Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sopranos "Made in America"

Joshua Treviño on The Sopranos on National Review Online:

"Plenty of viewers have commented that Tony Soprano’s death is implied: Chase stated that the cardinal clue to the series finale could be found in the first episode of this season; and in that, the now-deceased (as of the penultimate episode) Bobby Bacala remarked that when death comes, “You probably don’t even hear it when it happens.” We didn’t hear it, and Tony didn’t hear it — and when he ended, so did his universe. In this sense, the close of The Sopranos is wholly fitting. It was his tale, and there is nothing to see once he departs from it."

Or we, the viewers, got whacked. The Journey song that Tony looks at on the juke box is "Anyway You Want It," although the Song playing is "Don't Stop Believing" -- the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on.

"Explaining to him her decision to abandon medical school and enter law, she says, “The state can crush the people — the government, specifically the Federal government. . . . You know what really turned me? Seeing the way Italians are treated. It’s like mom says, and if we can have our rights trampled like that, imagine what it’s like for recent arrivals. . . . If I hadn’t seen you dragged away all those times by the FBI, then I’d probably be a boring suburban doctor.” Incredibly, she believes her father a victim — perhaps influenced by her mother, Carmela, who long ago wailed at FBI agents visiting Tony in the hospital, “When will you stop persecuting him?” Even Tony Soprano, a man who could rationalize any crime, and justify any action to sate any desire, is reduced to speechlessness at his daughter’s proclamation. Meadow Soprano is a thoroughly ordinary leftist professional, convinced of her crusade to save the downtrodden from the institutions of her own country, and utterly oblivious to the reality before her. Here, the end of the Soprano line as a moral force in America. Here, the end of his last hope for redemption by proxy."

At end of season 1, Tony raised his glass: “I’d like to propose a toast, to my family. Someday soon, you’re gonna have families of your own. And if you’re lucky, you’ll remember the little moments, like this. That were good. Cheers!”

In final scene, "the family gathered once again for a meal, A.J. harks back to what used to be, saying “You once told us to try to focus on the things that are good.” But this final scene has none of the earlier’s warmth, no sense of shelter. Instead, we see a family of bad guys—dim, dwindled, corrupted, contentedly sharing a plate of onion rings. And then the door slams shut."