The Sopranos ends tomorrow night.
I don't know if The Sopranos is the best TV show ever, but it is certainly ONE of the best shows ever. When the show debuted way back when, it was accompanied by a wave of hype which, frankly, turned me off, and coupled with the fact that at the time we didn't have HBO, I didn't watch the first season as it aired. But HBO reran the series and my curiosity got the best of me so I had a friend with digital cable tape the first season for me (thanks again, Jimmie!) and I was hooked. I'm not made of stone, people.
In fact, Vitamin Jen and I liked it so much, we upgraded to digital cable just so we could watch The Sopranos as each episode aired. And despite the fact that the show's creators got a little arrogant, taking upwards of 18 months off between seasons, I am and always will be a fan of the show.
Meaning that when he final episode airs tomorrow at 9 p.m., well, since I'lll probably be slugging down some bourbon, or at least a Woodpecker, all through the broadcast, there may be tears when those final credits roll.
Here's my speculation as to what's gonna go down:
Due to the show's overall tone and based on previous story arcs, I am among those who thinks that Tony Soprano will be killed in the final episode. My theory is that Paulie Walnuts has been working with Phil Leotardo on the sly and that he will be the one who plugs Big T. Remember that Paulie was kissing up to Johnny Sack several seasons ago, so we know that he has considered jumping ship before, and in last week's episode, Sil and Bobby told Paulie they were gonna whack Phil at Phil's goomar's house, and then Phil magically never shows up and the goomar's father got whacked instead. Phil's absence was explained as Phil having left town immediately after ordering the hits on Tony, Sil and Bobby, but this was just speculation on Tony and Sil's part. And in that vein, when we saw Phil's lieutenant Butchie discussing the three killings (Tony, Sil and Bobby), one of the crew asked if they were gonna whack Paulie. Butchie said no -- protecting their inside man? One final tidbit: It has been widely reported, since the series began, that Tony Sirico, the actor who plays Paulie Walnuts, agreed to take the role on the condition that his character never "turn rat," and I've seen these anecdoyes circualting again in press accounts of the show's finale. I think that's a big ol' red herrring. I think when he said "turn rat," Sirico just meant that his character would never go to the Feds -- I think it's entirely reasonable that Paulie would join a new crew if he thought it was in his best interests.
Based on all of the above, that's what I think is going to go down. But then, predicting what's going to happen on The Sopranos is not an easy thing to do, which is one of the reasons why the show is so beloved by its fans. And why it will be missed.