Once again I find myself at odds with most everyone: I thought the finale, especially the very end of the ending, was brilliant—maybe the most harrowing three- to four-minute sequence in the history of the medium. I believe we witnessed the murder of Tony Soprano. The key clue comes from the penultimate episode, when Tony lies down to sleep in the safe house, his AK at his side, preparing for the possibility he may die that night. He then flashes back (to Episode 1 of this season) and Bobby Bacala saying to him, 'You probably don't hear it when it happens.'
And he didn't, did he?
Meadow's trouble parking makes sense—beautiful, tragic sense. She bursts in to see her father's murder as a tableau. This is in pointed contrast to A.J. and Carmela, who form part of that tableau—the blood and agony—while she, Meadow, stands apart. Chase is always telling us something: Meadow is the one family member who 'gets it,' i.e., who has cultivated enough of a life within mainstream culture to see her father's vocation for what it was.
One unholy addition, from Jeffrey Goldberg:
...but then I got an anonymous e-mail that I'm sure was from David Chase himself indicating that the last ambiguous moments of the episode were meant to suggest that Tony was alive and well and living on an island off France with Jimi Hendrix and the Lubavitcher Rebbe.