Coming to Terms With Goodbye

This will be a tricky post to write. I have so many conflicting and confusing thoughts on this I have a hard enough time knowing what I think, never mind explaining it.  The huge range of reactions to this episode have me “switching sides” depending on the specific issue (and for the record, I’ll be looking at both 5.12 and 5.13 here) So I’m sure as I work through this most readers will both agree and consider me utterly wrong at different times.  And make no mistake, this is completely about my opinions.  I make no claim to represent anyone else or any group.  I know from discussion we’ve already had I’m not completely in line with many of the ‘shippers I’ve so often lined up with in the last few years; and I seem to be closest to some old friends of this site that I’ve rarely seen eye to eye with before!

My deepest hope, is that by the time I post this, no one will actually still be reading our site… (kidding!)

I want to start with the good. There was plenty here I liked and am even enthused about.  No doubt the starring performances were brilliant.  Zach was incredible in bringing us Chuck’s pain and grief.  Yvonne’s performance was more complex and subtle; we not only had a throw back to Graham’s enforcer in 5.12 and a somewhat confused, off-balance character in most of 5.13; but we also saw some stages of her affection for Chuck in the personal logs and the final happy scene as she gave in to what she was feeling.  The rest of the cast gave the excellent performances we’ve come to expect.

I thought 5.12 was particularly well written and at every step I could believe Sarah’s actions and the conclusions she seemed to be drawing.  She always seemed to have just a hint of doubt; which I took to be a combination of missing five years (knowing she didn’t have the whole story) and her deep seated feelings for Chuck.  Yet just as in early S1, Sarah could control these feelings and follow orders.

At this point I have to add I was most disappointed in the characters of Ellie and Casey.  They gave up on partner and sister-in-law far too easily.  Shame on them.  But it did make Chuck look good, he would try anything to get his wife back.  The house scene was painful yet well constructed.  The conceit of Chuck suddenly being alone in trying save Sarah leaves him isolated with no other option than talking to her.  Well the talking part didn’t work, but the house itself provided a bit of a clue.  Of course Quinn spills the beans quickly enough and there’s now no doubt that Sarah has been used and had her memories stolen.

Overall I thought this episode was well thought out and clever.  The only real problems I had were the previously mentioned character abandonments and then Chuck not at least offering to accompany his wife in her quest to get the man who tried to steal their future. And Sarah would have understood the offer; she might not have “felt” it yet, but she knew Chuck was her husband.  I believe Sarah at this point would have refused the offer, but Chuck should have made it.

I’m less enthused with 5.13.  The idea was clever enough, and some of the call backs were a lot of fun.  I laughed out loud at the return of Weinerlicious, Chuck accidentally downing Casey’s chopper, and of course Jeffster!  But I needed more of Sarah falling for Chuck again.  What we saw was too subtle by far, and the hiccups along the way seemed more pronounced than the “falling for” part.  We know it was supposed to be there; writers and Yvonne have all mentioned it, but the hints need to be more clear.  Perhaps this will be better in the extended cut we’re supposed to see when the discs come out.  I hope so, this struck me as a pretty serious deficiency.

I also didn’t care for Ellie and Devon’s farewell scene.  Nothing wrong in itself; but the undercurrent was all messed up.  Let’s see; the little brother Ellie raised just sold his company and is professionally finished, oh and it seems his wife just left him.  But hey, we’re heading to that mythical land where the pizza is really good so… see yah!

Which leads to the beach scene.  You know what, I thought this was the best scene of the night.  Beautiful, well acted and well conceived.  This was the moment. Sarah had left Chuck with the comment she needed to find herself.  So she wound up on their beach and was ready to open herself up to Chuck when he approached her.  We’ll never be sure how much she might have remembered at this point; but she knew she’d lost something with her husband and she wanted it back.  I think she already knew she loved him, for pretty much the same reason she fell for him the first time way back in the Pilot.  Remember she admitted this in Other Guy?  “I fell for you between fixing my cell phone and disabling bombs with a computer virus.” So Sarah fell for Chuck in the same time frame again.  Even a slightly different, more mature Chuck.  Maybe it wasn’t fully developed love yet, but she could feel the pain of what she’d lost.  So Sarah asks Chuck to tell her their story.  And she loves the story.  She was moved to tears and joy during the telling.  Clearly she feels it now.  So she believes that Chuck is her husband, and now she feels it too.  When Chuck brings up the idea of Morgan’s magic kiss she clutches at the opportunity.  She wants those memories back.  We can see she liked the kiss too.  It was sweet and tender, and showed no signs of letting up at the 15 second mark.

Did the magic kiss work?  Well we don’t really know.  In a way it doesn’t matter to me.  I’d been saying all week my irreducible minimum was Chuck and Sarah together and happy about it.  We certainly got that.  Of course “irreducible minimum” means at least a “D” not an “F”.  So it was a D or better.  The scene was well done in its own right.  And I am firmly in the camp with those who say Sarah did get her memories back (eventually).  We had seen her having a little recall all along; Morgan got of his memories back in time; and Schwedak clearly said in post-show interviews that her memories were coming back!  The question or ambiguity of the last scene was never even meant to be one of if, only when.  This is clearly meant to be a happy ending; Sarah’s memories come back, they’re out of the spy business, they presumably have enough capital from the sale of the Buy More to buy that dream house, and maybe start Chuck’s dream computer company.  That is actually a very happy ending.

But it still didn’t feel like enough.  Sure I may have a big bias.  Calling anything the end of Chuck is going to make me a little grumpy.  But I really needed to see a little of that happily ever after.  Maybe just Sarah suddenly remembering a little something during the kiss (some little thing like the proposal or wedding vows!); or saying “take me home Chuck” as the credits roll.  Even better a flash forward of them moving into the dream house; or standing in the front yard a year later with a little bundle in Sarah’s arms. I needed something more.  Like Sarah after watching her video logs, I believe they got their happy ending, but I don’t feel it.  I can’t give this ending better than a C-.  It was beautiful for what it was.  But what it was wasn’t enough.

The Big Picture

So now that I’ve considered particular ups and downs in this finale what is my final judgement of this arc?  Well I think it was a huge mistake and a slap in the face for many fans.  Yeah those fans who bought sandwiches and wrote letters and voted in surveys and celebrated or cried all over the internet for this show every week for five years.  The writers told the story they wanted to tell, which in my experience is rarely a good thing.  I have certain harsh feelings towards Schwedak that have only intensified as a result of this. I find this ironic because I loved so much of their product.

A funny thing about this show and these characters; the first two seasons I strongly related to Chuck.  It was through his eyes that I saw these amazing adventures. I think I was smitten with Sarah as soon as Chuck was; but for two seasons I was Chuck and he was my identity in this world.  But that changed for me at “Guys, I know Kung Fu.”  I never really related so easily to Chuck again.  Don’t get me wrong, he was still a likable guy and a good character; but he wasn’t really me anymore.  For much of the third season I didn’t even like Chuck, and Sarah was often nearly invisible; for me the show lost its heart entirely and if I didn’t have hope that the next arc would be better I likely would have quit at that point.  But that changed at Other Guy.  When something new and wonderful happened.  When Chuck quit feeling sorry for himself, and Sarah became his partner in multiple senses of the word.  I felt excited and enthused for this show again. But Sarah became my clear favorite character at this point.  Especially when whiny insecure Chuck made his occasional reappearances.  But watching Sarah’s growth over the course of S3.5, through S4 and S5 has simply been the most awesome television experience I’ve ever seen. That was magic and special.

So TPTB chose a finale story that took this fully mature Sarah Bartowski out of the picture for two full episodes, and they weren’t even completely clear about her recovery/prognosis.  I feel ripped off.  Again, I don’t buy for a second that they “killed” her or any such thing.  They only “killed” her appearance in the last two episodes.  Which I might point out they pretty much did in every climactic mid or season finale action sequence from 2.22 on.  That alone makes me grumpy enough.  And that leads me to conclude that these show runners categorically do not understand me.  “So What?” you say.  Well at this moment I have zero interest in any future projects they might do.  I appreciate the cast very much, and I think some of the staff writers are brilliant.  And I’m not going to say anything stupid like”I’ll never watch a Schwedak show again…”  I might, if they come up with an interesting enough idea; or if they team with Zach or Yvonne somewhere down the line.  But this will remain a huge strike against them to me.

Final Thoughts

I hate to end on such a bitter note.  In spite of some complaints and reservations, Chuck has been the most completely satisfying show I’ve ever seen.  Only a few other shows have ever held much of a place in my heart when I wasn’t actually watching them: Rockford Files, Star Trek: TNG; Babylon 5; SG-1; Firefly.  Chuck is now at the absolute top of that list.  Don’t be fooled by any of my whining;  I loved this show, and my biggest disappointment is that it ever had to end.  My first reaction to the finale episode was pretty strong disappointment.  That may even fade in time.  But I strongly believe we got a happy ending, and Chuck and Sarah are more in love than ever and fully appreciate what they almost lost.

 ~ Dave

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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235 Responses to Coming to Terms With Goodbye

  1. Paul says:

    Dave, I there have been very few shows that I have taken to heart like I have with Chuck. While I liked the ending and have no issues with it, I too feel a bit empty inside. Not because I was disappointed, but because I’m a sentimental fool who doesn’t like things to end. Chuck will always have a special place in my heart. It helped me get through a tough deployment in Iraq. It gave me something to look forward to and discuss ad nauseum with like minded folks. I daresay these characters became like “friends”. And the hardest part about saying goodbye to friends is trying to fill the void that is there when they are gone. Luckily, I am not in the camp who claim they will never watch the show again. I will watch and re-watch many times over.

    • atcDave says:

      I will re-watch too Paul; at worst, this finale only ruined itself, nothing else for me. I also agree that any ending would have been down simply because it was over. I see no scenario where I would have been extremely happy at 10 o’clock that Friday night. But I still feel this could have been a little bit better….

      • Wilf says:

        I’m already finding (I know, it’s early days and things may change for me over time) it difficult to watch earlier episodes. I thought I’d try to view Marlin today and I couldn’t take it in at all even though it’s one of my favourites because I could not stop thinking that everything I was seeing is only a mirage, something which will not matter, no, worse, be expunged in the end.

      • Paul says:

        I’m the opposite. I’ve been watching old episodes like crazy recently. I’m looking for things I may have missed the first 40 times I watched them….. 😉

      • Wilf says:

        Funny thing. Yesterday, they started airing Season 2 on the British digital channel 5*, which I set to record on the PVR. Unable to sleep last night, I watched that episode, First Date, and I found I could enjoy it without thinking too many dark thoughts about the Series Finale – Thinkling’s brilliant write-up has really started to fix my own brain and is fast helping me to come to terms with a finale which was on first, second and third viewing supremely dissatisfying to me and is now somewhere better and improving with each re-watch. Maybe Sarah Walker should talk to Thinkling 😉

      • atcDave says:

        You know Wilf, I do wonder if those of us who were most dissatisfied with ending were largely the biggest Sarah Walker fans? I may venture into Ernie territory here and put up a poll.

      • Wilf says:

        Dave, I think you may well have a point there. I probably continued to watch and love the series more because of SW than anyone else, including Chuck himself.

      • esardi says:

        Dave, Fedak hurt my perception of the Sarah character in Season 3. However, from Season 4 on I really started to like her and after phase 3 it was all about Sarah. Without a doubt the reason I watch Chuck and would re-watch whatever you want to call this final is because of the Sarah character. She was the driving force of the show for me. When she was happy I was happy, the same for sad. However, when Fedak started abusing her character it really pissed me off.

        I think that is why I was so dishearten with the finale. I really want her to have a well deserved happily ever after, not have to imagine it.

      • Jason says:

        I’m a Sarah fan first and foremost too, but I thought the entire last two eps were remarkably sad for Chuck. He never got any payoff, unless you are willing to believe the last moments of the ending was happy. But factually, he literally endured 1hour 59 minutes and 55 seconds of misery and epic LOSS, for a 5 second kiss that factually leaves the viewer not knowing what is next.

        I doubt Zac and Yvonne will do anything together on screen for ten years or more unless something Chuck related is done, but if they did, my guess it would be very popular.

        But, if Yvonne got a CBS half hour sitcom on Monday nights, she would knock that out of the park. She’d get all of the regular Monday night CBS crowd to watch initially, she would wow them, just like she has everyone who has ever given her a chance. She’d get nearly 50%-75% of the NBC Chuck audience too, another 1.0M demographic that would be easy pickings.

      • thinkling says:

        Wilf, thanks for the kind words. Sarah won’t return my calls … 😉

        Dave, I think you’re right about Sarah fans taking it the hardest. I think that’s why Yvonne’s reaction was so different from Zach, Adam, and Josh, in that group interview. The sadness we all feel is because of the love of Sarah and her stunning growth. It’s definitely getting better, but initially the beach just didn’t wipe away all the sadness. The only thing that will really dispel that grief is a more concrete assurance of her memories returning, which we have to take by faith.

        Esardi, you’re right Chuck and Sarah may have been the heart of the show, but Sarah was the emotional pulse or barometer of the show. I think Schwedak got that much. That’s why they used her character to generate the drama and emotion. Whatever feeling they wanted the show to convey they did it through Sarah. Think about it.

        Jason, you’re right Yvonne would hit a sitcom outa the park. She could also headline her own hour show of any other genre. I know the show is Chuck, but it’s been about Chuck and Sarah almost from the start. She has already been a lead character, just not THE lead.

      • Aerox says:

        I think it’s brilliant how people seem to think that Sarah was the one who got the short end of the stick in the finale. It’s a damn miracle Chuck didn’t turn freaking suicidal. Here’s a list:

        – His wife forgot everything about him and tries to kill him.
        – His family gives up on his wife.
        – His sister, his pillar for ten years and her husband, and Chuck’s niece leave to go pursue their own life when he arguably needs them most.
        – His best friend moves in with his girlfriend. Chuck knows from experience that this leaves him with less time for the friend.
        – His wife leaves twice. She does return, but every time he tries to broach the subject he’s rebuffed.

