Friday, June 08, 2007

Tony Soprano's Fate

If The Sopranos had any relationship to the real mob, this is approximately how the concluding episode would play out:

1. A joint federal-state task force, which has had all involved under surveillance -- and benefits from informants within the organization -- concludes its work with a 100-count indictment encompassing both sides of the Hudson River. (I've always marveled at the lack of law enforcement attention devoted to these guys.)

2. Tony is placed on trial for RICO, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Super-Max in Florence, Colorado.

3. Phil Leotardo is under the most surveillance of any of them, having been just released from a long prison term. He'd probably be under supervised release and in no position to do a thing. He's trying hard to avoid scrutiny and die in freedom.

4. Paulie Walnuts becomes interim head of the family until he too is indicted, convicted and imprisoned. He is the most realistic character in the show, by far. As an ex-wiseguy in real life, he has all the moves perfected.

5. Nobody dies of unnatural causes. That has been the pattern since the early 1990s. (Today's events notwithstanding. Forget that. No more "mob wars.")

6. Carmela Soprano is forced to sell all their property to pay the legal fees, and winds up in a rented house in Hackensack.

7. Everybody is considerably less affluent, and dumber, than depicted. The bosses are a lot older, flabbier, and never carry loaded firearms.

I'll be curious to see how closely, if at all, the last episode adheres to the well-established principles of mob life I've outlined above.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.


Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site,


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