steve-o wrote:I've been able to think on it for a few days after the initial confusion:
There's another theory going around that the ending was the audience getting "whacked." Which personally I think is perfect. Because that's how it happens right? You're just sitting there, going about your life when BAM- silence and darkness- because you never hear it or see it coming. And he builds up the supsense at the end just to get us as engaged as possible, where we are waiting for someone to die, and it ends up being us. What's a bigger surprise for the audience than that? We never saw it coming.
Chase obviously has never had qualms about taking out major characters, so what better way to pull us out of their lives than to essentially show us what it's like, at the same time saying, "Hey, life goes on for Tony without the viewer jsut like it did when all the other characters have died over the years."
I love it. I couldn't think of a better ending. Still hate Journey though.
I like that theory, but my preferred theory is the one about Chase using the ending to comment on our fascination with entertainment. Throughout the show, transcendent current events always framed the plot -- most recently, terrorism. Earlier in the episode, AJ derides the rest of the repass table for gossiping about American Idol and the Oscars with so much going on in the world. Sort of the way people have spent the last few days going on endlessly about the Sopranos ending (myself included).
So it seems to me that Chase, notoriously against his audience and confounded by their obsession with the show, was basically saying: "I've been trying to tell you that there's more to life than The Sopranos. And yet you continue to sit, glued to the TV. So the ending you've been waiting, obsessing over for 8 years? You're not getting it. Since you are apparently unable to turn off your TVs, I'm turning it off for you."
Of course, that just provided more talk. But if that was his intent, or at least part of it, I admire the hubris.