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That ambiguous ending may be less ambiguous than you think
Ever since The Sopranos' enigmatic final scene aired in 2007, fans have been debating what happened after that abrupt cut to black. Some argue the sudden end (and the stuff leading up to it) means mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) was whacked, while others haven't stopped believin' that Tony is still alive. There's a mountain of evidence to suggest Tony was killed in Holsten's diner by the man in the Members Only jacket, and in a new interview, creator David Chase -- whose official stance is that he doesn't know what happened to Tony -- may have slipped his tongue and given more proof that Tony got whacked.
In an interview with TV critics Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall for their book The Sopranos Sessions commemorating the 20th anniversary of the epochal HBO series' premiere, Chase refers to "the death scene." Here's the quote:
Sepinwall: When you said there was an end point, you don't mean Tony at Holsten's, you just meant, "I think I have two more years' worth of stories left in me."
Chase: Yes, I think I had that death scene around two years before the end ... Tony was going to get called to a meeting with Johnny Sack in Manhattan, and he was going to go back through the Lincoln Tunnel for this meeting, and it was going to go black there and you never saw him again as he was heading back, the theory being that something bad happens to him at the meeting. But we didn't do that.
Seitz: You realize, of course, that you just referred to that as a death scene.
[A long pause follows]
Chase: F--- you guys.
Of course, even here there's some ambiguity. Chase is talking about a different scene than the one that made it into "Made in America," and goes on to explain that he changed his mind over time about wanting to do a "straight death scene" where Tony is obviously dead. And in a separate recent interview with the New York Times, Chase reiterated that he doesn't think there's a definitive answer to whether or not Tony is dead.
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So the debate goes on, with a new wrinkle to argue about. Even after talking to Chase, Seitz and Sepinwall are still arguing about it. And as long as people are thinking about it, The Sopranos lives, whether or not Tony does.
The Sopranos is available to stream on Amazon Prime and HBO.