Skip to content

Sops Wrap

The Sopranos wrapped on Sunday night, not in an Italian restaurant but in a typically American diner and to the strains of Steve Perry singing Journey’s classically cheesy power ballad “Don’t Stop Believing.” Stopped mid-sentence as a matter of fact, without any neatly satisfying conclusion, shocking twists or gunfire montage. There were inferences and implications, and subtle references to earlier foreshadowing, but the overriding theme was one of unbearable mounting tension leading to a jarring cut to black. I won’t break down the final scene but suffice to say it was both dense and abstract, frustrating and telling, unsatisfying yet wholly appropriate.

I watched the premiere episode eight and a half years ago, which in itself is  a bit jarring. I caught the second showing at two in the morning, five hours after it played the previous evening. I had no intention of watching but was in a typically sleepless state alone in my house in San Francisco and something about the main guy drew me in. He resembled me physically, was depressed, had panic attacks, family issues and was seeing a female shrink. He did things with his face that reminded me of myself. As it turned out, it was a hell of a show.

I had an uneasy feeling before watching the final episode on Sunday night. It didn’t have to do with the program itself or how it would end but more about the passing of time and the questions we all face, to varying degrees and with different levels of introspection. I sat alone on a bench across the river from Jersey and watched the sun set. Then I watched the finale. I’ve thought about it quite a bit since, kind of like you sometimes do when someone close to you dies. Granted it’s just a TV show but I don’t feel the need to make apologies. A good chunk of my life passed during the years it was on and I had a lot of decent conversations with people who matter and mattered to me about various plot lines, symbolism and themes. In the end it was about almost everything that defines us, particularly in this country. Family, hypocrisy, love, lust, nostalgia, violence, hope, futility, psychology, the bullshit of Psychology, the little guy, the big guy, ambition, laziness, the promises we keep and the lies we tell ourselves and everybody else. And whacking .. it had a lot of whacking. There have been numerous complaints about the way in which David Chase chose to end things and this reminds me of a line spoken by Agent Harris in the first episode of this season, well over a year ago: “nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” Fortunately Chase never chose to condescend or play to the lowest common denominator and this instinct served him well all the way to the end. (6/12/07)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *