Feeling 'Whacky': News Sites Have Fun Predicting Final 'Sopranos' Plot Twists

By: Joe Strupp Will Tony Soprano end up sleeping with the fishes? Or find a duck's head in his bed? No one know what will happen in the final episode of 'The Sopranos' coming Sunday, or if they do, they are not talking.

But that hasn't stopped the wide-ranging speculating on newspapers sites everywhere. Many TV writers and bloggers are weighing in with speculation about whether Tony live or dies, if anyone close to him is killed, if he kills himself, or if he ends up in prison. But few are offering outright predictions, with many punting to readers, asking for their take.

Slate.com Columnist Timothy Noah, in a chat on sister Web site, washingtonpost.com, declares that "I think bad things are going to happen to the Soprano family. It may be that Tony dies; it may be he goes to jail; it may be that A.J. goes off the deep end. No matter what unfolds, I think it's safe to say that Carmela will never fully recover from having to face the reality that their family life is based on violence and mayhem."

Paul Farhi of The Washington Post, also in a chat, declared his "Pet Sopranos Theory (PST): Why Tony Won't be Whacked in the Final Episode. Reason: The show will be running in re-runs for the next 10,000 years. It will harm the re-run value of the series if we know that Tony eventually dies. So he has to live....And, yes, you can steal this brilliant insight and pretend you made it up."

Farhi also knocked down chances for a reunion movie down the road, saying, "the Sopranos is nothing if NOT cheesy. And a reunion movie would be highly cheesy. Practically a giant wheel of cheese."

At The Boston Globe, TV Critic Matthew Gilbert says "I don't believe he will off himself, although the camerawork teased us with that possibility as he climbed onto the bed. I'm more of the mind right now that Paulie, so two-faced, will kill Tony, or at least try to, in hopes he'll survive with Phil. Or will Tony give up his life to save Carmela, or A.J., in one big act of self-sacrifice that will prove Elliot (and now Melfi) wrong? I'm not holding my breath... I can't wait for next week; and I'm dreading it, too. All good things must pass, I guess."

For Tim Goodman, of the San Francisco Chronicle, the last episode means " a lot of heated theories about where this series is going are now moot, pointless or just out the window. Forgotten even. I still think there will be a lot of unanswered questions in the finale (and we may yet see Tony die) but this unraveling seems about as simple as you could dream it. Two families have a falling out. New York moves on Jersey. The end. Or at least close to it. There are still ramifications. But the basic motivation for closure seems to be a personality clash and a dispute. Very true-to-life as motivation. Very mob-like."

Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times weighs in, saying "It is the end, one way or another, of Little Rico, Little Caesar, Sonny Corleone, Michael Corleone and Bugsy Siegel. Yes, Tony may yet kill himself, or go to the fedsand save his skin or somehow avoid being the body slumped over a restaurant table surrounded by police tape, but any hope he had of being a different sort of mob boss, a different sort of anti-hero, is gone."

Maureen Ryan, of the Chicago Tribune, was less specific, but surprised that others were dying before Tony. "For a long time, I've thought it would make sense for Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) to die as the series closed (and that's just a guess, I have no inside information). But I never really pondered the thought that there could be a lot of carnage around Tony as the series' end approached." Ryan is one of many writers who asked for viewer theories rather than make a clear prediction on her own.

Also going to readers was David Hinckley of the New York Daily News, who did not give his prediction, but took a reader poll of favorite characters. What a surprise, Tony won with 28%

Adam Buckman of the New York Post was equally indecisive, writing, "The apparent end of Tony's therapy - the central premise (and selling point) of 'The Sopranos' since the beginning - was a clear sign that this show is nearing the finish line. Indeed, last night's episode ended with Tony going to bed clutching an assault rifle - a gift from Bobby in the first episode of this season. And, with lieutenants Bobby and Silvio out of the picture, the question on the minds of 'Sopranos' fans going into next Sunday's finale of course, is: Will Tony live or die?"

Many papers ran an article by Jake Coyle of Associated Press, which stated "Tony's sporadic interactions with the FBI agent have led to conjecture that Tony might flee to the police. His conversations with the agent have been limited, though, and it seems possible they constitute nothing more than a red herring. The different possible conclusions for 'The Sopranos' could forever color fans' memories of the show. For a series that has always preferred a realistic messiness to tidy plot resolutions, grand fireworks would be against Chase's nature."


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