        I’d say that Zachary Levi may have done something to piss Fedak off, rather than Yvonne, because man, that’s just plain harsh on his character.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Re: most dissatisfied with ending were largely the biggest Sarah Walker fans
        Dave, I think almost all fans of the show are big Sarah Walker fans. I don’t think it is fair to say if someone liked the ending they’re not as big of a Sarah Walker fan. It’s more about how they view her character and her journey.

        She’s my favorite character in the show. Chuck is second (and sometimes third). To me, Sarah’s journey was a lot more interesting than the hero’s journey that Chuck underwent. I see her as imperfect with a difficult past, but deserving of redemption. It doesn’t bother me when she gets captured, as long as certain lines are not crossed and it doesn’t become cliched.

        Some fans almost put Sarah on a pedestal, never wanting to see her hurt or making mistakes. She’s better than the Intersect and didn’t need to download it. They like her journey, but not any the bumps along the way. For the most part they did not like a lot of the episodes from Santa Suit on.

        While I’m not happy the show ended, I’m ok with endings that show the direction of a Sarah’s continuing journey with Chuck. Others want to more clearly see the final destination.

      • Aerox says:

        I’m fine with bumps in the road for her. But when it turns her into a punching bag, it leaves me agitated. There was almost no diversity in especially S5 as to who caught the majority of beatings. Would’ve been fine with Casey or Chuckles being a punching bag for an episode. Other than that, I fully agree Jeff.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Aerox, that was great!

        Before the beach, Sarah was alone, like she was most of her life. But she also knew she could go to Chuck if she wanted or needed to. Using the Presidential argument, she was better off than she was 5 years ago.

        Before the beach, Chuck was not better off than he was five years ago (especially when the bad guys figure out he has the Intersect). Chuck’s best friend was next door, but Morgan’s advice is always hit or miss. He didn’t have anything to rely on other than the GPS in his heart.

      • Jason says:

        Speaking of ‘Sarah versus the pedestal’, I have not read one peep about how the old Sarah, the one we saw at the beginning of 5×12, did not bat an eye at being the long term undercover wife and sleeping in the same bed as her mark. But sleeping with her mark for the long term appears to be in the ‘Graham’s wild card enforcer’ job description.

        I suppose another question she could have asked was why didn’t you ask me to kill him before now or sometime in the first 2 1/2 years undercover, or did Quinn explain that away and I miss it?

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I just realized that Sarah took bigger beatings because she was tougher than Chuck and because Sarah did a better job rescuing Chuck. Both were captured and tied up 3 times in S5: Sarah in Santa Suit, Baby, and Bullet Train; Chuck in Bearded Bandit, Curse, and Kept Man. When Chuck was captured, Sarah recused him before it got too bad in BB and KM. In Curse, Chuck folded under the threat of torture.

        As a whole, the capture motif was getting cliched this season.

        Casey got it easy this year, only being shot once, but he had it hardest in past seasons. Gertrude had it hard in KM.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Jason, you’re right. There was a lot of hand waving that would have been necessary to explain an undercover marriage and five year mission that suddenly had to end the day after she recovered. I was ok suspending my disbelief (which was high, even for a Chuck episode) because the suspense and excitement parts of the first half of that episode worked for me. I liked how it didn’t make sense to Sarah either. She wasn’t comfortable with it. Quinn had to keep convincing her.

        The suspension of disbelief for things like the first 2 1/2 yrs, makes the first half of 5.12 less rewatchable than 5.13, for me. The excitement of 5.12 is less rewatchable than the nostalgia and romance of 5.13.

      • JC says:

        @Aerox

        I think you’re forgetting the first rule of this show. Chuck’s issues are played for laughs or glossed over compared to Sarah and Casey.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I wasn’t trying to claim anyone disliked Sarah as a character, but we’ve touched a little on this topic before about who you primarily watch for and root for. The most common answers being Chuck or Sarah, which given the completely symbiotic nature of their relationship is a pretty fine point. I think it’s clear none of us are actually rooting AGAINST either character, and in fact, rooting for either IS rooting for both of them. But in the past, we have had occasion to mention that while Thinkling and I are primarily interest in Sarah’s story; Ernie has mentioned being more interested in Chuck’s story. So that is the genesis of my question. Is it those of us who were most interested in Sarah who struggled the most with the idea she had so much of her journey “undone” with no clear indication of to what extent it could be restored? Is there some other factor that can explain why the end worked/didn’t work for different viewers? Or is the sampling of viewers who were most pleased or most upset with the ending a more random assortment of viewers?

      • atcDave says:

        So for now I’m thinking I will not post such a poll. It s apparently more controversial than I would have expected!

      • Aerox says:

        @Jason, Yeah, that thought crossed my mind as well. Guess that answers the ambiguity regarding Sarah’s willingness to partake in seduction missions quite nicely.

      • ArmySFC says:

        the other thing about s1 sarah is she was the consummate agent. i think she would have reviewed all the mission logs prior to going back (if they were there). she would understand there is a lot that went on during that time and would need that information to continue the cover.

      • esardi says:

        @ Jason and @ Aerox, I do not think she was fine at all pretending that seduction was ok. She did not like his back rub, Chuck touching her in any way or even Chuck covering his feet on her. She was repulsed by him. That is why Chuck was catching on.

        The only time she reciprocates was after she heard Chuck and Ellie speak. The consummate professional was more about killing and getting the job done than anything else.

      • ArmySFC says:

        you forgot the line i guess i did my job to well. i can see the saving t for marriage angle working. its the after marriage she would have slept with him. she was sacred during the massage he was going to kill her, per quinns advice.

      • esardi says:

        Army he certainly was not going to kill her when he covered her feet with his. Also, Sarah should have known something was off considering it was a 5 year mission. The way Chuck reacted to her when she walked through the door was not the reaction of a man intent on killing her.

        She was the professional who could read body language. Within 15 minutes she would have known if these people intended to harm her in any way. A 5 year handler did not make any sense either. She lost her memory; she did not do her homework like she needed to. She knows that if the enemy is aware of her condition it could be used against her. She was just off her game and should have been asking more questions of Chuck,

      • atcDave says:

        I think I line up with Esardi on this one. I don’t believe Sarah ever liked seduction missions, and I’m perfectly willing to believe she’s never had to “go all the way” to complete one. But she’s not stupid, and when she learned she’d been on a five year mission and married her mark she would have quickly known what all that entailed (“well, there goes a perfect record…”)
        But we still see her hesitation quite clearly, even knowing what she “knows” about this mission; she doesn’t undress in front of Chuck until she has no choice, she ends the message as soon as she can, and she avoids playing footsie.

        I am VERY glad they never forced this issue in canon, it gives us complete deniability if we strongly prefer a certain image of Sarah. And I do strongly; I won’t even read fan fiction that breaks this rule. I don’t object to knowing Sarah has a past romantic history. But I reject any whore for Uncle Sam story lines.

      • thinkling says:

        Totally agree with you, Dave on the seduction missions, etc. That was probably the worst part of Quinn’s story and the hardest to swallow: a 5 year mission to observe a rogue spy and bring him in, complete with a marriage. There was all kinds of trouble with his story. The only reason it stood half a chance was that Sarah was mind-wiped, confused and vulnerable. She was reset to a Sarah Walker who would more easily believe the mission scenario than the falling in love and getting married one. At least initially. He only needed to keep her convinced for a brief window. After that he didn’t care. He was only going to kill them. From the time she stumbled home until her good-bye at the fountain was less than 24 hrs.

        But you really do have to hand wave that one away. It’s even less plausible than Mary’s 20 yr mission, IMO.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah there’s a lot of holes in getting Sarah to fall for Quinn’s story. But I think the default spackle is exactly as you suggest, it didn’t have to hold up to long term scrutiny. Just get things done while while Sarah’s confused and disoriented; and keep buzzing in her ear so she can’t think straight.

      • thinkling says:

        Precisely, Dave. If he hadn’t been in her ear the whole time, it wouldn’t have held up at all.

      • Paul says:

        To comment on seductions, just remember what Casey said back in S1: (paraphrased) Seduction is about getting your mark to do what you want him to do. If there is sex involved, well that’s merely a bonus. I tend to agree that Sarah probably has never “gone all the way” in a seduction. I tend to think most of her seductions were more like what she did with Manoosh and altered memories (ironic huh?) to make them think they did the deed….but I don’t think Sarah would have excluded it if that is what it took to complete the mission.

        But I am also in line with the thought that Sarah didn’t quite trust Quinn. But she was confused, angry (the 2 people she trusted were dead, “killed” by Chuck) and very open to easy manipulation. All Quinn had to do was keep driving her forward, not allowing her to think about how the clues were not adding up to the picture she was told.

  2. andrew says:

    Well put I DO NOT DISAGREE WITH ANY OF THAT nice write up. But i needed to see it I have no interest in imagining what happened next and I have no interest in fanfic I dont read books they are boring. Sadly unlike you I will not be watching a fedak or schwartz show again and I deleted all the previous seasons from Itunes last night what a waste as you say they removed the sarah we all loved and YS developed I wonder if she had done something to insult Fedak.Clearly from interviews YS and Zac were not happy about the ending. I also agree that Ellie came off as really selfish she left her brother in a mess so she could follow her career, so i guess the Bartowski kids cannot do anything together. The only way i would buy the DVD is if it had the next 5 minutes on it and it showed some resolution, You know TV does have an effect sadly its had a bad one. Yesterday a woman spilled the contents of her purse on the floor, I found myself laughing at her instead of helping I just could not help it. She looked at me and said you could help I shrugged and said why would I.

  3. lappers84 says:

    I’ve said this a few times, but I didn’t dislike this Amnesia Arc- In fact I was kind off hoping something like this would come up. But it was so poorly timed – So late in the series, no wonder it didn’t really have time to be fully resolved. Even just one extra episode would have worked for me. The end of 5×12 when she said she didn’t feel it – don’t think it was that at all, I’m more inclined to believe that she did have those feelings but she didn’t understand them (remember this is season 1 Sarah Walker – the same insecure girl with extreme trust issues) – Several times in the episode she hesitated – she could have killed all three of them in the intersect room, and then she refused to blow them up – again in the house before she saw the etching – she could have killed him straight away (he had the glasses on him). I keep thinking back to their wedding and their vows (Chuck’s vows specifically) – about how he would prove his loved to her everyday for teh rest of their lives – I feel that was the point of the ending, You may not fully remember – but I will never give up on you. He is simply reciting his vows.
    We all hate that Sarah had to suffer in these final two, but the show is still about Chuck – Full circle is him realising he’s always been that guy, it’s only now that he has to make use of that guy to get his wife back – who is still in there. (She never went away.)

  4. Jason says:

    Nicely put Dave.

  5. thinkling says:

    Thank you, Dave, for such a well-expressed, heart-felt post. I feel much the same way. Sometimes how you feel about an episode overshadows what you know. What they gave me at the end assuaged my doubts but not my pain.

  6. herder says:

    Thanks for bringing back some emphasis on the other eighty-odd minutes of the show which did have some pretty impressive stuff. I realize that the ending of a five year show will get most of the attention but we have some 700 comments below and I’d bet that over 600 of them are about the last few minutes and not about what went before.

    Like you I am somewhat unsure of what to think about the two episodes, I think it will take a re-watch or two to sort it out.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah herder the ending was explosive. Although I think that’s probably normal when a well loved show finally signs off. You know its funny how consistent we’ve always been though, its the Charah stuff that generates by far the most discussion. No reason for that to change now!

  7. lappers84 says:

    I think another way to appreciate the finale is to simply remember their vows to each other. Chuck wanted to show her he loved her for the rest of their lives where as Sarah wanted to live and learn and love him. The beach scene reflected that – Chuck would do anything to prove he loved her and Sarah WANTED to know their story and WANTED him to kiss her. Once again those who were convinced Sarah Bartowski was dead – she was always alive, even during the early days. Chuck didn’t change her in the core sense – all Chuck did was allow her to trust and love people again, maybe that’s the side she got from her mum. In the space of about 3 weeks she was ready to open up again. So as ambiguous as it was – it was always either instant or gradual, never bad.

  8. OferMcD says:

    Thanks for the write up. After a few days I am still wanting a little more. I really enjoyed the last couple of episodes, and was literally “on the edge of my seat”. They certainly made it “epic” and I loved the call backs. However, I kept looking at the clock, watching everyone get a happy resolution to their journey…apart from the main characters…”The heart of the show”.

    If the creators wanted a little ambiguity, fine, it is their call. I had a feeling that we were not going to see a glimpse into the Bartowksi’s future. Perhaps that is why it was brought up so often during the season, so we could at least pretend that it was their destiny to get there. But I needed to see it, not rely on my imagination, or (some quite good) fanfic. Even just a little smile from Yvonne at the beach would have been enough (IMO). We would still wonder if she got her memories back, or had fallen in love with Chuck all over again, but at least we would know that Sarah and therefor Chuck was happy.

    I don’t want to hold out hope that the DVD extras or future comics or movies will provide these answers. Despite how good overall the final episodes are, my ending will be a combination of Bullet Train and Bo, where they are giddy with the prospect of a new Carmichael Industries, and are about to start a family.

    But hey, it was quite a ride. Thanks to all the cast, crew and fans for making it special.

    • joe says:

      McD, that’s my reaction too – still wanting a little more. There was never a hope that we’d be immune to this particular longing, though – it was inevitable, no matter how the series ended.

      I take some solace by thinking we’ve seen several ending, each better than the last. That means we had plenty of encores and had many of our desires for the show fulfilled.

      Sigh!

