Hollywood — Hundreds are dead and damage has reached the billions of dollars as tens of thousands of viewers rioted in cities across America following the ambivalent and, many looters claimed, unsatisfactory series finale of "The Sopranos."
Series creator David Chase is being held by the FBI as authorities protect him from over 3,000 death threats and consider whether to prosecute him for aiding and abetting murder, looting and arson in every major United States city.
"I've spent seven years of my life on this show and it ends with Tony and his family eating onion rings?" said Dan Sanlow as he lit a police car on fire in Chicago late Sunday night. "They can't even tell us what happened to that Russian guy in the woods?!"
The final scene of the series at a diner showed a person who looked like a hit man entering the restroom behind Tony and might be expected to come back out and kill the entire family, but then the screen went black for about five seconds and the show ended.
"I thought one of the kids had changed the channel or something and I ended up beating the sh*t out of him," said parent Brian W. Greanalepe, a longtime fan of the series. "My bad."
Moments after the final scene aired on the east coast, 911 call centers started receiving calls of looting, fires, and beatings in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and over a dozen cities in New Jersey. Response times were slow, however, as many operators were engaged in intense discussions about the show' final scene.
"Half of us thought that Tony died when the scene went black, but Leticia and all her friends on the other side of the room thought David Chase was subverting our expectation that a mob epic had to end with a grisly murder," said 911 operator Mary Anne Myers.
"The Sopranos'" surprisingly ambivalent ending resulted in detailed critiques by amateur critics across America.
"Playing against viewer expectations as always, David Chase refused to stage a mass extermination, or put the characters through major transformations, or even provide any kind of comfortable closure," said viewer Alex Brockton right after being arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at HBO offices in Santa Monica, California.
Many of Chase' fellow writers said they warned the "Sopranos" creator not to end the series on such an unsatisfying note.
"I told David that he would have blood on his hands if he didn't give the fans a satifactory ending," said co-executive producer Matthew Weiner, who is now in the federal witness protection program while he waits to testify against his former boss.
Chase, who is currently being held by the FBI, is also receiving little support from the Hollywood community.
"The 'Sopranos' finale showed a fundamental lack of respect for the fans," said "Lost" co-creator J.J. Abrams. "Viewers deserve to get mad when a show doesn't tie up all its major plot points, but instead leaves them with a bunch of unanswered questions."
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