About five months ago the Soprano's finale aired. Since I watch the series on DVD rather than live, I've spent the last five months ducking any mention of how the series ended. I begged everyone in the universe to just shut up about the finale until I got a chance to see it. Most of you did pretty well, but I still spent an alarming amount of effort, shutting my eyes, ears, nose, and, tongue from any Soprano's spoilers. (I had no desire to know how Tony Soprano smelled or tasted in the final episode).
Hiding from the secrets of the finale was not an easy undertaking. Even weeks after the finale aired, occasional references to it would appear in articles, and sometimes parodies would spring out of the Internet ether. I waded through the last five months with my fingers poised just outside my ears, my eyelids prepared to slam shut, and a deafening "LA LA LA LA LA" ready to roll off my tongue at the merest hint of a spoiler. I approached fortune cookies warily and ate alphabet soup with one eye shut.
I was surprised at my success. I didn't really expect to make it. How does one avoid finding out what happened on the final episode of the defining show of the 21st century? Last Thursday night, however, I looked both ways, and then popped the final Soprano's DVD into the player, still sporting a brain full of innocence and ignorance.
*** Spoiler Alert ***
So, what did I find? I found out why I was so successful in avoiding learning the great secrets of the Soprano's finale.
There was no secret! Nothing happened. Tony Soprano was not dead, retired or gay. No one in his family died. His crew didn't dissolve. Nada. Nothing. Sure they whacked a guy who was making trouble, but that sort of thing happened all the time in that show.
I was able to avoid finding out what happened in the final episode because NOTHING HAPPENED!
In the final scene, Tony and his family go out for dinner. Early in the scene, the camera cuts to black and that's it. Not even a parting lecture. Yes, there was some tension in the last scene that made it look like someone was going to die, and I gather that I'm supposed to read great meaning into that tension as being symbolic of the uncertainty in their lives blah blah blah, but COME ON! How about we let Masterpiece Theater rock the subtlety from now on, letting the Sopranos go out in a blaze of gunfire and stripper breasts, as it should be.
At the very least I wanted someone to spell out G-O-O-D-B-Y-E in rocks, or have Tony wake up next to Suzanne Pleshette. Is that so much to ask?