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The Final Sopranos - "Made in America" - 06/10/07 Part II (merged)

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The Final Sopranos - "Made in America" - 06/10/07 Part II (merged)

Old 06-12-07, 02:37 PM
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I guess I'm in the minority of people that really liked the ending. I posted in part one of this thread about how it related to the "focusing on the good times" theme that was mentioned toward the end of the show, but whatever, I understand how a lot of people did not like it. For this show, though, I felt it appropriate.

What I'm worried about, though, is Ron Moore's reaction to it. I don't mean to threadjack, but since it's been mentioned a few times, I feel I've got license to post this here. I can't read what Ron Moore said on his blog (It's blocked here at work), but I know from interviews and podcasts that The Sopranos is his favorite show. He thinks it's the best written show on television. What I'm worried about is whether or not this will influence his ending for Battlestar in any way. While this type of ending works (IMHO) for The Sopranos, BSG is a show that needs a much more finite ending, and while one of the great things about Battlestar is it's ability to buck expectations, I fear that he might go the "nobody expects (or wants) this, so this is what we're going to do" ending.

(threadjack over)


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Old 06-12-07, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
This should end all the debate. This is what CHASE HIMSELF says about the finale scene.

http://www.nj.com/columns/ledger/se...0570.xml&coll=1

"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."

In that final scene, mob boss Tony Soprano waited at a Bloomfield ice cream parlor for his family to arrive, one by one. What was a seemingly benign family outing was shot and cut as the preamble to a tragedy, with Tony suspiciously eyeing one patron after another, the camera dwelling a little too long on Meadow's parallel parking and a walk by a man in a Members Only jacket to the men's room. Just as the tension ratcheted up to unbearable levels, the series cut to black in mid-scene (and mid-song), with no resolution.

"Anybody who wants to watch it, it's all there," says Chase.

The article debunks the "Phil's cousin" and Dante's inferno theories as well.

----

"Filler episodes"

remember that 21-month hiatus between Seasons Five and Six? That was Chase thinking up the ending. HBO's then-chairman Chris Albrecht came to him after Season Five and suggested thinking up a conclusion to the series; Chase agreed, on the condition he get "a long break" to decide on an ending.

Originally, that ending was supposed to occur last year, but midway through production, the number of episodes was increased, and Chase stretched out certain plot elements while saving the major climaxes for this final batch of nine.

"If this had been one season, the Vito storyline would not have been so important," he says.

Your link isn't working, but when I clicked on it before I think it only showed part of the interview with Chase. Here is the whole article.

'Sopranos' creator's last word: End speaks for itself
by Alan Sepinwall, Newark Star-Ledger
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What do you do when your TV world ends? You go to dinner, then keep quiet.

"Sopranos" creator David Chase took his wife out for dinner Sunday night in France, where he fled to avoid "all the Monday morning quarterbacking" about the show's finale. After this exclusive interview (agreed to before the season began), he intends to let the work -- especially the controversial final scene -- speak for itself.

"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."

In that final scene, mob boss Tony Soprano waited at a Bloomfield ice cream parlor for his family to arrive, one by one. What was a seemingly benign family outing was shot and cut as the preamble to a tragedy, with Tony suspiciously eyeing one patron after another, the camera dwelling a little too long on Meadow's parallel parking and a walk by a man in a Members Only jacket to the men's room. Just as the tension ratcheted up to unbearable levels, the series cut to black in mid-scene (and mid-song), with no resolution.

"Anybody who wants to watch it, it's all there," says Chase, 61, who based the series in general (and Tony's relationship with mother Livia specifically) on his North Caldwell childhood.

Some fans have assumed the ambiguous ending was Chase setting up the oft-rumored "Sopranos" 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."

Another problem: Over the last season, Chase killed so many key characters. He's toyed with the idea of "going back to a day in 2006 that you didn't see, but then (Tony's children) would be older than they were then and you would know that Tony doesn't get killed. It's got problems."

(Earlier in the interview, Chase noted that often his favorite part of the show was the characters telling stories about the good ol' days of Tony's parents. Just a guess, but if Chase ever does a movie spinoff, it'll be set in Newark in the'60s.)

Since Chase is declining to offer his interpretation of the final scene, let me present two more of my own, which came to me with a good night's sleep and a lot of helpful reader e-mails:

# 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.)

Meanwhile, remember that 21-month hiatus between Seasons Five and Six? That was Chase thinking up the ending. HBO's then-chairman Chris Albrecht came to him after Season Five and suggested thinking up a conclusion to the series; Chase agreed, on the condition he get "a long break" to decide on an ending.

