Sopranos Creator: Tony Didn't Die

David Chase finally answers the question
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2014 2:41 PM CDT
Sopranos Creator: Tony Didn't Die
This photo provided by HBO shows, from left, James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, Edie Falco as Carmela and Robert Iler as Anthony Jr. in a scene from the finale.   (AP Photo/HBO, Will Hart)

Sopranos creator David Chase has finally answered the question that fans have debated endlessly since the show's ambiguous finale: Is Tony dead? "No," Chase tells Martha P. Nochimson of Vox. "No, he isn't." Before answering, Nochimson writes that Chase lashed out in "sudden, explosive anger" at the question, apparently tired of years of badgering. "Why are we talking about this?" he demanded. Chase doesn't reveal much more, other than saying the famous cut-to-black ending is about Edgar Allen Poe's poem "Dream Within a Dream," which Nochimson writes "envisions the transitory quality of life that slips from his grasp."

Some reaction:

  • "Though it must have been frustrating for Chase to only be asked this simple question rather than about many of the more interesting aspects of The Sopranos for years on end, we're glad he didn't go into more detail and wish he'd maintained his oath of silence completely," writes Sadie Gennis at TV Guide. "Ambiguity in television is OK and The Sopranos was the poster child for this type of destabilizing storytelling."
  • "As his initial anger with Nochimson's question suggests, I think he was just tired of this being the first, last and only thing people ever wanted to talk about with this great show that he put so much of himself into," writes Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix. "Chase is not an optimist by nature, but maybe he's hoping that by giving a (mostly) definitive answer to that question, people can finally get back to discussing all the other great and fascinating parts of The Sopranos as a whole."
  • Maybe Chase gave his "terse answer" simply to change the subject, writes Jay Lustig at the Star-Ledger. "And might he just have meant that, no, obviously, Soprano didn't die in the course of the show. In the last frame, he was still breathing. But was he going to die soon? Or did he still have many more years to live? Who can really say?"
Read the full piece at Vox. (Update: Chase says the interviewer "misconstrued" his answer, and it's more complicated than a simple yes or no.)

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