The Sopranos‘ series finale continues to spark discussions worthy of its own Unsolved Mysteries episode, complete with a blacked out screen. More than one decade after its airing, the last installment had Tony up against the ropes and left everyone asking what happened in that diner.
Fans thought their TVs were broken. Some surmised he died, and others had more abstract perspectives. But The Many Saints of Newark director Alan Taylor believes there’s a clue in the new film about Tony’s fate.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for The Many Saints of Newark]
How ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ may hint at Tony’s death
Was Tony whacked? Many viewers who sought an explanation for the black screen felt confused, cheated, or angry about The Sopranos ending. But there are signs that he died at the diner table, and it may have been confirmed in the prequel, The Many Saints of Newark.
Alan Taylor spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about how the film may address Tony’s eventual demise. He pinpointed a scene in the film where Michael Gandolfini’s Tony heard about someone who caught a bullet in his back. He remarked that he didn’t want to go out that way.
Perhaps that’s a piece of foreshadowing and a special wink to fans. But Taylor also mentioned the signs in The Sopranos about death.
“There’s just too many signifiers [in the final season],” he said. “The biggest one for me is, I think in the entire history of The Sopranos, there’s only one line of dialogue that has ever been played back a second time as voiceover, and that’s when Bobby Baccalieri says that you don’t hear the bullet [when you’re killed]. So the fact that was said in an earlier episode, then repeated in voiceover later, I have to go with Tony’s dead.”
Conversations with Dr. Melfi and Silvio also shed light on the “everything probably goes black,” or “no one hears it coming” theory. Sadly, Dickie Moltisanti didn’t see it coming it either.
‘The Sopranos’ creator David Chase implied Tony may have died
In 2018, Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz published The Sopranos Sessions, a book featuring their collection of essays, articles, and interviews related to the show. During one interview with David Chase, he seemingly slipped up about Tony in the series finale.
“Yes, I think I had that death scene around two years before the end,” Chase revealed. “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.”
After the authors called him out about the “death scene,” Chase jokingly cursed them. However, after watching The Many Saints of Newark, Tony’s predictable fall doesn’t seem so farfetched.
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