Starting today we will be bombarded by spoilers and teasers and reactions for Friday’s series finale, proving that the end is near.
Here at Chuckthis, we don’t have that kind of pull, but we do have a little bit of preview ourselves courtesy of SWFG’s @MrsHekmi and TVFanatic (BTW you can read the entire interviews thing there). As mentioned these won’t be the entire on-set interviews from the second to last day on set on Chuck, but just the snippets that I felt important enough to highlight.
Be warned this will be spoiler-ific (well not really, these guys really tried to stay mum), so if you’re phobic, avert your eyes.
As Chuck fans, we kind of have a motto that says, “never say die,” now granted this season it was repeatedly emphasized that this would be it, but I know some Chuck fans still wondered. So with that in mind, definitive statement here: this is definitely it. And to be honest, I’m thankful for it:
Zac: “It’s gnarly, it’s really, really surreal [having to say goodbye]. I don’t feel like we were cut short, as much, as difficult as it is to have to kind of close the last chapter on this journey. I don’t feel like we’ve been shorted. I think that 5 seasons is actually a really good amount of time. I think that often times in network television, you’re left with more than what you really wanted. 22 episodes seasons, 24 episodes seasons at 7-8, 9, 10 years, can-eventually you kind of go like, “all right we get it. We got…” The sitcoms you can kind of stretch that out a little more because you’re really just tuning in for fun jokes every week but for something like this that’s definitely with story arcs and serial you know, how many bad guys and missions can you go on before you feel like you’re repeating the same thing. So I feel like we gotten a really perfect amount of time together. And it’s been special from day 1.”
Not that I would turn away filler episodes, filler seasons but I agree. It’s very rare that a show has a definitive end, how many of us have had our hearts broken? So for Chuck to end on its own note, that’s a gift.
Fedak: “We kind of knew pretty early, we knew as the show kind of came out that this will probably/most likely be the final season…NBC’s been very up front on that front. With 13 episodes. So we kind of designed the season to answer a lot of questions and to tell a final story. It’s kind of different from seasons past where we have a hole in our back pocket, or a secret door where I can kind of push the story through and finally tells the tale. This is very much…we’re closing the ‘Chuck’ story. We’re telling a big, epic finale. It’s a little different this season. Now some of you are saying we’re trying to do a Chuck movie or something, that would be awesome but for the most part this season, from the get go has been designed as The Finale.”
As for what that finale will entail?
Fedak: “We have essentially blown it out. We have multiple units going on each day, we have set pieces that we…we were over at Universal last night shooting, “Berlin.” We’ve gone a little international. For the most of the season we’ve actually kept it pretty domestic. We like that idea, we like bringing Chuck back to the States, making the show a little bit smaller. Now we’re blowing it out. We’re going back to the big tradition of Berlin, and Japanese Bullet Trains, but also in our second to last episode, it’s very much an intimate thriller. There’s a lot of very exciting things happening just in our core, usual, home bases…It’s very callback. It’s very much an episode haunted by previous seasons. You’re going to find a lot of echoes. The first half of the night, episode 12, is very much a contained thriller. Then episode 13, every act will have echoes of past seasons and it will make…you’ll see how we’ll fold into the story and the narrative will make a lot of sense. But there is something about it…as we were working on the episode, breaking it in the writers’ room, we wanted something that was a play through the entire show, not just this season.”
In looking back (call back and all), this is how the cast feels about the show, their characters and the end:
Yvonne: “I mean overall, I’m really happy with the journey that Sarah Walker has had from the sort of the emotional stunted spy who didn’t know how to express herself going into somebody who was more emotional and being able to express that. And then getting more into the comedy stuff of the show. And she fell into a ‘normal’ relationship, as normal as you can get with somebody when you’re a spy. It’s been a really nice evolution.”
As are we all!
Scott: “I’m really, really excited. I think they wrote an amazing ending. It’s going to be-I think it’s going to be very satisfying for the fans. For my character and just the show in general, I think for anyone who’s been there from the beginning, I think it’s going to really tie up in a really, really nice way.”
Vik: “it’s a really big chapter to close and it’s very, very, very emotional. You know I’ve been the guy who’s been a little itchy, a little edgy to bite into other things and now that this is happening it’s very, very heartbreaking in a way…You know it’s funny being on this show because it’s such a–I don’t know if the word is honor, to be a part of a show where the fans were so behind it–coz it’s so mysterious, it’s so illusive how things connect with fans because you can kind of take all the pieces of why it should and put it together and it often doesn’t. So that kind of alchemy between the show and the fans is stunning, it’s what’s allowed the producers and whatnot to create the show that they’ve created. And so it’s just something I’ve never experience before and it’s so moving and I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to feel that kind of…that kind of back and forth again.”
