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Because EVERYONE was patted down and unarmed, since little Carmine and the others wouldn't have been in on the hit. You aren't gonna whack someone in front of "friends" who were good enough to arrange a meeting to discuss a truce. Just about every whacking on the show was done in an unexpected "out of nowhere" manner.

My real point is that Tony was right back into his normal routine. There was ample opportunity for them to wack Tony when they knew exactly where he was going to be and with who. All these guys get wacked at places that are in their routines: collections, hangouts, places that they frequent. Had he been wacked at Artie's place, then I buy it. That restaurant wasn't part of that routine. It also was random that they went there that night. They were supposed to stay home for dinner. Then Carmella says "I thought we'd go to Holston's" and she tells Tony that it's the consensus to go there. Tony goes to see Uncle Junior beforehand. Again, randomly. He's never been there to see him. Carmella didn't make a reservation. People just walk into the place. So how did anybody even know Tony was going to be there that night?

It is possible that Tony was being followed, and with his guard down a tad thanks to the alleged truce, he might not have been as diligent when watching for anyone following him, which is likely when you consider how at ease he looked in the scenes prior to the last one. Or maybe Tony's driver was on the take from NY and tipped them off as to where he was going.

Made In America was on tonight. The whole ending is just really ####### with us. They clearly build up tension in the restaurant and are following the members only guy who certainly looks over his shoulder towards tony a few times. However, there is no reason for tony to die at this point. It seems that weeks, if not over a month have passed since sitting down with carmine and butchie. There was plenty of time and opportunity to wack tony before the onion rings. Tony is alive.

:no: He's dead.
If they wanted to stick to reality, there is zero chance they are blowing his brains all over his wife and two kids. Big mob no-no.

Phil was whacked in front of his wife and two grandchildren. It's normally not protocol, but when they want someone dead, they will take their shot whenever they can.

Edited by Ghost Rider

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Phil was whacked in front of his family because they were at war and he was on the run with them. Under normal circumstances they would have waited until he was alone.

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Unless you think Patsy Parisi was behind it. Maybe Meadow told her man that she was meeting her family for dinner there and then he told his father. That seems unlikely though.

I've read this theory on the innerwebs before.

Tony is dead. The nail in the coffin for me was learning that Chase originally wanted the initial cut to black to be nothing but a silent, black screen for a full minute. I'm sure most have seen the analysis of the last scene switching from Tony's POV to a wider shot of Tony, and that last cut to black would have been Tony's POV....meaning he is seeing nothing...silence.

He's dead, and he ain't comin' back. :violin:

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Unless you think Patsy Parisi was behind it. Maybe Meadow told her man that she was meeting her family for dinner there and then he told his father. That seems unlikely though.

I've read this theory on the innerwebs before.

Tony is dead. The nail in the coffin for me was learning that Chase originally wanted the initial cut to black to be nothing but a silent, black screen for a full minute. I'm sure most have seen the analysis of the last scene switching from Tony's POV to a wider shot of Tony, and that last cut to black would have been Tony's POV....meaning he is seeing nothing...silence.

He's dead, and he ain't comin' back. :violin:

I've read all of those things as well and the intended length of the black screen may be telling. However, it makes no sense really. Who did it and how? Somebody followed Tony all day from his house to the psych ward to the restaurant? Not buying that. How did they know where he was? I don't care about the imagery etc. If he is dead, explain how it went down, who ordered it, and why.

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Unless you think Patsy Parisi was behind it. Maybe Meadow told her man that she was meeting her family for dinner there and then he told his father. That seems unlikely though.

I've read this theory on the innerwebs before.

Tony is dead. The nail in the coffin for me was learning that Chase originally wanted the initial cut to black to be nothing but a silent, black screen for a full minute. I'm sure most have seen the analysis of the last scene switching from Tony's POV to a wider shot of Tony, and that last cut to black would have been Tony's POV....meaning he is seeing nothing...silence.

He's dead, and he ain't comin' back. :violin:

I've read all of those things as well and the intended length of the black screen may be telling. However, it makes no sense really. Who did it and how? Somebody followed Tony all day from his house to the psych ward to the restaurant? Not buying that. How did they know where he was? I don't care about the imagery etc. If he is dead, explain how it went down, who ordered it, and why.

the imagery tells the story though!!!

