It's hard to think of many situations for which Journey would be the perfect backdrop. Besides my wedding. And funeral. The birth of my first child. Not to mention its conception, during which I hold aloft a lit Bic cigarette lighter.
But the closing moments of the series finale of The Sopranos was one. I imagine many will be put off that the last ever episode wasn't the equivalent of Tony slowly feeding several of his enemies to a woodchipper while Paulie says something wondrously stupid, both of them devouring Buick-sized sandwiches. But it wasn't that. Despite an extremely serious threat, eventually solved with little fanfare but crushing effect, the show follows the well established rhythms established in these last six seasons. Life is life, up and down, good and bad, even with Tony's future undeniably darkly clouded.
Which created, I thought, this awesomely claustrophobic effect: you're waiting for it all to suddenly explode. The last scene in the restaurant, where for once Tony has arrived first, to me was nearly unbearable. As Tony waits, people file in, the camera seems to pay attention to some and others not, you wonder who is going to pop him right there. And then you feel the rest of the family is later than they should be and, yeah, this is what's happened. But then Carmela walks in and you think, holy shit, she looks gorgeous, really gorgeous, and this will be when it goes to hell.
But it never does. Journey rocks on with the Sopranos sharing some onion rings, Meadow walking in late. Fade to black.
I thought it was great. Prediction: average viewer will hate it.