On October 1, The Many Saints of Newark, a film about the childhood of the protagonist of The Sopranos, Tony Soprano, is released. This is the most important series of the beginning of the 2000s about the boss of the Italian-American mafia, who goes to a psychotherapist because of panic attacks, family problems and intrigues within the criminal empire.
The last episode of The Sopranos, “Made in America,” aired back in 2007, but series creator David Chase still struggles with the question: Was Tony Soprano murdered or not?
He will not give a definite answer. Then we will try to figure it out ourselves.
Why is the ending of “The Soprano” ambiguous? What does the screenwriter say?
The main intrigue of the latest series has been resolved in favor of the Soprano family – rival boss Phil Leotardo is found and shot: he is no longer a threat. But Tony learns about another trouble – one of his capos has gone missing, defected to the FBI informants and, possibly, is testifying against him.
The final scene is a gathering of the Soprano family (not a mafia, but an ordinary one) in a diner. Tony arrives first, waiting for his wife, son, then daughter. As soon as she approaches the cafe, we see Tony’s face. And that’s it. Black screen for a few seconds. Credits.
Many people at this point thought (the final episode in the US was watched by 12 million people) that their cable TV was broken. And then they got annoyed and waited for an explanation. David Chase generally wanted to break the fifth wall harder: do not show credits at the end and end the series with an HBO intro. But the channel’s management forbade such a reception.
Chase came up with the idea for the black screen two years before filming the final season. Initially, Tony came to meet the boss Johnny Sack (he dies in prison from cancer in the last season), and on the way back he goes through a tunnel. And blackout.
Chase, in an interview with reporters for the 2019 book The Soprano Sessions, let it slip that Tony would have been killed in this tunnel, but the scriptwriters eventually rewrote the ending. And Chase insists that there is no correct interpretation of the ending: “Yes, Tony could have been killed at the diner. We can all get killed in the diner. And that’s the point of the scene – Tony could have been killed.”
Why not just show Tony’s murder? Chase, back in 2007 , said that it went: “Tony Soprano is the alter ego of the audience. They happily watched as he killed, robbed and lied, and then suddenly they wanted justice. The most pitiful thing for me is that after eight years with the Soprano, the audience wanted to see his pierced head in a bowl of onion rings.
Chase got annoyed with the fans and argued that he had no desire to suddenly give them the middle finger. Until now, Chase gives interviews, after which there are headlines in the spirit: “The creator of the Sopranos confirmed that Tony was killed.” Chase constantly refutes this and says that he spoke about Tony’s rough ending:
“The idea is not to leave an open door with uncertainties. There is a clear trend in the series that gives a glimpse of Tony’s future. It doesn’t matter when it happened: that night or some other.”
And in general, Chase once said: “The final episode has everything.”
Stop stop one hundred. What exactly is there?
So Tony Soprano is dead? Lots of hints yes
There are enough fan theories on the Internet with proof of Soprano’s death.
We will focus on the main guesses.
Final scene editing. It has clear rules. Tony sits in a diner waiting for his family. First, we see Tony’s face, hear the bell ring and see from his face who entered the cafe. In the final seconds of the series, the same pattern is at work: bell, Tony, but instead of Meadow’s late daughter, we see darkness.
The series repeatedly touches on the idea that a person will not even hear his own death. Tony is told about this by his subordinate and sister’s husband Bobby. The series recalls this idea in the penultimate episode, when Bobby was shot by Leotardo’s men.
In the last season, there is a scene where Tony’s right hand, Silvio Dante, is having lunch in a restaurant, but is suddenly stunned and does not hear anything – his friend has just been shot nearby.
A mysterious man in a Members Only jacket. It is he who causes the most suspicion in the last scene. The camera is focused on the man and shows him going to the toilet, where, according to the laws of The Godfather (Tony Soprano’s favorite film), the gun is hidden.
Members Only is also the name of the first episode of the sixth season. It shows the tragedy of Eugene Pontecorvo, who received an inheritance of two million dollars, but did not receive the right from Tony to leave the mafia game. Pontecorvo ends up committing suicide. He looks like the man at the diner and also wore a Members Only jacket.
Actor Matt Servitto (playing an FBI agent) said that in the script this man was heading to Tony’s table, but this moment was not in the finale.
A painting in a diner. When Tony enters the cafe, he peers at the picture opposite. And suddenly he abruptly finds himself in a chair under her.
The painting depicts a huge mansion that Tony saw in a coma. In the first episode of the sixth season, Uncle Junior Corrado shot him, and Tony had to choose between death (entering the mansion) and living life (meadow’s screams). By the way, the exit from a coma ends with a white screen.
The head of a tiger hangs next to the painting. Perhaps this is an allusion to the ginger cat in the last episode. For a long time he peered at the photo of Christopher Moltisanti, one of the main characters of the series, whose murder was hidden by Tony. The cat was very worried about the superstitious Paulie Galtieri, who should become the boss in the event of Tony’s death.
So maybe Tony isn’t dead after all? LeBron saw his future
At the end of The Sopranos, the song “Don’t stop believing” is heard. And it breaks off with “don’t stop …”.
Perhaps this is a hint that you should believe in your version of the finale. But the version is the same.
Much more interesting is the case from 2010, when the Knicks tried to sign LeBron James, a fan of the series and at that time a free player. To do this, the club shot a short short film where Tony Soprano lives under the witness protection program and has grown a beard. In a small film, Soprano explains the pros of New York to lure LeBron. Unfortunately, this short film has been lost.
This story was told in 2021 by actress Edie Falco (who played Tony’s wife Carmela). She didn’t know who LeBron James was . And she was surprised that James Gandolfini loves basketball so much and wants to return to the role of Tony, although he had previously refused such events after filming the series. What shocked Falco the most was that LeBron turned the Knicks down even after the special screening.
“I didn’t believe it didn’t work. How could you say no?
Show creator David Chase
Crime show creator David Chase recently gave a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where he commented in more detail on the show’s open ending – the unexpected blackout that fans are discussing to this day, offering various theories and options for the development of events.
According to Chase, what surprised him most about all this was that everyone was discussing the ending, and not the final episode itself. For the creator of the show, this was a surprise.
Chase admitted that he did not understand why the audience, after so many years of watching the show, wanted so much to be shown the death of the main character.
Chase still doesn’t say what really happened to Tony at the end of The Sopranos, but he noted that he originally planned a different version of the ending, in which Tony did get killed. It was supposed to happen at one of the meetings after returning from New York to New Jersey.
However, two years before the end of the series, Chase, while driving down Ocean Park Boulevard, saw a small restaurant that “looked like a shack where breakfast was served.” After that, he realized that Tony’s story should end in a similar place, while he could not explain this decision to himself.
In the fall of 2021, a full-length prequel to the crime drama called The Many Saints of Newark was released. The role of the young Tony Soprano was played by Michael Gandolfini, the son of James Gandolfini, who played the main character in the show itself. Michael himself admitted that he did not watch The Sopranos, because his father did not allow him, and after his death it was hard for him to return to the series, because it would remind him even more of the loss of a loved one.