The Sopranos’ Bold Choice: Exploring the Symbolism Behind the Finale’s Use of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin

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The creation of one of the most iconic moments in television history, the use of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” in the final episode of “The Sopranos,” was not merely a calculated decision but also a result of an unexpected reaction from the show’s crew.

David Chase, the creator of “The Sopranos,” revealed on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast how the infamous final song choice came to be. During pre-production for the final season, Chase gathered the heads of different departments to discuss potential songs for the series finale. When he mentioned Journey’s track as one of the options, the response from the department heads was immediate and negative.

The crew’s vehement reaction to the idea of using the song intrigued Chase. Their strong aversion to “Don’t Stop Believin'” made him realize that it was the one he favored the most among his choices. Rather than choosing it to be rebellious, Chase’s inclination towards the song was genuine, and the crew’s reaction solidified his decision to use it.

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The ending scene of “The Sopranos” finale is particularly remembered for its enigmatic nature. As Tony Soprano waits at a diner for his family while the song plays in the background, tension builds. The sudden cut to black and silence at a crucial moment has sparked intense debates among fans about Tony’s fate.

Chase, despite the ambiguous ending, has chosen not to clarify Tony’s fate, leaving it open for interpretation. He did mention a different scenario that was initially planned—a death scene for Tony—but ultimately, he decided against it. This alternate ending would have involved Tony going for a meeting and never returning, hinting at a tragic outcome, but Chase opted for the ambiguity that has become a hallmark of the show’s conclusion.