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Man in Members Only Jacket
Man in Members Only Jacket
Information
Full Name Unknown
Gender Male
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Brown
Family
Political Information
Behind the Scenes
First Appearance "Made in America"
Portrayed By Paolo Colandrea

The man in the Members Only jacket, played by Paolo Colandrea, is a one-shot character on The Sopranos.

BiographyEdit

When the Soprano family meet at Holsten's diner for a meal, this man enters the diner ahead of Anthony Soprano, Jr. and sits at the counter. Over the course of the next few minutes, he glances twice at the family's table before standing up, walking past the table before entering the restroom.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Fans are divided on the issue of what happens in the final scene of the series, though some believe that Tony Soprano is murdered and that the man in the Member's Only jacket is his killer. Possible support to this theory is:
    • The previous episode (The Blue Comet) contains a flashback to a scene from Soprano Home Movies in which Robert Baccalieri, Jr and Tony Soprano discuss what it's like being killed, saying "in our line of work, it's always out there. You probably don't even hear it when it happens". While the flashback may or may not be referring to this scene, the cut to black and complete silence would be exactly what Bobby described.
    • David Chase sets up a pattern of point of view shots where we see a shot of Tony, then his point of view of someone walking into the restaurant when the bell on the door rings, and then the reaction shot. Following this pattern, we hear the bell ring as Meadow opens the door, we get the shot of Tony, then right when we should see Meadow walking in from Tony's point of view, we get black nothingness.
    • The screen abruptly cuts to black and all sound mutes as opposed to the fade in most other episodes that keeps the soundtrack running (which goes hand in hand with the above-mentioned discussion).
    • The person staring at Tony Soprano and walking to the bathroom is significant enough to be credited, with a special mention to his "Member's Only" jacket. "Members Only" is the episode in which Tony got shot, and is a reference to being in the mob, as well as to Eugene in "Member's Only" who kills himself when Tony won't let him move his family to Florida. The "Member's Only" man simply can be seen to represent everyone Tony has wronged throughout his life. He is also the only patron we see walking into the diner before we get Tony's point of view of him walking into the diner followed by AJ.
    • A hitman walking into a bathroom to retrieve his weapon is reminiscent of a famous scene from The Godfather, in which Michael Corleone does so before murdering a rival and a police captain.
    • It's the only time in the series Tony is seen peeling an orange, an obvious reference to The Godfather movies where oranges are closely associated with an approaching death or being shot.
    • The scene has been edited in a way that builds up tension, which naturally leads the audience on to believe something momentous is going to happen (which may or may not be the case).
    • Many of the patrons in the diner represent an event from previous episodes that involved killing someone.
    • Tony Soprano often spoke, in Soprano Home Movies, For All Debts Public and Private, and The Happy Wanderer, of the fact that there are only two ways out for a boss. Dead or in Jail. We saw Johnny Sack, another boss, go the route going to jail. We also saw Little Carmine Lupertazzi step away from the title of Boss to enjoy and live his life. So it would make sense that we see Tony take the other path, death. 

However, there are also several things hinting that nothing happened to Tony Soprano:

  • We never actually see anything happen other than suggestive editing - we don't even see a gun. Or to put it more simply, we do not see Tony Soprano die, therefore when the show ended, Tony Soprano was still alive.
  • The lyrics of the infamous Journey song (Don't Stop Believin') indicate that life goes on despite all the trouble. The jacket of the Member's Only guy doesn't have a logo on it. Maybe that means that he - like the jacket - is an imitation, not the real thing.
  • There was no reason for him to be killed - the hit on Phil Leotardo had been sanctioned by the Lupertazzi crime family.
    • Even so this is debatable because there where many variables in the way the hit went down. Phil was killed in front of his family and other witnesses and his head got crushed by his own SUV. This method of killing may have angered the Lupertazzi Family prompting a possible violent retaliation. 
      • However, Phil's head getting crushed by his own SUV is not Tony Soprano's fault. The hit was sanctioned, and it was Patty who left the car running. Butch's sanction on Phil was witnessed by a neutral party, so Butch's reputation would've been ruined had he retaliated against Tony.

The general consensus that most people can agree with is that the last scene shows the audience how Tony is feeling every day: In an everyday situation like eating dinner, everybody around him could be out to kill him. He is constantly living in paranoia and the fear that anybody who looks at him or brushes past him could be a killer. Whenever anybody enters the diner, Tony Soprano looks up to glances up to see if that person is a threat. The last season has had an emphasis on the downside of the mob life - Johnny Sack dying in prison with no money, leaving his widow penniless, people even in high ranks getting killed, Tony Soprano killing his own nephew in a despicable way. The final scene shows the sad life of those who survive - living in constant fear, facing death or prison. However, this does not hold up well under scrutiny because when looking at the final scene we only see shots of most of the patrons in the diner from a third person perspective. It is only when the bell rings on the door that we get Tony's point of view of someone entering the diner. When we see the other patrons in the diner, it is only through third person and Tony is actually looking down at his menu for most of these shots. This explains the ending in that right when we should get Tony's point of view of Meadow walking into the diner we see black nothingness and the music cuts out. Apparently Chase actually wanted the black nothingness to be it and not even have credits, but HBO forced him to include credits.

AppearancesEdit

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