The Sopranos, the fourth time around, ended on Sky Atlantic this week. Having watched it four times the end scene remains ambiguous. What is clear is that Tony Soprano has lost control of his New Jersey empire and has been squeezed by the power of the New York Families led by Phil Leotardo.Key members of his crew killed or hospitalised,Tony's murder of the ever troublesome Christopher; all added to things spiralling out of control for the Soprano crime family, though not for the actual Soprano family, Tony, Carmela, AJ and Meadow.
The catalyst for the demise of the Sopranos? It has to be the release of Tony Blundetto. The guilt that Tony Soprano feels in regard to Blundetto being incarcerated leads to him defying New York in handing Tony B over after he kills Leotardo's brother. This is a snub that Leotardo never forgets and when he eventually takes the crown he defers business sense and decides to take the Sopranos down.
What becomes clear is that Tony Soprano heads a family in New Jersey and not New York; this is key. Tony's hubris and guilt eventually and inevitably find him going to war with New York and one would imagine that is a war he can never win.Even when it seems that Tony has colluded with New York and Phil is despatched the feeling is of unease. Tony reverts to a normal life but the ghost at the feast is ever present.
That final scene leads the viewer to believe that just as Tony reunites his wife and children he is about to lose everything, and that he should have seen it coming. Sadly one cannot imagine him sailing into the sunset with his family aboard the Stugatts.