Re: Analysis: "It's All There": How David Chase killed Tony

Hi every1. I'm late coming to the sopranos and have just watched the entire series back to back on Sky Atlantic (I feel sorry for the guys that watched it in real time and had to wait up to 2 years between seasons, that would have drove me mad!)
Anyway I watched the final episode on Wednesday night and was totally blown away by it. My first thought was that Tony got whacked and after searching the net and reading master of sopranos blog I was pretty much convinced. Then I read the ambiguous interview with David Chase where he says its all there and when I looked back it was!
So I decided to write to this forum to air my own opinions, now I may be wrong- it has happened before once or twice lol but here's my theory.
First of all the big question- did Tony live or die? Now as I said I've wavered between yes and no on this question and I've think I've finally figured it out. I had an I Get It! moment much like Tony himself.
Now for those who think he died - you are RIGHT
And for those who think he didn't you are RIGHT too because as Chase said its all there if you care to look and here's my explanation. For answer 1 Tony was shot and killed by MOG at a 3 o clock angle. He never heard it coming and neither did we. The 7 souls montage and all the clues pertaining to his death were there. For answer number 2 Tony lived and went to jail after the indictments ( we all know that he'd rather whack himself than flip to the FBI) and that was all there too but through the guise of Johnny Sack. That would be Tony at Meadows wedding in handcuffs, he'd probably have a panic attack and end up dying alone in jail paranoid and delusional as his mental state all through the series implied.
So you're probably thinking what a cop out we've heard all this before so this is what I personally think-
The black screen at the end signified the end of Tonys life as we know it. Gone would be the Power, Wealth, Prestige and Respect and as The Sopranos whole premise was of a rising mob boss then the series naturally had to come to an end. Whether he died or went to jail doesn't matter, he wouldn't be Tony Soprano Mob Boss anymore therefore it was over.
Also on the theme of who killed Tony that was all there for you too. Remember the resemblance every1 noticed to Tonys dad Johnny Boy I think this means that his dad actually killed him by introducing him to the lifestyle he did and that the members only jacket signified the exclusiveness of the made men of the mafia. So Tony had no enemies at present but ultimately one day the life was gonna kill him, whether it be a man making his bones, a past hurt family member or a corrupt cop, his best friend or even his wife, the person wasn't relevant but the consequences were.
As to the coma dream I think that this was showing what Tonys life would have been like had he not followed in his fathers footsteps. He'd have been a regular joe with a normal job and a normal family. HOWEVER with his genetics he was never gonna be mister nice guy so I believe that he probably would have tried to con the monks with the central heating thing if he thought he could get away with it, maybe he even did a bit of identity fraud which was how the wallets could have been switched in the first place, so to me Kevin Finnerty was a non mafia Tony.
But I believe that the thing at the end of the dream would have been Tony dying had he entered the Inn at the Oaks and ties in nicely with the later Tony got whacked theory.

Anyway that's how I interpreted the last season. As the song says Don't Stop Believing! I think Chase gave us the perfect ending because everyone was satisfied- if you wanted to believe that Tony got whacked then go ahead because in your mind he did. If you wanted to believe that he got what he deserved and is rotting in jail then go ahead too because that ending is there if you believe it to be. Whether you thought Tony was a saint or a sinner, liked or loathed him, everyone got the outcome they wanted.
I welcome any comments, questions or further discussions. Thanks for reading x

Re: Analysis: "It's All There": How David Chase killed Tony

Billyv wrote:"It's all there."

Everything that is part of the series is there, included in the viewing and listening. Anything that is not included is not part of the show or part of the ending, i.e. a gun-shot to Tony's head.
One can also make a case that the sudden cut to silent black that lasted for more than a few seconds before the credits rolled was part of the show and an integral part of the ending. It represented the end of the main protagonist's consciousness (which we as viewers had been privy to, throughout the series) and his life. This is what Chase also probably meant when he said "it's all there".

Re: Analysis: "It's All There": How David Chase killed Tony

I'm inclined to agree with conkom's interpretation. Throughout the series, there's this recurring theme about the finality of death. Ralph Cifaretto, after his death, became just a piece of meat. The character was completely obliterated, and the disposal of his body was a completely different storyline altogether. The show has always revolved around Tony Soprano the mind, not just the physical entity. His on-screen death would obliterate that character, and then what's left? There would be no way to really provide solid closure to the story after we've seen its centerpiece destroyed. To end from any other character's perspective, even Carmela's, would not be fitting. The show was all about Tony's perception, and the moment the show ended was the moment that perception ceased.

