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NashvilleNinja

So, did Tony die at the end or what?

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Omar   

I do...I never thought he died. He had just settled all his differences with the NY guys, so it never made sense he got killed. Plus I seriously doubt they would do it in front of his whole family.

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The ending was perfect.  It let the audience believe what they wanted, at least until now, apparently.

 

Personally, I never thought he died, although the similarities between it and his favorite Godfather scene are obvious, but not exact.

 

The truly sad thing is that Gandolfini is dead...really great actor.

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cenj   

I don't think it was meant to be one or the other. Chase wanted to create an atmosphere of dread and intense stress for viewers so they understood what every moment of Tony's life felt like. Living like that all the time would be awful, and not really a life at all. We all watch the end scene focused on every detail, trying to anticipate how he's going to die. Can you imagine doing that for real, every moment of your life?

 

He's going to eventually die, or go to jail. That's what happens to everyone. It's inevitable. Whether it happens at that exact moment, I don't think Chase himself intended it to be one or the other.

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There is a guy who wrote this long blog post... scratch that, a thick ass book... on this very topic explaining in painful detail why he believed that Tony died at the end. His primary argument hinged on the way the scenes were shot in the diner and how the camera kept going back and forth every time someone would come into the diner. At first it would show Tony looking up any time anyone would enter the diner and then it would show the entrance to the diner from Tony's point of view. On the very last shot when Meadow comes in it shows Tony looking toward the door but in the next shot we see the black screen. His reasoning was that this was showing Tony's point of view... and all Tony saw was black because he was dead. The guy in the light brown jacket who goes up and goes to the bathroom has the perfect angle to sneak up on Tony's right as he's distracted.

 

I tend to agree with this point of view and I think Chase was just being pissy... as he always seems to be whenever someone asks him about the show... and he threw out the only answer that will send people spinning. If he came right out with it and said "he's dead" then there's nothing left to discuss.

 

EDIT: here is the blog post - http://masterofsopranos.wordpress.com/the-sopranos-definitive-explanation-of-the-end/

 

That is long as fuck all, but it's an excellent read, even if you don't agree with his point of view.

 

 

I do...I never thought he died. He had just settled all his differences with the NY guys, so it never made sense he got killed. Plus I seriously doubt they would do it in front of his whole family.

 

Doing it right in front of his family is the perfect place to have something like that happen. He's just settled in with his family, in a small but public place like a diner. If he's thinking about anything it's the indictments that are coming down on him. But his guard is down... he's not thinking he's in any kind of real danger, even though he's constantly looking up at the door to see who's coming in (nervous habit given his profession). And it's not like violence is a foreign concept to this show. Phil Leotardo was shot point blank right in front of his wife, in a public place at a gas station, in the very episode before (I think) and he didn't see that coming.

 

As for his differences... do you really think "differences" ever get truly settled in the mob world? As many enemies as Tony made over the course of his life you don't think there was someone or a group of someones waiting for a chance to take him out?

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OILERMAN   

Of course he died.....

 

The guy that went in the bathroom was wearing the same jacket that one of the guys was wearing that whacked one of Tony's guys.....

 

Plus the final scene was totally shot from what Tony was actually seeing. Like NN mentioned, every time someone walked in it was shot from Tony's view.

 

The very final scene went black because that was Tony's view, blackness. DEAD

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Like that guy pointed out in his blogI linked to above there were a few signposts to this ending, such as Bobby commenting to Tony on the boat about how in their line of work it's always there, the probability of death. He said you "probably don't even hear it when it happens".

That'd make sense for the idea that Tony bought it because if the guy did shoot him from such a close range and he died instantly would he have heard the shot before the bullet destroyed his brain? Possibly not, given the speed and proximity of the bullet. Hence the silence to go along with the blackness. No more "Don't Stop" by Journey, no more clinking of dishes, people talking, etc.

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Guest   
Guest

Of course he died.....

 

The guy that went in the bathroom was wearing the same jacket that one of the guys was wearing that whacked one of Tony's guys.....

 

Plus the final scene was totally shot from what Tony was actually seeing. Like NN mentioned, every time someone walked in it was shot from Tony's view.

 

The very final scene went black because that was Tony's view, blackness. DEAD

 

This. It's not even debatable.

 

Thje final show is pure brilliance. Genius like that gives me chills. Here is the entire explanation from another genius.

 

You guys have to read this...it;s crazy the amount of detail and thinking and foresight that went into this entire series that all led up to that final show:

 

http://masterofsopranos.wordpress.com/the-sopranos-definitive-explanation-of-the-end/

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Guest

Stuff like this that was laid out for us much earlier in the series:

 

By putting us in Tony’s eyes in the last shot we know that Tony never heard the bullet. However, Chase has already told us what to expect from first-person death. Most significantly from a scene originally shown in “Sopranos Home Movies” and repeated via flashback at the end of the penultimate episode “The Blue Comet.” In “Sopranos Home Movies,” Tony talks about how most mob bosses either end up dead or in jail. Bacala asks Tony “You probably don’t even hear it when it happens, right?” At the closing scene of “The Blue Comet,” Tony has a flashback to that moment. The show rarely uses flashback so this would seem to have major significance. Chase sets up the end of “Made in America” with this flashback. Bacala asked a question that Tony can now answer: Tony never heard it coming. Bacala’s words corroborate Tony’s experience at the moment of his death.

