Jersey Bounce: Five Fans Take a Stab At the Finale

Carmela (Edie Falco), Tony (James Gandolfini), A.J. (Robert Iler) and Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler): The Family's family.
Carmela (Edie Falco), Tony (James Gandolfini), A.J. (Robert Iler) and Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler): The Family's family. (By Craig Blankenhorn -- Hbo Via Associated Press)
Saturday, June 9, 2007

Psst. We've got a secret to slip about "The Sopranos."

Lean in. Closer -- in case that ziti pan is bugged.

As we eagerly anticipate the HBO show's finale tomorrow night, there's something you should know about series creator David Chase:

He hates surprises.

Oh, like any good TV crime-drama writer worth his final assault, he relishes smart plot twists and hairpin turns and sudden switchbacks. But along Chase's dark turnpike, such story-line maneuvers typically demand the proper signage alerting to dangers ahead. Roadside cues and clues, but no blind deadman's curve.

So with one hour to go, as mob boss Tony Soprano lives in the shadows, we're thankful that Chase instead lives in the foreshadows. Because of his precise plotting of harbingers, "Sopranos" fans have hard material with which to play their favorite parlor game. Not Whack-a-Mole (though you're warm), but rather: Fantasize Your Own Finale.

Who flips? Who tips off? Who sleeps with the scrod? For the show's addicts, such mullings provide endless amusement. And in this decade-honored vein, we've asked five staff writers who are die-hard fans to peer into their crystal laptops and tell us: What would your dream finale look like?

No smarty-pants predictions here, no smirky prognostications -- just pure hoped-for endings. So before Tony takes his final opening-sequence drive, sit back in the shotgun seat and dream a little dream.

(And to play along at home, go to http://blog.washingtonpost.com/sopranos/ and write your own.)

* * *

Tony Soprano survives but as a hollow man.

He is not whacked -- too wildly out of character for this very Shakespearean TV drama -- but instead finds succor in the very thing he has flouted and loathed all these years: the law.


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