June 06, 2006

"Sopranos" Finale Thoughts

For once, the conventional wisdom is exactly right: Sunday's "Sopranos" finale was quite a disappointment, easily the most anticlimactic finale in the series' history. It finished a season which didn't really have any overarching theme or arc to speak of. True, it's still better than almost anything else on TV. But Season Six just failed to measure up to the expectations created by its two-year hiatus, especially following the brilliant previous season.

No, I'm not about to complain because no one got whacked in the finale, or even that no loose ends were tied up (I'm actually glad they never found the Russian). But the finale, very weakly paced, just had no narrative momentum to speak of. Why do we need more Christopher drug stuff? Are we supposed to believe that AJ, despite six years of evidence to the contrary, is ready to be a responsible adult? Why no panic from Tony and Carm that AJ brought home a Dominican girl- especially one with a kid? (Though I did like the "at least she's Catholic" line).

The hospital scene with Tony and Phil was a bright spot, with Tony filling Carmela's role from the coma scenes of the second and third episodes. And Agent Harris warning Tony may have been key for next year- could this mean Tony will flip, or will Harris become a mob-protector, like the Boston FBI with Whitey Bulger?

I see that with the Christmas scene at the end, they were going for the same vibe as the last scene of Season 1, with Tony's family driving in the rain to Artie's restaurant- and as if to drive home the point, Tony mentioned that night to Artie a few episodes ago. But that episode had the brilliant juxtaposition between the whacking of Mikey and Junior's other guys, Tony chasing Livia with a pillow, and then the sweet family scene. In Sunday's episode, though, it just came across as perfunctory and awkward.

I am, of course, looking forward to the final eight episodes in January, as I have confidence in David Chase to bring the series to a close in a worthy and satisfying way, whackings or not. But this doesn't keep me from being a tad underwhelmed by this year's batch of episodes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 6, 2006 01:14 AM

I agree - the finale suckity suckity sucked. The scene with Tony and Phil in the hospital did in fact make the season come almost full circle, although at one point I thought Tony was going to smother him with a pillow. Also, the final Christmas scene was obviously a throwback to the final episode of Season 4 (I think ... whichever finale was also a Christmas scene) but it just felt *off*. I'm sure everything did not end in one neat package like that. Hopefully the mini-season will resolve some stuff. My predictions: Christopher for all his attempts at redemption gets whacked in retaliation for the fat guy that Sil and Carlo stabbed; Agent Harris enables Tony to stay one step ahead; AJ knocks up the Puerto Rican bitch (gee that's a tough call).

Posted by: LilB at June 6, 2006 12:48 PM





Posted by: PETERPAINTER at June 22, 2006 05:50 PM
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