ETA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnT7nYbCSvM

Edited by werdnoynek

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Unless you think Patsy Parisi was behind it. Maybe Meadow told her man that she was meeting her family for dinner there and then he told his father. That seems unlikely though.

I've read this theory on the innerwebs before.

Tony is dead. The nail in the coffin for me was learning that Chase originally wanted the initial cut to black to be nothing but a silent, black screen for a full minute. I'm sure most have seen the analysis of the last scene switching from Tony's POV to a wider shot of Tony, and that last cut to black would have been Tony's POV....meaning he is seeing nothing...silence.

He's dead, and he ain't comin' back. :violin:

I've read all of those things as well and the intended length of the black screen may be telling. However, it makes no sense really. Who did it and how? Somebody followed Tony all day from his house to the psych ward to the restaurant? Not buying that. How did they know where he was? I don't care about the imagery etc. If he is dead, explain how it went down, who ordered it, and why.

the imagery tells the story though!!!

That's BS. The characters are the story: their motivations and actions are what drive everything. Eating onion rings like communion or editing techniques are not the story. Chase may very well have intended Tony to die and he wanted to be all artsy about it. Fine, that's his right. I'm saying that if that is true, that Tony is dead, explain to me who, what, when, where, why, and how it was done within the story and knowing what I laid out above about timing, routines, and dinner that night being random, without relying on imagery hinting at the end. Then tell me if it makes sense for Tony to be murdered in a public place seated with his family at that restaurant a month after a war ended and the antagonist killed.

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There was an interview with Chase where he all but states flat out that Tony dies. I'll try to find the URL when I get home.

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Unless you think Patsy Parisi was behind it. Maybe Meadow told her man that she was meeting her family for dinner there and then he told his father. That seems unlikely though.

I've read this theory on the innerwebs before.

Tony is dead. The nail in the coffin for me was learning that Chase originally wanted the initial cut to black to be nothing but a silent, black screen for a full minute. I'm sure most have seen the analysis of the last scene switching from Tony's POV to a wider shot of Tony, and that last cut to black would have been Tony's POV....meaning he is seeing nothing...silence.

He's dead, and he ain't comin' back. :violin:

I've read all of those things as well and the intended length of the black screen may be telling. However, it makes no sense really. Who did it and how? Somebody followed Tony all day from his house to the psych ward to the restaurant? Not buying that. How did they know where he was? I don't care about the imagery etc. If he is dead, explain how it went down, who ordered it, and why.

the imagery tells the story though!!!

That's BS. The characters are the story: their motivations and actions are what drive everything. Eating onion rings like communion or editing techniques are not the story. Chase may very well have intended Tony to die and he wanted to be all artsy about it. Fine, that's his right. I'm saying that if that is true, that Tony is dead, explain to me who, what, when, where, why, and how it was done within the story and knowing what I laid out above about timing, routines, and dinner that night being random, without relying on imagery hinting at the end. Then tell me if it makes sense for Tony to be murdered in a public place seated with his family at that restaurant a month after a war ended and the antagonist killed.

>>

Unless you think Patsy Parisi was behind it. Maybe Meadow told her man that she was meeting her family for dinner there and then he told his father. That seems unlikely though.

I've read this theory on the innerwebs before.

Tony is dead. The nail in the coffin for me was learning that Chase originally wanted the initial cut to black to be nothing but a silent, black screen for a full minute. I'm sure most have seen the analysis of the last scene switching from Tony's POV to a wider shot of Tony, and that last cut to black would have been Tony's POV....meaning he is seeing nothing...silence.

He's dead, and he ain't comin' back. :violin:

I've read all of those things as well and the intended length of the black screen may be telling. However, it makes no sense really. Who did it and how? Somebody followed Tony all day from his house to the psych ward to the restaurant? Not buying that. How did they know where he was? I don't care about the imagery etc. If he is dead, explain how it went down, who ordered it, and why.

the imagery tells the story though!!!

