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Monday, June 18, 2007


AL Hurd

They can have that meaning, moonwatcher. Allow to highlight a small portion of my post above on that subject:

"And now we are to the onion rings. It is true that they are eaten as if communion wafers and each one is highlighted. But rather than communion at a funeral mass I'd suggest the onion rings (which I have heard this restaurant does not even have in reality, but cannot say with certainty) have a dual purpose. One, they are circular and thus present yet another clue towards a full circle for these characters, and in this taking of communion they are not in a church. Fitting for a family that calls themselves Catholic yet acts without regard to the morality of that church, most especially Carmela who has given up her spiritual search in favor of watches and coats, and more spec houses to be sure. This is really more a rejection of religion in that this is their church now. Carmela even admitted to Melfi that her visits to her priest were bullshit because "there are far worse crooks than my husband." (And by the way, personally with an onion ring that size, I'd probably eat it that way too, but that's neither here nor there.)"

There may have indeed been a religious or spiritual purpose for using them in the scene. I think the above suggests a secular church for the Soprano family just as much as some mock funeral. And I cannot help[ but thinking they have some purpose for highlighting that full circle nature of the show.

Thanks for reading. Great to have your comment.


I really don't understand the references to the Last Supper. What I saw was man with a lot hanging over his head. I agree with your above reference to the Sopranos worshiping at a secular church. They were all eating the bread/drinking the kool-aid except for Meadow. She was too obsessed with an unrelated task to do so.

I agree with your full circle idea. There was nothing else for us to see. However, its fun to sit back and consider that maybe Chase pulled off one of the greatest red herrings of all time. A cliffhanger red herring has got to be almost unheard of.

AL Hurd

Indeed, Chase did have a love for them, as I hope I pointed out above. That he ended his series with one seems about right. The question of what that red herring may be gets somewhat tedious. I like the general attempt rather than the efforts to explain exactly what signs point to which theory. That he got people to talk about his show for some years after the fact...well, that is what any artist wants, right? ;)

I should also add that the Last Supper deal was really, I think, Harris looking for clues. He has an interesting theory, but there are some holes that don't quite connect. As stated before, I should probably edit this someday to simply express my own vies separate from his. It does provide some short-hand, however.

Thanks for reading through. And the Meadow angle still sits oddly with me...I almost wonder if that is Tony's thought of his daughter...that she would be careful and determined. Still, it leaves her on the outside and away from the family. Does he mean she'll have a chance? I like to hope so.



I read this entire thing and it was really awesome. Quite eye-opening for the average, love the characters/storyline, Sopranos fan.

I have found the person to ask this question the season 3 finale "Army of One" I am so curious to know who an unidentified character is....Ralphie, after Jackie's funeral, sits in a chair and turns on the TV...and there is a man behind him in the hallway at Rosa Lee's house. Who is it???

AL Hurd

Thanks, Amy. It's nice to know some people still pop in and read this lengthy post. Some don't like that I disagree with Harris' premise. I checked the post-funeral scene again and to the best of my knowledge, that man is Rosalie's father or an elder family member as he helps her up the stairs and into her bedroom before returning to the living room to see what Ralphie put on the tele. Now that you mention it, it does look a bit ominous now, knowing what we do of Ralphie. But the actor was never in any other shows, as best I can tell.



The only thing wrong with the 'life goes on' perspective is the abrupt ending. What is the necessity of cutting to black/silence if life simply goes on? If life goes on as always, they might as well have just finished a typical Soprano meal and gone home, with a fade to black, zoom out, whatever. But it cuts off abruptly.

I'm loathe to believe that the black/silence cut-off is just some gimmick (e.g. shocking the audience, being 'provokative'). Besides being cheap literary devices (IMHO), the above examples involve breaking the 4th wall by acknowledging the audience - something The Sopranos never really does.

Abruptness carries meaning of some sort - the idea that something has happened (usually poignant). If nothing significant happened in that final instant, then what dramatic, literary purpose could the abruptness serve? Especially given the height of the situation, that it's the final moment of a show known for purposeful writing.

This is not to say I'm stubbornly attached to the 'Tony died' theory - the 'life goes on' theory also has interesting and plausible continuity (the theme of people unable to change, Tony et al. living in paranoia). It's only abruptness that draws the line for me.

AL Hurd

Obviously the dark screen to end the show is important, but as I hope I expressed in the above blog post, neither the black eguals death nor the life goes on ending can be proven. Each is up to interpretation and for me, the drak screen merely symbolizes the end of our attempts to watch and see if Tony can change and alter his life. That he cannot, and that Chase spent 6 plus seasons showing us that very same, suggests that we need not see more of it. The final irony being that it ends on the very words "don't stop" as many fans would have preferred.

I'll certainly grant you that it was abrupt but that could allude to any number of things. An ending to be sure. And whether that ending is Tony himself or the larger show, I'm not sure it matters. There was an impressionism going on with The Sopranos that I think easily leads to any number of interpretations. My attempt above, as I stated, was not so much to prove that Tony did not die, but to suggest that his death was not the only plausible outcome given how so many after the finale were so hell bent on making sure he was dead. I was uninterested in something we did NOT see and was more (and remain more) interested in what WAS presented on screen, including the final blackout.

