The Sopranos' Shocking Choice: Adriana's Season 5 Demise Remains Unseen

The Sopranos' Shocking Choice: Adriana's Season 5 Demise Remains Unseen

The Sopranos: Unveiling the Mystery Behind Adriana's Off-Screen Death Discover the reasons, alternative scenarios, and insights from Drea De Matteo and David Chase on this pivotal moment in the show's narrative


Adriana's death in The Sopranos was off-screen to avoid showing a beloved character in a grisly state, making it all the more disturbing.

Killing off Adriana was a logical progression that served the FBI storyline and provided an opportunity to reevaluate Tony's character. Drea de Matteo's portrayal in the season 5 episode "Long Term Parking" was lauded as one of the finest performances in the series, with her death scene leaving a lasting impact.

Although The Sopranos featured numerous gruesome death scenes, the death of Adriana in the show was not shown on-screen. This decision was made for a specific reason. Drea de Matteo portrayed the character, an Italian-American who played a significant role as the girlfriend of Christopher Moltisanti, the "nephew" of crime boss Tony Soprano. Throughout the 6 seasons, The Sopranos had episodes filled with death and shocking moments, with betrayals and tragedies leaving a lasting impact on viewers' memories.

Adriana, portrayed by Drea de Matteo, was one of the most impactful characters on The Sopranos, and her storyline is arguably the darkest in the history of this HBO Max classic. Unlike the mobsters and their families who were either born into the criminal life or willingly chose that path, Adriana was an outsider. Her untimely death in the episode "Long Term Parking" truly emphasized the tragic nature of her situation. The horror of her fate becomes apparent as Silvio takes an unexpected turn, leaving a genuine sense of dread that showcases de Matteo's exceptional performance.

How The Sopranos Killed Off Adriana

The Sopranos' Shocking Choice: Adriana's Season 5 Demise Remains Unseen

In the penultimate episode of The Sopranos season 5, Adriana finds herself entangled with the FBI and pays the ultimate price for her actions. The strain of being coerced into becoming an FBI informant takes a toll on her well-being.

After Adriana confesses everything to Christopher, he betrays her trust by informing Tony about her discussions with the FBI. This ultimately leads to Adriana's tragic demise in The Sopranos. The sequence depicting Adriana's death incorporates clever storytelling techniques to create a sense of suspense. Rather than directly showcasing Christopher's betrayal, the series creator, David Chase, advances the storyline to a phone conversation between Tony and Adriana. During the call, Tony manipulates Adriana by insinuating that Christopher has attempted suicide. He falsely reassures her that Silvio, a trusted associate, will transport her to the hospital. However, this turns out to be a deceitful ploy—Silvio takes her to a secluded wooded area and shoots her as she begs for her life.

Why The Sopranos Killed Off Adriana La Cerva

The Sopranos' Shocking Choice: Adriana's Season 5 Demise Remains Unseen

The decision to kill off Adriana in season 5 of The Sopranos was a necessary conclusion to the FBI storyline. Throughout the show, it had been established that informants met a grim fate, as evidenced by Tony's killing of Salvatore Bonpensiero in season 2. In terms of the overall story, Adriana's death was a logical and tragic ending. Writer Terence Winter revealed that they had planned for it to happen at the end of season 5.

Furthermore, Adriana's death significantly alters the dynamics of the remaining characters in the series. It prompts the audience to reevaluate their perception of Tony, in a similar vein to Breaking Bad and the revelation about Walter White. Christopher's struggle with addiction intensifies as a result of Adriana's demise, ultimately leading to his own demise in season 6. Adriana's off-screen killing, as noted by de Matteo, symbolizes the inherent darkness that exists within The Sopranos.

"The characters on the show, including Tony's children, all exhibited a primal and manipulative nature. However, the sole exception was Adriana, who emanated love and innocence. Unfortunately, many fail to comprehend this aspect and instead label her as a rat, a whore, or a junkie. These derogatory terms stem from a lack of understanding of the show, as Adriana solely operated from a place of light."

Why Adriana Died Off-Screen On The Sopranos

The Sopranos' Shocking Choice: Adriana's Season 5 Demise Remains Unseen

According to Chase, he decided to kill Adriana off-screen because he didn't want to show a beloved female character (and actress) in a grisly state:

The only instance in the entire show's history where we took someone's life without showing their perspective was with Adriana's death. Without that perspective, the impact feels even more severe. We are left to imagine the horrors she must have endured and how her body may have been destroyed. None of us wanted to witness Drea in such a state.

"I have crafted some highly intense and violent scenes for the show, and oddly enough - without any conscious intent - I scripted a particular moment where she vanishes from the camera's view. Inquiring minds questioned, 'Why didn't you portray it?' It dawned on me that I personally did not wish to witness it either. I completely overlooked this aspect while writing it, yet it just felt right from a visual and cinematic standpoint. I believe it turned out incredibly compelling, but perhaps I harbored an aversion to witnessing Adriana/Drea being shot. It speaks volumes about the tremendous affection we developed for both the character and the exceptional actress."

Adriana's Death On The Sopranos Was Almost Very Different

The Sopranos' Shocking Choice: Adriana's Season 5 Demise Remains Unseen

Adriana's fate on The Sopranos originally took a different turn because of a scene that was ultimately removed following Drea De Matteo's request. In "Long Term Parking," there was an additional sequence where Christopher informs Tony that Adriana had spoken to the FBI. However, De Matteo insisted on its removal as it divulged her destiny prior to getting into the car with Silvio. Without this particular scene, viewers remain unaware of the truth until Adriana herself discovers it—resulting in an even more profoundly tragic sequence. As a result, the conversation between Christopher and Tony was later included in season 6 of The Sopranos, and this modification ultimately enhanced Adriana's demise in "Long Term Parking."

What Drea De Matteo & David Chase Said About The Adriana Death

The Sopranos' Shocking Choice: Adriana's Season 5 Demise Remains Unseen

Chase believes that the decision to have Adriana killed in The Sopranos was one of the best choices he made for the series. He praised Drea De Matteo's performance, stating it was one of the best acting jobs he had seen in a long time. Killing off the beloved character intensified the audience's hatred towards Chris and Tony.

Furthermore, removing the scene where Chris confesses to Tony was a brilliant move. This created suspense as viewers were left unsure if Tony knew Adriana was a rat during the car ride with Silvio. De Matteo also had a say in removing the scene, as she felt it would lack build-up and drama. The redundancy of the scene was evident to her, especially considering her character's interaction with Silvio in the car.

Chase lavishes De Metteo with relentless praise for her outstanding performance in "Long Term Parking." Reflecting on the episode, Chase admits that he regretted not acknowledging and appreciating her immense contribution sooner. He wished he had approached her after the episode and expressed his awe, emphasizing the magnitude of her accomplishments and the masterpiece she had created. Although he did commend her on her excellent work, he failed to connect it with their earlier conversation. De Matteo's exceptional portrayal in the episode earned her an Emmy award, solidifying the Adriana death scene as one of the most memorable moments in The Sopranos.