The Sopranos series became the talk of the office the day after it aired.
Was Tony whacked? Was it just an abrupt cut to bring the show to an abrupt end, one that lacked any true closure?
Real life ends for real mobsters in a different way, one that is conclusive and definite. And without a blackout.
Frank Calabrese Sr. was the genuine article, a hit man with a string of murders on his record, along with a long roster of extortion, racketeering and other miscellaneous charges from the world of crime.
He died on Christmas Day, in a jail. Not in a local jail near Chicago, but in a secure facility far away in North Carolina.
His own son testified against him, aware that his father was a bad and dangerous man who needed to be put away forever. That, perhaps, was the abrupt end in the real world for a real mobster. The judge handed down the life sentence, the felon was chained, hauled away and then locked up in a cell until death sets him free.
It's not glamorous. It's not quite so comforting an image as that of a father sitting down to a meal with family. But then again, real life is usually pretty dull stuff.
That's why writers embellish and make things up, to take real life experiences and make them more interesting.
Who would watch a series about a mobster sitting in a cell, waiting to die?
It's boring. Dull viewing. Dull existing. Real punishment, as compared to the artificial world of Tony Soprano.