Murders, You Quote

Call all da guys. Put out the word. Fly in the "cousins from Italy." It's time.

Yes, bring all your envelopes to the Bing, "Sopranos" fans, because with the show about to fade-to-black, we need to know from youse wiseguys: What is your favorite "Sopranos" line ever? And, if youse care to elaborate: What is your favorite "Sopranos" scene ever?

With the "Made in America" finale airing Sunday, we open our e-borders: Bring us your favorite crackling dialogue, yearning to breathe free (okay, in some R-rated cases, perhaps semi-expurgated). Air your huddled opinions of best scenes, be it by land (Ade or Valery in the woods, Tony crunching through the snow), by air (Tony flying to Vegas or the Old World) or by sea (Big Pussy sleeping with the fishes, or Tony wading with the ducks).

Ellis Island may have mangled Phil Leotardo's original family name (Leonardo), but we'll more wisely hand you the stylus. The five families have gathered, and you've got the floor. Rock out ...

Meantime, to refresh six seasons of memories, we open our video vault and share our Top 10 passages (at least the ones we can print in a family blog):

1. MUTHA'S DAY -- CARMELA (to LIVIA): "I want you to cut the drama. It's killing Tony. ... This "poor mother, nobody loves me" victim crap. It is textbook manipulation. ... I am a mother, too, don't forget. ... You're bigger than life. You are his mother."

It's easy to think this is show is foremost about the godfather, but really, at its coldest heart, it's just as much about the Mother. In Livia's case, Tony's mom looms and prods and haunts, even -- or especially -- in death. As Tony says after Mom orders him whacked: "What [expletive] kind of human being am I, if my own mother wants me dead?" And then there's mother Carmela, simultaneously protecting and exposing her children to violence; the maternal urge flares, but not enough that she's packed up the U-Haul and her offspring and left the Mob lifestyle behind. In David Chase's Creation, you just cannot deny Mother's Nature.

2. POMADE IN AMERICA -- UNCLE JUNIOR: "Federal marshals are so far up my [butt] I can taste Brylcreem."

For the actors, the show's salty and sexual dialogue is a gangster's paradise. Ultimately, though, did anyone get more great one-liners than Dominic Chianese? Almost winking through those Classic Coke-bottle glasses, no one sang the insults with more tang than Uncle Jun.

3. JERSEY'S 'OTHER' BOSS -- TONY: "You're late!" CHRISTOPHER: "Sorry, the highway was jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive."

Years before the series, creator David Chase used to listen to Bruce Springsteen (and watch Steven Van Zandt) and never dream that an E Streeter would one day be featured on a show of his. So there's been numerous nods to the Boss & Co., but perhaps none delivered as deftly -- nay, perfectly -- as this line from "Born to Run." And of course, the song's next line flows right into the set-up for the finale: "Everybody's out on the run tonight / But there's no place left to hide ... "

4. GIVE IT THE OL' COLLEGE LIE -- MEADOW (to dad TONY, who skirts admitting he's in the Mafia by saying that neighbor Doc Cusamano also makes pre-dawn "house calls"): "Did the Cusamano kids ever find $50,000 in krugerrandts and .45-automatic while they were hunting for Easter eggs?"

This one of our fav episodes, titled "College," was an insta-classic, and showed that daughter Meadow, compared with everyone else in her immediate family, lived the least in denial -- and the least by rationalization. We should have known then that constitutional law, and not medicine, would be her future.

5. THE UPSTATE LAKE POET -- "Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." -- WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

This line was written, on the blackboard in AJ's classroom. From Tony being consumed with keeping the mob-money flowing to Carmela's ultimate unwillingness to surrender a lifestyle that's fueled by blood money, this line from "The World Is Too Much With Us" pierces in being oh-so-apropos.

