TODAY'S LETTERS: Readers Comment on 'Sopranos' Finale -- Prose and Cons

By: E&P Staff Late last night, we posted the first roundup of critical reaction to "The Sopranos" finale on Sunday, from newspapers around the country. Most of the reviews were fairly positive with plenty of naysaying mixed in.

Naturally, we got a bunch of letters about all that, as readers took a "whack" at it. Here is mere sampling.

Paint It Black

The only thing Chase could have done that would have really bent some minds is to have faded to black and then have a shot ring out.

Charleston SC

Tony DID get whacked. The only question is by who?

Remember first Tony's comments earlier this season about getting whacked (which were also replayed either last week or the week before). Tony said something to the effect of "you don't see it coming, you don't feel nothing, everything just fades to black". That was your ending.

As for the who, take note of the credits for the folks in the restaurant at the end. The guy at the counter that goes to the bathroom is Nikki Leotardo, phil's nephew. The black men are the same ones that shot Tony in season two, but only clipped his ear. Oddly, the Boy Scouts were in the store last week when Bobby got it, so they are going to have some issues, but my money says it wasn't the Boy Scouts.

My money says that based on the title, "Made in America", it was the trucker with the hat that read "USA". The same trucker who was the brother of the trucker that Christopher robbed and killed in season two...he was the guy that had to identify the body. It's all in the credits.

But Tony was, indeed, whacked.


David Chase stopped the show right before Tony got whacked. As Bobby Bacala told him in the flashback, you never see it coming and everything just fades to black, which is how the show ended. And no music over the final credits, because the show was all about Tony. Without him, there was silence.

One earlier scene showed Tony insulting Patsy, who had tried to kill Tony before. Presumably, Patsy found out from his son, who was dating Meadow, where Tony would be later that evening. The hitman going into the bathroom was a nod to Michael Corleone going into the bathroom right before shooting those two guys, also in an Italian restaurant.

The ending was beyond brilliant.

Michael Zak

I thought the tension and guesswork at the end of the show created by the focus on everyone who came through the door at the diner was good work. Not only did I think every moment that a different person was going to whack Tony and or maybe others or all of his family but when nothing happened you realize this is the way he will live the rest of what is left of his life.

Before he killed Phil he knew in the back of his mind he could be hit. Now he will have that thought in every moment and in every mundane situation. The real end of the show was when Phil got hit at the station.

Rich Z.
Woodbridge, NJ

With regard to your early Sopranos piece, all of your coverage is based on the perception that the series just "ends" abruptly.

The net has been abuzz with an alternate reading (one to which I subscribed, after thinking about the ending for ten minutes): the possibility that the series DID come to a narrative conclusion, but that David Chase presented it in the most non-traditional way possible.

Tony was killed, and as he predicted, he never even heard it happen when it came. Neither, many suspect, did the audience.

At best, you have to say the ending was "ambiguous." Your coverage implies a consensus about what we all saw last night; the chatter on the Net suggests a more complicated reality.

Joseph Pierro

It was genius. Television and film in this country is too damn predictable to begin with and this was a GREAT way to leave the door open for a sequel OR (if the cast members are hopelessly typecast back into it) as a continuation of the series down line (unlikely).

This has all the trappings of Star Trek. Here come the conventions, the impersonations, the knock off series etc.

Stu Gotz

What makes you think the "snap" (not fade) to black was anything other than Tony being whacked by the guy in the baseball cap?


Since I can't find and speak with the creators of the last episode of the Sopranos, can you ask them how much they are paying for the hour everyone lost of there life last night? The rest of the world will never get that hour back.

Jeannette Melillo


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