I have never seen a whole episode of The Sopranos. I’ve really only watched two scenes.
One of those scenes, however, was the highly-anticipated and highly-controversial series finale, aired Sunday night. The conversation about the scene was inescapable on Monday, so as a curious human being, I searched for it on Youtube and sat down to watch. It’s since been taken down by HBO for obvious reasons, but since nearly everyone in the known universe is already giving their opinion on it, I thought I’d give mine, as inconsequential as it probably is.
I was floored. Completely stunned, in the best way possible. I think that the final scene of The Sopranos might actually be the best scene in anything ever. Why are people so keen on closure? That’s almost never how life works, right?
The abrupt end definitely raises obvious paths of interpretation, but more technically than that, it’s cinematically brilliant. The quick cuts, the difficulty with the parallel parking, the stream of suspicious characters, Tony’s paranoia, the Journey power ballad on the jukebox, it all adds incredible tension, and the release left me gasping for breath. A shorter, 20-second version was uploaded to Youtube today and will probably get taken down soon, but even watching that, my breath gets stolen every time the end comes.
Seriously, I think it’s the best scene of anything that I’ve ever seen. I’m completely inspired to watch every episode of The Sopranos now (it’ll never happen, but the interest is at least there, where it never was before). All you who hated the ending: why? What were you looking for? What was it about The Sopranos in general that made the ending unpalatable? Admittedly, I’m a complete Sopranos newbie; that’s only the second scene I’ve ever seen! But to me, that was the best way you could possibly end a dramatic series. I wonder how many people will ever try to copy this, and inevitably fail. That was the best ending. Ever.