6. UNDER THE BOARD TALK -- BOBBY BACALA: "You Sopranos, you go too far!"

From this split-season's opening episode on the lake (perhaps our favorite), this gem especially echoes now, with Bobby's body not yet cold from last week. The power for control over how to remember one's parents (Tony v. Janice) escalated into a greater grab for power that Tony (as head of the family, he holds the ultimate Monopoly) had to win -- and which put Bobby on a fast-track to elevation, lost "innocence" and, then, his downfall. (The death scene, by the way, that played like Wes Craven directing a Mr. Bill "SNL" short.)

7. TYRANNOSAURUS VEXED -- (SCENE: A round-the-table discussion about how dinosaurs went extinct.) GOOMAR: "Wasn't it a meteor?" PAULIE WALNUTS (dismissively): "They're all meat-eaters!" CHRISTOPHER (exasperated): "METEOR!"

How can so much metaphor be packed into so much malapropism? Brilliant. As the Mob life changes -- and its golden era fades, the show suggests -- the irony of 21st-century dinosaurs discussing (pathetically, comically) what act of God offed the Mesozoic Era dinosaurs is delicious. And Paulie the Fossil referencing meat -- that bloody anxiety-spark of boss Tony the Gabagool Carnivore -- is to die for.

8. VENI, VIDI, da VINCI -- NY BOSS PHIL LEOTARDO: "When our ancestors arrived at Ellis Island, they came with the name Leonardo, but the immigration people changed to Leotardo. ... They took our proud Italian heritage, and named us after a ballet costume."

As Leotardo orders the taking-down of New Jersey's "glorified crew," seems the river of perceived disrespect coursing through Leotardo's veins flows from the headwaters of this immigration slight. Yes, the long-imprisoned Phil will regain respect and restore honor to the family name, even if that name is still scarred by the Big Typo. To war, to war! -- all for a consonant.

9. LIFE-PARTNER IN CRIME -- DR. KRAKOWER (to CARMELA, who claims husband TONY is "a good man" and "good father" ): "You must trust your initial impulse and consider leaving him. ... You'll never be able to quell the feelings of guilt and shame that you talked about, so long as you're his accomplice."

Ultimately, again, the mother of all TV crime shows is largely about the Mother. [CAP CQ] And while Livia was always mom as Cruelty Incarnate, with Carmela we get the conflicted figure. By remaining a Mob wife, she lays waste her constant worry. Son AJ attempts suicide, and now Meadow seems dangled for the finale in a place of peril. For her inaction, Carmela might watch a child of hers die -- or die herself trying to protect her own two goslings. Either way, she would endure a fate that did not trouble the pure-evil Livia.

10. A SOPRANO'S LAST SOLO -- TONY (on being head of the family): "Every decision you make affects every facet of every other [expletive] thing. It's too much to deal with almost. And in the end, you're completely alone with it all."

TONY (to Dr. Melfi, about talking Lithium and Prozac):
"This isn't painful. Getting shot is painful. Getting stabbed in the ribs is painful. This [expletive] isn't painful. It's empty ... dead."

If you're looking for foreshadows amid the fog of finale theories, this is as good a place to look as any. If Tony loses both family AND Family, but survives himself. it could be a fate worse than death. He'll be alone, off the throne -- and void of meaning or mission. We hear-tell that one scene coming Sunday was shot at a gas station. If so, Tony himself might be looking for a fill-up -- but internally, psychologically, he could well be running on empty.

Now, we turn the stage over to you --- what lines and scenes ranked among your favorites?

-- Michael Cavna,
TV Editor, Style

NOTE: Tomorrow, read TV critic Tom Shales's interview with series creator David Chase. Also: Several die-hard fans envision their dream finales.

By Christian Pelusi |  June 8, 2007; 2:57 PM ET  | Category:  Series Highlights
Previous: Sounds of 'The Sopranos' | Next: The Finale

Comments

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From last week episode, maybe not a favorite, but still a classic from Paulie Walnuts - "Check out the stems on blondie."

Posted by: Irish_Ed | June 8, 2007 03:05 PM

"what, no f***ing ziti?"

