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'Sopranos' ending - Did Tony live?

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Eh, we still don't know.

Vox ran a long profile of Chase that quoted him as saying that Tony Soprano, whose fate was left hanging in the show's famous, sudden cut to black, had lived. The news was, very quickly, everywhere.

But it appears that the sphinx-like Chase was taken, perhaps, too literally. In a statement, his publicist said, "A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview. To simply quote David as saying, 'Tony Soprano is not dead,' is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true.

"As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, 'Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.' To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of 'The Sopranos' raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer."

Glad that's settled. Seriously.

For seven years, viewers have puzzled about the scene that closed out "The Sopranos." In that finale, there were ominous portents afoot: a mysterious man in a Members Only jacket, daughter Meadow's cross against traffic to meet everyone at a restaurant. And Tony, despite having ended therapy with Dr. Melfi and beaten the New York mob, was still gripped by angst.

So the cut to black, jarring and in the middle of "Don't Stop Believin'," was a shock. If we wanted some conclusion about Tony's life -- whether he lived or died -- it was going to go unresolved. Forever.

It was perfect.

It was perfect because "The Sopranos" was as much about the pointless details of life as it was about the classic arcs of storytelling. For every brutal whacking, there was a Russian escaping through the Pine Barrens. For every guilty verdict, there was a guy who didn't get caught.

As Matt Zoller Seitz writes in New York magazine, " 'The Sopranos' was never about ending mysteries, it was about recognizing and exploring the mysteries of everyday life: the mysteries of personality, motivation, conditioning and free will, as expressed through behavior and conversation and action, and as translated into metaphor through fantasies and dreams."

Don't stop believing...

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