“What the *bleep*?” was heard across the country as the final episode of the Sopranos ended. I know I yelled it, I know you did, and as I read on forums online, and heard on the radio and in podcasts, so did everyone else. I knew an unconventional ending was coming, but the last thing I expected was an ending that would make me check if the recording had been screwed up. They might as well have put “To be continued…” on the bottom of that black screen.
If David Chase wanted to show the audience that life goes on, he didn’t need to resort to a gimmick. There were plenty of loose ends and possible demises for Tony. Even with Phil dead, there was no guarantee his second-in-command would back off forever and if Tony didn’t get whacked, the Feds were coming after him with another case. The show could have faded to black with the Sopranos happily enjoying their corrupt, hypocritical, fake, ridiculous family dinner and I would have been happy. But instead Chase basically ended his story in the middle of a sentence by building up all the tension and then abruptly cutting to black. What a cowardly way to end such a fantastic show. I think I understand what he was trying to do, but I still hate it. There are other, better ways to leave an ending ambiguous and up for interpretation besides just crudely cutting it out.
I liked the episode, at least everything up to the final 10 seconds. I just wish that was executed differently.