The Sopranos’ final scene has been pored over so much in the decade since it first aired that, at this point, it’s gone from massive pop-culture mystery to mere reference point. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Meadow’s terrible parallel parking skills, the guy in the Members Only jacket, and finally the bell ringing and the cut to black—these are now just signifiers for The Sopranos itself as well as TV-show endings in general. Although it’s still contentious, public opinion of the scene itself has swung to be more positive in the intervening years, while the opposite is true of Seinfeld’s final scene, which most people agree was a missed opportunity. So, why not give it a “Made In America” redux?
It all works pretty well, to be honest. The casual interactions and swelling music creates the same weird sense of uncertainty, leading, undoubtedly, to Jerry’s brutal execution-style murder in front of his loved ones. This suggests, in its way, that every TV show should end with its protagonist musing over their own mortality in a moment of ungodly, emotionally resonant tension.
Wait a second—that is how most shows end. Okay, maybe just everyone sitting around in jail is better.