Farewell, Sopranos (Or: My father really challenges the traditional spelling of the word "jukebox")

For those of you who haven't yet seen "The Sopranos" finale, which aired Sunday, but plan to, you might not want to read on, although honestly I'm not going to really give anything away. I'm not going to provide, like, a plot synopsis or anything because, let's be honest, I'm not that great at paying attention to detail. J and I watched the show for the past seven years when we could. Not having HBO, of course, was slightly problematic, but thanks to our friend Sherry, who'd let us come over and watch all we wanted, and thanks to DVD rentals, we got through it and saw pretty much every episode. I'm not going to talk about what a great show it is , how much I loved the characters and the intricate plots because I'm definitely not qualified to be a TV critic, what with the need to, you know, be on top of cutting edge TV that job would entail. I mean, I've seen every episode of "The Golden Girls," but I've never watched "Lost," for instance. I think that says something.

I spent a lot of yesterday talking and emailing with friends about the finale, and if you saw it, you know why. It was pretty shocking. Sudden, jarring - to say the least - but not in any of the typical ways you think of when you think of Italian mobsters. No one's head was blown to bits in the last five minutes or anyhing.

Anyway, at first I wasn't sure about the finale. Was that it? Was that the final farewell to these characters we've grown to know and love over the years? But after reading many commentaries and talking with people, particularly my parents, my view has changed and I like and respect the ending.

Now that a day has passed, there are new theories and interviews (including this interview with show creator David Chase) but despite all the new information, I still favor this commentary, sent to me by my father yesterday - who, by the way, loved the finale (this may only make sense if you watched the last episosde, OR it might not make sense any way you look it because, let's face it, this is some of the most exquisite spelling I've ever seen and your mind might not be ready for it).

Tom shales tv critic for the wash post, says the sopranos disappeared while Don't stop believing was on the chutebos. We see ton,t face for the last time as the words don't stopare sung on the jukebox. The ambiguius ending mirrowed the ambiguity of all our lives. No easy endings, no stupid clotures. Synbolismand irony througt the last eisode. Note the kitty. And. Paule's reaction-did paulire give up tony. The fbi agent, moraly. Maybe. But he gave up phil lotardo knowing he would be killed. And he likely got the info from the women agent he had just slep with. Noteher anger at him as she leaves the room. Jr has an analyst just as tony. And tony's father was killed with his family around. The parallel patterns of life. Overlapping. And the mysteriousstrangers in the diner. Who were they. Were they not tony's enemies from previous years. One heads for the bathroom. Is a gun hidden there just as in the famous scene from the godfather. The complexities are staggering and demand closeattentions and more viewings.