New Jersey can finally sleep soundly. The brewing mob war that promised to escalate into full-fledged chaos came to a swift end in last night’s season finale of The Sopranos. Tony finally grew some cajones and shot his cousin, Tony B., in the head, effectively ending a growing feud between him and Johnny Sack. Well, the Feds helped too when they swooped out of nowhere and took down the New York crime boss and the rest of his family. Meanwhile, Carmella and company settled back into suburban bliss with Papa Bear back at home. And yes, I’m tipping my hat to David Chase’s omnipresent ursine symbolism this season.The finale was yet another strong entry in an already solid season. For a moment, we almost forgot last season’s meandering storylines and tangental characters. Yeah, this season sometimes delved into random territory (dream sequence, anyone? or how about we follow Finn to the construction site), but overall, the episodes have been streamlined and taut. Last night brought some healthy resolution to the Tony Blundetta fiasco, and we even got to see a little Meadow cameo for good measure. By the way, why is she always doing laundry in New Jersey? It’s time to hit the NYC laundromats, Med. Maybe you’ll find a less clammy, less Adrian Brodyish boyfriend.
While Meadow putzed around in the Soprano Fluff n Fold, AJ found a new passion in event planning, which in this case means selling $5 cups at a party. Hey, a kid’s gotta start somewhere. Even though Tony questioned the value in this (“Isn’t that sort of gay?” he asked), maybe this entrepreneurial spirit was the first sign of a baby Mafia don in the making.
Carmella busied herself with housewife drama, such as getting involved in a Fortunoff’s wedding registry meltdown. She naively pestered Christopher about Adriana’s whereabouts, nearly forcing the poor guy to hit the needle again. Life’s not good for Tony’s heir apparent. He was forced into hiding in hotels and wearing a silly fisherman’s hat that made him look like he was auditioning for “Spy Vs. Spy”. Christopher shared a touching moment with Tony as the two realized they had sacrificed someone dear and close to both of them for the greater good of the family. Whatever, jerks. Stop killing your loved ones and you won’t be bawling in each other’s arms.
Silvio got in touch with his emotions this episode too. Usually he hangs around in the background, sometimes taking care of a little dirty work – like Adriana – and usually calming down insurgent parties with a brusque “Hey!” (No, not like the way they say it on The OC). But last night he actually talked about his feelings, sort of. It may have been Steven Van Zandt’s biggest scene of the series. Dr. Melfi also clocked in some memorable face time as she abandoned her usual psychologist prodding for a more sarcastic, annoyed therapy session. PMS must have hit the good doctor because she was in no mood for bullshit.
Janice was surprisingly absent in the finale, but maybe she was busy with anger management. Looks like she won’t be the only one with lowered stress levels next season. If all goes well, it should be smooth sailing to the series finale. Oh who am I kidding? Feel free to start the whacking predictions now.