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NFT: Sopranos' Chase slips up

jeff57 : 1/9/2019 1:01 pm
Confirms what was likely true from the beginning.

Quote:
The big news, as those who have followed the book’s rollout may know, is that after years of calculated ambiguity, Chase seems to accidentally acknowledge the answer to one of the greatest mysteries since the fate of Jimmy Hoffa: Is Tony dead? Here’s the relevant interview exchange:



Quote:
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.”


Quote:
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.


Quote:
Seitz: You realize, of course, that you just referred to that as a death scene.

Quote:

[A long pause follows]


Quote:
Chase: Fuck you guys



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Wonder if he would have changed the Johnny Sack storyline  
figgy2989 : 1/9/2019 1:04 pm : link
If that was the case. They had him going to prison and dying of cancer.
Yep, that's as definitive an answer as we've gotten.  
bceagle05 : 1/9/2019 1:09 pm : link
I always went back and forth a bit, but leaned toward him dying, mainly due to the foreshadowing of Bobby saying "You probably don't even hear it when it happens" earlier in the season, and the opening shot of the final episode where Tony is shown lying in bed with funeral music (for lack of a better term) playing. He was positioned as a corpse would be in a casket. Also, people have done deep dives on the camera work during the final scene, indicating the final shot was Tony's perspective as he looked toward the Meadow entering Holsten's.
I never thought Tony lived  
UConn4523 : 1/9/2019 1:10 pm : link
so this isn't surprising. Usually i'm fine with ambiguous endings but I really hated that finale.
I've also heard Chase say  
bceagle05 : 1/9/2019 1:12 pm : link
he wanted the black screen to be shown for much longer, but HBO overruled him and rolled credits a lot sooner.
Right in front of his wife and son  
ATL_Giants : 1/9/2019 1:15 pm : link
and while Meadow is coming in the restaurant...

brutal.
So he's saying originally  
Mr. Nickels : 1/9/2019 1:16 pm : link
Tony was headed to a meeting in NYC and as he enters the Lincoln Tunnel it goes black? Sounds stupid. So he doesn't "die" in this version it just ends with the implication he is going to. The real finale he indeed gets whacked so it's a rather sad ending to the show.
RE: Yep, that's as definitive an answer as we've gotten.  
Matt in SGS : 1/9/2019 1:16 pm : link
In comment 14255541 bceagle05 said:
Quote:
I always went back and forth a bit, but leaned toward him dying, mainly due to the foreshadowing of Bobby saying "You probably don't even hear it when it happens" earlier in the season, and the opening shot of the final episode where Tony is shown lying in bed with funeral music (for lack of a better term) playing. He was positioned as a corpse would be in a casket. Also, people have done deep dives on the camera work during the final scene, indicating the final shot was Tony's perspective as he looked toward the Meadow entering Holsten's.


There was also a view that Tony looked like it was "The Last Supper" in the final scene



Note how Tony is in the middle, the light just on him. The spread of the people around him.
RE: So he's saying originally  
UConn4523 : 1/9/2019 1:18 pm : link
In comment 14255560 Mr. Nickels said:
Quote:
Tony was headed to a meeting in NYC and as he enters the Lincoln Tunnel it goes black? Sounds stupid. So he doesn't "die" in this version it just ends with the implication he is going to. The real finale he indeed gets whacked so it's a rather sad ending to the show.


Not sure but he might be saying that on the ride back Tony wouldn't be in the car, implying he didn't make it out alive. If that's the case that sounds better than just the black screen.
RE: Right in front of his wife and son  
JCin332 : 1/9/2019 1:22 pm : link
In comment 14255558 ATL_Giants said:
Quote:
and while Meadow is coming in the restaurant...

brutal.


That's what always gave me pause...would they really whack him like that in front of his family...

I thought that would be an unwritten mob rule...
.  
Go Terps : 1/9/2019 1:24 pm : link
When I lived in Bloomfield I would run by the front door of Holstein's all the time, and each time I did my mind would wander to what happened.

