If the hype is to be believed this time, The Sopranos series is finally wrapping up — and at least three of the regulars make it to the end. The series returns on April 8th and it looks like the finale will air on June 10th. The specifics of the final episode is still under wraps but here’s what we do know…
Shooting is scheduled to be completed this week but the finale scene was shot last week. The last scene takes place, not in a go-go bar like Bada Bing’s, but in a simple ice cream shop by the name of Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery in Bloomfield, New Jersey. The filming was done on location behind a storefront window that was masked by a large black tarp. According to onlookers, James Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Tony Sirico (Tony, Carmelo and Paulie Walnuts) took part. Though this is believed to be the final scene of the series, a spokeswoman for HBO noted, “Until Mr. Chase goes into the edit room, it would be impossible to say what the final scene will be.”
Its fitting that the eight seasons of the HBO series came to a close in New Jersey. Most of the series is filmed in a Long Island soundstage but the exterior filming is done in the Garden State, at the insistence of series creator David Chase. He’s a native and believes that the authenticity of New Jersey locations are a vital part of the show’s character.
Not everyone agrees and some in the community have tried to block the Jersey filmings. They believe that the HBO drama perpetuates negative Italian-American stereotypes. Bloomfield’s mayor and council even tried to stop The Sopranos crew from filming at Holsten’s but the producers had already secured the permit. There was some drama back and forth but the shoot did go through.
Those that gathered to watch the filming obviously didn’t have a problem with the show and will miss it. Fans of the series were aware well in advance of the location and some set up their lawn chairs as early as 5.am. In true American fashion, one man was even selling $20 t-shirts that read “The Final Episode.”
Will we ever see Tony and his business associates and family again? Both Cross and HBO briefly considered a spin-off (a sitcom featuring Janice and Bobby Bacala) or a prequel series featuring a young Tony. Both are highly unlikely to happen.
Prior to the order for nine final episodes, there had been discussions of a Sopranos movie. Though many believe that the final episodes replace those film plans, Chase has not totally ruled out the possibility. He recently told New York Magazine, “A movie still exists as a possibility, I suppose. But it becomes less and less of a possibility because of technical challenges. I mean, where would you come in on the story? Let’s suppose, at the end of this, there are characters who don’t make it. How would you do the movie without them?”