After 5 years of dramatic on-the-bubble existence, Josh Schwartz’s heartfelt espionage comedy Chuck leaves the airwaves tonight. Join us as we live-blog the final 2 hour episode featuring our favourite lanky do-gooder.
8:01- we pick up with Chuck worrying about Sarah (last seen with the intersect in her head, separated from Chuck on a bullet train in Japan with the bad guy; her memory wiped by the flawed intersect, the bad guy is trying to convince her that he’s her handler and she should kill Chuck). She comes home, battered and beaten, and convinces her fam (and Morgan) that she remembers them. But she really has a bug in her ear from which the bad guy is feeding her the names of her loved-ones. The episode’s called “Chuck vs. Sarah”, people, she’s on the wrong side of this thing. I give her maximum 42 minutes to come around.
8:05- Season one callbacks with a glimpse of a video Sarah made on day 1 of Project Bartowski and Sarah inquiring after her partner Bryce Larkin (a key figure, long dead).
8:07- We cut to one of the last remaining full title sequences still on network TV… for the last time.
8:09- We’re back. Sarah’s got a sharp knife in her hand… butchering a chicken.
8:10- The first adorable picture of the two of them together and happy.
8:10- Morgan’s advice to Chuck, “loosen up that leggy blonde”
8:12- Sarah gets naked, naturally.
8:13- Sarah, legitimately concerned Chuck my break her leg. On purpose. Ha!
8:13- Morgan begins the series finale nostalgia with “wow, it’s all ending, huh?” and a roundup of how they’ve all changed in the 5 years since the series began.
8:14- We begin to wrap up the Awesome/Ellie story by given them an offer to move to Chicago. Together. How convenient.
8:16- Sarah is a ninja.
8:17- Chuck says cute “I love Sarah so much” stuff and vows to destroy the intersect. Sarah overhears, anyone think she’s starting to catch on to the fact that he’s a hero, not a villain?
8:18- sisterly advice from Ellie.
8:18 Sarah uses the cutesy information she just learned against Chuck. BOOO.
8:21- Were back with our first last glance of Castle. Chuck hatches a plan.
8:22- Morgan, the night’s voice of self-awareness, points out how this is the third time we’ve called this “one last mission”, he’s glad to be a part of this one cause he was the B plot of the other 2.
8:23- Sarah wears really impractical spyin’ shoes.
8:24- Harry Potter Reference! Morgan finds a cloak of invisibility.
8:25- Sarah is a very suspicious ninja. Chuck might finally be onto her?
8:26- We enter a set we haven’t seen in years. The intersect room- it was in some of the first shots ever on the show. Always a fun finale treat.
8: 26- Sarah finally shows her hand with a gun to Morgan’s head.
8:27- Chuck looks really cute in his bulltet proof vest. Who wouldn’t melt at “it’s me, it’s your Chuck”? Sorry, little bit of a Zachary Levi love moment.
8:28- Sarah hesitates with a moment of heart, bad guy Quinn detonates a bomb anyway. We’re supposed to believe is caught Chuck, Casey and Morgan. It definitely did not. Though I’d like to see this show take a risk and put someone in real danger or maybe die- too dark for the finale?
8:32- Back again. Act Four. Our heroes barely have a scratch on them. Turns out Chuck switched out the glasses and everything’s fine, except that now he’s sad cause he knows Sarah’s gone.
8:33- Sarah punches the bad guy. Always fun. But now he’s pissed that the glasses are fakes- uh oh.
8:34- Casey says something nice, “I’m not gonna lose you both”, but it comes off as heartless cause he’s arguing Sarah might not be able to be saved.
8:35- Twist. Ellie (always in danger!) goes for coffee with Sarah, which (gasp) puts her in danger. In all fairness, she’s been so much better since being let in on the truth that she gets a free pass for hanging out with her sister-in-law, she couldnt have known.
8:38- “This was always a mission for me”, Sarah gives voice to all Chuck’s fears. Casey insists “Sarah’s gone”, Chuck, naturally, refuses to believe it. Because that’s what heroes do.
