The Sopranos (1999–2007)
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Note well: This is not the opinion of a professional psychiatrist and should be treated as speculation.
Repeat viewings of The Sopranos weigh heavily in the direction of Tony being a sociopath. Characteristics of sociopaths that Tony has displayed throughout the series include, but are not limited to, the following.
* A lack of empathy for any other Human being, even their own children.
* Marked tendency to twist criticisms of their own behaviour into indictments upon others, especially the people criticising them.
* Marked tendency to turn conversations about the sufferings of others into conversations about themselves. This is especially apparent during A.J.'s hospital stay in the final season.
* A complete lack of regard for the health or wellbeing of others when stacked up to difficulties with their own finances or comfort. ("Twenty-two hundred a ^%@!ing day...")
Whilst it is true that Doctor Melfi's conduct when "firing" Tony seems quite unprofessional, the consensus in the psychiatric community is that unless the sociopath is detected and treated appropriately before puberty, therapy is useless. With Tony's upbringing, he never had a chance.
Sociopaths are also noted for low intelligence, and Tony's ability to make choices that only make sense to him is so legendary that one of his closest associates felt a strong urge to throw him into a propeller. Draw your own conclusion. Edit
The theme is the Chosen One mix of the song "Woke Up This Morning" by Alabama 3 Edit
Nobody knows what happened to in Pine Barrens (2001). He is never heard from again.
Many people believe that he is dead. Being in pajamas with a bullet wound to the head in the freezing cold wouldn't have a favourable outcome for anyone, even a hardcore military expert as the Russian apparently was. He could have covered enough ground to get away from Paulie and Chris from finding him and known how to cover his tracks and lose them. Then again, given that Paulie's car disappeared, so it is possible that the Russian took it and drove himself to safety.
However Valery is mentioned at least twice again in passing. None of Tonys crew have any answers as to where he could have got to. It seems safe to assume that as there is no reprisal that he must have died, or at the very least never got involved with gangster life again.
There are subtle clues in the direction of the episode that may indicate Valery's final whereabouts:
The opening shot in the woods sequence is a panning shot looking up at trees as the snow falls. This is then revealed to be Valery's POV as he is being marched to his burial spot by Paulie and Christopher, indicating he is examining the trees for some purpose. Then, after Valery is shot, Paulie and Christopher run to the spot where they believe they will find him. At one point the camera films from high above in the trees, looking down on them. This shot may be a second POV shot from Valery's perspective, indicating he climbed into a tree immediately after being shot and watched them below. Because he is never heard from again, it is safe to assume Valery either died in the tree or shortly thereafter and never made it out of the woods to notify Slava of his ordeal. Edit
David Chase has said that he wanted to make a film. But he cannot find a way to properly do the series justice. So until/unless he finds a way; the answer is no. With many of the major characters not surviving the final season and the untimely death of James Gandolfini, it can be assumed a film will never happen now.
UPDATE- A prequel film entitiled 'The Many Saints of Newark' is set to be released in 2021. James Gandolfini's real life son Michael Gandolfini is starring as the young Tony Soprano. Edit
Christopher's father, Dickie Moltisanti was a soldier in Johnny Soprano's crew and was very close to Tony Soprano. Tony reminisces that Dickie was like a big brother to him and so, when Dickie died while Chris was still young, Tony looked out for Chris, affectionately referring to him as his nephew. However, Tony is, technically, not Christopher's uncle. Tony and Carmela Soprano are connected to Chris via three separate family relationships: Christopher's late father, Dickie Moltisanti, was Carmela's first cousin, as Dickie's mother and Carmela's father are siblings. This means Chris is Carmela's first cousin, once removed. Christopher's mother Joanne, whose maiden name is Blundetto, is Al Blundetto's sister. Al Blundetto's wife, Quintina, is Livia Soprano's sister and Tony Soprano's maternal aunt. Thus, Al and Quintina Blundetto, who are Tony Blundetto's parents, are uncle and aunt to both Tony Soprano and Chris. Accordingly, Tony Soprano and Chris are both first cousins to Tony Blundetto, but not to each other. Adriana told her FBI handler Robyn Sanseverino. that technically Christopher and Tony are cousins. Christopher's mother Joanne Blundetto is Tony's maternal cousin via a distant blood relation when the family was still in Italy. Tony confirmed this when he named Christopher his successor and said Christopher would bring the family into the 21st century saying Paulie and Silvio "aren't my blood". Edit
Tony never officially becomes the boss of the Soprano-DiMeo family.