In the first episode, AJ is turning 13 and he's just found out that his grandma isn't coming to his birthday party. It's a great foreshadowing of AJ's character- out of touch, self involved and a lot like his father.

Posted by: first show | June 8, 2007 03:08 PM

"any chance for a mercy f**k?", from Tony to Dr. Melfi on their first session since Tony's been out of the hospital after being shot by Junior. Classic, funny and brought back some sexual tension to the shrink's office.

Posted by: mercy shag | June 8, 2007 03:12 PM

"Captain or no captain, you and me are just two guys lost in the woods"

Christopher said this to Paulie in the Pine Barrens episode when they'd been lost in the woods for a while. It's always each man for himself in their world. That line also showed Christophers desperate ambition and the friction that would continue between Paulie and Christopher.

Posted by: pine barrens | June 8, 2007 03:18 PM

"You want me to send a guy down to get you some of that Baja Fresh?"

Paulie to Tony after Tony returns to The Bing after AJ's suicide attempt. Classic Paulie.

Posted by: Recently | June 8, 2007 04:24 PM

My favorite lines are the throwaway ones where I can imagine David Chase cracking himself up while he writes them.
Hence: Tony calls Christoper in for what purports to be some serious business and Christopher instantly and guiltily says "Is this about the Easter baskets?" And Tony bemusedly says "I don't even want to know about that one." And we never find out what that refers to.

But as much as the words, I love the exquisite silences and the accompanying body language that are so inherently bondingly Italian. The shrug as soliloquy.

And of course the best sound tracks ever.
I wonder how many of us tune in repeats just to hear the music again.

There is something really peculiar about having common ancestry exposed while watching the cozily familiar domestic lives of la famiglia and the fond friendships of murderous thugs.
Everyone seems to be slightly in awe of Edie Falco's talents , but to fully appreciate how far she's gone and the inifinite subtlety of everything she uses you really do need to be an Italian- American woman.

I keep wondering what it would be like for the rest of America if Grant Wood's American Gothic were to reveal a mass murderer and his enabler outside the periphery of the image.

Posted by: gala1 | June 8, 2007 04:26 PM

Not particularly clever, but seems to run in the Soprano blood:

"Oh, poor you."

Posted by: vawolf | June 8, 2007 04:34 PM

They ought to make a real-life version featuring Bush's Jack Abramoff mafia with RNC-style executions in downtown Fort Lauderdale and all the Bush Pioneer-style paybacks. Speaking of mafia handovers, here are some observations: "In Tuesday's Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney completely misrepresented how we ended up in Iraq. Later, Mike Huckabee mistakenly claimed that it was Ronald Reagan's birthday.

Guess which remark The Washington Post identified as the "gaffe of the night"?

Folks, this is serious. If early campaign reporting is any guide, the bad media habits that helped install the worst president ever in the White House haven't changed a bit.

You may not remember the presidential debate of Oct. 3, 2000, or how it was covered, but you should. It was one of the worst moments in an election marked by news media failure as serious, in its way, as the later failure to question Bush administration claims about Iraq.

Throughout that debate, George W. Bush made blatantly misleading statements, including some outright lies -- for example, when he declared of his tax cut that "the vast majority of the help goes to the people at the bottom end of the economic ladder." That should have told us, right then and there, that he was not a man to be trusted.

But few news reports pointed out the lie. Instead, many news analysts chose to critique the candidates' acting skills. Al Gore was declared the loser because he sighed and rolled his eyes -- failing to conceal his justified disgust at Mr. Bush's dishonesty. And that's how Mr. Bush got within chad-and-butterfly range of the presidency.

Now fast forward to last Tuesday. Asked whether we should have invaded Iraq, Mr. Romney said that war could only have been avoided if Saddam "had opened up his country to I.A.E.A. inspectors, and they'd come in and they'd found that there were no weapons of mass destruction." He dismissed this as an "unreasonable hypothetical."

