Chuck vs. Goodbye (Review)

It will come as no surprise to you that I loved it. I’d ask you to let me show you why but I’m fearful that you’ll think I’m just feeding you manure so I won’t. Instead I’ll tell you why I liked it and how I see it. I’ve been honest in all of my reviews and in this, the very end, I won’t lie. In any case here goes…

At the end of the day, I believe that Sarah regained her memories because I want it to be true. If you haven’t read Mo Ryan’s review of the episode, I recommend a read, it is quite honestly the best sentiment I could give but I digress. See the thing about Chuck from the get go is…it’s a leap of faith. Love is a leap of faith. Against all odds, you had to believe that Chuck Bartowski could get the leggy Valkyrie who was so very much out of his league; you had to believe that through all the roadblocks and the covers that what they felt was real, that the love was real, that it would survive. Even when they tried to tell you it’s over, even when they tried to end it, you had to believe. You had to because you fell in love with them, in much the same way they fell for each other. This situation is no different. You have to believe that Sarah regained her memories because there’s not even remotely any other way possible that she didn’t, that she doesn’t. They gave you just enough for you to believe that if you wanted. At the end of the day it was your choice, your decision, just like it was Sarah’s. At the end of the day it was your choice to trust the love, or not. To “listen to [our] heart[s] because our brains only screw things up.”

There’s such a thing as implicit and explicit memory. Implicit memory is also known as “non-declarative” memory because you can’t verbalize what those memories are; but you know them, somewhere in there you know it. They usually involve “specific step by step procedures,” or “specific feelings or emotions.” Explicit memory is something you can verbalize, it can be declared. Sarah showed that her implicit memories were intact when she moved the cups in Wienerlicious the way they’re supposed to be (step-by-step procedures),

Sarah: “They’re in the wrong order. It’s not how it should be.”
Chuck: “Sarah you know this place?”
Sarah: “No, no I don’t.”

…when she knew that the beach was an important place to her,”This place is important, isn’t it?” She doesn’t know why those things are important, she doesn’t know why she felt she needed to go to the beach to clear her head, but she did. Somewhere in her implicit memory banks she knows these things and feels these emotions but she doesn’t have the explicit memory to be able to explain them, to be able to really know who she is. BUT something’s missing, she knows something’s missing.

The romantic in me wants to believe that that something missing in her was the other half to her whole, her Chuck. She doesn’t know that she loves him, she doesn’t even know that she’s missing him but some part of her knows that something’s missing (obviously something more than just her memories). That part of her seems to gravitate to all the places and all the activities that begs for an awakening. Irene Demova? Why not fruit juice? I think it’s because she fell for Chuck a long, long time ago, after he fixed her phone and before he “started diffusing bombs with computer viruses.” That memory stuck with her, just not the details, “I am, not really sure what that meant.”

Earlier she was compelled to make sure he was okay because…? If there was nothing there, then why? Yes he did just take a bullet for her, and yes she just found out that she’s been betrayed but why? She doesn’t feel what he feels, right? Casey said it best, “funny, when we first met they said the same thing about you [that they said about me].” That she was “unfriendly, unforgiving, unquestioning about her orders.” And yet she hesitated, even after being freed. She, just for a moment, wanted to believe his words, “This is real? You really love me?” She wanted to believe his love, that is until training kicked in. She even recognized the carving, “I wrote that.” So is it really all gone? Never to be recovered? No, it’s not. They showed that. They showed that she retains her implicit memories, and it’s growing by the moment.

Now, how to prime those implicit memories to spark explicit memories. Priming is a way to cue a memory by using a stimulus. Ellie and Morgan had suggestions for priming. Ellie: feelings; Morgan: magical kiss. “It’s clear we can’t force Sarah to remember but emotions, feelings those are powerful things and if you can find Sarah, maybe you can spark some of these memories.” Logically if seeing the carving primed her memory of having carved it, then Chuck should be able to prime her memories with his feelings, with his lips. Their solutions weren’t trivial, they were essential. And it works, to a point. She fixed his tie, that was curious. Agent Walker who has just been betrayed felt the need to…trust Chuck with her mission? Even after seeing the video and all that he’s lost, and all that she has (essentially) taken away from him, she knew she could count on him. Curiouser and curiouser. So Sarah Walker trusts Chuck with the mission, progress.

Sarah: “I just want to tell you that I believe you, I believe everything that you told me about us. But the truth is Chuck, I-I don’t feel it. Everything that you told me about us and our story, I don’t feel it.”
Chuck: “Right. Right of course, I-ah-I don’t know what I was expecting.”
Sarah: “Well, I wanted to say sorry about everything that has happened today but most of all, I just wanted to say goodbye.”

All of this after seeing her video logs. More on the most poignantly devastating event in Chuck history, later. So Sarah felt the need to say goodbye and apologize. She’s changed in these last 5 years and it’s apparent, even to her. Suppressed memories cannot undo that. Now you’re probably yelling, see? Faith? See! She doesn’t feel it, it’s gone! My response? It’s not gone, she does feel, she shows in that very moment that she does feel. Sarah goes out of her way to break his heart, to crush his dreams, why? It’s less cruel than letting him dream. Whatever she feels or doesn’t feel, she still felt the need to say goodbye. What we have here isn’t a lack of emotion like she said, it’s a lack of trust. She doesn’t trust what she feels for him, and she doesn’t trust their love.

Back to the solution. Chuck’s mission is a tall order but it’s got two benefits. One, maybe she falls in love with him again, just by being just who he is, and two he unconsciously primes her with all of his feelings and all that they meant to each other. Fate even helped out with some fortuitous locations. So maybe, just maybe something will spark the flood of memories. But it’s never that easy, is it? Because as mentioned, she still doesn’t trust. She hasn’t fallen for him (again), yet. Not yet.

So what’s the difference between when she tells him not to talk about their life together in the eerily familiar Mexican restaurant, and the beach scene where she asks him to tell her? What took place between those two moments apart from just the mission, apart from just people telling her they’re in love? She fell for him, all over again (but not really again). Seeing the hero that would put the world before himself (remember Sarah Walker has spent a lifetime with men that only looked out for number one, even her father put himself over her)–seeing the guy that wouldn’t take a life in a new light, “you must think I was weak or scared but you taught me to be a spy Sarah…after when we fell in love, you stood up for me. You didn’t want me to be any other spy, you didn’t want me to change.”–those are just two reasons that made her fall in love (again). It’s also important to note that after Chuck told her about her old self standing up for the “Chuck” she loved, she did it again this time. “I heard your pep talk, I think I’m better off finding Quinn on my own. I’m leaving.” The pep-talk part leads me to assume that it was more than just, “Chuck can’t handle killing Quinn, he won’t back me up so I’ll go alone.” Then there’s the fact that Chuck is the kind of guy that would be there for her, assure her that even when painful for him he would be there for her, be someone she can call and do it without strings. So I assume she fell in love with him all over again (you don’t have to buy into it, but there it is) but things aren’t fixed, the problem isn’t solved. Sarah still doesn’t (fully) remember and she still doesn’t trust.

Chuck: “Maybe it’s a fresh start, a new beginning.”
Sarah: “I need some time to think. To be alone. I’m sorry.”

Enter Chuck and the beach. Chuck just knew where she was, and she knew just where to be. That’s love, sometimes it cannot be explained (even though I have tried with implicit memories for Sarah).

Chuck: “I was hoping you’d be here.”
Sarah: “This place is important, isn’t it?”
Chuck: “Yeah, this is actually where you told me that I was going to be ok. That I can trust you. That’s what I’m doing now, asking you to trust me. Sarah, I don’t want anything from you. I just need you to know that wherever you go, I’ll always be there to help you. Someone you can call, whenever. Trust me, Sarah. I’m here for you always”
Sarah: “Tell me our story.”

So what’s changed that she suddenly wants to know their story? She trusts.

I like to think that as Chuck tells her their story–as we relive their journey–she remembers some things, though not others. Nevertheless, Ellie’s plan is in motion: he’s reminding her with his feelings. As she laughs and cries about the last 5 years, maybe she falls in love with him even deeper and remembers. But that’s just one part of the plan, the other part is that magical kiss. Is it Disney-ish? Is it so ridiculous to think that she could remember with just a kiss, as if it were a fairytale? Or is it ridiculous to think that a kiss wouldn’t help her regain her memories, after all of this? I pick the latter, I pick it because to me Chuck has always been a fairytale in some form or another. Chuck was the Frog, and she always saw the Prince. This time, Chuck was kissing Sleeping Beauty, and she had to awaken. She wanted so much to remember, how could we not want it for her?

Sarah: “Chuck, kiss me.”

A steamy kiss that continues, during sunset. To me there is no way that she doesn’t [remember]. And there’s no better way to end it. In the beach, where it all began.

Other notes: I couldn’t have imagined a more emotionally resonant episode than this (note: In my mind vs. Sarah and Goodbye are one). Chuck begging, and urging her to remember…so sad and yet so lovely. I quite literally felt my heart break in that moment. I fell for him in that moment just as my heart was breaking. Zachary Levi shined in this episode, and none more so than in that moment. Completely bare and totally vulnerable, great call. But the crowning glory of all things emotional were the video logs. Yvonne Strahovski and the content of the logs, completely did me in.

Day 1: My mission is simple, find out what he knows, gain his trust, monitor his actions until the agency decides what to do with him.
Day 21: Chuck came over to my hotel room today and brought me a pizza. Vegetarian, no olives. I think he’s making it his mission to get to know me. It’s sweet.
Day 49: Chuck broke up with me today. Well, uh, fake-fake broke up with me. Technically.
Day 56: Chuck and I were defusing a bomb today and there was a moment where we were sure we were going to die. He closed his eyes, and I kissed him. I kissed him.
Day 564: Things are calm for once. No missions, nothing really to report, except I still find myself sitting here, talking to myself because… Because I love him. I love Chuck Bartowski and (voice breaks) I don’t know what to do about it.

More than the clips, more than Sarah falling in love with Chuck all over again, more than all the callbacks, the video log was my love letter from the show. It’s a letter I cherish, and one that means just as much in that moment (believing that all is lost) than it does in the last 5 years, because of the last 5 years. It’s very rare for TV Shows to delve into the mind of its characters, it’s just not an easy thing to do but they did it, with Sarah. Breathtaking. Every reaction, ever emotion, just magnificent.

Casey picking a life with Gertrude over his career, and in some ways his daughter just felt right. Alex has grown up, he has to let go, and as he has grown as well, Alex has to let him go. She’s got Morgan now.

The Woodcombs and their affluent future in the Midwest also felt right. Ellie needed to let go, she’s been protecting and taking care of Chuck for far too long, Chuck’s all grown up…he doesn’t need her anymore, he needs Sarah.

Jeffster riding off into the sunset, all the way to a record deal? Couldn’t have ended any better. Subway as the Buy More though? Pure laugh.

I can’t think of any actor that didn’t act their heart out in this one. From Bonita to Adam, to Sarah Lancaster and Linda Hamilton, they all brought their A game and it was, if not their finest performances (definitely Linda Hamilton’s finest performance), it was close to it. Even the Buy Morians had lines!

In the end, it was to me, a fitting conclusion to a memorable and lovable series called Chuck. Full of heart, drama and laughs. Yes I will admit that it would have been nice, preferable really, for them to make it explicitly clear that she regained her memories before fading out but I don’t need it. They showed me, as indicated, in many ways why I should believe what I believe. They showed me, why it’s a given. They showed me 5 years of love in 87 minutes. They showed me two people falling in love in 87 minutes. They showed me exactly why I should and have been trusting that love. Love is after all, a leap of faith. Even more amazing, they made me feel it. All of it, every single one. Thank you for the lifetime of memories Chuck (TPTB), and especially this finale. Now how about that movie…

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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
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408 Responses to Chuck vs. Goodbye (Review)

  1. Faith – I woke up [ way too early] this morning – with this tune running through my head as a response to what we watched last night:

    I appreciate the way you’re rationalized the intent of what entertained us last night –
    but I still think they dropped the ball or missed a callback many times:
    Without changing the outcome or direction of the show these are the things I missed seeing~
    It would have been funny for Sarah to open their closet – and notice that all her suitcases were unpacked…..
    It would have been funny for Sarah to be in their bathroom and find a pregnancy test kit…
    It would have been funny for Sarah to come to bed that first night wearing flannel pj’s under a sweat suite…. [ she never dresses like that]
    It would have been funny for her to call him: ” Dear”
    It would have been wonderful to see the two of them have another fountain scene….

    Even without 5 years of memories – it would have been really great to see a few more moments of her attraction to him ….. I found there was too much of her pushing him away… or of her trying to run away. Maybe it was just such a shock for her to ‘ Wake Up’ and see what her life had become.
    Like its a metaphor …. she’d been asleep for the past 5 years – and now she’s awake.
    We teased and taunted about the death of one of our characters…. thankfully the ending was not so tragic…..
    hmmm – someone else used the word slightly tragic when describing the end of the show.

    • Jason says:

      Grinko – it is funny, you laid out a case for a logical conclusion, then did not make it. I thought you were going to conclude someone did die in the final arc, Sarah Bartowski died.

      • well – that was my point….
        If we had truly witnessed the true power of the ruthless Fedak …
        – I think Sarah would have died…. but apparently the guy isn’t completely heartless.
        He did mention an angry mob – complete with torches and pitchforks….
        Clever pun about and actor that’s going to play a role in the new Frankenstein movie.

    • gameagain says:

      Even without 5 years of memories – it would have been really great to see a few more moments of her attraction to him ….. I found there was too much of her pushing him away… or of her trying to run away.

      Amen. Let’s go to the script of Other Guy, shall we? When Chuck asked if Sarah if she loved him, remember when we were all heart-warmed by this revelation:

      Sarah: “Chuck, I fell for you a long *long* time ago. After you fixed my phone, and before you started diffusing bombs with viruses. So, yes. ”

      So now….NOW….rather than an instant same-day attraction, we have what’s supposed to be “5 years ago” Sarah weilding a knife, distrustful, punching Chuck, threatening Ellie, trying to run. etc.Even “old Sarah” — the one in the pilot — wasn’t this much of a hard-ass. She realized Chuck’s goodness that first day. She defended him to TPTB and Casey, realizing he wasn’t a threat. She had his back from DAY ONE, even though she didn’t know who he was other than “another assignment.” She may have been aloof and stand-offish, but she was never overly threatening or cruel in her dealings with Chuck as she saw him for the honest, good person he was. And, as we were lead to believe, she fell for him at the Buy More upon that first encounter.

      But that pre-established characterization of Sarah’s first impressions were tossed because having her be “kickass Sarah” toward Chuck made for “better television.”

      And THAT’S why this ending failed. They tossed out everything they established in the pilot itself as well as her future revelations as to what she felt on that first day. If this ending was to be a true “reset,” then those same feelings should have been there upon her second “first meeting.”

      • lappers84 says:

        Keep in mind Game that Quinn made Sarah believe Chuck was the enemy (granted she probably should have checked that first – but you have less of a story then.) – The Chuck Sarah met at the Buy More 5 years ago was innocent nerd Chuck (it was probably easier to like him more) – this Chuck is more suave and confident and again Sarah is in belief that he is the enemy (this is Agent Walker in enemy territory – so I don’t think it was OOC) – If Chuck was the first person who came to her when she woke up with no memory it would likely have been a whole different ball game.

      • The initial circumstances were different. In S1, Sarah started from a better place. She saw a regular guy help the ballerina and offer to help her with her baggage. In S5, Sarah was told that Chuck had killed Graham and Bryce. She heard him admit he was going to break into a government facility and destroy the Intersect (not knowing that’s what Bryce did). She saw what looked like a rogue spy company. She found Intersect glasses. What she saw from Chuck still didn’t make sense, so she hesitated in killing him several times. With the help of just a couple memories, she believed him by the end of 5.12. After spending time with spy-Chuck, she still was starting to fall in love with him again.

        I thought it showed that she quickly fell for Nerd Herd-Chuck of S1, but even with a stacked deck, she’d still fall for confident Spy-Chuck of S5.

    • ~ just needed to add one other small quibble:
      So at the end of all things – Chuck needed to have the Intersect ‘Reloaded’…. again.
      All our discussion and debate about his hero journey
      – and finally wearing his big boy pants…. [sigh]
      – guess his destiny coin came up heads on that one, once again he felt his call of duty.
      Only – he didn’t really get to fully embrace the dark side again. [ errr – Yet]
      I did like the way Sarah remembered the Porn Star Virus- that was a nice touch.

      • lappers84 says:

        Chuck now has the pristine Intersect – which can add abilities. Plenty of wiggle room for more adventures later me thinks (Movie?? *Hint* *Hint*)

    • Faith says:

      She also used the words, “nice note. [It ends on a] nice note.” ;).

      Yeah you know I don’t disagree with you that they missed some opportunities but as they are dealing with time, it really just came down to the things that are most memorable for her in the places that are the most memorable.

      I like to think that if she can remember the cups from Wienerlicious, a place she worked in what? For 6 memorable months? She could remember from Chuck’s kiss and Chuck’s love. That’s not unfounded to me. Like I said, they gave me just enough to make me believe.

      Nice song.

  2. thinkling says:

    Great post, Faith. Thank you for letting me see it through your eyes. I haven’t gotten a chance to rewatch, but you’ve given me some things to look for.

  3. sd says:

    Excellent review, Faith. I, too, was wrecked by the log–just heartbreaking in the context of the episode.

    I, however, don’t think her memories flood back with that kiss—more–as Chuck said to her at the end of Honeymooner’s—“its a start.”

    I think there just wasn’t enough to prove that she hadn’t lost so much of what she learned over the last five years–which is leading with kindness instead of gun, fists or knives. And that family trumps everything.

    But you’re right, with a little imagination you can see our fictional heroes whole again.

    • Faith says:

      I’d take “it’s a start.” Don’t see it, as noted but I think that’s part of the beauty of that ending, in the end it’s what you believe it to be.

      My hope is that those additional minutes shows more of her showing that she’s not lost, that her memories aren’t completely gone. We’ll see 🙂

  4. Thank you Faith. This was an emotional episode and emotions are running high on both ends. You can’t really rationalize emotions – or rather feelings – they are neither right nor wrong. They just are. Mine right now are a mix of sad, happy but the strongest is love.
    I can’t add anything to this. At all. But I can repeat something you said, something – important: They showed me 5 years of love in 87 minutes. They showed me two people falling in love in 87 minutes. They showed me exactly why I should and have been trusting that love. Love is after all, a leap of faith. Even more amazing, they made me feel it. All of it, every single one. Thank you for the lifetime of memories Chuck (TPTB), and especially this finale.
    Goodbye Chuck. I dare say we will never see the likes of you again.

    • esardi says:

      Peter you are going to have to explain to me 87 minutes of two people falling in love again. What I saw in 5.12 was anything but. This Sarah Walker was just cruel. She tried to kill him several times, kidnapped Ellie AND WOULD HAVE KILLED HER! Finally she mocks him when she says” you really love me” and at the end of the episode says I know you are telling the truth, I just don’t feel it.

      Now if that is you version of falling in love, you and I have a different perception of what love is. What surprised me was that she was cold and distant almost the entire 5.13 episode. I am sorry but I did not see much of two people falling in love. Maybe there is a silver lining at the end. Maybe those extra eight minutes they are talking about will show us some loving, because there was not much of that coming from the Sarah character last night.

      • Faith says:

        If it’s all right with you, I’ll disagree. Yes I did see two people fall in love in 87 minutes. The first several minutes were rocky but from that you can see the change. Just on Yvonne’s facial expressions, just on how she looks at things that are to her internally familiar but externally confusing. She fought a hard battle against love but in the end she trusted it and was better for it. Somewhat parallel to Casey’s journey within this episode actually. It’s all in there, you only had to want to see.

      • PererOinNJ says:

        I didn’t say I saw 87 minutes of them falling in love. I said 87 minutes of love. Zac gave the most incredible performance of unconditional love I’ve ever seen on screen. Love has the power to transform, to change. I believe that his love will change get again. It already started.

    • Faith says:

      I really don’t think we will see the likes of it again. There’s something special both about the show and our relationship with it. I’ll miss it for sure.

      Thanks for the kind words. Yeah I don’t think you can rationalize emotion. What you feel is what you feel, for or against. And that’s fine.

  5. Jason says:

    Faith – at the end of the day Faith what you are implying is that TPTB are asking fans to take a leap of faith that Sarah and Chuck are OK. If they wanted me to, all they had to do is ask, I would have. They did not!

    • Faith says:

      Jason, if you allow me this…I think they did. They asked it when they had Sarah tell Chuck, “tell me a story” and in turn asked us to remember that story (our version of it at least 😉 ) and trust that love.

      It’s fine though, what we want is a guarantee and we didn’t get that. I don’t dispute that at all. It was, like I said, a leap of faith.

      • Paul says:

        The only tweak that I would have done to the ending was at the camera was panning back on Chuck and Sarah kissing, I would have had Sarah break the kiss, simply smile at Chuck and then continue kissing. You still leave the ending open to interpretation by the audience, but gives more concrete evidence that they are together.

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      Paul, they do break apart after a couple seconds, just not far enough apart or long enough for a smile. They wanted to kiss again too quickly.

  6. Aerox says:

    See, that’s the exact thing that bothers me. The episodes were of a ridiculously high quality, but the ending didn’t communicate it enough. It was sweet, romantic, slightly tragic and other adjectives, but it missed that one final moment, that one TRUE moment of recognition that would’ve made an okay/good finale into a great finale. And, considering the quality of the 81 minutes prior to this scene, that makes it even more frustrating. Still, I envy people who liked the ending, I really do. I wish I could say the same, but in the words of Chuck himself (although in a totally different setting) “They don’t do it justice. They just don’t cut it.”

    • lappers84 says:

      I still would have liked to have heard an extra line from Sarah after the kiss, or a little extra convo at the end.

      • Wilf says:

        I heartily agree lappers. That’s all it would have taken for me, too. Would the ending have lost from that? No. Would it have gained? Hugely, without in any way messing it up for others of a different view.

      • atcDave says:

        Yup, I agree Lappers.

        I’ll even agree with whoever said up thread that were glad Sarah didn’t get her memories back via the glasses, I like that Chuck won her back the old fashioned way. But I really needed just a little more from that end.

      • I would have liked a “Take me home, Chuck” line. But then I suspect I would have liked them walking hand-in-hand to their car. Then a scene my the fountain. Then a snuggling scene in the bedroom. Then a breakfast scene. Then a tandem toothbrush scene. Then Sarah discovering her business plan and the two of them working together to make it happen. Then a champagne scene with Chuck, Sarah, Morgan, and Alex. Casey comes back with Gertrude to set up a computer security subcontract between Verbanski Corp and Carmichael Industries and announce their engagement. Chuck and Sarah use the money to build two dream houses (for Morgan and Alex, too) on the property of the Echo Park apartment complex (They built around the fountain). At some point it had to end. To me, the kiss is starting to look more and more like the best place. After all, they are still kissing 13 1/2 hours later.

        I’m going to go on a tangent here…
        Fanfiction writers tend to have stories drag too long (assuming they actually finish the story). They provide tied up endings and then sometimes multiple epilogues (I’ve done that). The stories of my favorite Castle fanfic writer always end abruptly. At first it was jarring, especially in contrast to other fanfics. I’d look up at the top and think, “Is this really done?” I’d re-read the last couple paragraphs and realize there really wasn’t anything else important to say. What happened next was implied and inevitable. Low before reading over 50 of her story endings, I came to appreciate the art of it. She never writes too much. The abrupt endings never diminish the story itself. Most of her sequels do not tell the ‘next-minute’ of the story. They are just good stories set sometime down the line.
        Maybe this makes me more receptive to the type of ending we saw in Goodbye.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m definitely an epilpogue sort of guy. I love a lengthy well developed epilogue. And I strongly dislike that they’ve gone out of fashion, especially on television.
        Now I do agree, as I said earlier, that any ending would leave me a little grumpy just because it was the ending. But to me, some indicator of how the main characters are going to transition back to “normal” life after the body of the story is always appreciated. Or to put it another way, I want to know what impact the events of the story are going have on that normal life. Especially on a show like Chuck that was all about those characters and relationships, the proper denouement seems VERY important. So this ending was jarring and unpleasent to me. Not terrible or catastrophic, I am satisfied that things worked out; but essentially not enough happy after a very difficult arc.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’m with Jeff on this one, “Kiss me Chuck” was all the reassurance I needed that things would be OK with Chuck and Sarah, and it was the perfect emotional note to end on.

        Now I know Faith will complain about the missing 4 and a half hours of that scene where things keep heating up, resulting in an unfortunate arrest for public indecency. And the charges for defiling the back of a squad car really were just piling on. But once they bailed out and got home Sarah remembering that she needed someone to help her wash the sand off her back (I mean it got EVERYWHERE) reminded her of something else from her past, and after a hot shower, it was time to take care of another appetite, which leads to raiding the fridge for left over Chinese, which leads to the discovery of the pudding and the whipped cream, and their rather inappropriate, or at least unintended use, along with the kitchen counter, floor, perhaps the sink again too, and all of the sudden they need another hot shower, till the hot water runs out again (gotta buy a bigger hot water tank with the proceeds from the BuyMore sale) which then leads to spooning in bed, and Sarah freaking out when Chuck mentions babies. But then we’ve seen what happens after that.