That's BS. The characters are the story: their motivations and actions are what drive everything. Eating onion rings like communion or editing techniques are not the story. Chase may very well have intended Tony to die and he wanted to be all artsy about it. Fine, that's his right. I'm saying that if that is true, that Tony is dead, explain to me who, what, when, where, why, and how it was done within the story and knowing what I laid out above about timing, routines, and dinner that night being random, without relying on imagery hinting at the end. Then tell me if it makes sense for Tony to be murdered in a public place seated with his family at that restaurant a month after a war ended and the antagonist killed.

unfortunately, there's no way to, definitively, give you the answers to your questions...

all we're saying is chase gave us a pretty good idea as to what happened in the final scene though with the "artsy" stuff, as you put it.

Edited by werdnoynek

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Don't misunderstand me; I like foreshadowing, imagery, etc. It just needs to make sense in the story. After rewatching the series, i just do not think it does. Bosses rarely get wacked. It's almost always in a war or a power play. So I'm just asking who, why, and how for it to make sense.

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Leeroy, I think the point is that he was dead, and the who, why and how was not explicitly told to leave a little bit up to the imagination, so you can almost conjure up different ways the plot to kill him went down. In other words, there is no one who, one why and one how as to how he died. The point is that he died. You are asking for specific answers to questions that could have many answers.

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Don't misunderstand me; I like foreshadowing, imagery, etc. It just needs to make sense in the story. After rewatching the series, i just do not think it does. Bosses rarely get wacked. It's almost always in a war or a power play. So I'm just asking who, why, and how for it to make sense.

Here's David Chases rundown in a semi recent interview - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/sopranos-david-chase_n_2317801.html

I thought the episode itself might have been kind of a dud, but it wasn't. I was proud of it. I was satisfied that we'd done something. What I didn't understand was that the ending would be so talked-about that it would completely obliterate the rest of the episode that came before it. No one ever even saw it, talked about it, mentioned it or anything about it – and I think didn't even interpret it correctly because all they talked about was that ending. I did not know that would happen.

I think a lot of people thought they were being made a fool of, that I was being really meta – is that the word? – and postmodern or just showing my quote-unquote "contempt" for the audience or going "Ha, ha, ha. It's just a TV show." None of that was what was going on. That was the best ending I knew to come up with and I thought it said some things but people didn't get it because they were angry. Or maybe it wasn't executed well.

I do wish that connection had been made better. To me the question is not whether Tony lived or died, and that's all that people wanted to know: "Well, did he live or did he die? You didn't finish the show. You didn't answer the question." That's preposterous. There was something else I was saying that was more important than whether Tony Soprano lived or died. About the fragility of all of it. The whole show had been about time in a way, and the time allotted on this Earth. That whole trip out to California was all about that – what people called a dream sequence. And all the dream sequences within the show. 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. And I think people did get it. It made them upset emotionally, but intellectually they didn't follow it. And that could very well be bad execution.

Did Tony die or didn't he die? Well, first of all, it really comes down to this: There was, what, six seasons of that show? Seven? Am I supposed to do a scene and ending where it shows that crime doesn't pay? Well, we saw that crime pays. We've been seeing that for how many years? Now, in another sense, we saw that crime didn't pay because it wasn't making him happy. He was an extremely isolated, unhappy man. And then finally, once in a while he would make a connection with his family and be happy there. But in this case, whatever happened, we never got to see the result of that. It was torn away from him and from us. I forget what my point was.

(AP: That the meaning of the show didn't have to be there in that final moment. It was there all along.)

Exactly. That's what I felt. It's really about time, to me – just to me – and love. What else do we have in this universe? It's a cold universe. People said, "Oh, the show is so dark," and it posited the notion that nobody ever changes. That was never my intention. Change is hard to come by, and like most of us, he wasn't trying hard enough. People said, "Oh, it got worse and worse and worse." I think he's the same guy in the beginning as he was in the end. Maybe had a little bit more capacity for compassion for people, I don't know.

I said it's a cold universe and I don't mean that metaphorically. If you go out into space, it's cold. It's really cold and we don't know what's up there. We happen to be in this little pocket where there's a sun. What have we got except love and each other to guard against all that isolation and loneliness?

