It’s considered one of the most divisive finales in television history: Tony Soprano sitting at a restaurant table with his family, Journey blasting, when suddenly the screen goes black. The Sopranos, over. The ending was intentionally ambiguous, and the overall tone of those final scenes were meant to encapsulate how mob boss Soprano’s lifestyle forced him to stay ever vigilant and paranoid, even at moments of solace in safe, familiar places. Yet the abruptness and open-endedness of the finale has left millions of fans of the series searching for a firm answer regarding whether Soprano is killed or lives to hear another “Don’t Stop Believing.”
Upon being asked by Vox for what was probably the millionth time whether Tony Soprano is dead, The Sopranos creator David Chase frustratingly responded simply, “No. No he isn’t,” alluding that the character made famous by actor James Gandolfini survived the series finale. But today in a statement, Chase’s representative says his words were misinterpreted and that the question dogging Sopranos fans about the finale is still unanswered.
“A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview,” Chase’s representative Leslee Dart said in a statement. “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.”
While the cut-to-black was controversial and frustrating at the time, in retrospect, The Sopranos works better with an ending that “has no right or wrong answer,” since many of series finales have fallen victim to trying to tie things up neatly before leaving the airwaves (cough, Lost).