      • ArmySFC says:

        ernie take this as you will. yesterday you made a post that stated you guaranteed that people were taking things out of context. you also said it was a direction they would not go. what led you to say “it leads to a conclusion that i don’t see playing out.” if it was so enticing as you say it is now, then why predict they wouldn’t go there? just curious.

      • atcDave says:

        Well Ernie, your longer ending, apart from being too much for network television, would have worked better for me. As I’ve said, the ending was adequate for me to be satisfied things will be fine. But I found it emotionally unsatisfying, it needed one more moment of hope; something.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Army, I was pretty certain that Sarah would at least start to get her memories back, and that Chuck would help. That Chuck couldn’t restore them fully and immediately using the intersect glasses as the spoiler seemed to equate with getting her memories back at all was the context I was talking about. Clearly Sarah was remembering things, and clearly Chuck was helping. The intersect glasses = Sarah getting her memories back was a head fake.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I’m with Ernie. On second watch, the “Kiss me Chuck” said so much more than just those three words. She WANTED to get back what was lost/taken from her. When Chuck tells her that Morgan thinks that a kiss will do it, she doesn’t laugh it off, she goes for it! Sometimes leaving some things to the imagination isn’t so terribly bad. I know many – including myself at various times – have not been pleased with TPTB, but I don’t think they’re so out of touch with the program that they created and with the fans who supported it – that as my beloved, late father used to say, they would tell us to “stick it up our gee gee!” at the very end. I truly believe that for them (whether we liked the way it was done or not) WAS the “Happy Ending.” She’s drawn to the beach – and for what reason? – it’s only significant because it meant something to she and Chuck. She IS remembering more! She ASKS Chuck to tell their story – he doesn’t have to say, “Let me tell you our story,” to try to convince her.

        A “flash forward” ala the ending of ALIAS would have been nice, or a “flash” of Sarah recalling something significant – but all along she WAS remembering details little by little. It would be strange speculation to think that WOULDN’T continue.

        In the end, I’m OK. It started with two people on a beach – it ended with two people on a beach – and if that final scene, even if it didn’t “spell it out” and “spoon feed” every detail, I believe – and I know opinions can be all over the place – left us with two people who would ultimately find again what had been taken from them. That “tell me our story,” and the “request/order” for a kiss which wasn’t just any kiss, but a “grab” at the possibility of “getting it ALL back” was enough. And who’s to say that the kiss DIDN’T do what Morgan said it would? I’ll end my 5 years of CHUCK not with a bitter taste, but with the sweet taste of “the one magical kiss” that worked! 🙂

      • thinkling says:

        Ernie … LOL … *blush*

      • Faith says:

        Lappers, I don’t dispute that at all. Like I said towards the end up there, I would have preferred it but I didn’t need it.

        Jeff, I think in a lot of ways this ending works better as a jumping off point for the movie than had it been C/S with 2.5 children, and that picket fence. BTW that was my dream ending, but I knew that the show isn’t me so I had to be careful not to let my expectations cloud my vision.

        Dave, again I don’t disagree. But for “some indication”…hear me out. Fedak has consistently said that this show is about relationships, emotions. They just showed us in 2 hours how far they’ve come and what they’ve become, together. I think that was by design not just to devastate us but also to remind us why we should believe. And also why thinking that she remembered in the end is more than plausible. It’s a given. It is “some indication.”

        Yes Ernie, I will complain and dwell on that! LOL. Missing hours of fun are the worst!

        Well said Fr. Rick. I do think she wanted so desperately to remember and how can we not want it for her? How can we not believe that the kiss was just that, magical. She took a leap of faith in the end in trusting their love, I can’t help but [take that same leap].

    • Katsumaro says:

      We had our big discussion both as the episode went on and after it was over, so you know you pretty much hit the nail on the head for me.

      All *I* personally needed as a fan was a little reassurance. A little moment following the kiss. Something, anything to signify that she remembers Chuck too, not how to reorganize cups or some porn virus. Something truly important in their past five years together. We didn’t get that. We got the typical kiss leading to the FTB (fade to black) moment where it’s obvious what happens, while being ambiguous at the same time.

      Look, I know much like everyone else what happens next. They rebuild what they have. Sarah starts to slowly remember, memories will come trickling through as Chuck helps her remember who she really is. Maybe Chuck will help Sarah get her stuff back home, suitcase and all. They’ll go through what they went through early in S4, her being hesitant about unpacking, maybe a memory will trigger.. just all of those important moments relived. They’ll have Morgan and Alex to help as well. Maybe even the P.A.N.T.S box. All of that. But see? We won’t actually see any of this. We won’t get any of that gratification.. because it all ended with the kiss. That’s why I feel that we, as fans, were cheapened out of what a truly wonderful ending it could have been.

      I mentioned last night when someone said ‘you’re just mad it didn’t have the picket fence/pregnant Sarah at the end’ and I was offended. I didn’t need their dream house that they were building for. I didn’t need Sarah to be pregnant. I didn’t need them to be starting their business up with Casey there with them working along side. I just needed a moment, a single moment-post kiss to show me the obvious — that everything would be okay. I didn’t want to have to assume what was going to happen. I wanted to see it. I lost something much like some of the fans lost something, and Chuck lost something. We all lost the Sarah Walker-Bartowski we grew to love over those five years, and sadly.. we’ll never actually see her again unless there’s a movie, which I heavily doubt.

      So anyway, I’m starting to go on and on. I know people will say the ending is beautiful, and more power to them for thinking so. I, too, wish I felt the same way as them when it comes to the ending. I wish I liked it. I wish my inner romantic could look past the fact that Fedak’s love letter to the fans was more of a “I kind of like you, but I’m not sure” sort of letter. Sadly it can’t.

      Anyway, nice review FaithJemness. It was a wonderful read. I was hesitant in posting because I made perfectly clear where I stood last night on Twitter to some of you (and I hope I didn’t bother you with my opposing opinion =[), but I felt like really opening up and posting in a non-angry sort of way to get across my point. I”m not mad anymore. I’ve gone through those stages of grief. Still disappointed, but not angry.

      Okay, I’d still hit Fedak. Hard. I’m just not mad at the show. Never was, never would be.

      I’ll miss you, “Chuck”

      • Aerox says:

        Fantastic post and I concur on so much points. The way I see it, TPTB turned off the TV before we got that final moment. We know it’s going to happen, we’re all expecting it, and yet, we’re not shown. Imagine if they DID actually film a sentence after the kiss that would let everyone be okay. And then during the kiss, someone would shut off the TV and proclaim: Okay, we all know what happens now. Time for something else.

        You’d still be pretty freaking pissed because you didn’t see the entire ending.

        That’s sort of how I see it. I feel cheated out of that moment that would COMPLETE the show. Now it just feels like we have an unfinished show on our hands. Yes, we can IMAGINE how it’ll end up, and in my imagination, everything is great. Maybe not at first, but eventually, sure. But that still doesn’t remove the annoyance that encompasses those feelings. Because how are we sure? The craziest analogy (which in my eyes still works for this) I can think off would be in my case, likening the ending to the existence of God. He may exist, he may not. There is no definitive proof that either of these assumptions is correct. There are hints to sway you, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the faith. And I’ve lost my faith (in both ways) which makes this end so hard to swallow.

        That, plus, I just REALLY hate bittersweet endings with a passion.

    • Jen says:

      Ernie…. Yeah, much better ending. You put a smile on my face w your comments on this finale post, and I really needed that. I was desperately feeling a sense of mourning over Sarah, but you are, or was it someone e,se who said it? That asking Chuk to kiss her is very telling of how Sarah feels. She loves him and it will be ok… My feelings go along w Dave’s.

      With that said… I still want more on screen! Oh sadness. chuck is over.

      • joe says:

        Nice to see you here again, Jen!

        Many people are shouting it now – #ChuckTheMovie!

      • Jen says:

        It’s good to be here too buddy, sharing my thoughts n reading all of yours. It’s actually been therapeutic… Ernie, Faith, N Rick’s comments are helping 🙂

        I’m watching s1, vs the helicopter now.

    • Faith says:

      In some ways I think that in every scene where our hearts were supposed to break, they were supposed to heal as well. There was something bittersweet in remembering and in that sense they tried to communicate more than meets the eye. Writing is more powerful when you don’t tell people what’s happening but showing them, making people feel what’s happening and that’s what they did well here in my opinion.

  7. Paul says:

    I liked the ending. It was not what I was expecting but it was poetic. For me, whether or not Sarah regained her memories is irrelevant because one way or another, she is still going to be with Chuck. At the moment she asked to be kissed, IMHO, she committed herself to being with him. Whether it was as it was before or starting fresh, she decided to give it a shot.

    • Faith says:

      That’s a good way to put it as well. It doesn’t matter so much that she remembers because she’s with Chuck.

      “No matter where we go or what we do, so long as we’re together right?”

  8. Holly says:

    So delighted with the final 2 episodes. Your review is so wonderfully written. And about the movie? Yes! Oh so very yes!

  9. Aerox says:

    I would’ve been totally okay with the final song on the show being this:

    • sd says:

      Yeah, we fans know how important the songs in Chuck are to help tell the story–filling in blanks, if you will.
      Rivers and Roads is such a song…I especially am thinking of the male and female singers in a call and response with the lyric…rivers till I reach you. If you want to take the song and make it literal to where it was placed…the ending scene…it would indicate the kiss does not magically make things better…but it’s a start.

  10. herder says:

    Faith, I agree with almost everything that you say (and Maureen Ryan too) but I do have difficulties with the end. To employ an overused analogy – the rollercoaster – this ride had everything, it was exciting, engrossing, thrilling and involving but it stopped short and asked us to walk the short distantance to the end. Think for a moment, if there was a season six or a movie would there be any difficulty in starting with the premise that Sarah didn’t get the memories back and that Chuck and Sarah still weren’t together in the land of happily ever after?

    It is a shame because these two episodes were among the very best of the series and the end could so easily have been better with just a little more assurance that things were good between them. In the lead up to the finale TPTB were saying that up until the end we would be asking how can these two overcome what has happened, at the end we still aren’t sure that they have, to my mind they haven’t answered the question that they themselves posed.

    • Faith says:

      Had this discussion with my friends who came over to watch with me. In the end they didn’t take something from us, they didn’t take the 5 years away (that’s preposterous ;)) but they gave us something. They gave us doubt. But as I said, they also gave us enough to counter that doubt if you believe. Leap of faith. So, “up until the end we would be asking how can these two overcome what has happened,” because they’ve shown us that they can. Not just in the last 5 years, but in these 2 hours.

  11. andyt says:

    Great Review Faith. Between you, Mo Ryan et al. you summed up much of what I fell about the end. I got misty eyed reading your review and the lines by Sarah and Chuck on the beach. This show is a fantasy as such you are correct a “leap of faith” is at the heart of the story. How could the slacker nerd get that insanely hot, bad-ass super blonde “she-male” that walked into the store that day. I think Morgan’s talk to Chuck at the end was not only a call back to a line from an earlier season, but also to the Pilot when Morgan asked him why he wouldn’t call her and

    Chuck said, “Did you see her?”
    Morgan, “Yes, I repeat why won’t you call her?”
    Chuck, “Because, I live on planet Earth Morgan.”

    As you said, Chuck now takes the leap of faith. I firmly believe that she had recovered part of her memories at the end. Just the way she says, “Chuck, kiss me.” Tells me that Sarah was partially back. That is all that I need.

    Thanks for the great review Faith.

    • Faith says:

      You’re welcome and I’m glad you took away from the episode what I did. Really glad.

      Oh and they also went out of their way to point out the geeky nerd getting the girl in the episode itself. He even tells that to her to make her believe that the unlikely has happened, that nerd did get the girl :).

  12. armysfc says:

    Faith well done. i enjoyed the entire thing. the first hour was much better than the second hour, for me at least. even as a non shipper the ending left me cold. i’ll use a line from early on in your post. one i think fits in well for why it failed me.

    “At the end of the day, I believe that Sarah regained her memories because I want it to be true.”

    that line spurred a memory for me from a time long past. i was a kid approaching the age where kids stop believing in Santa Claus. it was that toss up year before you find out the truth, that it was all a lie. i believed santa was real that year because i wanted it to be true. it i needed to believe in santa claus because i was afraid i wouldn’t get the presents he would bring. the next year the presents still came but some of the fun was gone because the stories i thought were true were false.

    the five year arc of chuck and sarah is like that. i bought into the story they wove about a hot super spy that could fall in love with the nerd. they could survive and over come anything tossed their way. that they got married and planned to have kids. then in the blink of an eye it’s all gone. like finding out santa was a lie.

    it’s hard to be on board with this ending because of that. add in i thought the amnesia arc was lame to start with.

    the episodes were well done. they had many great moments, her mission logs stand out. the actors delivered probably their best work combined over the last 2 hours.

    • Faith says:

      Army I think what it comes down to is you believe that it’s gone in a blink of an eye I don’t. I’ve gone over why I don’t think it’s all gone and I think I’ve shown why my faith is not wasted. I’m sorry that it didn’t work for you as a whole.

  13. Jen says:

    My friend… Oh the sadness!!!! Chuck is over, but we all knew this day was coming. Thanks for your review. I always appreciate how you dear friends here at the blog can express what i think or feel so much better than i could, so thank you! I mostly agree w you… But I can’t stop myself from wishing there would have been more joy, see a trully happy Chuck and Sarah for a little bit, a few more minutes of them 2 together at the end. I fill in a very happy ending too, it’s really the ONLY possible ending to have really…. But yeah, I set myself up for disappointment having an expectation of what I would have wanted to see. Her remembering, at least the certainty of her feelings, telling him, see them smiling at each other, seeing them happy, see Chuck pull out his drawing from the train. So I can imagine the happy ending, but I really would have liked it spelled out for me and shown on the screen in all its glory.

    I do I do believe Sarah “remembers” her feelings for Chuck, but is mostly mission driven throughout the ep. In the Intsect room she lets Chuck get close, to the point she doesn’t feel him swapping the glasses. The Vlogs… Wow. Day 56 she kisses Chuck, yeah that’s like not even 2 mos after her mission had started… Oh, love. I love that she admits to herself that she loves Chuck… Im sap n a to antic n that had me soaring.

    Like you said, everyone brought their A game. How great was Sara Lancaster?Boning Bonita Friedericy’s G-Beck face of terror, Casey telling her to shut up. The ep was full of really great stuff.. I loved all the callbacks, they were at the same time funny and each a punch to the gut of my melancholy.

    I liked the finale, I enjoyed it, even enjoyed the heartbreaking moments because thy were beautiful and Zac was so amazing in them. I don’t like he so many times just let her walk away, or that Morgan (Morgan!) has to give him the push to go find her. I know, it’s not my story, but really, I wanted to shove him myself and tell him “go get her u slowpoke!!!” but hey, in the end I’m. Sucker fr Chuck, for Sarah, and all things pertaining to our show, so I take it as it is, andi still love it. I guess that’s part of that leap of faith, uh?

    I have to re-watch.. So I’ll be back 🙂

    Jen

    • Faith says:

      Can’t blame you Jen and as we’ve said time and again, we’re only as good as you guys.

      And yes, that is a leap of faith. Love is a leap of faith and we love Chuck 😀

  14. Great review, Faith. I’m hoping that maybe people will look at the story with your eyes, get past their disappointment about the show ending, anger about Morgansect, hatred of S3, and realize this ending wasn’t as bad as they first thought. We were given 89 episodes with a great love story. These 2 episodes provided another one.

    • Faith says:

      We can only hope! In some ways, when Sarah asked Chuck to tell her their story, I thought that while they were reminding us, they were asking us to tell them the Chuck story…our version of it, at the same time. Those who didn’t like this or that could dream that that part of the story wasn’t retold. That’s a gift in itself. And I agree wholeheartedly that we were given a great love story.

  15. Jason says:

    Faith – Another thing about the final that was extraordinarily stupid if dramatic moments were indeed a goal, even if Sarah did not remember, how heartfelt and gut wrenching would have a goodbye between Casey and her been? I mean she was standing right there. Or even Ellie and her, Ellie would have nailed it so much, would have been heart breaking. Quinn killed Sarah Bartowski at the end of the Bullet Train, giving a rebirth to Sarah Walker.

    Sarah Bartowski got NO closure in this series, none. TPTB displayed an incredible blindspot for what might have been their most epic creation in Chuck. The assassinated her character in s3, then immobilized her at key moments in every major arc. They had no clue she was funny which they found out in Honeymooners, yet never reprised or called back that role, which amounted to the best work done on the show. Then, in what proves Fedak was born in some other universe or dimension, he expressed shock that phase 3 was popular to fans. He seemingly had to be pulled and dragged into giving Sarah’s mom one episode. And both Sarah’s dad’s episodes were hits. Yet, there we have it, Sarah Bartowski is dead. I didn’t like this three ep arc on first viewing, I like it even less now. Yes, maybe because of the end, but more than that, because of the opportunity lost for this show to be great, to write an epic and memorable 3 episode ending arc, and having to settle instead for satisfying.

    • lappers84 says:

      As I said I think maybe a line or something after the kiss could have helped a little – they pull away and Sarah looks at Chuck and says “Perfect” with tears in her eyes. Job done.

    • atcDave says:

      Jason I do think its an exageration to say they killed Sarah Bartowski. It is true we didn’t get to see her in the last two episodes, that is tragedy enough for me to be a little grumpy about it; but I completely accept that in the end she was coming back. We don’t know in what kind of time frame; but we have every reason to think she was with Chuck, she was happy about it, and her memories would return in time.

  16. lappers84 says:

    Really liked the review Faith (And certainly will miss those now it’s all over) – and I have accepted the ending somewhat. But I think the reason people found it a little flat was probably down to the fact the final two episodes were such downers to the Chuck/Sarah dynamic; Fans were probably hoping for a full on memory return and an I love you from Sarah. I honestly had no problem with the amnesia arc – but I think it was introduced far to late in the series to really have a full conclusion, had they started it a bit earlier (left out some of the earlier stuff from the season) I would have loved it. Also Quinn was a wasted bad guy imo – his backstory had so much potential, he could easily have been the big PM, Decker was referring to at the end of season 4. I mean he was suppose to be the first intersect?? He was hired by Fulcrum, the Ring and VI??? – A character working in the shadows the whole time, could have been manipulating things from the get go, maybe he had some involvement with some the project x stuff (I think he is about right age for that – maybe a bit younger) – but he turned out to be just another bad guy, who whined and moaned because he couldn’t have the intersect – then suddenly became a background character behind the Charah storyline. Extremely disappointing. Oh well – I think it’s safe to say that apart from a few low points. This show has had such massive run, and will surely be missed – But hey maybe we can keep hoping for a movie one day. 🙂

  17. ChipLecsap says:

    well I was heavily under the influence of Weed , so I feel very much into things. You have no Idea how much 🙂
    And in my opinion.
    Emptiness is the best expression. That’s what I feel and I think once again the drama was more bigger than the actual resolution or pay off whatever.
    and also sadly in my mind its not the “Chuck kiss me”, is the one who is keep repeating, but the ” this is real, you realy love me . I’m sorry I did my job to well” devilish! sad smile. or the: ” I believe you, I just not feel it I’m sorry for you last 5 years” The drama was stronger than the Redemption , sad but ture. And where I somehow can understand Sarah, I was hoped at least somehow she will feel something during the last episode , but all she was is kind of a robot. a person without soul maybe. and somehow she not even want it back for a second what she lost. all she want is escaping

    but maybe that is just me

    Once again you where right, they did kill a main carachter. Sarah Walker. :).
    5.12 was good , I was even hopeful, I hoped that she will feel something, they way Ellie and Chuck talk about her, I won’t lie first i tought even that massage scene will be something like that, she will feel something during the massage :). please an extended scene !!!!! :). Yvonne huh
    I even smiled when Sarah did the whole Bryce thing and I was like, wow see what a woman Chuck just domesticated :).
    But I’m here and felt empty :(. and now Fedak, try to tell me what i Should feel, but just like Sarah, I not feel.
    This story could work, if they did this the middle of the season, and give us 2-3 episode, of Sarah slowly get back where she was, who she was. But for a series finale, I just can’t accepted. may be I will later.
    What I know for sure is Yvonne will be missed, more than the Show, I think I still dont realized how much She will be missing for me.
    She is beatiful and extremly talented. and damn how Sexy she was in these last 2 :).
    Keep your Body fit Yvonne 🙂

  18. Mid day on Saturday – trying to talk myself into rewatching both episodes from last night….
    I find myself listening to the album by The Head and The Heart over and over again…. starring at my long list of favorite Chuck websites pasted into a folder on my desktop…. wondering how long it’ll be until I finally figure that I should delete all those links….
    Not sure if I’ve said this before – but – Thanks!
    Yall have been the BEST…
    Its not just a show – its an adventure.
    So happy that I was able to travel this road with you.
    I’m at peace with the whole show – even the ending…. it is what it is.
    Like life – focus on the positives – and celebrating the best!
    take care – cheers

    • joe says:

      Thank you so much, Gringo. We’re not quite done here yet. But I can’t let you sign off without saying how grateful we’ve all been for your contributions here – you and so many others.

    • Faith says:

      Thanks Gringo. Glad you’re at peace, best anyone can ask for, right?

      • Fedak and Schwartz brought us all the way back
        to focus on their greatest achievement….
        their entire concept of the show…. the nerd and the girl.

        I think that’s why they hit the reset button so often.
        We never really moved past the 2 steps forward – 3 steps back thing – Eh?

        When you strip everything away – [bombs, villans, intersects, babies, etc….]
        Not trying to be a minimalist here – but in the end, you are left with
        Chuck and Sarah together.

      • Jason says:

        Gringo – I just don’t think they needed to go 91 steps BACK, 1 step forward to end up on the beach

  19. Anonymous says:

    I hated this entire amnesia arc, I really do. A love letter to this fans is destroying every encounter Sarah Walker/Bartowski with any other characters of the show? Five years of growth, drama, romance just wiped out.
    And they leave it for us to interpret if she remembers anything after? All she remembered in 3 weeks of having her memory wiped was the order of the wienerlicious fucking cups and a porn virus. Oh yeah and the beach. I just can’t see what is fun or good to watch about this?

    Even if she did regain her memories does that mean she automatically regains her personality? I’m really not a fan of “She can fall in love with him again”. I didn’t watch 5 years of Chuck, nor helped keep it on the air by trying to get as many people to watch, eating subways, to have the watch a whole ‘nother story.

    Now I’m gunna cut all ties I have to chuck in every way.
    I can’t even watch season 2 without thinking, well it all means fucking nothing so whats the point.

    Sorry for being a downer.
    Im gunna keep myself anonymous/

    • Anonymous says:

      You may think I’m being dramatic about saying they killed off Sarah Bartowski, but they did. Everything that made her different from Sarah Walker was her experiences with Chuck and co. Now she is just an agent with fragmented memories of 5 years. She might find it easily to love now but still, I didn’t watch Chuck to see everything change in the last 2 episodes.

      I honestly wished they had cancelled it after season 2. Everything went downhill from there.
      Season 3s dumb out of character portrayals of Chuck and Sarah and the stupid triangle relationships, season 4s just plain boringness (quest to find mother now that quest to find father is over) and season 5s memory losing intersect.

      I speak the truth when I say I never want to watch Chuck again.

      • Faith says:

        Sorry you feel like that. But like I said, to me they didn’t kill off Sarah, her memories and who she is aren’t gone…they never were. I hope you’d read Mo Ryan’s review with an open mind, she talks a bit about how who she has turned into in the last 5 years being an integral part of her, something that cannot be changed with a memory wipe. And I agree with her, I believe it.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        You know what Anonymous? I agree with you almost about everything. Well, not about never wanting to watch Chuck again cause I’d be lying my a…ehh….behind off. Season one and two of Chuck still hold some of the most fantastic episodes I’ve ever seen on television. This amnesia arc was awful. The acting was great (the last two episodes at least cause I haven’t seen the other ones) the comedy was there…sometimes, but mostly it was all drama. Again. And I can certainly understand the anger and disappointment that speaks from your post. My wife has hidden my Chuck blu-ray boxes because she was afraid that I might do something stupid if I didn’t like the finale, like….oh, I don’t know…throwing these boxes in the fireplace. Or perhaps use the discs as clay pigeons. Let’s just say that she knows me very well. That anger has long since passed, but what remains is the sad taste of disappointment. Disappointment about how this show has decided to conlude its story, but also disappointment cause I don’t seem to be able to see this fulfilling ending like some other people seem to be able to. To me it feels, like someone before me already said, like someone suddenly pulled the plug out off my tv set right before the ending. Of course I can imagine what, most likely, will happen. But why should I have to imagine this if only a small token of recognition by Sarah was needed to make any reason to imagine obsolete. It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all over now and people that did like the ending will never convince me that it was actually a good ending and vice versa. Someone said on this blog that what would’ve happened after that last kiss wasn’t important as “it’s only details”. There are two sayings I can remember about details: God is in the detail and the devil is in the details. Details are what can make or break a story. And if you can find either God or the devil there, I’d say that details are very important.

        NOM

    • joe says:

      That’s too bad, Anonymous. This ending could have been a “Disney, and they lived happily ever after” ending, and that would have been very easy. It would have been very easy to take and there would have been cheers. And don’t kid yourself; Everyone involved knew that.