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Leeroy, I think the point is that he was dead, and the who, why and how was not explicitly told to leave a little bit up to the imagination, so you can almost conjure up different ways the plot to kill him went down. In other words, there is no one who, one why and one how as to how he died. The point is that he died. You are asking for specific answers to questions that could have many answers.

If there had been some loose ends, then I'd agree that there could be many answers. But there weren't. I'm not looking for a definitive answer though. I'm waiting for a reasonable argument on who, why, and how tony died. An answer about the coldness of the universe is made up crap after the fact.

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so basically chase is telling you not to ask those questions... :)

Because he doesn't have an answer that fits the story (as opposed to the theme or message).

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Leeroy, I think the point is that he was dead, and the who, why and how was not explicitly told to leave a little bit up to the imagination, so you can almost conjure up different ways the plot to kill him went down. In other words, there is no one who, one why and one how as to how he died. The point is that he died. You are asking for specific answers to questions that could have many answers.

If there had been some loose ends, then I'd agree that there could be many answers. But there weren't. I'm not looking for a definitive answer though. I'm waiting for a reasonable argument on who, why, and how tony died. An answer about the coldness of the universe is made up crap after the fact.

1) New York, already had in its head the idea that the profits of the Lupartazzi Family would go up exponentially without the a redundant leadership situation in New Jersey. Get rid of the leadership of the "glorified crew" and do business with what's left. That may originally be Phil's sentiment....but it's one the Butchie and Co. initially saw the benefit in. It's not a stretch to think that this sentiment, although put on the back burner to take care of the Phil Situation....is a continually prevalent thought in New York.

2) Add to that, New York's opinion that Tony's a bit of a poseur ("he's never even been in jail")....a sentiment continually thought upon by the Upper Brass of the Lupartazzi Family (Carmine, Little Carmine, Phil, I think Johhny Sack even echoed those words,....and I believe Butchie thought the same). There's very little respect for the Soprano Crew. And why should there be?....What a half dozen guys from that "glorified crew" have flipped since the series started?....At least that many.....

3) Add to that idea the fact that Tony, for all intents and purposes is going to go to trial. His lawyer said that there's an 80%-90% chance of an indictment and a trial. Is it a stretch for New York, who already doesn't have much respect for Tony, to think that he'll flip to save his own ###?

The players may have changed....but the game is the same....and in the game, Tony is viewed as a ####ty leader, who very soon will go to trial....and whose "intestinal fortitude" in regards to prison has never really been challenged. Hell....its not much of an assumption to assume that both families spy on each other. Tony getting close to Agent Harris during the last season wouldn't have gone unnoticed.

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so basically chase is telling you not to ask those questions... :)

Because he doesn't have an answer that fits the story (as opposed to the theme or message).

no, because there isn't an answer!!! he left it up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions... the who/why/how shouldn't matter. you're clearly hung up on it and i don't think you're going to find any closure to those questions. you've drawn your own conclusion but to ignore what chase is telling us with the camera just because it isn't laid out in the story with characters or dialog is kind of short sighted and missing the point imo.

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Chase got exactly what he wanted. We're still discussing it years later.

I'm not sure that's what he was shooting for, Billy.

As an aside, I'm not one of those viewers who need to be spoon-fed every little detail of every character. But I was/am furious that we didn't get to SEE this particular resolution. It's not exactly a minor thing we're talking about. After investing all of those years into that character, I wanted a satisfactory conclusion. And "leaving it up to our imagination" is crap. That's why a show has writers.... so I won't have to use my imagination to ascertain what the most plausible final act was.

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Chase got exactly what he wanted. We're still discussing it years later.

Only because I just rewatched it and I found it to be dumber than initially if tony is supposed to be dead.

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To me it was about the struggle of it all. A major war, friends dead, crew in shambles and nothing to show for it. Kind of right back where he started. Maybe I need to watch it again but count me among the disappointed. Still miss that show though.