Except that Saddam did, in fact, allow inspectors in. Remember Hans Blix? When those inspectors failed to find nonexistent W.M.D., Mr. Bush ordered them out so that he could invade. Mr. Romney's remark should have been the central story in news reports about Tuesday's debate. But it wasn't.

There wasn't anything comparable to Mr. Romney's rewritten history in the Democratic debate two days earlier, which was altogether on a higher plane. Still, someone should have called Hillary Clinton on her declaration that on health care, "we're all talking pretty much about the same things." While the other two leading candidates have come out with plans for universal (John Edwards) or near-universal (Barack Obama) health coverage, Mrs. Clinton has so far evaded the issue. But again, this went unmentioned in most reports.

By the way, one reason I want health care specifics from Mrs. Clinton is that she's received large contributions from the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Will that deter her from taking those industries on? (Biden is also a first-tier candidate-ed)

Back to the debate coverage: as far as I can tell, no major news organization did any fact-checking of either debate. And post-debate analyses tended to be Arabian horse-race stuff mingled with theater criticism: assessments not of what the candidates said, but of how they "came across."

Thus most analysts declared Mrs. Clinton the winner in her debate, because she did the best job of delivering sound bites -- including her Bush-talking-point declaration that we're safer now than we were during the Pet Goat Lesson, a claim her advisers later tried to explain away as not meaning what it seemed to mean.

Similarly, many analysts gave the G.O.P. debate to Rudy Giuliani not because he made sense -- he didn't -- but because he sounded tough saying things like, "It's unthinkable that you would leave Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq and be able to fight the war on terror." (Why?)

Look, debates involving 10 people are, inevitably, short on extended discussion. But news organizations should fight the shallowness of the format by providing the facts -- not embrace it by reporting on a presidential race as if it were a high-school popularity contest.

For if there's one thing I hope we've learned from the calamity of the last six and a half years, it's that it matters who becomes president -- and that listening to what candidates say about substantive issues offers a much better way to judge potential presidents than superficial character judgments. Mr. Bush's tax lies, not his surface amiability, were the true guide to how he would govern.

And I don't know if this country can survive another four years of Bush-quality leadership."

Posted by: Liberate Krugman | June 8, 2007 08:30 PM

"I survived by the skin of my balls in the 70's..." Paulie confirming that the order for a hit on Phil is real.

Posted by: Gus In Leesburg | June 9, 2007 12:39 AM

Favorite scenes:

Jackie Jr. and Meadow playing Scrabble and all Jackie can come up with are the words "Poo" and "The"

Carmela flicking the Monopoly house that was stuck on Tony's face

Tony and Carmela's argument in the laundry room in the best season finale, where she is kicking him out of the house

Tony lifting up his niece when she was inconsolable after the ride had packed up and gone from the festival

Meadow sheepishly saying to Tony "Take away my credit card?" and later saying that she wasn't crazy, she still had her debit card.

Posted by: Peter | June 9, 2007 12:49 AM

The one from Junior about the Feds and Brylcreem was easily the best line of the whole series. It's incredibly clever and subtle at the same time.

Posted by: Ed | June 9, 2007 08:08 AM

The one from Junior about the Feds and Brylcreem was easily the best line of the whole series. It's incredibly clever and subtle at the same time.

Posted by: Ed | June 9, 2007 08:09 AM

Best recurring line is "Whaddya gonna do?" (It's fate.)

Posted by: Tony Collings | June 9, 2007 09:18 AM

There is only one possible ending to the Sopranos: Pauley has been passed over for promotion too many times. He is recruited by Phil to kill Tony. The viewer doesn't know that until the end. Pauley kills Tony with a shot to the head from behind, and is in turn killed by Phil in an embrace that ends the series while someone is strangling Pauley. While Tony believed Pauley was forever loyal, he sees in the end too late that Pauley cannot forgive him for the failed recognition. It was just business in the end.

