WARNING: The following post should be read with caution, as some of it is The Sopranos--the way Karen wanted it--and the other is The Sopranos finale the way it actualy was written. Confusion is not only understandable, but it is encouraged. Just like the series! *grin*
I just re-wrote the ending, which is what I think the viewers were invited to do themselves, anyhow. Interestingly enough, in my re-write, the screen still goes blank, but that was in the midst of a high noon style showdown between Phil Leotardo and Tony, which involved--ta-da! Melfi!!! (I even wrote dialogue for this exchange, too--an interesting exercize btw. I liked my version better, because it was longer. They really could have given us two hours for a finale, doncha think?)
I appreciated the paranoia, and like you, I picked up on it right away, because well, being paranoid, I have lived the way. (You always sit back to the wall and y'look at everybody like, "Are you the 'expletive' that's gonna try to ruin my day?") So kudos and nods for that.
Also, the music. Journey's selection was great, but didn't anyone else notice how many times the camera seemed to pause on well-known hits with the word "magic" in them?
I'll have to watch it again, but I could count at least two, where the camera seemed to hesitate as if Tony were considering them, and then he moved on.
I thought the use of the camera was ingenious for a series--something usually reserved for film only, and I too enjoyed that it was from Tony's point of view.
Where was I disappointed? The death of Leotardo was anti-climactic and too easy.
I also wanted Melfi to be involved, somehow, even if only to qualify or disqualify Tony's issue with how "women ultimately disappoint."
I also thought it would have been interesting if Anthony Jr. would have naively excused himself to go to the bathroom right behind "suspicous guy"--just to watch Tony squirm, as well as toss in some interesting foreshadow, as the rest of the events evolve rapidly without him--but I liked it because it would have raised questions about whether or not Jr. would have a future with the family as an active member. The "suspicious guy" in the bathroom was a direct allusion to The Godfather, afterall, and Michael's first kill, which initiated him into the bloody aspect of the life, and pretty much sealed his future as "Don". (Nod. It would have been a subtle but nice touch, and I think somebody missed an easy play on that.)
(My re-write also raised questions about Meadow's future, because in my version, as the screen goes to black abrupty, nearly the same way--just as Meadow walks in-- and we get to hear gunshots, but we are kept guessing as to who shot whom, and we get to hear one last thing from Carmella, 'cause poor Carmella should have gotten the last words: "Omg, Meadow, Meadow, we need a doctor!" *wink* A little ironic twist there on both Meadow's decision to change her career ambition from medicine to law, and a teaser, because in my version, sd stated above, Dr. Melfi was there.)
So y'see? I liked the blank ending, because it allowed people to fill in the blanks, and I would have probably done it the same way, but with the variables I mentioned. (Including a big one I did not--which would have offered a peaceful resolution, and "retirement" for Tony--this is done as Phil Leotardo produces Tony's shrink file, and Melfi as hostage, and he's offered a legitimate life with a generous stipend, on the condition that he kill Melfi.) Hey? I loved that idea. I'll bet Carmella would have too--she would have been tempted to kill Melfi herself!
But oh--back to the actual screenplay: the allusions to mob movies and real life mobsters were grand too.
And now I'm all screwed up, because I was rolling along nicely into chapter two of THE DAMNED BOOK I haven't been writing for six years, when I stopped to write a screenplay!
But..shrug--as Tony says, "Whatcha gonna do?"
OH. One more teaser about "my" two-hour re-write. Dr. Melfi, unbeknownst to everyone, is armed as well.
(Anybody in Hollywood need a writer? I sure could use some money.)