I'm actually surprised he dies. I didn't take it that way. I just took it as, "This is the anxiety and uncertainty with which someone like Tony has to live his life."
They wasted Phil in front of his wife and grandkids  
Go Terps : 1/9/2019 1:24 pm : link
.
RE: .  
Mr. Bungle : 1/9/2019 1:33 pm : link
In comment 14255583 Go Terps said:
Quote:
I'm actually surprised he dies. I didn't take it that way. I just took it as, "This is the anxiety and uncertainty with which someone like Tony has to live his life."

You can interpret it whichever way you want, and that's the correct interpretation, for you. That's what Chase has always maintained explicitly anyway.

So if you watch that scene and don't believe that Tony dies, then you're right. That's how you interpreted it.

If it was meant to be definitive that Tony died, then it wouldn't have been so deliberately vague. They would have shown Tony slumped over in the booth, with a bullet in him.
And I've always suspected  
jeff57 : 1/9/2019 1:35 pm : link
That if it was a hit, it wasn't NY that did it. But Patsy Parisi taking advantage of a total power vacuum near the top, and finally get revenge for Tony killing Philly.
Good catch, Matt.  
bceagle05 : 1/9/2019 1:42 pm : link
Also, that house in the portrait in the background of Holsten's looks a lot like the house Tony visited while in his coma (when Steve Buscemi wanted to take his briefcase and usher him inside, presumably to his death).
RE: .  
Greg from LI : 1/9/2019 1:44 pm : link
In comment 14255583 Go Terps said:
Quote:
I'm actually surprised he dies. I didn't take it that way. I just took it as, "This is the anxiety and uncertainty with which someone like Tony has to live his life."


Me too. The point wasn't whether he lives or dies, the point was that despite him winning the war with Phil, he will never be safe. He'll always be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life.

Eh, it's just a TV show. People agonize too much over these things.
RE: And I've always suspected  
Greg from LI : 1/9/2019 1:45 pm : link
In comment 14255603 jeff57 said:
Quote:
That if it was a hit, it wasn't NY that did it. But Patsy Parisi taking advantage of a total power vacuum near the top, and finally get revenge for Tony killing Philly.


Wasn't Meadow dating his son, though?
RE: .  
Gap92 : 1/9/2019 1:45 pm : link
In comment 14255583 Go Terps said:
Quote:
I'm actually surprised he dies. I didn't take it that way. I just took it as, "This is the anxiety and uncertainty with which someone like Tony has to live his life."


While I always felt he likely died, the other plausible explanation to me is the one you said. Where we get a glimpse of the fear he has to live in, day in day out, where any guy he sees could be the guy that does him in.

doesn't matter what Chase says  
bluepepper : 1/9/2019 1:50 pm : link
it's what he put up on the screen that counts. A thousand ways he could have made it clear that Tony got whacked. He chose not to so it's just a black screen and what does the black screen mean? Look at it this way - could he before Gandolfini's death have started the show back up with Tony very much alive? Pretty clearly yes.
As much as I love Holsten's and am glad the show brought it fame  
bceagle05 : 1/9/2019 1:51 pm : link
I think the scene with Tony and Junior a few minutes earlier would have been a poignant way to end it - with Tony reminding a senile Junior about their past ("You and my father ran North Jersey," etc.). But I guess Tony's immediate family deserved the final scene.
But as Greg said, no need to go crazy over it.  
bceagle05 : 1/9/2019 1:52 pm : link
.
RE: RE: And I've always suspected  
jeff57 : 1/9/2019 1:53 pm : link
In comment 14255617 Greg from LI said:
Quote:
In comment 14255603 jeff57 said:


Quote:


That if it was a hit, it wasn't NY that did it. But Patsy Parisi taking advantage of a total power vacuum near the top, and finally get revenge for Tony killing Philly.



Wasn't Meadow dating his son, though?


