For the past seven years, the final scene of The Sopranos has had viewers and fans scratching their heads over what the heck happened. It was perhaps the most divisive series finale of all time, leading legions of people to think their televisions went out and spawning a plethora of close readings of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Did the guy in the ‘Members Only’ jacket whack him? Were the onion rings a crispy and delicious source of symbolism about the circle of life for Tony? What was up with Meadow’s parallel parking? Questions about that scene never ceased, and Chase’s elusiveness over Tony’s fate only furthered speculation. In-depth fan sites were spawned just over the ending alone. Even Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti in the show (and was tragically whacked episodes before the finale) thought Tony died.
Perhaps sick of answering questions about an event that happened seven years ago, Sopranos creator David Chase finally let a sliver of info out on Tony Soprano’s whereabouts at end of the HBO series. In an article on Vox, writer Martha P. Nochimson questions Chase on whether Tony dies in the finale. Chase’s simple reply: “ ‘He shook his head ‘no.’ And he said simply, ‘No he isn’t.’”
Sorry, Imperioli and the rest of the Tony-was-whacked believers—your theory’s debunked. Chase’s nonchalance notwithstanding, Sopranos fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Tony’s enjoying some onion rings somewhere, post-blacked-out screen.
UPDATE: Chase has issued a statement in reaction to the Vox story declaring that Tony is not, in fact, alive. Or at least he’s not-not dead. From Chase’s representative: “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. 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.”
So there. Apparently Chase’s answer is … that there is no answer. Or that there shouldn’t be. Or something. “To continue to search for this answer is fruitless” – Chase is basically saying to move along, there’s nothing to see here, and to stop trying to figure out his ending. Which we all had pretty much done – until he gave an interview where he seemingly talked about his ending.
James Hibberd contributed to this report