I have to agree with you that the ending was great and could go into all of the nuances and symbollogy that was there. However, what blew me away was, once again, was the familiarity I have with all of the locations in the show. For example, everytime there was a scene at Satriale's, my mind conjured up a picture of the entire neighborhood as I had passed that place hundreds of times as a child. So, when Carmela announced they were going to dinner at Holsten's (it's official name is Holsten's ice cream parlor), I turned to DesertRose and said "oh, that's in Bloomfield" as I had been there many times in my youth. That place was perfect for the ending but I can't vouch for sure that it has a pull chain toilet.
By the way, Tony K and Tom Shales both thought it was brilliant.
Then, there is this.
There has been no genre so exploited by Hollywood so much as the Western and the Gangster Picture. This was Chase's problem. Yesterday, jogging through River Oaks, I wondered: what ending hadn't been done to death, or done so well that we wouldn't need another? Without cribbbing, there was no way David Chase could pull off the triumphant all-out massacre (The Godfather), the what-profiteth-a-man-to-gain-the-world-if-he-loseth-his-soul (The Godfather, Part II), the deal with the Feds (Goodfellas), the going-out-in-a-blaze of-glory (White Heat), the antihero-killed-at-the-end (Public Enemy), the inadvertant death of the relative (Godfather III), the sloppy hit (Mean Streets), or everybody-kills-everybody (The Departed).
Finally, was was left fot Chase?
The answer is