The Sopranos creator, David Chase, has finally answered the question we’ve all been wondering since the show ended in 2007: Did Tony Soprano die in the last scene of the series finale?
Vox writer, Martha Nochimson, who has become friendly with Chase over the years, finally dared to ask the now-iconic television question, “Is Tony Soprano dead?” And Chase did something surprising, something he’s never done before. He answered.
According to Nochimson, Chase shook his head and said simply, “No, he isn’t.”
During the final scene of The Sopranos, the last episode ends with Tony, his wife and son at dinner at a popular restaurant. The three are awaiting the final arrival, Tony’s daughter, Meadow. Outside, Meadow parks and runs across the busy street while some suspicious faces wander around.
Tony raises his head and the scene cuts to black. Show over. Done. Roll credits.
While many thought Tony had to either die or be arrested to cap off such a dramatic show, the simple and quick ending had fans across the country in shock. What did it mean? Because the last scene must mean something big, right?
Well, it does; just not what viewers wanted it to mean.
Chase explained that the ending is about Poe’s poem, “A Dream Within a Dream,” in which the narrator struggles with saying goodbye to a loved one.
Photo credit: HBO
While the Vox article seemed really straightforward, Chase’s representative, Leslee Dart, issued a statement shortly after the article was published, saying, “A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview. To simply quote David as saying, ‘Tony Soprano is not dead,’ is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true.”
The statement continued, “As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, ‘Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.’ To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer.”
“What more can I say?” Chase told Nochimson, who concludes her article, quite brilliantly, with words that seem to echo Dart’s statement. “Though you wouldn’t know it from watching Hollywood movies, endings are by nature mysterious. There is instability of loss in an ending as well as the satisfying sense of completion.”
Viewers felt that loss at the end of The Sopranos, but the satisfying sense of completion is what has kept the series relevant for the past seven years, despite being over. The loss sent us to search for answers to fill the void, but the answers are useless when put with the greater story. I think Chase can rest assured that the mystery is still alive.