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HBO sort of confirms Tony's dead

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http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/06/15/t...reut/index.html

 

 

Think Tony Soprano's dead? You may be right

 

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Fans of "The Sopranos" are seizing on clues suggesting the controversial blackout which abruptly ended the TV mob drama meant that Tony Soprano was rubbed out, and HBO said Thursday they may be on to something.

 

One clue in particular, a flashback in the penultimate episode to a conversation between Tony and his brother-in-law about death, gained credence as an HBO spokesman called it a "legitimate" hint and confirmed that series creator David Chase had a definite ending in mind.

 

"While he won't say to me 100 percent what it all means, he says some people who've guessed have come closer than others," HBO spokesman Quentin Schaffer told Reuters after speaking to Chase.

 

"There are definitely things there that he intended for people to pick up on," Schaffer said. (Watch viewers try to make sense of the end Video)

 

Chase himself suggested as much in an interview Tuesday with The Star-Ledger newspaper of New Jersey when he said of his end to the HBO series, "Anyone who wants to watch it, it's all there."

 

In the final moments of Sunday's concluding episode, Tony, the conflicted mob boss who has just survived a round of gangland warfare, sits in a diner with his family munching on onion rings as the 1980s song by rock band Journey, "Don't Stop Believin'," blares from a juke box.

 

Tension builds as a suspicious man wearing a "Members Only" jacket eyes Tony from a nearby counter before slipping into a restroom. Then, as Tony looks toward the restaurant's entrance, the screen abruptly goes blank in mid-scene -- with no picture or sound for 10 seconds -- until the credits roll silently.

 

Stunned viewers, many initially believing something had gone wrong with their cable TV reception, were left wondering whether Tony ended up "whacked" or whether his sordid life went on as usual.

 

Even star James Gandolfini wasn't sure.

 

"You have to ask ('The Sopranos' creator) David Chase that. Smarter minds than mine know the answer to that," Gandolfini told the New York Daily News. "I thought it was a great ending. You decide."

 

The jarring, fill-in-the-blank finale, concluding a show widely hailed as America's greatest television drama, sparked a furious debate about whether Chase had conceived of an actual ending and whether he left the audience any clues.

 

The biggest hint, according to a consensus taking shape on the Web, is a scene from an earlier episode in which Tony and his brother-in-law, Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri, muse about what it feels like to die.

 

"At the end, you probably don't hear anything, everything just goes black," Bobby says while they sit fishing in a small boat on a lake.

 

That scene is recalled briefly in a flashback played at the end of the penultimate "Sopranos" episode, as Tony is lying in the darkened room of a safehouse clutching a machine gun to his chest in the midst of a mob war.

 

"I think that is one of the most legitimate things to look at," Schaffer said when asked about theories that the Bobby Bacala flashback was meant to foreshadow Tony's death.

 

Moreover, he said the man in the "Members Only" jacket could be interpreted as a symbolic reference to membership in the mob. "Members Only" also was the title of the episode in which Tony's demented Uncle Junior shoots him in the gut.

 

The "Members Only" guy was played by the owner of a real-life pizza parlor, Paolo Colandrea. Schaffer denied reports that Colandrea had appeared earlier in the series as the nephew of Tony's New York gang rival, or that there ever was such a character. He also dismissed reports that Chase had filmed more than one ending to the finale.

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The odds that Tony is still alive are directly proportional to the money that a movie would make for Chase and anyone else involved in the series.

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The odds that Tony is still alive are directly proportional to the money that a movie would make for Chase and anyone else involved in the series.

 

Wurd. :D

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"While he won't say to me 100 percent what it all means, he says some people who've guessed have come closer than others," HBO spokesman Quentin Schaffer told Reuters after speaking to Chase."

 

So based on this, the spokesman for HBO and thus CNN are able to conclude that Tony's dead? I don't get it. :D

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I have never seen the Sopranos but have heard its great, so i want to buy the series when it comes out on DVD. Now, all i hear is how bad it ended, is it worth my time to watch this whole thing from start to finish or does it really leave a bad taste in your mouth?

