Joe vs. The End

Made You Hold Your Breath, Didn’t It?

When Sarah said “What could possibly go wrong?” we just knew something would. Right? Even Chuck knew that things were jinxed when he heard those words, and I’ll bet you knew that too. I know I did.

Every week we found reasons to be concerned about what we saw happening, and we all knew that from the beginning the odds were against that elusive fairy tale ending, the one we all wanted. Seemed like no matter how many times things worked out, there was always going to be something else in the way. No defeat is final, but no victory is permanent, they say.


Of course, I’m talking about Sarah collapsing suddenly to the ground right at the moment when Chuck had reason to be most sanguine. The nerd was officially getting the girl after all, and it was all over but the shouting.

But I’m also talking about the unexpected early verification (and even earlier rumors) that Chuck had been green-lighted for a fifth season. Both were emotion laden moments that appeared out of nowhere. And boy, did they get our attention! Why, Ellie was so caught up in the moment that she passionately kissed the guy who’s on-line handle is, I believe, “Wombraider”. (Okay, I made that up, but it’s too good to be false! Stop groaning. 😉 ).

It’s pretty clear to me that in this world, both fortunes and emotions can change on a dime. And they did this week. It’s the follow-up that’s so interesting and arresting. All the while it’s been easy for me to have confidence that the show would be renewed and I always felt good about the odds. But there was always that bit of uncertainty and doubt that comes with being human. That’s why I breathed a tremendous sigh of relief when the rumors became the story and the story became believable.

Likewise, although there’s always this little bit of a doubt, it’s easy for me now to have confidence that Chuck or Devon or Ellie or Casey or Mary or Morgan or Jeff or Alexei will save Sarah and the wedding will go on and be glorious.

No wait. I said that wrong. I have confidence, but only if you change every “or” in that last sentence to “and”. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I am confident in the fact that I am going to love it. I’m going to enjoy that coming together, that “one for all and all for Sarah” moment I see coming. We’re going to find out that Chuck is not the only one who loves Sarah Lisa Walker as much as the fans, and as I think about it, that’s something I did not see coming. I have not been thinking in those terms.

Who’s Taking Care of Whom?

I should have seen it coming because, in the show, everyone has the habit of lending a hand when needed. It’s one of the constant details – a theme, really –  that I hadn’t quite noticed before. In Chuck vs. The Last Details Mary put herself in harm’s way for only one reason – to help out Chuck and Sarah, so that they could have some time off before the wedding. Casey did what he could (which consisted mostly of chiding, insulting, obstructing and avoiding Morgan) to help Alex (and Morgan too!) have a relatively sane life and keep out of danger. Well, that’s our Casey; whatever works!

It didn’t stop there; Chuck had to delegate some wedding responsibilities, and Morgan was glad to help him. But Morgan had to help Casey and Chuck with the spy work. So he delegated to Jeff and Lester, who were also glad to help! And of course, when the person most willing to help Chuck all his life, Ellie, dropped the ball on the video, Jeff was there to pick it up. Mary toasted Chuck and Sarah, asking them to take care of each other.

In the final tally, everyone’s looking out for everyone just like they always have, and that’s why this finale will be so special. They make me happy and confident that, somehow, the wedding we’ve seen in our imaginations ever since Sarah told Longshore “He’s my guy!” will take place. They make me believe that someone – everyone in the cast and crew – has been looking out for the fans too.

But oh, those doubts! Sarah’s Season 1 predictions that “You’ll forget all about me.” and her statement (about a famous kiss) that “What happened was a mistake, one I will not make again!” were – wrong. Not lies. Wrong. They had an effect, though, causing me to have this little grain of doubt that’s lasted until this day. It was quite intentional on their part, I’m sure, because it keeps me coming back for more of the story. Even though we saw a thousand signals that Sarah loved Chuck every bit as much as he loved her, and even though we just knew they could overcome the obstacles, the reasons for doubting could always be found.

Likewise, the ratings were worrisome all season, so we had our doubts. There were a hundred reasons to believe that NBC was happy with the show, and over five million reasons to believe the advertisers were happy with the fans. We gave them those reasons. In both cases, excitement and despair go hand in hand. Excitement will win out in the end for Chuck&Sarah this week and real life sometimes mirrors that.

