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And the Sopranos Lived ____ Ever After

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A Dream So Real
By John Falk
I always envisioned the end of The Sopranos as Tony Soprano’s bill coming due. In order to maintain their position and all the things he’s given them, Carmela and the kids turn on him. Their testimony in federal court puts Tony away for life, à la John Gotti, in solitary confinement.

But if it were up to me, Tony Soprano would, in the end, actually get away with it. There’s a final scene of him going to sleep in solitary confinement, the screen fading to black. Then it fades back in and we find a clean-shaven James Gandolfini dressed in matching pajamas and asleep in a large comfy bed. After tossing and turning, he awakes to find it’s all been a terrible nightmare. He’s really a mild-mannered, milquetoast psychologist named Bob, living in Chicago and married to Suzanne Pleshette. “Oh, my God, I had the worst nightmare,” he tells her. “I dreamed I was this mobster. I was married to this woman, two ingrate kids. They all betrayed me.”

“Ah, Bob,” she says lovingly. “Why don’t you get a few more minutes of sleep, and I’ll make us some breakfast.”

With perk, Pleshette then pops out of bed and exits the bedroom. Gandolfini plops back down onto the pillows, and you can see the pure relief in his eyes, a man thankful just to be living his simple life. Then the camera slowly pans down, down, down, until it goes under the bed, where you finally find Bob Newhart, whacked.

Next: Ba-da Bang!


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