Thanks for the comment!



I have never really bought the "Tony Dies" theory. I found it being more along the lines that it is the audience that is being blacked out because there will be no change for any of the characters.

I liked your point in regard to Meadow being the only one that still has some type of chance as well as it may actually be AJ that gets killed at the table. I think that if it is AJ that is the one that gets killed at the table, then the last supper screen shot has different meaning. I would think that the orange tiger over Tony's shoulder would signify Christopher while the football player would signify Jackie Jr. These were two almost sons to Tony and he killed Christopher and he even admitted after Jackie Jrs. death that he failed him in the end. The mansion in the picture behind Tony would signify the house or empire that he has built or inherited. AJ getting killed in front of Tony by members only and then perhaps Tony killing members only would really give us the full tragedy of Tony's life.

As you mentioned, I think if Chase wanted to kill Tony off he would have done it much earlier or in a different way. It also gives credence to the onion rings in regard to viaticum and would actually provide us with perhaps Meadow walking in and witnessing the death of her brother and Tony subsequently killing members only. That would add more tragedy to the character of Tony and would fall more along with what I think Chase would go for.

Just some of my views and I really don't know what the end is supposed to mean. I enjoyed your post, thank you for sharing your ideas.

AL Hurd

And thank you for your comment, Mikey. Good to know some folks still consider some other possibilities after all this time. I'd hate for the major consideration of this show's ending to end as a well known finale of Tony dying. Maybe it happens, sure. But what else was involved in the entire run?

Maybe that 3rd bell verse of the song never plays because Meadow never shows her face in the restaurant? ;) One could extrapolate in so many ways.



I think both theories have been a bit overanalyzed. Still think the Tony Died and "never saw it coming" is the most 'satisfactory' to me. Particularly because of the black "nothingness" and silence, the scene with Bobby in "Home Movies" and possibly other more subtle clues like the Godfather/bathroom reference and the Members Only/Eugene jacket. Also Tony would have gone like his rival Phil did: never saw it coming, in front of his family. But maybe Tony lived. Either way it illustrates Tony's life: with death and destruction lurking around every corner. So fans, "Don't Stop" enjoying the brilliance of this series and Mr Chase!

AL Hurd

To be honest, I've never really denied a Tony died theory. I can see it, to be sure. But much like you, I suppose I utilize what is satisfactory for me when watching the series and that scene. I actually just caught it again recently and the power of it still stands. I'd tend to agree about over analyzing to a degree. It IS just a TV show. But it remains one of the more mature and developed of any in the genre and thus will draw out the analytical among us. Thanks for the comment, Ronald.


Thanks for the post! See? Your post is still being read in 2012! & I am still in love with the Sopranos.


AL Hurd

And thank you Lynn for reading it after all this time! I am too. 5 years seems like yesterday.


Watched the show as it aired, and just finished a rewatch. Check out this guy's analysis. I don't think it's the same guy you are citing here.

Kt M

Great post. I fully agree that Chase intended ambiguity in the series finale.
Given the heavy emphasis on psychoanalysis throughout the series & Melfi's absence in the final episode, I think another plausible way to understand the final scene is as sort of a Roschach inkblot test.
I have always liked the idea that the final scene gives us as taste of what it's like inside Tony's head. As I rewatch the series finale and tear through all the theories about what it all means in on-line discussions, I realize that we've now also been given a taste of what it's like to be in Melfi's head. Keeping our eyes and ears open to clues as to what's really going on here (in the scene) and even "why do some bloggers and readers have such a hard-on for Tony?" Why are some so adament that he unquestionably died and we're foolish and ignorant if we don't see it. What made them that way? Was it their Mother's?

Like Chase said, "It's all there." We all see what we need to see to make it a satisfying conclusion.
The analysis never ends-It goes on & on & on & on...


In the episode where Chris is killed by Tony, what is the frequent emphasis of the babie's car seat with Tony. Is he wishing the baby was killed too or is he just sick enough to go for the shock value with those who are listening?

AL Hurd

I think the looks to the baby seat was a signal that Tony was completely disgusted at Chris by this point (he could have killed his new baby like this while drugged up and if he is that reckless, what else might he do? Flip on Tony?)


This comment comes in around 6 years after the original article and the finale of the sopranos but I guess it's better late than never! With the recent passing of the beloved James Gandolfini I have been perusing the chase lounge and came across this article. I notice that 6 years ago someone posted "tell Paulie and tony 3 o'clock" (I may be paraphrasing). If my memory serves me correctly this was uttered by Chris after he awoke from an unconscious state after his shooting. Now if tony was shot by the members only guy wouldn't he have been at Tony's 3 o'clock? Could this be a bit of foreshadowing for Tony's death?


I'm not sure if anyone pointed this out,as I was unable to get all of the comments to load.Kennedy & Heidi are the names of the 2 girls in the car that Christopher swerves to avoid smashing head-on into,causing him to further lose control and crash.I thoroughly enjoyed your posting/theory.The fact that I and many others are STILL talking Sopranos is a true testament to the show's greatness.

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