Originally, that ending was supposed to occur last year, but midway through production, the number of episodes was increased, and Chase stretched out certain plot elements while saving the major climaxes for this final batch of nine.

"If this had been one season, the Vito storyline would not have been so important," he says.

Much of this final season featured Tony bullying, killing or otherwise alienating the members of his inner circle. After all those years of viewing him as "the sympathetic mob boss," were we, like his therapist Dr. Melfi, supposed to finally wake up and smell the sociopath?

"From my perspective, there's nothing different about Tony in this season than there ever was," Chase says. "To me, that's Tony."

Chase has had an ambivalent relationship with his fans, particularly the bloodthirsty whacking crowd who seemed to tune in only for the chance to see someone's head get blown off (or run over by an SUV). So was he reluctant to fill last week's penultimate episode, "The Blue Comet," with so many vivid death scenes?

"I'm the number one fan of gangster movies," he says. "Martin Scorsese has no greater devotee than me. Like everyone else, I get off partly on the betrayals, the retributions, the swift justice. But what you come to realize when you do a series is, you could be killing straw men all day long. Those murders only have any meaning when you've invested story in them. Otherwise, you might as well watch 'Cleaver.'"

One detail about the final scene he'll discuss, however tentatively: the selection of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" as the song on the jukebox.

"It didn't take much time at all to pick it, but there was a lot of conversation after the fact. I did something I'd never done before: In the location van, with the crew, I was saying, 'What do you think?' When I said, 'Don't Stop Believin',' people went, 'What? Oh my God!'

"I said, 'I know, I know, just give a listen,' and little by little, people started coming around."

Whether viewers will have a similar time-delayed reaction to the finale as a whole, Chase doesn't know. ("I hear some people were very angry and others were not, which is what I expected.") He's relaxing in France, then he'll try to make movies.

"It's been the greatest career experience of my life," he says. "There's nothing more in TV that I could say or would want to say."

Here's Chase on some other points about the finale and the season:

# 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.

# Speaking of Harris, Chase had no problem with never revealing what -- if anything -- terror suspects Muhammed and Ahmed were up to.

"This, to me, feels very real," he says. "For the majority of these suspects, it's very hard for anybody to know what these people are doing. I don't even think Harris might know where they are. That was sort of the point of it: Who knows if they are terrorists or if they're innocent pistachio salesmen? That's the fear that we are living with now."

Also, the story -- repeated by me, unfortunately -- that Fox, when "The Sopranos" was in development there, wanted Chase to have Tony help the FBI catch terrorists isn't true.

"What I said was, if I had done it at Fox, Tony would have been a gangster by day and helping the FBI by night, but we weren't there long enough for anyone to make that suggestion."

# I spent the last couple of weeks wrapping my brain around a theory supplied by reader Sam Lorber (and his daughter, Emily) that the nine episodes of this season were each supposed to represent one of the nine circles of Hell from Dante's "The Divine Comedy."

Told of the theory, Chase laughed and said, "No."

# Since Butchie was introduced as a guy who was pushing Phil to take out Tony, why did he turn on Phil and negotiate peace with Tony?

"I think Butch was an intelligent guy; he began to see that there was no need for it, that Phil's feelings were all caught up in what was esentially a convoluted personal grudge."

# 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.
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Old 06-12-07, 03:35 PM
  #53  
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Interesting read.

I thought the ending was clever, and saw it as Tony getting whacked.
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Old 06-12-07, 03:54 PM
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# 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.
Yet I'm probably going to have to see it reposted as "fact" about 13 million more times across the web...
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Old 06-12-07, 04:03 PM
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Simply stated, this episode was good as far as The Sopranos goes. If you'd been a viewer for any length of time, you know everything that did happen was ancillary to the main nothingness that occurred on a weekly basis. Dr. Melfi realized after many years that Tony was going nowhere and she was acting as an enabler, so she ended all contact with him. If you were expecting the package-with-a-bow ending you are a fool misdirecting your anger at Chase for being Chase, and you should have followed Dr. Melfi's cue to tune out.
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Old 06-12-07, 04:28 PM
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I am happy with the ending. The series ended with Phil dead and Tony still alive. That is how I wanted it to end. I really don't need any more of an ending than that.
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Old 06-12-07, 04:39 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao-AD7oETRk
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Old 06-12-07, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ben12
That's beautiful.
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Old 06-12-07, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ben12
Behold its magnificence!
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Old 06-12-07, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ben12
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Old 06-12-07, 06:54 PM
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I just finished watching the final scene and I think it is really brilliant. If you listening to the song, Tony had just finished telling Carm that Carlo was going to testify. Right then the camera pans to Carm with a look of resignation that this is something they must always deal with, while the lyric states "It goes on and on and on and on" The song opens with the young couple feeding each other and the cub scouts, people with their whole lives ahead of them and then has the song progresses the camera focuses on the members only jacket, the old guy with his coffee, and the two black guys. New Jersey is given its final prop when Tony calls the onion rings the best in the state.

