Oh man, what a ball buster. Rarely does a finale please the fans. I am a douche that thought the Seinfeld finale was not bad, and my favorite part was that Art Vandelay showed up (it won me a bet). I enjoyed the Cheers finale, the MASH finale, and even the X Files finale. Still, it did not prepare me for a finale like the Sopranos.
I think Tony lived.
I think David Chase showed you what a despciable human being Tony Soprano is after getting you to love him over the course of 6 seasons.
Meadow Soprano is like my tv mistress or my tv ex-girlfriend from school. I used to dig Jersey chicks as a single man in college.
Life goes on for Tony and his family. The Sopranos universe continues. Our view of it ends with a paranoid Tony eating a diner with his suicidal son and enabling wife. His trusted and loved friends and all dead. It's not a glorious ending.
A lot of people have talked about the death imagery of the final scene. I think if you strip away all your built up tension while watching the final scene over the course of the episode, the scene looks really normal. I do think some of the death imagery is a nice wink at the idea of a show dying. Of a character or family that a nation met and knew ending before their very eyes.
Chase wanted to do things his way, but I think the death of Livia Soprano because the actress died, really screwed his original plans. He wanted Livia to kill Tony. She died before she could do it, so he had to create something that would be remembered. This will. Good for you David.
My favorite episode: Pine Barrens (season 3)
My favorite character: Christopher Moltisanti
My favorite chick to hope to see naked: Drea di Matteo (Adriana), she had a bombing body that got upgrades as the show went on, thank you good Doctors.
My favorite Mistresses on the Sopranos: The Italian chick when Tony was in Italy, and Annabella Sciora from season 3 (suicidal crazy chick)
My favorite comedy moment: Chrissy's intervention
My favorite ancillary plot: When Tony ruins his old buddy who owned the sporting goods store
My saddest moment: Toss up between Chrissy's death and when the dumb stripper was killed by Ralphie
My favorite word: when they stretch whore into Hoo-ah, like "But she was a Hoo-ah"
Biggest Douche: AJ Soprano
Favorite idea/plot through a season: When Tony's cousin Tony was released from jail and Tony Soprano had to deal with the guilt, the shame, the source of his anxiety attacks, and ultimately deal with his cousin when he flipped out.
This was a once in a lifetime show that will not be duplicated. I have season 1-4 on DVD and love to watch them to see more clues or read into the actions more now. I will miss you Sopranos.