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For sure dead. He gives it away in the way he shot the scene. That shot of Members Only walking into the bathroom. The shots of him glancing over from the counter. The way he staged the family. As far as who did it and why, it could have been anybody. I always thought Patsy could have been behind it. Tony was very vulnerable from a standpoint of power at the end of the show. Bobby, Sil, Christopher all dead. Carlo flipped. Outside of paulie who didn't want more than what was on his plate already, Tony basically lost his inner circle. If somebody from Jersey wanted to make a move that was as good a time as any. They probably would have taken out Paulie too who we last see being watched by the cat who starred at Christopher's picture. The scene in one of the last episodes where Patsy and his wife are at Tony's house, Tony basically slaps him down a little in that scene, patsy gives him a look. His wife admiring the fine China. I'm not saying it happened but it's possible. Maybe he worked something out with Butchie about a real estate split that worked better for both of them. Who knows? He's dead though, that we know.

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so basically chase is telling you not to ask those questions... :)

Because he doesn't have an answer that fits the story (as opposed to the theme or message).

no, because there isn't an answer!!! he left it up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions... the who/why/how shouldn't matter. you're clearly hung up on it and i don't think you're going to find any closure to those questions. you've drawn your own conclusion but to ignore what chase is telling us with the camera just because it isn't laid out in the story with characters or dialog is kind of short sighted and missing the point imo.

Exactly. And I get the impression that Leeroy won't accept any answer we'd give, anyway. I could say who did it...he would argue otherwise. I could say why they did it...he would argue otherwise. I could how they did it...he would argue otherwise.

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

well said.

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

I think people are misunderstanding me. I'm not really looking for closure. I'm looking for the people who have interpretted everything to mean that Tony is dead, to backup the theory within the story and Soprano universe. I think that you are right that Chase doesn't "know" per se, but he certainly was going for people to debate whether Tony died. He used many techniques to lead people into that conclusion. It seems he didn't really have it all planned out though, and based on the story and the circumstances of that night, the ending was lazy IMO. Sure, we had a lot of imagery, foreshadowing, and the like in a lot of ways throughout the series. They all were tips, but still the results stood on their own within the story. The dreams were insights into Tony's thinking, worries, intentions, etc. They weren't just there for no reason.

The overall story of Tony ultimately losing to his own insecurities is a good one. In the end, his mob family was decimated, often by his actions, inactions, and selfish and misguided reasoning. He should have met his demise for the story. The execution (pun sort of intended) was just poorly done IMO and doesn't make much sense based on where things stood.

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

I think people are misunderstanding me. I'm not really looking for closure. I'm looking for the people who have interpretted everything to mean that Tony is dead, to backup the theory within the story and Soprano universe.

I assume no one posted this again because every one has read it before, but in case you missed it and if you are looking for an extremely detailed analysis of why Tony is dead, this is the best source

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

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

I think people are misunderstanding me. I'm not really looking for closure. I'm looking for the people who have interpretted everything to mean that Tony is dead, to backup the theory within the story and Soprano universe.

I assume no one posted this again because every one has read it before, but in case you missed it and if you are looking for an extremely detailed analysis of why Tony is dead, this is the best source

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

I've read that before and it as posted again yesterday.

The relevant portion starts out as

Ultimately, Chase left substantial evidence that Tony was killed but failed to offer anything concrete as to who was behind it. Therefore I do not believe the issue is that important to him and should not be to us.

Then it goes into what we kind of talked about. As in depth as the whole article goes about everything else, this portion is pretty weak. I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong, but it seems like it's grasping at straws that aren't really there. Patsy is pretty incompetant. I felt he and his wife were nervous and envious at the engagement dinner, but for reasons of insecurity rather than anything to do with their other son.

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

I think people are misunderstanding me. I'm not really looking for closure. I'm looking for the people who have interpretted everything to mean that Tony is dead, to backup the theory within the story and Soprano universe. I think that you are right that Chase doesn't "know" per se, but he certainly was going for people to debate whether Tony died. He used many techniques to lead people into that conclusion. It seems he didn't really have it all planned out though, and based on the story and the circumstances of that night, the ending was lazy IMO. Sure, we had a lot of imagery, foreshadowing, and the like in a lot of ways throughout the series. They all were tips, but still the results stood on their own within the story. The dreams were insights into Tony's thinking, worries, intentions, etc. They weren't just there for no reason.

