Monday, June 09, 2008

Is Tony Soprano Dead

Coinciding with the one year anniversary of The Sopranos finale, we get what may be the longest blog post ever written. In 22,000 mind-numbing words, it is explained to us, with no small measure of condescension, that Tony Soprano really was killed in that final scene. My response is short and sweet. I'm not buying it.


Ahsan said...

My thoughts on the final episode are simply: all logic and reason-based analyses have to conclude that Tony was killed. However, one thing keeps me from buying the Tony-died theories completely. And that is: why wouldn't David Chase show him dying?

You see, there are only two options in terms of having an unambiguous ending. 1. Tony is unequivocally alive. 2. Tony is unequivocally dead. Number 1 would have pissed off the hardcore Sopranos fans no end. They would have rioted, because they would have felt that despite being a vivid and accurate portrayal of organized crime and violence, David Chase ended with a "happy" ending that no one could believe. Ending the series with Tony alive would have caused a lot of people to lose respect for Chase and The Sopranos in general.

On the other hand, in terms of respect for the show, number 2 would have been completely fine. So the question is: why wouldn't Chase show him dying if he truly died? The answer, I think, is that he never truly died, but Chase knew that if he showed it as such, people would bitch him and the show out. So he gave us a half-assed ending that satisfied no one, but intrigued everyone. Enough for 22000 words even.

bubs said...

I've never been convinced by the 'Tony Soprano was killed' argument simply because there is no history of David Chase operating that way. Unlike, say, the creators of Lost, Chase never had stuff happening off screen that would be sprung on the viewer for the sole purpose of shocking him, If someone was planning to kill Tony, I would like to think that Chase would have let us know about it from before.

What I think Chase did mean with that final scene is that, despite the truce with Butchie, Tony's life is such that he will always be in danger and that it is very likely that he will be killed at some point in the future.

That's an interpretation that I happen to find both satisfying and intriguing so I'm sticking by it.