‘The Sopranos’ Star Lorraine Bracco Wasn’t Happy With Her Final Scene: Here’s Why

by John Jamison
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)

Tony Soprano’s sessions with Dr. Melfi were one of the devices that made The Sopranos so great. A mob boss opening up to a psychiatrist? It’s unheard of; the image is pure gold. But the significance of Dr. Melfi to the show and the relatively insignificant way her relationship with Tony ended left actor Lorraine Bracco feeling upset.

And Bracco isn’t alone in her disapproval of Sopranos endings. Dr. Melfi’s end aside, scores of fans were left unsatisfied with the now-infamous abrupt ending to the entire series. For a show widely considered one of the best ever made, executive producer David Chase wasn’t overly concerned with fleshing out the series’ conclusion. At least, not for fans to see anyway.

Hey, we’re not criticizing. Chase said, “we did what we had to do,” and he entertained millions with his show for years, so we’re inclined to trust him. But how do you feel about the ending, Outsiders? How about Dr. Melfi’s similarly sudden exit?

Lorraine Bracco discussed her disappointment with her character’s exit. It came in the penultimate episode of The Sopranos, titled “The Blue Comet.” It’s not that Bracco is upset about not making it into the series finale. She just didn’t feel that Melfi’s cutting Tony off cold turkey was accurate to the character.

“I remember being upset [with] the direction that David [Chase] was bringing Melfi. It just felt like he wanted me to get rid of [Tony], I felt that he did it in a very abrupt way. I don’t think that she should have done it that way. I would have liked for it to have been more meaningful—I think she cared for Tony,” Bracco told her former co-stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa on their Talking Sopranos podcast.

Thanks to Dr. Melfi, ‘The Sopranos’ Sent Men to Therapy in Droves

If someone in a position like Tony Soprano can find it himself to seek therapy, anyone can. At least, that’s the way Lorraine Bracco sees it after hearing from real psychiatrists during her run on The Sopranos.

James Gandolfini’s Jersey mob boss character is the last person you’d expect to put himself in an emotionally vulnerable place. Yet Tony doing precisely that was one of the things that made The Sopranos unique. It also gave men the confidence to seek their own help toward bettering their mental health.

“I was told by the psychoanalytical community that a lot more men went into therapy,” Bracco told Men’s Health in 2020. “They’re taught not to feel, to be tough, to be strong. I think there’s a lot of that…the culture of bringing up a boy is changing. I believe women are becoming more understanding of how to raise a boy.”