Credit: Will Hart/HBO
James Gandolfini

EW has been taking a deeper look at some of the most iconic TV finales from shows such as Murphy Brown, Friends, and Breaking Bad, but none were as controversial as the series finale of The Sopranos.

When the HBO series ended in 2007, many questions were left unanswered for fans concerning the fate of patriarch Tony and his family when the show cut to a black screen right before the credits. Creator David Chase has said in past interviews that “there was nothing definite about what happened” in the final scene at the diner but “if you look at the final episode really carefully, it’s all there.” To this date, fans are still debating what happened. EW sat down with Michael Imperioli to discuss his new film The M Word, but we couldn’t resist asking the Emmy winner’s opinion about that last seminal moment. Spoilers obviously ahead.

“David told me about a year before we shot that how it was going to end,” Imperioli told EW. “He just described what happened, he didn’t say what it meant, and he never told me what it meant. I never asked him. But I remember him telling me that everything goes black and a couple more details.”

Imperioli won an Emmy for his role as Christopher Moltisanti, the protégé of Tony Soprano, but his character was tragically killed three episodes shy of the finale by Tony himself after a car accident. But even though Imperioli wasn’t in the episode, he definitely has an idea of what that last supper meant.

“My opinion is that…we were in [Tony’s] point of view in the last moments of his life and that’s it. He’s not expecting it, it comes out of nowhere and if you were shot, if someone assassinated you, I don’t know, basically everything would go black and [David was] putting us in those shoes at that time.” The theory that Tony was shot and killed in the last moment is nothing new, in fact entire fan websites have been dedicated to trying to prove it. But what Imperioli thinks of the message that was trying to be conveyed is definitely more personal.

“I think the message, whatever message David was getting at, and this is my interpretation, you know because everything is kind of falling a part by then for the Soprano family. You know, Christopher is dead and [Steve] Schirripa’s character is dead and Steve Van Zandt is in a coma — it’s kind of like the ruins of the Soprano family. When you’re going through these difficult times of chaos and trauma, the most important thing is to keep those who are closest to you together. He was with his immediate family, the ones he loved the most; I think that’s maybe the message if there is one.”

James Gandolfini
The Sopranos
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