As you may or may not know, entertainment reporters Matt Zoller-Seitz and Alan Sepinwall have collaborated on a new book called The Sopranos Sessions, which arrived in stores today. A collection of recaps, deep-dive essays and "conversations" covering every episode of HBO's iconic series, the book also includes several long-form interviews with series creator David Chase, who - after years of playing coy - may have tipped his hand a bit regarding what actually happened in the show's final moments.
That's right - it's time to talk about the Sopranos finale again. But before we get to the pull-quote that's got everyone arching their eyebrows, I'd like to go on record with the following opinion: the ending of The Sopranos cannot be "solved", should not be "solved", and was pretty much designed from the ground up to be open to interpretation. That we're still talking about it is a testament to both the power of that scene and fandom's complete inability to accept "open to interpretation" as an answer.
But, hey, it's a fun thing to talk about, so here we go: according to The Atlantic, The Sopranos Sessions contains an interview with Chase which contains the following exchange about the show's finale:
Sepinwall: When you said there was an end point, you don’t mean Tony at Holsten’s, you just meant, “I think I have two more years’ worth of stories left in me.”
Chase: Yes, I think I had that death scene around two years before the end … Tony was going to get called to a meeting with Johnny Sack in Manhattan, and he was going to go back through the Lincoln Tunnel for this meeting, and it was going to go black there and you never saw him again as he was heading back, the theory being that something bad happens to him at the meeting. But we didn’t do that.
Seitz: You realize, of course, that you just referred to that as a death scene.
[A long pause follows]
Chase: Fuck you guys.
Not that's interesting.
Of course, in classic David Chase fashion, there's more than one way to interpret that quote. On the surface, it seems like Chase reveals that he considers The Sopranos' final scene to be "a death scene", which would indicate that - as many people have theorized - Tony caught a bullet after that famous cut to black. But there's another way to interpret that quote: Chase could be saying that the scene he'd conjured two years prior was the "death scene", which doesn't necessarily mean that the scene he actually wrote was also a "death scene". Chase's "Fuck you" at the end of that exchange seems to indicate it's probably the former (if he hasn't slipped up, why the pause? Why the "Fuck you"?), but I suppose you could choose to read it the other way if you really wanted to.
What do you folks make of this? Are you tired of talking about the Sopranos finale, or will its open-ended nature always make it a fun topic to kick around amongst friends? Think you'll pick up Zoller-Seitz and Sepinwall's book? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned for more as Chase's prequel feature, The Many Saints of Newark, works its way through production.