Go ahead. Comment. Tell me how it's the worst. Tell me how unsatisfied you were. Tell me how you banged on your TV because you thought the cable went out. Go on. Tell me how much of a pretentious film douche I am for putting it on this list. I will love it... just as much as I love this.
What do I think happened? I think the inside of Tony's head served as a marinara sauce for those gigantic onion rings the Soprano family were inhaling in one bite, the ones he "went ahead and ordered for the table". (Notice how they all ate them like the Body of Christ ::hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge::)
I will say, I caught this down the shore in Belmar, NJ at my buddy's beach house. We thought our cable box was broken, then the credits silently rolled. We all reacted angrily. Then we drank till we threw up.
I hated it just as much as the next guy. But like many other things, I got older, more open, and revisited it a bunch. I realized that David Chase didn't want to spoon-feed us anything.
The excruciating... and I mean EXCRUCIATING tension that built up during that scene -- Journey blasting, the ring of the restaurant's entrance bell, Meadow's repeated attempts to parallel park the car, Tony's eyes darting about the room -- I'll never forget the suspense. Seriously, go back and watch it again. Even knowing full-well what happens, it's almost unbearable to watch.
Did we really need to see Carmella and AJ screaming and covered in Tony's blood and skull and brains? Was that the image we needed to land on? No, it was not. We got Tony's death from Tony's perspective. We went down with our iconic anti-hero and saw it through his eyes. We got to FEEL what it was like to be Tony Soprano, every day, constantly awaiting and anticipating the ding of the front door being the last thing he hears. David Chase didn't "cheat" his audience. He gave us credit.
No matter how you look at it, it's the series that changed television and, still to this day, one of the most-talked about and polarizing finales ever made.