Sunday, May 27, 2007

How will it end?

Damn, no Sopranos this week. I've read a few spoilers as to how the show will end, but the show is about as secretive as the Bush Administration, so I doubt any of those spoilers are nearly 100% accurate. I do think we can discount Meadow ending up as da boss. Been there, done that, in Godfather III. Anyway, here's my guess as to how it ends. I figured I'd put it up so I can see how wrong I am come June 10:

Phil Leotardo's underling insulted Meadow Soprano last week, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that Phil would go after A.J. Phil seems obsessed with killing a close relative of Tony's as retaliation for Tony cheating him out of killing Steve Buscemi (aka "Diet Tony" on TWoP). Now that Christopher is gone, there aren't any mobster relatives left except Uncle Junior, and it's not like Tony would care if Junior got capped. I don't count brother-in-law Bobby here, but maybe I should. Anyway, Tony's children are civilians, but that doesn't seem to matter to Phil. One spoiler has A.J. beating Phil to death with a metal pipe. Perhaps the New Yorkers will kidnap A.J., and he will escape after killing the NY boss. That would be consistent with the Lincoln and Kennedy references in the past two episodes. Moreover, having a "civilian" like A.J. take out a boss would be a sort of cosmic revenge on an audience that identifies a bit too closely with the mafiosi on the show, an issue that has bothered David Chase since the show premiered.

Phil gives an order to "whack New Jersey," much as Lucchese boss Vic Amuso did in the 1980s. After several of his guys are killed, or to find A.J., or both, Tony turns to the FBI's Agent Harris, and ends up relatively impoverished in the witness protection program. He may actually become Kevin Finnerty of Kingman, Arizona, just like in the coma dreams early in Season Six. It's possible that Agent Harris--who is personally fond of Tony--may begin this process by tipping Tony off about Phil's extermination order (I had to use that phrase). At the end, Tony will have lost his arrogance like the Tibetan monk told him to do in one of the coma dreams.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Carmela will pick up again with her curiosity about Adriana's disappearance. She did see the ghost of Ade in her Seven Spirits dream at the very beginning of Season Six, and that ghost has hung around throughout the season. At the end of the show, Carm will be left with "Sekhu, or the remains," of her life of luxury and wealth as First Lady of the Mob.

I don't see Tony having a "life goes on" ending as the boss of the New Jersey crime family. His coma dream showed him a little of what an alternative life would be like. Also, he did not enter the house of the dead when Steve Buscemi tried to show him in. In the last episode, he spoke with Dr. Melfi about there being something undefinable, but "more" out there. He also spoke about how mothers are like buses that drop you off, but you keep getting back on the buses. Could Tony's subconscious be telling him to get off the Livia bus and out of the Mafia? There are only two ways out for a guy like Tony--either in a body bag or in the witness protection program. One of the themes of Season Six seems to be reducing the alternatives available to the major characters.

The Sopranos arguably is the most significant phenomenon in American pop culture in the past 10 years. The mobster aspect of the show is the tip of the iceberg as far as I'm concerned. The show works with symbolism, subtext, metaphor, and the subconscious mind better than any popular entertainment I've seen. C.G. Jung could be on the writing staff. And has an actor ever nailed a part any better than James Gandolfini has nailed Tony Soprano? This go-around, "The Sopranos" has pretty much blown everything else out of the water.

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