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Spoilers Sopranos ending: Creator David Chase spills on Tony Soprano’s fate in final scene

bitbydeath

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Wrapped in a spoiler in case you didn’t really want to know.

In the roundtable discussion, co-author Alan Sepinwall asked Chase, “When you said there was an end point, you don’t mean Tony at Holsten’s [the diner], you just meant, ‘I think I have two more years’ worth of stories left in me.’ ”

Then Chase, 74, dropped the bombshell: “Yes, I think I had that death scene around two years before the end … But we didn’t do that.”

Noticing his epic leak, co-author Matt Zoller Seitz chimed in: “You realise, of course, that you just referred to that as a death scene.”

“F – – k you guys,” replied Chase upon realising his blunder.

Of course you can still interpret it however you want.

 

cryptoadam

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wasn't it obvious? I think there is even a scene earlier in the series where someone describes being shot in the head as just life ending abruptly or whatever.
Yes Bobby Bacala said exactly that.

But my theory was always that the aduience was the one getting wacked, not Tony.

We felt that dread, that at any moment something could happen, we were on our edge because we know that the show was ending soon. And then all of a sudden bam, blank screen. Just like Bobby said, it just goes black.

It was us that were killed, and then it went black and we don't see the Sopranos life anymore. They still live on, but we are gone now.

At least thats how I looked at it. I guess you can twist it to say that scene was us being in Tony's head and finally seeing and feeling what he feels, but I like my interpretation better. I think its a lot smarter than Chase just saying ya Tony was killed. We lived with Tony and his crew/family for nearly a decade and just like those in his crew gone in a flash. Just another toothpick.
 

DKehoe

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wasn't it obvious? I think there is even a scene earlier in the series where someone describes being shot in the head as just life ending abruptly or whatever.
Yeh, it's built up to throughout that season with those kinds of conversations. Pretty clear that's what happens. I get being confused at first but once you look back and see the breadcrumbs of the trail it's pretty clear what happened.
 

triplestation

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chase initially wanted it to definitively be tonys death

instead he chose to leave the audience with a philosophical (rather than an event) message which is to remember the little moments

the little moments is what made the sopranos what it is as a show, each episode a slice of life (with different themes where some episodes are more serious, some are hilarious, some are a mix, some are violent, some are heart warming)

pine barrens is almost a full blown comedy

"ill leave you hea you one shoe cocksucka!"

"you wont believe this! the guy killed 16 czechoslovokians! hes an interior decorator!"

meanwhile the later chrissy episodes are much more serious

you watch aj grow up from being a tubby little baked ziti junkie into a thin carb dodger

the show is packed full of the" little moments" and thats what it wanted to leave you with

given the song choice at the end (journey - dont stop believin') it makes perfect sense
 
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eot

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Tony was a piece of shit, he certainly deserved it

edit: Don't act like he wasn't, he perpetually cheated on his wife (and was an asshole about it), was a shitty father, killed his own cousin and more.
 
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Nester99

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The story linked is in News.com/au is referencing another article in from the Ny Post.

The NY post article references another Article from the independent.

The Independent is based on a an interview from book from 2018,


The independent article does not even cite the source of the interview or where it was published.

So i googled it and found they stole it from a 2018 NY Times article


The same cycle happened in 2019....

I am not going down this rabbit hole any further.


Journalism is dead, we just read a 250 word book report from a guy who did not read the book, just read someones article about it twice removed.
 

Doom85

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Still ambiguous to me. The tension in that final scene paired with Don’t Stop Believing is still one of the best moments in television history.
Agreed, plus if the whole argument is the whole "you probably don't even see it coming" line, then the final shot before the cut to black should have been the diner door as that would be mean we were seeing Tony's POV before he died. Instead, the camera is looking at Tony.

Not to mention as far as I remember there was pretty much no reason why a hit would be out on Tony at the moment. The New York family wanted the war to be fucking done, and Phil was disposed of. Why would they then immediately stir shit up again? Makes no sense. Sure, it's possible it was someone from long ago finally carrying out a grudge, but that's pure conjecture so it still leaves the audience with zero actual evidence to support the "Tony died" argument.

