So Steve and I have been watching The Sopranos on DVD for a few years now. We aren't up to speed on this season, since it's not out on DVD yet, but last night while we were eating dinner, we got this hankering to watch the final episode with the rest of the HBO-viewing country. So we put Daniel in his pajamas and packed him into the car and drove up to the Motel 6 in Roseville and rented a room for two hours. (It's the same motel where Liz and I went to see the final episode of Sex and the City a few years ago. God bless Motel 6!) The desk clerk was a nice lady who gave us a deal and only charged us $20. It was so fun and spontaneous! We felt like we were on a little adventure.
I thought the ending was genius. It was sort of ... a non-ending. It just stopped and left them going on with life, only we don't get to see it. They're all in the restaurant, Tony and Carmela, A.J., with Meadow trying to park her car to meet them. Journey's Don't Stop Believing is playing on the jukebox. There are a couple of suspicious guys who could be nobody special but could be there to kill Tony. We don't know, but the tension is fierce. (Actually, I read that one of them was David Chase, the show's creator.) In the final conversation of the series, they're talking about A.J.'s new job, and A.J. reminds Tony about how he told him to remember the good times. (Appropos.) Meadow finally gets her car parked and starts to walk toward the restaurant. My adrenalin was kicked into high gear, wondering if there was going to be a big, climactic scene — and then the screen went dark, and Steve and I thought our cable had gone out at the hotel. We were debating whether to try turning the power off and on again ... but then the credits started to roll, in complete silence.
And that was it. And we sat there, saying, "Huh. Huh?" And that was the brilliant part of it. It was as if David Chase handed the whole thing to us and said, here - it's not mine anymore. Whatever happens next can only happen in your imaginations, and it can be whatever you choose. Me, I choose to think that they had a nice dinner together and went home, and Meadow will get married, and A.J. will get his act together, and maybe Tony'll get indicted or maybe not. Whatever. Their life goes on. I'm glad it didn't wrap everything up into a neat little package of closure and answer all our questions. It would have felt too contrived that way, in retrospect. I thought this ending was perfect for this show.