      But they asked more of us, the audience. I recognized the feelings I had last night. They were the same mixed feelings I had after reading The Lord of the Rings and after seeing Camelot. It’s sadness for what is lost and sadness that the end has come. That’s not a simple Disney ending, but something you have to recognize as deeper, even if it’s not “fun.”

      What’s the purpose in that (I hear Dave asking me already! 😉 )? For a mere TV show, not much. Mere TV shows will be gone and out of our memories in a week.

      But not this one. We’ve been asked to do something. “Tell me our story.”

      • atcDave says:

        Joe an unhappy or incomplete ending does not make something “important.” This ending was a bitter disappointment for many of us and nothing is really likely to make it any better.

        That said, I’m not even one of the viewers who feels Sarah Bartowski was “killed” or any such thiing. I firmly believe the next moment was Sarah remembering something important. And then Chuck and Sarah, happy and worn out, heading home. Probably to a tearful happy moment with the Woodcombs before retiring to the comfort and private of their apartment. Over the next couple weeks I think all of Sarah’s memories come back. Last night I was more sad than anything. But today I’m a little angry they denied us that scene. Oh well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Joe, I didn’t want something was “Disney” like happiness. (Well, maybe I did a little).
        I just wanted something to show for 5 years worth of development.
        Now its all about a ‘new’ relationship with new possibilities, but we’re not given the opportunity to see these. We are basically given a blank slate and being told “go from there” and “our job is done now make up your own ending”.

        If this had been a Season Finale rather then a Series Finale I think I would have been alright with it. We could have seen what happened, how they connect again, if she regained her memories but we aren’t.
        We are being thrown into the dark about their relationship, and it just really annoys me.

        I think some of my frustration is just the fact that the show is ending.
        I just wish we were given some hope, just a few words to say that Sarah Bartowski might be in there, and not just a softer Sarah Walker.

      • Faith says:

        Joe, “tell me our story,” indeed.

  20. JustCallMeDave says:

    Sarah: “I did just come out of a long relationship, so I may come with baggage.”

    Chuck: “Well, I can be your very own baggage handler.”

    Wow. I did not see that coming.

    After about a year and a half of a great show and about three and a half years of a show that was frequently a total mess, Schwedak brought their A game and delivered an episode that gave us an Adult ending for a show that too often betrayed its emotional high points by making them disappear by the next episode (for example, Sarah shoots an unarmed man, which gives Chuck nightmares for a month and they make everything allright in two sentences of dialog.)

    Wow – what a bittersweet ending! All the other characters get happy endings and Chuck and Sarah get stuck with paying the price for playing spy (especially Chuck). For years I’ve been thinking that Chuck should be growing up and realizing that what he’s doing is dangerous – by staying around his friends and family, he’s putting them in danger. Sarah and Casey carry real guns and run the risk of being killed or wounded – Chuck gets the luxury of using a tranq pistol (always backed up by lots of people with real guns) so that his delicate sensibilities won’t get ruffled.

    Now, however, Chuck’s finally had to grow up – he now has to live with just about everything that Sarah has had to live with; now he’s finally fit to be her husband.

    (I’ll stop now – my blood pressure is up; I can feel it.)

    On another note: The show is called “Chuck” and Zac Levi is the star; he’s supposed to get all the good lines and the girl – but all the fans can talk about is Sarah, who is so much more than the “girl.”

    I really hope that in five years, she’s a Big Star and we can all talk about how we knew her back when.

    • Aerox says:

      I´d like to offer a rebuttal to the whole Chuck being the star of the show. Yes, this may be true. But behind every great man, stands an equally great woman (not always the case, but certainly in this show) and in the last two episodes, we’ve had to witness the leading man lose his sister and her husband to a job in Chicago, his best friend was moving in with his girlfriend and he had to come to terms with the fact that his wife couldn’t remember him and was doing her utmost best to make sure that he wouldn’t live to see another day.

      Seems to me like Chuck got the very short end of the stick in these past two episodes. And hate it or not, Sarah is the biggest reason that Chuck has evolved as a character. She proved to motivate him, to get him to do literally insane things just to save her. So yeah, people are drawn to her like flies are drawn to light. And people talk about Sarah because Chuck is an open book. He says what he thinks, his emotions are on his sleeve. He doesn’t pose an enigma, he’s exactly what it says on the tin. So there’s not a whole lot of discussion to be drawn from him. If he says he doesn’t like something, you can pretty much guarantee that he doens’t like it. If Sarah says she doesn’t like something, you can carefully scrutinize the tone, inflection, the way her eyes move etc (this is a gross overexaggeration, but you get what I’m trying to say :P) And if you’re still convinced that after these 5 years, the title of the show has to reflect the one and only main character, then I don’t think you’ve gotten the main point this show was trying to make. Family and friends mean everything and with them, you can do anything you want. At least, that’s the message I got. So that’s why Sarah features so heavy (and why people talk more about her than about Chuck).

      • lappers84 says:

        Funny you should mention Sarah’s expressions – Just noticed something when they are on the roof discussing what to do about the intersect glasses – Chuck explaining it was going to be used to get Sarah’s memories back and her response was “will it work” in a way I feel she was hoping it would. When Chuck apologised and said he had to save everyone – she looked almost disappointed. And in Castle when she said she wanted to clear her head – she looked damn right miserable leaving (though that might have just been yvonne – she did say she was a mess throughout).

      • Faith says:

        Good eye Lappers, yeah those were powerful but subtle punches and they added to the whole picture. Sarah’s always been more than just her words and her actions, in this, the end it’s fitting that they showed us that again.

  21. herder says:

    Interesting perspective, Angel Cohn who reviews Chuck for Television Without Pity (and recently has had little nice to say about the show) in her recap slags the episode for it’s happy ending and remarks that at least the shippers should be pleased with it. Some times it’s hard to please people.

    • atcDave says:

      That’s actually pretty funny. Next ‘shippers be slammed for our ingratitude; “how dare they bite the hand that slapped them…”

    • Most people come into episodes with expectations and prejudices. It’s human nature. Angel Cohn obviously had some prejudices. I guess she didn’t think Chuck vs. Sarah fights, falling out of planes, fights in the Wienerlicious, and bombs at a concert were adventure. People who are tired of watching and being forced to review a show won’t like it. Likewise, people who wished Chuck was cancelled after S2 won’t like it.

      To a lesser extreme, people who didn’t like 3 episodes or Morgansect would complain that it stole time from the end–no mater how it ended. For the most part, everyone who before the episode was insisting that it absolutely better have a really long denouement or they are going to hate the ending, hates the ending.

      For the record, the denouement was over 10 minutes long including just under 4 minutes of Charah at the end. There was a couple more minutes of Charah and the discussion of Charah in the first 6. It was longer than Smallville, which was the king of long denouements for years. The only show I can think of with a longer send-off was Babylon 5, which had a full episode dedicated to the living wake and funeral of the main character.

  22. FSL says:

    Thanks for the review. I too am taking the leap and believing that they’re heading down the path together again. But it just felt emotionally dissatisfying.

    The only ups seem to be Jeffster getting a record deal and Casey going to find Gertrude. Somehow, these last 3 episode is about taking things away, and not giving them back. The drawing on the napkin, the carving on the door frame, the Awesomes’ departure, CI selling Buy More to Subway, etc. It’s as if we’re set up to look for pay offs and not getting it. All the relationships Chuck has were ripped away. No sister, no CI, no job, and no freedom from the Intersect.

    It seems that leap of faith is all that is holding this finale together.

  23. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    As usual, excellent review Faith. Nicely done.

    I think it’s time to hang up the shepherd’s hook. 

    I appreciate you all letting me play in your sandbox, even if my view tended to be more “I just want a better told story” for the last 3 seasons.” (Yes, I know I started to be grating a long time ago.)

    I’m afraid I leave with a heavy heart, not that the show has ended (I’ve been ready for that for a while) but that of all the ending storylines available, TPTB chose one of the meanest and least satisfying. (Hey, it’s their show and they can do what they want.)

    To those that see merit in this story, I’m pleased it ended well for you and have no intention of trying to change your mind. 

    For me, however, I feel that I was robbed of some quality time with my friends that I will never see again.

    To quote Schwartz, “It was emotional and traumatic”, (only not in a good way). 

    Joe – your, “I’m hi” at the start of a CNN podcast still makes me laugh.
    Thinkling – you might need a bigger black box.
    Ernie – I may not agree with your POV much but I do appreciate you trying to show another POV.
    Dave – thanks for agreeing with me so much.
    Faith – your missing two words.

    It’s been fun. Enjoy.

    • Graham says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment: “For me, however, I feel that I was robbed of some quality time with my friends that I will never see again.”

      It wasn’t the Sarah I knew and loved. It wasn’t the interactions between the couple that I knew. I think I just wished we could see Chuck and Sarah Bartowski together, talking with their friends and just showing the amazing growth, the development that these characters have gone through.

      For example we didn’t even get to see a touching moment between Casey and Sara, who by Casey’s own admission is his best partner. It was just a brief handshake. Their partnership was always something that was pointed out on the show, and it clearly grew into a friendship. But there was nothing.

      Now as I read some other comments, I don’t want to be mistaken for someone who wanted a Disneyland happy fairytale ending. I can handle not so happy endings, its just the fact that the ending wasn’t with the characters I loved, it was with something new. It was with a relationship that I wasn’t use to, that I didn’t understand. That no one understands.
      To have that as an end to a story, because it is an end, just feels wrong.

      Before I come down as entirely to negative, the acting from Zach and Yvonne was just so so good. And Zach during his admission of love to Sarah when they were at their dream home was simply amazing.

      Thank you for reading my comment.

      • Graham says:

        On further thought I would like to extend my comment by saying this: If this 3 episode arc had been moved back 1, so we had an extra episode I would be happy.
        This would allow the writers to show how Sarah Walker starts having her memories revealed, and starts behaving like Sarah Bartowski. Or maybe just an additional few minutes on the end to show the possibility that Mrs Bartowski may still reside within.

        All we saw was a “softer” Sarah Walker, who could only be falling in love with Chuck because of his actions during the 3 episode arc. We don’t know that these little memories coming through e.g. the porn virus and the beach and more, are causing her to fall in love or its because the old Sarah Bartowski is still there.

        I just feel leaving the show at the precipice of change and not knowing one way or the other is going to leave a big gap in the hearts of many a Chuck fan.

        Thank you.

      • Esardi says:

        Graham that is why I continue to shake my head at people who say loved it. Everyone has an opinion and I respect those people who want to stand by whatever the show runners throw at us no matter what. However, the Sarah character we got last night was not even the person from season 1.

        This person was completely heartless. This is where they lost me. She was not even attracted to Chuck. This Sarah was pissed off at him FOR NOT SHOOTING THE BAD GUY. This Sarah was cold and calculating, one that was willing to mock affection. This Sarah was ready to kill everyone without thought. She was an emotionless robot I have only read about in some fan-fiction stories.

        Fedak made her as dislikeable as he did in season 3. That was another back handed slap to the character named Sarah Bartowski. Fedak did not only kill Sarah Bartowski, he killed Agent Walker as well. It was a complete farce. Now some of these writers think we should be happy with that episode last night? Are you kidding me?

        What really upset me and still does is that this was not for the fans. This was for him and his non-creative writing. Yeah this episode was a call back to the poorly written and executed episodes from season 3.

      • atcDave says:

        You know I agree Graham, I also needed just a little bit more. I accept as a given that Sarah Walker will fall for Chuck, and I’m satisfied we saw that happening at the end of “Goodbye.” But so much was lost, and they really gave us no assurance what was coming back. I believe Sarah Bartowski will come back over the course of a few weeks, but that belief really needs some validation, and we didn’t get it.

        Now to be fair, Schwedak did indicate in a few interviews published last night that it was their intent that her memories were coming back. The ambiguous part was meant to be the “when” not the “if”. So I feel better about that. But it should have been more clear in the episode.

      • Graham says:

        Could you link me them interviews, haven’t seen them. Thanks.

      • Faith says:

        Esardi I think you’re a little harsh on Sarah. I think Jeff made great points about how different the situation was for her this time around and even then, she showed semblances of who she is and has become in the last 5 years. I pointed some of those out if you don’t agree with them that’s fine.

        Sheep, it’s been a pleasure.

        Graham, if you allow me this, I don’t think it would makes sense for her memories to slowly return because she’s falling in love but yet not return because there was nothing there to get (aka there is no Sarah Bartowski). It’s one and the same. Where do they come from is what sticks to me. And what has worked to get them out.

    • Carlos says:

      It really would have been better to have ended the series with the the wedding at the end of season 4. Most people would have been very happy with that . Without mentioning names as they are very obvious to pick some people that post here are such Chuck apologists that i could swear they are Chris Fedak in disguise 😉

      • Wow, that’s a cheap shot, Carlos. Maybe some of us actually liked S5. Maybe some of us put the finale in their top 20 episodes (maybe as high as 15–I need to decide how well it holds up over time).

        I can understand that some people would have preferred S4 to be the end (without the Cliffhanger, of course). I understand some people need to vent, bitch, and moan about how TPTB ruined the show they created and murdered a fictional character (who last I checked isn’t dead.) But I do not understand the need for cheap shots.

        I’ve really enjoyed this blog this year, but it is quickly getting to be an angry and hostile environment, starting with the reaction to the Boston review last night.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Amen, MynameisJeff. Amen!

      • Aerox says:

        Jeff, I feel two things. The desire to vent frustration, but the one thing that’s even more prevalent is trying to love this ending. Because by God I want to love it. It’s just really hard for me to do so. But meh, with every glowing review, a little annoyance is chipped away, so keep them coming yo.

      • atcDave says:

        Carlos most of are here because we love this show. I’m glad we got more than S4, I’d be even happier if we somehow got a movie in the future. I get being frustrated sometimes when you don’t like an episode or two, but let’s not take it out on each other. These are all fellow Chuck fans!

      • I’ll try. The show could have ended when Sarah asked Chuck to tell her their story. He could have started, and then the camera could have faded out. They didn’t do that. They added the magic of the kiss.

        I disagree with Ernie about the public indecency arrest and being put in the back of a squad car. I think they are still kissing. A police officer came over to stop them, but Sarah pulled out her gun and scared him away. They she went back to kissing Chuck. The police officer called for backup. SWAT showed up, but they recognized Sarah from her leading many raids in the LA area. They told the officer it was best to leave her alone and close the beach.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well Fedak and I both wanted the Thelma and Louise ending for Jeffster after all, and he too has a crush on Bonita, so I guess we think alike in a lot of ways, so I may be reasonably suspected of being Fedak in disguise. I take no offense if the term apologist is aimed at me. Fr Rick can tell you what it really means. It comes from apologetics and the greek means more defender than one who makes excuses. In theology it merely means one skilled in the defense of something he believes in against irrational of emotional attacks at it’s legitimacy.

        And I think that most people on this board would have been distinctly unhappy had Chuck not had a season 5, regardless of how they feel about the final scene.

      • Carlos says:

        I remember Yvonne at Comic Con joking about Chuck and Sarah ending up happy on some island and her having triplets. I wondered why she was much more upset than the other cast members and crying so much and this ending explains some of it at least. I’m sure she did not want this ending and she was being very diplomatic when she said it was satisfactory. I feel sorry for her that she was forced to act like pre Chuck Sarah in the finale when she had worked so hard to portray her evolution into the married in love Sarah. Taking her memories way for the finale was a cheap shot by Fedak. This show has always been essentially a comedy and always delivered the right emotional beats in the end except for the most important time of all – the series finale.

      • thinkling says:

        Yes, Jeff, they’re still kissing. Chuck is transmitting the Intersect to Sarah orally, along with emotions to go with it. You’re the Intersect guy … I’m right right … right?

      • Faith says:

        Thanks for that Carlos. It’s good to know where we stand.

        For the record, I didn’t like Cliffhanger.

        Ernie, it could most definitely have been worse. They could have killed off everyone!

      • Ok, now I really look lost. This is from the day after the finale aired. I’m not lost. I’m just doing some more shameless self promoting. Don’t worry, I won’t do this every day. However, I am doing the three link thing, hopefully in a way that doesn’t confuse WordPress’s post processor. Check out this post above, which is in response to Ernie’s comment. Then check out chapter 2 of Chuck & Sarah vs Their Next Adventure.

  24. Ernie Davis says:

    Faith, great, emotional wonderful review. I also liked it right away, but there was a dynamic I didn’t pick up on till I rewatched. Sarah is clearly remembering things almost immediately. It doesn’t feel right for her to trust Quinn over Chuck, she has to be convinced, by herself, but when she sees the rest of those entries, at that point she has reconnected with her own feelings about Chuck and feels the love again. But this is the old emotionally stunted Sarah who not only fears that vulnerability, but runs from it given the opportunity. For the first two years with Chuck she couldn’t run away, even when she had a chance or two. Here it is the same. She’s in love with Chuck Bartowski and she doesn’t know what to do about it. So she goes to see Chuck. This is the Sarah we got to know all those years ago. She needs Chuck’s help, but she’s too strong and independent and proud to ask for it. And he misses (at first) what she needs. She needs to be able to trust him. She needs to know he can save her and catch her when she falls, or takes that leap of faith. So she keeps coming back, giving him the opportunity to help her, all the while remembering and reconnecting with “them”. Even when Chuck seemingly lets her down by allowing her to walk away, allowing Quinn to get away, and then using the intersect to save the crowd rather than her memories, it finally starts to dawn on her who Chuck is. It is never about “getting her back” as some kind of prize, it’s about wanting to help her because she needs help. With Chuck, what he needs comes last on the list after saving the audience at a symphony or trying to find a way to let Sarah move on with her life if she can’t be with him, so it’s never about what he wants, it’s about what he wants to give her. A life, even if it can’t be her old life back.

    The final scene is just pitch perfect to me. Sarah knows what she’s feeling, but lost the memories of the Chuck who was always there for her when it mattered. She still loves him, but she doesn’t know how to be the person she thinks he wants back. She doesn’t trust that she is still that person. But finally, she’s ready to ask for help. “Tell me our story Chuck”, and we see her re-experiencing her life and remembering. The tears and laughter aren’t her reacting to a story about a stranger she never knew, it is her re-experiencing the thing that made trusting Chuck worth the risk, he’ll find a way to help her through, no matter what. It was always going to be a tough step for Sarah, to fully leave the spy life behind. In taking her back to where she was when she met Chuck we see how improbable her journey really was, and how magical it was, to the point where a magic kiss, well it just makes sense.

    • joe says:

      But this is the old emotionally stunted Sarah who not only fears that vulnerability, but runs from it given the opportunity.

      This is so important, Ernie.

      I was going to save it for when I post on this finale, but throughout these two episodes, Sarah was exactly the Sarah with whom we began. Maybe I just imagined pre-Pilot (pre-Chuck) Sarah, but Casey’s description and explanation of why he did not like her then rang true to me.

      But two things. We’ve discussed many times how Sarah wasn’t really so cold and heartless then. Her heart is covered over and protected, yes. But it beats underneath the ice. Chuck was the one who broke that ice.

      Second, Ellie gave a very encouraging message. Her memories were gone, but not the emotions. When she asked Chuck to tell her their story he was filling in the memories, not the emotions. Those were still hers, and her clapping-laughter proved it to me.

      Their story was the important thing, and Sarah showed us that she wants to hear it and know it again. With Chuck’s help, she’ll have that.

      • JustCallMeDave says:

        One thing about “emotionally stunted Sarah”:

        I never liked the way the show continually tried to re-write the characters’ pasts. In particular, I never liked the way the show tried to present the “Killer” Sarah (“Graham’s wild card enforcer” etc.).

        In the pilot, the show established Sarah as a person who could be charmed by (and, presumably, fall for) a Chuck who does a good deed for the young ballerina; she also complained to Graham that Casey was a “burned-out” killer.

        This is not how a show establishes someone as a cold-blooded killer!

        Actually, with the second episode (she killed the group of French assassins) and the arrival of Karina, I had hopes that we’d get to see the Sarah under the mask of Chuck’s cover girlfriend, but the show decided not to go in that direction.

    • Graham says:

      I like your theory, that Sarah’s love was still there for Chuck but she didn’t have the memories to go with it, which is why she asked Chuck to tell her their story.
      I just wished that somehow they (writers) had shown that there was still some important memories in her head, still something of the 5 years as proof that she had changed, apart from her love for Chuck. Still something about her friendship with Ellie, her partnership with Casey.
      Its clear as day that there is love there, but what else?
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Katsumaro says:

      Well said to both you, and joe. You both make excellent points and I feel I wouldn’t be smart if I didn’t say so. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Granted I’m still standing pat with what I believe, and how I wished the episode would have really been ended.. but you make some valuable points.

      It is great at how quickly Chuck was able to get to that Pre-Chuck Sarah Walker. He didn’t even have to use that Bartowski eye-brow dance. Her wanting to know the story, and then the kiss afterward showed that there was indeed something there that she remembered.. or was starting to. I just wish we could have seen it after the kiss. 😦

      • Graham says:

        Yes, just a little bit after the kiss, to gauge whether or not there was something, was a little bit of memories and emotions coming through the haze.

    • atcDave says:

      Ernie that was well put and I believe every bit of it is true. But the ending still stings and I still needed something more. It felt hollow and inadequate at the very end. Too much was lost and too little was regained; at least too little that we saw. I needed a better epilogue to be satisfied. As I’ve said, I can and will assume the best; but I needed to see it, I needed that assumption validated.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave i agree with you all the way. but for another reason. this blog and others like it are saying almost the same things for and against. here’s where it gets different. you always say that casual fans don’t blog. if the reactions here are strong how do the ones that don’t blog feel? it’s unlikely that they understand the nuances of what they tried to show. they most likely look at the broad strokes on the painting. what they see will most likely see is the unfinished painting, never bothering to fill in the missing areas. that’s where the real shame comes in.

      • Aerox says:

        Comments on this episode by a close friend to me, who happens to be a casual viewer.

        So in short, he didn’t like it because to him, it was too abrupt an ending and (as I tweeted before to him) it felt like 5 years of character growth went down the drain. Now, this is obviously not a representation of every casual viewer, but at least it’s one of them, and so far, I can’t fault him.

      • atcDave says:

        So far I’ve only spoken with two more casual viewers and both had the same reaction I did; they believed things were fine but really wanted one more moment to prove it. Its actually those reactions that make me angry with the writers. I think they expended their last bit of goodwill with a lot of people last night.

        Oh well, I need to back away from this some. They didn’t actually ruin anything in the long run. They only delivered one (okay two) episodes I won’t really want to re-watch. But since I do believe the memories return the previous episodes haven’t really been undone for me, so I can enjoy what came before anyway.

    • Ernie, upon further reflection, I’m surprised you liked the ending. It ruined all chance of Duck. 18 hours later, and without evidence to the contrary, Chuck and Sarah are still kissing on the beach. Meanwhile, Beckman said she needs the Colonel, hugged him, told him at the end that he knows where to find her. Morgan and Alex assumed he was going after Gertrude, but he never actually said so. He could have been going to DC to to stalk his prey: Diane.

      So for a shipper name, the most obvious is Diasey. However using Casey’s birth name, I like Dalex. It would be pronounced Daleks from Doctor Who, which seems very fitting.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Sadly Jeff, the Duck ship sank in Santa Suit when Dianne was displeased with the test drive. We will never speak of this again. 😉

        Perhaps Casey is more Dianne’s style, and the rank thing makes it all so naughty…

      • atcDave says:

        A truly twisted and beautiful consequence of the finale. Dalex found their love…. (I think when he refused the order and saved her life it sealed the deal).

      • After Stargate SG-1 S8, the show implied Jack and Sam transferred out of the same chain of command, but he was still a higher rank. In the 200th episode, they had a dream wedding sequence in which she called him Sir at the alter. It was hilarious. Fanfics like to have fun with the names.

    • Rick Holy says:

      With you all the way, Ernie. You’re spot on again! The more I re-watch the last scene, the more “revealing” it is to me – and your description was perfect. Sarah laughs and cries because it’s not the story of two strangers she’s hearing – or the story of two people that she’s totally detached from – but it’s the story of she and Chuck – and it’s connecting. The memories are/were coming back – and “sucker” that I am, in this case I believe in the power of that “magical kiss!”

      • joe says:

        Wow. This morning, when I finally got up after a loooooonnnnggggg night of tossing and turning I was unsure that I even wanted to re-watch the finale. Although I remember the comedy and the action, the emotional impact was overwhelming. Sarah’s pain and anguish – and then Chuck’s – dominated my thoughts.

        But I’m feeling emotionally better about it now, and you put your finger on exactly why, Rick. The re-watches always reveal something I missed before. In this case, that last scene is pregnant with those possibilities.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        But can’t this also be a case of seeing what you want to see? I don’t want to be a smartass and I certainly don’t want to anger anyone. You’ve obviously already made up your mind about the ending and therefore you’ll only see further confirmation about your assumption. But it is still just as subjective as people saying that the real Sarah Walker is dead and that though, perhaps, the love is returning, Sarah Walker Bartowski is still gone. Personally I certainly don’t believe the Sarah we all know is gone, but the ending is far from satisfying. However it’s all water under the bridge now and in the end the only thing we can say with certainty is that a tv classic has ended and that somehow this silly little show has touched us in so many ways that it’ll be forever in our hearts.

