EW.com offers four ways to end ''The Sopranos'' -- The Tarantino, the ''Seinfeld,'' and two other finales we'd like to see
James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
Credit: The Sopranos: Barry Wetcher
James Gandolfini

EW.com offers four ways to end ”The Sopranos”

Will Tony whack Carmine? What will a lovelorn Carmela do next? And for God’s sake, will the Russian ever come out of the woods!?! The security surrounding ”The Sopranos”’ season finale (HBO, Dec. 8, 9 p.m.) is tighter than Ginny Sacramoni’s waistband, but that isn’t keeping EW.com from offering our ideas of how things should end. Here are four finales we’d pay good money to see.

THE ”STRAIGHT” ENDING Junior gets convicted in his RICO trial and ends up in the same miserable cell Paulie recently vacated. In rehab, Christopher, high on Elmer’s glue and paint chips, gets Silvio and Adriana to bust him out. Back at the Bing, he and a bitter Paulie persuade Tony to have the conspiring Johnny Sack whacked, and all is smoothed over with Carmine…for now. While Tony washes the blood from his hands, Carmela realizes the greater meaning of her fire for Furio. Longing for love, and spurred on by Meadow’s desire for Finn, Carmela writes Tony a ”Dear John” letter and flees to Italy. But, as the tagline goes, ”Once you enter this family, you can never leave.”

THE ”TARANTINO” ENDING In an episode so coincidence-driven it would make even the ”Pulp Fiction” scribe blush, nearly every minor character plot line in the history of the show gets resolved: Meadow’s depressed ex-roomie, Caitlin, discovers that a change in sexual orientation will turn her frown upside down when she has a steamy run-in with Adriana’s lesbian tennis instructor at a concert by rap impresario Massive Genius. Meanwhile, new divorcée Charmaine Bucco starts dating Melfi’s reformed rapist — a converted Christian who’s introduced to Charmaine by Janice’s sleepy ex. Speaking of which, Tony finds the long-gone Bible-thumper’s body in the bottom of his pool, where he passed out in a narcoleptic nap…months ago. And just when you thought every minor character had been accounted for, the Russian emerges from the woods and starts whacking the ducks Tony was once so fixated on. The goat, however, lives.

THE ”WRITTEN BY MICHAEL IMPERIOLI” ENDING His critically abused episodes tend to focus on relationships (he explored A.J. and Paulie’s rare dalliances with the opposite sex), have frequently involved holidays (Columbus Day and St. Patrick’s Day), and generally feature his own character, Christopher. This Imperioli finale is set on another humdrum holiday — Human Rights Day — sparking a discussion about the morality of ”whacking.” Boooring. Christopher is back from rehab, high on smack and reiterating his theory of snowflakes (”How do they know no two are alike? Have they tested every single one?”). That leaves no time for mob business. Instead, Furio returns to hook up with Carmela, A.J. has his first homosexual experience after gym class, and Janice and Bobby Bacala warm the sheets after polishing off a tray of ziti. In keeping with midseason Internet rumors, someone gets pregnant, but — oops, time’s all gone — we won’t find out who till next season. Bum bum bum!!!

THE ”FINAL EPISODE” ENDING Sure, it’s not the series’ FINAL, final episode, but this script is in the spirit of the classic endings of ”Seinfeld,” ”M*A*S*H,” ”Cheers,” and others: The feds finally find a way to bring Tony down. The big goon witnesses a robbery but doesn’t lift a finger (fuhgeddaboutit… he’s eating a cannoli), so he gets hauled in for violating Good Samaritan laws, and past guest stars Robert Patrick, Janeane Garofalo, Sandra Bernhard, and Hawkeye show up in character to testify against him. When it’s revealed who killed J.R., errr, Ralph, Tony declares his love for Hot Lips and sells his bar — the Bada Bing — so he can sail around the world. But things aren’t adding up…until Tony awakens to find it was all just another one of his kooky dreams. Typical.

James Gandolfini
The Sopranos
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