In this month’s issue of Vanity Fair, a reader named Larry Grossman wrote in with his interpretation of the final scene of “The Sopranos,” in response to the magazine’s recent oral history of the show. It’s one of the better and more logical breakdowns of the finale that I’ve seen in the five years since the show ended, so I am just going to post the whole thing in a blockquote instead of mucking it all up with a bunch of babbling.
The last episode of “The Sopranos” was inspired. Here’s why: One of the main themes of the show was the ongoing problems that the main character, Tony Soprano, had with panic attacks. This started with the first episode, which led to his therapy with Dr. Melfi. Tony’s son, A.J., later had those same feelings. This panic-attack thread was prevalent during the entire run of the show.
The final episode had Tony, Carmela, and A.J. in a booth at the diner. Many sinister people were lurking, and the viewer feared for their safety; as Meadow tried clumsily to park her car, the suspense built. Then, right when the payoff is about to happen, the TV goes black. Everyone thought they’d missed it because they lost their cable. All viewers had a panic attack. Thus, we felt what Tony felt.
Good enough for me. Now all that’s left is for someone to explain WHY MEADOW CAN’T PARALLEL PARK A DAMN CAR. Jesus. That spot was HUGE. Any semi-competent driver in the world could have drunkenly navigated a tank in there. Not that I advocate driving a tank around New Jersey while intoxicated, but, I mean, if you’re gonna do it, you could do a much better job. EASY. I wish the show had ended with some heroic citizen pulling her out of the car and cutting her license in half in the middle of the street. Closure is important.