Even though the overall brilliance of The Sopranos cannot be put into question, some of the character endings leave little to be desired. On a couple of occasions, it felt like the dark fate and street justice was meted out to the least deserving characters while the most deserving ones enjoyed lengthy and blissful lives.
While some of the ‘chopping board’ candidates were flawed but intriguing, others had zero redeeming qualities. They simply needed to be cut for the show to be better. Sadly, that didn’t happen. The following are characters who should have made it to the finale, on those who should have been killed off earlier.
10 Should Have: Bobby Baccalieri Jr.
Cutting off Bobby before the series finale didn’t feel right. Unlike other mobsters, he had a basketful of admirable qualities. He was the only mobster who became a made man without ‘making his bones’ (killing someone). This was thanks to his father’s influence. Bobby was also the gangster in the DiMeo crime family who didn’t have a comare (mistress).
Some of his other good qualities were his calmness and lack of a temper. Whenever his colleagues mocked him over his weight, he would simply brush off their comments. He also bore no grudges against Paulie and Christopher for killing his crew. Unfortunately, Bobby was gunned down while purchasing a toy train. Given his qualities, a peaceful ending would have suited him better.
9 Shouldn’t Have: Tony Soprano
For such a violent show, it’s a shame that the antihero remained alive at the end. Tony’s journey didn’t even end in an intriguing manner. He simply sat at a diner with his family and that was it. Given how violent he was, the best ending for Tony’s character would have involved him getting whacked. After all, that’s how the story ended for most real-life mob bosses in history.
Tony came close to dying in the Season 6 premiere “Members Only” when his uncle Junior Soprano shot him in the abdomen. Junior was suffering from dementia, hence he thought Tony was Gennaro “Little Pussy” Malanga. Tony recovered but to make the story better, he shouldn’t have. Better yet, someone else ought to have whacked him.
8 Should Have: Vito Spatafore
It was a shame that the show’s main LGBTQ character died in such a brutal manner. Vito chose to get married and have children despite being gay. He was simply playing it safe since he knew how homophobic his colleagues were. Sadly, his fears became a reality when the secret about his sexual orientation came out.
Vito was murdered by Phil Leotardo, the boss of the Lupertazzi crime family. However, it would have been better if the DiMeo crime family member had overcome his struggles and avoided death. He should possibly have gotten protection from Tony and heralded a change of policy in the mob where LGBTQ gangsters were tolerated.
7 Shouldn’t Have: A.J. Soprano
The death of a family member is essential in shows like this in order to heighten the stakes and pump up the tension. One of Tony’s family members needed to die at the hands of an enemy in order to create more dramatic, revenge-filled moments that could have pleased fans of high-octane mob films like Goodfellas.
No one in Tony’s family deserved to be killed off more than Anthony Jr. (AJ). All he did was lazy around and complain. Unlike his sister Meadow who grew a lot and even decided to become a lawyer and fight for the rights of immigrants, A.J. did nothing but stress his parents. He never even considered becoming a mobster like his dad. His death would definitely have been better for the plot.
6 Should Have: Tony Blundetto
Steve Buscemi was lucky enough to appear in two of the best TV shows about mobsters. Before starring in Boardwalk Empire, he appeared in The Sopranos as Tony’s cousin who was also called Tony.
He first appeared in Season 2 and it was reported that he had done a 17-year stint behind bars for a hijacking that Tony Soprano was also meant to be a part of. When he got out, he tried to go legit by working as a massage therapist, but to quote Michael Corleone, “just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in.” Bundetto was sucked back into the mob life and died at the hands of his own cousin. He really should have remained clean and made it out alive.
5 Shouldn’t Have: Uncle Junior
In the series finale, Tony visited Junior in the hospital, perhaps seeking revenge but he ended up feeling pity for him instead. He tried to remind him who he was, but Junior couldn’t recall anything due to his dementia.
After staring at his uncle for a brief while, Tony simply left. But leaving Junior alive and in a state of pain made the story dull rather than exciting. Junior had given Tony a hard time all throughout the series and it would have been better if he was assassinated like most elderly mob bosses of the old.
4 Should Have: Gloria Trillo
Among all of Tony’s mistresses, Gloria Trillo was the one who stood out the most. The sales representative also happened to be Dr. Melfi’s patient. She met the mobster when the psychiatrist accidentally scheduled them for the same time slot. They soon began a romance that turned dark quite quickly.
Gloria became possessive and began threatening Tony. She eventually took her own life, without Tony’s wife ever finding out about the affair. It would have been better if Gloria continued to cause havoc in Tony’s life, perhaps even leading to a divorce with his wife. Alternatively, she could have overcome her mental health problems and gone on to have a long term affair with Tony.
3 Shouldn’t Have: Paulie
The writers of the HBO show enjoyed having the bad guys win. Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri was another character who deserved to die before the finale. His ruthlessness had no limits and by the time “Made In America” aired, he had the highest kill count out of all the characters. He even murdered his mother’s friend.
Being the most ruthless person in a world of ruthless men says a lot. Instead of being granted a Pablo Escobar ending and making him meet the maker courtesy of a hail of bullets, Paulie was made the leader of the old old Aprile/Spatafore/Cifaretto/Gervasi crew in the series finale.
2 Should Have: Christopher Moltisanti
Christopher’s ending was heartbreaking considering how strong the relationship between him and Tony was in the beginning. Tony considered him his nephew. even though they weren’t related, while Christopher described Tony as “the man I’m going to hell for.” Tony even wished for Christopher to succeed him in the future. This should definitely have happened in an alternate storyline.
Apart from being loved by Tony, Christopher was generally a likable character. He got along with other members of the DiMeo crime family as well as Tony’s daughter Meadow. But Tony eventually got sick of Christopher’s drug problem as well as his irresponsibility, so he killed him by making him asphyxiate in his own blood after an accident.
1 Shouldn’t Have: Janice
Janice was simply the worst. All the men she was romantically involved with ended up dead. She personally killed one of them (Richie) and lied to Tony that she came home and found him dead. She also schemed her way into the heart of the kindest character in the show, Bobby.
After Bobby’s first wife died, Janice tried to seduce him but soon became frustrated with his reluctance to commit. She thus began sending his children satanic instant messages anonymously before presenting herself to comfort them. When Bobby married her, she kept on making him feel like a terrible father. And after Bobby’s death, she was keener on the inheritance than on the children. She really should have been killed off before the finale.