Happy ending, or any ending, unlikely

The one thing about The Sopranos guaranteed to drive even the most devoted fan crazy: loose ends.

Published April 1, 2007

The one thing about The Sopranos guaranteed to drive even the most devoted fan crazy: loose ends.

Nobody expects a modern, sophisticated drama to tie up every detail; unresolved stuff often helps make some shows feel more realistic. But critics argue Sopranos creator David Chase has taken the concept a bit too far, stubbornly refusing to resolve major plot points because, well, just because.

"We anticipated that people would feel there had to be some closure . . . that justice would be done," said Chase during a 2002 press conference, explaining why psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi did nothing to punish a man who raped her.

"Often enough, justice isn't done. . . . So we had made that point, and that was the end of it."

Okay. But for those of us who prefer to see obsessive attention rewarded, here are the series' major remaining loose ends.

Eric Deggans

4. Carmela goes to France and does . . . nothing?

Last year, fans lost it when a restless Carmela Soprano went to France with a gal pal and did nothing but look at pretty paintings and old buildings.

So what happened to all her pent-up sexual energy? "That she went to Paris and did not have an affair is p---ing me off," said Rescue Me star Denis Leary last year, admitting he watches The Sopranos every week. "I've spent the last four weeks saying, 'What the hell is going on?' "

3. Furio Giunta disappears.

Introduced during the second season, Giunta was a musclebound enforcer from the old country who revealed romantic feelings for Carmela and then headed back home - his voluntary exile explained in a few disappointingly offhand lines the next season.

2. Dr. Melfi never punishes her rapist.

In a landmark episode, Tony Soprano's psychiatrist is raped, only to discover her assailant named employee of the month at a fast food joint where she used to eat lunch. Though she rages about vengeance, when Dr. Melfi has the chance to tell Soprano who hurt her she doesn't, leaving open the question of what might happen to her rapist.

1. A Russian mobster escapes a hit, and nothing happens.

One of the series' funniest episodes finds soldiers Christopher Moltisanti and Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri lost in New Jersey's woodlands after a Russian mobster they planned to dump there escapes them. His escape could have brought serious consequences for Christopher and Paulie, but the Russian never appears again.