8:39- Oh hells yeah! Ellie wrecks the car to try and help Chuck. Even if it’s stupid I do like when she’s proactive, it’s a somewhat new development but I’ve been enjoying her “I’m Ellie Woodcomb, since when do I do what I’m told” attitude. And we’re in commercial again.
8:42- We’re back from our cliffhanger. Sarah’s passed out, Ellie’s conveniently fine. Chuck loads Sarah in the Nerd Mobile, essentially kidnapping her. Because HE’s THE HERO.
8:43- Big sister Ellie tattles on Chuck, calling Casey, but she knows where he would take Sarah. McGuffin!
8:44- Sarah goes all cruel so that Chuck can recap their love story and point out how well he knows her and how cure they are. Time for clips of the long-running show (a favourite of mine, always). Oh, Zach’s crying now! EMOTIONAL PLEA! “REMEMBER ME!”
8:46- Moment of truth. Will Sarah pick Chuck or the Intersect? I wonder…
8: 47- Oops, she picked wrong, now she’s beating him up.
8:48- Sarah stops, seeing the thing on the doorframe that they planted earlier this season just for this moment. She’s still got a gun to his head but is about to change her mind when… BAD GUY!
8:49- Badguy tells the truth, Chuck jumps in front of a bullet for Sarah then tells her to run from the incoming CIA. He’s wearing a vest though, so it’s okay. I repeat, EVERYTHING’S OKAY.
8:49- We head to our final commercial off the words “Sarah’s Gone”. Who wants to bet she’ll be back in less than 15 minutes?
8:53- The commercial breaks are getting longer but we’re back and Awesome (favourite!) is taking care of Chuck’s wound. He’s lamenting to Ellie that his wife is (really) gone.
8:53- Ellie/Awesome affection!
8:54- CASEY to the Rescue! Isn’t that always the way? “That’s probably why we never got along”- uh, Case, you’ve been getting along for years now.
8:55- I love Casey. and Adam Baldwin. But mostly (super softie) Casey. He leaves her a DVD.
8:55- The DVD is Sarah’s mission log. Let’s look back on the series, shall we? Complete with Wiener girl outfit and episode-specific references. Hey guess what, Sarah Loves Chuck.
8:57- Chuck’s “sis, I love you” has me thinking about how few shows with great brother-sister relationships there are on TV. Even the ones that are actually about brother-sister relationships.
8: 58- Uh oh. She believes their love story but she doesn’t feel it. Isn’t there a Channing Tatum movie coming out with this plot?
8:59- Part 1 ends on Chuck’s sad face, a tearful “goodbye” and Sarah walking away to go find Quinn because he “took her life away”. Next?
9:00- Two weeks later we pick up on a plane with bad guy Quinn and… is that Jacob from Lost?!
9:01- Sarah is a ninja in inappropriate shoes, Part 3. She’s on the plane. Also, Volkoff and Ring references- earlier season callbacks, it’s clearly finale time!
9:03- Sarah gets knocked out and sucked out of an airplane… oops, nevermind, it’s a dream.
9:03- Oh hi Clara, I forgot you existed.
9:04- Oh man, that wasnt a dream. She really is in a freefal with a very convenient parachute.
9:05- sexy Sarah exploitation, walk up the beach edition.
9: 06- “I’m Chuck Bartowski, it’s not like she’s out of my league”, Chuck states the show’s mission statement of nerd fantasy fulfillment. Except he’s not awkwardly nerdy, just fun nerdy, and really really smart. And happens to be pretty handsome (not Awesome handsome, and certainly not Bryce Larking handome, but really endearingly handsome). So what’s the argument again?
9:07- Oh hey Beckman, I’ve always liked you. Man, either you’re itty bitty or Casey’s MASSIVE, or maybe both.
9:09- “Lord of the Nerd Herd or Charming Charles Carmichael”- ha.
9:10- man, any Canadian 90s kids remember Vik Sahay from his pre-Lester incarnation as the cool kid on “Radio Active”?