Ercole "Eckley" DiMeo is the official titled boss of the family, but he is elderly and serving a lifetime sentence in a federal prison, and exerts no influence over the family. DiMeo is never seen onscreen throughout the series, but he is mentioned a handful of times. In the very first episode, Jackie Aprile, Sr. has had the title of Acting Boss for several years, and this title is recognized by New York. However, several characters mention that Tony has actually been managing the day-to-day affairs of the family because Jackie is dying of cancer.
After Jackie dies, Uncle Junior receives the official title of acting boss (after Tony gets the other capos to agree to position Junior to take the hits from the feds while Tony secretly calls the shots). At this point, Tony is still technically only a capo. When Junior finds out about Tony's betrayal, it sparks a mob war, which Junior definitively loses. As part of the peace settlement, Junior is allowed to keep his title, while Tony takes on the unofficial (but openly acknowledged) title of street boss.
There is no indication that this arrangement changes throughout the series run; even after Junior shoots Tony and is confined to a psychiatric ward, no reference is made to Junior being stripped of his title, and Tony is never mentioned to have been officially promoted.
In the season one finale it is said that Tony will be the new boss. Also in the season 2 opener it is said that he is already boss. There however is no official meeting, it is just outright stated. Also in episode 3 of season 2, Junior is told that he gets to "Keep his Stripes" but that Tony is the boss. Edit
ATTENTION: Given the amount of reading in this FAQ entry, Spoiler tags will NOT be present, so if you have not seen the entire series, read at your own risk. This entry is for people who have seen the whole series but might not remember what happens to the characters.
The Soprano Family
Tony Soprano: See above FAQ question 'What happens to Tony in the last scene of the series?'
Carmela Soprano: Stays with Tony until the end. She keeps with her job of building and selling houses.
Meadow Soprano: Splits up with Finn and winds up dating Patrick Parisi. She drops out of med school, deciding to study criminal law instead.
A.J. Soprano: After trying to kill himself, he seeks treatment, meets a girl he connects with. Tony sets him up with a job working in the film industry.
Janice Soprano: A widow by the end of the series, tries to get the last of Uncle Junior's money but Tony tries to ensure the money goes to Bobby's kids.
Corrado 'Junior' Soprano: After shooting Tony he winds up in a mental health facility until he runs out of money. At which point he is moved to a federal facility where he is left to waste as his Alzheimer's consumes his mind.
Christopher Moltisanti: Critically injured in a car wreck while high on cocaine and not wearing his seatbelt. Tony, realizing that Christopher will never be anything more than a hateful junky and could potentially put him at risk, smothers Christopher to make it look as if he died in the accident.
Adriana La Cerva: Confesses to Christopher that she has been working with the FBI, Christopher tells this to Tony. Tony assures a very distraught Christopher that he will take care of her. He concocts a story about Christopher being in the hospital to lure her into a car with Silvio. Silvio then drives her to a wooded area where he kills her.
Livia Soprano: Dies of stroke in her sleep.
New Jersey Crew
Paulie 'Walnuts' Gaultieri: Pretty much the only character who survives from the first season to the last season unscathed. He survives, and takes over Vito's crew. (Paulie was reluctant to accept this position because everyone who is running this crew winds up dead or missing.There is a cat that sat inside and stared at a picture of the recently deceased Christopher. This gave Paulie the creeps as he is very superstitious and paranoid about ghosts and the like. When he accepts the position in Vito's crew, the cat is seen to appear beside him and stare at him. This is either a foreshadowing of his doom or meant to be funny as he was so reluctant to accept the position and would continue to be freaked out by a cat.)
Silvio Dante: Shot in the back and in the shoulder which puts him in a coma. The doctors say he is unlikely to regain consciousness.
Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri: Marries Janice, becomes Tony's captain. Is shot multiple times and killed inside a hobby shop while buying a train set.
Pasquale 'Patsy' Parisi: Survives. He escapes the shootout in which Silvio gets wounded. His son starts dating Meadow which moves him closer to Tony.
Philly 'Spoons' Parisi: Patsy's twin brother. Shot in the face by Gigi for spreading rumours about Tony. He was also running Junior's crew while Junior was incarcerated, which may have been the real motivation for Tony wanting him taken out.
Vito Spatafore: It's discovered that Vito is gay. He hides out in a small New England town for a while (essentially free from harm) but decides to try and get back into the mafia. Phil Leotardo takes it upon himself to brutally beat Vito to death for disrespecting his family (Vito's wife was Phil's cousin)
Furio Giunta: He falls in love with Carmela but rather than betray his honor, and risk his and Carmela's life he flees to Italy and goes into hiding.
Salvatore 'Big Pussy' Bonpensiero: After it's discovered that Pussy is working for the FBI, he is shot multiple times by Tony, Silvio and Paulie. Then dumped in the ocean. To people on the outside, he is believed to be in the Witness Protection Program.
Carlo Gervasi: Survives. He goes missing in the final episode, it is mentioned that his son got busted for ecstasy distribution and that Carlo flipped and will testify against Tony.
Benny Fazio: Survives.
Ralph Cifaretto: Gets in a fight with Tony and he beats Ralph to death. He's decapitated and his hands are chopped off by Christopher to prevent identification of the body. He's then buried.
Eugene Pontecorvo: Gets a large inheritance from his Aunt, he asks Tony if he would let him retire to Florida. Which Tony refuses. Also his son is a heroin addict, and he gets flipped by the FBI and they put pressure on him. So he commits suicide by hanging himself.
Little Paulie Germani: Gets thrown out of a window by Christopher. He survives however. He is last seen posing as an officer trying to find Phil Leotardo.
Tony Blundetto: Kills Billy Leotardo and wounds Phil Leotardo without Tony Soprano's permission. Sending Phil on a rampage of vengeance. Tony Soprano shoots Blundetto in the head with a shotgun in order to give him a quick death. Instead of handing him over to Phil who would have tortured and then killed him.
Raymond Curto: Dies of a stroke.
Larry Boy Barese: Survives. Arrested in the first season, is unseen in prison for most of the series. He appears in the final season but is re-arrested for violating parole.
Herman 'Hesh' Rabkin: Survives. Him and Tony have a bit of a falling out about some money he loaned Tony. Hesh's wife dies mysteriously, likely from an overdose of perscription drugs and after Tony pays his respects to Hesh, we don't see him again.
Richie Aprile: Tony sanctions a hit on him, but after he punches Janice (to whom he was engaged) she shoots him. Furio and Christopher dispose of his body. Like Big Pussy, he is also believed by people on the outside to be a rat and in the Witness Protection Program.
Georgie: After taking his final beating from Tony which causes permanant hearing damage; He quits the Bing and is never seen again.
Gigi Cestone: Dies of heart disease while sittin on the toilet.
Jackie Aprile Jr.: After trying to make a name for himself by robbing a card game that went horribly wrong he is shot in the back of the head by Vito. He is shot in a run-down, high crime area which makes it look like he was killed by a drug dealer.
Mikey Palmice: Shot multiple times by Paulie and Christopher.
Chucky Signore: Shot by Tony down at the docks during Tony's war with Junior, Silvio and Tony take his body out on his boat and presumably dump him in the ocean.
Jimmy Altieri: At the time Tony and others hear about Big Pussy beeing a rat, they assume that there has been a mistake and Jimmy is the one who is really a rat, because they look alike etc. Shot in the back of the head by Silvio.
Burt Gervasi: confesses to Silvio he's been playing both sides between New York and New Jersey. In the hopes that Silvio would join him in betraying Tony, Silvio strangles him with a garotte wire.
Dino Zerelli: Shot in the face by Al Barese and Christopher for trying to rob the poker game.
