‘HOW WILL IT END? BADLY. FOR THE CHARACTERS, THAT IS’
“I don’t have much trepidation about it ending,” James Gandolfini, the actor who plays Tony Soprano, recently told Vanity Fair. "I think it’s more than time."
Even David Chase, who went from being a frustrated writer to one of television’s hottest properties with the show, says it is time to move on. “It’ll feel like relief,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Creatively, artistically — it’s finished.” Some say Chase filed three endings to the finale in order to keep people guessing. Here’s what some Soprano watchers think might happen tonight: PETER SIMPSON Citizen Arts & Entertainment Editor
I thought the asbestos would get Tony: the EPA would find those steaming piles of asbestos insulation that Tony’s crew has dumped and take him down — à la Al Capone getting it for tax evasion. But now I believe Tony will get whacked, and his dying thought will be, “Et tu, Brutus?”
In the penultimate episode we heard Phil telling his boys they had to decapitate the Soprano crew with three quick hits — to Bobby, Silvio and Tony. Now Bobby and Silvio are gone. Phil is gone underground, and he knows Tony will do so too.
So how does Phil get Tony? By having the third assassin in Tony’s inner circle.
Who is it? Consider who gave the instructions to the Italian hitman who bungled the hit on Phil. Paulie Walnuts: he gave the hitmen misleading instructions. He was also notably absent from Phil’s list of Soprano lieutenants who had to be taken out.
In the final scene of The Sopranos, Paulie Walnuts will kill Tony. JANICE KENNEDY Citizen columnist
I like this, although the asbestos idea was so carefully planted I’m not sure it’s going disappear entirely. Paulie does seem a good choice, and we know he harbours a bunch of resentments. But maybe he’s become too obvious? Maybe Paulie will be planning to gun Tony down, but Tony’s friendly neighbourhood FBI agent will somehow swoop down first and do him a favour by arresting him on environmental crime charges.
I know that’s a cheat, linking the theories somebody else has carefully crafted. But it’s the best I can come up with.
Mostly, I just want to be surprised. BRIAN WILLIAMS NBC anchor and Slate columnist
“We need to be as prepared for ambiguity as we are prepared for certainty … I have learned in searing fashion never to try to predict what goes on in David Chase’s mind.” SYDNEY POLLACK Filmmaker with a one-episode cameo earlier this year
“Something bad is going to happen. I don’t know, but I know that David Chase can be counted on to surprise us — or not — but at least to do something that’s bold and not safe.” HAL BOEDEKER The Orlando Sentinel
How will it end? Badly. For the characters, that is.
The series finale of The Sopranos will be a much-analysed event. All signs point to a grim conclusion. Death, decline and disillusionment have marked recent episodes. JEFF SIMON Buffalo News
I just don’t know where it’s going on Sunday. I’ve never cared more about a series ending, true. But worse, I’m no longer sure what the series finale means. David Chase and his writers seem determined to remind us that, no, these Jersey boys aren’t suburban fathers and ragtag businessmen after all, they’re sociopaths, psychopaths and killers, men whose smallest twitch of sudden pique can be deadly. ROBERT CUSHMAN National Post
There is, come to think of it, no guarantee that Tony and Carmela will set eyes on one another again, at least not alive. Would The Sopranos dare do that to us? I doubt it. But I wouldn’t take bets on it.