The Sopranos series finale is one of the most heavily-scrutinized bits of media ever produced. When Tony Soprano’s story abruptly cut to black mid-“Don’t Stop Believin'” viewers had no choice but to analyze what they just saw.
Did the Members Only jacket guy shoot Tony? Did he choke on a Holsten’s onion ring? Was this all a dream? Though creator David Chase has obliquely discussed the true nature of the final scene over the years, we’ll never know what actually happened by the finale’s own design. And that’s why people continue to watch it, consider it, and debate it even to this day.
And yet, even with all the ink already spilled trying to dissect The Sopranos finale, there’s one fascinating detail that everyone missed … everyone but one person at least. In a 2015 interview with fellow actor Alan Cumming for this Remember That Time series, Carmela Soprano actress Edie Falco revealed that she made an interesting mistake when filming The Sopranos‘ final scene. Watch the clip below:
Carmela wasn’t wearing her wedding ring in the show’s last moments!
As Falco explains it: “We wrapped and I’m walking my way back to my trailer and I felt in my pocket all of Carmela’s rings. She had like 45 rings – this is her marriage [ring] to Tony that she wore like a statue on her finger. I had forgotten to put them on. Little bit of trivia. I finally went up to [producer] Ilene Landress at 3:30 in the morning, sweat dripping down and said ‘we gotta re-do the last take.’ She said ‘forget it. Don’t worry about it.'”
On the one hand, this is a simple production mistake. Those happen all the time, as evidenced by the “Goofs” section on every show’s IMDb entry. Nobody involved with The Sopranos had any intent for Carmela Soprano to not be wearing her wedding ring in the final scene. And yet, as David Chase himself could tell you, the artist’s intent doesn’t always mean a hell of a lot when it comes to the audience’s ultimate reaction to a piece. Carmela Soprano is canonically ring-less in The Sopranos finale and that matters.
Falco even expressed surprise that more viewers hadn’t picked up on the continuity gaffe and incorporated it into their own finale theories, saying ” I was sure that would work its way into the meaning of the [final moment]…but it never did.”
Well it never did until now that is. Because now we all know the surprising hidden detail of The Sopranos ending, and we have more ammunition for our own headcanons. Suddenly that “it was all a dream” approach doesn’t seem too outlandish, does it?