To me, the song is significant. "The movie never ends. It goes on and on and on..." Just because a story ends doesn't mean the lead's story ended there, we just simply stopped following them at that precise moment. IIRC Stephen King said something along these lines when readers asked him what the characters of The Stand went on to do afterwards and King said he had no idea because while obviously they lived full lives he considered the story finished and what happened to them after to be irrelevant. To me, the final few minutes of the series were showing that Tony's paranoia would always be there. Even with the war over and no reason for him to be particularly wary for the time, he's still watching everything with a suspicious eye. Mind you, the scene preceding this one is Tony visiting Uncle Junior and having to finally realize Junior's dementia is at an advanced stage and walks away sadly. Given the heavy amount of focus on psychology in the series, it makes total sense for the final scene to focus on an unhealthy condition of the mind: paranoia.

And as for the "Tony had it coming" angle some use, okay, and? Paulie is fun and all but he's still a piece of shit morality-wise and he's definitely still alive at the end. Meanwhile, Bobby was probably the most "moral" member of Tony's crew and he got killed. This was never a "good people live happily ever after, bad guys die or go to prison" story, so not sure why Tony's morality was ever brought up in this debate.
 

Dacon

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Tony was a piece of shit, he certainly deserved it

edit: Don't act like he wasn't, he perpetually cheated on his wife (and was an asshole about it), was a shitty father, killed his own cousin and more.
Tony wasn't a good person, but I do not think he was a bad father. He was firm and put his foot down when he needed to, but he was also compassionate and understanding at times as well. He always made sure his kids were taken care of and was there for them when they needed him.
 

eot

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Tony wasn't a good person, but I do not think he was a bad father. He was firm and put his foot down when he needed to, but he was also compassionate and understanding at times as well. He always made sure his kids were taken care of and was there for them when they needed him.
He tries to break up his daughter's relationship because she's dating a black guy and then gets so mad when he sees a black face on a pack of rice that he passes out lol. Sure, he's not the worst, but he's hardly a model father either, most of the time he completely fails to connect with his kids. I'm probably in the small minority of people who never liked Tony though, that's why the show didn't work for me
 

DKehoe

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Tony wasn't a good person, but I do not think he was a bad father. He was firm and put his foot down when he needed to, but he was also compassionate and understanding at times as well. He always made sure his kids were taken care of and was there for them when they needed him.
Him struggling to be a good father despite the environment he grew up in and what his parents were like is a big part of the show. He obviously loves and cares for his kids. But he finds himself trapped between wanting to follow the model his parents laid out and wanting to break from it as he’s coming to terms with the damage it did to him.
 

ChoosableOne

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Yes Bobby Bacala said exactly that.

But my theory was always that the aduience was the one getting wacked, not Tony.

We felt that dread, that at any moment something could happen, we were on our edge because we know that the show was ending soon. And then all of a sudden bam, blank screen. Just like Bobby said, it just goes black.

It was us that were killed, and then it went black and we don't see the Sopranos life anymore. They still live on, but we are gone now.

At least thats how I looked at it. I guess you can twist it to say that scene was us being in Tony's head and finally seeing and feeling what he feels, but I like my interpretation better. I think its a lot smarter than Chase just saying ya Tony was killed. We lived with Tony and his crew/family for nearly a decade and just like those in his crew gone in a flash. Just another toothpick.
I was so young, i can't believe it even today.
 
