Personally, and I know I'm mocked for liking everything, I thought it was a great ending. Remember the conversation between Tony and Bobby on the boat, that was revisited in a flash back last episode? About how you never even hear it coming when you go? Nothing? Fade to black? Silence? Exactly what happened. But oh boy, were we left on the edge of our seats. Every single arrival to the diner, every single glance with a patron, is this the moment? The ending we've been contemplating for seven years? The moment big T and/or his family bites it? The way we've all been saying it has to end? Also, "Made in America"? It's funny, every person in the diner has something patriotic goin' on, except the supposed killer. USA ball cap, Boy Scouts of America, etc. Meadow's dramatically painful parallel parking ineptitude just building up the suspense? Well done.
Guildies and friends were pissed. People whispered me on WoW, asked in guild chat, AIMed and ICQed me, asking what the shit was going on. Like some others, I wondered if my cable had gone out for a second. Nope, cable's fine. TiVo's fine. Wow. That was it. Typical David Chase maneuver, already his Wikipedia page is being defaced over it. At first I thought it was just suggesting that life went on as it began, always wondering when your number comes up. Every person you don't know - or even the people you do know - could be about to take you out. But then someone reminded me of the flashback, and it all made sense. Having saved that episode for petemagyar for when he gets back from India, I re-watched the scene in the boat before watching the finale again. Yup. Damn. That convinced me. Can't believe I forgot that scene.
Phil doesn't make it, with one of the more brutal deaths. Tony makes his peace with his father, in a way. Agent Harris gets personal. AJ jumps from idea to idea yet again (military! film!), but starts laughing again. And we're left with Paulie and the cat outside of Satriale's, where once sat a huge cast of characters - all gone one way or another now. If Sil doesn't pull through, I guess Paulie's the only one left at that table.
Is Tony dead? With the boat scene revisited the week before, I think so. I'm sure the Star Ledger's Alan Sepinwall column tomorrow will contain fifty things I missed or didn't even think of, as usual. I eagerly look forward to reading it tomorrow.
Regardless, I'm sure there will be plenty of arguments on teh intarwebs over this for a while.