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Regarding the final episode of “The Sopranos”

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The death of actor James Gandolfini (above) brings to mind something I wrote six years ago this month in another forum:

Why, oh why, must it fall to me to explain last night’s controversial denouement of “The Sopranos”?

I’ve got bigger fish to fry, folks, but I suppose I’ll get no rest until I spell it all out for you with regard to this trivial matter. So, let’s start with the dumbest question of them all:

Did Tony & family get whacked in that diner at the end?

Hey, were you watching the program or not? Did you see them get whacked? Well, then, they didn’t get whacked. And as for the question of whether they were snuffed after the end of the program, that’s just silly. There is no answer. Nothing happened to them after the end of the story. They’re fictional characters, for God’s sake. The writer leaves it to you to surmise what might have happened if the story were true, but it wasn’t true. The writer provides no answer. Hence, there is no answer. None. Get over it.

Will there be a movie that provides the answer to what happened to the family? Was all this just a cynical ploy to milk the franchise for more money?

Of course not. David Chase is not Aaron Spelling or some other such TV hack. The man’s rep rests on his disdain of boob-tube conventions. He’s not going to make a movie that follows up on that scene in the diner. And he’s not going to come up with a DVD release that does that, either.

Now, will you all please just move on. Yes, you can have some fun discussing among yourselves whether Chase meant to imply that Tony, Carm and the kids got wasted. But, again, there is no final answer. There is no airtight case to be made one way or the other. That inescapable truth bespeaks the brilliance of the final scene and the events leading up to it.

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