If we take the show only for what it seems to offer, we can conclude that he believes in something called the "soul" or "spirit" in which some consciousness or metaphysical realm of existence persists outside the body. A quote from Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess from the recent Written By feature on the Sopranos, which for some reason didn't show up in the scanned article jouster provided us but which he quoted to me verbatim one night in chat, suggests that they left the show at least in part because of an inability to grasp or deal with what Chase wanted to do in Join the Club/Mayham. And they specifically mentioned the "darkness" of it. (jouster, if you're reading this, perhaps you can give the exact quote.) Burgess remarked elsewhere after the departure that one of the attractive things about running your own show is that you're the boss and you're always right. All of this suggests to me that this area is something of great personal importance to Chase and something he was quite authoritative in pursuing.
Haven't read this quote/article but Fly has, and that's good enough for me. Assuming this is true, has the whole "Kevin Finnerty" angle of this sixth season of the "Sopranos" (started on 'Join the Club/Mayhem/Cold Cuts' in 6A and resurfaced strongly in 6B with 'Kennedy and Heidi') been worth the loss by rejection of Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess? Except for Terence Winter Mitchell & Burgess have been the strongest and most consistent writers on "The Sopranos." These were the guys that "got" 'The Sopranos' in its infancy when it wasn't a water cooler show, and even they couldn't grasp the vision thing that Chase imposed on the show's final batch of episodes. Like Tony himself Chase may have isolated and retreated into a state of mind were criticsm, feedback and second opinion from trusted collaborators (which Mitchell & Burgess were) can't reach the man. Most importantly, by resigning rather than compromising their craft (i.e. writing for the final season of a cash cow TV show with a strong following regardless of whether they belived in the quality of Chase's arc/vision thing) Mitchell & Burgess can say something even David Chase can't: money didn't influence me into selling my soul for the sake of my employer getting the extra seasons of 'The Sopranos' it wanted when I knew all along the show was meant to run four seasons.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe Chase should have listened to the constructive criticsm of writers/colaborators he trusted enough to hire early in the show's life (when he could have hired anybody he wanted to) and incorporate their valuable feedback alongside his own for the show's final season. You know, the way he must have wanted somebody to listen to his feedback when he was a staff writer/producer for "Rockford Files," "St. Elsewhere" and/or "Northern Exposure".
The resulting departure of our favorite "Sopranos" duo of writers has affected negatively the quality of "The Sopranos'" sixth season. No amount of satisfaction in comfort of being the showrunner and visionary can diminish the fact that because of David Chase we have hacks like Matthew Weiner writing scripts like 'Chasing It' and 'Kennedy and Heidi' instead of talented and proven-their-worth-with-these-material-and-characters pros like Mitchell & Burgess. It's not a crutch or a weakness to compromise one's vision of how a landmark show like this should end (especially to fellow writers, not corporate America) if it means there are more creative minds working on how to wrap things up than just the single creative mind of David Chase. What do you guys think?