Tuesday, November 27, 2007

today : for whom the 'ding' tolls

I have only just completed watching the final episodes of the Sopranos, given that the show is exclusively a DVD event for me and it was only released here last week. They were imperious, hitting an effortless groove in the way that the first part of season 6 didn't quite attain.

And like everyone (and despite the spoilers that so many media journalist gleefully, stupidly and arrogantly threw around) I was surely surprised by the ending. I think it's great fun that the final diner scene has begun such a huge ongoing discussion. However, I was confounded and unhappy with one element of the final section. I thought that Melfi's conversion and rejection of Tony was too hurried. Those two have such a history that it seemed rushed that Eliot would tell her about a scholarly article, plant a discussion at a dinner party and then bam! she dumps Tony just like that. It didn't really feel natural. But that's a small shrug in the carpet.

So did Tony get capped? My thought is that he didn't. The black screen leaves us, of course to make our own judgements. But the Sopranos is one show that has earned the right to leave loose ends (as opposed to those shows that exist to contrive 'cults').

My preferred thought is that things just carry on. The black screen reminds me of another great unresolved ending in American fiction. i.e. "And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

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