It's hard to deny the impact that The Sopranos had on mobster flicks to come after it (as well as the entirety of television). The beloved show, starring the late James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, struck a chord with millions of viewers worldwide, and in the years since it went off the air in 2007, it has remained one of the most popular TV shows in history.
For however much love The Sopranos gets, there has always been a general dislike among fans regarding how it ended. The abrupt conclusion of the show quite literally answered no questions and left the fate of its main character undetermined indefinitely. As such, plenty have weighed in ever since the last episode aired with their own takes on how the show should have ended, including its creator, David Chase.
So, how do fans (and the showrunner) think The Sopranos should have ended?
Show creator David Chase has spoken about how he thinks 'The Sopranos' should have ended.
Although you'd think the creator of the program would be the exact one to blame for how it ended, David Chase has even spoken about his ideal alternate-ending idea for The Sopranos. On multiple occasions, David has defended the cut-to-black scene that left Tony's fate unanswered, but at one point even he speculated about a different way it could've all gone down.
"It’s just very difficult to end a series. For example, Seinfeld, they ended it with them all going to jail. Now that’s the ending we should have had. And they should have had ours, where it blacked out in a diner," he explained, per The New York Times.
That quip of an answer may still not satisfy a lot of fans, and a lot of others have since come up with their own ways that the show could have ended as well.
Fans have tried to come up with a more grand ending for 'The Sopranos' in the years since it aired.
On virtually every corner of the internet, you can find Sopranos fans sharing their own two cents about the show's ending, and some alternate stories actually would have made a lot of sense. Some fans on Reddit shared potential ideas for how they would have concluded the program, garnering a bunch of attention among other aficionados of the show.
"After the 10-20 seconds of black silence we cut to a wide shot of Holstens and we see Tony's face dropping on the table and Tony's family screaming and everyone going wild and Meadow running to the table, with that going on the camera pans all the way back out the door leading the MOJ guy out as the screen slowly fades to credits," @avoritz wrote for one idea, corroborating the common belief that Tony was killed by unknown assailants in the ambiguous final scene.
This user proposed another idea as well, one that offers a slightly happier ending for Tony and his family: "Tony goes into the witness protection program and starts a new life with his family. He takes Artie and his wife with them and they all start a new life," @avoritz wrote.
Other sites, such as Quora, have also played host to various alternate-ending ideas for The Sopranos. On there, one fan named Joanna Matlusky wrote, "Remember the abused gardener/landscaper? I would have had him pull up in his truck and shoot Tony as Tony gets his Sunday paper. Then the gardener could have looked into the camera and explained to the audience that it’s 'never the person you think who will get you, but the person you never suspect.' The gardener drives away and gets away with murder."
Another said that the ending could have given way to a prequel, much like the 2021 film The Many Saints of Newark has now done.
"I would have had the same ending to leave the series as ambiguous as possible in order to make it a movie with two timeline a la Godfather Part II, 1970–1983, 2007–2010ish with the earlier scenes dealing more with the DiMeo character with Johnny Boy, Junior, Feech La Manna, Bacala Sr., etc and the latter being basically a continuation of the series," user Sean Hitchcock wrote.
Speculation aside, with James Gandolfini having sadly passed in 2013, and with so many years having elapsed since The Sopranos ended, it's almost assured that a continuation of the story explaining what happened after that fateful final scene won't ever happen. Regardless, the cut to black that concluded one of the most popular television shows in history will always be remembered as one of its most divisive moments.