Are we any closer to knowing the fate of fictional mob boss Tony Soprano?
It's a mystery that has plagued the television industry for seven years: did Tony Soprano die in the final episode of 'The Sopranos'? Now, we finally have the answer. Sort of. Not really.
The late James Gandolfini pictured in June 2013
The final scene of the iconic HBO show sees mobster Tony Soprano (played by James Gandolfini) and his family gathering at a restaurant. Whilst Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' plays on a jukebox, the tension in the scene heightens, until it suddenly cuts to black. The credits begin to role ten seconds later. At the time of its broadcast the episode caused outrage, dividing audiences and even leading some to wonder if their television sets had broken at the crutical moments. Interpretation about the final scene has been open for years, and David Chase, the show's creator, has remained famously tight-lipped on the subject.
Yet a journalist for Vox asked Chase the inevitable question during an interview about his career, and received a cryptical answer: "Just the fact and no interpretation. He shook his head 'no.' And he said simply, 'No he isn't.'" Whilst the article goes on to suggest that this means Tony Soprano is alive, a represenative for Chase has since commented and said that Chase's comments were misconstrued. Furthermore, we don't actually know the exact wording of the question Chase was asked during the interview.
Does it matter if Tony lived or died? Well, over the years Chase has remained adament that "Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point" and that "The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer." Yet many fans are still looking for closure and refuse to accept that we may never know just what happened in that diner.
'The Sopranos' ran from 1999 to 2007, and is one of the most widely-acclaimed television shows to date. It put actor James Gandolfini on the map and launched HBO as a serious contender to ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. Amassing over a hundred Emmy nominations during its run, the show continues to find new fans today and is considered by many to be responsible for the rise of high-quality television drama such as 'Breaking Bad' and 'The Wire'.