Everyone's final lines are nothing memorable, Meadow says "Shit" Carm says "You are making contacts" AJ says "Yeah" Tony says "I ordered some for the table." The only memorable line in the scene comes from season 1. But yet people are finding symbolism in everything that is done, the circle of the onion rings, going to the mens room, etc. He also made a very polarizing ending, similar to the way people felt about Tony. Lots of people loved him lots despised him. The fact that Tony was looking over his shoulder the whole scene was not suprising because he had been doing that for all 6 seasons.
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Old 06-12-07, 07:32 PM
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Going back to "Sopranos Home Movies" for a second. Shortly after Bobby's line in the boat about never hearing it when your time comes (paraphrasing), there is a bell that keeps ringing at the dock. You hear it several times thereafter in the background. I always remembered that. When I saw the final scene and Tony popping his head up every time the bell rings and someone enters the diner, I was reminded of that earlier episode. Could be another clue of foreshadowing for at least Tony's end. The onion rings-as-wafers (while being out there) could definitely signify their last meal. I don't know why everyone assumes the the killer has to use a gun. He could easily take out the whole building from the bathroom. All he needed was a small device in his pocket.

"Working hard to get my fill (Phil)"
-Journey (Don't Stop Believin')
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Old 06-12-07, 07:40 PM
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The more I think about it, the more I agree that Chase deliberately did what amounts to a "f*** you" for ending the show like this. That smacks of elitism to no end, and believe me, the vast majority of Americans felt cheated by this ending.

Chase could have done the ending a bit differently, especially my suggestion of using a camera to pull back from showing the Sopranos at their table in the diner to a street scene outside the diner. That would have been a FAR more satisfying ending, because at least the "defuses" a lot of the pent-up tension of the end, and we can still argue to no end about Tony Soprano's fate. As such the ending is akin to Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort at the final confrontation at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and ending it right at the climax.

Those here who are older than 50 years old probably remember the legendary TV series The Fugitive. That series went four years and yet in the end, we finally did have a satisfying ending. Chase should have understood how effective The Fugitive was in building up its tension and ending it and used it create far better ending to The Sopranos.

Last edited by RayChuang; 06-12-07 at 07:41 PM. Reason: add more information
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Old 06-12-07, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by RayChuang
The more I think about it, the more I agree that Chase deliberately did what amounts to a "f*** you" for ending the show like this. That smacks of elitism to no end, and believe me, the vast majority of Americans felt cheated by this ending.
That's why so many of his Hollyweird writer colleagues are calling the closing "ballsy."

And is it ballsy to write a great closing? Uh, no. Many of them admire what he did for the same reason Chefs admire how a diner who is complaining that there isn't enough pumpkin in his entree is asked by Gordon Ramsay "I see. Do you want it diced or shoved straight up your ass?" Chase chose for us.
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Old 06-12-07, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cracksky
Going back to "Sopranos Home Movies" for a second. Shortly after Bobby's line in the boat about never hearing it when your time comes (paraphrasing), there is a bell that keeps ringing at the dock. You hear it several times thereafter in the background. I always remembered that. When I saw the final scene and Tony popping his head up every time the bell rings and someone enters the diner, I was reminded of that earlier episode. Could be another clue of foreshadowing for at least Tony's end. The onion rings-as-wafers (while being out there) could definitely signify their last meal. I don't know why everyone assumes the the killer has to use a gun. He could easily take out the whole building from the bathroom. All he needed was a small device in his pocket.

"Working hard to get my fill (Phil)"
-Journey (Don't Stop Believin')
Thanks for the reminder. There has to be something to the bell ringing. Bell tolls for thee? Does Holsten's even have a bell on their door normally?
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Old 06-12-07, 09:23 PM
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I'm even more ballsy than Chase, I stopped watching 3 years ago.

Real intellectuals, like myself, don't need to be spoon fed our non-endings. I guess most of the pseudo-elite viewing public is just too lazy and need the creator to spell it all out for them by actually not showing the non-ending.
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Old 06-12-07, 10:07 PM
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Other TV writer reactions... http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/12/ar...in&oref=slogin

I really like heroes, so I don't know why Kring's reaction annoys me so much. Maybe it's because I found the Heroes finale to be so anti-climatic.