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Doom85

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He tries to break up his daughter's relationship because she's dating a black guy and then gets so mad when he sees a black face on a pack of rice that he passes out lol. Sure, he's not the worst, but he's hardly a model father either, most of the time he completely fails to connect with his kids. I'm probably in the small minority of people who never liked Tony though, that's why the show didn't work for me
Yeah, Tony definitely has issues with being racist, but I will point out IIRC he did enjoy the company of this elderly black man he met a few times and was sad when he found out he passed. Also, while he could never be fully comfortable with homosexuality, he tried to look past Vito being gay with a little more effort than the rest of the crew, even getting agitated at one point and yelling, "okay, so he's gay, who gives a fucking shit!" because Vito was a good earner. When Phil kills Vito, Tony is fucking pissed, and while most of his anger was because Phil was seen as overstepping his bounds in making a judgment call like that on someone not in his own crew but Tony's, but also it seemed like Tony ultimately would have spared Vito's life if he had returned to the crew (whereas I think if Paulie or Christopher had made the call, he wouldn't)

So yeah, Tony is a bad person, no doubt about it. But they did show he wasn't a 100% piece of shit at all angles, and the show had people, including his own mother, who were even more morally corrupt than him. And even if Tony is a bad person, a bad person can still be an interesting character. Walter White by the end of Breaking Bad is definitely a bad person (he even admits he did it all for himself) but is still an extremely interesting character to follow. "Protagonist" does not necessarily mean a hero.
 

eot

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So yeah, Tony is a bad person, no doubt about it. But they did show he wasn't a 100% piece of shit at all angles, and the show had people, including his own mother, who were even more morally corrupt than him. And even if Tony is a bad person, a bad person can still be an interesting character. Walter White by the end of Breaking Bad is definitely a bad person (he even admits he did it all for himself) but is still an extremely interesting character to follow. "Protagonist" does not necessarily mean a hero.
I don't disagree with any of this, and indeed most crime fiction stories have bad people as their protagonists. For those characters to work though you have to root for them to some extent, which is why they're usually pitted against people who are even worse. Lots of people liked Tony Soprano as a character, not just because he was "interesting". They sympathise with him despite him being bad, and I understand that, I've done that with plenty of characters too. I'm just saying I didn't with Tony, I didn't feel any satisfaction when he got his way, I never sympathised with him when he got mad and I never felt pity for him either. The only person I cared for a little bit was Christopher. This is not a critique of the writing btw, I don't think he was poorly written, but it's the same as with his mother. She's just a hateful, vile person and I don't get any enjoyment out of watching her, even though she's a good depiction of such a character.
 
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oagboghi2

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The story linked is in News.com/au is referencing another article in from the Ny Post.

The NY post article references another Article from the independent.

The Independent is based on a an interview from book from 2018,


The independent article does not even cite the source of the interview or where it was published.

So i googled it and found they stole it from a 2018 NY Times article


The same cycle happened in 2019....

I am not going down this rabbit hole any further.


Journalism is dead, we just read a 250 word book report from a guy who did not read the book, just read someones article about it twice removed.
My God, that is just....😂. Straight up 🤡🌍 shit
 
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Bolivar687

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I saw the same story circulating a few months back, didn't realize it was from a two year old book.

The sequencing and repetition makes it pretty clear he's dead, as does the way they seeded it throughout the final season(s). I guess Chase feels that if he had to explain it, he would either be insulting our intelligence or conceding that his directorial choices failed to clearly convey his intention to the audience. I know the motive is missing, since everything seems at peace before Tony braces for an upcoming prosecution, but the killer wearing the Members Only jacket alludes to the title of the first episode of season 6, Eugene's jacket, and the horrible end he met after being shit on by Tony. It could be a relative of Eugene or one of the countless people whose lives we saw Tony shit all over during the series.
 
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Neo_Geo

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It was blatantly obvious from the moment it aired, that was Tony's death scene. Probably not a better way to end the series since one's imagination would run wild with imagining the terrible fallout immediately afterwards, that would be hard to film and have the series end there.

What I have always wanted to know is, who was the one that did the deed? Probably jacket guy, he certainly acted the part.
 
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Clear

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The great thing about drama, as opposed to real life is that its malleable, even after the fact.

No matter how heavily you imply, or even show a thing happening you can reset or reverse it endlessly. The most obvious and cheap example being pulling the hoary old "but it was all just a dream/hallucination/premonition" card.

Point being, it really doesn't matter. Permanence is more about something becoming canonical over time, which is often (especially on film and TV) the result of others than the original creatives' vision.