Matt Bevilaqua: Shot by Tony and Big Pussy multiple times for trying to kill Christopher.
Sean Gismonte: Shot in the head by Christopher while Sean attempts to kill Chris
Donny K: Beaten Severely by Johnny Sack but he survives.
Brendan Filone: Shot through the eye by Mikey.
Jackie Aprile: dies of cancer.
Feech LaManna: Set up by Tony's crew and sent back to prison for violating parole.
Walden Belfiore: Survives.
Terry Doria: Survives.
New York Family
Phil Leotardo: Starts a war with New Jersey. Shot in the head and chest by Walden. Then Phil's SUV runs over his own head.
Jonathan 'Johnny Sack' Sacrimoni: Dies of cancer in prison.
Carmine Lupertazzi: dies of a stroke.
'Little Carmine' Lupertazzi Jr.: Has a small War with Johnny Sack over control of the New York family after his father dies. Eventually he bows out and moves to Florida to produce films.
Rusty Millio: Killed by Italian hitmen hired by Tony at the request of Johnny Sack.
Joe Peeps: Killed by Tony Blundetto.
Angelo Garepe: Killed by Phil Leotardo.
Dr. Jennifer Melfi: Learns there is a study about how sociopaths use therapy to hone their skills of deception. So she uses this as an excuse to end her sessions with Tony once and for all. She isn't seen again after that.
Artie Bucco: In the final season, the indication is that Artie has dealt with his personal issues and worked to restore his business, with Nuovo Vesuvio even playing host to renowned New York Jets coach Eric Mangini.
Charmaine Bucco: Reconciles with Artie and continues to help run the restaurant.
Rosalie Aprile stays close friends with Carmela after Rosalie's husband and son die, she remains very close and supportive to Carmela through all her hard times and goes on a trip to Paris with her.
J.T. Dolan: shot in the head by Christopher. Christopher falls off the wagon after getting ridiculed by Tony and Paulie. He goes up to J.T.'s apartment for support but J.T. instead says things to anger Christopher who shoots him in the head before leaving. Edit
Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun Your mama always said you'd be the chosen one She said yeah, one in a million you got gun shine. But you were born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eye And you woke up this morning, and all that love had gone. Your papa never told you about right and wrong. But you lookin' good baby I believe that you're feelin' fine, shame about it. Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eye so sing it now Woke up this morning. Got a blue moon in your eye Woke up this morning the world turned upside down, lord but things ain't been the same since the blues walked into town. But you one in a million 'cause you got that shot gun shine, shame about it. Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes Woke up this morning. Got yourself a gun. Got yourself a gun. Got yourself a gun. Edit
A big hole in the arguments about Tony being dead or killed in the final scene is that, Tony's coma dreams notwithstanding, the series has always been extremely literal in its depiction of events. Tony's experimentation with Peyote does not turn into scenes from the (frankly awful) film adaptation of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Tony's blinding rages at other people including his own family are not depicted with filter effects that other productions have used for exaggeration. Even the flashbacks, whilst lacking in detail and very vague, give a reasonable interpretation of events relative to the perspective of the individual flashing-back.
Nor has the series ever used metaphors in the form of substituting one person for another, in the literal sense. Doctor Melfi's office is the only place in which any metaphorical or theoretical interpretations of events occur. The only time in which we see what might be deemed a hallucination when the beholder is awake and completely lucid is when Adriana disappears before Carmine's eyes early in season six.
The best interpretation of the series ending that fits with the narrative style of the rest of the series is that Tony and his family are alive and well. Tony is experiencing anxiety and paranoia from having survived a mob war that claimed the lives of the two highest men other than himself in his organisation.
The diner door opening and the ambiguity concerning whether it is Meadow or a hitman coming through the door is the only real point that is subject to interpretation. And again, no people representing other people, no big visions in the style of David Lynch. Just the Lion's share of a family sitting down to a dinner, in a relaxed state of mind (relatively speaking) for the first time in months. Edit
This question has been debated in great length, but there is no clear answer. However, Chase has been quoted as saying everything we need to understand the ending is in the episode itself. He has stated that we are too spoon-fed as an audience, as in tell them what they're going to see, show it to them, then tell them what they've just seen. Chase felt upset that fans seemed to want a bloody death for Tony after cheering him on for 8 years.
