The Sopranos will say its final "ciao" later this month when the final episode airs to much fan speculation about whether Tony will die, get pinched by the feds or, most likely, sit in a chair and stare into his backyard as the closing credits begin to roll.
But if the show has given us anything in its nuanced, carefully plotted depiction of mob life, it's the dozens and dozens of lovingly violent deaths on which we can fixate our collective pay-cable-having bloodlust. Here are 10 of the most memorable in the show's six seasons.
(Warning: If you are not a member of the pay-cable-having public and at any point wish to watch this show on DVD, take note that this piece contains huge spoilers that will kind of ruin the fun. What I'm saying is don't come blaming me. Likewise, if I have failed to include what you think is a particularly notable death in this list, let's just imagine I did, shall we?)
Fabian "Febby" Petrulio
Whacked By: Tony Soprano
For: Joining the Witness Protection Program after ratting out a fellow made man.
Method: The old standard of strangulation with a wire.
Why It's Memorable: While Tony was taking his daughter Meadow out to several different college campuses to figure out which one would be best for her to attend (and also ogling the girls at said colleges), he took some time out his busy day of helping his daughter to off a guy. I'm sure any number of fathers out there would also get some relief from murdering someone while they take their kids around to look at colleges. Also notable for the exchange between Tony and his victim, which went something like this:
TONY: If you had shot me at that motel, your life wouldn't be flushed down the pisciadood.
FEBBY: Please, Tony, I'm begging you...aggghghaghgh...
TONY: Jimmy says hello from hell, you fuck!
FEBBY: Gaggggh! Agghaghhaghhghahgghgh!
Paulie Walnuts malaprops:
"It's fookin' mayham!"
Whacked By: His partner-in-crime, Rasheen Ray
For: Being in the wrong place at the wrong time during a failed assassination attempt on Tony Soprano.
Method: Took an accidental gunshot in the face, leading his partner to kind of be like, "my bad."
Why It's Memorable: Clayborn was one of the two unfortunate rubes hired by Uncle Junior and his and Livia Soprano's attempt to off their respective nephew and son, Tony. Tony, after tragically losing an entire container of orange juice when a shot missed him, showed off just how badass he was by holding Ray's arm out while he fired so he would hit his partner in crime from across the front seat of Tony's SUV. Then Tony started driving and shook off Ray before hitting a telephone pole. Ray has not again been heard from, and will likely return with the Russian from season three, Furio and Livia's ghost in a collective effort to finally bring Tony down in the last episode using an old-fashioned barrel filled with TNT.
"Create a little dysentery among the ranks."