I watched tonight because I have watched for the last 6 years and weathered the mediocre seasons, the weird seasonal endings, the hype of the coming seasons, et al. In the end, the last episode was exactly what you should have expected, nothing more than a few plot lines wrapped up, and many more left exactly as they were - and even a few new ones added in.
Now here are my reactions to watching the season finale...
1. I have always loved the opening to the Sopranos - Big Tone driving his big SUV through the mean streets of Norther NJ - as he drives, things get prettier, until he arrives up his driveway, with the full view of his house. One of the things I really liked about it was that David Chase caught the quality of the light - it's just different in NJ than other places of the country. I can't explain it, it just feels right for me.
2. I figured Tony would attempt to make peace with NY in some way - if he didn't there was not way his empire would survive - even if he didn't eliminate Phil. That was done. Like all good businessmen, he made it happen.
3. What was that with the FBI guy - why introduce anything about his life in the final episode - we're not going to see him again anyway. Is it that we needed to know he was a real person with real problems. That fighting terrorists wasn't a glamorous job (most of us can figure that one out). That being a defender of our freedoms may cause some tensions at home and make him miss a dinner or two. Or was David Chase have problems had home and threw a jab at his home life?
4. As I saw the smoke coming through the vents in AJ's car, I thought "he's (and new girlfriend) are going to die from carbon monoxide poisoning and it will look like the went out together" -- instead, his car burns. Then we spend too much time going through his life in a what I believed should have been spent in other ways. In the end, he gets a BMW M3 - poor AJ.
5. Carmilla - the more things change, the more they stay the same - that's the theme to her life. The lives of her family are being threated and she's sitting in this house she's going to redo and worries about the "smell". Then says "but I've got to go home". More disappointment with Meadow's high school buddy being mostly through med school - what a glare and reaction.
6. Finally, the black void was for all us. David Chase's attempt to allow everyone to fill in the blank space. But in my mind, a finale should have an ending that ties up loose ends, not create more. But with the money that a Sopranos film would have attached to it, you can't just kill the top guy - or maybe you can kill him for a few million $$ in the first five seconds of the movie. I guess James Gandolfini will have more to say about that.