Waking Bob Newhart

Our streetside espresso cuts the brain-fog nicely, and this morning's chilled cannoli isn't half-bad, but easily the tastiest thing on our al fresco table today is all this blog-post feedback from "Sopranos" addicts. Theorizing about the finale is proving to be one provocative parlor game. Will the feds flip T.? Will Carm put her hubby in harm's way? And can the show really whack Tony when there's so much rabid fan hope for a feature film (Czech Interior Decorator on May 31, 2007 at 5:41 PM and Mark on May 31, 2007 at 3:02 PM)? Oh, we're deep into Geekville now. And it's delicious.

Under an awning that almost says Satriale's if we squint just right, we pore over your hundred or so e-replies, which in turn spur us to riffle through our reporter's notebook for clues. Agent Harris, eat your heart out.

One blog-poster mentions the Suzanne Pleshette plot twist from the "Newhart" finale, which gets us to thinking: Maybe our best leads lie in TV's other big finales. Lessee here...

** Lead actor wakes up in bed next to another woman, a la "Newhart"? (Bob on June 1, 2007 at 9:40 AM ET) Check. Tony Soprano's already done that often -- as recently as this season's Vegas-trip episode (the one so chock full of fall-of-Rome references).

** Stuck in jail, waiting to be bailed out, a la "Seinfeld"? Check. Tony opened this season doing just that.

** Lead actress jets to Paris, only to return home to her Mr. Big, a la HBO's "Sex and the City"? Roger that, too (when Carmela bon-voyaged to view Notre Dame).

Hm, our television leads prove fruitless. Further proof that not only is HBO not TV, but "The Sopranos" isn't even traditional HBO.

Prompted by the previous episode, we Google Yeats's "The Second Coming," reading it like a road map. Birds flying from the parent. The desert. Rocking cradles and the rough beast of end-times. Metaphor for metaphor, it's like reading William Butler Chase, but still with no clue where Tony Soprano will slouch next.

Our notes from a David Chase chat remind us of his love for classic rock. We plumb "Comfortably Numb" (again with the grown children flying the coop!), but like Pink Floyd, we begin to want "just the basic facts." With the penultimate "Sopranos" airing this weekend (reportedly titled "Blue Comet" and involving mistaken identity), we're still hungry for your tips, your thoughts, your theories. One blog-poster (Joan on June 1, 2007 at 9:16 AM ET), in fact, writes that the Post's Sopranos site has become like "some sort of of very cool (smart) club of Sopranos addicts."

Well then, consider this your support group -- especially for those us still in denial over the series's end. Besides getting the most accurate tips for the finale, sometimes it just helps to have the sponsors . . .

--- Michael Cavna
TV Editor, Style

By Christian Pelusi |  June 1, 2007; 2:57 PM ET  | Category:  Theories
Previous: The Beginning of the End | Next: Slouching Toward the Showdown

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I still think A.J., and his older proxy, Tony, are incarnations of Hamlet. A.J.'s madness may just be feigned -- note Bogdanovich's recitation of the uselessness of talk therapy on sociopaths. A.J. tried to kill the uncle/usurper, and cannot conceive of being in his father's "family."
The Shakespearean ending has already begun, with the number of important dead bodies multiplying. The show is called "The Sopranos," and like all great drama is about the end of something -- The Soprano
"curse" mentioned by Carmela. Tony, the flawed king, must die. Hamlet/Oedipus/A.J. will kill him. Perhaps Tony will be allowed to do something heroic -- like Lucky Luciano in fighting the facists -- in stopping the terrorists.
Otherwise, there will be a classic tragic ending, with the death of the flawed king, whose oracle -- Dr. Melfi -- will provide him with insight just before death. Tony is already seeing the light in so many ways.

Posted by: Michael | June 1, 2007 03:34 PM

Tony's been nearly killed, now it's time for him to be reborn.....

Why not a religious moment at St. Malachy's Church, just off Broadway. In the Godfather, the church is used as a contradiction, a way to show the hypocrisy of Al Pacino's character's life. Why not kill off Tony's wife, have him wander the streets of the big city for a few days learnging about what happens to the average man, then have him stumble into a small Manhattan church, where he meets an old Irish priest. At the end of an emotional talk, he leaves the world behind and heads to a monastery to become a priest.

Father Tony Soprano.....cloistered monk

Sets up a nice movie.....

Posted by: Furzyweb | June 1, 2007 03:39 PM

In contrast to disappointing AJ, Meadow proves to have the brains and the guts of a true Soprano. Meadow, with new boyfriend Patrick Parisi, runs into Phil hiding at a hotel Manhattan. Believing that her father will die if Phil survives, Meadow calls out to "Uncle Phil," smiles broadly, and then shoots him -- two or three times. Meadow thus quickly completes the transition from future physician into Tony's world of crime. We will see enough of Meadow in the final episode to imagine that she may run the family at some point -- a modern version of her grandmother, though hopefully not as loathsome.

Phil's death does not end the war, by the way. Tony, who does not die in this episode, will live in constant fear of retribution, and we assume will eventually be gunned down, if he's not jailed. Worse yet, because of Meadow's and Patrick's role in killing Phil, families, at least these two families, are no longer off-limits.

Posted by: 2muchTV | June 5, 2007 04:28 AM

The hype surrounding this oustanding TV show is absolutely amazing! Remember when JR was shot? Or when everybody thought a bomb would kill everyone at Hill Street Station? Or people wondering if Crockett and Tubbs would go down in a hail of gunfire. The Sopranos was just too good for network and David Chase knew it. Now, the best show since HILL STREET BLUES is going off the air for good. What made this such a great show? The writing was deft,the sories were gripping,the acting was first rate and the way each episode was shot we were watching a movie not a TV show. David Lynch and company pilled this off back in 1990 with Twin Peaks. But The Sopranos ran for ten years after it was fist shot in 1997. Six and a half seasons in a eight year run. And what a run it was. There just isn't enough space to recount all the memorable moments of this great show. But a few come to mind. Tony fluffing a pillow for his mom after the old witch put a hit out on him is now classic! Or how Tony sniffed out a rat and had to dispose of his friend Big Pussy. Or when Little Jackie and his friends foolishly crashed Christopher's card game. Or when Tony and Ralphie had their death Tango in Ralphie's kitchen. Or when Tony had to put his wayward cousin down to prevent a gang war. Or when Tony paid a visit to Phil in the hospital and told him to "focus on the positive." I will miss this show like many other fans. Now all we have to look forward to is LOST(sigh) Oh well all good things must come to an end. And Sunday night I think Tony and his family will finally pay for their sins...

Posted by: Tony A. | June 9, 2007 08:09 PM

I could not have been any more let down by the last show i felt the ending just SUCKED,to think after six years of viewing they could not do any better throughly upset

Posted by: | June 10, 2007 10:24 PM

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