Posted by: ron c. | June 9, 2007 09:27 AM

Tony's remaining henchmen (henchman? Paulie Walnuts?) whacks Phil.

Phil's henchmen whack Tony.

Carmella takes over as the Soprano Family Mob Boss.

Small chance that Tony's sister takes over. After all, she has "whacking" experience. Remember her first husband, Richie Aprile?

Posted by: Luigi | June 9, 2007 10:45 AM

Tony on a masochistic business associate whose girlfriend he covets, so long as they never slept together: "So, a guy like that, going out with a woman... he could technically not have penisary contact with her Volvo?"

Uncle Junior, to Bobby, on Tony's apparent sincere concern over the course of Junior's cancer treatment: "Think on this, Burger Boy. My nephew is one c*nt hair away from owning all of North Jersey. And I am that c*nt hair."
Bobby: "Junior, all this cynicism. It can't be good for you."

Carmine Lupertazzi, Jr. (always good for a classic quote), warning Tony about his relationship to New York while reminiscing about his own honeymoon in France: "I am reminded of Lewis-the-whatever's finance minister, Duh-something. His palace even outshone Versayles. In the end, Lewis clapped him in irons."

Georgie, pre-getting his head smashed in by Tony, a recurring theme: "Ice, Ton. When it hangs around, it melts. It dilutes the drinks, especially scotch!" And let's not forget, "That's why ya gotta live for today!"

Chrissy and Georgie, un-burying one of Chris' victims after the "Change my meat to Black Forest" dream: Georgie: "Is that him?" Chrissie: "Now that would be some f***in' coincidence if it wasn't."

Richie to Deli owner: "It says on the side of our trucks, double your garbage back if you're not satisfied. So we asked you, do you want your garbage back?" Deli Owner: "Of course I don't want garbage back!" Richie: "Then, you're satisfied!"

In retrospect, maybe the most depressing exchange of the series, where Eliot quizzes Melfi on Tony's lack of vengeance against his uncle: "This Omerta concept comes from a pre-therapeutic culture." Melfi: "This isn't omerta. This is something else."

Posted by: Barone Sanitation | June 9, 2007 11:28 AM

Ron C: Tony does not believe that Paulie is ever-loyal. In fact Tony is the only person alive who comes close to knowing the extent of Paulie's betrayals. He knows Paulie set up Ralphie. He knows about the painting of Tony and Pie O My. He knows Paulie robbed Mr. Lombardo.

Tony once had a dream about killing Paulie, and later came within a flinch of doing so in real life. Paulie's NY connection is dead, and no one else over there even knew Paulie was tipping them off. And finally, Paulie came to realize New York was just using him anyway.

I think the opposite: Paulie is seeking redemption, is more loyal now than ever, and may save Tony's life.

Posted by: Barone Sanitation | June 9, 2007 12:50 PM

The series creator (and apparently still in control) doesn't like surprises, and the writers have incredible incentives to keep open the possibility of more. So the smart money is on nothing that dramatic, something more inward. But writers also love the Aristotelian unities and so tieing up loose ends, or themeatic continuity (Mama, Dr. Malfi, and so Carmella turn against Tony) could appear. Homage to the Godfather is possible, with Tony making the peace but AJ saying he didn't so swear. But I suspect that the creative folk will be tempted by hubris -- they think this is one for the ages. And so they will end Tony like Caesar, with the remants of his organization deciding that the only way to save their "civilization" is regicide. Maybe Paulie has that lean and hungry look. But since the nephew and adopted heir is dead, we close with AJ beginning his career as a minor capo, but clearly remembering and thinking ahead.

