David Edelstein on ‘The Sopranos’: How David Chase Isn't Like John Updike

Edie Falco in the season finale of The Sopranos.Courtesy of HBO

I don't believe that Tony will die because I think David Chase will want to visit him again sometime in the future. He has too much stature to kill off just yet. Chase is too canny to make the mistake made by, say, John Updike: Having failed to channel a young would-be terrorist very convincingly, Updike is probably pacing his room at this very moment and moaning, "Why why why did I have to kill Rabbit?" Updike has already written his long post-Rabbit dénouement — and moved well beyond the age of Rabbit when he succumbed to a fatal heart attack. After Rabbit Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, Rabbit at Rest, Rabbit Remembered, will we have Rabbit Resurrected? But I digress.

Tony will lose the foundation of his life. He will lose at least one member of his immediate family, although which one is difficult to guess. Anthony Jr. has become paralyzed by self-doubt and conscience, so he is already effectively out of the picture. That leaves Meadow and Carmela. I'm guessing Meadow because it would be harder to live with her death than Carmela's — and of course it would mean the end of his marriage in any case.

I have some confusion about last week's episode: Why on earth would Sil take the initiative to kill one of his Tony's men without consulting him? Is there a turncoat in the Sopranos crime family? Who passed the information to the FBI that Tony was about to be hit by Phil? So many questions. I can hardly bear the wait. —David Edelstein