SADIE: DON'T READ THIS. ANYBODY ELSE THAT DOESN'T WANT TO KNOW HOW THE SOPRANOS ENDS: DON'T READ THIS. THERE MAY BE SPOILERS.
I don't get HBO. I have not seen the finale of The Sopranos. I watched the first six and a half seasons of the show on DVD, and haven't seen any of the episodes in part two of season six.
I can only comment on what I have read happened, and on the commentary I have read about what has happened.
But there's a joke in this blog's title, a joke that nobody has ever cared enough to get: when George Costanza was in a book club, he didn't read the book.
So I'm commenting.
I've read about the final scene at Wikipedia. At various blogs through Google Blog Search, I've read two general commentaries, and I would like to comment on both versions.
1. Positive and negative reaction to an ambiguous, open-ended, non-resolute ending.
I don't see what is wrong with the human desire for resolution and finality; what's wrong with wanting a clear-cut ending? As Jerry Seinfeld says, "If I wanted a long boring story with no point to it, I've got my life." We don't usually get clear answers or resolutions in our lives; it's one reason we turn to art and entertainment. There's nothing wrong with wanting finality, conclusion, answer. There's a justifiable disappointment when our desire for a simple resolution is thwarted--and there's no reason we should be judged negatively for that.
2. Even though they didn't show it, Tony Soprano was killed; the signs are there that he is dead.
At the end of John Fowles' The Magus, you don't really know if Nicholas and Allison get back together. It's ambiguous. However, the novel closes with a Latin phrase speaking positively about love. It may be (as I believe Fowles himself has suggested) that the meaning of that Latin phrase itself gives away the real ending.
And that may be. You may think you see something without a clear final ending, but if you look closely at the signs, you actually get a pretty clear answer about the ending.
And I hope Tony Soprano is dead; that's the ending I want.