Posted by: Hugh Hill | June 9, 2007 02:59 PM

The series creator (and apparently still in control) doesn't like surprises, and the writers have incredible incentives to keep open the possibility of more. So the smart money is on nothing that dramatic, something more inward. But writers also love the Aristotelian unities and so tieing up loose ends, or themeatic continuity (Mama, Dr. Malfi, and so Carmella turn against Tony) could appear. Homage to the Godfather is possible, with Tony making the peace but AJ saying he didn't so swear. But I suspect that the creative folk will be tempted by hubris -- they think this is one for the ages. And so they will end Tony like Caesar, with the remants of his organization deciding that the only way to save their "civilization" is regicide. Maybe Paulie has that lean and hungry look. But since the nephew and adopted heir is dead, we close with AJ beginning his career as a minor capo, but clearly remembering and thinking ahead.

Posted by: Hugh Hill | June 9, 2007 02:59 PM

I'm amazed no one has mentioned the classic line from Season One: Tony telling Carm that "c*nnilingus and therapy brought us to this" (his war with Junior).

Posted by: Wheatfield Whistler | June 9, 2007 05:46 PM

There were clues in the last episode--unless Chase deliberately set out to mislead us. The two clues I saw when watching it again were Pauli saying he needed some time off (before he knew that the Leotardo hit had gone awry) and then when Tony told him to go home after arriving at the safe house. Paulie did not want to go home. So--what is to be made of all this: Paulie will try to kill Tony. Tony will kill Paulie (after finding out where Phil Leotardo is hiding!) Then Tony will kill Phil and end up as boss of the NY and NY families. Killing Tony would be stupid. Nobody kills a franchise. They could always bring him back for more. Some friends say witness protection. Yeah, I can just see Tony working at a Home Depot in the Midwest. Somebody brings back a lawn mower and Tony gets pissed and strangles them. He is not witness protection material. And one other thing: the most evil character in the Sopranos is not Tony, or Livia or Junior or Phil. Carmela Soprano knows everything. She is purely evil for staying around for the lifestyle, the baubles and the nice dinners. Her evil is like the bystanders near Dachau during the Nazi regime in Germany. They knew. And then they didn't want to know. Carmela is the real evil in this series. And Edie Falco is friggin' brilliant.

Posted by: marty goldman | June 9, 2007 06:21 PM

There were clues in the last episode--unless Chase deliberately set out to mislead us. The two clues I saw when watching it again were Pauli saying he needed some time off (before he knew that the Leotardo hit had gone awry) and then when Tony told him to go home after arriving at the safe house. Paulie did not want to go home. So--what is to be made of all this: Paulie will try to kill Tony. Tony will kill Paulie (after finding out where Phil Leotardo is hiding!) Then Tony will kill Phil and end up as boss of the NY and NY families. Killing Tony would be stupid. Nobody kills a franchise. They could always bring him back for more. Some friends say witness protection. Yeah, I can just see Tony working at a Home Depot in the Midwest. Somebody brings back a lawn mower and Tony gets pissed and strangles them. He is not witness protection material. And one other thing: the most evil character in the Sopranos is not Tony, or Livia or Junior or Phil. Carmela Soprano knows everything. She is purely evil for staying around for the lifestyle, the baubles and the nice dinners. Her evil is like the bystanders near Dachau during the Nazi regime in Germany. They knew. And then they didn't want to know. Carmela is the real evil in this series. And Edie Falco is friggin' brilliant.

Posted by: marty goldman | June 9, 2007 06:21 PM

There were clues in the last episode--unless Chase deliberately set out to mislead us. The two clues I saw when watching it again were Pauli saying he needed some time off (before he knew that the Leotardo hit had gone awry) and then when Tony told him to go home after arriving at the safe house. Paulie did not want to go home. So--what is to be made of all this: Paulie will try to kill Tony. Tony will kill Paulie (after finding out where Phil Leotardo is hiding!) Then Tony will kill Phil and end up as boss of the NY and NY families. Killing Tony would be stupid. Nobody kills a franchise. They could always bring him back for more. Some friends say witness protection. Yeah, I can just see Tony working at a Home Depot in the Midwest. Somebody brings back a lawn mower and Tony gets pissed and strangles them. He is not witness protection material. And one other thing: the most evil character in the Sopranos is not Tony, or Livia or Junior or Phil. Carmela Soprano knows everything. She is purely evil for staying around for the lifestyle, the baubles and the nice dinners. Her evil is like the bystanders near Dachau during the Nazi regime in Germany. They knew. And then they didn't want to know. Carmela is the real evil in this series. And Edie Falco is friggin' brilliant.

