Why We Can’t Stop Thinking About The Final Scene In ‘The Sopranos’ Nine Years Later
The Sopranos is my favorite TV shows of all time. Sure, some episodes dragged and, sure, there were episodes Tony Soprano, Jr. was a punchable little bitch. But it was perfect, from James Gandolfini’s frustrating attempts at psychoanalysis to Paulie Walnuts wisecracking about… 16 Czechoslovakians.
The show’s “Don’t Stop Believing” scene is one of the great open-ended conclusions in pop culture history. The “fade to black” curtain down while Tony Soprano and family picks at onion rings in a Jersey diner doesn’t quite feel finite for a series with larger-than-life characters so concerned with their own mortality. As a viewer, it’s both frustrating because it forces you to actually think, something you rarely had to do while watching television until The Sopranos. And, boy, does it make you think: About television. About the characters. About relationships. About Plato’s stupid shadows on the cave or whatever. About something more existential, like loss and life.