dead to me
Chase wasn't just playing with our heads when he designed the conclusion of The Sopranos; he was part of the ongoing evolution of the American imagination. When he embeds his gangster story with both his love of detail and his fascination with Poe, he is infusing a popular genre with the mysteries of the two persistent though contradictory tributaries of American letters: one beginning with the pragmatism of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, filled with his many lists of things to do and things done; the other the dream-haunted stories and poetry of the American Romantics. This double face of America the doer and America the dreamer shimmers behind the basic premise of The Sopranos.
This is all great, but I don't care what Chase says now, because Tony's dead to me. That final scene is now and forever will be a dream-haunted story of a blood-spattered diner.