Posted by: marty goldman | June 9, 2007 06:21 PM

There were clues in the last episode--unless Chase deliberately set out to mislead us. The two clues I saw when watching it again were Pauli saying he needed some time off (before he knew that the Leotardo hit had gone awry) and then when Tony told him to go home after arriving at the safe house. Paulie did not want to go home. So--what is to be made of all this: Paulie will try to kill Tony. Tony will kill Paulie (after finding out where Phil Leotardo is hiding!) Then Tony will kill Phil and end up as boss of the NY and NY families. Killing Tony would be stupid. Nobody kills a franchise. They could always bring him back for more. Some friends say witness protection. Yeah, I can just see Tony working at a Home Depot in the Midwest. Somebody brings back a lawn mower and Tony gets pissed and strangles them. He is not witness protection material. And one other thing: the most evil character in the Sopranos is not Tony, or Livia or Junior or Phil. Carmela Soprano knows everything. She is purely evil for staying around for the lifestyle, the baubles and the nice dinners. Her evil is like the bystanders near Dachau during the Nazi regime in Germany. They knew. And then they didn't want to know. Carmela is the real evil in this series. And Edie Falco is friggin' brilliant.

Posted by: marty goldman | June 9, 2007 06:22 PM

I feel I have to update yesterdays predictions about the Sopranos.

When we left off, Carmella had taken over the family after the demise of both Tony and Phil. Now Paulie Walnuts, a surviving capo, doesn't particularly like working for a woman, especially Carmella, so he whacks her. Tony's sister Janice gets wind of this and so she whacks Paulie. Silvio recovers from his gunshot wounds and leaves the hospital. He figures that after all his years as consligere, he's entitled to take over the family, so he whacks Janice. Meadow and A.J. mourning the loss of their aunt, go after Silvio and whack him. In the end, A. J. starts running the family business while Meadow takes over the management of Club Bada Bing, occasionally doing a dance or two. Uncle Junior breaks out of the home, whacks the kids, burns down Bada Bing, and take over the operations that he was wrongly cheated out of by Tony way back at the beginning. And anybody who is left lives happily ever after.

Hey - it could happen! Just like any other soap opera.

Posted by: Luigi | June 10, 2007 01:38 PM

Best scene: Tony and Christopher "bleeding" Ralphie's body in the bathtub, cutting off his head and transporting it in a bowling ball bag.

Best line: In a discussion of 9/11, Bobby says "Quasimodo predicted this".

Posted by: Zander | June 10, 2007 03:35 PM

One line I've always loved is "Garbage is our bread and butter."

I think that somehow Paulie and Phil kill each other off. Tony assumes he's safe, and plans to meet Meadow and Carmella at an ice cream parlor to celebrate. AJ suffers a big psychotic break, decides that his father is responsible for all the evil in the world, and kills him. Meadow and Carmella wait at the ice cream parlor, wondering what's happened to their men.

Posted by: Helen G | June 10, 2007 04:44 PM

I think the real clues as to how this ends are the functions within the family.
It's about 7 hours now until we get to see the ending on the West Coast.

I am at this point willing to bet a double-wide pan of ziti that Janice is killed while successfully trying to save Tony. The relationship between them is almost karmically skewed to that fate. She has always been the female version of him and it is the logical arc to such an intensely complex sibling love-hate thing. Their protection of each other is at an almost finally atavistic level and it's there for a reason.

I also am utterly positive that Carmela, with her endlessly ambivalent moralizing, winds up killing someone. She and Tony also wind up raising Janice's daughter and Carmela is last seen in a Madonna-like pose.
Bobby's other kids end up going to maternal families.