So? Gives him even better cover. And he gave Tony a withering look in the final episode even as the families were sitting around. And Tony didn't appear to be wild about becoming in-laws with Patsy even though he liked his kid.
Watch this  
allstarjim : 1/9/2019 1:57 pm : link
Explains it very clearly, as it really laid bare anyway as to the intent of the scene, all the clues are there.

Chase also said that, "If you look at the final episode really carefully, it's all there."

Watch this youtube video, it's definitive.

Tony got whacked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy7tMx6ix8g
.  
Danny Kanell : 1/9/2019 1:57 pm : link
They've had the marathon on lately due to the 20 year anniversary of the first season. The show has really stood test of time. It's still amazing.
RE: .  
bceagle05 : 1/9/2019 1:59 pm : link
In comment 14255645 Danny Kanell said:
Quote:
They've had the marathon on lately due to the 20 year anniversary of the first season. The show has really stood test of time. It's still amazing.

It absolutely has. I remember thinking the first three seasons were outstanding, and there was a noticeable decline after that. Re-watching it now, there may be a slight decline, but not much. It was pretty strong throughout.
RE: RE: .  
jeff57 : 1/9/2019 2:03 pm : link
In comment 14255649 bceagle05 said:
Quote:
In comment 14255645 Danny Kanell said:


Quote:


They've had the marathon on lately due to the 20 year anniversary of the first season. The show has really stood test of time. It's still amazing.


It absolutely has. I remember thinking the first three seasons were outstanding, and there was a noticeable decline after that. Re-watching it now, there may be a slight decline, but not much. It was pretty strong throughout.


Yeah, there was a drop off in 4 and 5. Although the final episodes of each season were excellent.
Yeah, a decline is understandable.  
bceagle05 : 1/9/2019 2:06 pm : link
I'm sure Chase wasn't thinking seven seasons down the road when he came up with the idea for the show - they probably just map out a season or two. Once it became a phenomenon - and a cash cow - they had to wing it a bit and keep going. Always tricky.
The only storyline I truly hated was Furio/Carmela in season four.  
bceagle05 : 1/9/2019 2:09 pm : link
I thought Furio was great as the badass enforcer from Italy, and they turned him into a lovesick teenager. Brutal. Junior's decline was tough to watch in later years too - he was hilarious in the first few seasons.
RE: Yeah, a decline is understandable.  
bradshaw44 : 1/9/2019 2:10 pm : link
In comment 14255660 bceagle05 said:
Quote:
I'm sure Chase wasn't thinking seven seasons down the road when he came up with the idea for the show - they probably just map out a season or two. Once it became a phenomenon - and a cash cow - they had to wing it a bit and keep going. Always tricky.


The show was originally supposed to be a dark comedy. But then it took on a life of it's own. At least that's what I read many years ago when the show first started.
I can believe that, Bradshaw  
Greg from LI : 1/9/2019 2:20 pm : link
The first season had a lot more humor to it than later seasons.
Chase has always  
Enzo : 1/9/2019 2:22 pm : link
seemed like an odd guy who would get overly sensitive regarding public reaction to the shows. Anyway, here's my random Sopranos hot take: it was a great show but I've always suspected that a large portion of the show's success was due to them hitting the casting jackpot with Gandolfini. You put nearly any other actor in that role, and the show is only a modest hit, if at all.
RE: Chase has always  
Danny Kanell : 1/9/2019 2:26 pm : link
In comment 14255692 Enzo said:
Quote:
seemed like an odd guy who would get overly sensitive regarding public reaction to the shows. Anyway, here's my random Sopranos hot take: it was a great show but I've always suspected that a large portion of the show's success was due to them hitting the casting jackpot with Gandolfini. You put nearly any other actor in that role, and the show is only a modest hit, if at all.


I think you can make that statement about every great show. If a show is truly great, they've usually hit the casting jackpot with the lead.
RE: I can believe that, Bradshaw  
bradshaw44 : 1/9/2019 2:28 pm : link
In comment 14255684 Greg from LI said:
Quote:
The first season had a lot more humor to it than later seasons.