Gomez: I don’t know if–it’s [the end] one of those things I think also where you kind of go, “I don’t know if I can ever be happy.” There are so many different ways, I mean I saw myself…I guess I shouldn’t say. Who knows if it could happen, but you know I just saw myself falling out in a hell of gunfire. So anyway, you have all these things of how you could go out and I don’t know if any of them are entirely satisfying. Something’s coming an end, that you kind of care about, that you’ve grown to, it’s grown to be a part of you, it’s a part of you. But yeah, it’s totally cool and it’s ‘Chuck’ man, so you–I think the fans are going to dig it and that’s the most important thing. Who cares what I think, as long as the fans dig it.
In looking back, it was lovely to read this from Zac:
Zac: I love that the people who have played my parents in this show, have both kind of been that. Linda’s like a mom on set, Scott was like a dad on set. He and I have–I felt in a lot of the conversations we had, over our time together–had a lot in common. He imparted a lot of wisdom to me. His journey on Quantum Leap was similar to mine here and that it was like all day everyday go, go, go, crazy hours but a great family. He was so supportive of me from day 1. Yeah, just an excellent guy.
Now here’s a little something for Ernie:
Zac: ” I think that in the next 5 years we’re going to see really incredible steps as far as what social networking and the impact of that will have. Not just reading tweets and people hashtagging and trending things, I’m talking about offering fans, offering the public the opportunity to have the power. I believe that you need to give them the power back. I believe that if you trust them with it, everyone’s has an understanding that if you believe in whatever this is–don’t steal it, don’t rip it, but buy it. As long as you’re not gouging your audience, that you can build a healthy relationship with them. It can be a consumer driven [market], where you’re not worried as a fan that your show is going to get ripped off the air because of some weird number of live plus and all, and online that nobody–and by the way we’re not even online right now. I don’t understand why we’re not. There’s not even a chance we’re gonna come back for another season so it’s not like driving people to watch it live is going to have—I don’t get it. And I really want to take a lot of those middle men out of the process. I want to go and create my own independent content and entertainment and new models and new ways. Essentially kind of show studios and networks and whoever, that people are good. Consumers and fans will treat something preciously if they’re given the opportunity to do so.”
He expands on that with what he talked about before during my day at the Chuck set:
Zac: “…what’s crazy about it is for the footlong finale, to buy them for that one day I think was genius and smart. I think a lot of people felt like, ‘oh so if I keep on buying sandwiches it’ll keep it on the air,’ but the reality is I don’t think that had any kind of impact at all. However, it should! I think it should. I think Subway, why not? If I were Subway, I’d say…I’d love to be the sole sponsor of this show. Everybody knows, Chuck is brought to you by Subway so if you go and buy Subway sandwiches, and we’ll have a card at the checkout that says, ‘I bought this because of this’? They can monetize it right then and there. They can go ‘oh we’re selling this many more sandwiches because Chuck fans (who might not even like our sandwiches) love this show? Rock and roll. We’re all about it.’ That’s to me, that’s a good step in the right direction. Forget even that, I think iTunes, just sell it per show. Do it. Then people have the choice. They can say, ‘I like this, I’ll buy this.’ I mean how many apps do you have on your phone? Clearly the people of Angry Birds know that they’ve done something well. I want to do that. I really want to create for my own entertainment.”
Chuck’s journey is ending, and so is the show. So about that ending…
Q: “When I was asking John Scheinder about the series ending of Smallville, he told me, ‘when you’re at home watching this, you’re going to stand up and cheer,’ and I did. Will I for Chuck?”
Fedak: “Um, I hope so. But it’s also maybe….I think the ending of Smallville was very, it’s a very specific ending for a show that’s been promising that for quite some time. And it’s awesome, an awesome moment. This is a little different, it’s a little different. Hopefully a cheer worthy moment, but also different than that.”
Q: “You guys have made maybe, 4-5 episodes that could have been series finales but left enough of an open door to come back. Did this one, when you got to the writing of it, now the filming of it, did it–aside from just the knowledge that you know this actually is the end–did it feel different?”
Fedak: It’s different. It’s different. It’s definitely a different type of ending. We wanted to do something a little different. My instinct as a writer, is always to kind of–especially as a television writer–to like, “you’re going to want to see what happens next.” And that’s not the void, it’s not, not a part of this…it’s contracted in a different way, it’s the final moment… The shape of that last scene came about at the end of last season. When we started working on, thinking about season 5, we kind of came up with the pitch of the show, then we had the shape. Then Josh and I went to NBC and Warner Brothers and we pitched them what we wanted to do and this ending, in one shape or another was always the kind of ending (since last season). It was always the kind where we wanted to go. We knew it was going to be our final moment. So it’s been a year to make… It’s always been the heart of the thing.
There you have it, Chuck will end the way it’s supposed to end. This Friday, at 8 pm.