‘The Sopranos’ Finale Finally Makes Sense Thanks to One Vanity Fair Reader’s Explanation
In case you haven't already, every fan of “The Sopranos” should read Vanity Fair's excellent oral history of “The Sopranos” in the May issue. Seriously. It's a hell of a read. After the TV went blank during the show's controverisal conclusion, I remember screaming and then staring into space for a long, long time to ponder what happened. Pretty sure I went for a walk afterwards just to clear my head and think about reasons why it ended like that. Like every fan, I talked about it for a solid month afterwards. I've come to peace with David Chase's decision to end the show in that. In fact, I applaude it; it's everything that good television should be.
Meanwhile, the June issue that just hit newstands features the best explaination I've ever read about the show's finale. Larry Grossman of Las Vegas, Nevada explains:
The last episode of The Sopranos was inspired. Here's why: One of the main themes of the show was the ongoing problems that the main character, Tony Soprano, had with panic attacks. This started with the first episode, which led to his therapy with Dr. Melfi. Tony's son, A.J., later had those same feelings. This panic-attack thread was prevalent during the entire run of the show.
The final episode had Tony, Carmela, and A.J. in a booth at the diner. Many sinister people were lurking, and the viewer feared for their safety; as Meadow tried clumsily to park her car, the suspense built. Then, right when the payoff is about to happen, the TV goes black. Everyone thought they'd missed it because they lost their cable. All viewers had a panic attack. Thus, we felt what Tony felt.
Five years later, does the blackout make more sense now?