UPDATE (Thursday, Aug. 28, 10:20 a.m.): After a writer reported Sopranos creator David Chase stated unequivocally that Tony Soprano was still alive when the screen went black at the end of the series finale, a rep for Chase has issued a statement saying that’s not exactly the case.

A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview,”; reads the statement. “To simply quote David as saying, “Tony Soprano is not dead,’ is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true. As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, ‘Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.’ To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer.” 

So there you have it: the answer is…there is no answer, and to keep asking what happened to Tony in those final seconds is “fruitless.”;

Has one of TV’s all-time great mysteries been solved?

No, not what was going on with that wacky island on Lost, but whether Tony Soprano was whacked in the final seconds of the Sopranos finale when the screen suddenly went black, causing many HBO viewers to think they’d forgotten to pay their cable bills.

The cut-to-black ending remains one of TV’s most controversial series finales, and has been interpreted by TV critics and fans alike with the kind of intensity and scholarship usually devoted to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Now, however, a writer claims that no less an authority that Sopranos creator David Chase himself has revealed that Tony (played by the late James Gandolfini) didn’t die as some had theorized (the cut-to-black moment signifying the abrupt end of Tony’s point of view).

Chase has always refused comment on the finale, insisting he’d prefer to leave the ending open for interpretation. However, in a somewhat long-winded piece on the website Vox, writer Martha P. Nochimson claims that she asked Chase whether Tony was dead at the finale’s end. His reply was blunt and definitive: “No,”; said Chase, shaking his head. “No he isn’t.”;

What do you think? Is the mystery solved — or is Chase, seven years later, still messing with us?