  9. andrew says:

    hmm I suppose what they have done is left it open for me it is too open. They promised an ending thats not what we got and I really see no chance of a movie. Like I said I am not interested in fanfic or my imagination I am not cause I write for a living and I really get bored of reading books.

    Anyway when I am depressed I write .. wrote this tonight what do you think … so far?

    Chuck Vs The White Picket Fence
    Chapter 1 Pretending
    The scene was perfect the sounds of the waves splashing up the beach Sarah smelled and tasted the same as they kissed. Like some epic loved story, fade to black and the hero saves the princess thought Chuck. For an eternity they kissed at least it seemed like it to Sarah … he was not a bad kisser, he saw a tear roll down her left cheek and she uttered “Oh Chuck” he drew back and smiled the goofy hopeful smile knowing Morgan had been right the kiss worked his Disney moment.
    Chuck looked at her expectantly his eyes rising, Sarah looked at him and stroked her left hand to his face her fingers tracing across his face … for some reason she saw him with a beard she shook her head. She uttered under her breath “Trust me…” tears rolled down her face. Chuck looked at her excitedly the goofy charming smiled across his face.. “that’s right Sarah you remember?!” he said it like a statement of fact.
    She looked at him and glanced around making a decision in her mind she had to make this work for him and her. She pulled him to her grabbing him by the cheeks kissing him passionately “I see you my Chuck”. Chuck let out a sob of relief kissing her back he was a little taken aback by her passion. They stood up standing on the beach the sea lapping against their feet. Sarah pulled him to her holding onto his tall frame. She breathed in his smell thinking “I can keep this up and I learn we can make a life together. I loved him once”
    Chuck put his arm around her and lead her from the beach he smiled “what do you know Morgan was right you can wake up the princess with a kiss” she smiled at him and rested her head on his shoulder. He did not see the pain in her eyes her hurt wounded look she kept that from him.

    They returned home …back to their apartment Chuck had chatted on all through the drive back she did her best to respond in how she thought he would expect her to calling him honey and sweetie.

    He parked the car and lent over kissing her on the cheek and said “i will go and get us a bottle of wine and your favourite” he hopped out. Inside the car hidden from view Sarah had a conflicted look on her face she got out and smiled at him from the other side of the bonnet.
    She tussled her hair doing her expert best looked steamy to keep him off balance “see you later honey i will go and get on something for comfortable”
    Chuck grinned “great practice time huh?” thinking wow she must really want to make it up to me.
    She looked puzzled at that “practice?”
    He grinned “yeah for a little junior Walker Bartowski”
    She looked at him he face unreadable keep calm Agent Walker she said to herself she smiled “of cause dear”
    Chuck headed off to the shop nearby “think I will walk it’s a great day” he said cheerfully.
    Sarah moved into the courtyard looking around she stared at the fountain in the centre and sat down her hands cupped in her lap she suddenly felt angry. Really angry he dumped her she got up and kicked the central part of the fountain it smashed and the central piece slid across the courtyard. She dropped down on the ground resting against the edge of the fountain. She sighed and said aloud “you’re like me broken but why are you so important to me” She stared at the fountain as if by just looking at it the fountain would give up her secrets or by will alone she could interrogate it like a mark.
    She looked around seeing Chuck his hair was a mess tangled and unkempt Sarah smiled tears rolled down her eyes. She reached out to straighten it he was gone there was nothing there. She bowed her head she felt like she was going mad, but this is what Quinn had done to her robbed her of her past and potentially her future. She needed time to piece together what she knew.
    She got up looking around at the doors she reached into her pocket feeling the keys in there. She moved to their apartment and unlocked the door. She walked around looking at everything the pictures the geek stuff why had she fallen for this man how did she end out with such a person. He was sort of handsome, funny, caring but was he her type. She picked up a picture of their wedding seeing it with new eyes she stroked her fingers along it looking at their smiling faces her in a white dress. She wiped a tear away she muttered “a white dress? good god after what I had done”. She moved into their bed room, she glanced at the Tron poster and smiled it was wonky she straightened it and said aloud “chuck really you should hide things much more securely” she looked puzzled she was a little freaked out by this talking to herself but these random things that popped into her head. She looked to the foot of the bed seeing her suitcase.
    She frowned she had to get out of here that was the best for both of them he could move on and she could go back to what she knew best. At least she could not hurt him; he would only leave her anyway just like Bryce had done a few months no years earlier. She grabbed the suitcase it felt light really light, she was confused she tossed it onto the bed and snapped it open. The suitcase was empty she looked at it and stared at the picture stuck inside it was of her and chuck. She took it out and smiled she remembered a sensation of flying as if she was on some ones back she grinned. Then freaked out by these strange feelings she tossed the photo onto the bed.
    She looked around her gaze fixing onto the built in wardrobe. She said aloud “I would never” she flung the doors open to see her clothes all hung up.
    She went over to a cabinet flinging the draws open chucks clothes then her clothes. She opened a smaller drawer at the side it was hers she recognised it was keep sakes mostly pictures of her when she was young, her dad and mum. She looked at the picture and sighed she so wanted to talk to her mum right now or even her dad. She slammed the drawer shut and sighed she knew she could not go to either of her parents she had to protect her mother and the baby. While her dad was still a wanted fugitive.

    She sat on the bed; she had made a home here. Maybe she could again. She held her head in her hands. She lay back on the bed staring at the ceiling, she glanced around the room to see chucks white shirt with his pocket protector she smiled and slipped off the bed he fingers tentatively reaching out to it there was something behind it looked like paper.

    There was a loud knock at the door, she jumped and looked toward the door and frowned she headed back out of the bedroom to the front door. She stopped at the door looking at her jacket her gun was in the coat pocket, she shook her head she was being paranoid this was suburbia in LA what could possibly happen in a place like this it had to be the dullest place in the world.
    She opened the door an attractive woman stood there with long brown hair she was in a smart black suit with a tight black pencil skirt and killer high heels. The woman at the door smiled she had a clipboard in her hand “oh hello my name is Jill I am doing a survey of houses in this area what washing soap do you use” Sarah stared at the woman for a moment Sarah had the uncontrollable urge to beat the woman to a pulp in what she could only described as uncontrollable feelings of jealousy. Sarah said “hmm i think its allbrite” the woman nodded ticked her paper and nodded “thank you Miss.. Mrs?”
    Sarah hesitated and said “Miss Walker”
    The woman smiled and walked off, Sarah closed the door she rolled her eyes looking at her wedding ring. She went to the door opening it “its Mrs Bartowski” the woman had gone.
    Down the road the woman called Jill flicked open her phone tossing the folder into a nearby bin she said “The intel checks out Agent Walker has no memory of me and clearly of Chuck if he has the new intersect then he could be valuable to us.. I am aware she could still be dangerous. Clearly from what happened to Quinn she is, however I have just the way to deal with Miss Walker” Jill smiled “don’t worry I will enjoy this allot by the time I have finished she will do what Agent Walker does best”
    TBC?

    • atcDave says:

      Well a promising start. I do like the idea of Sarah fighting with all the memories coming back. But I think your take on it is too bleak. The Sarah we saw in the end seemed quite eager and ready to reclaim her life to me. I think there should be some holes and uncertainty for a while (no more than a couple weeks); but none of them about her desire to be Sarah Bartowski again. I think we saw at the end of 5.13 that she was clearly ready for that. But certainly some details might be slower in coming back (like remember all of Chuck’s old flames!)

      • andrew says:

        hi thanks hmm i really do see it as bleak what I saw was she wanted to like him and reconect but was not sure how. This is what I am trying to play out and If they had another season you just know fedak would have gone that way.

      • atcDave says:

        The nice thing is, it’s not Fedak’s story to tell anymore!

  10. sd says:

    Dave…great write-up!
    I have been reading with interest what folks are saying pro and con and was heading toward the pro–memories are indeed restored-camp until I watched the beach scene for a second and third time.
    We don’t know how much time has passed..but Sarah isn’t wearing her ring. She acknowledges Chuck’s arrival almost as you would a co-worker. Too be sure, she warms as he tells their story and wants the kiss…but I think that it comes from someone who very much wants to feel something for Chuck but isn’t there–yet—not all the way. My feeling is that even if she were to remember her memories they will never be paired with the feelings that went along with them. It was never addressed but Morgan had to re-learn all his Indiana Jones and Star Wars stuff and he did but did it carry the same emotional resonance as it did when he was a kid–likely not.
    In short, in a series of “resets” TPTB pulled the ultimate one with Chuck and Sarah. It really doesn’t matter if she remembers…she is starting from square one…the best we got out of it is that she wants to try.

    • atcDave says:

      I disagree with one major point there SD; even though Morgan lost some specific memories, all his core personality and emotions came back quickly and perfectly. As soon as his personality came back he knew he needed to fix ALL of his relationships, especially with Alex.
      So while Sarah is not as socially motivated as Morgan, I think the emotions and key memories will still come back quite quickly. Perhaps her initial reaction on the beach was still uncertain; but Sarah always was reserved and guarded. We never saw such a happy and joyous Sarah Walker in those first two and a half seasons, remember what a revelation Honeymooners was? That was the passion and heart we saw restored by the end of Goodbye. Some specific memories may have taken longer, but her love of Chuck was totally restored.

      • sd says:

        True about Morgan…but Quinn’s memory wipe was a twist of the knife…specifically targeting her memories while suppressing the intersect which begs the unanswerable question…what happens to the suppressed intersect if she regains her memories?

  11. Jason says:

    Dave – maybe in order to sell extra DVD’s, they will put in a fan friendly Chuck and Sarah epilogue, would only have to be, what, 5 seconds long and probably would undo 50 to 100% of the damage, for those who felt the final damaged the story for them.

    So many seemed freaked out over my comment about Sarah Bartowski being killed off at the end of 5×11, I was trying to communicate, that we never got to see that character on screen again. That statement does not preclude her making a full fan fic recovery after or even during the magical kiss. Nor does that statement lessen the four slivers of hope we got, remembering the beach and that entire scene, the carving in the dream house recall, the virus, and the cup arrangement. We simply did not get Sarah Bartowski the character on screen again after the mind wipe, we took 91 steps backwards to season one’s Sarah Walker character, with a small stride forward at the end.

    I wish the end had been better, seems like a lousy legacy to leave the show with to at least some portion of the fan base. It seems equally uncomfortable for those who liked the end, as they seem to understand the pain, even if they do not agree. I will be trying to rewatch at some point and enjoy it as part of the series, but probably not anytime soon. I somewhat flippantly suggested a few weeks ago that Baby makes a very good finale, with Kept Man and Bo creating a good 2 hour movie with a cliffy. For now, the final three simply becomes that movie that shows that are lucky enough to make movies have, that just don’t quite live up to expectations. I wish I felt different, I just don’t.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with most of that Jason. Shoot, I’d pay and extra $100 to get a better Charah epilogue tagged on to the end. But we know that won’t happen.

      I do agree Baby would be a better finale. I think it was the highlight of this short season and an excellent place to stop. Bo was probably the funniest episode of the season, but too much of a cliffie to be the end.

  12. Wilf says:

    On one of the other threads I likened the end of Bullet Train and all of Sarah and of Goodbye to a Black Hole, not dissimilar from the Black Box fashioned around those episodes of Season 3.0 that a number of people (is that an understatement?) did not like. Why Black Hole? Well, the (almost) complete story of Chuck and Sarah Bartowski was drawn in at one end (as black holes do) and doesn’t ever come out (as nothing apart from random energy containing no information is currently thought to emerge from a black hole). With this device, I can happily imagine that the Series ended some way along 5.11, after the drawing scene, thereafter disappearing down this black hole. Could work for me, I think.

  13. phaseou812 says:

    Wow Dave what an emotional review and reflection to write; nor can I disagree with many of your observations or points of view. Very well done! And I could not agree with you more on the fact that the other “goodbyes”, especially the Ellie/Devon scene, were lacking perspective in comparison to the “heaviness” of the final arc. It felt like the day after the team kills Quinn that they have their house boxed up and are moving . . . so not logical to believe would occur in general, as well as so completely out of line with Ellie’s character of looking out for her brother. I mean the show had repeated those lines so many times that as long as Chuck had Sarah they were comfortable with some separation . . . but clearly based on this arc of this episode, Chuck’s relationship, his life, and his well-being were in serious jeopardy . . . so not logical their hasty goodbye.

    What would have been more logical . . . is not the moving boxes . . . but Ellie explaining that she had talked to the CIA about her opportunity to start a research project in Chicago . . . and she was going to finish their Dad’s project . . . to research a means to restore brain trauma through a stimulus learning technology . . . where her first priority would be working on finding solutions for any long-term damage Sarah may have incurred. A pep talk about how they were going to be fully devoted to getting their “Sarah” back.

    Even with Casey’s farewell at the Castle was lacking . . . even though his official goodbye with Sarah was somewhat in line with the professional goodbyes from the past . . . what a great place to have changed that format . . . with a quick 30 second speech from him indicating that although she may not remember all of the events right now . . . “but you were the best partner I have ever had, you became one of the best friends I could count on . . . and you will always be my partner and you will always be my friend . . . and because of what I have learned from you and Chuck . . . I will never underestimate the importance of my family and my team . . . so I am going to pursue my love . . . to see what the future may hold for us”.

    And what would have been even nicer would be for the team to meet . . . maybe after Chuck has went looking for Sarah or before the stimulus part of searching his heart to find where she would be, but with the group agreeing that they did have one final mission, and that was to give back to Sarah what Quinn thought he could take away. And rather Chuck new about the teams last mission or not . . . we could see the group sitting or standing on the beach behind them, smiling/crying as Chuck/Sarah got up hand in hand to leave the beach . . . with plenty of hugs and tears to follow.

    For me that would have made a very dark episode somewhat complete. I really do not have the gifts of or vision to be a “fan-fiction” writer, as many are on this site, but I certainly could imagine the gratifications an ending like this would have produced for most of the fans.

