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Final Sopranos Episode Makes Viewers Think Their DVR Was Broken
It’s no secret that David Chase, the creator of the hit HBO series, The Sopranos, is fond of ending his episodes by dramatically fading out to music and a black screen. Last night’s “Made In America” episode took that directorial technique to an insulting and jarring new level. At the very end of the show, Chase dramatically built tension around what looked like either an FBI raid or a mob-hit on the Soprano family as they sat in one of New Jersey’s famous diners. Meadow Soprano, Tony’s beloved daughter and law student, was haplessly trying to parallel park her Lexus as her family sat inside the diner. The show built to an intense musical crescendo that led the viewer to think something of significance was going to happen. And then – out of nowhere – the episode abruptly cut to black and left the screen dark for an extended period of time.

In what felt like twenty seconds of silence and a black screen, everyone who was watching the show sat nervously, wondering what happened to their theater system. Did the TiVo not record the show correctly? Did my cable go out? Did my receiver fail? It wasn’t until the credits rolled after a pregnant-with-quadruplettes pause did loyal viewers realize that the show, as well as the series, was over.

David Chase’s decision to abruptly end the show the way he did in “Made In America” was a departure from his normal fade to black technique of wrapping up past episodes. Without anyone in the immediate Soprano family getting whacked, his directorial decision was tantamount to killing them off to the viewer without the care or sensitivity to give any level of closure.

Pundits of the show swear there is a feature film coming, but Chase is characteristically difficult to predict. Internet blogs and forums have said today is the official “cancel your HBO” day. With Big Love, HBO’s show about fundamentalist Mormon Polygamy coming back Monday night, the network is betting on the idea that fans that loved Tony Soprano could also learn to love another anti-hero, even if he doesn’t curse as much or doesn’t spend his free time at a strip club. Time will tell if this bet pays off.

For as much as David Chase changed the rules of pay television, resulting in a boom in subscriptions for HBO and the potential of a silver screen franchise, the way he handled the last scene of the last episode of his critically acclaimed show has left America rightfully boo-hooing about how badly such a beloved show ended. The question is - will HBO subscribers line up to leave their comfy living rooms to head out to the movies in a few years to see an aging Tony Sopranos and his cohorts perhaps face federal indictment or fight in a power struggle for control over the profitable racquets of

JerryDelColliano 06-12-2007 11:09 AM

Re: Final Sopranos Episode Makes Viewers Think Their DVR Was Broken
I heard on Howard Stern (who was quoting the NY Post) that there were three endings. One of them had Pauly Walnuts getting whacked in the bing.

Other people are saying Chase was implying that the entire Soprano family got hit at the diner. That's a little too much to suggest in my opinion. CNN reported HBO said that "members only guy" was not a member of the NY crew or related to Phil Leotardo as some have suggested.

David Chase denies there will be a movie. I don't belive that however I could see the show return later down the road.

Bob Rapoport 06-15-2007 06:51 AM

Re: Final Sopranos Episode Makes Viewers Think Their DVR Was Broken
Bob from PureLink says: The ending of the Sopranos was pretty brilliant, although it took me till the next morning to understand it. First, we see Phil get
whacked. Then we see Tony and family move back home. AJ goes from alienation and joining the army to getting a new job on a movie plus a new BMW. So much for being alienated, he goes back to being the AJ we always knew.

Tony is out back, raking the leaves, looking at the sky through the trees, feeling pretty good about how things worked out....he is calm and at ease. Carmela comes out, tells him dinner at 7 at a diner, not Vesuvios.

From these, the plot devices include cut away shots to all the people in the diner or coming into the diner, while the college educated, law-school wannabe Meadow cant paralell park, just to build tension in us viewers and remind us she is still in need of her family. He teases us with two African American teens walking in plus a goobah at the counter who gives Tony the eye, which Tony barely acknowledges. For all we know, he could be a new bodyguard for Tony.

While all this is going on, Journey (steve perry) is sining "life goes on, and on, and on, and on......screen shot of Tony, Perry sings "dont stop......screen fades to black on "believing". Thats it. Life goes on. Tony and Carm and the kids return to their life. Sil recovers, he is only wounded. Chris had to go, along with Bobby, but Paulie, Sil, and Tony, the core group are still there.

It was pretty cool in my opinion, not what we expected, but very effective.

JerryDelColliano 06-18-2007 06:54 PM

Bob makes a good point about the music specifically the lyrics.

I rewatched "Made in America" and it wasn't much better the second time. The way Chase cuts off the ending was unacceptable and disrespectful. It was as if he was saying he was goint to take his toys and leave the sandbox.

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