Earthbound concerns of an ascendant adult

R.I.P. Tony Soprano

with 2 comments


As of 8pm Thursday, plus forever afterward, my THE SOPRANOS finale theory has been mentioned on two podcasts, the first being Keith & the Girl, the second being Feast of Fools. I posted it on both podcasts’ forums. In the former I’m mentioned by name, as ‘patioman.’ In the latter, they (insufficiently) refute the theory without mentioning me. No further preamble. Here it is:

Tony died as he entered the diner.

As he walks in, the shot holds on his face, then cuts to a shot of the diner, then cuts back to his face, then back to a shot of the diner. Suddenly, he—without his coat on—is seated in the center of the diner. Therefore, the Tony of the previous shot appears to have been staring at himself. That moment at the door is Tony’s last alive, and what follows is a fever dream before he falls to the diner floor, dead, a bullet in the back of his head. [See: that high school classic, Ambrose Bierce’s “Hanging at Owl Creek.” Also, Tobias Wolff’s “A Bullet in the Brain.”]

The fever dream Tony experiences consists of him searching, essentially, for who killed him based on his brief look at the diner. The people he sees are not REAL people, but archetypes. The boy scouts, the couple drinking a milkshake, the two vaguely gangsta black guys, the Italian gangster-ish guy who goes into the bathroom, GODFATHER-style, akin that is to a movie with which Tony was obsessed. The scene blacks out when Tony dies. It’s all a big nothing.

Thank you. Other opinions.

Written by patiomensch

June 12, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Posted in The Sopranos

2 Responses

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  1. Made in America, the name of the final episode, is a common phrase used in many contexts. We often search for it when buying something. It’s a phrase which has come to mean genuineness, durability, authenticity. In addition, to be ‘made’ connotes the ritual one goes through to be initiated as a true gangster. Put together the phrase offers a sort of ironic twist to the concept of being made. What was once thought of as achieving true identity and purpose has in a sense been a fraud– all the ritual, all the pride and supposed comradery, all superficial. The process of being made is a fraud, it is not the genuine process of becoming. Notice what Phil says about the NJ crew, ‘they don’t even make people right, they don’t even prick the finger.’ Notice what the NJ crew says about Johnny Sack and the NY crew, ‘he created a sort of insecurity’ (referring to Phil). After the death of his brother, and his near death experience, Phil made it his calling to reaffirm his ‘made’ gangster identity. But in the end it led nowhere. Did anyone else catch the brand of vehicle which ran over Phil’s skull. It was a Ford. 100% Made in America. In a sense, this symbolizes the true process of being made overpowering the fraudulent ‘made’ one. So, if we recognize the symbolic judgment passed on the fraudulent ‘made’ identity, than where is the real process? In the final episode, who is Made in America? — This is where it gets a little fun.

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    June 12, 2007 at 9:13 pm

  2. That comment was basically a cheap plug, but I’ll keep it here because your write-up is awesome.


    June 13, 2007 at 12:57 pm

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