This was the scene that Chase repurposed for the finale. With the family gathered once again for a meal, A.J. harks back to what used to be, saying “You once told us to try to focus on the things that are good.” But this final scene has none of the earlier’s warmth, no sense of shelter. Instead, we see a family of bad guys—dim, dwindled, corrupted, contentedly sharing a plate of onion rings. And then the door slams shut.
Looking back, we too can think about the good times: that first truly brilliant episode, “College”; the wrenching sight of Big Pussy sobbing in the bathroom of Tony’s mansion; Season 4’s marital dissolution in “Whitecaps”; the tragic tale of Adriana; the perverse tale of Vito; and in this season’s opener, that quiet scene of Tony’s brooding at Janice’s lake house, while all the while a great wind carries him. We can take pleasure in our favorite series and how much we’ve enjoyed it, how much we loved Tony, what a fabulous character, wasn’t he? And remember how cool that scene was, the one where Pop-Pop’s head got popped beneath an SUV?
But we can never say that nobody ever told us.