Creator of The Sopranos Reveals the fate of Tony Soprano … or does he?

It’s the seventeen year old mystery that has had more speculation than the, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” mystery in Twin Peaks. Did Tony Soprano die in that final scene? The question has spawned so many conclusions of whether the guy in the member’s only jacket shot him, or whether it was just an anti-climax and nothing was going to happen to Tony at all. Well, a week ago, a journalist from Vox,  Martha P Nochimson has reported that she finally managed to squeeze the answer out of The Sopranos’ creator, David Chase.

Nochimson had this to say: “I had been talking with Chase for a few years when I finally asked him whether Tony was dead. We were in a tiny coffee shop, when, in the middle of a low-key chat about a writing problem I was having, I popped the question.”

“Chase startled me by turning toward me and saying with sudden, explosive anger, “Why are we talking about this?” I answered, “I’m just curious.” And then, for whatever reason, he told me.”

So, Chase said rather bluntly “No . . . No he isn’t”

I’m sure this will make the people who predicted Tony was still alive very happy indeed, however, Chase has been quick to comment on this interview he had with Nochimson, leaving us with the same feeling we had when we watched the final episode:

“Tony Soprano is not dead” says Chase, who says there’s a much larger context to this: “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, basically, we’re back to square one again.

David Chase with the late great James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano).

This statement has been repeated by Chase over the years.  He’s essentially trying to say, that whatever happens to Tony Soprano in the future, if he is still alive, he will always have the fear of not knowing what’s coming around the corner. It was this sense that drove the final scene in the diner as we, the audience, feel this. We feel the fact that Tony is in danger but we can’t see it. Chase, in the end, just wanted to make us “feel” rather than make us see a fact.

It probably wasn’t too much of a popular technique to use, as The Sopranos was usually not a show of abstractions when its plot was in real time, as there were symbolism and abstraction here, there, and everywhere in its wild dream sequences. So, if this kind of ending was in a series like Twin Peaks, it might have had a very different impact.

Chase wants us to have our own ending in our own minds as to whether Tony lived or died. So in that sense the final scene is like an abstract painting. There is no right or wrong answer as to what it meant precisely.

Let me know below what you think happened to Tony Soprano in that final infamous scene.