Warning: Stop reading now if you haven't seen last night's "Sopranos" episode, or if you don't want to hear any speculation and possible spoilers about what the finale may bring.
Was Sunday night's "Sopranos" a stunner, or what? Tony's crew has been slowly being picked off for weeks now, with Tony himself helping matters along by dispatching Christofuh.
I was sorry to see Bobby, perhaps the nicest, mellowest mobster in the crew, make his exit, and in such a bloody way, in such a calm location -- a model-train store. If anyone watching this show had needed a reminder that this is an adult program with heartless criminals at its core, there was the reminder, as a dad and his two small sons cowered and cried and Bobby was blown to bits, all while a model train crashed for emphasis. (If one of the Baccalas had to go, why couldn't it be whiny Janice?) Bobby's no angel -- when ordered by Tony in the season premiere, he iced a Canadian in a laundromat for no other reason than the guy was involved in a messy custody battle and his relatives wanted him out of the way. But in this crew, he was the softie, and sometimes the conscience, and seeing him killed was tough.
Bobby wasn't the only one to find himself in the sights of Phil's New York crew. Silvio Dante, who's been Tony's workhorse for years, found himself attacked close to home -- in a car outside of Tony's own Bada Bing strip club. It was as if Phil's guys were making it clear: We can get you anywhere, you're not safe even on your own turf. Sil was shot repeatedly while topless dancers and others shrieked in horror, but as Paulie later related, he's one tough guy -- Sil is apparently not yet dead, but he's unlikely to regain consciousness. (We've got a vote here on whether you think he'll make it or not.)
Sil has had a long history with the Soprano crew. Many of the commentors on my earlier post believe he had sold Tony out and was working with the Feds (some also believe he had not actually killed Adriana, and was hiding her somewhere, which...wishful thinking, to my mind.) Sil has long been the one Tony turned to to take out traitors on his own side -- it's gotten to the point where if you see Silvio and you've been babbling to the other side, you'd better start running. In business negotiations he seemed the calm, silent type -- worlds away from garrulous Paulie Walnuts and even hotheaded Christopher. But he was perhaps more deadly than either of them, and to take him out of Tony's crew is a near-fatal blow.
With just one episode to go, Tony's life has been devastated. Carmela, A.J. and Meadow have had to flee their luxurious McMansion. Tony himself has gone to the mattresses, managing to fall asleep, weapon in hand. (Do you really let your men order pizza when you're hiding out? I mean, I guess Domino's isn't on Phil's payroll, but that seemed a little unsafe to me.) And before this all started, even his longtime therapist, Dr. Melfi, dumped him as a patient. It's all rolling downhill for the big guy, and viewers are left to speculate if the series finale will continue that roll, or correct it in some way.
My prediction is that things will only get worse for Tony. He may not die, but he will wish he had. That may mean jail, but I suspect it will instead mean a loss far greater than even the loss of Bobby and Sil. I predict something will happen in his blood family, whether Carmela, Meadow or A.J. are put in danger, or this latest happening will make his always-loyal family turn on him. I'm still holding out that it will be the revelation of the details of Adriana's murder that set things in motion, but I'm willing to accept that that storyline, as well as so many other unfinished plots (the Pine Barrens escapee, Melfi's rapist paying for his crime) will never be revisited. At least not unless David Chase takes the show to the movies.
Share your thoughts about the most recent episode, and your predictions for the finale, in the comments.