1. The Final Fade to Black
Episode Title: "Made in America" (Season 6, Episode 21)
It's not hyperbole to say that the series finale of The Sopranos was one of the most polarizing conclusions in the history of television. Like all things in life, there are those who shouted its brilliance from the rooftops while others sulked, moaned and complained that, "I don't get it." Spend just a few minutes reading critical takes on the show's final moments and you could be equally convinced that Tony lived or died. (We won't make a judgment either way.) The only real fact is that the ending was ambiguous, and asked viewers to draw their own conclusions.
While this wouldn't be as divisive a tactic in an already pushing-the-limits-of-reality-and-patience series like Lost, ambiguity seemed like a cop-out for a show like The Sopranos, which was famous for showing you all the things you couldn't see on network television. So to shift its viewpoint from in-your-face to existential seemed out of character.
In 2012, the cast and creators got together to create an oral history of the show for Vanity Fair. In it, James Gandolfini admitted that, "When I first saw the ending, I said, 'What the f--k?' I mean, after all I went through, all this death, and then it's over like that?" (He went on to say that after sleeping on the ending, he came to appreciate it more.) For his part, Chase has admitted that "ambiguity was very important to me," likening the final episode to Fellini's 8 1/2. For many loyal fans of the show, the final episode may as well have been titled "The Big Letdown."