The Obligatory 'Sopranos' Finale Post


[Warning: This post will contain spoilers. If you chose to ignore the most significant moment in the history of pop culture by time-shifting last night's Sopranos finale, we recommend that you smash your monitor with a rock and save yourself the anguish of having your life ruined. —Ed.]

Whether you believe that David Chase's choice to end The Sopranos on an open-ended freeze frame so intentionally abrupt that it would trick millions of outraged viewers into believing that their cable boxes and DVRs had malfunctioned—robbing them of the "real" ending where Tony is floating face-down in his pool, his brain splattered upon a flock of peacefully paddling ducks by the escaped Russian from "Pine Barrens"—represents an uncompromising artistic triumph or the worst kind of blue-balling narrative cop-out, we can all agree on one thing: Meadow is a profoundly shitty parallel parker.

The fans who have flocked to HBO's website to register their disgust with or endorsement of the finale might not even be able to reach consensus on that point, as they're busy filling the Bacala-sized hole in their lives by debating if HBO showed different final images—either of Meadow entering the diner or of Tony watching Meadow's entrance—in various TV markets, a discussion that seems to confirm that Chase has so successfully mindfucked his viewers over the past eight years that they now no longer trust their own senses.

Here's a clip of the final scene, which seems to provide an answer—but how can we ever know for sure that Chase didn't beam a different version into a few households, just to see if he could drive a handful of people insane?