    • Faith says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. We really need to stop agreeing Ernie, it’s making me uncomfortable 🙂 Oh wait, we disagree on those ESSENTIAL missing hours of loving. Okay, balance restored.

    • kg says:

      Yep.

      In the first hour she was absolutely brutal. Ruthless. She trusted nothing and nobody. And although still not all-in the second hour, she absolutely began remembering and though she still appeared cold to some, was softening and melting. But at pre-Chuck Sarah’s pace. Ernie is spot on. The important aspect was Sarah kept returning to Chuck for his help.

      And even during the first hour, there’s that scene with Ellie and Chuck talking on the sofa with Sarah eavesdropping from the balcony intently. They were talking about her. Obviously it didn’t snap her out of it, she still planned on betraying the team in the intersect room, but her puzzled face was enough to know she wasn’t buying Quinn completely. And she didn’t detonate the bomb. Quin didn’t.

      Chuck was classic Chuck. Everybody but him stated that Sarah was gone. He wouldn’t believe that. He never gave up on her. And yes, I believe the only reason he let her go was because he loved her so and assumed that was what she wanted or needed.

      And when Sarah hid in the baggage on Quinn’s plane, by then she knew Quinn had “stolen her memories and ruined her life.” She couldn’t remember every detail, she said she couldn’t feel it, but based on what she saw on the log disc, the emotional lengths Chuck had gone to stimulate her memory and to show her how he felt about her, taking a bullet for her, she at least had to realize what they had once was real and special.

      • lappers84 says:

        We all seem to keep forgetting the fact that during the time Sarah was back at the apartment – Quinn was constantly speaking in her ear, reminding her that Chuck was the enemy. He also quickly had to remind her as well that Ellie was apart of it as well – Quinn obviously new he would probably lose is leverage on her if she slipped – because I’m 100% certain had Quinn not been speaking to her; She would have fallen for him almost immediately.

  25. phaseou812 says:

    Faith as other posters have mentioned, I thank you for expressing your point of view as for me you have said it and laid it out so well. As your on-line name suggests and you alluded to, this show has always been about “Faith”. The faith to believe in love, the faith to believe in a cause greater then yourself, faith in your family, partners, or a team to be with you to the end, the faith to believe that although you don’t think it is possible to get the girl out of your league, you will try, or the faith of loving someone else is worth the risk of lowering the walls where you may eventually be hurt . . . all those things were crucial over the various cast members storylines of Chuck. All of your references to her emotions needing to be “unlocked” after the results of “Dr. Evil” purposely using the intersect to damage or erase her 5 years of memory, makes logical since. It is logical to believe the story line because the affects of the intersect eraser has wiped clean her ability to have faith in others. It takes us back to the Sarah that was introduced to us . . . mission focused with the ability to suppress her emotions from the equation. As we learned about the Sarah story over the years, there were legitimate reasons for her to survive by suppressing those emotions, rather from childhood, choice of careers, or whatever, it was Chuck that taught her the ability to trust and have faith in others.

    So although some of the story line of her losing her memory is sad, the actions and events thereafter make since to me, including the eventual ending. There were enough clues or circumstances happening to lead me to believe that her memory loss was only a matter of time before being resolved. Even with the gut wrenching scene where Chuck takes her back to the dream home and lays it on the line for her . . . in which she showed those Sarah emotions of love, only to stand up and say I had only done my job to well in pretending (gut wrenching words, to have the seed planted that it was all only “pretend”) . . . but in the continuation of the scene she is fighting him and he is not defending himself . . . and she ask why are you not fighting . . . it makes since for me to belief that Sarah’s questioning the logic of what is occurring . . . she has just delivered a body blow of emotional rejection only to have Chuck not fight her . . . in her mind it is not a logical conclusion for him not to fight her . . . but for me it adds great depth into the storyline that Sarah was beginning to doubt herself . . . that maybe there was more to Chuck then a previously failed mission.

    So Sarah’s behavior and the slow process of her willingness to believe what she was being told was real to me in that she could not “feel it” because she was working off of her previous understanding of “life”. . . that trust is weakness, heck she did even have a earthly father that she could trust. So it makes since to me at it closes, and she begins to believe that Chuck is not interested in hurting her, that through her letting her “walls down” that Chuck is able to reawaken her memory through feelings and emotions . . . something she had never allowed to happen in her past before Chuck. In the closing, we see them crying and laughing . . . which express those emotions that were so rampant throughout the series life of the show . . . so you have to believe it is all coming around and back to her.

    So although it ends . . . I see brand new beginnings, not with inability to remember, but a flood of emotions and faith ruling the day in her full recovery. I mean, can’t you imagine Ellie working full time to study the brain to help her along, Chuck and his ability to utilized the Intersect, working tirelessly to find away to undo the wrong . . . Team Bartoski coming back intact to complete their final goal of a successful non dangerous company and life.
    Warner Brothers could have given me a two hour DVD ending that was only about those relationships and how it all comes together and I would be willing to pay full price to see them play out . . . with no bag guys needed or crazy stunts to make it work . . . but that is not a typical studio production . . . but the writers ended the show with the ability to playout that happily ever after ending on my own terms.

    Faith, your words so eloquently represent how I felt about the show than I cannot express or do justice in describing. There can be no perfect ending for me, as that means it has ended . . . so for the time being I have the ability to imagine the very best . . . as the writers gave me enough information to believe Sarah and Chuck were on their way back to living by faith.

    The only thing they missed in the end, as I happened to hear the song today . . . was “Do You Believe in Love”, by Huey Louis & the News . . . closing out the show . . . as that song I always resonated with me when played early in the series as a “fitting” song. Not a new/hip song, but fitting nonetheless.

    So Faith, I choose to believe as you do!

    • joe says:

      Great comment, Phaseout.

      trust is weakness

      Casey said this too, Phaseout. The message that this is not true, and that they’ve learned better, is one we’re supposed to have.

      Thank you for putting it so well.

    • Faith says:

      Phase, you totally and most definitely underestimate yourself. You said it far better than I did and if I didn’t already feel what I feel, I’d be swayed. Every single thing you said, truth. We were shown that Sarah was different but distrusting of that weakness (Casey scene)–her doubts, it was great theatre, and there can be no perfect ending because it means it’s ended. I could not appreciate your post more.

      I hope that Joe doesn’t take my gruel of the week and give it to you, you were that good. Although I wouldn’t complain because you deserve it!

  26. lappers84 says:

    Now you mention it – During that final scene when he is retelling their story, is it possible that clips shown and the reactions after – are to do with those specific memories – when we see clips of the kiss in france – the proposal – and the wedding and we then cut to Sarah in tears (did they do that deliberately as if to say she is being told of his proposal and their wedding.) – If so I can certainly see it having real affect on her.

    • lappers84 says:

      Also when Chuck tells her of Morgan’s silly suggestion about the magic kiss – Sarah sort of reacts like pffft typical Morgan – like she knows him. I think it’s all there you just have to look a little harder.

      • Faith says:

        Lappers, I do think that Chuck did get to her…as mentioned. He got to me, and I’m far, far colder than Sarah Walker has ever been! Heh.

    • joe says:

      Oh, you bet it was having an effect on her. Sarah’s reactions to the story Chuck was telling and was not a subtle thing. Taken in context, after she had told him “I believe you, but I don’t feel it,” it’s our cue that she’s feeling something at the end.

      That can only be taken as a good sign.

      • lappers84 says:

        Bring on the Chuck movie 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Now I do agree with that Joe, there is every reason to be hopeful.

      • lappers84 says:

        Again when Chuck is trying to talk to her in their house – the look on her face she looks like she’s starting to doubt herself – then she has to remember she’s on a mission. So I think he’s clearly already getting to her (As well as after she trapped the 3 in the intersect room – then tried to talk Quinn out of blowing it up.)

      • atcDave says:

        I did like that part Lappers. Even from the start Sarah considered herself one of the good guys and hated the idea of unnecessary killing. I think that’s a big part of why she and Quinn “started” off on the wrong foot, and I loved her outrage after he blew up the Intersect room.

      • Faith says:

        Joe, it was a great call back in my book. We’re back to Break Up but reversed. Now Chuck isn’t the one fooling himself, Sarah is.

  27. Greg says:

    Ahhhh its just the what ifs! 😀
    I just want a tiny bit on confirmation!!

    Why do writers always leave open ended finales. Its a finale! The very definition of not having to be open!

    • lappers84 says:

      It really is a pain – I wonder if it’s simply because their so used to writing for series finales which end up turning into season finales – it[‘s become a fine art (they probably started filming it then suddenly realised that they had no more episodes after.) *Face Palm*

  28. FlamesofDestiny says:

    Well, I think we have a replacement for the Season 3 argument now. THis one, I think, will never be solved.

    A few stray points, if I may:
    1) I commend you all to the early days of this blog when Ernie Davis and Liz James were dissecting the finer points of Season 1/2 Sarah Walker. I’m having some trouble balancing the “run from her emotions” Sarah that was so well described by those two with the emotive “logs” we were shown last night, but I recognize that the writers needed the device. It is an interesting contrast, though. And, since the writers went there, I wish there were more days covered. It’s sort of Sarah’s version of the back of the Tron poster…
    2) Once the shouting about the end of 5.13 dies down a bit, we’re going to get to look again at the end of 5.12. And, boy, is that going to be controversial. Chuck lets Sarah walk away without even an offer to go along or to help? Again, it was needed to end the episode, but that is VERY tough. I’d say it’s as hard to take as Sarah Walker doing nothing at the end of Three Words.
    3) Without meaning to do it, (at least I think not) Fedak has given a gift to the fan-fiction writers. How many thousands of versions of post-beach recovery are we going to get to read now? How many, day after the day after Sarah’s recovery bits will be created? A “clean” and less ambiguous ending would never have been the jumping-off point that this ending will be.
    4) it’s too bad they didn’t give Quinn more of a backstory and had him buried somewhere early in the canon. He was just giddy, silly fun, especially when he says, “I could explain it all” (typical villain exposition) and then he decides to just shoot at Sarah. Chuck always needed a Snidely Whiplash type.
    5) I’m going to put the episodes aside for a week and stop reading all the blogs, too. I think there are a lot of subtle things (especially in 5.12) that are being missed in the explosion of commentary. And I think 5.13 will be interesting to watch a week from now, too, to see what small things we missed.

    • Faith says:

      I definitely think there were subtle things that is being missed. I hope I tried to showcase some of those but like the episode they can only show us the door, we have to walk through it.

      Matrix reference FTW!

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      The scariest thing in the IGN interview was the following:
      =============
      IGN: You have a very funny scene with Big Mike and Subway at the end. But it did make me wonder, why did Chuck decide to sell the Buy More to Subway?
      Schwartz: [Laughs]
      Fedak: Um… Well, I guess we’ll have to find out in the future at some point! In some elaborate fan fiction online!
      =============
      He wasn’t talking about the ending, but he did acknowledge fan fiction. Fortunately he doesn’t realize that 98% of fan fiction is about Charah and less than a quarter includes any reference the Buy More. That means he probably has never looked at it.

      I think one of the actors mentioned fan fiction too (Josh Gomez?)

      I’ve counted 12 stories so far. I’m thinking about writing up my beach patrol/SWAT story.

      • Paul says:

        That’s easy to answer. Chuck sold the Buy More to buy that house with the red door. He’s already defaced the interior. MIght as well buy it….. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Gomez has mentioned fan fiction a couple times. Not sure if he ever read any Chuck stuff, but he’s certainly familiar with the beast.

        I think its obvious Fedak has never read any (or he might have understood just how much Charah did mean to us).

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I heard of a few writers imply they are paranoid about the perception of getting ideas from outside sources. Most wouldn’t have time for fan fiction anyway. As a fan fiction writer, I don’t want them reading my stuff anyway.

    • Paul says:

      As for point #2, I think Chuck gave what he knew Sarah needed, and that was space and time to think even if it meant losing her. Corralling her in or making demands was not going to help and would further spook her. It was a very mature move for him, and something that a younger version of himself would likely not have done.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I brought up #2 as one of my few minor complaints about the two episodes. Kate McK’s even written a fanfic about it now. I would have liked to have seen a couple lines in which Chuck offers, then Sarah turns him down and Chuck gave her the space she needed.

        However, this issue is bothering me after a rewatch. Chuck just had the crap beat out of him by Sarah and was shot in the vest. It’s hard to tell with quick-healing TV injuries, but he might not have been in physical condition to go with her. So I guess the new line I would have liked is something like, “I want to go with you and help, but I have to recover first. You know where to find me.” It’s a minor issue for me now.

      • atcDave says:

        I’d agree with all of that Jeff. I loved Kate’s take on it, but a physically battered Chuck is plausible.

  29. ChipLecsap says:

    “I believe you guys , but I don’t feel it,”
    pretty simple from my side , I not feel it. Sure I can try to find to excuses , analyzing every details. and you knwo I’m glad that some of you realy loved. But I’m not satisfied, especially not in emotional way.

  30. Jason says:

    I am not here to do battle, the war is officially over as the show has ended. A few observations

    1 – In spite of me not liking in theory so much about the last three (my list probably would reach 100 things), I get it, I still sort of liked the episodes. Same is true of the ending, it was so bad, so wrong, so …. yet it was OK, satisfying is a great word for it.

    2 – Chuck and Sarah were on screen the last 120 (or 180 even) minutes more than possibly ever, and although everyone else was knocking around, it pretty much was just them and it was intense. I would have loved to see a story line where they were dramatic like that without some contrivance to create the drama, but the real life actors were awesome.

    3 – The way the series ended, probably keeps the odds of a movie (should there be one) starting completely morbid for Chuck and Sarah or at least lower than had it ended cookie cutter clean, with memory restored, pregnant, and the house.

    Since I am trying to be nice, can anyone who liked the final 3 answer this for me? Will this fandom ever get tired of seeing Sarah get torn down to create epic drama? Is there any degree of interest in a different dramatic story? Is there even a hint of getting tired of seeing her get torn down, knocked out, drugged, memory wiped, kidnapped, etc in each and every epic concluding arc? Will there be any circumstance that anyone of you who like dramatic Chuck raise your hands and say enough is enough?

    • I probably won’t answer your questions completely, Jason, but I’ll take a stab.

      First, I agree about liking their screen time together. If people go back, I think they’d find they were together more then they remember. But the extra time was great.

      If they have a movie (I don’t think they will), I think it would be in the future with Sarah and Chuck working in their computer security business (which Fedak talked about in one of the interviews). The plot would either be Beckman coming to them for help because of Chuck’s Intersect, or them running across a mission that needs more firepower (aka Casey). The real question is how to make the plot condensed enough in an hour and a half to be something people care about, without a lead-in arc. That’s something TV shows have trouble with in movies. Star Trek movies were hit and miss because some of the plots were not things the audience could care about. Stargate and Farscape had obvious bad-guy loose ends for the movies. The only Chuck loose end is Sarah’s memory. I think enough time would have passed such that Sarah’s memory would no longer be an issues or focal point. Maybe it could be about someone finding out he has the Intersect and them getting rid of it (again, sigh).

      Back to your questions, I prefer the funny and romantic parts of the show rather than the dramatic. Despite that, I know the dramatic parts are needed to make a spy show not seem like a spoof. It’s a key ingredient to what made the show work. If they do drama, I appreciate real drama and tension, and I felt that this season, especially in the finale. Since Chuck was a personal show about relationships and the characters, I thought the personal dangers worked better than the societal dangers (e.g. Chuck getting kidnapped in Phase 3 and Orion in Dream Job worked better than the Omen virus and a satellite crashing into LA).

      Sarah definitely had it hard during the second half of S5. However it was the first time since the bridge in Paris that I actually bought it. For some reason, Cliffhanger seemed more contrived and she seemed in less jeopardy than she did in some of the episodes this season.

      Overall, Chuck didn’t take as much of a beating as Sarah, but he didn’t inflict as much damage either. He still took his hits, getting drugged, kidnapped, phase 3’ed, and beaten. Casey’s the one who was always getting shot. As they pointed out, it’s proportional to the amount of times he got shot at. Sarah often chose to put her self in harm’s way to finish a mission or to save Chuck. To me, it felt like a proportional response.

      Would enough ever be enough? Maybe. There are definitely lines I would not want crossed. But in never got that close for me in this show. Stargate was worse, with characters getting captured and tortured on a regular basis. At one point the character joked about being captured yet again. By the last season, it was like ‘Oh, well, Teal’c was tortured again, but that’s ok because he’ll kill those responsible.’ Farscape used to have a web site for the “Society Against Cruelty to Crichton.” They did some nasty stuff to the Aeryn in that show too. The difference in that show was they killed off regulars.

      I am very happy that the rumors of physically killing a character in Chuck were false.

      • Esardi says:

        Jeff, help me out here, was this the first time that Chuck took a bullet for Sarah? I think he got tranqed once but if my recollection is correct this would be the first time. Oh and I think that was a call back to lethal weapon when Cole took a bullet for Sarah.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I think it’s the first time anyone but Cole took a bullet for everyone.

        I think Chuck only took 3 bullets in the series, all in his vest: one from Bryce, one from his mom, and one from Quinn. His worst injury was probably from the window sill. Chuck was tranq’ed by Casey a few times, including 3-D. He was also tranq’ed in Hack-off, Nemesis and probably several other times.

        I don’t think Sarah was ever shot, even in a vest. Fake Name had the fake-out, but it was Casey who shot Rafe Gruber. Other than the Norseman, her worst injury was the concussion from getting hit on the head with bomb debris in Break-Up. (The mind-wipe was sort of a non-physical injury.) She was in Sarah was tranq’ed in Hack-off, and poisoned in Other Guy. I’m getting a blank on other times.

        Casey was shot in Santa Claus, Cubic Z, and Santa Suit. He is missing a toe. His worst injuries were from being through off a building. He was knocked out by Ellie in Living Dead and Sarah in Colonel. Chuck tranq’ed him in Dream Job. I feel like there’s one or two other times he was tranq’ed.

        All three had a lot of hand-to-hand fights and were held captive several times, leading to a lot of the TV quick-healing bruises and cuts. They were all poisoned in Truth.

        Casey had the most life threatening injuries. Sarah had the most bruises and cuts because she was in the most hand-to-hand fights. Chuck had the least, which is good because he was supposed to stay in the van for two years.

      • Esardi says:

        Wait wasn’t she poisoned or stricken in the Cliffhanger? I think that was the time she came closest to dying.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Yes, by Vivian Volkoff with the Norseman. That’s why I said, other than the Norseman. It was an easy 1st place. I think the bomb debris concussion was second. She got that from protecting Chuck.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Maybe almost freezing to death in Santa Suit was second, but she wasn’t hospitalized from it. I guess freezing is a borderline recovery injury on TV. In Stargate you are hospitalized and lose legs (but get them back when you fix the timeline). In Farscape, a Delvian priest can sacrifice her life force to save you from being almost dead. But in more ‘realistic’ shows like Chuck and Castle, freezing is something you walk away from with quick recovery time, like bruises and cuts.

      • Esardi says:

        Thanks Jeff for jogging my memory. That was well worth the 1000 costa graven pesos you owed me. Yeah I did consider paypal but this was a much better way to get payment. (LOL)

  31. Faith says:

    I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to convince anyone, I’m not even trying to rationalize an episode (though it may seem that way) that people may or may not have liked…I think to rationalize you have to have felt differently from the beginning and these are my initial and lasting thoughts and obviously that doesn’t apply to everyone.

    Having said that, I appreciate all of you reading it and giving it a chance. I expected more, “Faith, you’re just a pansy for TPTB, or Faith, you’re an apologist” posts, because after all, we live in an increasingly cynical world, don’t we? So I thank you for being better than that in our little world here at Chuckthis.

    In any case I offer these words as my view, and if it helps you I’m glad, if it doesn’t, I’m sorry that the show/ending/episode didn’t work for you.

    Now to reply individually.

    • joe says:

      What??? Haven’t your read these hundreds of comments yet???

      And for those who can’t tell, I’m kidding Jem and chucking her on her virtual shoulder. The stats are showing that we’re nearing a record day here at CT, and I, for one, did not sleep well. I kept tossing and turning and thinking about that ending…

      So I’m way behind on all the comments. I want you to know that, even if we don’t reply directly, your comments will be read and we all appreciate them.

      We always have.

  32. JC says:

    Like others have said” I just didn’t feel the love” at the ending. It wasn’t just the romance that was lost for me but the character of Sarah and her relationships with people other than Chuck too. Outside of Chuck it never felt like any of the other characters really cared that the Sarah they knew was gone. Casey, Ellie, Morgan and Devon all seemed very flippant about a woman they cared about basically being erased. Maybe I expected more but if someone I cared about as friend lost five years of their memories I’d be shattered. The whole ending montage just came off weird to me.

    Now this is me being cynical but when I’m told to use my imagination about them moving forward it goes to a bad place. Let me put it this way, if we were getting a S6 or a movie I’d expect Chuck and Sarah to be separated. I hate to say and I’m not trying to be a downer but the history of this show tells makes me think that’s the direction the show would take.

    @Faith

    You posted just before I added my comment. We haven’t always agreed when it came to the show and have had our share of arguments 😉 but I really liked your review of the ending. It even made me take another look at it again to see if I missed something. I still don’t feel it, shocking I know but I’m glad it worked for you. And like you I’m not trying to change minds or anything its just the way I feel about it.

    • “if we were getting a S6 or a movie I’d expect Chuck and Sarah to be separated. ”

      I didn’t see any signs of that possibility in the final scene. In Castle, Sarah needed time alone, but on the beach, she was asking for the story and kissing him. She had turned the corner.

      However, it is a common plot setup device (which I hate). They used it in the Zorro and National Treasure movies. So I wouldn’t be surprised. I only want a Chuck movie if they don’t pull that stupid trick.

    • Faith says:

      It’s been a hell of…5 years JC. Thank you for the memories. The fact that we haven’t always agreed just made those years something special.

  33. Randy says:

    Never posted before on this site, but I’ve followed the discussion off and on since the conclusion of the finale. Hope it’s OK to share a thought or two.
    The discussion about “Disney endings” and Morgan’s suggestion about the “magic” of Chuck kissing Sarah and bringing her memories back reminded me of an essay, originally in the form of a talk, by J. R. R. Tolkien entitled “On Fairy Stories”. Tolkien says in that essay:
    “[A]ll complete [fairy-stories] must have [the Consolation of the Happy Ending}….At least I would say that Tragedy is the true form of Drama, its highest function; but the opposite is true of Fairy-story.. Since we do not appear to possess a word that expresses this opposite–I will call it ‘Eucatastrophe’. The eucatastrophic tale is the true form of fairy-tale, and its highest function. The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous ‘turn’ (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale)… In its fairy-tale–or otherworld–setting, it is a sudden and miraculoud grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of ‘dycatastrophe’, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat…”
    This morning over breakfast my wife and I were discussing the end of Chuck and how it compared with the end of The Lord of the Rings. Obviously, both are fairy-stories, at least as Tolkien would define them, but I’m afraid I did not see any eucatastrophe in Chuck’s ending — which is what I think many, including myself, were waiting for — though there was certainly some indication that Sarah’s memories had begun to come back — whereas in LOTR Gollum’s showing up at the crucial moment to “help” Frodo destroy the Ring was one of a series of — and the greatest — eucastrophe in that great tale. Of course, the “happy ending” in that tale was “tinged” with sadness: Frodo turned his “story” over to Sam to complete, and went with Gandalf into the West, unable to recover from the wound he had received years earlier.
    I don’t know how realistic a future Chuck movie is, but I do look at the final episode — despite what the creators said about it being “the end” — as an unfinished story — and that is some consolation. I am hopeful we haven’t heard (or seen) the last of Chuck and Sarah.

    • thinkling says:

      Good observations Randy, and well said. I tend to agree that we got some hints along the way that Sarah was having a memory tug, but we didn’t ever get a turning point or strong indication that they were returning. I really wanted that. The end held hope, but I wanted something more conclusive.

      • Randy says:

        I’m definitely with you on that. I’ve enjoyed very much reading your reviews/essays over the last few months — I only discovered this site near the beginning of season 5. I know this ending was particularly difficult for you given your great essays on the growth of Sarah’s character. I wish the creators had read Tolkien’s essay; if they had, I think the last fifteen minutes or so would have been very different — and much more “satisfying” (not sure I understand the meaning of that word anymore!)

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks Randy, I really appreciate that.

        You’re right, the growth is what I really love about Chuck … Chuck and Sarah’s growth as a couple, but especially Sarah’s growth. This whole ending just tears me up … that has two meanings 😉 I’m working through it with a nice cathartic post.

  34. MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

    Oh, great and powerful admins. I tried switching back to my regular email yesterday, and now I think I’m in the spam filter again. There should be a long post in there.

  35. Ernie Davis says:

    One thing about the final scene I noticed was that both Chuck and Sarah (or more likely Zach and Yvonne) had obviously shed a lot of tears during that scene. They probably just kept the cameras running while Zach and Yvonne experienced repeated breakdowns. Man I love that this cast cares so much.

    • lappers84 says:

      Just adds to the effect of the nature of the scene anyway – so works out pretty well.

