All predictions of deaths - except Phil's, which was the easiest - were defied. Tony and his family and all of his guys live on. Even Sil, who, though still in a coma, did not die, yet, either.
Tony will likely go to trial. That's not good news. But as his lawyer, Neil, says, trials are made to win.
Junior is definitely senile, Meadow's going to become a lawyer, and A.J. may get his club in the end, after all. Nothing's changed.
Is this David Chase's way of pulling out the one kind of ending that was not predictable - that life just goes on?
Perhaps. But there's also this: After last week, and Bobby's death, and Sil's shooting, and Tony so close to the edge, we the audience can never relax, again.
Even with Phil dead, we wonder, how can Tony just sit there in the ice-cream parlour with Carmela and AJ? Will Meadow's coming in late have some sort of meaning - will she just miss the murder of her father, maybe her whole family, that will take place just a few seconds after the final scene cut to black?
Who, after all, was that guy who went into the bathroom ... was he carrying a gun?
The point may be that Chase has finally succeeded in getting us, the audience, to fully identify with Tony and his world - in which nothing can ever be totally safe.
So what happens after that cut to black may be everyone gets killed, or just Tony gets killed, or who knows, maybe just Meadow ... or maybe life just goes on...
Any one want to make any predictions?
listen to free podcast of this review, and reviews of all the other final nine episodes
The Sopranos and Hamlet
The Sopranos, or the Tiger?
The Sopranos as a Nuts-and-Bolts Triumph of Non-Network TV my 2002 article
reviews of the first eight episodes this final season: The Sopranos: First of Nine, Second of Nine, Third of Nine, Fourth of Nine, Fifth of Nine, Sixth of Nine, Seventh of Nine, Eighth of Nine
The Sopranos, Lost, and Heroes: A Comparison of Real and Future Endings
Talking about The Sopranos ending on KNX1070 Radio Sunday June 17
Sopranos Conference May 2008: Preliminary Announcement
And ... A Conversation with Dominic Chianese ... complete video and transcript
The Plot to Save Socrates
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book
Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!