There’s a sweet sadness about it. Too early, it seems like we see the end way on the horizon and I think it’s because we’re getting what we’ve always wanted – Chuck and Sarah together, and another season. With the news that Season 5 will be the last, we can’t help but jump ahead to the end, even though we know there’s plenty of time left. It’s sweet-sad because it will be good for the cast and crew to go out on top, and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye.

We’re not there yet, and it’s definitely not going to happen tomorrow. We have a wedding and another season to look forward to. After that, Chuck would be the first to tell you that there’s always surprises coming your way when you’re open to them.

– joe

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
This entry was posted in Fan Base, No Spoilers, Observations, Ratings, Season 4. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Joe vs. The End

  1. Anonymous says:

    “You’ll forget all about me” is Season 2. The fountain speech at the end of Break-Up. Just sayin’…

  2. atcDave says:

    One great observation (hope?) there Joe, that we’ll see how many people love Sarah. For the lonely spy who had no one to call during the Buy More Christmas hostage crisis, she is now well loved by many (of course, they were mostly all there for the hostage crisis…) I guess I’m a sentimental old fool but I love the symmetry of that.

    It is funny how the good renewal news makes Monday’s finale seem like a much more joyous event than if it were really the end. I know I’m excited, and expecting nothing but the best!

    • Big Kev says:

      Ditto, Dave. The promos for the finale look fantastic. The finales have always been good, and this one is going to be no exception. I have no doubt that there is going to be a real wedding (I’m still betting money on there being a fake one, too) – and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they tie everything up and set up Season 5. Can’t wait!

    • joe says:

      Ooohhh – that’s a great call-back, Dave. I wasn’t thinking of the scene in Santa Claus when I wrote that, but I should have!

      I agree about the joyous feeling, too. I’ve got no worries about the finale. It’s gonna be great.

    • thinkling says:

      Thank you Joe. You always remind me of the many reasons I love Chuck.

      I love that, Dave. As much as S3 was a Chuck centric season, with him becoming a spy (ignoring! completely! all the other stuff), S4 has been a Sarah centric season in much the same way, with her finally growing into the real-girl, woman-in-love.

      She came to Chuck fairly broken and incomplete, and gradually that has changed … completely. Like she said on their day off, everything is perfect. Of course things still go wrong, but with family and friends to pull you through, that’s OK. (admittedly this is a pretty big thing to go wrong … let’s not do it again)

      Of the people who will band together, many are her [new] family … something she never really had. In Ellie, she has a sister she can talk to (who is married to a an awesome doctor who will no doubt keep her alive). She has a mother-in-law who obviously loves her like a daughter. That’s a gift, since her own mother appears not to care at all. Besides that, she has two real friends who care about her, something she once declared she didn’t have in her life (Best Friend). Her relationship with Casey went from distrust to partner to friend to quasi big brother. And when she got Chuck, she inherited Morgan as a best friend. Yep, our lonely spy now has both family and friends who love her and will fight together to save her. (And let’s not forget that somewhere out there is a crazy MI6 scientist-turned-weapons-dealer who fits into this family in the bizarrest way imaginable.)

      As for Chuck, he will be the hero he has always wanted to be … for her. Who needs Bryce or Cole … or even James Bond when you’ve got a hero/lover (soon-to-be husband) like Chuck. He leaves the rest in the dust … always has.

      All of this puts the show exactly where I want it to be. I could camp out here forever and watch Bartowski adventures for a long, long time. I hate to say good-bye. But I am so glad I don’t have to say good-bye tonight!

  3. Gord says:

    Saw a promo this weekend for the finale. It had 3 clips from S1 – When Sarah made her first date with Chuck at the Buy More, when they were on the beach the morning after the first date, and their fist kiss in Hard Salami. Then it put up a scene of the wedding (with Morgan officiating) and stated something like finally we are going to see Chuck and Sarah’s wedding. This promo played up the romance angle rather than the action/drama promo we saw at the end of last week’s episode.

