Sopranos finale: Commerce beats art

Okay, I just saw the end of the Sopranos for the second time. I watched the east coast feed and then saw it again, shuddering over the end that wasn’t an end, but just a stop in time.
Others can deconstruct what it means, but to me it’s the field day for commerce over art–why kill off Tony and company when this indecisive conclusion allows the producers and the network to decide whether or not to sell the franchise off to another director/producer for a spin off or a theatrical movie?
I’d say the finale was closer to silly stuff than high art. Arrgh.

Update: Interesting comments coming in, with David Bennett making some great points on the script and set up. However, for all the folks who say Chase will never make a movie–I agree. My thought is they will sell it off to another writer/producer and focus on that table of the second generation–Beverly Hills 90210 meets the Godfather. Yeah, sounds gross, but I can see it.

Update: How many folks agree with Susie Bright that we’re seeing Tony get wacked when the screen goes black? If that’s the case, I’m thinking cheap trick.

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  1. Bill Hicks says:

    Chase ended it exactly as he wanted to, and there’s absolutely zero chance of some kind of sequel or movie. Zero, ok? Why you ask? The ending only works because viewers of mob movies (and the Sopranos) have always been split on the morality of mob justice. Some people like Tony Soprano, some hate him. You draw your own conclusions about what happens to him and his family, based on your own biases of who he is. Chase doesn’t superimpose his personal opinion on us. I’m not saying it’s “genuis”, but it’s certainly a valid ending.

  2. Carpez says:

    So you define “art” as going for the same boring, redictable, unoriginal ending as every other mob movie? Yeah! He’s a commercial sell out for doing something challenging that most people didn’t understand and that they were pissed at, an artist gives the idiots the spoonfed bs they expect anyway.

  3. drakelelane says:

    You can throw out your commerce over art opinion, as Chase has said he’ll never do any continuation of the series in movie or series format. If he does do a movie, it will take place prior to the Sopranos storyline (Johnny Boy and Uncle Junior.)

  4. David Bennett says:

    Before Tony sits down, a man in a green jacket can be seen walking to the left of the screen. Six feet are visible, the two feet of the man and four feet of two cub scouts in the background. There is a sound like Carmella screaming, you hear this same sound again as the woman in black comes through the door. After Tony is seated, no ones feet are visible for the rest of the scene.
    The shooter is the guy who only ordered coffee, sat at the bar and entered the men’s room to Tony’s right directly before the end of the scene. He had the perfect shot. The guy in the cap was busy reading his paper, the black guys were there to eat (they were interested in the pie and not Tony).
    Death Symbols in final Soprano’s episode:
    Safe House – Twilight Episode “The Bard” where a writer evokes Shakespeare to write TV scripts. The question you here is “Julius what do I have to do, what do I have to say to get you out of here?”. This is a Caesar reference.
    Safe house / Satriale’s – The Cat, In the East the cat is said to bear away the souls of the dead, and in some parts of West Africa, is is accepted that the human soul passes into the body of a cat at death.
    Burning SUV – Final lyric of Dylan song “It’s Alright, Ma” that plays as SUV burns. You hear “While one who sings with his tongue on fire”, the lyric continues, “Gargles in the rat race choir Bent out of shape from society’s pliers Cares not to come up any higher But rather get you down in the hole That he’s in.”
    Holsten’s (Final Scene) – Only Six feet can be seen, two of the man in the green jacket, four of the cub scouts.
    Holsten’s (Final Scene) – Carmella’s screams can be heard as Tony enters the diner and the woman in black enters the diner.
    Holsten’s (Final Scene) – Carmella and kids are wearing black.
    Holsten’s (Final Scene) – Tony orders onion rings, someone on forum’s mentioned tears. Onions always accompanied the dead in ancient Egypt. They symbolized eternity.

  5. dtatusko says:

    The Audience is Dead
    The ending whacked the audience both figuratively and literally. There will be no sequel or follow-up because there is no one left to witness it!
    http://musings.tatuskofam.com

  6. malta says:

    I will watch the show again with all the following in mind.
    In the snow scene when Tony is in the Feds car, Tony tells the Fed about a bank the terror suspects use.
    The Fed is not happy with the information. Tony also tells the Fed that AJ is worried about the terror plots and asks if he making a molehill. This shows Tony is a bit ignorant and the Fed does not answer since it should be making a mountain out of a molehill.
    In the psychiatrists office we learn AJ has bought a lesson plan to speak Arabic. Also AJ is saying throughout the show it is a time of trouble for the country and he wants to help.
    Tony says all you need to know is Shiscabob. This shows Tony’s ignorance of the world around him.
    When Phil is killed the Fed says we may win this thing.
    When Tony is out to eat with Meadow she bemoans the states treatment of her father, he asks what state the state of NJ, and she no says no the Feds.
    AJ is interested in serving his country, breaking dependence on foreign oil.
    When AJ is laughing at the TV he is viewing Bush and Rove dancing.
    The man entering the bathroom at the diner looks like a Fed.
    Tony’s visit to the mental ward, shows how mob families pass on power by the generation.
    My take, the Feds need help with tracking terror plots, Tony has been less than cooperative, AJ seems willing to serve country.
    The feds protect the Soprano family with the info on Phil.
    The feds kill Tony, AJ is forced to take family lead, the feds feel he will be cooperative.

  7. Guido says:

    Perfect setup for “Sopranos: The Movie”.
    Otherwise, it was a garbage ending. Chase should get whacked himself for this crappy ending …

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