Are there really only two episodes left until the series finale of “The Sopranos”? How far we’ve come. Or have we?

Jessica Boullion
Fuhgetaboutit. (Courtesy of HBO)

In a recent episode, Tony (James Gandolfini) sat down with his psychiatrist of seven years and laid it all out on the table. “I thought about it, and I’m done. This, what we do here, let’s be honest, it’s just a jerk off. Nothing gets solved.” On first glance, Tony would appear to be right.

How far are we from where we started seven years ago? Has anything really changed? I mean, Tony’s still boss, most of the major players are still alive and well and most problems are solved by a bullet in the eye followed by a trip down to the shore. Has “The Sopranos” just been “jerking us off” all this time? The simple answer is no.

“The Sopranos” will always live on as one of the best dramas on television, not only because of its insights into the Jersey Mafioso, but because of how painstakingly it has crafted its characters over the years. While the supporting characters may be fixtures, though incredibly well-done fixtures, the transformations undergone by the foreground characters have taken years to develop, and have been so slow to emerge it’s hard to tell they even happened at all.

Tony Soprano used to be a lot happier, that’s for sure. Despite his initial psychiatric appointment to fix his panic attacks, his life extorting cash, placing bets and bashing in heads. But in the seven years since, Tony has become intensely distrustful of everyone around him. Rats seemed to pour out of his crew.

This season he flexed his muscle toward his brother-in-law Bobby Bac and captain Paulie with ominous overtones that he could off them on a passing whim if he wanted to. Tony used to be loved, but now he’s mostly feared. And you can feel that something bad is coming.

That something bad? It would appear to be his nephew Christopher. Once groomed by Tony to replace him someday, their relationship changed when Chris’s girlfriend started talking to the FBI. He was forced to choose between love and family.

After Chris’s decision left his fianc

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