9:11- I know he’s glad to see her but why is Chuck walking in slow motion to dramatic score?
9:12- “You always look fantastic, that’s kind of your thing”. Isn’t her thing being a badass?
9:12- You know, Chuck, now that you and her are alone in the well-lit Castle, I’m actually in favour of Morgan’s Disney Princess-inspired plan of just “kiss the girl”.
9:13- Aw, here’s Morgan’s finale moment about how he used to be Chuck’s “go-to best friend” and if he had to hand the title off to anyone he’s glad it’s Sarah. Aw.
9:15 – Commercial. How’s this thing gonna end? Does her memory all come back or do they plan to start over together? Those are the only 2 options I can think of.
9:16- We’re back. But we’re in Berlin, which is always dangerous.
9:18- Bizarro pilot reflections (finale staple!), the mexican restaurant from the pilot.
9:19- I originally thought this season was burning through plot and switching directions way too fast but other than slight detours with that virus thing and Shaw, every arc has led to this one and planted it well. Kudos Josh, you really are one of the smartest showrunners out there (you did well too, Chris).
9:20- Winerlicious! Okay, apparently we’re just replicating the pilot now.
9:23- Sarah takes the bad guy down with a wiener stick. Naturally. So much ninja!
9:24- Chuck’s conflict-avoiding warning shot takes down Casey’s helicoptor- hilarious.
9:24- Commercial Break. Again.
9:28- Casey calls Sarah and Chuck his “old team” and asks Morgan to say goodbye to Alex for him. Calls her a “liability”.
9:29- I like that the writers identified the love story as more important than the spy antics but it’s stuff like this great Morgan/Casey scene that actually are the writing highlights of the series and, specifically, the finale.
9:31- Oh hey Mrs. Bartwoski!
9:31- Awesome, you’re just awesome. Way to cover the baby’s eyes to hide the gun.
9:32- Ah, Ellie’s figured out how to fix Sarah. So I guess it’s option A from my 9:15 query.
9:33- Loving Jeff and Lester’s hero complexes! I’m also greatly fond of the midseason reveal about Jeff’s carbon monoxide poisoning.
9:35- SIDENOTE: these Tim Hortons commercials with Sidney Crosby and the hockey arena are pretty great. It’s been forever since I’ve watched a commercial. I’m all PVR except for baseball games, award shows and major series finales.
9:37- Back. Ooh, pretty orchestra shots. Nice timpany closeup.
9:37- I love a good “victime can’t move” bomb, especially when it’s got a time cruch addition.
9:39- Loving that Ellie’s being helpful. For 3 seasons she was just annoyingly sweet burden.
9:40- Jeffster’s saving the day! Hells Yeah! “Take on Me..takeonme…Take Me On”! I love an unlikely hero, especially one that’s been waiting in the wings for years and desperate to help.
9:41- Oh, twist, he’s giving up giving Sarah her memories in order to do the right thing- thank goodness. So I guess it’s actually option B. Better. Much Better.
9:42- As much as I like conductor Morgan and the grooving orchestra, wouldn’t it have made more sense to evacuate the place while Jeffster played? Taking over the risk would be so much more heroic.
9:43- We’re using the porn virus from the pilot- how appropos.
9: 44- aw, a Beckman/Casey hug- marvelous.
Alright kids, I’m gonna put the laptop down and savour the last few moments of this lovely lovely show. I’m so sad to see it leave the air. I’ll be back to wrap up in a moment.
9:59- The. End.
Beckman’s offer that “they know where to find her”, Casey’s final hug and walk out of castle, Ellie’s goodbye to her “grownup” little brother, Morgan’s happy ending and final best friend advice, the return to that series-important beach, a silent intercut montage of memories and reactions as Chuck tells Sarah “their story” and one final series-ending kiss. I enjoyed the 2 hour finale just fine but a proper finale has me in tears, which it didn’t. But those final 15 minutes- they got me.
Bye Chuck (and Sarah and Casey and Morgan and Jeffster and Mike and Beckman and Awesome and even you Ellie). Thanks for a great 5 years.