I re-watched the whole series last year and season 1 definitely has a different flow.
RE: RE: Chase has always  
Enzo : 1/9/2019 2:41 pm : link
In comment 14255705 Danny Kanell said:
Quote:
In comment 14255692 Enzo said:


Quote:


seemed like an odd guy who would get overly sensitive regarding public reaction to the shows. Anyway, here's my random Sopranos hot take: it was a great show but I've always suspected that a large portion of the show's success was due to them hitting the casting jackpot with Gandolfini. You put nearly any other actor in that role, and the show is only a modest hit, if at all.



I think you can make that statement about every great show. If a show is truly great, they've usually hit the casting jackpot with the lead.

For some shows, yes. For others, they can swap out leads and carry on for years. My main point though is that Chase was overrated as a writer/showrunner.
Related yet pointless fact I recently found out...  
CRinCA : 1/9/2019 2:48 pm : link
"Meadow" is married to Lenny Dykstra's son Cutter.
RE: .  
bw in dc : 1/9/2019 3:02 pm : link
In comment 14255645 Danny Kanell said:
Quote:
They've had the marathon on lately due to the 20 year anniversary of the first season. The show has really stood test of time. It's still amazing.


So true. I've been watching it off and on.

I'm not sure there has every been a show where the opening music is so powerful and fitting. And the music in general is just well done.

Loved the end of season 5 with Tony running through the snow to escape the FBI at Johnny's house. There is the fear of the chase. Then he stops at the school and calls his lawyer, who says he wasn't named in the indictment. Then the scene ends with Tony struggling to climb into his backyard and the look of relief on his face that he's home...

There is so much great acting. The acting between Gandolfini and Falco is as good as it gets...
I recently moved to Essex County  
Chris684 : 1/9/2019 3:11 pm : link
and day to day during my commute or other random daily routines pass all of the Sopranos landmarks.

There is no other fictional show that felt as real as The Sopranos still feel.

It had to be hard for Gandolfini. He literally became Tony Soprano. I've never heard anyone with a louder Knicks game introduction than the nights when he was in attendance and they would play the opening theme. His ovation outdid any I've seen for any of the Giants when they'd be in attendance during or after the Super Bowl runs.
RE: RE: Yep, that's as definitive an answer as we've gotten.  
MetsAreBack : 1/9/2019 3:14 pm : link
In comment 14255563 Matt in SGS said:
Quote:



There was also a view that Tony looked like it was "The Last Supper" in the final scene



Note how Tony is in the middle, the light just on him. The spread of the people around him.



Yes, we all read that lengthy article/opinion piece the week after the show ended.
RE: Watch this  
Mr. Bungle : 1/9/2019 3:19 pm : link
In comment 14255643 allstarjim said:
Quote:
Explains it very clearly, as it really laid bare anyway as to the intent of the scene, all the clues are there.

Chase also said that, "If you look at the final episode really carefully, it's all there."

Watch this youtube video, it's definitive.

Tony got whacked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy7tMx6ix8g

If you have to watch a YouTube video "explaining" it, it's not definitive.
The way..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 1/9/2019 3:34 pm : link
chase approaches things, I could completely see him intentionally fucking with the interviewer and having it go in that direction.
RE: Watch this  
PaulBlakeTSU : 1/9/2019 5:14 pm : link
In comment 14255643 allstarjim said:
Quote:
Explains it very clearly, as it really laid bare anyway as to the intent of the scene, all the clues are there.

Chase also said that, "If you look at the final episode really carefully, it's all there."

Watch this youtube video, it's definitive.

Tony got whacked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy7tMx6ix8g


This is a well-made video, and similar to other works that have broken down the ending with serious diligence to show all of the hints and clues "proving" that Tony died.

However, the video is broken into two parts
1. All of the clues suggesting that Tony died
2. That even if Tony didn't die, "Tony will live his remaining moments on Earth in the shadow of dread."

The second point is the position I have taken this entire time. The bell tolls for Tony as it does for us all, but not necessarily in that scene. Maybe Tony was killed there, but we didn't see it happen (I like the Schroedinger's cat analog). Instead, I view the scene that Tony live on, always having to scan every room he's in, always having to check out every person in his vicinity. There will always be that.

