David Chase Breaks Down ‘The Sopranos’ Ending, Talks Tony Soprano’s Death

David Chase has been talking about the hugely controversial conclusion to the ending of The Sopranos, breaking down the show’s iconic final moments and giving the biggest indication yet as to what transpired.

It’s widely agreed that The Sopranos kick-started the golden age of television that is currently still thriving, thanks to the likes of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and House Of Cards. However, the final scene of the HBO gangster drama was incredibly divisive amongst fans, because as Tony (James Gandolfini), his wife Carmella (Edie Falco), and their son AJ (Robert Iler) waited for Meadow Soprano (Jamie Lynn Sigler) to walk into the diner while they listened to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the show simply cut to black and didn’t provide viewers with the closure they pined for.

And during his interview with DGA Quarterly, Chase gave his most illuminative comments yet regarding the show’s conclusion, and he even discussed the death of Tony Soprano.

“That last shot of Tony ends on ‘don’t stop,’ it’s mid-song. I’m not going to go into [if that’s Tony’s POV]. I thought the possibility would go through a lot of people’s minds or maybe everybody’s mind that he was killed. He might have gotten shot three years ago in that situation. But he didn’t. Whether this is the end here, or not, it’s going to come at some point for the rest of us.”

Chase also made reference to the war between Tony Soprano’s New Jersey mafia outfit and Phil Leotardo’s (Frank Vincent) New York crime family, which took place over the final episodes of The Sopranos. This resulted in the death of Tony’s brother-in-law, Bobby Baccalieri (Steve Schirripa), and the shooting of Tony’s right-hand man, Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt), in the penultimate episode to the series, “Blue Comet.”

“Hopefully we’re not going to get shot by some rival gang mob or anything like that. I’m not saying that [happened]. But obviously he stood more of a chance of getting shot by a rival gang mob than you or I do because he put himself in that situation. All I know is the end is coming for all of us.”

There have been numerous interpretations of what the ending to The Sopranos actually depicted back in June, 2007. Some viewers have suggested that the sharp cut to black represented the death of Tony Soprano, while others believe that the tension created in the lead-up to the show’s final seconds simply showcased just how edgy and tense life was for Tony.

Chase has never given a definitive answer, and he admitted that he’s shocked at the controversy that has surrounded The Sopranos’ conclusion ever since it aired.

“I thought the ending would be somewhat jarring, sure. But not to the extent it was, and not a subject of such discussion. I really had no idea about that. I never considered the black a shot. I just thought what we see is black.”

In fact, David Chase even suggested that fans, experts, and scholars have been over-thinking the ending to the show.

“The ceiling I was going for at that point, the biggest feeling I was going for, honestly, was don’t stop believing. It was very simple and much more on the nose than people think. That’s what I wanted people to believe. That life ends and death comes, but don’t stop believing.

There are attachments we make in life, even though it’s all going to come to an end, that are worth so much, and we’re so lucky to have been able to experience them. Life is short.

Either it ends here for Tony or some other time. But in spite of that, it’s really worth it. So don’t stop believing.”

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