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If you have watch as long as I have, it was a bummer ending with the "you figure out what happened"..

 

Its all leading to a movie, even though the cast would be light a few key players..LOL.

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I have never seen the Sopranos but have heard its great, so i want to buy the series when it comes out on DVD. Now, all i hear is how bad it ended, is it worth my time to watch this whole thing from start to finish or does it really leave a bad taste in your mouth?

 

 

 

uh, yeah start with ep. 1 and don't look back- it is phenomenal.

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Alright....I just watched the final episode again. I think I've come to a conclusion on what happened.

 

First of all, Tony didn't get whacked in the end. We know he will eventually go down because a member of his family, Carlo, flipped and is talking to the FBI (This was brought up in the final moments in the diner). The flashback of Tony and Bobby saying that when you go there is no sound and everything goes black has significance though. Also, the last bit of conversation in the diner was between Tony and AJ when they said "always remember the good times". Lastly, the song at the end by Journey, "Don't Stop Believing" is important.

 

So, my conclusion is that as the show ended, we as viewers are supposed to "remember the good times" of watching the show. The significance of the "no sound and everything going black" at the end was that the show got whacked since it was the final episode. But the significance of the song "Don't Stop Believing" is that there will in fact be a movie in the future.

 

I have to say that after watching the final episode a second time, I really enjoyed it. A great end to my favorite show ever. Now I can't wait for the movie!!!

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I have to say that after watching the final episode a second time, I really enjoyed it. A great end to my favorite show ever. Now I can't wait for the movie!!!

 

All I've heard though is that if there ever is a movie it will be a prequel to this series and not a sequel....

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for what it's worth, this was from the blog of the san francisco chronicle's tv writer, who i think it one of the best tv critics in the country.

 

link

 

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Sopranos" finale: What really happened.

 

Well it's been quite a few days of post-"Sopranos" speculation and chat. I did five radio interviews on Monday including 40 minutes on "Talk of the Nation" and that finale was, indeed, the talk of the nation. No doubt the finale will live on in pop culture history as a great debate. Did Tony live or die? I love that it has prompted so much discussion and creative (insane?) deconstruction. And now I'm on the verge of being very much over the whole thing. Time to move on. But before I do, a few final thoughts and a debunking of some "Sopranos" myths:

 

# I still believe, as I wrote, that it was a brilliant ending. As the days go by, it only gets better. For those people who felt cheated and/or betrayed by the ending, well, it could be you were watching the wrong series the entire time. Remember the good times and move on.

 

# I also still believe Tony's alive and that the camera simply stopped - our glimpse into the machinations of both Soprano families is over. I think the ending leaves room for precisely one other theory: That Tony was killed. It's certainly valid and if you choose to believe it, good for you. David Chase has allowed reasonable people to disagree. Now, onto debunking some popular theories:

 

# A viral e-mail message has made a lot of believers out of people who either don't check their facts or have Mulder's "I Want To Believe" poster in their rooms. It details who was in the dinner and why each would have a reason for killing Tony. So many people have seen this e-mail and forwarded it to me as "proof" or asked if I believed the logic. Well, no. Because there is no logic. The message states that the menacing guy at the counter was billed as a "Leotardo" and was Phil's nephew from a previous episode. In fact, he's not a Leotardo and is billed in the credits as a guy in a Members Only jacket. It was the first acting job ever for the guy who played him. The e-mail also states that the two African-American guys who come in the diner at the end were the same characters who tried to kill Tony in Season 1. Wrong. Tony killed one of them in that Season 1 episode and the second was tossed out of a car, also presumably dead. Everything else in the e-mail is speculation that makes no sense. And this theory that no "bell" dinged when Meadow walks in is wrong. Play it back.

 

# Wake up. It wasn't a dream sequence.

 

# This notion that "Chase killed the audience" - that was us going dead to black - is partially interesting in a metaphorical sense, but has a couple of real flaws. First, who killed "us" and why? The guy in the bathroom? Uh, what for? Chase? Do you really think Chase wants to be tied into a theory that he killed the people who were most faithful to his art? He's already got enough people outraged at the abrupt part and has stated very clearly that he didn't do it to piss people off. Listen, you don't intentionally piss off or "kill" your audience. It defies logic.

