The much anticipated 86th episode of the Sopranos finale aired Sunday night on HBO with a large thud.Fanswere very disappointed by the ending and went online to express their outrage. According to numerous reports the volume of hate traffic to the HBO web site brought the site down for a significant period of time.
Many critics and fans had been hopeful that this ending would satisfy the need for a proper farewell to a pop icon and one of the most successful television series on record. David Chase wrote and directed the final episode where the final scene featured Tony (James Gandolfini), his wife, Carmela (Edie Falco), and son, A.J. (Robert Iler), in a restaurant where they were about to be joined by the last member of their family, daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), when the screen went black and the credits started to roll.
The sequence was marked by Soprano’s style tension. Tony told his wife of his possible indictment while glaring at four different customers as possible hit men sent to end his life. No resolution was offered to the scene or to many of the story lines that have brought the series to this final conclusion. Viewers looking for closure did not find it on HBO last night. Maybe this is the introduction to a movie.
While thefinale is the story here, the interesting point is that the ongoing convergence oftelevisionandonline mediahave reachednew levels. Fans absorb the content of a show like the Sopranos on one medium and then immediately utilize the web as their voice to express points of view. Audiences see the web and television as symbiotic and the response to the Sopranos show simply reinforces how the two are becoming very interdependant.