TV Club

You Call This a Cliffhanger?

Dear all,

OK, Jerry Shargel isn’t going to get away with two things here: One, his comment, “I see Mafia as metaphor.” Hey, Capeci, can you see Shargel in his office, talking to potential clients: “Don’t worry, Three-Fingers, they can’t touch you. I’m going to tell the jury that the Mafia is merely a metaphor for America’s deep longing for the ethos of the untamed West.” And the second thing—and this is actually for Dana, especially—could you lay off our president, please? Can’t TV columns be sacrosanct? Jerry S. actually has something of a point: Tony’s complaint that all his choices were wrong could be construed as a metaphor for the current situation. But really, both of you: Are you equating a well-meant (and if you read Woodward, you’ll see this is true) effort to liberate oppressed people (yes, most Iraqis actually wanted to be liberated from Saddam’s regime), and to pre-empt a rogue dictator’s attempts to re-acquire the sorts of weapons he already used to murder thousands, to Tony Soprano’s desire to maintain control over the New Jersey strip-club industry? I’m like most of the rest of the pro-invasion crowd; I can’t believe no one thought to plan for the day after, and I find the administration’s arrogance disconcerting. But I don’t think that George Bush needs to feel morally conflicted about liberating Iraq in the same way that Tony Soprano needs to feel moral doubt over, oh, murdering his cousin, for example.

On everything else, Dana’s right. I’m more than a little bummed out over this ending, and while I recognize that the last episode didn’t have to end with Johnny Sack dangling Tony Soprano by his see-through socks over the Palisades cliffs, I would have liked something a little bit more interesting than the prospect of Carmela washing said socks until the next season commences.

So Dana, Jerry and I tend to put our guests on the spot: How do you think it all ends? Tony in jail, Tony dead, Tony in charge, Tony marrying Paulie Walnuts in a civil ceremony in Massachusetts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Hawkishly yours,