- Beside the alarming panic attacks in the pilot, another one of Tony’s major wake-up calls is heard when he gets shot in the Season 6 premiere and is given a second (or third) chance to perhaps redeem himself and re-discover the values in life. But does he ultimately learn to receive each day as an unopened present or will he end up in the symbolic ‘coffin’ seen at the beginning of “Made in America”, hinting at the subliminal warning that perhaps it’s too late to reverse all those decisions?
- “I saw the tunnel and the white light.” (2.09) – Putting aside the implications of the final scene of the series, if Tony dies, how will his version of afterlife look like? Will it terrify him like the near-death experience did with Christopher in 2.09? The religious depiction of hell that Carmela sort of predicted he’ll go to in this episode, a condemnation she later comes to regret when a comatose Tony is close to drifting away (6.02)? Will it replicate the alienating atmosphere of the alternate reality hotel he visits during his come, or be as peaceful and inviting as The Inn at the Oaks? Or will it simply be comprised of startling, abrupt…. blackness? The white smokescreen following Tony’s first on-screen panic attack is reminiscent of the other blinding lights we see when he’s in coma, awakening from it, or the strange bathroom light in 6.18, possibly hinting at his symbolic deaths and rebirths. When Chris’ heart stopped in the coma, Carmela prayed that he be delivered by The Lord from blindness to light. Did Tony fail to notice such illuminating signals?
- Master Of Sopranos has brilliantly analyzed the final scene of the series, bringing solid evidence as to why and how Tony gets shot by the man in the Members Only jacket right when Meadow’s walking through the door. David Chase’s recent interviews pretty much support that theory too. Even not considering that very plausible interpretation, the abruptness of the final scene alone fits the overwhelming shadow of mortality constantly looming over our main characters. In the blink of an eye, it’s all taken away from Tony (and by extension us, the viewers). Either it’s the life that’s being taken away, or it’s simply a wake-up call that sooner or later it will end in a matter of a second. Is it all a “big nothing” as Livia, drifting away, pointed out? That seems to be the case with the Czech company man, Emil who’s shot point-blank in this episode by Chris from behind, Tony Blundetto, or the soon-to-be Lupertazzi acting boss, Gerry Torciano. In the latter case, as Bobby Baccala pointed out in 6.13, Silvio who was sitting beside the man, ‘didn’t even hear it when it happened’.
Next: Across the Sky (cont)…