There are myriad details that many have pointed out-- editing choices, symbolic choices, recalls, references which are all used to connote death (or, at least some of which were, others might be viewers finding coincidental clues). Some of these are compelling, and others seem to pick and choose.


More importantly, all of those intentional references/suggestions do not add up to "prove" that Tony died. Instead, it just puts the thought of death in the viewer's consciousness. The more of these "clues" the viewer notices, the more he thinks about a looming death rather than what is actually happening in the scene/in real life.


I think Chase did a masterful job putting the viewers on edge playing with their anxieties and expectations for what "has to happen" in a finale. When Tony sees the guy in the Members' only jacket, does he see a suspicious guy who means him harm, or does he see a guy he's never seen before just go to the bathroom? Does Meadow's frantic repeated attempts to parallel park scare the viewer into thinking that she's going to "miss" something, or is just a routine experience of a bad parallel parker? "A guy is going to the bathroom in the finale and it mirrors Tony's favorite scene in The Godfather-- it has to mean Tony gets whacked." Does it? Or does it instead show that choosing this life (for Tony being a mobster, for the viewer being invested in these mob characters) causes you to focus on signs of trouble that may or may not be there?

The series begins abruptly presenting the aftermath of passing out from a panic attack where Dr. Melfi asks him if he has thoughts as to why he "blacked out" and the series ends with a "black out" after what might be the most ordinary experience (dinner at a family restaurant) but fraught with anxiety and panic-inducing suggestions.
---
RE: Chase has always  
PaulBlakeTSU : 1/9/2019 5:18 pm : link
In comment 14255692 Enzo said:
Quote:
seemed like an odd guy who would get overly sensitive regarding public reaction to the shows. Anyway, here's my random Sopranos hot take: it was a great show but I've always suspected that a large portion of the show's success was due to them hitting the casting jackpot with Gandolfini. You put nearly any other actor in that role, and the show is only a modest hit, if at all.


The runner-up for the role was Michael Rispoli (Jackie Aprile, Grama from Rounders).

I think the show would have been very successful with Rispoli as it was groundbreaking in many ways and very well-written and shot. But Gandolfini was an absolute home run.
RE: .  
mitch300 : 1/9/2019 5:35 pm : link
In comment 14255645 Danny Kanell said:
Quote:
They've had the marathon on lately due to the 20 year anniversary of the first season. The show has really stood test of time. It's still amazing.

I started bing watching it again. I watch like 4-5 epsodes a night.It is still great. Knowing hwat I know from seeing it originally puts a different spin on it. Though a lot I forgot about.
RE: .  
Boy Cord : 1/9/2019 7:33 pm : link
In comment 14255645 Danny Kanell said:
Quote:
They've had the marathon on lately due to the 20 year anniversary of the first season. The show has really stood test of time. It's still amazing.


20 years. Wow.
Started rewatching  
Mr. Nickels : 1/9/2019 9:28 pm : link
best show of all time hands down.

Brings back so many memories.
Not really a "fun fact"  
BlackLight : 1/9/2019 10:10 pm : link
Owing to her M.S. diagnosis, Jamie-Lynn Sigler says she's not done any running since they shot that final scene where she crossed the street from her car to the restaurant.
RE: RE: Watch this  
allstarjim : 1/9/2019 11:48 pm : link
In comment 14255778 Mr. Bungle said:
Quote:
In comment 14255643 allstarjim said:


Quote:


Explains it very clearly, as it really laid bare anyway as to the intent of the scene, all the clues are there.

Chase also said that, "If you look at the final episode really carefully, it's all there."

Watch this youtube video, it's definitive.

Tony got whacked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy7tMx6ix8g


If you have to watch a YouTube video "explaining" it, it's not definitive.