David Chase's version of Tony Soprano's life ends deliberately ambiguously. Trying to pin it down to an absolute life/death resolution is missing the point, because it could always (even now) be rewritten and unwritten.
 
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John Mullins

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The ending was (and Kevin Finnerty) was the only weak part of the Sopranos. Hands down the greatest TV show of all time. Whatever comes in second, and that can be argued, it is a distant second. The Shield had a better ending, which isn't too dissimilar in spirit actually, but I do see the genius in keeping it open ended.

I tend not to think it went one way or the other, for me it just ended. Maybe that is what Chase wanted.

You ever think what a coincidence it is that Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig's disease?
 

DragoonKain

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I thought it gradually went down hill after season 4. While the last couple seasons were good for regular tv standards, I think for The Sopranos it wasn’t up to par. The whole Tony dream sequence after being shot... ugh. I hated the therapy sessions and dream sequences by the end. I remember an entire episode was a dream sequence, I forget which season it was.

The funniest moment in the finale to me was after Phil’s head got run over and crushed, the nearby kid saw it and threw up.

Tony and Carmela’s fight in season 4 is some of the best acting in tv history. Just amazing acting all around.

Miss some of the Italian broads in that show, Annabella Sciorra 😍😍 A friend of mine knows a dude who used to date her and the guy says she was wild in bed.
 
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jonnyp

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Fuck I love this show. Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood - when HBO was in a league of its own.
 

Jon Neu

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Agreed, plus if the whole argument is the whole "you probably don't even see it coming" line, then the final shot before the cut to black should have been the diner door as that would be mean we were seeing Tony's POV before he died. Instead, the camera is looking at Tony.
The camera is going back and forth between Tony’s POV, when he looks at the door, it’s obvious is his POV.

Chase just give us one last time to see Tony before the man in members only jacket wacks him. I mean, it’s obvious as fuck and the series outlines how it will go to you before it happens. We see him and then we see how he looks for the door and then everything is pitch black silent for about 8 seconds. It’s obviously a reference to the “you wouldn’t even hear it when it happens”.


Not to mention as far as I remember there was pretty much no reason why a hit would be out on Tony at the moment.
lol what?

There’s literally dozens and dozens of people who would had their motives to sack Tony. NY was pretty disgusted by how Phil died and sacking Tony and make deals with what was left of Jersey would be pretty reasonable for mob standards. NY grow tired of Tony’s antics and also wanted a retribution for how their boss was sacked. Eye for an eye it’s pretty standard procedure in the mafia.

And the man in the members jacket is a clear hint to Tony’s cruel past. It’s a reference to Eugene Pontecorvo and how he got forcefully ordered to sack someone in a cafeteria with the same jacket and all, despite him wanting to get out of the mafia after he won the lottery.





He even kills a fat dude named “Teddy”.

And that’s the point, Tony’s cruel and ruthlesness behaviour have granted him so many enemies almost anybody could be behind his execution. That’s why he is paranoic looking behind his back all the time, because he knows the enemy “has yet to reveal himself”. And the enemy could be anybody.

The only time he relaxes for a moment after keeping an eye on the members jacket guy who goes to the restroom, it’s when he gets killed.

And as for the "Tony had it coming" angle some use, okay, and? Paulie is fun and all but he's still a piece of shit morality-wise and he's definitely still alive at the end. Meanwhile, Bobby was probably the most "moral" member of Tony's crew and he got killed. This was never a "good people live happily ever after, bad guys die or go to prison" story, so not sure why Tony's morality was ever brought up in this debate.
Because Tony’s morality was brought in the series so many times. Remember when Tony was in a coma, all those dream sequences were about Tony’s morality. Remember Moltisanti and his hell dreams?

Remember Paulie watching the virgin Mary or the people he killed talking to him through the seer? Remember how the ghost of Pussy Bonpensiero appeared in the mirror while Tony was in his house?

The Sopranos it’s quite an spiritual tv series.
 
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