    Thanks for letting me share my POV on this. I can’t say that this type of ending would have resolved everything . . . as numerous had mentioned as well as me, it still would be sad that the show I have come to love and look forward to had ended; but for me it would have provided some sort of closure to the darkness of the last arc, while still leaving room for the imagination to flourish.

    So I cannot agree more that although the writers really did create a well written episode, they hastily abandon the heart of the show with the support cast members goodbyes. I know time is limited in these type of scenes, but I don’t believe there was anything that I mentioned that could not have been crafted to fit in the ending.

    I guess about the only thing I somewhat disagree with your post . . . is I would love to see something come from this show in the future.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • atcDave says:

      Some really excellent and well thought ideas for the ending phaseou. Your POV is appreciated, and you may be selling yourself short as a fan fiction writer. But never fear, that community is going nuts addressing this ending, and I’ll likely have a post in a few days about the fan fiction response.

    • betik says:

      oh I will love your ideas at the show!!
      by now I rather prefer the wrap in 413 the push mix.. chuck saving his family, saving his mother, alex taking care of casey, and morgan saying that they will always be together and chuck asking sarah to marry him.

  14. Oz says:

    The problem is whichever way I look at it there is nothing to suggest us that this new SARAH will not leave Chuck after the kiss. Despite the laughing and crying!!! After the CIA logs she told Chuck that she will leave… 3 times !!!! She even told him that she does not feel anything on the fountain scene…
    As al lot of people commented before I think I will choose a point and choose that as my Chuck finale . Shame !!! Not sure why the writers needed to finish as they did !!

    • Oz says:

      And also think it will be excellent if the show runners puts more CIA logs in the DVD.It seems that whilst Chuck has his friends to talk to Sarah had her logs… Maybe we can then see what was her thoughts on certain episodes.

    • Wilf says:

      Although previous Season finales have left the story in a cliffhanger position, in no finale was Chuck and Sarah’s relationship too significantly set back and, after all, for a great many fans, it has been their relationship as much as anything else which has kept them watching Chuck. Yes, we might have had to ponder how they would go on from there, but at least we knew where they had got to. The Series finale breaks that trend and sets their relationship back to zero. Maybe for those wholly uninterested in the relationship aspects (I assume that’s what a non-shipper would be, I’m not into the jargon much) it was a great and meaningful end to Chuck. For me it seems that the finale arc has been about a series a bit like Chuck, but with a whole load of different characters. If that makes me a shipper, then so be it. I like the action and other aspects too but I’m guessing that to write a really great finale you might just want to take all major interests into account.

      I’ve just tried watching 1.13/Marlin and my knowledge of what happens in the very end, completely unwinding what I’m seeing in Marlin, has messed up the whole experience of it so far. The finals may have killed the whole series for me because despite my suggestion of putting the finale into a “black hole” I’m finding it really difficult to do that myself.

      • Oz says:

        Agreed Wilf ! I tried to watch the pilot episode which is one of my favorite and could not even finish it.There is the feeling of “what is the point !! ” . Well… lets give it time maybe a couple of years later I can bring my self to watch them again !
        Oz

    • atcDave says:

      Oz I do think there is more hope at the very end. For one, Sarah is in a different place at the end of 5.13 than she was at the end of 5.12. Remember when she left Castle she said she needed to “find herself”. Much as I hate such new agey jargon, I think we have to conclude that Sarah finding herself means finding Chuck. Remember “without you Chuck I’m just a spy.” Well she’s still the same person who said that, she just doesn’t remember. The happy clapping Sarah (not to mention the happily kissing Chuck Sarah!) we saw at the very end IS NOT an S1 or S2 Sarah at all. That is at least the S3.5 Sarah, maybe even S4 or S5 Sarah. I think we HAVE to conclude Sarah Bartowski was coming back and pretty quickly. Its only the exact details we can’t sure of.

      • Oz says:

        Thanks for this Dave, the thing is we should not be discussing what we are discussing now at the very end of a TV show we all feel strongly about. I am just questioning the need of an ending like this ! Unless the show runners have some sort of media deal I do not understand this type of story telling..
        I am from UK and watch Chuck with my wife most Saturdays to be heart warmed. This was not the case last Saturday. Just saying it is such a shame !! That is all !.
        Well I need to channel my self to some more episodes of Fringe, Burn Notice etc..
        Have a lovely day
        Oz

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree entirely with that Oz. Same experience for my wife and I, we watched Chuck as a happy diversion together; we both hated ending our week with so much sadness and pain. And having this as the series send off made it even worse, just one epilogue episode to tidy things up would have made me feel 1000x better.

  15. ArmySFC says:

    Dave awesome write up. i’ve given this some thought as the weekend passed. then finally had a bit of clarity this morning. i listened to DR’s podcast and he brought up a good point about the last episode. i’ll put what he said in a question. all this will take to make sense is the honesty of the person answering the question. it doesn’t ask if you liked it or didn’t. it simply asks the following question. as the season played out, “is this the ending you expected based on what they showed prior to the last episode?”

    i doubt many people will say yes. and that’s the crux of the divide on the ending.

    • Aerox says:

      Actually, yes, it is. It’s totally what I expected they would do. Because, twist as you will, the 88 episodes of progress stopped with Bullet Train. From then on, it was pretty obvious where it was going to go. But expecting and wanting are two completely different things.

    • atcDave says:

      Well, I expected something a little more definitive until the day before when we heard it would more vague than I’d hoped. I suppose I’m glad for that spoiler, because I thought the ending was more positive than I expected. Still incomplete, but happy.

      Funny thing is army, you were the one who suggested this ending may be a lot like Other Guy, and in the end I think that’s pretty close. Happy enough in its own right, but inadequate as a finale. Although may main objection to the “Other Guy” analogy still stands; that arc ruined most of a season, this arc only led to a couple of episodes I don’t like so much.

      • ArmySFC says:

        yep. i try to gauge things from a remote perspective. that’s why i made that point comparing the first half of 3 ending with the other guy. don’t forget i also said before bullet train that at the end sarah would not have her memories back but would start to remember them over time.

  16. Randy says:

    Not surprisingly, I agree with most everything you say. I think your points — and those of a couple of folks who have thus far responded to your post — about the “rushed” and “out of character” endings to Ellie’s story and Casey’s story are spot on. The entire two final episodes had a rushed feel to them. I’ve read several folks who talked about wishing for/expecting a relaxed, unhurried scene around the dinner table at Ellie and Devon’s with everyone talking about their future — and I like that idea — it certainly would have made far more sense to me than the way it was handled.

    I’ll be interested to see if the creators ever give any more in-depth explanation of why they went the route they did with Chuck and Sarah; I haven’t seen any interview yet where they (particularly Fedak since he wrote the episode) were pressed on this question — and their response, even if pressed, may be, “it is what it is.” I honestly wonder if part of Fedak’s approach to the entire show was to “keep the waters churning”; he certainly accomplished that with the finale! I’ve had friends tell me that they felt the ending was clearly an attempt to set up a movie down the road to “tell the next part of the story”, but I’m inclined to think not; I think that’s just the way they (he) wanted to tell the story — and, as you, I disagree with that because I think it basically undoes so much of what made the show special: the character development.

    And that may be the key: was this a story about Chuck and Sarah (and the other characters) or was it a story which Chuck and Sarah (and the other characters) happened to be in? Was it a “character-driven” story at its heart or was it a “plot-driven” story? I’m sure the creators would answer “both”, but, given what happened to those characters (not just Chuck and Sarah), and the amount of time spent in the final two episodes on “action”, I think I know the real answer. We who loved the show first because of the characters and their development with the plot an important though secondary concern saw the priority of the writer — and it was not ours — or at least not mine.

    I’ll also be interested to see if we ever get anything more from Zach and Yvonne about their feelings — other than the hints we got in the week or two leading up to the finale (“slightly tragic”, etc.). It would be nice to see one or both of them — Yvonne is the obvious choice — step up at some point soon and say, essentially, “Yes, Sarah definitely got her memories back. It didn’t come all at once, but as the show ended, you could see that beginning. That was certainly what I thought and was trying to convey.” Honestly, for me that would go a lot further than the Fedak saying that was “his” intention.

    All in all, your post gets an “A” — and not just because I happen to agree with you! Now, once I get Thinkling’s post on the finale — which I’m sure I’ll find excellent as well — I think I’ll be ready to move on.

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks for the kind words Randy. I really agree strongly at the disconnect between the writers and viewers. Although I liked a majority of their work; in the end Fedak didn’t care about quite the same aspects of the show I did. I’m sure that disconnect exists to some degree with most shows I watch. But with Chuck the connection to the characters was so strong, that when a writer’s view was somewhat different it could cause extreme frustration for me. The biggest difference ultimately being our view or priority of Charah in general, Sarah in particular.
      I do suspect Yvonne could add some very interesting commentary to this, but I would also bet she wont feel free to really speak up for quite some time yet.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave sad thing is i don’t think well get the chance. most of her interviews on the finale were given during the sobe campaign. i doubt she will come out on her own about it, and with chuck being done i doubt many more questions will be asked chuck. also i think it will be a bad career choice if she does. airing ones dirty laundry never works out well.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m not even talking about dirty laundry army. Just her take on the finale (without fear of “spoiling” anything) would be appreciated. I also think Chuck will be a major part of the rest of her life. She will certainly have opportunities to speak up. Her future comments may be very interesting.

  17. Paul says:

    Good blog entry. I very much agree especially with the Kung Fu comment being the point of departure in being able to more fully relate to the Chuck character and that down the road it became more about rooting for the Sarah character to emotionally evolve and allow herself to be happy with Chuck.

    It was a total slap in the face for the writers to have Sarah get the crud beat out of her in many episodes in season 5 all the way to the mind wipe and possible ending of her marriage to Chuck. It was cruel to do this to the characters we all grew to love after so many Will They, Won’t They moments already and to leave it to our imagination as to whether they lived happily ever after. Fans can imagine what might happen next and pull tid bits from episodes and scenes we got to see to justify their views but in the end one thing is very clear — we did not get an epilogue. We are left hopeful, fearful, depressed, conflicted, and definitely wanting more for our heroes. And we’re not going to get it.

  18. Faith says:

    Could not disagree with you more, but I respect what it took to say it.

  19. betik says:

    Still in shock… Ellie saying to take care Sara no flashing because she will have a stroke or something and Quinn make her flashed a lot, it means she is not an intersect now? I don´t think so.. I wonder why they didn´t take her to a hospital being medics.. don´t get it.. !!
    Ellie and Devon at the same time have found the jobs of their lives? strange .. I don`t buy it…
    Chuck selling The buy more? Morgan uneployeed living with Alex ? .. I don´t buy it…
    Strange.. I believe Jeffter !!
    Chuck is an intersect or not?
    A have to admitt when morgan said to chuck to follow his heart to know where sarah is, I thought she is at the beach….

    But this time I think this is a new beginning Chuck have been saying goodbye since 512 and Sarah always comes back.. so she wants to stay and she will remember eventually.. I´m sure..

    Watching Chuck´s memories somehow for me is not the kung fu is Chuck´s hair.. I related most when he has his long hair…

  20. lappers84 says:

    On a separate note I really want to know where I could hear the Jeffster version of Take On Me – Because it was used during an epic moment in the finale – when everyone was involved with saving the day.

  21. andyt says:

    Dave, I appreciate your perspective on the Finale. I can see where people who don’t like it are coming from, even though I loved it. I guess it is a matter of expectations. I had no requirements for where the people would be in the future. If they had shown me a future alright, since they did not I am fine. It is not because I am wishy-washy, instead I thought the two hours were cracking entertainment that thrilled me and made me weepy for Chuck going away. I believe that they were true to the core themes and tones of the show which is all that I can ask for.

    I will take a quibble on one element in your review. I agree that Ellie’s behavior in 5.12 seemed odd. However, I thought one of the most thrilling lines of the night was Casey’s, “I am not losing you both.” Did you ever think that S1 Casey could say or feel something like that? I think Casey was approaching the situation much like triage–save what you can to minimize the damage. He could not stand the thought of losing both Chuck and Sarah, so he was going to do everything possible to save Chuck. Just a minor quibble.

    • Faith says:

      I agree with that. If you take it as is it would probably work better for you than if you take it for what it wasn’t. But I will say that regardless of what it was or what people expected, it was…memorable. I cried buckets and not just because Chuck’s ending.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree that was a good line Andy. It just seemed to me though with all the amazing things this team has done together he was too willing to write Sarah off in 5.12. I would have expected him to know, in his more detached way, that with Chuck and Sarah miracles are to be expected.
      I brought it up mainly for pure irony’s sake. Back in the S3 episodes I loathed, Casey normally came across very well. He was actually the main source of enjoyment for me in much of that season. So I found it ironic that I was really not pleased with him in most off this episode.

  22. betik says:

    just wathcing Chuck vs the intersect.. sarah choreography is like brice´s one..
    5 after years I wonder.. why brice´s mail was only in Chuck´s PC ? I mean I can read my mails in many computers and ipod and a lot of gadget…

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      Most webpage based email works like you described, betik. However in the past, email was often deleted from the server when it was downloaded (i.e. POP-based email). I actually still use that type of email with the Mozilla Thunderbird mail client because I like having local copies and doing my own backups.

      However, I doubt they put that much thought into it. It was a specialized email with a Zork-like password. The Intersect was deleted from the mail server because they needed it to be.

  23. Mark says:

    I think it was clearly stated in the Castle scene after Casey, Chuck, and Morgan escaped from the DARPA facility that Morgan never got his memories back.

    Otherwise, a decent write-up but my opinion is that it’s devastatingly tragic that Chuck and Sarah to have to fall in love again. Chuck lost everything he built over the course of the series–most important of which are the dreams for the future he shared with Sarah. The beach scene was very powerful and gave the viewer hope for the future but it was a sad tragic end for Chuck.

