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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Bada Bing! ‘The Sopranos’ ends with a bang (you just couldn’t hear it)

    Wonder what happens when you get shot in the head? According to “”The Sopranos,”” nothing, just black. And that Journey music on the jukebox – you probably can’t hear that anymore either.

    The last episode of “”The Sopranos”” aired June 10 and left viewers wondering what happened. After a scene in a New Jersey diner, the episode and series abruptly ended, cutting to black.

    Did the main character Tony Soprano die? Was he going to die? Was it open-ended for the viewer to decide?

    The answer: Tony Soprano is dead.

    It might not have had the most complicated storylines, but “”The Sopranos”” series was loaded with symbolism and constantly paralleled “”The Godfather”” trilogy.

    During the first “”Godfather”” movie, Mafia don Vito Corleone is almost killed in an assassination attempt while at the market purchasing oranges and then later dies in garden while eating an orange. (Michael, his son, also died in “”The Godfather: Part III”” with an orange in hand.)

    Flash to the beginning of the final episode of “”The Sopranos.”” Tony wakes up and has an orange for breakfast.

    Coincidence? Well, think back to season one when Tony is shot in an assassination attempt – while buying orange juice. Scenes in “”The Sopranos”” are just as deliberately mapped out so that nothing is a coincidence.

    Other clues that hint to Tony’s death include the use of “”Don’t Stop Believin'”” by Journey. The song becomes Tony’s requiem, symbolizing his voyage, or journey into the afterlife.

    This also couples with the fact that each member of his family arrives at the diner wearing black, as if dressed for a funeral.

    The most obvious symbolic gesture is an awkward shot in the dinner, where Tony is shown from a distance oddly placed at the bottom of the frame. A strange shot like this would never make it in a show like “”The Sopranos”” unless it had a reason to be there – and it does.

    The shot is the same framing found in Leonardo da Vinci’s “”The Last Supper.”” Here Tony Soprano is placed in the same spot as Jesus is in the painting during his last meal.

    So Tony Soprano died, but whodunit?

    A bevy of strange characters follow the family into the diner, the most suspicious of which is a dark-haired man in a Members Only jacket.

    When the man walks in, he has a strange lump in his jacket and is constantly seen looking over at Tony. The lump in his jacket however is not the size of a gun.

    After a series of ominous stares, the man gets up and heads for the bathroom. That is the last we see of him and seconds later the episode cuts to black.

    Jump back to “”The Godfather”” where Vito Corleone’s son Michael commits his first mob hit after excusing himself to the bathroom to grab a gun that’s been stashed away behind a toilet.

    But this is New Jersey in 2007 and the assassin could easily keep the gun on him, so why does the unnamed man in the Members Only jacket need to use the restroom? Why can’t he just pull out the gun and take a shot?

    Well that’s because of the odd lump in his pocket is most likely a silencer he needs to attach. This also explains the lack of an audible gunshot before the cut to black.

    All this coincides with an earlier episode where Tony asks his brother-in-law, Bobby what it feels like to die.

    Bobby replies, “”You probably don’t even hear it when it happens.””

    To drive the point even farther home, there is a flashback to this scene in the second-to-last episode.

    If you need more clues: The man was peculiarly credited as “”Man in Members Only Jacket,”” and Tony was shot, in one of the most famous “”Sopranos”” episodes, titled “”Members Only.”” The would-be assassin: a different guy in – you guessed it – a Members Only jacket.

    Of the 86 episodes of “”The Sopranos,”” David Chase only directed the pilot and finale, but meticulously oversaw the writing and production of the rest of the series.

    Although each episode featured heavy symbolism, only the final episode confronted the viewer and required them use it in order to piece the story together.

    Not only has “”The Sopranos”” become one of the most lauded dramas in television history, by ending the series in the way he did, Chase forced viewers to thoroughly focus on details.

    By doing this, Chase has brought back conscientious observing to television, making viewers actually think rather than just watch.

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