Monday, June 11, 2007

Don't you hate it when an SUV runs over...? Uh... I'll stop right there, if you promise not to read any further if you want to avoid spoilers from last night's Big Television Event that wasn't the Tonys.

Twelve hours later, I'm still not quite sure what I think about the grand finale of The Sopranos. Like everyone else who was watching HBO last night, I reacted to the black screen with (1) confusion; followed by (2) "What the fuck?!!"; followed by (3) the realization that I'd have to make up the ending for myself.

Basically, I'm okay with that. The black screen could mean almost anything, and for a show that has twisted and turned and dropped plot lines and red herrings for seven years, it seemed appropriate. Was it the abrupt dark silence of sudden death that Tony and Bobby had speculated about earlier in the season? Was it nothing more than a David Chase head game, designed to make the viewers crazy with speculation? Were those guys in the diner killers? Or were they just guys in a diner? Does life go on for the Soprano clan?

I'm going to have to watch the final episode again, because I'm sure there were clues that I missed. Barring any huge revelations, though, we're left with what they apparently gave us. Tony -- who may or may not be dead -- likes onion rings; Meadow -- who may or may not be dead -- can't parallel park; and Paulie -- not dead -- is spooked by the cat, which is probably the first time I've ever felt an affinity with Paulie Walnuts.

The rest of the episode, well... it was average, at best, with a few outstanding moments. I think I expected too much after last week's nail-biter. Still, there were highlights:

* Agent Harris rooting for Tony's family like they were his favorite sports team;

* the poignant moments between Janice, Tony and Uncle Junior, where we see the once-powerful mobster reduced to a shell of his former self;

* and, of course, the crowd reaction to the indignity that befalls Phil after he's killed in the gas station parking lot.

I'm going to miss that show. But at least I get my Sunday nights back.