Of course, I am a regular Sopranos viewer, and I make no apologies for that. I understand and appreciate how tiring it must be for non-viewers (almost all of whom do not have HBO) to listen to the Sopranos fans’ Monday analysis of the previous night’s program and how, to the non-fans, it sounds a good deal like the discussion of like a soap opera. With a few unfortunate exceptions in the most recent season, it is decidedly not a soap opera. It is well crafted, sometimes upsetting, and often hilarious in the darkest sense of the word.
The problem is that there is only one episode remaining in the season and there are just too many loose ends out there to be resolved in one episode, thereby leaving the viewers hanging for what might be another extremely long time. Unfortunately, I am beginning to sense that either the producer and writers are running out of creative gas, or they are beginning to take the audience for granted. Probably it is a bit of both.
Anyway, here are some of the loose ends, any of which left unresolved will drive us loyalists crazy.
Tony: How will he deal with the mess that has become his crime family? Will he learn of Paulie’s abortive betrayal? Can he trust his nephew Christopher to kick drugs and maintain his silence about Tony’s brutal murder of Ralph? Will he learn of his wife’s romantic feelings for Furio? Will he continue to see Dr. Melfi, his psychiatrist? Will he make a play for her? Will he learn of her rape? If so, will he even the score with the rapist? Will his fits of depression and panic subside? Will anything come of his having beaten the crooked councilman with his belt? Will he take Johnny Sack’s lead and kill Carmine, the head of the New York family. And, don’t forget that he personally committed four murders (Ralphie, the kid who shot Chris, the guy he spotted while taking his daughter around to colleges and strangled and Big Pussy), any one of which arguably could be the source of serious problems.
Carmella: Will she ever get around to knocking boots with Furio? How long will she be able to tolerate Tony’s girlfriends? Will she run off with the piles of cash that she took from Tony?
Paulie: Will Tony learn that he was sharing family information with the rival New York family? Will Tony see the painting in Paulie’s apartment that depicts Tony as Napoleon posing with the racehorse that Ralphie killed for the insurance proceeds? Will the crazy, Russian mobster who Paulie and Christopher hunted down and shot resurface? Given all the foregoing, will Paulie survive the season?
Chris: Will he succeed in rehab? Will he remain silent about Tony’s murder of Ralph? Will he learn that his fiancée, Adriana, is reluctantly talking to the FBI?
Furio: Will he return from Italy? Will he bed Carmella? If so, will he survive?
Uncle Junior: Will he be acquitted of racketeering charges?
Bobby: Will he learn of Tony’s sister’s duplicity with regard to his children? Will his jury tampering work in Junior’s favor?
Adriana: Will she continue to cooperate with the FBI? If this is discovered, will she survive?
Meadow: Does she suspect that her mother has a thing for Furio? If so, what will she do about it? Will she stay in Columbia?
Anthony Jr.: Will he ever get his shit together?
My God. They’re right. It does sound like a soap opera. Oh well. I’ll stay tuned anyway.