    • Faith says:

      Yvonne tweeted that those were “real” tears. Now I tell you, how can you not want to believe?! 😀

      • ArmySFC says:

        the scenes shot from the ocean in were not scripted. it was actually zac trying to get yvonne to laugh to finish the scene. that what i read some where.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I felt the same way. These two actors care about each other very much – and they knew that it was coming to an end. I believe the tears were a mix of acting AND “real life.” As a fan, it did add to the power of the scene for me. It was awesome to see Zach and Yvonne at their best!

  36. Faith says:

    Good read: TV Guide. The creators get a little bit into what they thought of the ending…though I still prefer Mo Ryan’s. But there are a lot of stuff in the inter webs that give some clarity.

    • sd says:

      Faith, I may be the only one on the planet without a dvr…do you know when/if Chuck season 5 eps will be online?

      • Faith says:

        I asked Fedak that, through Mo Ryan and he doesn’t know. There’s a thought that it will finally be up after yesterday/after the finale but nothing yet. Even Schwartz tweeted that he doesn’t know why. We’ll see. I’ll ask NBC again to see for sure but I was told that it wouldn’t be available anywhere for the season. As the season is over, maybe that’s no longer applicable.

  37. kg says:

    Wonderful review Faith. Your best for last. Aces my dear. I’m emotionally spent. Have watched it twice in consecutive days. The last three episodes were very tough in spots and certainly sad.

    I see where Faith is coming from and I also get how and why some others were disappointed. It’s like a good newspaper columnist knows he’s done a good job if close to 50 percent like what he writes and if close to or at 50 percent hates what he writes.

    Honestly, I wept a few times. Some of the tears were for reserved for the characters we’ve grown to love so much. And what was lost and taken from them so cruelly. Others were evoked from some of my own real, live emotions. There will never be another show like this again. Incredible. I know I’ll never ever invest as much emotionally into another show. I’ll never watch TV the same way again.

    Fortunately, I/we have our memories spread out over five wonderful and fantastic seasons. And assuming Faith might be wrong about the “magical” final kiss, well, I’ve got my DVDs to remind me about the most tender and heartwarming Chuck & Sarah moments.

    • Faith says:

      good attitude! I can tell you that I for one am hankering to watch the show all over again and at the end of certain episodes, watch that video log.

  38. uplink2 says:

    Thank you Faith. You, Mo Ryan and I see things in a very similar fashion. The reason I love this show and these characters like no other before is that I sincerely believe in the magic that is Chuck and Sarah. Much of that credit goes to Zac and Yvonne and the writers but what got me hooked on it was there was something magical between them and it was there from the very beginning. My belief in that magic is what kept me from walking away after Mask and Fake Name aired when I really wanted to let it go and walk away. Even though my hatred for those two episodes and that entire arc was so strong and my anger so intense, it was my belief in their magic and their love that kept me here. So why would I abandon that belief in their magic now?

    As you said all the elements were there if we choose to look for them. Even Morgan played a key role both actively and as a point of information. His comment about his douchy period and breaking up with Alex making them stronger is absolutely applicable to Chuck and Sarah. This period WILL make them stronger. Just as Morgan said for Chuck to look in his heart to find Sarah as you so eloquently say above, he looked in his heart and knew where to find her, and she looked in hers and knew where to be found. That connection is as alive and strong today as it ever was. Maybe Sarah doesn’t have the framework to describe it all but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    I believe in the magic of Chuck and Sarah and as we have had to do an amazing amount of suspension of disbelief to enjoy and love this show why wouldn’t I not believe in the power of a magical kiss? Though maybe I would have loved to have seen what happens next or have Chuck pull out the drawing and see her smile recognition do I really need to see it to believe it happened? No I don’t. I KNOW what happened for me and nothing will shake my belief in the power of that love. It didn’t over 5 years and it isn’t going to change now. If I didn’t believe in their magic I wouldn’t be here talking about it. I believe it because I have to. To not believe in the magic and the power of love would be a betrayal of who I am and as it is all so clearly laid out in front of me, I choose to see it as hopeful, loving and my faith in that love is unshaken.

    Thanks again for a great review. It was an amazing finale. I may not have chosen this direction if it were me but there is no way I can not praise the execution of it. Unlike S3 the execution was incredible and Zac and Yvonne put everything they had into it. All the actors did. Everyone hit on all cylinders but as the focus was on Zac and Yvonne they gave their best performances together in the same episode this time. They both blew me away. And that will be some of the toughest stuff to deal with, not seeing these amazing talents play off each other again. Chuck and Sarah are magical but so are Zac and Yvonne. We should all be very thankful for having been able to see something very rare and precious.

    • Faith says:

      You’re welcome and I agree completely. Well said.

      When you put it like that big of a leap!

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with much of this, especially about the strength of the relationship we saw on screen and the resulting belief that they will be fine. I’m a little less charitable about the story chosen and I can only give the ending an “incomplete.” Sorry, I require an epilogue; skipping it always gets an incomplete from me.

      But no doubt the story was well executed and the performances were all first rate; especially Zach and Yvonne. But then those performances are always main reason why my passion runs so high for this show.

  39. sd says:

    Thanks, Faith. I don’t know if it’s a WB rights issue thing but Hulu no longer shows Chuck eps..and I don’t know if that will change now that the season is over. Until then, I guess I have to rely on my dicey memory. 🙂

  40. OferMcD says:

    First I would like the thank the community here for allowing a more indepth, more mature discussion of our favourite TV show. I haven’t commented in a while partly because I wanted to be able to keep up the level of discourse, but also sit back and enjoy the ride.

    I have now had about 24 hours and have read thousands of comments to come to grips with my reactions to the episode. I think I have gone through most of the Kubler-Ross stages today(minus acceptance) Simply put, I feel cheated. I loved the episodes, but my jaw dropped when the title card appeared….then I waited through the credits to see if there was a back vignette. Obviously no.

    I believe that Sarah did get her memories back, whether immediately or over time – I haven’t decided yet. My issue is that through out the season, we seemed to be repeatedly shown that the Bartowksi’s want to quit the spy game, want the house with the red door and white picket fence and the babies. They mentioned the house alone in seemingly every episode. Plus every finale (mid or end season) had a new developement that strengthed the Chuck-Sarah relationship. So with that in mind, I expected the happy ending. Yes, they also had Morgan bring up Checkov’s Kiss, but still, I wanted a smile, a blurb or something to let me know that her memories returned.

    I have read a few post-mortems interviews, and it appears there will be 8 extra minutes on the DVDs, but I don’t think part of that will have (for some of us) a more satisfactory ending. But yes I will buy them, even if it is just one more opportunity to support the show and cast I have cared so deeply about over the past 5 years. There has been some discussion of a movie, but I am skeptical, but that being said, I did tweet Zac asking where to send $5.

    While I liked that they gave everyone a happy ending, why could they not have added a line or a smile for the “heart of the show”. Some people may differ, but I don’t care if Jeff and Lester live happily ever after and their dreams come true….I do want to see that for Chuck and Sarah. I doubt there would be this outcry if the show ended without some resolution for Ellie and Devon, or Alex and Morgan.

    The creators of the show gave us something that we obviously all love and care deeply about…Maybe it is shock or grief from knowing it is over, but I expected more of them. They know how much we care about the couple, they couldn’t give us a better resolution than that?

    • atcDave says:

      You’re at exactly the same place I am Ofer. I completely believe Chuck and Sarah are fine in the end; they left the spy life, bought their dream house, started a software/security company, and had many kids. Now part of why I feel a little cheated may just be because this awesome show is over now; but I still wanted just a little more from Sarah. Maybe remembering on thing, or acknowledging her love for Chuck in spite of some memories still missing…. something. I believe the ending we got was happy, but it was not satisfying.

  41. Jen says:

    I’m watching Helicoter now. Sarah’s crying Bryce’s death. At the beginning of 5.12 Quinn tells Sarah Bryce is dead, the Chuck killed him even… There is no mourning from Sarah for Bryce… Those feelings are dead, they died as she fell in love with Chuck, they are dead even if she does remember Bryce. Sooooo, it goes to reason, I believe, her feelings for Chuck never went anywhere, I mean… In the intersect room Chuck made bad-ass evil Sarah pause!

    Just a though as I watch me some Chuck on this fine Saturday night 🙂

    • Paul says:

      I dunno, I thought I saw Sarah choke up a little when she heard Bryce was dead, but she tamped it down very quickly. And I think her coldness to Chuck, besides being wary of him and thinking of him as a mark, was due in part to her thinking he killed Bryce.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I agree Paul. She went after Chuck because he killed Bryce, he killed Graham (a father figure), he erased her memories, and she followed orders. She wasn’t sure when she saw the pictures around the house (which changed in her hand, BTW) and the massage. But then her original assumptions were reconfirmed when she found the Intersect glasses and heard about a plan to destroy the Intersect at a government facility.

        Even in S1, she only mourned for Bryce at the funeral. Other moments were more reminiscing.

        Back to the finale, I thought she was off balance. We saw her struggling to make sense of everything. She didn’t understand how Chuck was treating her because she could not remember anyone ever treating her that way. To me, it seemed like she knew she was feeling something after he wouldn’t fight back and took a bullet for her (her video reaction, the goodbye at the end of 5.12, her awkwardness with the bell, her reaction in the dance), but like S1 Sarah, she wasn’t sure how to process those feelings. She didn’t trust them. She needed to go through a process first. It took some time alone and some time with Chuck telling their story to get to that point at the very end where she trusted her feelings and trusted Chuck, just like he asked.

      • Paul says:

        Exactly. After watching the log, she knew facts about her past, but could not associate feelings with those facts. In a sense, throughout 5×13 she was tentative, and hesitant, because she did not know how to act, She knows she loves this man, but she doesn’t know how to be that woman in love. But also throughout, you see her start to open up a bit and be more willing to let him in. You could hear the hope in her voice in “will it work?” and the disappointment in her face when Chuck chose to save people rather than take the selfish road. Again, by the end, she was ready to be with Chuck again, whether it was to pick back up where they left off (had the kiss worked) or start over with him.

      • Faith says:

        That’s exactly what I saw Paul, she had these feelings but couldn’t associate those feelings with anything. But they were there.

      • lappers84 says:

        When Chuck started babbling about Morgans magic kiss theory – two things came to my head when she said his name first was “Shut up and kiss me” and second was “You’re spiralling” – And I got this from the way she said his name, seemed so familiar.

      • Paul says:

        Kinda wish they used the “Shut up and kiss me” line.

      • atcDave says:

        I definitely wish they’d used the “shut up and kiss me” line. But Sarah asking for the kiss was an awesome moment, it was basically a statement she was ready to be back with Chuck in light of what Chuck had just said about it. Whether it was a “magic kiss” or not is secondary, she was ready to reclaim her life. The memories will come back, quickly or slowly but they’ll come back.

      • Faith says:

        I said this yesterday on twitter and it applies to this as well…

        Just consider, consider that maybe “Tell me our story” is now the new “shut up and kiss me.”

        Imagine Chuck and Sarah’s children as they’re being put to bed at bedtime, “Mommy, tell me your story.”

        Now, doesn’t that sound like something magical? I can see Sarah in labor, needing a distraction and again asking Chuck to tell her their story. It’s their new thing, they’re reaffirmation of the love that they felt, almost lost and recaptured.

      • joe says:

        I love that idea, Faith. Reaffirmation is a big part of what we’re supposed to see.

    • lappers84 says:

      I think it was always established that Sarah did have feelings for Bryce – and Helicpter did show that she was definitely upset about his death (even the second time when he died for real she looked pretty distraught.) – Keep in mind when Quinn was talking to Sarah in the hotel room, she had not reunited with Chuck yet – she was still full on spy Sarah. It was only after she came back that she started noticing things weren’t quite right. And you’re right about in the intersect room – even after she had sealed them (Spy Sarah would have had no problem pushing the button normally – but she hesitated and Quinn did it for her.) – In the house it looked like Chuck was actually getting to her – the Bartowski in her was telling her to trust this man, but the Walker side was still dominant in her mind and won out. I think you have to look really hard at the little things in these two episodes to see the conflict in Sarah.

  42. Rick Holy says:

    I’d be shocked to see a CHUCK movie come about. The series was never a ratings hit. Serenity came from Firefly because in part Firefly never had the chance to “finish.” CHUCK, with 91 episodes had that chance, even if “the end” wasn’t “epic.” I just hope to see more of Zach, Yvonne and company on TV or the big screen in ANYTHING – but a CHUCK movie??? I can only steal and slightly alter a line from Heather Chandler: “Dream little CHUCK fans, Dream!”. 😉

  43. Rick Holy says:

    To lighten up the mood a little, may I present the views of someone far more “evil” than Schwedak on the ending of our beloved CHUCK! 😉

    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=qYgihEU8v_g

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      The mobile link did not work, but I was able to reconstruct it to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYgihEU8v_g

      A lot of these were taken down for copyright reasons a year or two ago. I wonder if the Shaw one is still out there.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Thanks! I’ve seen others in the past. Thought this one cut to the case – and quite humorously – all things considered.

      • Aerox says:

        Haha, this one is amazing. Still though, every time I see this scene, I’m reminded by how great it is. Especially considering the fact I can understand what’s being said. The emotions that Bruno Ganz is able to portray are beautiful.

        When he mutters, “Der krieg ist verloren” (the war is lost) it gives me goosebumps. So thanks for reminding me about this *goes to watch the movie again*

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      “Downfall” parodies always make me laugh, even when I don’t agree with them. It’s an uncontrollable reaction.

      This is the one that brings Chuckwin’s Law and Godwin’s Law together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31xMI-SXUXM

  44. Katsumaro says:

    I’ve had some time to think it over and I’ve talked to a few people on twitter.. and while I’m still not a fan of how it ended, I’m not actually mad at anything that happened. I rewatched the scenes.. and yeah, while incredibly sad, I could see hope there. I’d rather *see* it with my own eyes, rather than assume things are going to work out in the end for them, but if it’s all we have, then it’s all we have.

    I admit I got teary eyed with a rewatch. It just really, really sucks that our last moments with Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker are ones of sadness, with hints of hope. Still, I love the show far too much to let my irritation and disappointment in Chris Fedak get in the way. I once compared the ending of Chuck to a movie that was spectacular three hours in, but then the final two minutes of it were just so bad. That’s not fair to do here. I can see people’s side of things and how they feel the ending was a great one.. but I won’t ever agree. I’m definitely open to their side of things.

    No matter what, Chuck and Sarah had each other in the end, whether one remembers the other or not. It’s a tale of Chuck and Sarah, and given the situation.. they’ll just have to start anew. I’m alright with that.

    • Esardi says:

      You know what the saddest part is or me, that so many of us are referring to her as Sarah Walker instead of Bartowski. I guess that is what leaving it to one’s own interpretation means. I know that many people in this site are saying she was getting her memories back but I never saw it. It was more confusion and just extremely small things like the internet porn virus because it fit the moment in the episode.

      One of many things that disappointed me was the omission of the drawing Chuck made. That would have been nice if he would have shown it her at their beach. Well there is nothing we can do about it now. Whether anyone likes it or not this is what we are left with. At least I got to know some real fanatical fans that have the same passion for the show as I did. I am going to miss it.

      • lappers84 says:

        I’ve started to accept the ending – but that was one of the most annoying things for me. They seemed to make such a big deal of that drawing in Bullet Train (she could never forget it – and when he showed her again after admitting to not knowing someone called Alex she once again said she would never forget that.) – Are we suppose to pretend he used it at some point or she found it or something???

      • Wilf says:

        Yes we are meant to use our considerable brain power to compose for ourselves the 5 or 10 seconds that would have made all the difference but that the storytellers thought would be too trite, too un-intellectual, too insignificant to tell.

      • Wilf says:

        … but having said that, a number of times, I have now re-watched both 5.12 and 5.13 and have also listened to them (audio only) while exercising – I must be a masochist! To be honest, I think 5.12 is one I will rarely if ever watch again because despite how well it was acted it’s just too painful. 5.13, well, I shall just have to get over my annoyance and train myself to believe; because I don’t want to spoil forever my memories of a wonderful, wonderful television story that has grabbed my attention and heart for longer than any other I can think of.

      • Katsumaro says:

        Yeah, it slipped my mind. I know Sarah has the wedding ring on early in the episode, but when does she seem to remove it? At least they didn’t have a scene of her giving him the ring back.. that would have truly been heartbreaking to see. :/ She didn’t right? Just doublechecking..

        But yeah, I’m not changing my tune on the ending, though. Just learning to accept it. I still wish so much that we could have had more, but I’ve got to accept what we got, beautiful in all it’s bittersweetness, and move on. =[

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Throughout S4.5 and S5, Sarah did not wear her ring(s) during missions. That actually makes a lot of sense because of the hand-to-hand combat she engages in and the idea of not wearing personal items when she might be captured.

        Throughout most of S5, Chuck did not wear his ring during missions. He was wearing his ring in Bullet Train because he was kidnapped at home. In Goodbye, Chuck was wearing his ring on the mission, which was unusual, but he was probably trying to subtly remind her.

    • Esardi says:

      See you just noticed something I had not. So you are telling me that when she said at their beach, “tell me our story” she was no longer wearing her wedding ring? Wow that is heartbreaking.

      • lappers84 says:

        Urghhh – Can’t believe I missed that too. Not only was she not wearing her wedding ring during a period they were suppose to be getting back together, but also she was wearing it whilst betraying her husband. Man talk about kick in the crotch.

      • Katsumaro says:

        Well I dunno.Someone pointed out that she didn’t have it on in Castle there near the end, so I wasn’t sure. I’m sure she just took it off because she was still confused on what was going on with her life. The positive side of me is saying they’ll have a sweet moment where he’ll give it back to her.

      • lappers84 says:

        The problem is we don’t actually get to see that moment. We have to imagine it.

  45. BigKev67 says:

    Wow!! So many thoughts, many of them contradictory. Most of them wonderful, some of them less so. Chuck has always captured every one of my emotions, occasionally the less pleasant ones – and it was fitting that the final episodes did the same. For good and bad, I’d honestly have it no other way.
    I thought the episodes were fantastic, but this post is about the ending, and how it affected me.
    When I watched last night I was disappointed. There’s no other word for it. I didn’t doubt that Sarah got her memories back. They showed me that with the memory flashes and the tie in with how Morgan (who downloaded the same version) got his memories back – he just needed the right trigger. So I didn’t think the ending was ambiguous at all in that regard – but I wanted to see more of the reconciliation. I felt like there was a piece missing.
    So I rewatched again this afternoon after a morning tweeting and perusing the blogs. I started tearing up at the mission logs and by the time Rivers and Roads kicked in I was in several pieces. But amidst all that, I got what Jem, and others, saw in this ending. I saw Sarah change from Sarah Walker slowly back to Sarah Bartowski, in how she looked at Chuck, how she responded to him, and ultimately how she trusted him to tell their story, and recapture her heart. She doesn’t have her memories but their connection is timeless and that’s enough. And the memories will return.
    I still don’t know if I like the ending. I think I’ll grow into it. There’s no changing the fact that my first reaction was disappointment and I’ll never get that “first view” back. If you want to call that a failure I can’t disagree with you.
    But I’m glad I rewatched and I’m glad I felt the connection and the emotion I was supposed to feel. I had to work for it, but that’s OK. I’ve always argued passionately that Chuck is so much better than just a fluff fest – that it really cooks when the characters are tested and the payoffs earned. I still believe that – even in a case like this where I remain unsure how I feel.
    I feel for all of you who are let down and disappointed. Part of me felt like that and still does. But another part of me saw the connection, felt the bond and trusted the love. And another part of me is awed that a show can still do that to me 5 years in – can make me care so much and feel so many things. This finale made me feel – for good and bad – and regardless of which side I eventually come down on, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Esardi says:

      Well said BigKev. I am hoping for the same reaction after I rewatch 5.13. I think I may not be to inclined to rewatch 5,12 again. In that episode the Sarah they showed did not resemble anyone that I ever saw before including season 1. Maybe this was Yvonne’s way of protesting what was going on with her character.

      I am hoping that those extra 8 mintues they are talking about will provide a better closure for me. Therefore, no matter how disappointed I sound sometimes I will still love this show but specifically the Chuck and Sarah characters.

      • lappers84 says:

        I may be able to bare 5×12 again but you’re right about the fact that the Sarah that was shown was the worst kind of Sarah I’ve ever seen (admittedly I did see signs early on that things for her were off) – I guess also keep in mind that during the apartment scenes – Quinn was talking to her, manipulating her. Had he not been there I could easily see Sarah slipping quickly.

      • lappers84 says:

        Also note how a few times Quinn had to keep telling her that Chuck was one of the bad guys – like he was worried she would slip. Especially during the Chuck & Ellie conversation – Just look at Sarah’s face, she looked a little unsure.

      • Esardi says:

        Lappers, that is what I did not understand about this Sarah character, she trusted Quinn. She never bothered to verify if this story was true. What CIA agent would blow up a faclilty containing their own people and not send red flags? Sure they may have gotten Chuck but killing all those CIA personal? That just did not make any sense to me.

      • lappers84 says:

        Esardi, I’m not even disagreeing with you, In fact most of what you’ve posted on here I’m basically on board 100% – I was merely noting that sadly Chris Fedak likes to explain things by leaving odd little hints for you to pick up on. It’s very much a case of read between the lines – I’m just glad Yvonne is such a brilliant actress and is the master of facial expressions otherwise I may not of picked up on some things. This is why I would have loved to have seen Sarah putting the wedding ring back – especially in the state she was in the Beach scene.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Thanks Esardi 🙂
        I always love the tense, twisty penultimate episodes (Subway remains an all time favourite) so no surprises that I loved 5.12. But one of the reasons I thought it worked was precisely because I barely recognized Sarah. I wasn’t meant to. She was the pre-Burbank Sarah. The wild card enforcer that we’ve never actually seen.
        But in looking at her, we can see just how far she’s come to be Mrs Bartowski, wife and wannabe Mother. I got to see that because they showed us, up close, what she once was.
        But also, it frames just how quickly she changes just over the 2 episodes. From the wild card enforcer who would kill Chuck, kill Ellie and do whatever it took to accomplish the mission – to someone who wants her normal – married – life back, who trusts this man with her stories. All that in the space of 2 episodes, and not because of some deus ex machina fix – but because her connection to Chuck is so strong that she comes to trust it almost sight unseen. I honestly thought that dual perspective of Sarah was brilliant writing.

        I hope you get to a happier place with the ending. Hell, I hope I do too!

      • Esardi says:

        Well I just want to thank all of you for your wonderful insights and thoughts. All of the fans here are what truly make this show so great. Thank you all for letting me vent.

      • lappers84 says:

        The story arc itself was good – I was wanted to see something like that, but I also wish they gave it a bit more time – pad it out a little more. And Kev I agree with you that Sarah transitioned pretty quickly from cold hard enforcer to wanting her memories of Chuck back in 2 episodes – it started quickly too.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Esadri: “She never bothered to verify if this story was true. What CIA agent would blow up a faclilty containing their own people and not send red flags? Sure they may have gotten Chuck but killing all those CIA personal?”

        This bothered me a little, but I was willing to go with it. Five years is a very deep cover assignment, especially if it involved marriage. That means she would have very little contact with the CIA. With Graham and Bryce dead, she might not have had any reliable contacts that would have clearance. While I did not like Frost’s 20 mission idea, this was far less extreme. If Sarah would think Frost’s 20 year mission idea was possible, she would think Quinn’s story was possible.

        Chuck, Morgan, and Casey survived being under panels in the Intersect room. No one else was as close, so maybe no one died. If so, it was probably just the guards (no to minimize that.) Something that bugged me about the pilot is Bryce’s Intersect strike was against loyal government agents, and he probably killed some of them. Sarah slugging Quinn was a red flag. Chuck stealing the glasses pissed her off enough to compensate. Sarah doesn’t like failing missions.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Chuck switching the glasses was huge in leading to so much hostility in the last 20 minutes of 5.12. Not that he was wrong, but he also wasn’t completely the gentle trusting Chuck that Sarah fell in love with 5 years ago either. So his mission sense unfortunately made the struggle a little harder for him for a while. But I thought the scene in the house played out quite nicely as a result, Sarah was quite angry with him and suspicious of his motives, even while his earnestness WAS having an impact.

      • JC says:

        My major nitpick, really all Chuck had to do to convince her that he was telling the truth was mention her mother and “sister”. Would hardcore spy Sarah ever tell a mark that bit of info?

      • Aerox says:

        JC, if you find some of my earlier posts, pre these two eps, that’s one of the things I didn’t understand either. But I hand-waved it because hell, that’s what we’re doing most of the time anyway. I can see how people would find it frustrating though.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        JC, I kept wanting Chuck to mention Emma and Molly also. I actually was expecting him to bring them up, but for it to backfire, making her trust him less and wonder how she found out. Considering Baby and Chuck vs Sarah had the same writers, they would have only left mom and sis out if it was a deliberate decision–one of those “scene gets bogged down” sort of things.

    • Well Kev, You seemed to say a lot of what I was thinking and like said on twitter, it got the tears flowing again.