    If viewers knew this was how the showrunners were going to end the series two or three years ago–Sarah gets amnesia, Chuck has to win her back, would they have kept watching?

    • atcDave says:

      I think I would have continued, but my preferred last scene now would be Sarah’s phone call to Chuck towards the end of Bo.

      I think it was only said that “some” of Morgan’s memories never came back. The show’s head writers have clearly said Sarah was getting her memories back, it was only ambiguous on the time frame. That has to be considered canon whatever conflicting data we may see in the episode itself. I would agree its sloppy writing if we have to go to external sources to settle conflicts; but I think we have to conclude the memories were coming back.

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      Casey: “Did his memory come magically back after the Intersect? You know it didn’t.”
      Chuck: “All we have to do is remind her of who she really is.”

      That’s what they did with Morgan. The memories didn’t come back automatically without external stimuli. They came back after stories from Chuck and movie therapy. (With Sarah they appeared to be coming back from the Wienerlicious and Prism Express laptop.) We don’t know if they all came back for Morgan. We just know in Bullet Train Ellie said there’s “no evident long term effects from having the Intersect.” That seems clear to me, but might just be talking about physical damage or effects detectable with a scan. In DARPA, Morgan dropped a lot of pop culture references with the cloak. That could be from rewatching movies, or could mean he regained the memories completely. If Morgan still had memory loss, I would have thought they would have used it as a punchline sometime (other than ‘deleterious’). But that doesn’t mean anything either.

      My opinion is he has all of them back. But that’s an opinion. There is no definitive proof because no one said “Morgan has all of his memories back” or “Morgan _still_ has not regained some memories.” Ellie’s Bullet Train statement is the closest.

    • betik says:

      for me morgan has recover all the memories before the intersect… not the memories while he was the intersect… the answer is simple chuck helps him remember.. but nobody was with morgan when he was a intesect

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks again Jeff and Betik.

    • Wilf says:

      Actually, your last paragraph is very significant to me, Mark. I said a day or so ago that this ending was making it more difficult for me to watch earlier episodes of Chuck. And I now realise fully why. I have come to enjoy re-watching episodes like Break-up and Broken Heart because I know that, in the future, Chuck and Sarah get together and all the angst will fall away. Now, though, and until I can really come to terms with this finale, I will no longer be able to say that because the certain knowledge that Sarah and Chuck will eventually be in a good place has been taken away and replaced with this incredibly opaque “love letter”.

      Furthermore, when watching happy, hopeful episodes like Coup d’Etat, how can I not now think “what is the point as it’s all going to go wrong in the end”. Or if not “all will go wrong” then at least it will be “all these happy moments will be negated/taken away in the future”. So, for now, this finale has made it difficult for me to go back and watch episodes that I have so enjoyed.

      • atcDave says:

        But it will all come back Wilf. The loss was meant to be temporary, Sarah Bartowski will be back, they do leave the spy biz, and have their happily ever after.

        And the best part is, no show writer can take it away now.

      • Wilf says:

        I feel sure you’re right, Dave and that’s very helpful to me. I really do look forward to the moment when I can recognise that fully, as I surely will. I have re-watched the end beach scene a few times now and things are improving. I think I’ll need to watch the whole of 5.13 a few times before reaching that point. Maybe interspersed with some of my favourite episodes such as Suitcase.

      • lappers84 says:

        That’s always been the thing with Chuck – it’s always about what’s not shown – the little things that make the story work. Watch every action – especially Sarah. Jason made some good points about how she didn’t take Quinn out right away (already shades of Sarah Bartowski) – the majority of 5×12 was Langston Grahams wildcard enforcer, but once she had the memory jolt of the etching – she soon become season 1 Sarah, and by the end she had grown to around mid season 3 Sarah (in the space of about 2 1/2 weeks) – To me it shows that season 5 Sarah wasn’t much further along.

  24. Judy says:

    I was out of town and just watched the finale. I had read a bit online, enough to know that some people were dissatisfied, not not enough to be completely spoiled. I have watched Chuck since the first episode and have posted occasionally.

    I thought the finale was absolutely perfect. I laughed and cried. It hit just the right note for me. What I loved about Chuck the series was that it combined comedy, drama, romance action. Especially in the first two seasons, and the end of the third season, there was a (slight) underlying pathos about Chuck that gave the series a little edge. 4th season (except for First Fight, which I loved) and 5th season, I thought the series got too sappy. The show became very cutesy, things were always wrapped in a bow by the end of the episode. I haven’t rewatched much of Season 5, because it didn’t seem that interesting, except for Casey and Gertrude. The finale is a different story though, i look forward to seeing it again.

    In the finale, the stakes were really back. I loved the open ending. The kiss might work, or the memories will come back gradually, or Sarah will fall in love again. There’s no doubt for me that they’ll be together and that Sarah will be restored.

    I understand feeling that it’s hard to watch early episodes knowing Sarah’s fate. But remember, this is Chuck. The very next episode the Buy More (Sarah) is rebuilt.

    • atcDave says:

      Judy I never doubted this was a happy ending. But my opinion of the seasons is exactly opposite. I love S4 and S5 (through Bo), that is the legacy of the show for me. That an insecure nerd and a cold spy found love and became perfect compliments for each other. I have no interest in the darker twisty stuff they pulled at the very end here.

    • MichaelCarmichael says:

      I’m having a tough time understanding the difficulty with watching early episodes knowing how the series turns out, although, admittedly, I’ve never bothered to watch the movie Titanic for the same reason. Thinking back to 1982 (and I apologize of someone else brought this up and I missed it) did the death of Spock invalidate everything before that moment? The resurrected Spock wasn’t quite the same – a little fractured and more flawed, but still Spock.

      • atcDave says:

        Spock wasn’t involved in a family relationship with anyone of the regular cast. And the point of Spock hadn’t ever been dynamic character growth.
        For many of us, Sarah’s growth, especially in the last 2 1/2 seasons was the single most wonderful aspect of the show. So taking that away is particularly painful and offensive. Now in point of fact I don’t believe anything actually was lost long term; except not getting to see my favorite character (Sarah Bartowski as opposed Sarah Walker) in the last two episodes.
        Now because I don’t believe anything actually was permanently lost it doesn’t impact previous episodes at all; but it makes perfect sense to me that if one considers the damage permanent it would suck all the joy out of the entire series.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        The bigger change to Spock was in the new J.J. Abrams movie. In a recent Big Bang Theory, Sheldon has some choice thoughts about the new Spock.

        I missed “new” Sarah a little too. But I also liked see the old Sarah again from a nostalgia standpoint. For example, there was a moment after the bomb was diffused that Sarah looked between Casey/Beckman and Chuck, and she couldn’t make eye contact. She had an expression on her face that reminded me exactly of Nemesis when she looked between Bryce and Chuck in the Buy More. She abruptly fled in the same way. The music cue might have even been the same. The laughing and crying scenes on the beach reminding me of the less guarded new Sarah.

      • Faith says:

        “Live long and suck it, Zachary Quinto” LMAO. Classic.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jeff the laughing and crying at the end is the main thing that sold me on S5 Sarah being back. Even if many specific memories haven’t returned yet, I think the CHARACTER is back to where she was; which of course bodes very well for her (and Chuck’s) future.
        Just like Morgan returned to the more mature, adult Morgan (relatively speaking) of late S4; NOT the more childish Morgan of S1/S2 even though certain key memories hadn’t returned (yet).

      • Paul says:

        Yup, Morgan is stil the same person underneath. So is Sarah.

    • Faith says:

      My thoughts align pretty much with yours, if it means anything 🙂 There were lots and the kitchen sink in there for those looking for it.

      • lappers84 says:

        Mature Morgan I think has also been there – but it only really started to emerge after Beard, before that he was simply Chuck’s annoying friend. Season 5 Sarah was always inside her – it just took someone like Chuck to bring that side of her out.

  25. Jason says:

    I snuck in a rewatch of Goodbye, first of any season 5 episode since the Curse. I have to admit, knowing how it ends, I saw much more reason to think the ‘kiss’ worked. Remember Morgan’s line, ‘don’t think, use your heart’, that may have been meant for us to interpret the end as much as Chuck to find his way to the beach.

    Also on rewatch, the subtleness of Yvonne’s acting once I knew what to look for, she started to emote more and more Sarah Bartowski as the final moved along. First time I saw more Bartowski than Walker was she did not assasinate Quinn on the jet, she hesitated. I think she had a gun on him 3 times without pulling the trigger before she finally did in self defense, that is not how Graham’s assassin would handled the situation, the spy who saved Molly? Plus she let Chuck take her gun from her at the Weinerliscious, again more Bartowski than Walker.

    But possibly the most telling reason to think she already had changed back to all Bartowski, she broke the spy team up, and needed time to find herself, rather than just go back to the agency and be a spy, as it appeared they or she could have done. Sarah Walker is a spy, Sarah Bartowski did not want to be a spy any longer, she wanted a normal life. By the end of ‘Goodbye’, our Sarah chose to not be a spy, when given the choice.

    Plus, isn’t it show canon that when it comes to important Chuck and Sarah stuff, isn’t Morgan always right? How often did TPTB mention Morgan’s stupid kiss idea? I’ll let Thinkling count them since she tends to do that kind of thing better than I, but it might have been four times. Then the show ends with that very last kiss that had been forshadowed (which might still be going on for all I know) leaving the audience a choice, to use our hearts and believe or our heads to screw things up. I can see how in some universe, that might be considered perfect.

    • atcDave says:

      Very well put Jason, some excellent observations. I also saw the last scene in Castle as pivotal; Sarah wanting to find herself could only have a good outcome, because we already knew what a wonderful and happy person she had become. And I think she found what she was looking for at the beach. I’m maybe not as sold on the magical kiss, but I am completely satisfied she got enough right there to know she belonged with Chuck. The rest would come back in time.

      • Paul says:

        I have always interpreted the beach scene as Sarah willing to take a chance. Willing to trust Chuck. Willing to take back what she had lost. Even if the kiss didn’t work, she is willing to try again.

        Earlier someone complained that Sarah left 3 times. The first two was a scared Sarah who didn’t know how to deal with the situation other than to run (Sarah Walker defense mechanism #1). The last time she left was because she wanted to figure out what she wanted. What I thought was cool about the whole thing was that Chuck gave her the space she needed. Didn’t pressure her. Was willing to wait forever until she was ready. THAT is love.

      • lappers84 says:

        I think it’s interesting also that despite her leaving 3 times – she came back each time. When going after Quinn – she found him once on the jet, she could probably find him again in her own way. And yet she came back to get Chuck’s help – she didn’t really need to, but something inside her keeps making her come back.
        It’s like in the film 50 First Dates, although Drew Barrymores character couldn’t remember anything after a day (and the doctor said her memory would never returned) – she subconciously still remembered Adam Sandlers character in her dreams. I think it’s the same thing here – although she doesn’t actually have visual memories of her 5 years in Burbank, subconciously she knows she belongs there and with Chuck.

  26. Rick Holy says:

    One of the things that I’ve had to learn about myself is that I suffered from a propensity to “over think” things, often to my own detriment. It’s only been just recently that I’ve learned to stop, or at least “be better” about it. So, in what might seem to some of you good folks to be overly simplistic or naive, I didn’t “over think” how one of – if not THE all-time favorite TV show of my life – concluded. I don’t remember who it was, but someone (Ernie, Gord, or ??) posted that “Tell me our story,” and “Chuck, kiss me!” were enough to indicate a happy ending for Chuck and Sarah. Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic (I know, how ironic!), but the last scene on the beach – along with all of Sarah’s other memory recalls which indicated to me that things were PROgressing rather than REgressing – were enough for me. In the end – IN THE END – true love conquers all – and the love between Chuck and Sarah, which had previously overcome so many other obstacles (let’s see: “it wouldn’t be professional,” “we can never have a normal life,” WT/WT, old – and new – love interests, etc., etc.) wasn’t going to be stopped by a memory loss which to my recollection hadn’t been shown to be permanent. I think that was the whole point. “Shipper” or not – it seems like just about EVERYTHING possible was thrown at Chuck and Sarah – yet their love always emerged “victorious.” Why should we think/conjecture/conclude that the final “bomb” thrown at them would be any different than all the others? I’ve never “kissed up” to TPTB in my comments. When 1/2 of S3 sucked, I said it sucked – fair and square. In this case I truly believe – agree or not, no problema – that TPTB thought they WERE giving the fans the happy ending we all wanted. But to add one final “drama,” they made sure that arriving at that happy ending WASN’T going to be dull. This ending won’t stop me from going back and enjoying past seasons’ favorites – because from what I concluded from the final beach scene – the story of Chuck and Sarah would continue on – with their love truly “conquering ALL” in the end. Would a shot in front of the dream house with the white picket fence have been nice? Sure. But it wasn’t absolutely necessary. The “story” and the “kiss” sufficed.

    • atcDave says:

      Rick I think its how the ending was cut that is causing a lot of the discontent. As I said repeatedly in the post, of course it was a happy ending; that was completely clear to me, I have no doubts. But I resent not getting a glimpse of it. Especially after it was foreshadowed so heavily all season; I simply NEEDED that end shot showing they’d made it. Like Sarah said at the end of 5.12, I know it but I don’t feel it. And they had to show me in order for me to feel it.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Dave – I get ya. I do. I would have liked “a little more” as well, but it being what it is, I accepted it as “good enough.” The problem I have is not disappointment or feeling let down having hoped for more – but the downright anger which has been expressed by some. As much as we love it, as much as we invested in it (and I’d hate to admit how much time and money), it’s not worth raging over. I know you’re not – and most others aren’t, either. But some are – and it’s both sad and silly. Actors we came to appreciate – and I don’t think I’m overstating it – also love – made a good living, some who were unknown a name for themselves, and enjoyed each other’s company for 5 seasons. In the end it’s just a TV show – but then again, I still haven’t forgiven WGN channel 9 out of Chicago for canceling Bozo’s Circus! 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Rick I’ve still got a little anger there too. Not so much with the ending, but more with the decision to pursue this arc in the first place. But yeah I’ll call this ending “good enough.”

