‘The Sopranos’ Creator Reveals What Happened to Tony in Finale, 15 Years Later

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by HBO)

To this day, fans of “The Sopranos” still debate what exactly happened in the series finale. Now, show creator David Chase has answered the all-important question: Did Tony die?

The short answer is yes, according to an interview Chase did with The Hollywood Reporter. The interviewer asked him whether he knew that the finale would end that way. “The Sopranos” creator replied that he didn’t know the scene would end with the cut to black and the song “Don’t Stop Believing” playing in the background. But he did know that Tony would die.

“I had this notion — I was driving on Ocean Park Boulevard near the airport and I saw a little restaurant,” Chase explained. “It was kind of like a shack that served breakfast. And for some reason, I thought, ‘Tony should get it in a place like that.’ Why? I don’t know. That was, like, two years before.”

“The Sopranos” did end in a diner setting, with several members of the family joining Tony to eat onion rings and listen to “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Eventually, right when the music climaxes to one final “don’t stop” lyric, the scene cuts to black.

The last thing we see is Tony looking up as the bell above the diner door rings. It could be his daughter Meadow coming in from where she tried several times to parallel park. But it could also be someone sent there to kill him. The cut to black lasts for 11 whole seconds before the credits finally roll.

At the time, fans couldn’t believe that’s how “The Sopranos” ended. They thought their TV satellites had broken down, or the network had crashed. When the fans finally realized that’s how Chase chose to end it, they shared their thoughts everywhere. And Chase didn’t exactly agree with all of their conclusions.

‘The Sopranos’ Creator ‘Annoyed’ By Certain Fan Reactions to Series Ending

The interviewer for The Hollywood Reporter mentioned to “The Sopranos” creator David Chase how all people could talk about was the ending, not even the full episode. He asked if that “annoyed” Chase at all.

“I had no idea it would cause that much [talk],” Chase said. “I forget what was going on in Iraq or someplace; London had been bombed! Nobody was talking about that; they were talking about The Sopranos. It was kind of incredible to me. But I had no idea it would be that much of an uproar.

“And was it annoying? What was annoying was how many people wanted to see Tony killed. That bothered me,” Chase said.

He went on to explain, “They wanted to know that Tony was killed. They wanted to see him go face-down in linguini, you know?

“And I just thought, ‘God, you watched this guy for seven years and I know he’s a criminal. But don’t tell me you don’t love him in some way, don’t tell me you’re not on his side in some way. And now you want to see him killed? You want justice done? You’re a criminal after watching this shit for seven years.’ That bothered me, yeah.”

Whether or not fans believed Tony lived or died, they now have their concrete answer. The new question is whether or not they’re happy about it.