The overall story of Tony ultimately losing to his own insecurities is a good one. In the end, his mob family was decimated, often by his actions, inactions, and selfish and misguided reasoning. He should have met his demise for the story. The execution (pun sort of intended) was just poorly done IMO and doesn't make much sense based on where things stood.

If it's poorly done, what you you have done?

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

I think people are misunderstanding me. I'm not really looking for closure. I'm looking for the people who have interpretted everything to mean that Tony is dead, to backup the theory within the story and Soprano universe. I think that you are right that Chase doesn't "know" per se, but he certainly was going for people to debate whether Tony died. He used many techniques to lead people into that conclusion. It seems he didn't really have it all planned out though, and based on the story and the circumstances of that night, the ending was lazy IMO. Sure, we had a lot of imagery, foreshadowing, and the like in a lot of ways throughout the series. They all were tips, but still the results stood on their own within the story. The dreams were insights into Tony's thinking, worries, intentions, etc. They weren't just there for no reason. The overall story of Tony ultimately losing to his own insecurities is a good one. In the end, his mob family was decimated, often by his actions, inactions, and selfish and misguided reasoning. He should have met his demise for the story. The execution (pun sort of intended) was just poorly done IMO and doesn't make much sense based on where things stood.
If it's poorly done, what you you have done?
Had him get wacked at Melphi's office after chit chatting with a new patient on the couch outside (I wouldn't have had her totally give up on him so he was there for a regular appointment). Then he gets by this person killed in front of Melphi and her failure is complete. The killer leaves and gets in a car w Patsi, butchie, hesh, both, or somebody else. No blank screen crap. Maybe had him get wacked at Artie's like he'd been trying to avoid in season 1. Edited by Leeroy Jenkins

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The killer sits closest to the door. Melphi opens it, tony stands up and walks toward her. Melphi's view of the other guy is obstructed by the door. Blam.

If you want to get artsy, cut to melphie's face looking at tony smiling, cut to Tony's face smiling. Hear a phrase in Russian in the background, tony begins to turn or change facial expression, black screen.

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My take after not seeing an episode since the finale aired:

That last scene is the biggest glimpse into Tony's life as all the episodes combines. Even with his family, in public, everyone thinks he is going to get whacked. Welcome to inner tension and panic attacks.

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

I think people are misunderstanding me. I'm not really looking for closure. I'm looking for the people who have interpretted everything to mean that Tony is dead, to backup the theory within the story and Soprano universe. I think that you are right that Chase doesn't "know" per se, but he certainly was going for people to debate whether Tony died. He used many techniques to lead people into that conclusion. It seems he didn't really have it all planned out though, and based on the story and the circumstances of that night, the ending was lazy IMO. Sure, we had a lot of imagery, foreshadowing, and the like in a lot of ways throughout the series. They all were tips, but still the results stood on their own within the story. The dreams were insights into Tony's thinking, worries, intentions, etc. They weren't just there for no reason. The overall story of Tony ultimately losing to his own insecurities is a good one. In the end, his mob family was decimated, often by his actions, inactions, and selfish and misguided reasoning. He should have met his demise for the story. The execution (pun sort of intended) was just poorly done IMO and doesn't make much sense based on where things stood.
If it's poorly done, what you you have done?
Had him get wacked at Melphi's office after chit chatting with a new patient on the couch outside (I wouldn't have had her totally give up on him so he was there for a regular appointment). Then he gets by this person killed in front of Melphi and her failure is complete. The killer leaves and gets in a car w Patsi, butchie, hesh, both, or somebody else. No blank screen crap.Maybe had him get wacked at Artie's like he'd been trying to avoid in season 1.

In other words, it would have been better if Chase had wrapped it all up in a bow. I think it's more interesting as-is.

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Who is Melphi?

It's a Princeton sorority.

