Like the spinning top before Inception, the finale to The Sopranos is (and should) be argued over for all time. Like the Journey song that glosses the sequence, it goes on and on and on and on. Tony is Schrodinger’s Gangster.
But the question of his ultimate fate isn’t nearly as fascinating as David Chase’s scene-by-scene breakdown of the show’s finale moments. The structure, the framing of the family all together for one last time, the casual ambiguity, and, yes, the on-the-nose nature that Chase swears by.
Tony’s flipping through the jukebox; it’s almost like the soundtrack of his life, because he sees various songs. No matter what song we picked, I wanted it to be a song that would have been from Tony’s high school years, or his youth. That’s what he would have played.
If you’re re-watching it, the rhythm is of unparalleled importance. The only close rival might be the wholesome location. Naturally, Chase goes into both elements in detail, offering his thought process as he crafted the capstone moment to one of the best television shows of the modern era.
If you’re a fan of the show (that means you’re probably also a fanatatic), you owe it to yourself to read what Chase has to say in full. Hat tip to HitFix for finding this one over at the Directors Guild website.