According to Alan Taylor, he believes Tony Soprano is killed in the final scene of the series. “There’s just too many signifiers [in the final season],” the director told The Hollywood Reporter. “The biggest one for me is, I think in the entire history of ‘The Sopranos,’ there’s only one line of dialogue that has ever been played back a second time as voiceover, and that’s when Bobby Baccalieri says that you don’t hear the bullet [when you’re killed]. So the fact that was said in an earlier episode, then repeated in voiceover later, I have to go with Tony’s dead.”
He postulates that the show took pains to introduce that idea in the final season. In the first episode of Season 6, Tony and Bobby (Steve Schirripa) talk about a story that the former heard about a child who drowned in a swimming pool, and Bobby says about the prospect of death, “You probably don’t even hear it when it happens, right?” And in the second episode, Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt) is shot — but the gunshot is never heard. Viewers can also attest that images and suggestions of death frequently came up during that final episode, starting with the coffin-like sleep Tony experiences at its start.
In fact, in his prequel, Taylor makes a nod to what he thinks happened in the ending. Teen Tony (Michael Gandolfini) hears a story about a man shot in the back and says he wouldn’t want to die that way. Taylor did say he talked to “Sopranos” creator David Chase about the scene, and Chase told him, “every possibility is alive in that room.” So, in truth, the jury is still out.