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        At first viewing, the end was BARELY enough for me. However, every time I watch it, I like it better. I can understand wanting more. Even though I really like it now, I’d still like more. I just don’t know where the cut would be that would be better for me.

        The two episodes themselves have a lot of little things I didn’t care for, which I bulleted on one of the other response/review pages. (The easiest fix would be to move the Woodcombs someplace closer, like San Diego or the suburbs.) However, considering my predisposition against amnesia stories, I was very happy with how they worked a Chuck tribute into an exciting story and how they provided a romantic and promising ending to it. Those things were better for me on rewatch.

        From reading the responses, I think there are a lot of reasons for the discontent other than just the end. (The end is a large group, but also the easiest target.) Some people are mad that Sarah downloaded the Intersect or that she got amnesia. Others haven’t liked the show for a while now for all sorts of valid reasons. For the most part, those groups would not have liked the very end no matter what because they didn’t like the parts leading up to the end. Other people are simply mad the show is over.

        I hope all of those people will give the finale a chance sometime down the road. They might still hate it, but maybe after some time and distance, they can appreciate the tribute part more.

        It’s ok and even healthy for people to vent (like you are, Dave). The raging and lashing out is harder to take.

      • Paul says:

        Totally agree Rick. I can understand that folks may not have liked the finale. I can understand that they may be angry and/or disappointed. But the rage has me befuddled and quite frankly a little annoyed.

    • Faith says:

      Yeah, I agree with that Fr. Rick. I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade, but this one…more like a heart (Queen of hearts) heh.

  27. Rick Holy says:

    Dave – I agree – they could have done without this arc at the end (didn’t the end of S4 with Sarah almost dying give us enough “Sarah drama?”). But they did what they did. I think some sort of threat to “the team” or the family would have perhaps been better, still provided drama and excitement, and then ended with “all is well.” But what do I know? I write homilies, not TV scripts! We got the hand we were dealt to bring this series to its end. If I could’ve, I’d have asked for a few other cards – but since I couldn’t, I’m making the best out of the hand I was dealt – and not let it spoil my love for the game (I mean the show).

    • ArmySFC says:

      i think for a lot of people it was just another beat down of sarah this season and it wore them out. sarah got poisoned in the last 2 of last year, captured by shaw and abused, captured and abused by ryker, captured and abused by quinn. thats over 25% of the last episodes. that percent goes up if you count the last arc as three instead of 1 (the stolen memories and her need to remember could be considered physc torture) compare that to chuck, he gets caught and no physical harm at all. they handcuff him gently and no abuse. it began to feel like TPTB had a vendetta against sarah, like they felt the need to put her in her place because she was more popular than chuck. so i fully understand those who felt like she lost everything. face it TPTB haven’t been to kind to sarah this season.

      • atcDave says:

        Not sure if I consider it a vendetta, but I do agree Sarah received more than her fair share of abuse. And me being completely tired of it by the end may be part of why this arc rubs me so wrong. If they’d at least shown her dream coming true in the end it MIGHT have felt like enough pay-off. But a season of Sarah abuse and a very minimalist ending is very unsatisfying to me.

      • Faith says:

        I like to think that in this one, in particular, Sarah fought back. She wasn’t a damsel, or hero, she was just Sarah. Even with her explicit memory not intact.

        On a totally different note, I’m considering never removing the banner down below. I just can’t quite let go. I’m in mourning.

      • ArmySFC says:

        glad we agree. that’s why i think the roots to some folks dislike run deeper than just the ending. it built up over time. it seem that all through s5 the main focus of drama was to attack sarah. add to that all the people she was close to seemed to just write her off, except chuck. like i said it added up, then toss in the ending and people just wanted to see her get her happy ending, not believe she got it. that’s a big difference to some people.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Faith that part is not in question. she fought against shaw, she fought against ryker it was wash rinse and repeat. it didn’t matter that she fought back, she still suffered the abuse before she fought back. and that’s the key she got abused, whether or not she fought back, she still got abused this season.

      • atcDave says:

        Faith I do agree about the banner! I still can’t really face it being over. I hate not seeing this cast together again.

      • Paul says:

        That’s mostly it for me. Sarah was really run through the mill from the end of season 4 through the finale. I also didn’t care for Chuck having to upload the Intersect yet again as the only way to save the day this time when he had already worked so hard to get it out of his head and he had proven that he was a hero without it. But to top it all off we get no certain conclusion that Chuck and Sarah get their happily ever after. Yeah, yeah, they left clues. But nothing definite.

      • Jason says:

        I have been complaining about using Sarah as the only source of drama on the show for a long time. Interesting, that the intensity of the use of ‘Sarahdrama’ increased as the show was winding down such that others are feeling it. The best drama in the show was ‘Daddydrama’, that is one reason why so many loved Stephen / Orion / Bakula and why season two worked better than most long, final dramatic arcs attempted on the show. I was hoping this final arc would have shared drama for Chuck and Sarah, that the power couple had to overcome jointly through love and trust. Creatively, it felt like this writing team just didn’t have anything forward looking to give fans, so they just re-jiggered the old and reset the couple to the beginning. That did not work for me as a fan, but it is what it is.

  28. Verkan_Vall says:

    @atcDave:

    I haven’t been posting much lately because I haven’t seen any episodes since 5.1, and since NBC won’t allow viewing online, it looks like I’ll have to wait until spring before I get to see the show. From the sounds of it, I think I’ll be falling in behind you and Thinkling on this one. I do have a certain amount of hesitation in regards to actually viewing the finale because of my personal experience.

    I helped take care of my father while he was suffering from Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. For the last 5 years of his life, he did not know I was his son; he did not know my mother was his wife for almost the same length of time. He thought of me as the guy who helped him about, who helped keep him clean and fed him and who helped him in and out of bed, but not as anyone who was his own flesh and blood. My mother was just the nice woman who helped take care of him; at times, he thought she was his mother. Sometimes when he was frightened or frustrated, he would fight me.

    From my experience, folks, when the memories are gone, the emotions are impossible. I really wish Fedak had chosen a different arc for the finale.

    • Rick Holy says:

      One of the heaviest crosses to bear in life is to be the caregiver for a parent, especially a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Your father may not have remembered who you were, but in those years he experienced the kind of self-sacrificing love that only a child can give to a parent in that kind of difficult situation. God bless you. You’ve put everything in proper perspective.

    • Paul says:

      The mind does weird things. Especially when it comes to memories and end of life. When I was in graduate school, I was doing my palliative care clinicals in the VA hospital and my preceptor would tell me that she had to handle combat vets who were in hospice and in the final stages of their lives very differently than other terminal patients. She told me that men who were otherwise well adjusted with no diagnosis of PTSD or any history whatsoever of psych issues prior to becoming terminal would have vivid flashbacks. Many of these were caused by external triggers. She told me one story of a vet who thought he was back in a POW camp when his nurse (who was asian) walked into his room. So triggers can cause memories to return, both in good and bad ways.

    • atcDave says:

      I absolutely don’t want to make any light of what you experienced VV, that is one of the toughest things any of us can face. But I would point out amnesia is a little different from Alzheimer’s. For one thing, this involved a clear 5-year loss, no Swiss-cheesing of the memory apart from that. Secondly, as I understand it, real permanent amnesia is actually quite rare; and that’s what we got on the show. Memories were coming back over an unknown period of time. That unknown element is what some viewers are pretty grumpy about, but we did see clear signs Sarah Bartowski was coming back.

    • thinkling says:

      Hey VV — I had similar thoughts. My father-in-law has alzheimers. The good days don’t quite make up for the day he looked at my husband and said, “who are you?”

      However, what Dave said is true. This is a different case. Sarah never seemed like an alzheimers patient. Never. With Sarah memories are in there and returning, and things will only get better, whereas with alzheimers things only get worse. I had to scrub that comparison from my head.

      But the fact remains that the loss of some part of your life is always tragic. It’s a tough episode for me, no doubt.

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      Thank you.

  29. Henry (aka Saraholic) says:

    ICYMI, I posted my thoughts about the ending of Chuck in the NBC Boards.
    Short version: “I loved it!”

    • Wilf says:

      yes – and actually, although I still am unhappy with the finale – more so for its lack of the Chuck-Sarah relationship that we all know and love and that I would have liked to see some of in the last hour, as opposed to specifically about the unsatisfying ending – that podcast has helped me to come to terms with what I saw and I am in a better place as a result.

  30. Jason says:

    Dave – I think the title of what you wrote is brilliant, ‘Coming to Terms’. It was a lousy ending, and a lousy thing to do to me as a fan, both the final seconds and the memory wipe robbing at least me of my favorite character in character for the final two episodes. But, the ending is what it is, as is the arc, and the show is over. More than likely, neither is going to be fixed (kind of like sham has never been fixed other than forgotten and the story moved on) even if it comes back, which practically speaking is pretty unlikely.

    I suggest to anyone struggling with the end to re-watch ‘Goodbye’ and look for ALL the clues that she recovers. Watch the episode in the frame of mind I want to prove to myself that she remembers. I honestly think the episode was written in such a manner to allow one to be convinced.

    If I can be convinced, I think anyone can as I don’t like how FEdak writes drama, I don’t like dramatic Chuck period, I don’t like hurting, destroying, poisoning, tortuturing, beating the crap out of, hooking her up with a LI, etc Sarah for the sake of drama, I loved how Sarah evolved in seasons 4 and 5 b4 this miserable final story TPTB forced down the fans throats, well you get my point, if I can find a way to ‘Come to Terms’ I think there is hope for others. What choice do I / we have?

    • esardi says:

      Jason this has been a very difficult time for me to deal with this show. The way the Sarah character was treated especially this season has irritated me to now end. She was basically abused for an entire episode in Santa Suit. She somehow had to keep a secret from Chuck that did not make any sense in Baby, only to have Ryker abuse her some more. Now comes the biggest abuse of all, having to be tortured by Quinn, on what I called a lousy and weak plot line.

      I just think that out of everything they showed us especially in season 5, it was the continual abuse of her character that has made me so angry. In between that we got the Sarah who wanted no more spying, the one who wanted her normal with the man she loved.

      What would it have taken Fedak to have just one more lousy minute as they walked hand in hand to a grocery store? She would have paused at the pregnancy test display and said something like “we almost had a baby”, next time I hope for a positive result”. And Chuck could have smiled and said “next time”. Would that have killed him to do that?

      However, it is left to our imagination. That is not the way for a supposedly “love letter to the fans” to end. I am sorry but I needed closure and for me at least, I did not get it. I will deal with it eventually but not anytime soon.

      • Wilf says:

        Actually, I’ve been thinking about the whole “love letter to the fans” statement. To me, it’s a love letter that said “I love …” – and I have to infer that the last word is “you”.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Using the love letter analogy, I think it was a good love letter with two great episodes that had a lot of callbacks to previous episodes (maybe with a couple of punctuation issues). The letter was just left unsigned. People who like the ending, don’t mind the romance of a “secret admirer”. People who didn’t like the ending are getting a creeped-out stalker vibe. Ok, maybe the secret admirer/stalker analogy is not the best.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh man Jeff I love your analogies! Too funny.

        I do think this two parter was actually quite good on its own merits. The strikes against have been well discussed at this point; for me the biggest would be I didn’t care for it as a finale, I mssed seeing Sarah Bartowski, I was tired of a lot of Sarah abuse this season, and the ending felt incomplete.
        In favor of this episode; some REALLY awesome Sarah butt kicking, a serious and determined Chuck I wish we saw more often, and some very fun call back moments.
        And in the end, we can imagine many good ways things proceeded from the end we saw (and I’m not just talking about the Public Indecency charge…).

  31. betik says:

    what is still bothering me is the drawing scene.. Sarah saying I will never forget this !!.. so I put my hope on this pic.. but in the end.. it was just the kiss…
    thou it was fun how the put in a chapter everything, the dance , the chopper.. all the sarah hairstyles .. (i miss the vicky vale song) .. irene demova… why chuck didn´t use his usually tran gun with quinn ?

    • Faith says:

      Chuck didn’t need the drawing because he actually brought her to the house. In it she remembered the carving. She only needed the drawing because they were on the train and that was the only way Chuck could determine if she’s forgotten. The emphasis wasn’t so much on the drawing as what it represents for their dreams aka house, family, love. It was just a symbol.

      Think of it as a wedding photo for example. Yes he could have shown her their wedding pictures but in essence it is still just a photo of what it represents, their commitment to each other. Commitment to be there, to love, in good or bad. Something that Chuck not only told her, but showed her in the end at the beach and in moments before that. He showed her in many ways, particularly by not being whiny at the end, and putting her needs above his own that he was her husband, that what they have is real. Not a photo, not a forgotten memory, but something tangible. Something she can trust.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I think they didn’t use the wedding album, drawing, and bracelet for the same reasons they didn’t use the reprogrammed Intersect glasses as a magic fix-all. The Sarah+Chuck was a first trigger, and other little triggers helped. However, I think one of the messages at the end was all Sarah really needed to bring her back was Chuck himself.

        When Sarah is searching the living room in 5.12, she picks up a photo. In the distant shot it is the photo that makes her feel safe from Suitcase and American Hero (and other episodes). In the close shot, it is a different photo. I wonder if the change was an accident prop goof, or if it was because they didn’t want Sarah to see something that might magically fix her.

      • thinkling says:

        I think you’re right, Jeff. There are a lot of things they could use to trigger her memory, but that’s not the story they were telling.