 

# It's been both fun and funny reading some of the interpretations of the end. People are creative (insane?) and it certainly speaks to the beauty of the last scene in that it allows people to imagine what they will. Endlessly. I love that. My colleague, Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger (Tony's paper) has been doing some excellent blogging on "The Sopranos" all year and was wise enough to get Chase to agree to an exclusive interview after the season ended (which I'm sure Chase regretted). It's an interesting piece and Alan is a pretty dogged questioner so you know that he got what he could from Chase, who is notoriously uninterested in talking about theories. But people should be careful about wantonly interpreting Chase saying "Anybody who wants to watch it, it's all there." It's doubtful that he's giving you a wink about hidden clues. It's more likely that he's telling you the episode is pretty clear about what's going to happen.

 

# And this is a good point to make something very clear: All we know for sure is what we saw. And nobody saw Tony get killed. Theorize all you'd like, but he's alive when we last see him.

 

# Now, quickly to the idea that Chase may be telling you it's all there. If you watch again, and put all Big Ideas and Murky Mythology aside, you'll see an episode that has Carlo flip to the Feds, Tony's lawyer concede that the process is in motion and Tony, at the end in the diner, tell Carmela that Carlo is going to testify. If you believe Tony is alive and life goes on for the Sopranos - the window shuts on their world - then the biggest of the myriad unanswered questions is, "Does Tony get indicted and found guilty and go to jail?" We'll never know. And we don't need to know. Closure is for broadcast television and tiny minds.

 

# Lastly, to those who believe Tony was killed, which I've already said is one of only two solid theories: I know that you can spin this theory forever and lots of details will encourage you. For example, some actors have allegedly said the final scene had the guy coming out of the bathroom and advancing on Tony. Nothing yet about a gun. Nothing about a shooting. Just coming out of the bathroom, moving toward Tony. And others are beginning to comment about the two other alternate (fake?) endings and what they could infer. That's all fine and good. But they didn't happen. Whatever they may show, tell or imply - they didn't make the director's final cut. Maybe Chase even had in his mind that, ala "The Godfather," the guy comes out of the bathroom and kills Tony. That's a big maybe given that it never happened. (Besides, Chase likes to wink at "Godfather" references but I doubt he'd want to steal something and be accused of a lack of imagination.) And if you're into possibilities, consider this: Chase changed his mind in the end to leave everything more nebulous and open to interpretation. It could be that Tony really was going to be shot. But all we know for sure is what we saw. And he's alive. Still, if you like that Tony-is-killed ending, go for it. But where's the motivation? If the guy is not related to Phil (he's not) then who sent him? Butchie had already brokered a peace and the power vacuum in New York doesn't leave a climate for organizing such a hit. And the diner was not Artie Bucco's place. It's not a Soprano hangout. So you have to stretch and believe this guy, who we've never seen before, somehow follows Tony then kills him. Could it happen? Sure, why not. But that dismisses all of Tony's survival skills. Come on! Tony got Phil first, when a ton of people saw it going the other way. Tony's a survivor. If indeed you want to believe that Chase would use a character you've never seen before - not at the New York family hangouts, not flying in from Italy - to walk in on the final scene EVER of "The Sopranos" and cap the lead character without explanation, then so be it.

 

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I have never seen the Sopranos but have heard its great, so i want to buy the series when it comes out on DVD. Now, all i hear is how bad it ended, is it worth my time to watch this whole thing from start to finish or does it really leave a bad taste in your mouth?

 

Join Netflix (or Blockbuster online) and you can tear through all 6 seasons in a couple months for about $40-60 total - WAY less than it would cost to purchase, and you aren't on the hook if you think it sucks.

 

I watched 5 1/2 seasons (got rid of HBO recently so I missed a big chunk of the final 9) and I'd say even with missteps and disappointments, it's well worth the time to watch.

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the debate about tony's fate should be killed!!!

 

 

You mean ala fade to black...no sound?

 

:D

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