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Posted by on Jun 10, 2007 in Arts & Entertainment | 0 comments

How Will The Sopranos (And Tony Soprano) End?

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All good things come to an end…and so do great things like HBO’s landmark series “The Sopranos.”

Creator David Chase has been smart: unlike some TV series that limp off the air having run out of creative steam, “The Sopranos” ends tonight during a darkly-scripted season where the writing and acting are at their peak. The Sopranos remains one of the best dramas to have watched during its original series run — and one that can be enjoyed over and over again due to the depth of scripting, acting and writing so evident when you watch episodes more closely on DVDs.

The importance of the written word is also evident when you read THIS BOOK of The Sopranos’ scripts. The shows are as vivid when read as scripts as when watched.

But, now, how does it all end?

Cast member Stephen Van Zandt (seemingly) tipped Chase’s hand when he told a reporter that tne ending would be “controversial” and something people would be talking about. The hype — and genuine interest — in how the show is going to turn out is raging so much that people are even taking bets on it.

Online bookmaker BetUS.com offers odds on The Sopranos Finale. The bookmaker reports unprecedented betting volumes on the show.

Let’s have a quick look at the odds then. Tony Soprano is expected to survive in tonight’s last episode. “Will Tony Soprano survive the final episode?” Yes is currently sitting at -400, No at +250.

The same can’t be said for Phil Leotardo. “Will Phil Leotardo survive the final episode?” Yes is the underdog, currently sitting at +200, No the favorite at -300.

BetUS.com also offers odds on the possibility both Tony and Phil will end up dead. “If either are killed who will be killed first?” Phil is once again the favorite on death row, at -600 while Tony’s odds sit at +350.

Paulie Walnuts is also favored to survive the end of The Sopranos’ saga. “Will Paulie Walnuts survive the final episode?” Yes -300, No +200.

Last, but not least, come the odds on Silvio Dante’s awakening during the final episode (Yes +130, No -170).

And if you’re a Sopranos’ junkie, and read the various interviews over the years, there are a few tidbits about David Chase which SHOULD (but might not) help prepare you for the final episode:

(1) He has felt that the traditional story about the rise and fall of the gangster is now a bit cliched. Does it always stand to reason that there is a fall? Does this mean Tony is likely to live or die?

(2) He has left story strands unresolved.
Were there some red herrings this season that won’t really matter in the final episode?

(3) He loves to shock viewers. Just when you expect the show would do what TV shows and movies ALWAYS DO, something happens that shatters expectations. Just as a joke is what comedy coach Greg Dean has called a “shattered assumption,” so is the world of “The Sopranos” — a medley of shattered expectations. Violence may occur suddenly, unexpectedly (like in real life). A typical dramatic arc is tossed out for a new dramatic shape of Chase’s choosing.

(4) Thoughout most of the seasons Tony, played by the irreplaceable James Gandolfini (who is reportedly as nice and considerate a guy as he is a superb actor — read THIS STORY for the part about the checks he gifted his fellow actors) was a murderous but sympathetic guy. This season, his true brutality has shone through (and the masks have been ripped off other key characters as well in revealing moments into their souls). Is Chase preparing us for a brutal demise?

There are all kinds of theories about what will unfold. Here are some POSSIBLE and HIGHLY UNLIKELY scenarios:


POSSIBLE:

–Tony is killed. But what would be controversial about that unless it was by a member of his blood family, mafia family or by the feds?

–Tony is wounded and dies in a long dramatic scene.

–Tony kills a family member in the cross fire.

–Tony commits suicide.

–Tony enters the witness protection program. Was there more of a point to the subplot about terrorist frequenting Tony’s club — or was that just another Chase-style strand that was fated to go unresolved?

–Tony is arrested on a murder charge but doesn’t die.

–Tony lives but one of his blood family dies so he and his wife survive but lose their world.

UNLIKELY SCENARIOS

–Tony survives and gets a job offer to replace Rosie O’Donnell on “The View.”

–Tony is arrested. In court he cries out: “Mom!! It’s not fair!” as he’s hauled off to jail. Three days later the Sheriff releases him and puts him on home arrest due to his condition. Al Sharpton protests.

–Tony is hired by The Moderate Voice to police the comments section and track down and definitively deal with “trolls,” who vanish one by one.

Can the ending leak out hours before? It’s unlikely:

“Sopranos” creator David Chase reportedly filmed three different endings to the finale to help keep the conclusion secret. Chase has always reveled in denying audience expectations (most memorably by never returning to the escaped Russian), and likely delights in foolhardy pundit prognostications. But it’s fun to try anyway.

SOME RECENT RELEVANT NEWS ARTICLES ON THE SOPRANOS:

Rest In Peace, ‘Sopranos’
Exit Sopranos
Sopranos’ finale: Rest in … grief?
Morbid curiosity about Tony’s fate
Who’s Really The Boss? David Chase Calls the Shots
“The Sopranos” Reaches The End
Will ‘Sopranos’ finale also be Tony’s?
Wanna know how it ends? OK, but just don’t whack the messenger
Ed Morrisey’s Predictions

KEY SOPRANOS WEBSITES:

HBO: The Sopranos
The Sopranos.Com
Sopranoland
Blogposts about The Sopranos

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