        And it’s Chuck who was the key to Sarah. He always was. There’s the factual memories and emotional memories. She needed both. That was the message from Ellie in the beginning of 13 … Chuck, it’s clear that we can’t force Sarah to remember, but emotions, feelings those are powerful things. And maybe if you can find Sarah, you can spark some of these memories. She had to remember on two different levels, and they showed that beautifully.

        After the emotional framework (and maybe some memories) was recovered on the beach, there were tons of triggers for Chuck to use for the rest of it.

      • Faith says:

        Daniel Feinberg of Sepinwall/Feinberg’s Firewall podcast made a great point about the intersect glasses. I didn’t agree with much of what he said, but I agreed with him on that. He said, making Sarah love him again by inputting her memories isn’t the right way to go about it…it was never a good idea. “It’s an awful idea to reprogram the woman you love, based on preexisting information to love you again.” In essence he’s making her be what he wanted, not letting her be what she wants, or for that mater, giving her a choice to choose him. Granted she would need to consent to put on the glasses but it’s just not the same. She needed to remember through him, she needed to fall in love with him and accept that what he tells her is true and remember that way. It needed to happen the way it happened…and I agree.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with that too Faith. I think the “tech” solution could have worked if it was just a matter of using the glasses to remove all layers of programming. But when you talk about adding new layers of programming I think its running into all sorts of moral/ethical problems. Not to mention it probably wouldn’t be satisfying for either party.

  32. Randy says:

    As much as some of us wish the ending or the last three episodes had been done differently, they weren’t and, well, I guess I’ve come to accept that it is what it is. So, like Yvonne Strahovski tweeted after the last day of shooting, “What now?”

    I have no idea whether there will ever be a “Chuck” movie, but, honestly, I think that’s a very long shot, and I’m not going to hold my breath on that, and though I thought that idea was a good one at first, now I’m not so sure. But what is definitely not a long shot is the futures in acting of Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski. Despite the pretty consistently low ratings throughout the show’s run, despite the inconsistent writing and some odd detours in the storyline, Zach and Yvonne — and their chemistry — is the key thing — in my view, at least — that helped keep the show on the air after the first two seasons (I know there were other great actors/actresses and there certainly was some good story-telling in all five season, but let’s leave that aside for now).

    When “Chuck” began, Yvonne was absolutely unknown (in America, at least). Zach had had some small parts in television, I guess, but he was pretty much an unknown as well. I don’t think that’s the case any longer — for either of them. I can’t help but believe that some other “powers that be” besides Schwedak, etal and NBC saw the talent each of these actors have individually and their chemistry with each other. Perhaps not immediately — for lots of reasons — but I wonder about casting the two of them together in a movie in a year or two — a romantic comedy or perhaps a Mission Impossible-type story — or series of movies?

    Maybe I’m trying to make “lemonade from lemons”, but I wonder what other “Chuck” fans think?

    • thinkling says:

      ZL and YS pairing in a movie or other TV series is always an appealing thought. Of course, the characters they played had a lot to do with my love of the show. So, as long as the characters are appealing, bring it on.

    • atcDave says:

      There certainly have been other pairings that worked very well and worked together on many projects over the course of their careers. I would love to see something like that for Zach and Yvonne. But at the same time, I think both will likely want to build their own portfolios and their own reputations. The business is different now than 50+ years ago, so may guess is they will reunite professionally only on rare occasion if at all. I hate that, and it’s one of the things I will miss most about this show, but it seems to be the modern reality.

    • Jason says:

      I think they are heading in opposite directions. I am guessing Zac is going to attempt to re-invent entertainment as we know it, I see him more and more being an multi-media executive, director, producer, showrunner as well as a middle of the road actor. I think Yvonne is going to take a shot at being a movie / tv top shelf star, she might make it, might not, but I think she is going to go for it.

      I do think if Zac attempts to do more Chuck in a creative internet, pay per view, webisode type of way, Yvonne will say yes unless she is busy remaking Gone With the Wind as Scarlett O’hara . In many ways, the ineffective ending of Goodbye would let Zac create a very satisfying hour and a half webisode essentially clearly defining Chuck vs What’s Next? Might only need Mckenna, Josh, Yvonne and Zac to pull it off too?

      • thinkling says:

        Right, they could have a smaller cast. The Buymore can go. No more Echo Park. The sets could be pretty simple, saving money for blowing things up or whatever else they want.

      • atcDave says:

        I would love to see that happen Jason. It’s so funny though when things are ending, people are always big on good thoughts about staying in touch or re-uniting. But reality often makes it very hard to follow through (funny though, I’m in suburban Chicago as I write this, waiting to meet up with old friends in a little bit for our annual get together!).
        But as I seriously hope Zach remembers and gets a Chuck reunion movie or two made at some point, I also hope he has the sense to know if Yvonne isn’t available he better wait until she is! Zach AND Yvonne are manditory for any future Chuck.

      • thinkling says:

        Ditto that. I also wouldn’t want any more tear-em-apart-so-you-can-put-them-back-together. No OLI’s. No going off to think, No being separated, only to find each other in the last 5 minutes. Just delightful Chuck and Sarah Bartowski doing great things together, whether spy or domestic. A great story would be nice, too.

      • Randy says:

        My impression from reading between the lines is that Zach isn’t quite sure what the future holds for him. Yvonne has obviously got some things lined up for the next year or so (movie, photo shoots, etc.). But the reality is that actors and actresses — unless they are really big-time — are often out of work, hoping for another part, etc. I think Zach mentioned that he might go to New York and work on Broadway. How about “Chuck: the Musical”? (with, of course, Jeffster!)

  33. FlamesofDestiny says:

    By the way, Warner announced this morning that the DVD and Blu-Rays will be released on May 8. Each will also come with a digital-copy offer…although I am unfamiliar with the process they are talking about.

    • Simply put, You get the DVD or Blu_Ray disks and the ability to download the eps to your computer.

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      Flames, do you have a link to the announcement?

      • FlamesofDestiny says:

        There wasn’t much announced other than the date (May 8) and SRP ($39.98 for DVD, $49.99 for Blu-Ray). No cover art or information about the extras. The digital copies use the Ultraviolet system, which is a Sony thing I don’t know anything about.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Just got an alert that talks about extra features:
        http://www.spoilertv.com/2012/02/chuck-season-5-dvd-press-release.html

        UltraViolet is a copyright system for downloadable digital content.

      • esardi says:

        What caught my eye there was an extented version of the series finale. Do you think they are talking about the beach scene Jeff?

      • atcDave says:

        They mentioned earlier that the DVD version would be 8 minutes longer than what we’ve already seen. But given how “proud” they seem to be of their ending I doubt any of it will be at the end. However, I might be quite happy if we get another glimpse or two of Sarah “falling” for Chuck in an earlier part of the episode.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        He’s the hitfix interview:
        TVLINE | If I gave you an extra hour for the finale, what would you have done with it?
        SCHWARTZ | The original [cut] was almost an extra hour longer.
        FEDAK | It’s true. Chuck episodes sometimes come in a little long — not this season as much, but this one came in quite a bit long. We actually got it a little bit of extra time from NBC for it.
        SCHWARTZ | Some of the additional scenes will be on the DVD.
        FEDAK | That’s right, we actually have a longer version coming out on the DVD.

        TVLINE | Simply extended edits of scenes or also new entire scenes?
        SCHWARTZ | You’ll have a couple of entire scenes. It will be eight minutes longer. And there are extended scenes within Act 5. It will be nice.
        =================================================
        I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but I have a feeling it will be other scenes than the beach scene. The beach scene is actually relatively long in percentage of episode time. If they add to it, it would require a new music cut and would be in the earlier part of the scene.

        They mentioned that Alex did a Casey grunt at one point. I’d like to see that. Maybe an extra scene would make Ellie and Devon leaving make more sense (e.g. Chuck tells them to go before they make the decision.)

      • atcDave says:

        That would be good; the whole Woodcombs leaving thing is actually the worst ending of the bunch (for me)!

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        To reinflate some bubbles, I just had a thought that would preserve the “art” of the end while making a lot of people happy. Unlike the broadcasts, the DVD episodes have an credit sequence that is about a half minute long. They could tag a 5-10 second scene after the credits. It could be a “Let’s go home” or maybe a a silent shot of the couple smiling as they walk hand-in-hand back to their car.

        I doubt it will happen, but it’d be cool.

      • Jason says:

        Jeff – my guess is those 5 seconds would sell some extra DVD’s, I am pretty certain Yvonne would do a voice over for the occasion if one does not exist – wouldn’t you say? HOw about, “Chuck, let’s go home, we bought the house from the picture you drew for me, but we gotta work on the second part of the plan” ….. make that happen for me please!

      • atcDave says:

        I think “let’s go home” would be a beautiful and absolutely perfect ending. I’d also bet some serious money it doesn’t happen. Sigh.

      • Jason says:

        Actually, all it would take is some smart young person to take the words ‘Perfect’ from Sarah’s wedding vows, and throw it in at the end after the kiss as the credits fade away. That probably solves half the problem, and that one word that exists on tape already. Maybe someone will do something like that and put in on YouTube?

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I know Warner Bros has ties to DC, not Marvel, but past Chuck finales have been like the Avengers by hinting about the next story. So after the credits, Samuel L. Jackson would show up in Castle and pull up pictures and profiles of Chuck and Sarah on two screens. Underneath the pictures would be a message that says ‘SHIELD Recruit’ That would lead to a S6, which we’d never get.

      • Faith says:

        I really hope people start accepting soon…because additional stuff won’t happen. In the first place, act 5 is one short of the ending which is act 6 (in an hour show). In the second place, it’s not going to change, it is the end and that is that.

      • atcDave says:

        I think we all know that Schwedak are quite proud of their creation and aren’t going to fix it Faith. But just as I’ll never actually accept the S3 we got, I’ll never completely accept this ending either. It has nothing to do with what might ever happen or change, it has to do with the legacy of these show runners. And for me, that legacy will always be a beautiful show that ended in a giant “screw you.” Yes, this is angry Dave again.

      • Faith says:

        *headdesk*

      • Jason says:

        Faith – fans will eventually get over the lousy ending, this is not going to be like season 3 when fans did not – but you have to admit even though you loved the ending – it is tragic that the ending failed for so many fans.

        I’d be curious of a poll that asked, How much did Sarah remember after the kiss?

        A – The kiss had no affect, and she is not remembering anything, and the kiss didn’t change anything, she accepted a new mission as Sarah Walker in the morning.
        B – The kiss had no affect, and she is not remembering anything, but her and Chuck will start over from season one on the beach.
        C – The kiss helped jump start her memories, she and Chuck will pick up right around the apartment kiss in other guy.
        D – The kiss really helped, she is going to remember everything soon, she and Chuck are mid season four state of affairs.
        E – The kiss was magic, she remembered everything and is complete again.

        I am going with E, I just don’t know any other way to be happy about the series?

      • atcDave says:

        We’re never going to agree on this Faith. I can live with this ending, but I’ll never like it. And “fixing” is how I think about things I don’t like.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I agree there’s probably less than a 1% chance the beach scene is going to change. I’ll probably watch past the credits the first time, just in case.

        You’re right that TV shows have 5 commercial breaks and 6 parts. I’ve heard writers of other shows talk about 5 acts of a show in the more generic way: Introduction/Rising action/Climax/Falling action/Denouement. I don’t know if Fedak meant 5th part or denouement.

        Here’s why I think he meant the denouement: The entire 5th part was Dvork’s New World Symphony, Chuck’s Intersect decision, and Take On Me. It would be hard to add to the musical sequences. The Tim Jones music tracks can be changed, but the symphony and Jeffster songs would be harder to do because the performers have to be in sync with the music. The only new scenes I can think of would be:
        – Team B arriving at the concert hall (not very exciting)
        – a slightly longer conversation between Chuck and Sarah on the roof (with Jones’ Charah theme playing)

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I see it as D+. Charah is basically back to where they were in Bullet Train. But there will remain many holes in Sarah’s memory for weeks or months yet. Some less important issues may never come back.

      • Faith says:

        I have no qualms with how people feel or how they don’t or can’t accept the ending. It was totally tragic, it was painful, it was depressing but in the end hopeful. If I take myself out of context, and don’t recognize the things I saw, or pointed out, then I too would react just as others are reacting. Maybe far more vehemently. Even without, I totally sympathize. Everyone is entitled to their point of view and I hope I haven’t forced people into mine. I don’t recall telling people to like it because I do, I merely pointed out the reasons I liked it.

        The head desk was about Fedak and company supposedly screwing us over again because they can. I don’t understand the logic of believing that he will fix what he himself did to screw people over. Peer pressure? Why can’t we just accept the fact that they wrote what they wanted to write, and it wasn’t in any way a form of giving a middle finger to the fans…maybe that’s just a consequence but as some fans actually liked it, maybe that isn’t it either. And really, whether you believe me or whatnot, whether you think I’m out of bounds or whatnot, it’s not right. It’s best if people just accept the way things are and move on. But then again as I’m unintentionally defending them, that must mean I am once again…part of the problem and not the solution.

      • Jason says:

        Dave – let me ask you, how much more would the ‘magical’ kiss thing had to be mentioned in the episode for you to take on a leap of ‘faith’ (gotta love that word) that the kiss worked 100%? Do you think the line was being played for comedy only? Or as a cruel final joke that fell flat (since the show ended on the kiss with no confirmation it worked at all)?

      • atcDave says:

        To pick up Jeff’s comments, it is easier to imagine the “goodbyes” being re-edited than the climax of the show. If that effects the Castle scene it could also be helpful for the later Charah wrap-up; although not a lot, Sarah already pretty clearly rejected going back to the agency (at least clearly enough for me!).

        But I was also under the impression the eight minutes might be scattered throughout, just more heavily in Act 5. Given how much they hyped the Berlin part of the episode I wouldn’t be surprised if that had another episode or two we missed. And I think I would like that a lot, more mission and Chuck/Sarah interaction.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Dave, I agree it was clear that Sarah was out of the spy life.

