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Open Thread: Sopranos Discussion

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I was still enjoying the fact that the A's are now 8-2 in June (what is it about June that get the boys in green and gold all riled up every year), beating pitchers like Dice-K, Santana, Lindecum and Zito when I settled in last night to watch the final episode of the Sopranos. Talk about harshing my high.

For those who aren't Sopranos fans or don't care to talk about it, that's fine, and that's why I'm making this an open thread. But I've got to get this off my chest. Don't read on if you recorded the finale and don't want to have it spoiled.

The Sopranos finale was so very hyped and something I have been looking forward to for about the past two years or so since I knew they announced it was going to be wrapping up. And the worst part is that the episode before the finale was just incredible, getting me more hyped than ever about this week's ending of the HBO phenomenon.

My personal feeling is that the finale was a huge letdown. Yeah, I've read all the theories that Tony was actually whacked in that final scene which is why it cut to black so abruptly. But my question is, if Tony was actually snuffed out, shouldn't the final scene have been a look at Meadow coming through the door and not a shot of Tony looking up as the bell for the diner door rang?

Many others still seem to believe that it was left open because the characters on the show has always been morally corrupt and it wouldn't make sense for Tony to get whacked because the world isn't black and white. If any show ever taught us that (and was groundbreaking in doing so), it was the Sopranos. Tony was a bad guy that you were often disgusted by for his murdering, cheating, brutal ways, but you also couldn't help but feel for him when he'd sit down for his therapy sessions with Dr. Melphy. He had a psychopathic murdering father and a sociopath for a mother. What chance did he really have to be anything but what he became?

Thus we don't see our anti-hero extinguished. We can come to our own conclusions that the guy coming out of the bathroom plugged Tony as Meadow walked in or we can believe that David Chase, the creator of the critically-acclaimed series, just wanted to end the series in a mundane moment of family with the added tension of the fact that he was a mob boss only being felt by the viewer and Tony.

I mean the theories go on and on about what happened. Maybe the simple answer is that Chase wanted us to draw our own conclusions. Or he just wanted to leave it open to interpretation so he could go offer and make a mint off of Sopranos movies.

A part of me really liked the finale because it left it open to a ton of interpretation and I've already had a bunch of people who knew I watched the show emailing me saying they can't stop thinking about it today. But I was also left feeling like Chase decided to end it the way he did because he wanted to avoid doing what everyone anticipated happening, and that was Tony getting whacked. And to me, that isn't a good enough reason for closing it out the way he did. If you zig instead of zag for a reason, that's good. But if you zig just for the sake of zigging, then sometimes you can just pull right into oncoming traffic. That's why there are so many angry Sopranos fans out there today. I know Billy Beane is a huge Sopranos fan and I'm wondering what he thought of that conclusion. What do you, fellow ANers, think?

By the way, giambizombie finished up the design of the new AN tees and they're now available in the AN store. Go get yourself outfitted with some new AN gear. My personal fave is the "Small Market, Big Blog" which I'll be wearing proudly throughout Orange County.

And one last thing, we re-designed SBNation.com. It should give people a much better sense as to what's going on across the SportsBlogs Nation network all the time. My favorite is the Featured Post function where we go through and pick the best blog posts of any given day and promote it on that page. Go check it out.