I don't think Meadow and AJ are harmed or get themselves a gun. It's too much the predictably cliched TV ending for Chase to condescend to it.
AJ is more bully than thug and Meadow is too repressed and intelligent.

And I think Melfi is too guilt-ridden over shirking her responsibilities not to take him back as a patient. But I sure hope she gets to hand him back some of that appalling abuse beforehand.

For me, as an Italian American woman, some of the hardest things to watch were the truest.
The casual way that women are so badly treated by the people who should respect them most. Those closest to them.

Posted by: gala1 | June 10, 2007 05:40 PM

My feelings about the series finale? BOOOOOOO!!!!! I've been an avid watcher of Sopranos and this was by far the worst show ever!!! What a disappointment.

Posted by: Alexis | June 10, 2007 10:08 PM

That finale was horrible.

Posted by: dissapointment | June 10, 2007 10:14 PM

what happened to meadow??

Posted by: confused | June 10, 2007 10:18 PM

Hahaha. I like the first people that say boo. I thought it was really good. Couldn't you guys just feel the tension, the looking over the shoulder, the looks at every single stranger. Wondering, worrying. Then nothing. THIS IS WHAT TONY LIVES WITH EVERYDAY. We were brought in to feel that.

Of course there is the OR interpretation. One of those guys was in fact a hitter and the sudden cut to black was Tony getting whacked and just like that, it was all over.

Take your pick. I choose option A because it is more torture for Tony to live with that anguish.

Posted by: Ryan | June 10, 2007 10:38 PM

The final episode was one big disappointment...choppy and disjointed. For all of Chase's comments about being tired of the show, the ending was left open so that The Sopranos can return in a year or two. Chase is too smart to kill off a very successful cash cow.

Posted by: Checkered.1 | June 10, 2007 10:41 PM

All week I literally counted down the hours until the "Final Episode". And for what, to see Phil's head crushed like a grape while others vomit? I can't say I hated the ending. A few questions were answered and now I can go to bed. Rest in Peace.

Posted by: kweenbee | June 10, 2007 10:51 PM

Who was sitting at the bar, walking into the restroom? I thought I recognized him, but from which episode? I need to know who that was . . . could answer some questions.

Posted by: Don | June 10, 2007 11:04 PM

Chase told the viewers what to expect when the final episode opened with the Vanilla Fudge's, "You Keep Me Hangin' On," playing in the background. That theme was repeated throughout the episode, the season and all previous seasons. In the end, Uncle Junior's hanging on (to no kind of life) Silvio's hanging on, AJ is hanging on... Moment after moment of unrealized suspense. Even the ketchup left us hanging on. Did it ever come out of the bottle?

So here we are... For the Sopranos, life goes on. We, however, are stuck in a moment in time. Hangin' on.
Well done, I say.

Posted by: Frank | June 11, 2007 11:18 AM

The exact quote may be a little different, but there was one scene where the FBI was trying to get Junior to cooperate with them and the agent says something like "We want you to cooperate with us." Junior then responds: "I want to f**k Angie Dickinson. Let's see who gets what they want first." The line is great on several levels: (i) it exposes Junior's age (Ms. Dickinson is hardly an ingenue), (ii) Ms. Dickinson's alleged history (she was supposedly having an extramarital affair with JFK at one time), and, of course (iii)the fact that Junior still lives by the Mafia code of honor.

Posted by: Stuart Levine | June 12, 2007 02:55 PM

Little Carmine's line from season five - "We're in a (expletive) stagmire"

Posted by: Best Line | June 12, 2007 05:24 PM

My favorite scene was Tonys dream sequence on the boardwalk as he suffered with food poisoning. Brilliant . I think Tonys daughter whacked him as she entered the diner. She had good reason to do so as he embarassed her all the time, especially the handcuff scene on her graduation day. She had a deep seated love hate thing ..over there.

Posted by: keith | June 18, 2007 01:29 AM

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