But no - the cable had not gone out. Instead, the finale ended with the now-infamous "cut to black" - Tony Soprano, wife Carmela, and son A.J. sitting in a diner booth, with daughter Meadow parking the car outside. The door jangled, and Tony looked up and ... THE END.
The open-ended finale caused quite a bit of consternation at creator David Chase. What did it all mean? Who was entering the diner - Meadow or possibly a hit man to off Tony? WHERE ARE OUR ANSWERS, CHASE?
Now, seven years later, we get an answer. In an lengthy article at Vox, writer Martha P. Nochimson somehow gets Chase to reveal Tony's fate. Did Tony Soprano die, or what?
As she writes, "He shook his head 'no.' And he said simply, 'No he isn't.'"
Tony Soprano lives. Bada-bing!
UPDATE (7:38 pm ET): David Chase's representative, Leslee Dart, just released this statement regarding the life of Tony Soprano:
A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview. To simply quote David as saying," Tony Soprano is not dead," is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true.
As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, "Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point." To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of THE SOPRANOS raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer.
And there you have it. We'll never know.