The Sense of an Ending

Sopranos spoilers galore here. You’ve been warned. I’ve been fascinated by the reactions to the final episode of The Sopranos. Most of the people on the discussion boards I’ve skimmed have expressed disappointment at what has been described as the show’s “life goes on” final scene, but I think the ending is fitting, not simply because life goes on–that’s obvious–but because of the life that Tony finds himself living during that final scene. Because of all of the suspense cues–Meadow can’t parallel park her car, the mysterious guy at the counter in the diner–we become acutely aware of Tony’s situation, the fact that he’s constantly aware of potential threats. But also the scene suggests that everything he’s done to provide for his nuclear family has also potentially put them at risk. The denial of closure during that final sequence–I believe–worked really well.

But what I really wanted to mention, at least for now, is my fascination with a couple of YouTube clips that I discovered while skimming Sopranos spoiler sites last night before the show. One clip was actually recorded outside the Holstein’s diner as Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) struggles to parallel park her car before running into the diner to meet her family. The person who recorded this clip correctly predicted that it was from the final scene of the show and claims that it was the last scene ever shot for the series (a claim that I can’t confirm). A similar clip depicts someone from the show being thrown from a third story window. But I’m wondering how or if these clips will fit within the micro-histories of The Sopranos, especially given that show’s rich cultural roots in the state of New Jersey, and how YouTube and other video sharing sites might be able to contribute to a richer history of media production.

I’ll post a somewhat revised version of this entry on Newcritics because I’m curious to get your comments.

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