control of the scene's point-of-view (including its ending.)

3) Meadow had a worried look on her face when she entered the diner, as if she saw a gunman.

I've heard and read this one in multiple places. However, one just need to watch the actual episode to realize it's false. Because Meadow was never shown entering the diner. The final shot of daughter Soprano is as she crosses the street.

4) C'mon, Tony ordered the hit on Phil, a made guy! Too many people wanted him dead.

In that secret meeting, short of giving an exact location, Phil's people practically gave the Sopranos a greenlight to take whatever action they deemed necessary. Plus, even if they wanted to retaliate, how would anybody know the Sopranos were congregating in Holsten's that night?

5) Remember a couple of episodes ago, when Bobby and Tony discussed what it would be like to die? They related it to a sudden blackness - and that's just like the end of the finale. Tony's dead!

This brings me back to my original point. That conversation wasn't meant to prepare TONY for death - it was meant to prepare us. We are the ones that got clipped; we are the ones who experienced the sudden blackness. That conversation relayed the information to us that, yep, we're goners. And the Sopranos go on without Sil, without Christopher, likely without Dr. Melfi, without Phil, without Vito, without Bobby, and without us.


Gingerella said...

You are completely right. I just had the same ephiphany (and actually posted a letter to Salon about it). The viewer was taken out quickly and professionally -- a true hit. We never saw it coming.

Meanwhile, the Sopranos stay in character and life goes on.

Anonymous said...

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