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HBO‘s hottest show ended tonight in a sort of anti-climatic way. The Sopranos. Family show or fantastical killing spree? Whichever way you saw it, it’s sad to see it go.

I have mixed feelings about the finale. On the one hand, I didn’t see a few key plot points being wrapped up at all. Silvio was still in the hospital, and although they alluded to the fact that he’d never wake up, I was left a little unsatisfied.

But I did feel the show went out in a very Sopranos-like fashion: with family. I think it was oddly symbolic that Journey’s song “Don’t Stop Believin” was playing in the background and started just as Carmela walked in. Tony’s way of saying “I’m still here. Don’t give up just yet” to Carmela, his family and the audience.

I was a little surprised to see Meadow’s high school friend Hunter in the episode. I really didn’t feel her significant enough to be important, other than a familiar face in light of an ending.

For those who were just in it to see who was going to get whacked, (can’t lie…I definitely wanted to see, even though I’m typically into plot and character development… the show just wouldn’t be the same if someone didn’t die) Phil Leotardo was finally found out. Out in broad daylight, in a blunt and brutal fashion, he was shot in the head twice. And before anyone could move him, his head was crushed by the rear wheel of an SUV. Now, that’s what’s up.

I found the cat to be a little symbolic, as well. Especially Paulie’s disdain for the little thing. The cat kept staring at Chrissy’s picture. Maybe it was a sign that Christopher was now in cat form (a stretch for the norm, sure…but I wouldn’t put it past Paulie to think so), or just a reminder of a friend lost. The picture of Christopher may have been a painful reminder of all the made guys and loveable characters lost since the beginning. Big Pussy, Vito, Richie and Jackie Apprille…and more recently Bobby Baccaleri.
Quite a bit of focus was put on Bobby during this episode. If anything, he was the kindest character on the show. And the fact that he died so terribly in a place that he loved so dearly is heartbreaking. And where would the show be if it were not heartbreaking.

But as for the be-all end-all ending to the series, I really don’t think it could have ended in a better way. I was left feeling uncomfortable and unfulfilled. It was not neat and tidy and wrapped up in a tiny little bow. And to be perfectly honest, I would have very unhappy with any other ending. The lack of closure is oddly comforting as well. Knowing that only speculation will play a hand in the ultimate fate of Tony Soprano. But it ended with everyone where they were supposed to be: Meadow in Law School and constantly changing her mind. Aj being a pain in the ass bleeding heart and a spoiled brat all at the same time. Carmela and Tony just being themselves, discussing what’s next…what’s for dinner. Tony’s life continues, and although no one knows where it goes, we’re better for it. The Sopranos is like a best friend: it comes into your life quickly and powerfully and undoubtedly leaves a strong impression on you. And you are inevitably sad when your time is up. But it is ultimately up to you what you take from it.

Goodbye, Tony. You had a good run.

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