      Like you, I didn’t like the ending first time around and would’ve loved a little more resolution or a little flash-forward. But on reflection I see it as a great “never-ending ending” with the sweetness, love and light we associate with Chuck and Sarah. Hopless romantic I am I like to think of Chuck & Sarah as soulmates who’s love is enescapable fact. The ending did seem to hint that…

      So I guess it wasn’t THE ending that upset me but more the fact the show HAS ended; I am greedy…I just want more!! I can just tell Chuck and Sarah going to have a lot of fun getting Sarah’s memories back. Plus how much fun would it be seeing these two plot the course for their ship to sail in the future. It seems Chuck and Sarah have all the time in the world; time is a precious commodity that has been in short supply in their relationship journey so far…

      For five years I have exerienced so much with these two…I laughed, I cried, my heart was warmed (many times). This is why I trust in the love, spirit and devotion of our favourite spy couple and also why it is really hard to let go. To paraphrase Bloc Party’s SIGNS “I believe in anything that brings Chuck and Sarah home to me”.

      Thanks to all the other Chucksters out there as well!! Talking with you all on twitter and forums like this has enriched my viewing experience!!

      Rivers and Roads…

      • BigKev67 says:

        Thanks Mog!
        It’s been a pleasure mate. I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed the blogosphere and twitter (and your good self) almost as much as I’ve enjoyed the show. And the thought of that community slowly breaking up is adding hugely to my end of show melancholy.
        But…. You and I at least have beers to look forward to next time you’re in Melbourne!! 🙂

    • atcDave says:

      Wow, thank you Kev. Ironic that in the end we’re in exactly the same place!

    • Jen says:

      I have the same feeling. And it’s ok to be disappointed…We all wanted to see more of out favorite couple being happy. At first my thoughts went towards a,big unity… What happens next, does she remember? But thankfully I’ve come around. Rewayching has helped and so has the insight of many of you here at the blog, and to me it’s now plainly evident all will be fine so I don’t question that anymore.

      In wanting to have seen more, I guess that’s my own problem to deal with. It’s been discussed at length here on the blog, twitter, everywhere, how TPTB seem to now know what the fans want or like. They in turn will tell their story as they want, I guess, so I’m stuck along for the ride. I’ll continue to feel something is missing at the end, but I can’t fix it, so I’m getting over it. So i’ll take what im given and add the rest (and they lived happily ever after)… N read happy Charah fiction 🙂

  46. andrew says:

    Yeah I am in the hated it camp, i have actually deleted all my itunes episodes I can honestly say I will never watch chuck again. Sad really they promised a good ending this was not it. I understand what they tried to do and where it left the show but they got too creative at a time when fans needed closure.We never got to see chuck and sarah the power couple.. I do feel sorry for yvonne she basically had 5 years work torn from her. I have never been a fan of Chris or Josh .. neither of them are I think good with the fans they are far too smug especially over season 3. I will certainly not be buying any more DVD’s unless it had a proper finished ending on it. There was a interview from Chris http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00047345.html
    He tries to say oh they are happy and together .. we needed to see that on screen sounds like its career damage control it was posted 28th I will certainly not be watching anything either of them create. The link may make some feel better it does not do much for my mood.

    • joe says:

      Well, thanks for weighing in, Andrew. Really.

      I think it was Thinkling who said just about the same thing (but in a far different context), about wanting to see Chuck & Sarah “The Power Couple.” It dawns on me, though, that this is exactly what we got in S5. We saw 10 episodes of that power couple.

      It reminds me more than anything of the last time I saw the Eagles (yeah, the band) back in the early ’80s. Great show, but nobody wanted them to leave the stage. So they did an encore, and again, nobody wanted them to leave the stage, so they came back, this time to play their rocker hit, “James Dean”. Couldn’t let them leave after that.

      So finally, for the 6’th (really, the 6th!) encore, they changed the mood with “The Best of My Love”. You may know the song – it’s a slow country ballad. Then we let them go.

      The mood had to be different.

  47. Jason says:

    My overwhelming feeling two days after the series ended, is the ending was written specifically to allow a movie to be ‘easy’ to make, i.e. as open ended as possible. Here is why:

    1 – Chuck and Sarah are retired. The Buymore is sold. They have no jobs. Hence, in the movie, they could be doing ANYTHING.

    2 – Chuck and Sarah are either going home together after the makeout session on the beach, or going their seperate ways never to see each other again, or somewhere in between. In the movie, their relationship could be ANYTHING.

    3 – Every major character other than Chuck and Sarah is sort of, more or less, moved on. Hence, in a Chuck and Sarah centric movie, the cast could be made up of ANYONE.

    I found it curious that immediately after the cast broke b4 the holidays, Zac talked about an hour and half, fun, follow-up project, maybe marketed on the internet. Yvonne, not direct to Zac’s issue, but Yvonne said if there was a movie she probably is in. That is not a typical reaction to a well told conclusion to a five year story, especially when the writing team got advanced warning that this is the final season. Instead, when trusted with the all those members of the crew who worked long and hard, the WB, NBC’s, and the fan’s best interest, TPTB chose a stunningly irresponsible way to end the show.

    I know many of you are trying to convince the rest of us that the end was better than we originally saw it, many of us are even coming around. But I submit to those who liked / loved the end, that there is something wrong when so many felt the end was lacking on first viewing. I think nearly everyone really wanted to love the ending, wanted the best ending ever for a show. In the end, Sarah Walker (she no longer is Sarah Bartowski Mr Fedak, you killed Sarah Bartowski in the 11th episode) probably fittingly said the line that will be this show’s legacy:

    I believe you Chuck, I just don’t feel it.

    • lappers84 says:

      Spot on Jason – Another thing that bothered me about that ending was more the build up in the season – we saw Sarah question things about being in the spy life compared to the real world – we started to see her plan for the their future and the talk of babies – then all of a sudden it’s gone and we get a luke – warm ending to a 5 year journey. This is why some people have complained. Had they had this as a mid season finale I can see things progressing where Chuck is gradually trying to get Sarah out of her shell whilst trying to finish his story once and for all. Quinn was a terrible bad guy in retrospect – who actually had a backstory with huge potential. A movie would be awesome to continue with this saga. Because by them ending it this way – there would be a huge call for something to tie it off once and for all.

    • BigKev67 says:

      Jason,
      Agree with you 100% about the cast’s lukewarm reaction. Yvonne’s comments were guarded at best. I hadn’t heard Zac’s EPK interview until today and I was struck by the same thing – “maybe not tears of joy” is hardly a ringing endorsement. He also said that he was keen for the online movie – but that he’d pitched the idea to Fedak. So even if Zac wasn’t 100% on board with the finale, i don’t think any differences with Chris are that major.
      As to your broader point, I’ve made my peace with the finale, but the blogging/twitter jury is in, and from what I’ve read it’s about 70/30 against. Add two possibly miffed stars and it’s clear it wasn’t the best choice. Like the other flaws in the show, Fedak will have to learn his lessons and carry them into his next show. If he doesn’t, his next show might be his last.
      For what it’s worth I think Fedak is a real creative talent. The concept of the show and the characters we love are all his. The guy who would have hired the writers we (mostly) love? Yep – him too. But he
      needs someone to tighten up his storylines and pull his head in when he goes too far. In other words he needs someone to do the job that Josh Schwartz did in the first 2 seasons.

      • Jason says:

        Yea – Kev – really who knows – huh? I do think this ending will get better for nearly everyone over time.

        If you are still on line, doubt I will be blogging much soon, just wanted to say I have enjoyed your influence on me during Chuck, you are a talented writer and have a great POV, what good is a hero without a great antogonist – right!

        I am listening to the Mo Ryan podcast right now & trying to catch up reading this blog, but the podcast is awesome in terms of framing ‘how to enjoy’ the end. Probably it is unfortunate maybe that is required, but I think how they described the ending / the show / and even the last couple of eps is really is helpful.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Thanks Jason! Much appreciated. I always enjoyed our jousts and learned plenty. I always enjoy people who are spiky, entertaining, and not afraid to have their own opinion. You are always all of those things. A worthy antagonist indeed!
        I love Mo’s stuff almost always. Haven’t heard that podcast yet but
        her finale review on Huffington is the best I’ve read. Might duplicate some of what she says in the podcast but it’s a great read!

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        It seems like more people are against it, but as with anything, those complaining are louder and more immediate, scaring off those those who like something.

        http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/01/poll-what-did-you-think-of-series.html
        71.65% say Awesome and 11.9% say Great. The sample is small, although higher than many Chuck episodes recently. It does show that there are a lot of people out there that really liked the finale. The numbers are actually a little low for Chuck episodes, but are higher than the early S5 episodes and most other TV shows.

      • Esardi says:

        BigKev and Randy, I am once again in total agreement with you. I found the leave it to your imagination latest line from people like Fedak to be his typical copout. We are visual kind of people; we need to believe it to justify it in our minds. The smugness you wrote about Randy really irritated and I believe alienated a lot of fans in season 3. You do not go in an interview after the Mask episode and proclaim that Shaw was the perfect boyfriend for Sarah.

        I was one of the people that were totally sick of the Sarah character in season 3. After Chuck’s red test I no longer cared whether they got together again. Then I just realized how silly I was reacting because it was not the fabulous Sarah’s fault. It was the poor writing and execution that was going on. We all noticed this when the actors were finally free from that lousy arc.

        They acted and produced one the best episodes in honeymooners. The show runners were amazed at their chemistry. Well dah, they probably were just excited that finally that awful arc was behind them. What I found surprising was the interview they all did at the beginning of season 4, they all kept saying they learned their lesson. Why? It was not their fault it was the show runners.

        However, we found out at the end they did not learn their lesson at all. From the small time I have been posting in this blog, people know how much I dislike Fedak. To me what still has me so upset is his continual mistreatment of the Sarah character. For the life of me I just have never understood it. The hated camp in which I find myself in probably feels the same way. Out of all the characters to lose their memory, why Sarah. She is the one who made the most growth as a person. She is the one that was leading the charge to quit the spy life. She is the one who wanted children, a house with a white picket fence and a happily ever after. We were all rooting for her to have it. Therefore, once again Fedak why take it all away? That is why many of us in the hate it camp feel betrayed. Do not be fooled, Yvonne felt the exact same way. That is why her tears were real in the final scene. The were tears of sorrow that this time she was not going to be able to fix her character. That is why many of us said it was that death of Sarah Bartowski. Yeah when all of it is said and done it is only a TV show. However, I do not think I was ever as invested in a show like I was in this one.

        That is why it hurt so much to see that character that wanted more than anyone her happily ever after not get it. Everyone else was allowed but not her or Chuck. To me to leave a final with such an ambiguous ending where the range of possibilities are so wide and can vary so much is one I call a failure.

    • Randy says:

      Webster: Hubris=arrogance resulting from excessive pride; humility=absence of pride or self-assertion. The more I review in my mind the entire series, the more I realize why seasons 3 and 5 are particularly disliked by so many fans: hubris on the part of the creators. It’s their show; they’re not going to admit there’s anything wrong with any part of it (about the closest they came was saying — ironically — that they “had learned” not to separate Chuck and Sarah — in the wake of the Shaw debacle) — including the ending.

      Speaking of irony, I think one of the things that grates most on many fans — this one included — is all the complementing and praising of the fans for all the effort the fans have put into keeping the show on the air year after year, but then, at the crucial point in the series, to be clueless as to what the vast majority of the fans wanted for an ending (I’m being generous in saying they were clueless).

      I know this is an issue — “Do I write what I want to write or do I write what the fans want?” — that artists — including writers — have wrestled with for centuries (and probably longer), but given the role of the fans in keeping this show on the air, it seems to me that the creators had some responsibility to do much more than they did to write a truly satisfying finale that the majority of fans clearly wanted.

      I hope we do get a Chuck movie, though I’m not holding my breath. If we do, my one wish would be to have someone — anyone — other than Chris Fedak write the screenplay.
      .

      • atcDave says:

        Sadly I’ve said exactly the same thing about Fedak and further Chuck. I honestly hoe we get a Chuck movie at some point, but hope someone else has creative control. Fedak has generally done a good job, but none of his episodes make my favorites list (except the original Pilot). I would prefer any later follow on projects are carefully considered by Zach and Yvonne (especially Yvonne) before they ever get started. I also strongly suspect Yvonne’s very emotional last month is related to not liking this finale arc at all.

  48. Greg says:

    All the way during season 5 we saw Mrs Bartowski want out of the spy game, want a real life, something different. So what do the writers do? Delete all her memories of Chuck and of the 5 seasons, and remain ambiguous whether she even has some of her memories, its just plain rubbish.

    • lappers84 says:

      I think that’s what most people are complaining about – The ambiguity of the ending doesn’t really work for how they framed the whole season (and the entire show.) – I can accept now things will work out for them, but to put so much emphasis on her wanting out of the spy life and looking to their future venture – only to leave it up in the air is pretty frustrating.

      • Wilf says:

        The Sopranos ending, while not ambiguous, said little yet I found that satisfying enough. It didn’t try to negate anything which had gone before; they were just getting on with their normal lives. All of Chuck’s family and friends were allowed to do just that – get on with their lives. But Chuck and Sarah are deprived of that privilege – except in our heads. Come on, why did they create anything beyond the first episode of Chuck? After all, I could have imagined the rest.

      • FSL says:

        At least they didn’t pull a “Life on Mars (US)” ending with Chuck waking up in a holodeck simulation to find out Big Mike and Gen Beckman are his parents, Morgan with no beard, Ellie and Awesome being the holographic programme interface, and Sarah his commanding officer who he has a crush on. That would have been bad. =(

    • Faith says:

      If it’s all right with you, I’ll disagree. I think I showed why it is apparent her memories were not completely gone, but that’s what I believe and what I saw. If you disagree with what was on screen that’s fine.

      • ArmySFC says:

        could be. funny thing though, how many times did they lead people to believe there would be a house by the end? possible kids? a normal life? a few and they were very loud compared to her memories returning right? most people i know went with what they showed, even as late as bullet train correct? so now because they showed memories returning we should believe or think they will return? didn’t we do that with the house/kids? if they changed that up why should i think they mean it this time?

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        @faith
        But it wasn’t “on screen”. You saw a scene and interpreted it one way, that doesn’t mean it’s true or false.

      • Faith says:

        I saw several scenes and my interpretation followed the story…in fact follows the intent of the writers. If you don’t want to acknowledge that that’s fine, but saying it’s not there is in itself false.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        @faith
        Do I understand correctly that because I disagree with you, my interpretation is false as your interpretation “follows the intent of the writers”? I did not see what you saw. Not intentionally, I just didn’t see it. In the beginning of this thread I saw a couple of people reacting rather piqued because someone here joked that the people that found this ending satisfying were Fedak in disguise. I don’t agree, but I also don’t understand why people reacted the way they did. What you said I find far more irritating than that fedak joke. I thought there was room here for other opinions too?

      • Faith says:

        Certainly. I’m not disputing the emotions and the reactions. I think people should and do feel what they feel about all of it. I certainly do. I’m even fine with people not wanting to see what’s there. But in my opinion there can be no middle ground (as far as I’m concerned) on whether or not they tried to show on screen that she’s already remembering. I think it’s right there on screen, it’s an objective fact not a subjective fact. If people want to make it subjective that’s fine by me but I certainly disagree. That’s allowed right? Without being called Fedak or an apologist or whatever other label that requires one to follow the herd.

        If you didn’t see it, that’s fine but it is there and as it is the intent of the writers to show it (per the interviews), then as far as I’m concerned, it is there.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Faith every one here has good points both for and against the ending. the big problem with the ending is it wasn’t what a lot of people wanted to see. no matter what they showed, it still doesn’t fit in with the endings people wanted. for many all it would take is one simple line as absolute proof she was back, not ones that need to be inferred based on a few memories returning over the course of the episode.

        i saw the same things you did and feel the same way they showed me enough to form an idea of what was going to happen. i still think the ending sucked. same as i think the ending of JAG sucked, we got the same thing in that one, flash backs from years gone by to the engagement ending on a still image of a flipped coin. yeah i know they got married but what else went on after that, for me this is the same.

        i also had a bunch of other issues with it but that’s another story.

      • Faith says:

        Army I wasn’t speaking of the ending. That comes down to reaction and emotions. Whether you believe (in the end) or not is your own prerogative. I started this post intending not to convince anyone and I stick by it.

        The dispute is whether Sarah is already getting some of her memories back in the present “on screen” or I’m just interpreting from what’s not there to begin with to suit my purposes.

      • atcDave says:

        I hadn’t thought of it army, but the JAG comparison is apt. (although I would maintain Chuck is a vastly better show); but yeah both endings were “happy” from a ‘shipper perspective, but left WAY too many unanswered questions for my taste.

      • lappers84 says:

        I think even a look from Sarah would have sufficed – They pull away for a brief second and Sarah smiles and she goes in for another kiss – We all know how great Yvonne is with facial expressions plus the fact she was bawling her eyes out during that scene – it would have worked so much better. Still I have accepted that ending (but a little extra would have been great.)

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        For the lack of closure for some audience members, JAG and Chuck finales were similar. I think the Chuck finale had a more closure than the JAG one, but I can definitely understand the comparison. Neither Sarah nor Sara was actually wearing a ring, even though the intended assumption was the couples would stay together.

        However, I think when looking at the entire Chuck finale, it was far superior to the JAG finale. To make the Chuck finale like the JAG one:
        – Waste half the episode on a plot completely unrelated to Charah (e.g. Frosted Tips or Sensai). During this plot, neither Chuck nor Sarah should be on the screen. Instead use an unpopular character added in the final season.
        – the Charah flashback moments would be from Goodbye except more sad and depressing moments from S2 and especially S3.0 would be mixed in (including every break-up and misunderstanding)
        – the key relationship scene would be the ice cream scene from Other Guy (i.e. they barely are together), or worse the flashback run-away-with-me scene from Pink Slip, leading to…
        – a coin flip at the train station deciding if they would get on the train, or if Sarah would help train Chuck in Prague.
        That combination would make me cringe.

      • atcDave says:

        ROTFL!

        Geez Jeff that is too funny! No doubt Chuck, both the show and the finale, was better in about every way. Only the final ambiguity was sort of similar.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff, right. i was just referring to the end, not the entire episode.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I figured that, Army. I’ve just been thinking about how many final episodes were stinkers, ignoring the final moment. I remembered not liking the Alias finale, but thinking it had a nice epilogue. I rewatched the last several Alias episodes yesterday. Four good guys die and two ambiguous good/bad guys turns into characteratures of evil villains and die.

        It turns out the epilogue was not as nice as I remembered. Sydney and her family get an isolated dream home on the beach (Toes In The Sand). However it introduces as many new problems.

        The Chuck equivalent would be:
        – Ellie, Jeff, Gertrude, and Mary all die. Mary would die after a fight with Chuck.
        – Stephan comes back and dies again, blowing himself up with a grenade to kill Quinn
        – Morgan goes into witsec with Alex (like Will from Alias)
        In the epilogue:
        – Casey is back in NSA, living a lonely existence
        – Sarah gets her memories back and her dream house, but Chuck regularly leaves her and the kids to go on dangerous missions

        I would have liked an epilogue, but any old epilogue would not necessarily make things better.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Also in the Alias-like Chuck epilogue, several years later, Beckman discovers Jill has been committee crimes and asks Chuck to hunt her down. We never find out if he does.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff it leaves me wonder why the final episodes are mostly poor. now don’t get me wrong chucks was good except the end for me. why when writers know the end is coming they don’t find a way to tie up most of the loose ends? i get the feeling (mostly from coming here) that the PTB of shows don’t or can’t accept the fact that it is over. so they leave a bit, sometimes to much open to the viewer to fill in. in a sense by doing that the show is not really over is it? they can still think it’s going on. i suppose no show truly ends unless everyone dies, lol. like fedak says what i see is this…so for him it’s not really over is it?

      • atcDave says:

        You’re on a roll Jeff. I guess I’ll pass on ever watching Alias…

        You are absolutely right that not just any epilogue would do. I specifically wanted to see Chuck and Sarah get that dream “normal” life they both wanted so much. The advantage of no epilogue is I can imagine they did.
        The disadvantage is I will always wish we saw it.

        Now what if “The Fugitive” finale was Chuck? Obviously Vincent would have to come back as the one-armed man…
        (I mainly wish Chuck had gone out as the top rated show in history, but oh well!)

      • atcDave says:

        Army I’m positive they’re taught in film school that ambiguous endings are “good.” In the last 30 years we’ve had such a plague of those things, its become cliche to NOT answer all the questions.

      • Faith says:

        Army, I’d answer that with…because it’s hard to make everyone happy when something they’ve followed, become a part of their lives and loved is ending.

        Jeff, now do one for Lost! Heh.

        But if I may, just in case it’s not clear, I’m not disputing the end, or people’s thoughts about the end, just the whole Sarah is dead thing and her memories are never to be recovered and “I wrote that” is what I, myself, interpreted falsely…or made up altogether.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave there was a show one ABC a while ago called October Road. i watched and it was ok not real bad or good. any how the show got canceled after 2 seasons and all episodes were filmed. they did something unique. they did a 15 minute epilog. they called back the cast and filmed a flash forward where all the open plots were filled in. the relationships were put to where they were headed and we got to see it. it’s the only time i ever saw anything like that done. when asked TPTB said the fans had a right to know what happened. see simple.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I really like Alias, just not nearly as much as Chuck. The action is better, but most of the comedy depends on Q-like Marshall (aka the gymnast poisoner from Truth). The 1 1/2 seasons of Alias are excellent and provide a good conclusion except for one bad guy getting away. The finale of that arc was the Superbowl episode that was mentioned by Volkoff in First Fight. The next half season is good, but has a horrible season finale twist (think Prague in the last few seconds). The 3rd season is like S3 Chuck (maybe worse). It starts angsty and breaks up the couple, but it gets better in the second half. On the plus side, the Shaw-like character is killed. I could give or take the last two seasons.

        So I would highly recommend Alias, but I’d say stop early.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Sorry, Faith. I have never seen a single episode of Lost. It debuted opposite Smallville, back when Smallville was good. From what I’ve heard, though, Chuck, Sarah, and Casey would have died with the bomb in the pilot. The rest of the five years were limbo.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Faith that’s true, not everyone will be happy with any ending for the reasons you mentioned. i guess i was to finite in my question. writers of a show they know is ending, have a full season to build to the ending. it didn’t just pop up, like people who shop late for Christmas. ya know its coming. there’s a lot you can tie up in that time. i don’t get why writers try and go for the big bang on the way out. do the big bang early then do lesser ones. how cool would it have been for 5.13 to have taken place in 3.10’s spot follow it with a memory coming back one then on to baby and then a flash forward to the future, like 1 year.

      • Jason says:

        Army asked:

        “Jeff it leaves me wonder why the final episodes are mostly poor. ”

        Army, I think that is a great ? and observation at the same time. I have wondered myself. My best answer is that the show’s own history starts to catch up with it, kind of like multiplying 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 for 91 episodes, one has a pretty big number of mythology permutations to keep track of. That plus all shows are to a certain degree a mash up of genre’s, so in the final a big issue is how does one strike exactly the right chord of genre mash up in the finale, especially given all fans have built up over years a favorite way the show works. Finally, the pressure to be clever in the eyes of one’s own peers must be enormous. In that one regard, I would guess other show runners (and critics) probably thought more of the Chuck finale than the average fan on the street, many of whom were cheering for the house in the suburbs with the red door.

        It will be kind of fun to read stuff about Chuck over the next months and years, history has a way of seeing much clearer than a day or two after an event, I wonder how Chuck’s finale will get judged over time?

  49. Greg says:

    Yeah maybe she falls back in love with Chuck, but that’s a whole different story, literally nothing to do with 88 episodes back.
    It’s just pissing me off so much out how they even thought this amnesia arc was something good, something exciting. No, it was just unnecessary angst that wasn’t needed at all.
    And to have the balls of not clearing that angst on the “”Series Finale””, its just unheard of. How the writers though it was a good send off? I do not know.

  50. Sandra says:

    It’s just that what we lost in these last few episodes, and (maybe) lost for good here in the series finale, struck at the very core of what the whole show was about: Chuck and Sarah’s relationship, and specifically Sarah’s development into a person who not only could accept Chuck’s love, but was actually fulfilled by it.

    That whole process was just so. excruciatingly. slow. at times, and for the creators to hit the reset button on her character at the very end of the show’s life — even with the dropped hints that it won’t take her another five years to become that well-adjusted, emotionally centered person again — just feels a little bit like a mugging.

    We’ve already been though the ups and downs of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship, I don’t want to go through it again …

    What made it cut even deeper, for me anyway, were all of the victory lap moments for the other characters, each of whom is getting (or well on their way to getting) their own versions of the happy ending they’ve been building toward for five years. In the midst of all that fulfillment, to have Chuck and Sarah left on a beach with, perhaps, only the possibility of rebuilding their life together feels like getting mugged at your own birthday party.

    I can understand peoples opinions when they say Sarah and Chuck definitely love each other now, but why why why did we have to have a reset on the relationship?

    • atcDave says:

      Yup, agree entirely Sandra. Ill conceived story from the very start. My wife and I were just discussing this and she, as a more casual viewer than I, felt strongly that the problem was with the entirety of 5.13. The ending itself didn’t bother her so much, she accepts that Sarah was getting her memories back and all would be well; but it was so sad not to have the sort of happy, fun and uplifting Chuck and Sarah moments we’ve grown used to in the show’s finale. It was a rip-off for her.

    • sd says:

      Totally agree!

