David Chase Emerges From Hiding To Reassure 'Sopranos' Fans He Wasn't Just Fucking With Them

[Do we still need to say there will be spoilers in a post about the Sopranos finale? Well, there will be. Adjust your reading accordingly.—Ed.] Knowing that ending his beloved Sopranos—the Greatest Achievement in the History of a Debased Medium, unless you're one of those The Wire cultists—with four and a half minutes of "Don't Stop Believin'," Meadow's heart-palpitating struggles to parallel park in an enormous space, paranoid shots of a man whose Members Only-inspired fashion sense was a clear signifier of murderous intent, and then the Cut to Black That Shook The World might frustrate fans seeking the tidy closure only a spectacular whacking could provide, series creator David Chase escaped to France to wait out any angry mobs wanting to put two bullets in his temple and then crush his skull beneath an SUV's tire. He's now reemerged from his overseas cooling-off period with an interview with the Star-Ledger, in which he swears he didn't choose this ending just to fuck with viewers' heads:

"I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there," he says of the final scene.

"No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God," he adds. "We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people's minds or thinking, 'Wow, this'll (tick) them off.'

"People get the impression that you're trying to (mess) with them, and it's not true. You're trying to entertain them."

Chase does admit that there was some "conversation" (i.e., "Listen to this, quietly nod your head, then tell me I'm a genius.") about his selection of "Don't Stop Believin'" as his series-ending theme among his crew, who eventually "[came] around" to their boss's selection. Luckily, the showrunner decided to stay with the song's vaguely existential message that things "[go] on and on and on and on," rather than second-guess himself and succumb to brief temptation to replace it with the band's "Any Way You Want It," which would have artlessly telegraphed his desire for an open-ended interpretation of the abrupt, ambiguous ending.