I don't think Tony and family gets killed or anything. It seemed like it was building up that way. But I don't think that was the case at all. It would have pleased a lot of viewers, though.I can understand why fans, semi-fans, and people who got into the series late (me) had such a reaction at the ending of the series. I was commenting somewhere that fans of LOST analyze every little detail on the show - even the tiniest of them (pictures, props, books, etc) - yet we (not me) find it hard to accept there may be similar details in the shots and sound designs of the Sopranos. Why is that? You know what the finale played with? It played with our own imagination and expectations as TV viewers. If it were on film, it would have been hailed as a masterpiece. I mean, there they are, the Sopranos, in a diner getting ready for dinner. A guy walks in, a couple laughing it up, more people walk in, Meadow can't park, etc. the tension builds up and we hope, hope, hope they mean something a la Brian De Palma or Coppola. We're used to watching on films where a series of such shots are placed and then they all gang up on the target and blow their brains out. Perhaps see Meadow scream in slow motion and get blood spattered on her face. The young couple laughing it up wielding automatics and french fries flying all over the place. And it would have given us a lot of satisfaction to see it unfold that way. But then it would've made us hate the series for being predictable. Would you have liked that? Regarding loose ends. Maybe there aren't any. Again, I'll take shelter in metaphors just because the show is heavy on them. Expecting all answers spelled out would be a bore, wouldn't it? Don't you want to find out gradually what all this means? Don't you want to discover when you watch it again on DVD? Now look at it from a business point of view. They're just made a major deal with A&E where the Sopranos after-life is, besides the DVDs. Wouldn't it be foolish to screw all that up by bungling a perfectly great series? Would HBO, or David Chase, risk all that? You have to ask yourself this when you watch the series on A&E, or DVD ;): Why were certain shots and sounds placed in certain scenes? There's no way they meant nothing. No fucking way. I refuse, refuse to believe the show attracted all this talent, behind and in front of the camera, to create a scene where useless shots were placed and useless Foley performed. Ah, you never thought sound design mattered.
All the above I wouldn't expect on a network show (except LOST) or most of the other cable shows, but I think time will reveal something else about Sopranos we're all failing to see.
I'll admit I seemed more angry in my writing than I actually was when the show ended, and I don't know why I was so. You won't believe what a good night's sleep does to your hindsight. I'm not there yet, figuring out the series, but I'm not giving up.