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

I think people are misunderstanding me. I'm not really looking for closure. I'm looking for the people who have interpretted everything to mean that Tony is dead, to backup the theory within the story and Soprano universe. I think that you are right that Chase doesn't "know" per se, but he certainly was going for people to debate whether Tony died. He used many techniques to lead people into that conclusion. It seems he didn't really have it all planned out though, and based on the story and the circumstances of that night, the ending was lazy IMO. Sure, we had a lot of imagery, foreshadowing, and the like in a lot of ways throughout the series. They all were tips, but still the results stood on their own within the story. The dreams were insights into Tony's thinking, worries, intentions, etc. They weren't just there for no reason. The overall story of Tony ultimately losing to his own insecurities is a good one. In the end, his mob family was decimated, often by his actions, inactions, and selfish and misguided reasoning. He should have met his demise for the story. The execution (pun sort of intended) was just poorly done IMO and doesn't make much sense based on where things stood.
If it's poorly done, what you you have done?
Had him get wacked at Melphi's office after chit chatting with a new patient on the couch outside (I wouldn't have had her totally give up on him so he was there for a regular appointment). Then he gets by this person killed in front of Melphi and her failure is complete. The killer leaves and gets in a car w Patsi, butchie, hesh, both, or somebody else. No blank screen crap.Maybe had him get wacked at Artie's like he'd been trying to avoid in season 1.
In other words, it would have been better if Chase had wrapped it all up in a bow. I think it's more interesting as-is.
I don't think it's more interesting for the over analyzed symbolism to point to him being killed and the circumstances and story pointing to him being alive. My original interpretation in 2007 was more like we get a glimpse of Tony's constant tension, and we were a part if his life and now its over. If you're going to kill him, then kill him. Death leaves no room for interpretation.

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Somewhat forgotten is the fact the Chase may not even have an answer to the question, "Is Tony dead?" I understand the need for closure - that's expected. But Chase is smart enough to know that the answer to this question is just like the random nature of an aloof universe: unsure and ultimately lonely.

I think people are misunderstanding me. I'm not really looking for closure. I'm looking for the people who have interpretted everything to mean that Tony is dead, to backup the theory within the story and Soprano universe. I think that you are right that Chase doesn't "know" per se, but he certainly was going for people to debate whether Tony died. He used many techniques to lead people into that conclusion. It seems he didn't really have it all planned out though, and based on the story and the circumstances of that night, the ending was lazy IMO. Sure, we had a lot of imagery, foreshadowing, and the like in a lot of ways throughout the series. They all were tips, but still the results stood on their own within the story. The dreams were insights into Tony's thinking, worries, intentions, etc. They weren't just there for no reason. The overall story of Tony ultimately losing to his own insecurities is a good one. In the end, his mob family was decimated, often by his actions, inactions, and selfish and misguided reasoning. He should have met his demise for the story. The execution (pun sort of intended) was just poorly done IMO and doesn't make much sense based on where things stood.
If it's poorly done, what you you have done?
Had him get wacked at Melphi's office after chit chatting with a new patient on the couch outside (I wouldn't have had her totally give up on him so he was there for a regular appointment). Then he gets by this person killed in front of Melphi and her failure is complete. The killer leaves and gets in a car w Patsi, butchie, hesh, both, or somebody else. No blank screen crap.Maybe had him get wacked at Artie's like he'd been trying to avoid in season 1.
In other words, it would have been better if Chase had wrapped it all up in a bow. I think it's more interesting as-is.
I don't think it's more interesting for the over analyzed symbolism to point to him being killed and the circumstances and story pointing to him being alive. My original interpretation in 2007 was more like we get a glimpse of Tony's constant tension, and we were a part if his life and now its over. If you're going to kill him, then kill him. Death leaves no room for interpretation.

That we don't know what happens to Tony is far more intriguing to me, and it will be for decades to come.

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My take after not seeing an episode since the finale aired: That last scene is the biggest glimpse into Tony's life as all the episodes combines. Even with his family, in public, everyone thinks he is going to get whacked. Welcome to inner tension and panic attacks.

From the masters of sopranos link. That whole thing is a really good read. "Furthermore, from a storytelling standpoint, it does not make much sense that Chase, who planned the ending years in advance, would use the final scene to simply make the statement that “this is how Tony will have to live the rest of his life.” The viewers already know Tony will always have to look over his shoulder. The viewers have known this since the beginning (Tony is mafia boss!). Chase could have created a Tony POV sequence to convey this message in any of the other 86 episodes. It makes much more sense that the Tony POV sequence was created to put the viewer in Tony’s eyes at the exact moment of his death. Remember, Tony Soprano is the main character the viewer has followed all of these years. We have been inside his head in multiple dream sequences and have intimate knowledge of his personality and fears through his visits to Dr. Melfi. It makes sense to put the viewer in Tony’s POV at the time of his death. Once Tony is dead, there is no show. If Tony was to die it had to be the last moment of the series. The show ends where Tony’s consciousness ends." Edited by JAMES!

