Had a great Fathers Day.

The Oklahoma training track, brunch, followed a movie, Hatties fried chicken (best on the planet) then home for dessert; Haagen Dazs coconut-pineapple ice cream--out of mango, I did get a 2-for-$5 courtesy slip, a fair trade, considering mango is that good--with a dollop of Ben N Jerrys chocolate fudge brownie on top. A nice sandwich.

A great Fathers Day indeed, until 9 PM, EDT, that is.

No mob boss of a North Jersey crime family ever again. Tony Soprano will exist only in urban mythology, probably what creator David Chase intended, once the saga went beyond its original 13-week run.

Poor Chase. Everyones mad a him. And for days the New York tabloids fueled the vitriol. A Whacky Ending, said one. Sopranos Whack Fans, said another.

More fans were angrier with Chase than with Carl Nafzger, spouting more epithets than youd hear in an OTB parlor.

Heres my take, hoping to provide some comfort and context:

First, the Sopranos is a work of fiction. Fiction. Even A J realizes that now. Chase has been playing us since episode one. Why should the finale have been different? And is it fair to expect that any episode would be better than the penultimate, maybe televisions best hour ever?

I dont think so.

What did everybody want from Chase, a neat bow? Lifes not like that. What the artist gave us was closure on his leading character, without whom there would not have been such a successful "family" series.

Tony was, for all his malaprops, a complex character. He was clinically depressed. Guess thats one price you pay for being a sociopath.

But he was relatively healthy at the end, having told A Js psychologist about how his own unhappy childhood because I could never please my mudda, he said. She was a difficult woman. Could the Tony of 1999 admit that?

He reconciled with sister Janice, sharing a tender moment as they had a final, loving laugh at Bobby's expense. "If you ever need anything, you know where I am." Remarkable, considering their bone of contention was always about her scheming to get money.

Closure for the Sopranos began when Tony and Carmela learned at the family visit with the Parisis that Meadow would be offered an entry position at a law firm for $175,000. Werent papa and mama just kvelling with pride after hearing that?

Maybe now Meadow can afford to take driving lessons.

Could the old Tony have forgiven Paulie for refusing to be upped? Considering he thought about killing him a few times, I dont think so. More progress. Eventually Paulie agrees.

And the closure and bon ami at Holsteins (best onion rings in Jersey), when A J reiterated to his father the value of making a positive from a negative. Huge progress for A J, considering the place he was in four episodes back.

Now hell probably wind up with an Oscar nomination for Cleaver II, the sequel. On his way, he already drives a BMW.

Do BMWs even have catalytic converters? Hmmm.

Sure looks like the Carm of Journeys small town girl is going back into the spec house business. From the renderings, it looks like the new place is on the water. Probably where she and Tony spent that delightful weekend with Bobby and Janice, right?

Under the boardwalk, out of the sun, under the boardwalk, well be havin some fun

And now Meadow finally finishes double parking, runs toward Holsteins. The man at the counter walks into the mens room (dont know if it had a commode with a box and one of those chain things, you know, perfect for taping guns behind).

Two more guys walk in. The trucker in the booth is getting antsy. Then comes the last two words you'll ever hear before Chase pulls the plug, from Journeys singular, Dont Stop Believing.

Dont Stop. Fade to black.

I won a bet, predicting Tony would live. Including Hard Spun, I went 1-for-2 that weekend.

Life goes on. Tony is alive when last we see him. The tension in that final sequence is what the Sopranos live with for the rest of their lives.

But it might take John from Cincinnati to snap Silvio out of that coma.