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Betting on The Sopranos: Phil Leotardo Will Go First

According to the betting site gambling911, oddsmakers think Phil Leotardo will die first based on the odds assigned to him. He’s "a -160 favorite" not to survive the final episode. (This means you would have to bet $1.60 to win $1.00 plus your initial $1.60 back.)  Tony and Paulie "Walnuts" are favorites to survive. 

In his review of the penultimate episode,Miami Herald critic Glenn Garvin also thinks Leotardo will be this Sunday’s biggest loser.  “Ultimately, I’m betting it’s going to be Phil Leotardo,” says Garvin. “The last guy to kill somebody in the Bada Bing parking lot was Ralphie Cifaretto, who beat a stripper to death a couple of seasons ago (‘Disrespecting the Bing!’ as the scandalized Tony put it) and he wound up losing his head. Nobody disses the Bing.”

Contemplating the tantalizing breadcrumbs left by executive producer David Chase, I’ve been thinking …

Tony’s comment to Carmela, “remember, families aren’t touched” is ominous, considering that the Sicilians hired by Tony to off Phil Leotardo whacked instead Leotardo’s Ukrainian mistress and her Leotardo look-alike father. 

The Sopranos
is reliably rich in meaning and screen time is rarely wasted so we are left to ponder if this relatively long scene - the mistress screaming “they have shot me, Daddy!” at the top of the stairs before tumbling to her death — foreshadows unintended consequences for Tony’s family.

Besides, no one is ever untouched on The Sopranos and, like Oz, no one escapes. The show is littered with characters whose futile attempts to transcend or escape “The Life” met with death — Christopher, Adriana, Vito, Tony Blundetto. 

There is no exit plan. Tony has tried to break the bonds of his upbringing and depression. God knows, he’s come tantalizingly close — seven years of therapy, a near-death experience and, most recently, a mescaline trip beneath a Las Vegas sunrise.  

But the intricate family system has the gravitational pull of a black hole. Really, the entire family edifice would probably have to crumble before Tony was ever liberated.  I’ve often wondered if, in the end, Tony would be the last one standing, redeemed but completely alone amid the ruins.

Or if Meadow and her new beau, Patrick Parisi, (Patsy’s older son, the same Patsy who escaped through the woods last Sunday) might rise from the ashes to take over the family business, starting the cycle all over again. Sopranos: The Next Generation anyone?

Oh, but the speculation is so much fun. 

Few finales have been as anticipated asThe Sopranos.  Maybe Mash and Cheers.  On Monday morning we’ll all be quarterbacking, discussing amongst ourselves how The Sopranos swan song ranks among the all time greats, namely Cheers, Larry Sanders, Mary Tyler Moore, The Fugitive and …

my favorite finale, Six Feet Under.  The evocative last six minutes stayed with me for days afterwards and still has the power to bring tears to my eyes.  The clip can be viewed here.  Just let it run for the great music, Sia’s Breathe Me.

And oh, yeah - a note to Washington State residents:  don’t bet on The Sopranos. It’s a Class C felony with a sentence similar to that of a child molester or drug dealer.

Just for fun:

The magnificent opening sequence of The Sopranos.

The seven-minute "whacked-out" Sopranos refresher, the much talked-about user-generate homage leading up to final season launch.