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My take after not seeing an episode since the finale aired: That last scene is the biggest glimpse into Tony's life as all the episodes combines. Even with his family, in public, everyone thinks he is going to get whacked. Welcome to inner tension and panic attacks.

From the masters of sopranos link. That whole thing is a really good read. "Furthermore, from a storytelling standpoint, it does not make much sense that Chase, who planned the ending years in advance, would use the final scene to simply make the statement that “this is how Tony will have to live the rest of his life.” The viewers already know Tony will always have to look over his shoulder. The viewers have known this since the beginning (Tony is mafia boss!). Chase could have created a Tony POV sequence to convey this message in any of the other 86 episodes. It makes much more sense that the Tony POV sequence was created to put the viewer in Tony’s eyes at the exact moment of his death. Remember, Tony Soprano is the main character the viewer has followed all of these years. We have been inside his head in multiple dream sequences and have intimate knowledge of his personality and fears through his visits to Dr. Melfi. It makes sense to put the viewer in Tony’s POV at the time of his death. Once Tony is dead, there is no show. If Tony was to die it had to be the last moment of the series. The show ends where Tony’s consciousness ends."

:thumbup:

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After watching the finale again I think it's fairly obvious that Butchie was responsible for the hit on Tony. The sit down Butchie arranges accomplishes 3 things: One, he ensures his own safety. Things are hairy for everyone and with Silvio and Bobby getting shot, Butchie and the other top guy would obviously have a target on their back. Two, he cuts Phil loose ensuring that he'll move up to the top slot. A perfect time for him to make such a move as Tony wants this thing to end as much as anyone and killing Phil brings the peace back. Three, he lulls Tony into a false sense of security. Phil gets taken out and everything goes back to normal. Tony is so eager to end the war that he overlooks the obvious in that he and Butchie don't have the best history. Only a short time ago Tony shoved a gun in his face with the Coco beating. Butchie going out of his way to be a Richard whenever they meet (in the hospital, at Phil's house). Butchie is really going to make nice with Tony now that he's the top guy? I don't see it. The initial plan was to decapitate the Jersey family and do business with what's left. How could Butchie gain the respect of his people by not taking out Tony after Phil gets whacked? Making a move was inevitable. He even sells the plan to old school Paulie during the sitdown by not giving out Phil's location but giving the go ahead to "do what you gotta do". Phil is gone, the war is over, Butchie has shown good faith by sitting down and giving his blessing to whacking Phil, life goes back to normal. Except...Butchie doesn't like Tony, needs to show his own people he's in charge by showing Phil's death will be properly avenged. Phil gone, Butchie is the boss and with Tony taken out, balance is restored and Butchie has the respect of the NY guys. Win-win-win for Butchie. Tony let his gaurd down from the sitdown forward. He was anything but looking over his shoulder in the restaurant and met the same fate as Phil did: shot in the head by a low level guy in front of his own family.

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The point of who killed Tony is insignificant. Sure, it is fun to posit theories about the killer, but Chase didn't care. The point was that Tony had destroyed so many lives over the course of the series that it could have been anyone, connected or not.

I also completely agree with Chase's sentiment that to show Tony's death would completely belittle it. Other than the instant gratification of seeing his violent demise, it would not be a powerful ending. That final scene, in my opinion, with such incredible attention to detail, is a masterpiece.

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The point of who killed Tony is insignificant. Sure, it is fun to posit theories about the killer, but Chase didn't care. The point was that Tony had destroyed so many lives over the course of the series that it could have been anyone, connected or not.

I also completely agree with Chase's sentiment that to show Tony's death would completely belittle it. Other than the instant gratification of seeing his violent demise, it would not be a powerful ending. That final scene, in my opinion, with such incredible attention to detail, is a masterpiece.

I agree. My post was more for the "there was nobody who would have done it" crowd.

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