 

The final season episode “Stage 5” also foreshadows Tony’s death and furthers the “never hear it concept” with the murder of Gerry Torciano. Gerry is having a sit-down with Silvio at a restaurant. Both characters have their “goomars” (girlfriends to married mafia men) at the table with them. At one point, Chase shows us an over the shoulder “goomar” POV shot of Silvio talking to her. Torciano cannot be seen at all in the shot as Silvio fills the screen. Suddenly,the sound cuts off and a low ringing is heard as blood is sprayed on Silvio while he continues to talk to the goomar while seemingly unaware of the blood. The scene also slows down for a few moments. Silvio then looks down and sees blood on himself and seems surprised, disoriented and confused (Silvio, nor us, have heard any gun shots). Finally, Silvio looks up and Chase cuts to a hit-man blasting Gerry in the side of the head as the sound returns. Both goomars are holding their ears as the guns blast (the sound cutting off and the low ringing may simulate the experience of being so close to the gun blasts). Here, Chase is having the viewer share the POV of a witness at the dinner table (Silvio’s goomar). More importantly, Silvio never heard or saw it coming. This scene sets up (1) Tony’s POV in Holsten’s and (2) another unexpected murder in a restaurant in which the victim nor anybody else “heard coming.” Later, Silvio tells Tony about the Torciano murder and says “fucking scary thing was I didn’t know what happened until after the shot was fired. Fucking weird.” His words echo Bacala’s “never hear it when it happens.” The follow up scene where Silvio relays his experience to Tony has no practical significance:we know Silvio did not know what happened until after the shot was fired, we saw the scene. Chase’s purpose for Silvio’s explanation to Tony (just like Bacala told Tony) is to hammer home the “never hear it concept” into the viewer because it will pay off in the final scene. Also of note is that Silvio’s words correctly predict the viewer’s reaction to the final scene: The fans of the show would not know what happened until after the shot was fired at Holsten’s. Chase was setting us up the whole time. Chase in an interview with Brett Martin for the HBO Sopranos final edition book confirmed the significance of the Torciano scene.

 

Chase also makes explicitly showing Tony’s murder superfluous through the use of POV in the previous murders of Phil Leotardo and Gerry Torciano. In the Torciano murder, Chase shows us the POV of a witness at the table (see above). This suggests what the experience may have been like for A.J. and Carmela in the final scene. A few seconds before Phil is shot, the camera is placed behind Phil, just like the killer would be. Walden’s (the killer’s) arm and gun then enter from the side of the frame and Phil is shot in the head. The shot suggests the POV of the killer and what the experience may have been like for “Man in Members Only Jacket” in the final scene. Furthermore, Phil’s wife has a delayed reaction to Phil’s shooting (she does not start screaming until a second or two after Phil is already on the floor even though she should clearly see the gun pointed at Phil’s head before the shot is fired), this echoes Silvio’s delayed response to the Torciano murder andour delayed response to Tony’s murder. Finally, the last scene puts us in the ultimate POV, the POV of the victim-Tony Soprano. In a sense though Chase has already shown us everything: we already know what the experience of Tony’s murder would be like for Carmela, A.J., and MOG.

 
 
Genius!

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Guest

So why did Chase illustrate Tony’s death in this way? Here is a key quote from Chase that may provide the most insight:

 

“There was so much more to say than could have been conveyed by an image of Tony face down in a bowl of onion rings with a bullet in his head. Or, on the other side, taking over the New York mob. The way I see it is that Tony Soprano had been people’s alter ego. They had gleefully watched him rob, kill, pillage, lie, and cheat. They had cheered him on. And then, all of a sudden, they wanted to see him punished for all that. They wanted “justice.” They wanted to see his brains splattered on the wall. I thought that was disgusting, frankly. But these people have always wanted blood. Maybe they would have been happy if Tony had killed twelve other people. Or twenty-five people. Or, who knows, if he had blown up Penn Station. The pathetic thing- to me- was how much they wanted his blood, after cheering him on for eight years”.

 

The quote suggests that Chase objects to the image of Tony’s death (not theidea of his death). This may explain the genesis of the POV pattern and the idea that we would experience death through Tony’s eyes. Chase is disgusted by the inherent contradiction that the same people who cheer on Tony also want to see his brains splattered all over the diner. He rails against fans for cheering on Tony and at the same time wanting to see his blood. By using Tony’s POV, he denies the fans the thrill of watching his bloody murder. More importantly, by putting “us,”the viewer, the same people he calls pathetic for cheering on Tony, in Tony’s eyes at the moment of death, he is indicting all of us. Most telling in the quote is that he calls the fansTony’s “alter ego.” Chase does not allow us to be removed from Tony’s death (by seeing him shot and bloody) but gives us the same abrupt, disorienting feeling of sudden death and nothingness. We are Tony at that exact moment and it is jarring and more importantly, we deserve it for rooting for this guy. Chase was making a statement about us as well.

*Update:  December 2012.  David Chase was recently interviewed by Jake Coyle of the Associated Press in what may be his most revealing interview to date and where Chase offers his most unambiguous statements yet about Tony’s final fate and his purpose behind the final scene:

 

“Tony was dealing in mortality every day.  He was dishing out life and death. And he was not happy.  He was getting everything he wanted, that guy, but he wasn’t happy.  All I wanted to do was present the idea of how short life is and how precious it is. The only way I felt I could do that was to rip it away.”

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Guest   
Guest

This. It's not even debatable.

 

Thje final show is pure brilliance. Genius like that gives me chills. Here is the entire explanation from another genius.

 

You guys have to read this...it;s crazy the amount of detail and thinking and foresight that went into this entire series that all led up to that final show:

 

http://masterofsopranos.wordpress.com/the-sopranos-definitive-explanation-of-the-end/

 

I'm reading through this now and am already convinced this guy is right.

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