The day after that perplexing Sopranos finale, I compared it in one respect to the ending of Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Birds. Now MCN’s Larry Gross has compared it to unexpected killing of Janet Leigh in Hitchcock’s Psycho:
“There’s a famous choice in movie narrative that nominally offers resolution but in fact destroys the possibility of conclusiveness even more monstrously than this Soprano’s finale. That is the murder of Janet Leigh in Psycho, [which] did not emanate as an inspiration, from the psychological necessities of the character of Marion Crane in that movie, nor was it in any meaningful way a ‘resolution’ of her story.
“It was in fact the most aggressive insult to ‘meaning’ in the history of cinema. Marion Crane‘s death is precisely as black and arbitrary as the black screen that ended The Sopranos as a series.”
Gross also weighs in on did-Tony-get-hit?: ” Chase is not tantalizing us with specific narrative issues. There’s no one in the story left to kill Tony and the danger of a cop bust has already been covered in the scene with his lawyer. Tony’s anxious fearful looks to the door are not narratively specific. They are signatures of his soul’s perpetual divided state, as Michael Corleone‘s blank impassive stare was the signature of his damnation.”