    I’m looking forward to this week’s episode, and I know its going to be spectacular. It will also be the last good monday ever, since Chuck is moving to friday nights.

    Like you said, it is going to be an exciting episode. Let’s enjoy the moment.

    • joe says:

      You mean, Mondays are just going to be Mondays again?

      Oh Nooos! 😉

      • Tamara Burks says:

        I just hope it isn’t opposite Fringe. And if it is they’ll still show Fringe again late Saturday night because watching online with my computer is a bit of a pain.

      • Michael says:

        No, Mondays will become Fridays. That means a shorter work week. I’m all for that! :O

        :: patented eye brow dance::

        Dang! That hurts!

  4. lappers84 says:

    Great article Joe, we’ll finally get to see the people who love Sarah jump into action (including the CAT squad) man I’ve got goosebumps. It is the last ever Chuck Monday and I feel like the finale is going to blow us away 😀

  5. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    Joe,
    I don’t know if it was actually so much that the show had us holding our breath – in as much as they were throwing so much at us, so fast, all at once …. were they trying to distract us? *** Like chasing a school of fish – hrrrmm – never mind***
    For a show that is typically accused of telegraphing its plot… and being predictable –
    I think they have done an incredible job of keeping so many plates spinning in the air…
    If you do a quick count – there are alot of things that need to be resolved – or at least dealt with – so that they lead into Season 5.
    Volkoff, Mary, Vivian, Ellie, the Orion Laptop, the return of the Cat Squad, the CIA Eraser, Morgan + Alex, Casey… although I don’t think we’ll get any further into the matters of Alex and her mom, and the relationship with Casey right now …
    hmmm…. I must be forgetting something….. errr .. something about a wedding… do I remember that correctly ???? – Oh ya, I think I also recall that something happened to that pretty blonde spy lady…. old “whats-her-name”…. : ))

    PS – anyone else ever notice the Star Wars thread that runs through the show?
    Even though each episode is showing the events and adventures of Chuck [ Luke] – the real story is about Stephen [ Anakin] and his legacy ~ just say’n

    Joe, did you really think you could post these thoughts without everyone turning it into a preview/ prediction / celebration about the EPIC Season 4 finale?… Ok, I know you did that on purpose…. you sly dog…

    • joe says:

      Whoa! Good observation, Gringo. You know, the thing that really grabbed me with this show, way back in S2, was exactly what you described. – the way they had all those plates spinning with Orion and Vincent and Roark and that Colonel who was trying to embunker Chuck… They are so good at giving me that roller-coaster ride effect. 😉

      Star Wars references? What Star Wars references???

      OH – I’M KIDDING! When Chuck is humming John William’s Imperial Theme, we’re being hit over the head with reference two-by-fours, my friend!

      But here’s one for you. I believe there was a semi-subtle Dune reference in The Last Details. Did you catch it?

      And yes, you’ve revealed my dastardly plot. There WILL be consequences. Mua-ha. 😉

  6. jason says:

    Joe, I liked that …. and congrat’s ono one more season …. looks like you’ll have to put up with us for a while – sorry about that! I have 3 hopes for tonight:

    1 – they have a nice, real wedding, reflecting the mood of the 16 second clip we saw
    2 – the cliffhanger leaves me (I can’t hope it leaves us all) excited rather than dreading next season
    3 – the actual drama plays out in some sort of clever, logical fashion

    How about you joe / or others?

    • joe says:

      I’m really glad you liked it, Jason.

      I have a feeling that this season finale will have a bit of a cliff-hanger in it, but only a thin thread of one to take us into S5. I’m guessing there will be less of one than we’ve seen in the past, if only because, when it was written, TPTB were less certain about renewal.

      The fans have an unusual relationship with cliff-hangers, don’t they? It’s a real love-it-hate-it kind of thing. Cliffies should be used to heighten anticipation for the next season, but if there’s one thing Chuck fans don’t lack, it’s a sense of anticipation.

      I’ll betchya the operative word will be “satisfaction” when all is said and done.

    • atcDave says:

      Jason I have exactly the same hopes for tonight!

    • thinkling says:

      Ditto all, Jason, with the caveat that the dream wedding (if indeed there is one) not eclipse the real one.

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