As I see it, the statement of "it's all there" is a way of showing us how all the pieces have been moved into place for total disaster when Tony is dead. It doesn't matter so much why Tony was killed, but how much impact his death will have on his loved ones. The hit on Tony was most likely the work of New York. Even if it wasn't, they will probably move to annex the Jersey mob, which will be left under the flimsy control of Paulie Walnuts. I can't see him putting up much resistance. Maybe he'll go down with the ship, but I doubt it. Paulie is fundamentally self-serving, he would probably latch onto New York to survive. At this point, who would help Carmela financially? Silvio is comatose, even if he lives he won't be earning for quite some time. Paulie is a greedy cunt. Patsy will still be a low-level soldier, and will probably be demoted further once NJ has merged with NYC. Little Carmine might try to help out, but he's retired with a family of his own to look after. The rest of New York is now an unfamiliar, alien territory, and nobody among their ranks has any reason to give a fuck about the Soprano family.

Carmela would probably have to strike out on her own, which is actually something she always wanted. However, in the past she's always had Tony to cushion her fall. This time it would be for real. She's a smart woman, I could see her successfully becoming independent, but that would take years of hard work on her part. During this time, what happens to AJ? He might honestly join the army, which will certainly change the kid, and possibly kill him. AJ, like Carmela, no longer has that cushion to fall back on. His decisions will be for real. Alternatively, and i posted this theory somewhere else, he'll decide to join the mob after Tony's death. His brush with mortality and witnessing the exploding car inspired him to join the army. Witnessing the mob hit of his father could similarly drive him into that life, in which case he will undoubtedly go the way of Jackie Jr. He might have some degree of mentoring from Patsy Parisi, maybe even Paulie (but see how that worked our for Chris), but this won't be enough to keep him from making a horrible decision and getting killed.

Meadow will end up a mob lawyer, which, from Tony's perspective, is basically the worst possible outcome for her. He and Carmela successfully raised her to be a functional member of society, but she has chosen not to step out from under the shadow of the mafia. With Meadow, there was never the threat of joining it, like with AJ, but she's become the closest possible thing that a woman could be (except the lady shylock, who was basically an anomaly).

Tony's whole justification/rationalization of his life as a mobster was that he would break that cycle and raise his kids as civilians. But his death will unravel even that - his son will be a short lived, unremarkable hood and his daughter will be a prosperous, cunning mob lawyer. And Carmela, at this point, will get no fulfillment from independence. Her children will be taken by the mafia and she'll be left an old widow, very likely to genuinely mourn and idealize the philandering mobster husband she once tried to leave. Basically all the light has gone out of that family, whatever potential they may have once had.

The moral of the story is, Tony should have joined witness protection. Failing that, Carmela should have followed Dr. Krakauer's advice and ditched Jersey with her kids. Now everything's turned to shit.
Taps, lights out, 2200 hours. What's missing? Give up? Television.

Re: Analysis: "It's All There": How David Chase killed Tony

It is an interesting exercise to speculate about what happened after the lights went out at Holsten's . Chase himself made some comments about what kind of lives each of the characters might experience but it appeared he was working on the assumption that nothing untoward happened. He seemed to be sketching out hypothetical scenarios. I don't think he was playing it both ways, but like a sliding doors situation he was suggesting these are the directions his characters would take if the show did not suddenly jump cut to black.

But what happened after is secondary to the show's narrative. The Sopranos' universe ceased to exist the moment silent empty black screen appeared. Whatever happened to any of the characters, including perhaps Tony, is left to the imagination of each individual viewer.

Re: Analysis: "It's All There": How David Chase killed Tony

I agree with your most recent post to this thread, conkom, and am glad I looked to read it. Had to smile as I went back a bit and saw your response to my previous post herein. Seems that your last statement is more in agreement with what I had written, to which you objected. Certainly, one can take various points-of-view and argue and speculate differently on seperate occassion, whim, or agenda

Re: Analysis: "It's All There": How David Chase killed Tony

billy we might continue to disagree on one very major point though. The sudden cut to black can only mean one thing - Tony was killed and the audience experienced it with him - he and we didn't see or hear it coming. Chase has been more than alluding to that outcome by referencing an earlier similar scene at a table in a restaurant with Silvio. The show was about Tony Soprano and it ceased when Tony was 86ed. The number of the episode was no coincidence either.

What I was suggesting that any speculation about what happens after that cut to black is in the mind of the viewer. What happens to the family and Tony's crew is left to the imagination. That includes the belief that Tony lived on. But as far as the creator (or God) of the Sopranos universe, he deemed it to end the moment Tony looked up to see who was entering the diner.

He was telling us that the show along with its characters was over. The work of fiction had come to an end. Like an episode of the Twilight Zone - that was the twist.

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