Sunday night’s open thread on the series finale of The Sopranos — which had a legal connection, since a law firm expressed an interesting in hiring Meadow Soprano at a starting salary of $170K — drew many interesting comments.
There were tons of interesting theories bandied about concerning the ending of the show. Some of these theories are addressed in an interesting article in the Newark Star-Ledger, based on an interview with Sopranos creator David Chase.
For those of you who (1) follow the show and (2) don’t mind spoilers, there’s more discussion — plus a reader poll — after the jump.
Here are some highlights from the article. David Chase’s explanation (or lack thereof) of the ending:
“I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there,” he says of the final scene.
“No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God,” he adds. “We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people’s minds or thinking, ‘Wow, this’ll (tick) them off.’
“People get the impression that you’re trying to (mess) with them, and it’s not true. You’re trying to entertain them.”
Was the ending left open-ended for purposes of setting up a movie?
“I don’t think about (a movie) much,” he says. “I never say never. An idea could pop into my head where I would go, ‘Wow, that would make a great movie,’ but I doubt it.
“I’m not being coy,” he adds. “If something appeared that really made a good ‘Sopranos’ movie and you could invest in it and everybody else wanted to do it, I would do it. But I think we’ve kind of said it and done it.”
Alan Sepinwall, the author of the Star-Ledger article, offers his two theories about the ending (essentially the same as those offered by ATL commenters):
Theory No. 1 (and the one I prefer): Chase is using the final scene to place the viewer into Tony’s mind-set. This is how he sees the world: Every open door, every person walking past him could be coming to kill him or arrest him or otherwise harm him or his family. This is his life, even though the paranoia’s rarely justified. We end without knowing what Tony’s looking at because he never knows what’s coming next.
Theory No. 2: In the scene on the boat in “Soprano Home Movies,” repeated again last week, Bobby Bacala suggested that when you get killed, you don’t see it coming. Certainly, our man in the Members Only jacket could have gone to the men’s room to prepare for killing Tony (shades of the first “Godfather”), and the picture and sound cut out because Tony’s life just did. (Or because we, as viewers, got whacked from our life with the show.)
(We’re partial to Theory No. 1, but that’s just our opinion.)
There was some discussion by commenters about FBI Agent Harris’s reaction to the news of Phil Leotardo’s death. Chase explains:
After all the speculation Agent Harris might turn Tony, instead we saw Harris had turned, passing along info on Phil’s whereabouts and cheering, “We’re going to win this thing!” when learning of Phil’s demise.
“This is based on an actual case of an FBI agent who got a little bit too partisan and excited during the Colombo wars of the’70s,” Chase says of the story of Lindley DeVecchio, who supplied Harris’ line.
And finally, from Sepinwall:
Not from Chase, but I feel the need to debunk the e-mail that’s making the rounds about all the Holsten’s patrons being characters from earlier in the series. The actor playing Members Only guy had never been on the show; Tony killed at least one, if not both, of his carjackers; and there are about 17 other things wrong with this popular but incorrect theory.
What did you think of the Sopranos finale? Please take our reader poll:
‘Sopranos’ creator’s last word: End speaks for itself [Newark Star-Ledger]
Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Grubman to $170K?