You probably remember it well, the finale of The Sopranos, one of the greatest TV shows of all time. Airing on June 10, 2007, the man himself, Tony Soprano, and his family go out for a bite to eat. They’re at a diner, surrounded by about a dozen or so patrons—including one especially sketchy-looking character. “Don’t Stop Believin'” blares in the background while the crew eats from a bowl of onion rings. Suddenly, as Meadow is about to walk in, Tony looks up, and… cut to black. End of show. Fans left to wonder, what the hell happened next?
The moment and the question has been contested among fans for years. That stops now. Finally, in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, David Chase (the production’s creator) finally gave a clear-cut answer regarding Tony’s fate:
“Because the scene I had in my mind was not that scene. Nor did I think of cutting to black. I had a scene in which Tony comes back from a meeting in New York in his car. At the beginning of every show, he came from New York into New Jersey, and the last scene could be him coming from New Jersey back into New York for a meeting at which he was going to be killed. Yeah. But I think I had this notion—I was driving on Ocean Park Boulevard near the airport and I saw a little restaurant. It was kind of like a shack that served breakfast. And for some reason I thought, “Tony should get it in a place like that.” Why? I don’t know. That was, like, two years before.”
There you go. If you had any doubt, fellow Sopranos fans, Tony dies after the sudden cut to black. If anything, the revelation gives some extra closure to the series, not too long after we learned about Tony’s origins in The Many Saints of Newark. Hopefully it’ll put the speculation to rest, since Chase has seemingly not been fond of the ongoing discussion. Elsewhere in the interview, the creator admits that the fixation on Tony’s fate “bothered” him, since so much else was going on in the world at the time.
“I had no idea it would cause that much—I mean, I forget what was going on in Iraq or someplace; London had been bombed!” Chase said. “Nobody was talking about that; they were talking about The Sopranos. It was kind of incredible to me. But I had no idea it would be that much of an uproar. And was it annoying? What was annoying was how many people wanted to see Tony killed. That bothered me.”
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