Monday, June 11, 2007

Some will win


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.


Oliver de la Paz said...

I loved it too, though Meredith was screaming bloody murder at the cable box when it went to black. Weren't a lot of the people in the diner related to or friends of some of the "victims" of the Soprano wrath? I believe the truck driver in the corner was the brother of another truck driver killed by Chris who had to go I.D. the body . . .

Rachel Mallino said...

Yes, Yes!!! I loved it too, Paul. And I thought Journey was freaking perfect, especially when Carmella came walking in five seconds after the song started and YES she DID look gorgeous. I was biting my fingernails, something I never do, the entire last sequence. I thought by having the audience taken out of the restaurant while Meadow tried to park her car was brilliant.

Paul said...

Whatever the meaning of that last scene, with all its insane tension, there was running exactly parallel a really beautiful middle-class love story, for all the truly horrible things Tony did or caused, and it just seemed like one of those moments where you realize, yeah, I remember why I fell in love with her. Completely mundane, every day, with the kids present. And Journey, for all it's 80's-ness, the song is just epic and bittersweet.

a-smk said...

Thank you! I have been hearing the complaints out in the world and I loved that there was the best of the Sopranos subtelty to this. Most days are Tuesdays in wait for a better day or some horror. After everything (and really the death of Phil gruesome thing--wasn't that plenty for the blood-seekers) isn't a family dinner at some beloved old joint enough of both everyday mundane which is perfect and rare and so unlikely to last, enough drama? Here-here!