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And the Sopranos Lived ____ Ever After

Will Tony meet a gruesome fate? Or go down stoically in a simple hail of bullets? We asked six writers to imagine a fitting conclusion.


Illustrations by Andy Friedman  

Meadow Soprano Must Die
By Emily Nussbaum
Or maybe she needs to be corrupted—yet another murder might be too simple. But for theSopranos’ finale, something terrible has to happen to Tony Soprano’s favorite child, destroying forever his chance to be a better parent than his own.

Meadow’s fate has always been the key to Tony’s character: He’s a sensitive boomer dad trapped in the body of a depressive sociopath. But after six seasons, it’s become clear that for Tony, change is impossible; his crimes are more, not less, repulsive because he understands them. And in a less tragic show, Meadow would escape—giving Tony his final wish and realization of his final fear (she’d have to reject him in order to leave).

But I’m hoping for a darker twist—no “Mr. Big rescues Carrie,” none of the hugging and learning of the Six Feet Under finale. Creator David Chase’s brilliance is that he’s turned our fascination with Tony into a cunning narrative trap that, after six seasons, bites into the viewer, making us feel ashamed of having been so attracted to him. For those shadows to be complete, Meadow must pay the price: maybe as collateral damage (killed in a stupid accident?) or something subtler—she perjures herself on the stand. Either way, it has to wreck her prospect for a better life. A rape is the only thing that would really destroy Tony, of course. But that would be too dark, even for this imaginary world.
Next: Revenge of the Italian Mother


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