I for one reacted with shock and annoyance. A bunch of us gathered at our friend's comic book store, I made baked ziti, and we just all sat there with our mouths opened waiting for something else to happen. We watched it again at the west coast showing and the reaction shifted to mixed. Now I'm going to watch the show over again, and see how the reaction changes. Right now, i'm leaning towards like. I don't know if any ending would have been satisfying. The reaction that does annoy me is the that of "nothing happened!" Phil died in a hilariously gruesome way, Tony is going to be indicted, Meadow and AJ's futures are a little more clear, and Paulie is Tony's second in command. This is all after Christopher and Bobby's deaths, and Sil in serious condition, and Dr. Melfi's realization that Tony is a lost cause. The Soprano's was never really episodic, in the "Lost" or even "Six Feet Under" sense, it's meant to be viewed as a whole. I'm sad to see the show gone, but there's enough there to analyze and re watch.

Last edited by Elpresidentepez; 06-12-07 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 06-12-07, 10:24 PM
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Well apparently there is some proof to the multiple versions of the final scene theory.

These two pics show the same scene from the final moments.

The first I believe is from the Boston Globe
http://img253.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ture233ra2.jpg

The second is from someone's TV
http://img516.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ture232nz8.jpg

It's quite obvious Tony has two different shirts on.
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Old 06-12-07, 10:28 PM
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Just so we can clear up any possible confusion, here's the Tony/Bobby exchange from "Soprano Home Movies" and "The Blue Comet":

Bobby: Our line of work, it's always out there. You probably don't even hear it when it happens, huh?
Tony: Ask your friend out there on the wall.
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Old 06-12-07, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Boba Fett
Well apparently there is some proof to the multiple versions of the final scene theory.

These two pics show the same scene from the final moments.

The first I believe is from the Boston Globe
http://img253.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ture233ra2.jpg

The second is from someone's TV
http://img516.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ture232nz8.jpg

It's quite obvious Tony has two different shirts on.
I'm glad there is some proof of this. I thought I imagined it.
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Old 06-12-07, 10:59 PM
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Looks like Chase got exactly what he wanted.

The ambiguous ending has EVERYBODY talking!
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Old 06-12-07, 11:05 PM
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Exactly, wmansir. REAL intellectuals wouldn't even WATCH TV, would they???

Originally Posted by RayChuang
Those here who are older than 50 years old probably remember the legendary TV series The Fugitive. That series went four years and yet in the end, we finally did have a satisfying ending. Chase should have understood how effective The Fugitive was in building up its tension and ending it and used it create far better ending to The Sopranos.
Amen, brotha. I'm only 31, but that finale still sets the standard for TV series resolutions, along with "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen."

Did "The Fugitive" cut to black right before Lt. Gerard ended the fight between Dr. Kimble and the one-armed man on the tower?! NO WAY! Roy Huggins, a very educated TV producer in his own right, knew he would have NEVER been able to get away with that.

I don't know why David Chase thinks he's different. At the end of the day, call it what else you will, but "The Sopranos" is still just a television show.
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Old 06-12-07, 11:21 PM
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Right. Because The Sopranos is an exact copy of MASH and The Fugitive. I mean, that's why you're comparing them, right? Because that would be the only acceptable excuse. Otherwise, you might as well just compare the finale of Sopranos to the finales of Full House or Friends or the ever-popular Six Feet Under while you're at it.

Oh, and I saw both the East and West Coast feeds of the finale, and Tony was wearing the same shirt in both. Can't explain the photo, though. Last-minute costume change? Publicity picture taken during rehearsal?
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Old 06-13-07, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeP
Did "The Fugitive" cut to black right before Lt. Gerard ended the fight between Dr. Kimble and the one-armed man on the tower?! NO WAY! Roy Huggins, a very educated TV producer in his own right, knew he would have NEVER been able to get away with that.

I don't know why David Chase thinks he's different. At the end of the day, call it what else you will, but "The Sopranos" is still just a television show.
In fact, shortly after the one-armed man died, remember the very last scene in The Fugitive when Dr. Kimble walked down the steps of the courthouse and we saw a police car arriving in front of him with its sirens blaring? That was a very effective "scare" and a great way to end the series, in my humble opinion.
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Old 06-13-07, 01:45 AM
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The more I think about it the more I liked this finale and the ending. I'm giving the series another shot (last year i rented the first season and gave up after two episodes). So far, I've found that the second time round, I really appreciate the pilot much more. It's very well written.
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