^^^ Didn't watch the video.
chase loves fucking with people  
Banks : 1/10/2019 12:25 am : link
especially on this topic...and the russian. I thought he was killed initially, but I always wondered why now and by who. Really seems odd it would be NY after they pretty much asked Tony to whack Phil.
I will forever love this show. I've rewatched it a couple times and it still holds up. They made a couple mistakes like taking out Tony's best rivals a little too early and making certain characters completely irredeemable, but it's still a great show.

Paulie: "You're not gonna believe this. He killed sixteen Czechoslovakians. Guy was an interior decorator!"

Christopher: "His house looked like shit."
Who says he had to be whacked if he died?  
rnargi : 1/10/2019 11:11 am : link
Maybe he had a heart attack. He wasn't a healthy guy.
RE: Who says he had to be whacked if he died?  
allstarjim : 1/10/2019 11:44 am : link
In comment 14256709 rnargi said:
Quote:
Maybe he had a heart attack. He wasn't a healthy guy.


The call backs and the references in that scene are all reminding of shootings. I don't think the opening of that episode was by accident. I don't believe the orange was by accident. But especially, with respect to the guy in the Member's Only jacket, and the call back to the earlier episode

But the main criticism of a heart attack theory was that right before the screen went black, Tony looks up, not in distress, there was no apparent pre-heart attack symptoms, and the immediate fade to black would suggest instant death.

As the video explains, earlier in the season, Bobby talks about what it must be like to be assassinated, saying, "you probably don't even hear it when it happens." Note the music immediately stops with the black screen. And to really drive the point home, in the previous episode, Tony flashes back to that scene and Bobby saying that.

And where Tony's son tearfully yells at Tony saying that the scene in the Godfather where Michael Corleone retrieves a hidden gun in the bathroom and kills the men that tried to kill his father and that is Tony's favorite scene...and here we see the guy that clearly raises Tony's suspicion in the Member's Only jacket at the counter, and more importantly, raises the viewers' suspicions, and we never see him come back out before the black screen.

Further, that scene is already set up with Tony's POV shots, think about what the writers are communicating. Everytime Tony looks up because of the bell ringing at the door when someone walks in, we get a Tony POV shot.

Meadow walks in, bell rings, Tony looks up, then the next thing we see is just black. The ONLY thing that makes sense there is that Tony's POV is now blackness, nothingness, and it clearly meshes with what Bobby said, with the Godfather scene that is his favorite scene that A.J. is angry with how flippant he is about it, with the fact that the guy who goes to the bathroom has a clear shooting angle to Tony from the bathroom door, with the fact that he is in a Member's Only jacket just like Eugene, who killed himself and had just carried out a hit earlier in the season, and Bobby talking about what it's like to be assassinated...it's clearly obvious that the writer's are communicating what happened to Tony.

I think Chase respects the audience enough to give finality. I think that the finality was a little vague pissed people off, but he also said if you look at the final episode, it's all there, and by looking at that episode, he's right. Writers and directors don't do things by accident, the POV shots, Tony re-calling Bobby talking about being assassinated in the same episode, not accidents, not coincidences.

The only reasonable conclusion is Tony was executed.

And now, we have Chase flippantly calling it a death scene, 13 years after the show ended, I don't think he's trying to pull one over on the fans 13 years later, and he had to be reminded by the interview that he called it the death scene.

If you look at it all together, only one scenario makes any sense. And that's a good thing. I remember everyone being so pissed about the ending, but having an ending that communicates the finality of the show in such a way that only by really examining the show do you get the truth...to me that is superior than say, the ending of Breaking Bad, which wrapped up the show in a neat little bow, with Walter White dying on the floor, having saved Jesse. Nothing wrong with that ending either, but it's very convenient for the audience, and somewhat anti-climactic. In Sopranos, Chase gives us one last bit of suspense and curiosity as the ending, and I kind of like that.
Nothing happens  
since1925 : 1/10/2019 11:57 am : link
The screen goes black.

What happened to Lucy and Ricky? Nothing, the series ended. That's all.

Chase can change his mind a thousand times. Nothing happens until they put the show back on and something happens.
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