Tuesday, 31 July 2007

End Times - Sopranos spoilers warning!

One of the nice things about being back home (along with a five degree increase in temperature) has been getting the chance to finish off two series that have consumed many hours of my life – Harry Potter (see Lauren’s entry below) and The Sopranos.

I’ve loved The Sopranos since I started watching it back in series two. The complex, morally ambiguous characters, the excellent photography, the clever, topical dialogue, black humour and twisting plots - it’s the greatest drama series ever.

I've stuck my thoughts on the last season, particularly the last episode, in a comment. So, if you don't mind spoilers, click away.


Tane Aikman said...

The sixth and final season has been excellent, one of the best. The gangster lifestyle claimed many of the cast at last – Chris was unable to resist the lure of drugs, Bobby (the most decent off all the hoods) first became a killer then was killed, Vito was unable to hack working for a living in the countryside and returned to meet the fate of an openly gay mobster. They were unable to make the hard decision to leave the Mafia behind, and paid the price.

It also saw the end of Tony’s therapy sessions with Dr Melfi, as she finally realised they were having no effect. Talking about his feelings was just another way – like his love for young children and animals – that Tony tried to convince himself he wasn’t a bad man. But, as the series went on, for me the long-running question of whether he was mostly bad or mostly good came to a conclusion. He won’t be singing with the angels because, aside from a small circle of family and friends, Tony doesn’t give a damn about anyone else. His empathy is very selective.

The much-discussed, much awaited finale was, however, frustrating. The abrupt ending of the final scene, as we wondered whether one of the diners in the restaurant was really a hitman who’d whack Tony in front of his family, was in theory brilliant. We could draw our own conclusions – either Tony died right after the screen went black, dying like almost all of his other lieutenants, or it just showed that he would spend the rest of his life suspicious and afraid. Especially as all but one of his top men were gone. Having only that stupid, superstitious blabbermouth Paulie (whom he earlier considered killing) left of your close friends doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

But I don’t like ambiguous endings. Like the finale of Angel, the ending of The Sopranos was one I appreciated rather than enjoyed. Give me resolution, damn it!

Anyhow, there’s much good discussion about the last episode on Wikipedia. I can't figure out how to hyperlink from a comment, so cut-and-paste this:


Lauren Keenan said...

I'm just glad that Tane has finally seen the last episode. I read about it on stuff about 6 weeks ago, and knew that if I opened my mouth about it, it could have been grounds for divorce. :)