  51. Aerox says:

    It took me 4 rewatches of the ending before I finally found a version I’m satisfied with. It took both a whole lot longer and a lot shorter than I thought to come to grips with it. (Longer in terms of I wanted it to be perfect the first time around and shorter because I thought I’d have issues for at least two weeks or so with this) and I think what did it for me (finally) was something that’s been said a lot over the past few days, but it took me until now to see. Sarah wanted it. Chuck wanted it badly, but I think that Sarah wanted it even more. And even if it turned out that the kiss didn’t work, you could see from their body language that they’d keep trying. And while seeing recognition flicker would’ve been a nice ending, I think this works just as well, because even if it wouldn’t work, they both won’t give up trying. And I think that’s a great sentiment in and on itself. So bravo ChuckThis and of course Schwartz/Fedak, you’ve delivered an ending that I think elevated itself from okay to good in my book.

    Now of course, I’ll just have to rewatch the entire show (something which will be infinitely harder given the fact that in the grand scheme of things, it’ll all be reset anyway)

    • Sandra says:

      Don’t think ill be able to watch anything from this show ever again, knowing that A. Sarah doesn’t get back her memories, B. She gets them back but is a completely different person.
      It has literally spoiled each and every Chuck/Sarah moment for me.

      • Aerox says:

        Yeah, that’s one of the hardest things to come to terms with. The fact that the replayability value of this show is totally gone with this ending.

    • atcDave says:

      hmmm, well I guess I just assumed the memories were coming back, so at some point, say 3 months from now; Chuck and Sarah will be just as they were. So the whole series doesn’t seem like a loss to me.

      But yeah Aerox the best take away I get from that last scene is exactly like you said; Sarah is ready and she wants it. The process may yet take a while. But they’re together and they’ll make it together.

  52. Peter says:

    God I preferred season 3 to this amnesiac arc. Lets hope to god their is something/anything that continues the chuck story on TV/movie.

    • Aerox says:

      Haha, I know how you feel. I had the exact same thoughts as you did. However, if you want to like it, the only thing left to do is rewatching it and finding the version that works best for you. Still completely torn between sides but at least I have peace with it now. And that’s a nice feeling too 😀

      • lappers84 says:

        I intend on watching it over again – I’ve finally accepted things as they are and as you’ve said man, she wanted it – the signs were there. The problem with this show was it was never about what was shown, it was more about what wasn’t shown – we had to read between the lines and see the hints that were dropped – these last 2 episodes were the perfect example of that, and as long as you can see the message and hints it does feel a hell of a lot better. (Albeit not perfect) – but much better.

      • Aerox says:

        Exactly my thoughts lappers.

      • Faith says:

        Lappers, that’s partly what I liked about it. In an episode where the callbacks where aplenty, the subtle lines and messages were the very best.

        I was making a signature of Day 564 of the VLog and I could swear to you that what Sarah was seeing on screen in that moment is what she was feeling in that moment too. It’s a fantastic parallel that you will miss if you aren’t rewatching. Yvonne puts so much into her facial expressions that it’s really more than just grief at what she’s lost but also fear of what she’s found.

  53. Paul says:

    I’m in the hated it camp as well. The tragedy of the loss of Sarah’s emotional development has been discussed enough — agreed. I also very much dislike that Chuck had to upload the Intersect once more to become the hero. To me he had learned that he is a hero WITHOUT the Intersect. So two big series developments were destroyed. Our action-dramedy turned into a tragedy is season 5.

    The producers and writers lucked out on such a great cast — especially Yvonne Strahovski. In the hands of lessor actors this show would not have survived past season 3 IMO.

  54. MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

    NBC has a new variant of the ending. It has the same fade-out, but has a different song and has a longer slide show of memories, rather than video clips:
    http://www.nbc.com/chuck/video/the-story-of-chuck-and-sarah/1381756

    • lappers84 says:

      Odd that it makes the ending seem so much better.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        From the original, I liked Sarah’s laughing and crying reactions to Chuck’s story and the ‘Kiss me’ line better. But I really liked the bigger photo montage. I might like the video’s song a little better on first listen, but ‘Rivers and Roads’ will stick with me longer.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah Jeff. I like the interspersed shots of Sarah smiling and laughing and crying and the “kiss me,” but I like the song in this one so much better … and the longer montage.

      • herder says:

        Also, if she is laughing or more importantly crying doesn’t that mean that at some level she remembers or at least “feels it”?

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah herder that was exactly what I saw, she felt it and she wanted in the end. Would have been nice if she’d SAID that!

      • Faith says:

        This is frustrating…and I’m not even trying to convince anyone.

        Yes Herder, I think that her reactions show that the two part plan was working in some way or another.

      • joe says:

        I sort of understand, lappers (and those who think this ending is better). But honestly, except for Sarah’s laughter and tears, this is very nearly what I took away from the canonical ending. In fact, this is, in my mind, the same.

        Know what made me think that Sarah was not gone in any sense of the word? It was the way the movie I have in my head begins. No matter how I think of it, Chuck and Sarah are doing something together. CIA? Carmichael Industries? Subway shop? Doesn’t matter. Whether Sarah gets her memories back or not, they’ll have new ones because she’s not leaving him.

    • Peter says:

      Makes it seem like shes remembering it and then they kiss. Hmmm.

    • Paladinobr says:

      This is the ending we should have had, no words in the end, just a kiss! This way I think she definitely has her memory back!

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      The song is “Never Seen Nothing Like You” by Nate Highfield.

      I think the differences in the scene show how much of a scene is dependent on music selection, direction, and editing. They were basically the same scene with the same ending, but they have different feels.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I almost wish I didn’t read the lyrics, Paul. It’s about as upbeat as a country song about losing a dog and a broken down truck.

        It is fitting lyrics, though, and does have an upbeat ending, about following “rivers and roads” until they are together again.

      • Paul says:

        Exactly, the song is about waiting until we meet again. That could be a minute from now or years from now. Chuck pretty much told Sarah on the beach to take the all time you need, I will wait forever for you if I have to. Well, I don’t think he had to wait very long.

      • atcDave says:

        I think he waited a couple of hours while he told their story, and they were the longest couple hours of his life!

      • joe says:

        Thanks for that Intel, Jeff. I think it’s going on my iPOD also with my other Chuck music.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        My Chuck playlist includes “expanded universe” songs from this video, ComicCon, Woodcomb/Morgan Honda commercials, and the Matt Barber Season 5 blooper/goodbye video that was removed from vimeo (but will hopefully be on the DVDs).

  55. Paul says:

    A “Chuck vs. The Epilogue” straight-to-DVD movie would be nice to clean up this mess but I seriously doubt there will be anything more to the Chuck storyline. Maybe a comic book run will try to clean things up.

  56. lappers84 says:

    I just watched the Pilot, then immediately watched 5×13 and it gave me a much better perspective – That ending doesn’t bother me anymore – it works.

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      I liked the ending, and like it more every time I watch it. I completely understand why some people don’t They think the “love letter” was unsigned. Others don’t like the premise of the letter or the fact it is a goodbye. However by ignoring the ending and the fact that it is an ending, what I like best was the callbacks. There are so many things that harken back to dozens of other episodes, especially the pilot. It’s hard to catch them all. In an episode full of callbacks, it’s a fitting ending.

  57. JC says:

    Here’s a question i want to ask everyone. They left question of whether Sarah got her memories up to the viewer. For the sake of argument lets say she didn’t.

    Is the Sarah Walker we watched and Chuck married dead then?

    I would say she did die in that episode to a certain extent and that’s part of the reason I disliked the ending. I’m not saying she wouldn’t eventually get to the point emotionally and personally she was before Bullet Train. But she wouldn’t be the exact same person either. And then there’s Chuck for him it’d be like marrying your wife’s doppelganger

    • Paladinobr says:

      Even if she doesn’t remember anything at all I still think she would stay with Chuck, because now he’s a mixture of Bryce (as a confident guy, super spy, smooth and so on that was her type before Chuck) and Chuck from the first episode, the nerd that she fell in love. However in this case I don’t think she would be the Sarah Bartowski that we knew but a different Sarah but we would love her the same way, 🙂

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      I don’t agree with your premise, JC, but it’s an interesting topic.

      I wouldn’t say she was dead–just different. People change over time. Sarah fell in love with S1 Chuck. He was a different person at the beginning of S5, but she still loved him. Likewise Chuck feel in love with S1 Sarah. She was a different person at the beginning of S5, but he still loved her.

      Granting your premise, Sarah didn’t have have the memories that helped her change and become a “real girl.” However her core personality was still there. In Baby we saw cracks in the “cold hearted spy” persona even before she met Chuck. One of the key parts of the Chuck and Sarah love story was Chuck getting Sarah to open up. He knows how to do it, and this time Sarah didn’t have CIA rules in the way. It would take a lot less than 5 years the second time around.

      Would she be exactly the same? Of course not. But the first time she didn’t change into some perfect woman that Chuck designed in a lab. She evolved into the type of person was because she wanted to be happy. Even if the memory loss arc never happened, Sarah would have been a “different person” in another five years. The memory arc just changed the course of those five years. That doesn’t mean Sarah would not try to get back to the original course which made her happy.

      In the final scene, Chuck is talking about trust. It’s a nice parallel to the pilot. He also talks about always being there for Sarah. If you watch Sarah’s reaction, it resonates. When she was young, Sarah left to go on adventures with her dad. He was neither trustworthy nor there for her. That shaped her personality. Graham was there for her, which made her loyal to the CIA. But she still yearned for the soccer games and prom she missed with her reliable mom. Chuck filled a hole in her life. If she lost her memories of that hole being filled, she’d want it filled again. When Chuck did that, I believe she would evolve into a very similar person.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with all of that Jeff, and I would add; some of the character changes we saw over the last five years might even still be there without the specific memories. I don’t know all the science of it, but I’ll guess some personality changes come with age/physiology apart from actual experiences. The specific issue I’m thinking of is that this five year later Sarah may already feel less need for adventure and more need to settle down than she actually did five years ago. Add to that a specific desire to regain what was lost, and a Sarah who regains those memories quickly versus one who never does might actually look a lot alike five years down the road.

      • lappers84 says:

        I agree with that Jeff. The Sarah we grew to love was always there, Chuck was merely able to bring it out in her. The fact that she lost her memory didn’t really change anything – Yes she came across as cold and heartless (and people will argue she was worse than she was in season 1) – I’d only put that down to the fact when she was dealing with Chuck in season 1 she was dealing with him as an ally (and the man she fell for) – In 5×12 she was made to believe he was the enemy. It shocked us a little because we never got to see truly cold hearted Sarah – only glimpses (I refer to Chuck’s flash in the pilot and the look she gave the camera when she shot it – and when she took out the french diplomats.) – all of those pre Chuck.
        Again Jeff you bought up Baby – she obviously hadn’t lost her memory that far back, and as we saw in the episode she needed confirmation from Ryker before she took out the bad guys and then when she had Chuck, Casey and Morgan trapped in the intersect room, same thing happened. She hesitated in pushing the button (she realised something wasn’t quite right) and Quinn did it for her anyway.
        Bottom line is Sarah Bartowski was always in there from the very first episode. By the end of the series, she seemed to be already ready to open up to the man she loved.

      • Jason says:

        But then again, practically anything in Chuck can be either made sense of or the opposite, depending on what one wants to prove or disprove, believe or not believe. If one wants to think Morgan and Sarah’s intersect memory losses were equivalent, so be it. But, I submit to all of you working hard to make this end work, that it did not have to be this way, that one (or two) people had the power to make this ending work for practically EVERYONE, and they chose not to. Instead he (they) opted instead to create and ending of love, not joy, of satisfaction, not celebration, of intellectual justification and faith, rather than instant emotional gratification. His choice, as fans, our only choice was to react, and react we did.

    • Faith says:

      Okay if you focus on the negative, then you have to ask yourself if she has fallen in love with Chuck, or if she will eventually fall for Chuck.

      Though again, I don’t really see how the Sarah Walker we know is dead considering they showed that she’s slowly but surely regaining her memories when exposed to superficial things. That’s what gets my goat, if she can remember being in places or seeing things, how can she not remember when exposed to something so much deeper and far more memorable? Anyway, to each his own.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with that Faith, I still say those memories are coming back, and fairly quickly.

      • Jason says:

        Faith – everyone is missing the subtle point, Sarah BARTOWSKI was killed off by Chris Fedak in his epic final arc, Sarah Walker is alive and well and still making out with some guy she barely knows on a beach in LA.

      • Faith says:

        Okay, Sarah Walker BARTOWSKI is not missing, or dead or mentally maimed as far as I’m concerned. I think they showed enough ways why.

        Remember Casey’s speech? Oh and her own video reminding her of how she feels. That and the fact that Sarah Walker would have shot Chuck point blank or blown him up besides, but Sarah Walker BARTOWSKI didn’t. She hesitated and I seem to recall an episode called Break Up where she tells Casey…

        “I know I hesitated…”

        If you want to point out specifically the white house and the picket fence, well who’s to say that didn’t return with her memories. That’s the beauty of the episode.

        But hey like you said yourself, if you want to be convinced there’s enough in the inter webs to do that. If you don’t…
        I certainly don’t want to do either. I’m pointing out what I see.

      • Jason says:

        Casey’s specch?

      • Faith says:

        Casey: “What do you remember about me?”
        Sarah: “Your reputation mostly. Unfriendly, unforgiving, and unquestioning about your orders.”
        Casey: “That’s funny, when we met, people said the same thing about you.”

      • Jason says:

        Faith – I am glad you are able to make that end work. But aren’t you disappointed that an ending was written that fell short, especially on first view, for so many of us? I really wanted the end to be not just ok, but remarkably epic, uber epic maybe. An ending better than kids, a house, a picket fence, or anything teased. Instead, we essentially got a reset to the end of the pilot, 91 steps back, with a final step forward on the beach, with a tease that Sarah Walker may be falling for Chuck Bartowski, and that somewhere in there Sarah Walker Bartowski may be stirring. That is not a woefully inadequate ending, but just marginally dare I say ‘satisfying’. I did not expect more from TPTB, but I sure hoped they would surprise me. They did not.

      • Faith says:

        That’s a different topic altogether.

        Am I disappointed that it’s not a full epilogue with 3.5 children, a house and a dog? Yes. Because I love those endings with a passion. I think that would have been a nice way to end the last 5 years of C/S. I’m not a fan of “thinking” either, I want it spelled out for me.

        BUT, it’s not my ending to tell and certainly from what I’ve known these past couple of years I know enough not to let my expectations cloud what I’m being shown. Something that is not what I expected but is fantastic in its own right. The more I “think” about it, the more I love it because I can imagine Chuck and Sarah go home after that night…I can imagine others thinking of them in myriad of ways and they’re able to do that.

        So to answer your question, the fact that so many here disliked the ending is sad to me. But I also think that some people are overlooking things that they expressly showed because it wasn’t their preference. They didn’t see what they wanted so they dismiss it, instead of seeing what is which is a great ending in its own right.

        No ending is going to be right for me, personally…not really. Because Chuck is over and that means their continuing adventures are over. That’s sad.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Faith,
        I’m still on the fence about the ending. But that’s completely about whether it was an appropriate ending for this show, given it’s history, and us fans.
        But I don’t follow the logic of those who argue that Sarah doesn’t/won’t get her memories back. I don’t say that because I want to believe it – I say it because that’s what is shown on screen.
        We are told that Sarah downloaded the same intersect as Morgan.
        As the Morgansect arc played out, we were shown that he recovered actual memories, when exposed to a strong enough emotional trigger. They were actual memories and actual history – not even implied memories or some vague sense of “something”.
        He doesn’t have all his memories back yet, but he is clearly Morgan as we know him, with his personality and history largely intact. A history that he demonstrates in his talk to Casey in this very episode.
        But people want to believe the same intersect will work differently on Sarah? Even when we’re shown slivers of memory already coming back when stimulated by the same emotional triggers?
        I honestly don’t understand that. I have no issue with anyone who dislikes the ending, but to me the question of whether Sarah gets her memories back, virtually in full, as Sarah Bartowski is clearly answered.

      • atcDave says:

        Ditto all Kev. Perfectly exactly right.

      • Jason says:

        Not exactly perfectly right, Sarah Bartowski’s brain was systematically fried when she was tortured, Morgan was not. By the way Kev – I believe you, I just don’t feel it – that is the one thing that is perfectly exactly right.

      • lappers84 says:

        I’m still unclear on the term suppress does that mean deletion or simply hiding it away???

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        “Suppress” was first used referring to the device Mary used on Chuck in First Fight. Fear of Death showed that Chuck could almost, but not quite access the Intersect after it was “suppressed”. Later, they started using remove and suppress almost interchangeably, sometimes in the same conversation. In theory, Sarah, Morgan, and Shaw all have Intersect databases in their head, but can’t access them. Also, Hartley might have Volkoff’s personality still inside of him. On the other hand, their Intersects might be gone completely. It doesn’t even have to be consistent between the four, because their Intersects were removed in different ways. Hartley’s removal was similar to Morgan’s but his Intersect was different to begin with. I think the removal/suppression ambiguity was intentional at the time, to leave open future plot avenues.

      • Big Kev67 says:

        Jason,
        I’m honestly not trying to be contrary here (but once more for old times sake does seem appropriate!) – but I just don’t see any evidence on screen that Sarah’s brain was “fried”.
        We know she loses memories the more she flashes – just as Morgan did. So Quinn produces the flash cards to make her flash and accelerate her memory loss. But it’s exactly the same scenario as Morgan – more flashes equals more memory loss. Nothing is different.
        And we know Morgan gets some of – but not all – of his memories back. We’re shown Sarah beginning to get her memories back. To me the 2 scenarios are exactly the same – as they should be, because they both have the same intersect. I don’t see why the outcome would therefore be different?

      • Jason says:

        Kev – forgetting about a drunken weekend and who Luke Skywalker is equals a clean 5 year brain wipe? Thank goodness that isn’t true, or I might have to check myself in – LOL!

        And anyhow, just how did Quinn know when exactly 5 years was up while he was wiping her brain clean? And why didn’t Chuck get Emma to tell Sarah who Chuck was? Or Gen Beckman? Or the president of the US? Or Jack Burton? And, of course why didn’t Ellie try to help SArah seriously, she started, then gave up, not exactly in character, of course she was worried about her career. And if you plant memories back, the person really hasn’t changed, that whole thing about using the intersect to put the wedding album back was really, really, really stupid. OK – officially starting to get going, gotta stop before I start being really honest about what I thought of those last two episodes!

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Jason, I agree the memory loss was not the same. First, the lost weekend had nothing to do with the Intersect (I think this is the 5th time I’ve said this). It was very clear in the episode that the memory loss was from the X-13 gas. Second, Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones were very long term memory. Sarah’s memory losses were long term, but they were concentrated in a more recent time frame.

        Just because Sarah’s memory loss was different doesn’t mean her memories won’t come back. We saw them coming back in the show itself.

        How did Quinn know when to stop? We don’t know. He was an Intersect expert. Maybe the cards provided some control. Maybe some of Sarah’s losses were from six and seven years ago. The five year limit was contrived, but so is the idea that Intersect images can add skills and remove memories.

        You’re making the problem of convincing her more complicated than it needs to be. Jack Burton is usually hard to find, and Sarah didn’t trust him. Bringing up Emma could backfire, making Sarah even more defensive. 5 years ago, Sarah didn’t know Beckman. The US President did not know Sarah, and she didn’t know who the President was. But none of that matters because none of those people were reachable in the Intersect room when she turned on them. The next opportunity was the house, where Chuck was convinced he could do it by himself. He didn’t call for help because he didn’t trust what Beckman’s team was going to do to Sarah (he told her to run). In the hotel room Casey gave her the video, and that convinced her. No need to get anyone else involved.

        I posted elsewhere about the Ellie’s possible treatments. She didn’t have any.

        The Intersect memory loading idea would not have been well received, and guess what? They didn’t do it. They had to consider the idea, because people would have asked about it. I liked how they eliminated the possibility with the Hero’s Choice. I preferred the romantic ending to the technological one.

      • Jason says:

        Jeff – I am pretty sure the current president knows who chuck is, didn’t he give him some sort of award. For the rest, you largely are makin stuff up, rationalizing to suit your POV, off screen fan fic. Can’t find jack, really. Doesn’t know who a general is – sure thing, a fact. Emma backfire, that is for sure isn’t it? Come on, wake up, use your brain honestly, rather than in a single minded determined effort to monitor everything that is written here that does not absolutely praise every moment of the show and make something up, you are embarrassing yourself.

        But I am glad you agree that the writing of the intersect to load the memories was really, really, really, game changingly, epically stupid – so you got something right. I am glad they did not do that also. I agree with you.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Wow, that was rude.

      • Faith says:

        And we have hit that point where open mindedness and dialogue is gone. Wouldn’t be Chuck without it.

        Let’s just say that I believe Sarah BARTOWSKI is not gone, never was, saw it on the screen…and everything else, well why not this or that. That’s fine with me actually. To each his own.

      • atcDave says:

        We clearly saw traces of Sarah Bartowski all through the show. And while I don’t appreciate having to use writer interviews as a source (I believe the story should be more self explanatory); when both head writers say her memories were still there and would return in time, I don’t believe we have any honest choice but to believe them. The intentionally ambiguous part (which I do object to) was the time frame, NOT the fact of her returning memories.

  58. lappers84 says:

    It was never about the memories for Sarah in the end – She was connected to Chuck, She left twice but ended up either coming back or returning to a place of real importance for them (she didn’t even realise the relevance of the beach until he mentioned it.) The damage was already done – Chuck had already left his mark on her.

  59. Jen says:

    It was brought up earlier that the 5 previous seasons are throw away’s now since Sarah’s memory is damaged, butmi’m not seeing like that. First, those memories ARE coming back (in my mind they did after the magical kiss… C’mon, it’s Chuck! It defies logic 😛 guy with super computer in his head, remember? The magical kiss can happen) but in the meantime, while Sarah can’t remember it all, we know she feels something for Chuck, Yvone shows us with those facial expressions and we see it in the way Chuck affects her when she doesn’t remember him…yet. The strength of their connection is because of their history together. Chuck’s fierce loyalty and love,of course, is from their history too. So to me the previous season didn’t happen for nothing, that history and the powerof the love they’ve built on it is what carries them through to the end. The Chuck, who is the intersect on Chuck & Sarah, tells her their story… I’m getting teary eyed just thinking of that beach. And then… The kiss, and to me… She starts remembering all.

    This is how I want to see it 🙂

    • lappers84 says:

      5×12 saw Sarah’s walls back up – Spy Sarah was well and truly rampant. But the love was never gone just buried under all the spy crap.

      • Esardi says:

        May I ask a silly question here, why was Sarah not hypnotized? It worked on Morgan, why didn’t they do it for Sarah? Were Ellie and Devon too busy packing not to help their brother?

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        The lost weekend was from X-13 gas, not the Intersect. When Ellie hypnotized Morgan, they didn’t know why he didn’t remember that weekend and incorrectly assumed it was the Intersect. They thought he had most, if not all of his memories back, so they fell back to hypnosis as a shot in the dark solution. Later they found out the Intersect had nothing to do with the memory loss, it was the X-13 gas. So there was no proof that hypnosis helped with Intersect memory loss.

        When they did the brain scan on Morgan, Ellie saw no permanent damage. They always said he lost memories, but everything else they said indicated he got most or all of them back. (I’ve been in this debate twice before. You can look back at some of the spoiler pages.)

        Sarah’s condition was different because of the flash cards. Her memory loss was more severe. Maybe Ellie could have done brain scans, but that is diagnosis, not treatment. Her only treatment idea was reprogramming the key, before it was fried.

        When Ellie did hypnosis on Morgan, she admitted she wasn’t an expert. They would be better off finding an expert than using Ellie. Sarah wasn’t around, to be hypnotized anyway. Another difference was hypnosis was targeting a single lost memory, not all of Morgan’s memories.

        I think the story telling approach would have more practical success, or the kiss would have more magical success.

      • Esardi says:

        Thanks Jeff, was it ever explained how long it took Morgan to get his memories back or was he still missing some?

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        No. It wasn’t explained. By the next episode, we did not see him continuing his classic video re-immersion therapy. It could have been complete, or it could have been ongoing off camera. If he still had missing memories, I would have thought they used it for little jokes (imagine Sarah knowing a geek reference that Morgan didn’t). They also wouldn’t have used the X-13 gas as a plot device.

    • Jen says:

      My my post is full of typos. I evidently suck at proof reading.

  60. Gord says:

    Faith, I loved your review. I thought that the beach scene was one of the most beautiful romantic moments ever filmed. I’m not as sure as you that she got back her memories, but she did come to the realization that she still loved Chuck, otherwise she wouldn’t have asked him to kiss her. The message I took from it is that their love conquers all. Quinn nearly destroyed them, he took 5 years away from Sarah, but he couldn’t take away their love.

    I must admit I really expected it to end with all of them gathered for a big family dinner, but in my mind I see Chuck and Sarah visiting Ellie and Awesome in Chicago for Thanksgiving or Christmas and I see Ellie, Awesome and Clara coming back for visits to Burbank on the odd holiday too. When they come back for that holiday, they will stay in Chuck and Sarah’s guest room in that big house with the white picket fence. Morgan, Alex, Casey, Gertrude, Momma B, Momma W, and Molly will be there for a big family dinner too. Of course there will also be a couple of little superheroes with capes at the dinner table as well.