There are several clues in Made in America (2007) indicating that was killed:
* The previous episode contains a flashback to a scene from Soprano Home Movies (2007) in which and discuss what it's like being killed, saying "in our line of work, it's always out there. You probably don't even hear it when it happens". While the flashback may or may not be referring to this scene, the cut to black and complete silence would be exactly what Bobby described.
*Chase sets up a pattern of point of view shots where we see a shot of Tony, then his point of view of someone walking into the restaurant when the bell on the door rings, and then the reaction shot. Following this pattern, we hear the bell ring as Meadow opens the door, we get the shot of Tony, then right when we should see Meadow walking in from Tony's point of view, we get black nothingness.
* The screen abruptly cuts to black and all sound mutes as opposed to the fade in most other episodes that keeps the soundtrack running (which goes hand in hand with the above-mentioned discussion).
* The person staring at and walking to the bathroom is significant enough to be credited, with a special mention to his "Member's Only" jacket. "Member's Only" is the episode in which Tony got shot, and is a reference to being in the mob, as well as to the character in "Member's Only" who kills himself when Tony won't let him move his family to Florida. The "Member's Only" man simply can be seen to represent everyone Tony has wronged throughout his life. He is also the only patron we see walking into the diner before we get Tony's point of view of him walking into the diner followed by AJ.
* A hitman walking into a bathroom to retrieve his weapon reminds of a famous scene from The Godfather.
* It's the only time in the series Tony is seen peeling an orange, an obvious reference to the Godfather movies where oranges are closely associated with an approaching death or being shot.
* The scene has been edited in a way that builds up tension, which naturally leads the audience on to believe something momentous is going to happen (which may or may not be the case).
* Many of the patrons in the diner represent an event from previous episodes that involved killing someone.
* often spoke of in Soprano Home Movies, All Debts Public and Private, and The Happy Wanderer, that there are only two ways out for a boss. Dead or in Jail. We saw Johnny Sack, another boss, go the route going to jail. We also saw Little Carmine step away from the title of Boss to enjoy and live his life. So it would make sense that we see Tony take the other path, death.
However, there are also several things hinting that nothing happened to :
* We never actually see anything happen other than suggestive editing - we don't even see a gun. Or to put it more simply, we do not see die, therefore when the show ended, was still alive.
* The lyrics of the infamous Journey song indicate that life goes on despite all the trouble.
* The jacket of the Member's Only guy doesn't have a logo on it. Maybe that means that he - like the jacket - is an imitation, not the real thing.
* There was no reason for to be killed - the hit on Phil had been sanctioned by the Lupertazzi Family. (even so this is discussable because there where many variables in the way the hit went down. Phil was killed in front of his family and other witnesses and his head got crushed by his own SUV. This method of killing may have angered the Lupertazzi Family prompting a possible violent retaliation.)
The general consensus that most people can agree with is that the last scene shows the audience how is feeling every day: In an everyday situation like eating dinner, everybody around him could be out to kill him. He is constantly living in paranoia and the fear that anybody who looks at him or brushes past him could be a killer. Whenever anybody enters the diner, looks up to glances up to see if that person is a threat. The last season has had an emphasis on the downside of the mob life - Johnny Sack dying in prison with no money, leaving his widow penniless, people even in high ranks getting killed, killing his own nephew in a despicable way. The final scene shows the sad life of those who survive - living in constant fear, facing death or prison. However, this does not hold up well under scrutiny because when looking at the final scene we only see shots of most of the patrons in the diner from a third person perspective. It is only when the bell rings on the door that we get Tony's point of view of someone entering the diner. When we see the other patrons in the diner, it is only through third person and Tony is actually looking down at his menu for most of these shots. This explains the ending in that right when we should get Tony's point of view of Meadow walking into the diner we see black nothingness and the music cuts out. Apparently Chase actually wanted the black nothingness to be it and not even have credits, but HBO forced him to include credits. Edit