Where's Jimmy Hoffa? What is tapioca? Is Tony Soprano dead?
The first two questions: unanswerable. The third, well... we assumed it was addressed pretty definitively by The Sopranos creator David Chase when he said, "No, he isn't," during an interview with Vox.com earlier this week.
The world exhaled, for one of the great unresolved questions of television history had finally been answered.
But hold the phone, Sil. After Vox published the piece, Chase's publicist responded Wednesday evening, saying that producer's words were "misconstrued" and the Vox story was "inaccurate."
"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," said publicist Leslee Dart. "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."
Now, Vox has responded to Chase's camp's response, calling the Chase wordage "something of a classic non-denial denial." Vox goes on to write, "He [Chase] is contesting a broader, and unmentioned, context (and, indeed, Chase has tiptoed up to the edge of the line of providing a definitive answer as to the final scene numerous times before, before retreating as quickly as possible)."
At this point, things may be getting a little too theoretical. What is death? Can we really die? Can we really live, for that matter? Sheesh, who knows? We suspect most fans of HBO's Mafia masterpiece simply want to know if Tony Soprano is alive in his fictional universe, or if he was shot during that tense final scene in the Jersey diner. There's plenty (and we mean plenty) of evidence to support either opinion.
Alas, evidence doesn't always lead to conclusions. Life in Chase's world is messy and a lot of the biggest questions never get answered. And when they are, the answers end up being "misconstrued."
Watch the final scene of "The Sopranos" and decide for yourself: