Allow me to weigh in on The Sopranos series finale that aired last night. It was controversial to say the least. So much so that irate fans crashed the HBO website server and were reportedly cancelling their subscriptions en masse. Now, if you haven’t watched the finale yet, be warned that what I’m about to write will contain spoilers.
So, stop reading.
That means you Carl.
Okay. Robert Cooper is of the opinion that the ending was brilliant, an inconclusive closing that, like life itself, leaves us wondering what is to come. For my part, I agree with Marty G. who felt the ending was a cop-out. The inconclusive, “life goes on” finish that Rob is pushing could have been achieved by simply fading out on the family at the restaurant, having dinner. There were plenty of questions that remained unanswered after all. Instead, the scene suddenly cut to black. Beat. Roll credits. In my humble opinion, this was little more than a parlor trick designed to provoke controversy and discussion. Instead of discussing the merits of the episode itself or the series as a whole, fans have fixated on the directorial decision to cut to black, leaving most to wonder: “WTF?”
So what did happen?
Well, throughout the scene, there is tension aplenty as one shady character after another strolls into the restaurant. And so, some are of the opinion that Tony gets whacked at episode’s end. In a conversation with his brother-in-law Bobby earlier this season, Tony discusses the possibility of getting capped. One of them says something along the lines of: “you never hear it and then there’s nothing”. This, coupled with the fact that the scene suddenly cuts to black, is reason enough for some to speculate that Tony is killed. But this doesn’t make sense to me for several reasons, the chiefest being that if it was Chase’s intent, he would have cut out of Tony’s POV (maybe Meadow coming through the door toward him) rather than a shot OF Tony. I’m sorry, but to argue otherwise would be to accuse Chase of sloppy direction and I just don‘t buy it given how meticulous he‘s been. It wasn’t Tony and his perspective that was experiencing “never hear it and then there’s nothing” but the perspective of the viewer. In other words, it was we the viewers who got whacked in those last few seconds. And in a big way. Instead getting a conclusion, fans were given the option to make up their own ending. You know, sort of like those junior adventure books where the story progresses according to the choices you make as a reader. “You’re making your way through the forest when you encounter a goblin guarding a treasure chest. If you choose to fight the goblin, turn to page 17. If you choose to befriend the goblin, turn to page 21. If you choose to run away, turn to page 25.” In retrospect, why bother producing a series-ending episode at all when you could just have the fans make up their own finale, pocket the savings and throw yourself a big party?
Hmmmm. I suddenly have another idea for episode #20…
My final thoughts on the subject: Six Feet Under = Best Series Finale Ever!
I’m in trouble. Big trouble. We went to visit the lady with the pug puppies yesterday and Fondy fell in love with one. Actually, two. Don’t get me wrong. I think they’re adorable and would be perfectly happy to adopt one more – except for the fact that we already have three pugs. Three incredibly needy, attention-seeking pugs who will crawl over one another to be the first one in your lap. Fondy argues that getting another pug – she’s eyeing a pudgy fawn female that she’s already named Uni – will actually be better for our trio, giving them another playmate to spend quality time with. I’m not buying it. But, chances are good I may be buying that pug.
After the pug visit, we stopped by the deserted Henderson Mall in beautiful Coquitlam where I snapped this pic of Teal’c’s new retail venture on our way to dinner at the Kirin. Lobster with ginger and green onion, pork belly in sweet and sour sauce, and my favorite vegetable of all time: tong choy (served with chili and bean curd)! We ended the meal with fortune cookies. As is customary (I believe the tradition dates back to the Han dynasty), one must read aloud the fortune and add the line “In bed.” in order to make true sense of the hidden maxim. Interesting.
Catching up on the Q&A –
PG 15 writes: “Is Miller’s Crossing still airing 9th?”
Answer: Most definitely.
Smiley_face06 writes: “Where do you keep your camera? I ask because you seem to have it on you quite often.”
Answer: Actually, my eye is bionic and possesses a camera/coupon scanner function.
Little Raven-Hawk writes: “Will the ratings in other countries be looked at when they are deciding on season 5?”
Answer: Sadly, no.
Anonymous #1 writes: “Who’s next? Dump Teyla for Vala, maybe?? Get rid of Shep and bring in Mitchell??”
Answer: I hear they’re thinking of trading Zelenka and Chuck for Siler and a third round draft pick.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Where do you go to get a quick but cheap chocolate fix?”
Answer: I like Chocoatl in Yale town a lot. Trafalgar’s isn’t a terrible inexpensive alternative.
Johnny E writes: “Any outdoor scenes you shoot for SG1 or SGA, do you guys have to get a permit for it, or are you just running around the woods?”
Answer: All location shoots are cleared with the city and any other necessary authorities.
Arlessiar writes: “So, from what you told us about McKay’s allergy the “make of that what you want” doesn’t leave much room for interpretations anymore”
Answer: Actually, it leaves plenty of room for interpretation. It’s like a Sopranos finale. Whatever makes you happy.
Someday Scientist writes: “ Are you a fan of other European cuisine? Saurkraut, blood sausage, oliebollen, others?”
Answer: Put me down for others. Not sure what oliebollen is.
Rosie writes: “Which do you find more difficult, writing the actual script, or choosing the name for said script?”
Answer: They’re equally frustrating. So to all of you who aren’t crazy about the Rise of the Googlions title, here’s your chance to come up with an alternative title. I can’t tell you what the episode is about but if you come up with a good enough title, I promise to use it.
Cd writes: “Tony, alive or dead?”
Answer: I’m going with “alive”.
Cd also writes: “Somebody said since this scene was shot “third person limited” Tony is gone.”
Answer: As I stated above, the fact that the scene was shot “third person” leads me to assume quite the opposite.
M writes: “Regarding late running guests, well you should have told them 6pm!”
Answer: Next time, I’m just going to go ahead and eat. When they arrive, I’ll tell ’em: “Yeah, the leftovers are in the fridge. Help yourselves.”
Saddy writes: “ Liz didn’t HAVE TO be stuck behind her desk. She has a political and linguist background, she could have done everything that Daniel Jackson is doing in SG1”
Answer: Actually, Daniel’s background as an anthropologist and archaeologist makes him uniquely qualified to travel off-world with SG-1.
Jim from Jersey: “I’m the “mysterious Jim” of whom you speak.”
Answer: Thanks. Your block of chocolate proved both delicious and menacing.
Foolishpleasure writes: “So, I’ve seen the MGM preview and have to wonder why it seems you writers think the way to improve and develop Teyla is to have her romance one of the leads.”
Answer: She’s romancing one o the leads? Really? You have a better inside scoop than I do and I work on the show. So what else is going to happen in season four? Dish!
Anonymous #2 writes: “Why hasn’t there been any featurette on Joe F.?”
Answer: Ivon Bartok puts together the special features and relies on actors to make themselves available to him. If they are unable to make themselves available to him for whatever reason, then he can’t produce special features dedicated to them.
LogicSequence writes: “There are no commentaries with the actors for the season 3 DVD box set?”
Answer: No idea.