How does one mourn the death of a loved one? The Egyptians held elaborate burial processions filled with wailing mourners when a Pharaoh died. Jewish and Catholic families of the deceased stay inside while friends and family make solemn visits. But tonight, when one of America’s most dearly beloved prepares to enter the pearly gates up high, most people will just be glued to their television screens. Why? Because tonight, the season finale and last episode — ever — of HBO’s The Sopranos will air.
The Sopranos has been regarded by many people as the best show on television ever. But, after eight years and six seasons, America’s favorite “family ” (OK, maybe the Kennedys or Corleones are more popular) is going off the air. To most non-Sopranos fans, this isn’t that big a deal. But, for those who have been following the fictional North Jersey-mob since the beginning (or at least since the beginning of this season — like me), this is a huge event. But what makes The Sopranos so amazing? Really, it’s the writing. David Chase, the renowned producer of the series, is able to mix vivid dialogue, realistic scenarios, and complex characters together to create one heck of a show. But it isn’t all the writing — the acting is also amazing. James Gandolfini, who plays the infamous Tony Soprano, is able to go incredibly deep into the mind of a part-psychopath mobster and part-family man. Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano), Michael Imerioli (Christopher Moltisanti), Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi), and more form a very well-rounded out and phenomenal cast, bringing the show to life with vivid realism.
But, despite how amazing the show is, the thing that most Sopranos fans have been talking about for the past week is not the quality of the series but “who’s gonna get whacked?” With a variety of theories floating around, from Tony killing Carmela to Phil killing Tony to Paulie killing everyone, the possibilities are endless. But, because this is my blog and I make the editorial decisions around here, here’s my personal theory on how the show will end (note, non-Sopranos fans may not understand half of what I say here):
Paulie’s going to try to whack Tony. He’s the only big guy left, and he’s always had a nasty temper. In the mean time, AJ’s going to get wind of a plot to kill Tony by Phil Leotardo’s crew, and try to come to his dad’s rescue. While AJ makes his way over to Tony’s hiding place, Paulie’s got the boss cornered with a loaded pistol, and is not afraid to use it. Now, just as Paulie pulls the trigger, AJ jumps in and takes the bullet. With Paulie and Tony both in shock, Phil’s guys bust in and kill Paulie while Tony manages to make it out alive. Carmela soon gets wind of what happens, and in a final cry of frustration of her husband’s profession the death of her only son, divorces Tony and cuts off all ties with him, once and for all. Meadow also follows in her mother’s example, leaving Tony alone. At the same time, the FBI busts Phil’s operation, leaving Tony in the clear. But, with his family in ruins and his personal life destroyed, Tony has to live out his days in poverty and solitude — the classic Greek tragic ending.
Well, that’s my two cents. But for now, it’s only speculation and mourning. So, goodbye my beloved Sopranos, too bad I only knew ya for 14 months. But hey, the magic of Netflix is that I can see all previous five seasons, plus start watching HBO’s other critically acclaimed show, The Wire. But, in the immortal words of Carmela Soprano, “Everything must come to an end.”