    What I found interesting was when I rewatched this episode, I was still sitting on the edge of my seat, like I was when I watched it live. There were so many great moments in the finale. One of my favourites was when Casey gave Chuck a big goodbye (sugar)bearhug. See guys can hug. LOL

    Today I continued with my rewatch of S2, it just so happened that I was at the Jill arc. The pain on Sarah’s face when Chuck was with Jill seems that much more real now since seeing Sarah’s mission logs. I’ve seen some fans saying that the ending has ruined rewatching for them, but if anything it has made me appreciate the older episodes even more, because now we know how much Sarah loved him all that time. She wasn’t denying it to herself, she was just trying to remain professional.

    I will miss this show, and I will miss being able to exchange wild speculations on what is going to happen in the next episode with all the great fans. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a Chuck movie franchise and remember, we will always have Omaha.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Guys CAN hug – AND still keep their “man parts!”

    • Aerox says:

      I’ll try and explain why re-watching to me seems futile.

      Yes, like you’ve said, when you see the scenes with the entire knowledge of canon behind you, it can make scenes that much more interesting. But the thing is, I already knew how much she loved him, and how much being with Jill hurt her. I already knew how much it hurt for her that Chuck legged it in Prague, in the same way that I know how much it hurt Chuck to see her with Shaw, and her to see him with Hannah.

      But ultimately, it falls apart because all the shared experiences that made them who they were, are left up to an ambiguous ending. And at that point, the ending gets a heavier charge. If I see the ending as part of the Season 5 arc, it’s okay. If I see it as part of the final two episodes it was good. But if I see it as part of the entire story, it falls flat for me. Because the ending is inevitable. The memories are suppressed and for the final few episodes, we’ve got a Chuck who literally loses everything for 83 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of payoff with no vocal confirmation. And then I feel like it’s not worth my time. Because say what you want, but the Shaw arc, while not loved, proved to be a turning point in how they both went about their way with each other. We sit through the longing glances, the furtive touches and the barely contained passion only to be told that it’ll get better with time. And that’s like saying: “Well, you know, your heart may be broken, but it’ll get better with time. Don’t you worry.”

      I haven’t watched this show to get my heart broken at the end. I’ve watched this show for the journey, and when it gets reset to a certain point in the last two episodes, then it makes me wonder what the point was of the initial journey. I’m okay with the ending for season 5, I’m definitely fine with the ending for the two episodes, but as for the ending of 5 seasons, I’m still on the fence.

      • Aerox says:

        Also, I’ve already considered the rebuttal arguments (the memories are still there, they’ll get back with time, the characterization isn’t lost), which are all true to a point. But we’re left with an ambiguity that rivaled the WT/WT, except this time it’s ‘When will they’, as opposed to just ‘Will they?’. And as much of a full circle that it brings, it leaves me with the feeling of not wanting to subject myself to it all again as it’s futile anyway.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Aerox,
        I think the question with rewatching comes down to whether you think Sarah gets all/some/none of her memories back. If you believe that she doesn’t get them back, or not many, then I completely get not rewatching. That would feel pretty pointless to me too, to be honest, although others may disagree.
        But if you think she gets all, or the vast majority of her memories back, then rewatching is not a problem is it? That means there are some pretty high stakes on how you interpret the finale, and I know there are some who think the memories are gone and there’s no point in rewatching. I think the screen showed us something different so I’ll be rewatching at some point. Probably not for a while though. I need to decompress a little!

      • esardi says:

        Ha, ha Aerox, you are too much! (LOL)

    • Aerox says:

      Oh, oh, I have an analogy! Totally out of the blue, but it fits

      I imagine that this story is like a fairytale told to me by Fedak and Schwartz. And you hear the story, and you bond with the characters. They go through mortal peril in like, a lot of chapters, and then it ends when Fedak whispers in your ear (super creepy of course, but go with it): “And they lived…”

      “Wait… that’s it?”

      *closes book* “Yup.”

      “But what happened to the happily ever after?”

      And then he rolls his eyes at you and goes: “Well, duh, of course they are happy for ever after.”

      “But you didn’t say that. You stopped at they lived…”

      “Right, but I implied that they live happily ever after. That’s enough right. So, you sleepy yet, or do you want to read this again?”

      “Um, I’m good, thanks. Maybe later.”

  61. Rick Holy says:

    O.K., let’s settle this here and now, once and for all. If the evidence that Sarah was already recovering her lost/stolen memories (the Wienerlicious cups; the “I wrote that,” re: the “Sarah + Chuck” on the door frame; the going to the beach and knowing that it’s important, etc.,) wasn’t enough to convince some of us that she WOULD recover all of the memories and “be” the Sarah Walker that we – and Chuck – know and love (either immediately after the magical kiss, or after some undetermined amount of time), I’ll give you this. You may have been wondering why a priest was following this show so “religiously” for five seasons. I’ll tell you. It was for THIS moment – to tell you THIS. I have it from a “higher authority” (much, MUCH higher than Schwartz or Fedak), that the “magical kiss” WORKED! How do I know for sure? Because it WASN’T actually a “magical” kiss – it was a MIRACULOUS one! So sleep well, all – as Mr. and Mrs. Bartowski are doing tonight! 🙂

  62. FlamesofDestiny says:

    Go back and listen to Strahovski’s EPK interview. According to her, after she skydives into the ocean, she steals a Ducati and drives away. So there’s one of the scenes we’ll see in the extended version of e13 on the DVD.

  63. phaseou812 says:

    Agree with your review Mr. Gord . . . although there was some sad hurting moments throughout these two episodes . . . it really did what I was not necessarily expected to occur . . . it made me actually feel that a loss occurred with Sarah being robbed of those precious memories . . . which in essences makes a heavy hearted loss for everyone else in the episode, especially Chuck. But that fear of a loss, unlike a bad guy threating the team or an evil scheme that they had to conquer . . . would not have scared or hurt me, or made me feel as passionate about the outcome, because you know that based on the history of the show they would have simply won in the end.

    The memory loss gave me all the emotions of losing something extremely valuable, something that made me want to fight to restore . . . which in the end was played out that only their love could restore . . . which the show writers gave me faith that was what occurred. So although I experienced a feeling of true loss, I also felt the joy of love and destiny overcoming that loss and restoring the natural order of things. Me rooting for Sarah and Chuck throughout this series . . . the writers were able to remind me that it was worth rooting for . . . when it was threatened to be taken away from me and I got to see Chuck tell his story of the past 5 years to remind me why I cared in the first place. This trumps any other team victory I could conceive . . . Chuck and Sarah’s love winning the day and staying intact. As I have previously posted, I would pay to see another hour, with no bad guys or evil plots, only how the entire cast comes together to successfully live out their dreams . . . but that was not in the cards . . . (but I would buy that “card” if they sold it). And I could understand how others viewers wanted just a little more in the end to reassure the happy ending . . . but the episode really pulled on the heart strings to remind me the show’s importance to me. So deeply sad it is over . . . as I hope against all hope for that “card” to materialize some how . . . but I am happy for the writers enabling me to deeply “care”.

    I hated it for the viewers and bloggers that it has made bitter . . . but I cannot think of another episode that reminded me how much and why I fell in love with the shows characters to begin with. It reminds me to “believe in love”.

    Have enjoyed the posts this weekend . . . thanks everyone . . . and thanks Faith for getting this difficult processing going with the great review.

  64. Big Kev67 says:

    More thoughts about the ending.

    Having rewatched a couple of times, I think I’ve settled on the ending as being emotional – but misjudged, and not satisfying.
    I think the end scene itself is beautiful. Yvonne is transforming slowly from enforcer Sarah to Chuck’s Sarah, even as the scene progresses – and there’s also (as she tweeted) some real-life tears in there, as she (and Zac) say goodbye to the show. I think it’s a scene that’s impossible to watch and remain unaffected by. I know I’ll never be able to hear “Rivers and Roads” again without thinking of this scene, this ending, this show and everything that it means.
    I’m pretty sure that those emotions I felt as I watched were exactly what TPTB were wanting to generate, so from a writing, production and acting point of view, the scene is a 10/10.
    But I don’t think it was an appropriate choice of end scene for this show. Since Other Guy, Chuck has always paid off its’ final arcs, clearly and (most importantly) on the screen. Chuck and Sarah hook up, Chuck vanquishes Shaw, Chuck proposes, Chuck and Sarah get married. All of the finales have involved paying off what’s been the focus of the season or the half season – and doing it in a way that gives the fans the outcome that they are expecting, and letting them see it. The details may come as a surprise, but the outcome is as you’d expect from the story told. Over the course of a season, that’s how this show has worked since the start of Season 3.
    As DR says in his latest podcast “shows teach you how to watch them” – you build up a set of expectations based on what the show does consistently, and how it reacts in certain situations. I think it’s fair to say that virtually all of us expected a clear ending where we see Sarah’s memories are restored in a way that brings closure to us, and to the story. We expect that, because that’s what the show has provided to us for the last 2 years in its finales. The show in effect changed the rules on us – and it chose to do it in the series finale. I think you can recast the rules to start a new season (as they tried to do with Season 3), or within a story arc – but to change the rules in a season finale just seems wrong to me somehow.

    But it’s their story to tell, and to end as they see fit. You won’t see me jumping on the “Fedak is idiot” train – I think there are way too many people on that already in this fandom, and I have very little time for that. But on reflection, I think he made the wrong call on this ending. It’s beautiful, and it’s affecting – but it’s an ending that belongs to a different show.

    • atcDave says:

      Very well put Kev.

    • Jen says:

      There is no more space in the train? Fine.. i don’t want to be a Fedak hater, but i’m going to be a disliker. BTW Kev, you are i and on the same page.
      I give him credit because the fact that we are still discussing this show, that we are so affected by it, show’s he created something awesome, but i fell so robbed… so i go from feeling positive and happy cause i know the only possible outcome after the kiss is that all is A-OK, but CRAP, i wanted to see it with my own two eyes, and we won’t get to, the feeling of joy is not there, there is no smile on my face thinking about the ending.
      Sorry, emotions coming up again cause i just watched that Chuck & Sarah story clip on the NBC site and it’s moved the settling dust.

    • FlamesofDestiny says:

      Kev-
      Allow me to repectfully dissent. To me, personally, I always wanted this show to end back on the beach. And, in my head, I actually saw only one way to get there: We had never left the beach. I thought we were going to be told that the entire five years, with all the inconsistencies and misdirections, were actually Chuck running scenarios in his head. I thought they were going to say that the entire show was Chuck thinking about things before he says to Sarah: “There’s no where I can run, is there?”

      In my head, it would have been the “answer,” explaning away all the goofy stuff we saw that made so little sense and all the various conflicting iterations of the show that the creators tried over the years.

      Fedak found a different way to go. You may not like the lost-memories arc. I’m not so sure that I like it. But he absolutely paid off on it and, more importantly, on the entire series, with the ending. And he was able to do it, I think, mostly because Strahovski played the scene beyond perfectly. He wrote a tricky, difficult ending and Strahovski pulled it off for him.

      Watch her: She’s playing Sarah as bereft, totally lost, confused, cornered, scared. We have NEVER seen that Sarah Walker before. In fact, what she is playing is Chuck on the beach in the pilot. The parallels are uncanny. She’s got no makeup (well, no makeup by Hollywood standards), she’s dressed as they have never dressed Sarah Walker and she’s aided by what must have been a chilly day on that beach. This is Sarah Walker who’s become the Chuck at the beach in the pilot.

      She’s alone, she knows it and she can’t even draw on her own past for guidance because she has no frame of reference for what she’s experiencing now. It is EXACTLY what Chuck was feeling when he went from “making 11 bucks an hour fixing computers” to “having one in his brain.” She’s got (as the Shins song said), “one hand on this wily comet” and she doesn’t know what to do or how to react or whom to trust.

      Then along comes Chuck. Chuck plus five years and, in his own stumbling way, he throws her the lifeline. If he’s not exactly the Sarah Walker on the beach from the pilot, he is the Chuck version of that. He’s the Chuck we want him to be.

      That flip, Chuck saving Sarah, is your payoff. Not just for the Season 5 arc. But for the whole series. Chuck has become everything we believed he was destined to be. And he got the girl. Not the super-hot, do-no-wrong superspy fantasy. He got, as Ellie says in Helicopter, “a bigger and better girl”: someone who trusts him, someone who wants to be in love with him, someone who is working at being the girl Chuck wants her to be.

      If Fedak made a “mistake” here, I would suggest it was only one small detail. He maybe should have had Sarah say, “Chuck, shut up and kiss me” instead of simply “Chuck, kiss me.” It would have been a very cool callback to the ending of Other Guy, the first time he wrote a series “finale.” And I guess it would have helped some of the fans who were demanding “proof” that Sarah was going to be fine.

      But that is a quibble. Fedak, I think, went for the big enchilada here, the grand, glorious and lyrical ending. I think, with Strahovski’s canny acting, he nailed it. Others, clearly, do not. I’m sad that they don’t see it. Worse, I’m sorry they don’t feel it. I wish I could make it better for them. And I truly believe Fedak wishes he could make it better for them.

      For me, though, I’m happy. I’m satisfied. I’m glad I watched Chuck on 9/24/2007 and stuck with it for five (not always happy) years.

      • Jen says:

        If you allow me to comment… i know your reply is for Kev. I think your explanation fits what the rest of us are seeing. Yeah, she doesn’t have her memories of the last 5 ears, she’s out of sorts, all she has is Chuck and the things that are starting to come back to her. It’s a reversal of that fist time on their beach. Her feelings for Chuck, even if she does’t have all the basis for them them in her mind yet, must be strong for her to trust him and ask for their story, ask for that Kiss that could unlock her suppressed memories. The reversal is poetic and it is beautiful, but i still can’t help myself from wishing for more, seeing them happy in their home, a pregnant radiant Sarah. The ending as it was is sweet and a little sad to me. They’ve been through hell and back and now they must keep fighting for their love. I guess this could mean that the important thing isn’t the family and home, but what Chuck and Sarah mean to each other and the power of their love. Still… my sappy heart wanted more in that ending.

      • FlamesofDestiny says:

        Jen: What you’re saying is that you want more…Chuck. Well, so do I. Any good ending, even the white house with the red door, would have left us wanting more. Alas, there may be no more…
        jb

      • lappers84 says:

        I keep saying but the Sarah Walker we grew to love over the 5 years was always there. She grew up with her Father who taught her not to open up and not to trust anyone – which is why she made such a damn good agent – but the side we grew to see was more on her Mothers side – the one episode we got to see her mum, she came across as someone open and caring (Sarah Bartowski) – All she needed was someone like Chuck to open that side of her – and in the space of roughly 3 or so weeks we started to see that again.

      • Faith says:

        Some great points there Flames.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Since Other Guy, Chuck has always paid off its’ final arcs, clearly and (most importantly) on the screen.

      I’m going to quibble here Kev. They have always paid off, but they’ve never told us what they payoff was and how it looked. That was always for the next episode in the backorder or the next season. At the end of Other Guy all we knew was that Chuck and Sarah were together. We didn’t know if they’d be spies, or run away, or even stay together forever. None of that was on the screen. They started that story in Honeymooners. The same is true at then end of Ring II (minus the s4 setup). Chuck and Sarah were still together, and he wasn’t a spy anymore, but the rest was left ambiguous. Was Sarah still a spy? Would she quit? Would she be continually re-assigned? How would they make it work? That’s left for us to fill in unless there is a season 4, which there was.

      Push mix ended it’s story with Chuck and Sarah getting engaged. We weren’t even privy to the scene, we observed from afar, but we still knew what happened. What was said, when they’d mary, if they’d still be spies, who would walk Sarah down the aisle, that was all left for us to imagine. They told that story in the backorder however.

      As DR says in his latest podcast “shows teach you how to watch them” – you build up a set of expectations based on what the show does consistently, and how it reacts in certain situations. I think it’s fair to say that virtually all of us expected a clear ending where we see Sarah’s memories are restored in a way that brings closure to us, and to the story.

      DR is borrowing from Mo Ryan (or Ryan McGee I forgot who said it in their podcast, but you should most definitely listen if you haven’t). And she uses it to make the exact opposite point. Schwedak have always told us that this chapter is closed and the next chapter will be written by Chuck and Sarah without us watching, until they get the backorder. The expectation that that final scene will pay off with a definite answer of what thier fututre will look like is based on there repetedly being another backorder or season after they were told they’d have to close out their story. To their credit they managed to make the backorder or the next season the next chapter, but the finales have always paid off only the limited story. Chuck and Sarah are together, Chuck is out of the spy life, Chuck and Sarah are engaged, Chuck and Sarah are married, Chuck and Sarah are out of the spy life, and together.

      The rest of their story is the next chapter.

      • Jason says:

        Ernie – thanks – that is a very good way of looking at it. Doesn’t fix things for me but I do appreciate the logic of the thought as well as the correctness, the problem is how I feel about the end, I can’t think my way out of that one (yet). I am pretty sure time is going to be required as part of the healing equation.

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie you just perfectly summed up why not a single one of Fedak’s finales really worked as a finale for me; thank you! I’d call Cliffhanger the most acceptable of the bunch as a pure finale.

      • Faith says:

        Yeah, you’re right. I was comparing this finale largely to that of Ring in that…at the end of it we didn’t really know for sure (though we assume) that C/S are together or will be together after it. It left it open…of course we flash forward to the most volatile topic in all the land but anyway the point stands. We believed it.

        This is what they’ve always done so it behooves me in particular to not let my expectations cloud what is and what was always going to be.

    • JC says:

      Its not just the beach scene but all the goodbyes. I still say the way they wrote Chuck’s family’s reaction to Sarah being mindwiped was really cold. She didn’t just lose her memories of her relationship with Chuck but all those other people too. They acted like he got dumped by a chick he met at the bar a month ago not his wife or their friend.
      Sure he might have been catalyst for her growth over the five years but so were the interactions with his extended family. Wasn’t it this season that Sarah stood up for Morgan when even Chuck was against him. The same with her pushing Casey to go after Verbanski. I can only speak for myself but watching other characters try and spark something in Sarah would have been far more satisfying to watch than the nonsense about the keys, Intersect and Quinn we got.

      • Jenn says:

        I have to agree with you. It is like they all abadoned her. They were like oh, well. your wife is gone, what are you going to do next? But I dont really care, I am leaving for Chicago. Also, what was the point of his mother pulling a gun on her really? So much for the quote from an earlier episode that no one was close as they all were.

      • FSL says:

        Yes. I have always like the relationships in the show. And they yanked all that away from Chuck and from Sarah. Only Morgan seemed to try to talk Sarah out of leaving.

  65. esardi says:

    Magnificently stated Kev. I am not as eloquent as you, but for many us we have become a visual type of fan. We do not want to imagine it or think it may happen. We do not want ambiguous we want certainty. Sarah became not only Chuck’s Sarah but our Sarah as well. If Chuck had a hard life growing up, you could multiply that by 10 and it would equal what Sarah went through. No one in my opinion deserved a happily ever after more than she did.

    Sarah was the driving force for seeing the big picture and realizing they were on the clock. She knew that if they stayed that sooner or later one of them might not come home. She expressed that sentiment to Chuck in one of the episodes, “what happens to our children if something happens to us”. They showed us over and over again that she wanted nothing more than their normal, their happily ever after. When the show runners emphasize that so much and make it a focal point, than in their “love letter to the fans”, it would seem to me that you should deliver it to us. Not imagined, but visual confirmation that they got their happily ever after. That is why for me they failed.

  66. Wilf says:

    You see, for me, on re-watching, I appreciate how good this final episode was. But like you, Kev and others, it just ended on the wrong note however hopeful a note that could be interpreted as being.

    Furthermore, all the humour and references back to old episodes was lost on me because of the dark, dark tone of the overarching story being told. For me, it was like being at a funeral, in this case a funeral for Sarah Bartowski, where someone was trying to crack jokes. In such cases, I just can’t get those jokes, however smart, apposite, or funny they may be because the context/framework is just plain wrong.

    Some of you have characterised much of Season 3.0 as a “Black Box” into which was fed the previous relationship between Sarah and Chuck and out of the end of which came some of Other Guy, Honeymooners and a new relationship. What happened inside the Black Box does not need to be known or referenced if we so choose.

    Well, I would characterise the closing seconds of 5.11 through to the very end of 5.13 as a “Black Hole” – something I studied in the ’70s. Our previous knowledge, hopes, love of and perhaps obsession with Chuck and Sarah was drawn into that Black Hole and never came out, since nothing save random energy devoid of information can emerge from a black hole.

    I say this with sorrow because I really wanted to be able to say more than just that the Chuck Series Finale was a very well and cleverly crafted episode. I wanted to say that I loved it and found it satisfying and relevant. Unfortunately, I found none of those characteristics within it save for a very slight measure of hope at the end which was a slight saving grace … just.

    • FSL says:

      Interesting. But for me, it’s the other way around. The finale make me appreciate the series a lot more, because on rewatching the series, I see what could have been.

      This last amnesia plot is the only thing I disliked. Not the plot itself, but the execution. The out-of-characters and lost relationships. I guess I never liked amnesia plots going all the way back to Lois and Clark.

      Rewatching is more important to me now. I want to remember the show as it was, not as it ended.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        When amnesia plots were talked about here six or so episodes ago, I was very worried specifically because of Lois & Clark. The frog/clone/amnesia arc was horrible. It postponed a wedding, and they even put a PLI in the middle of it. Even though Lois’ memory was completely resolved, it dragged on so long it was painful. The solution was a technological accident. Then they postponed the wedding several more times–very frustrating. If I remember correctly, Clark lost his memory for part of a single episode in both L&C and Smallville. At least when Superman lost his memory, it was funny.

        The Lois L&C amnesia story set the bar really low for me, probably making me accept the amnesia arc in Chuck a lot easier.

      • atcDave says:

        I actually remember really liking the Clark with amnesia arc on Smallville. But generally I dislike such mind control/hypnosis/amnesia type stories. I think the difference being, if an amnesia arc is played for fun and largely a process of self discovery it can really be satisfying (I also recommended a couple of amnesia themed Chuck fanfics that I really like). But when that device is used for internal dissent/distrust I don’t like it as much. Maybe that’s the real take away for me, I really don’t like stories with internal conflict in a team or family (yes, I’ve lost in interest in A LOT of television for this reason).

      • Faith says:

        Oh god the amount of time Lois from Smallville has hit her head, and the whole Lois & Clark: TNAS clone thing…yeah, I think as a Superman fan I was more gun shy about it but at the same time in my opinion Chuck’s was sold exceptionally well. Either that or I’m just so used to it that it doesn’t bother me anymore…oh wait, when I thought they were going to knock Lois out again to align the show with the mythos, I was pissed so…no I’m definitely not unaffected.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        L&C was really evil because after everything was apparently calm, Lois bumped her head on a cabinet and faked amnesia for a few seconds. Clark didn’t think it was funny, and I didn’t either. That was pouring salt on the audience’s open wounds.

      • FSL says:

        Yea. So at least to their credit, Sarah didn’t fall for the doctor or Quinn on this show. =)

  67. Aerox says:

    One minor point I’d like to see addressed is: The memory loss and douchyness were a part of Decker’s virus, which were on the glasses with “one charge left” So how did Sarah ever get the virus?

    • lappers84 says:

      I don’t think it was ever confirmed that it was exactly the same intersect that Morgan had – unfortunately one thing Chuck does well is never really explain the mythology (to me Quinn could have had a much larger role in the whole series than he did)

  68. Victor says:

    Series finales are always hard to take for fans that have invested so much in a show and its characters. It is incredible that “Chuck” for 5 seasons made it through to the “end”. I think for the creators of the show it must be hard to come up with a finale that will satisfy everyone. I was happy with the finale and for each and every fan the experience is different.

    I am going to believe that Sarah’s memories were coming back and that Morgan’s magical “Kiss” theory worked. What I saw at the end between Chuck/Sarah Bartowski was that they were together at the end. (Kissing on a romantic beach scene.) Sarah had wanted to here “our” story from Chuck and SHE wanted to believe and she told Chuck to kiss her.

    Thanks to the Creative team of “Chuck” cast-members and yes even the writers/showrunners. Goodbye “Chuck” I will miss you dearly.

  69. Victor says:

    Sure, the end of a show loved by fans is always sad but I will always have fond memories of “Chuck” because it was a different type of show.(Spy-drama/Comedy) I am happy that they left things up to the audience because as you mentioned it is better to leave some things open ended. I don’t believe it was a cop-out as some fans have suggested. Who doesn’t love a little mystery?

    • Wilf says:

      A little mystery is fine. It’s just that, when looking at old Chuck episodes I now have the feeling that it’s pointless because all the growth I’m seeing in Chuck/Sarah’s relationship in virtually every episode is going to be annulled/excised at the end. If I can just get over that, maybe lose a couple of days’ memories so I forget the finale, that would be ok 😉

    • atcDave says:

      Well I think quite a few of us don’t like this kind of mystery. I don’t watch television to tell my own stories. As I’ve said, I firmly believe this was a happy ending; but I also believe I was ripped off of an epilogue I craved a lot. And there is truly nothing I can do except complain about it.

  70. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs the Goodbye (5.13) | Chuck This

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