        In a completely hypothetical scenario, if Sarah did go back (‘A’ on the list), Beckman would definitely let Chuck know. She’s proven to have no scruples about doing whatever is necessary to bring an Intersected Chuck back into the fold. Then Chuck and Sarah would be partnered together again. She’d fall for him again, and they would repeat the relationship development of S3.5->S5.

      • thinkling says:

        I’m not sure the choices are that cut and dried. We’ve got two layers of memory to come back emotional and verbal. With Sarah getting to know Chuck and fall in love with him, or rather find her love for him, she is already most of the way to Sarah Bartowski, because that’s the love that’s there. The love still in her heart for him is not the Crown Vic or S2 love, or even fiancée love. It’s Sarah Bartowski love.The more time she spends with Chuck, the more it grows. Hearing their story and the kiss, I believe restored Sarah Bartowski, with some of her memories. I think all the important ones will return, which means that the S5 dreams probably will, too. If not they will pursue a dream that gives them just as much happiness, because it will be built on the same love.

        I imagine that Sarah was replaying the events of the events of the last couple of weeks through a brand new filter. She has the info and the emotional connection/love to really get her life back.

      • atcDave says:

        Faith I see a stark difference between motives and consequences. I believe Schwedak meant to create a beautiful lasting legacy for their show, and I believe they wanted their fans to love it. But this goes back to what I’ve said repeatedly of the last few seasons; I think there has always been a slight disconnect between what they think many of us will like and what we actually do. In the end, they took a huge gamble on a story that was disliked by a large number of us. It’s their show and their right to do so. But that’s exactly my point, they chose to please themselves and not their audience. Regardless of their intent, they created something that a large number of us just aren’t going to appreciate. I don’t like that, and as I’ve suggested a few times, writers writing only for themselves is usually not good news for viewers. I had long hoped this would not be the case and that talk of “a love letter to fans” would in fact be good news.
        Now, after the fact they cling to their idea that this ending was perfect. Okay, obviously for them it was. But I haven’t heard even a hint from them like “really? some viewers didn’t like it?” They are deaf to complaints and insist this was a great ending. Its not even about the idea of changing it or not, its about their assertion they already did good and don’t need to consider it that most irks me.
        And every time they open their mouths I get more annoyed with those two. I happen to agree with whoever says this was a “happy” ending; but just like every mid or season finale they did from Ring on (excepting only Cliffhanger), they failed to craft an acceptable ending. They leave too many questions unanswered for me. I can live with that, but their smug confidence annoys the heck out of me.

        Jason I believe the magical kiss worked in all the essential ways. I just have a hard time imagining the avalanche of everything coming back at once, so I picture a more gradual process. I think the combination of Chuck telling their story and the kiss were the key breakthroughs. But the details will fill in with time; like maybe when they head home Sarah will suddenly get a bunch of Ellie memories; and after a good nights sleep she may wake up with some memories of some quiet times together for her and Chuck. I do believe in the magical kiss, I just don’t see it as instant.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I agree entirely about your “worst case scenario”. Even if Sarah returned to the CIA she’ll never be rid of Chuck, its only an issue of how much time gets wasted, and I’m leaning more towards barely enough time to get home and avoid those public indecency charges.

      • Faith says:

        Dave, I say this with all the respect in the world, maybe they’re not the problem, you are…maybe we all are. What you want is for them to acknowledge that they made mistakes, just like what people wanted (even in the last set of questionnaires) was for them to admit that they made a mistake in season 3. And what you want is for them do what they don’t do (in finales), write your story. That’s not going to happen. There’s a fine line between writing for the fans, and telling a story the way it needed to be told. To me nothing in that means, screwing over the fans for the sake of screwing over fans. If that was their intent, they would have unequivocally put them with other people as the lights go out. Or something far more horrendous like having Chuck kill Sarah. Was it a love letter to the fans? In my opinion it was, it goes back to perspectives. But again, just because it didn’t work for you, or you didn’t see it as they intended doesn’t mean they purposely meant to piss you off. But as I’ve no doubt offended and unleashed far more than I wanted to, I’ll shut up now and come back later.

      • ArmySFC says:

        there was a discussion a few days ago between a few people on how they usually paid off and arc or story line. this is an area where they came up short to me. i’ll keep it in simple terms because i think they work best. the relationship arc is the key. in the beginning they teased wt/wt the end of that arc came when sarah said yes, she loved chuck. the next part of that arc moved to wt/wt get engaged. the end of that part came when chuck without the use of words, proposed in a hospital hallway. the next part of that arc was when will they get married. that part of the arc came in a church. the final part of that arc was leading to a family, a home and a normal life. has that arc ended yet? it’s up to viewers to fill in the blanks. did it take a week, a month, six months or years?

        despite the directions each arc took as they unfolded, and the possibilities of what comes after they concluded, the viewers were shown in some way or another they would get there. in the final part all indications were they would get there. up until the end of vs Bo i would bet my house that that not a single fan (that had no information in advance) expected this ending.

        as for the fans feeling like they got the bird? i can see why. f/s say this is the ending the pitched to NBC last year. fine i accept that, it’s their show and their story to tell. then don’t lead the fans to believe they will get the fairy tale ending when you have no intention of delivering it. that’s exactly what they did. they put out all the talks about the dream house, the carving on the archway, the picture of them with a baby. it wasn’t a few blips here and there, it was in your face, here you go this is what to expect. then they pulled it away. we can take it on faith and hope. that doesn’t change the fact they had no intention of delivering the ending the strongly hinted at through 11.75 episodes. that’s a major failing on the show runners part to me. i may FF my own ending, but i can’t forgive what the show runners knowingly, by their own admissions, did to the fans.

      • atcDave says:

        Faith you’re making this more personal than I ever intended. I believe I clearly said they didn’t set out to upset anyone; I don’t think THAT poorly of them. But it is on a practical level because they are working without a particular intent to please their audience either. It’s a “screw you” of indifference. And the attitude that most irks me IS exactly the same as it was in S3, they show no ability to learn from their mistakes. And until I hear some meaningful “lessons learned” talk from them I don’t trust that they have actually learned any, or at least not the right ones.
        And as far as blaming the audience, that’s like blaming the pilots if I put two planes in the same place. Sure they have some responsibilities to see and avoid, but its my professional responsibility to keep them apart in the first place. It is exactly analogous to an audience, we have some responsibility to let the storyteller work his craft in good faith; but in the end its THEIR job to make it all work.

        Ideally, they will learn lessons over the course of a career and become better story tellers. When I criticize that is exactly the light in which it is intended. I get ticked off when they respond with a “we know better” attitude. I’m not waiting for them say “oh we’re sorry we screwed up, we’ll fix it…” But I sure would like some acknowledgement that they may have things to learn from their viewers. And I don’t trust their growth as story tellers until I hear something I like. That attitude is what hasn’t changed since S3. Don’t close the book at chapter seven indeed…

        And for the record; I’ve broken my criticism in this post into a couple categories, including thoughts on the arc (good story, not a great finale), episodes (mostly well crafted), and end scene specifically (beautiful, well done, but incomplete). No part of that critique offered total rejection, but some aspects concern me more than others. The incomplete ending actually bothers me less than putting such an arc at the very end.

      • atcDave says:

        I am sorry if my word choice was too aggressive or inflammatory. But only a little sorry. I am still very annoyed with their demeanor in interviews.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s a little how I had looked at the season and the finale, Army. Before the finale I really thought they would at least show us that they were going to get the house, because they usually resolve the arc well, like the proposal and the wedding. So why have this huge dream from episode 1 all the way through 10.5 of the house and the family. Not only that they made it a specific house all the way through, and Sarah marked her territory when she carved her name. So why do that if you’re going to take it away?

        Perhaps (and I look at it this way now) instead of a promise, it is more like an anchor. Something that has been so emphasized that we know that IS their future, just not in the final episode. I think especially since we got such an undefined ending, we need the anchor to be assured that they do have a future. It’s just a little delayed now (though in my version, it’s not delayed too much).

      • atcDave says:

        Thinkling I do imagine they end up in that dream house pretty quickly!

        But it actually strikes me as a sort of technical writing error that they ditched their own foreshadowing. Like the sort of thing some professor teaching Creative Writing 101 would have marked them way down for. Funny, because so often my complaints have had to do with what I see as institutional flaws (not knowing when to end wt/wt, obsession with darker themes, etc); but this one is just the opposite. They should have learned better in writing school!

      • Faith says:

        Thinkling:

        “And that, above all, is what made tonight such a rousing, emotional farewell. We’ve spent five years with these people. It seems at times we’ve known them better than they know themselves. But all of them still managed to surprise us a little, and will continue to surprise themselves long after the camera stops rolling. Chuck told Casey and Morgan inside the newly exploded intersect room, “Deep down, I knew it was true. My wife never came home.” And in some ways, she still hasn’t. Maybe they will never live inside that house with the red door and the white picket fence. But maybe I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing all season in wanting them to have that. They don’t need a house. They need a home. And in that final kiss, they found one.” – Ryan McGee

      • thinkling says:

        Yes, I agree, Dave. It was a bait and switch. Applying the same logic to S5 that I had applied to the proposal and the wedding, really didn’t pay off too well. They have been writing a journey and have foreshadowed certain destinations (both broad and specific), and those were changed in big ways.

        My point was more that (perhaps) they have given us an anchor to an epilog. They have known since the end of S4 that this was the end. So if they didn’t paint the end game as the house and the family and getting out of spying, where would we be? At least now we do know they have a dream and we got a season foreshadowing all sorts of wonderful things for them, instead of a season without any of that wonderful stuff, since they never intended to show it. I’m not sure how they would have foreshadowed this tragedy (except a little through Morgansect), or if I would have wanted them to. But seriously did anybody see Sarahsect and the CS tragedy coming … anybody?

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Thinkling “But seriously did anybody see Sarahsect and the CS tragedy coming … anybody?”

        If you go back the ‘last’ and ‘part deux’ speculation pages and search for ‘beach’, there are several predictions for it. Some of them were after Sarahsect but before Bullet Train. Some of the discussions parallel the post episode discussions. (e.g. It better not be the last scene!) The main difference is some of the people who prejudged this ending are a lot more… let’s just say ‘vehement’ in their ‘dislike’ of it and TPTB now.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff, i’m one of them, lol. i predicted she would not get her memories back before the end. i didn’t have the beach scene though. i was also one on the ones that constantly asked the question how would you feel if you got mostly angst and a little pay off in the end? would it be satisfying? i hadn’t given TPTB a pass like most people did after s3. i went with my gut feeling about them. the bragged (to harsh a word?) quite a bit that thay had something planned that would blow peoples minds. they did. they knew what the results would be from that statement alone. i made my predictions without personal feelings of what i wanted, and more what they would think was awesome. they repeatedly said after P3 they didn’t know people would like it so much because it was about sarah. they didn’t understand then and they don’t get it now either.

        does it take away from the fact that the majority of the episode was good, not at all. it was and still is good, but the ending sucked. will it get better for me? probably not. for those that liked it, that’s great and i’m glad they did. i’m not much of a fan wanker when i watch shows, drop all the hints you want, if i don’t see it it may not happen.

        whats to say chuck doesn’t start feeling guilty because he let quinn go instead of putting a non leathal round in his ass or shoulder, and when sarah doesn’t come around as fast as he wants he goes into a funk. we know he’s not a paitent guy from all the times he pushed her. this leads to sarah going away to clear her head. chuck snaps and blows his head off, sarah finds out and screws up on a mission and gets killed? could it happen ya bet, nothing to say it doesn’t is there, except hopes, dreams and wishes.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff i forgot this. before the season even started BdaddyDL and i were chatting, he asked me how i thought it would end. i told him at the end chuck and sarah would either be apart or marginally together. that’s how little i trusted TPTB. feel free to ask BdaddyDL if you want, cause i aint kidding.

      • thinkling says:

        Jeff, my question in the context of the discussion of foreshadowing asks did anybody see Sarahsect and the tragedy coming from a distance, like during the first 8 episodes. By episode 10, the spec is not from foreshadowing. It’s more like I see smoke; I speculate there’s a fire.

        The point being that for 10 episodes they foreshadowed one thing, then delivered something else.

        Faith, Ryan McGee didn’t focus on the white house all season. TPTB did. Chuck and Sarah already had their home in each other. That story was done last season. There was no mention or hint that they needed a home (in that sense) in S5. It was all about the dream house and their future, etc. So focusing on a home all season and not the house would be to ignore the story that was on the screen.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Thinkling exactly! it’s what i said above as well about the first 10 episodes. the home thing was last year, sarah said it herself if i’m not mistaken.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Thinkling, you’re right in that nobody (almost nobody?) saw the Sarahsect coming before 5.8. I think sometime before Kept Man, I read someone here predicting Sarah getting a download. If I remember correctly, around that time there were some vague spoilers (the Intersect is coming back) that ended up being about Morgan’s lost weekend. The amnesia idea was talked about earlier too, as pure speculation, simply because of Morgan’s memory loss. I thought a Chuck amnesia arc was a big possibility for a while because I thought he’d download a buggy Intersect for some reason. I think the beach ending has often been a prediction for the final scene. A lot of people wanted the wedding on the beach. No one would have guessed all Sarahsect, amnesia, and beach all together.

        They foreshadowed the baby so much that people were guessing miscarriage as the loss. This was a lot better. I liked the Ryan McGee sentiment above, which echoed Casey’s in balcony. It’s not about the house. It’s about the girl.

      • herder says:

        Thinkling, I was thinking about the foreshadowing idea earlier this week. We all have our favorite type of posts; Joe likes to discuss the music, Ernie likes to talk about the hero journey, I enjoy picking out the clues and trying (mostly unsuccesfully) to figure out where we are going.

        Until Yvonne said in an interview that something was taken from them the notion of memory loss never crossed my mind, even then my guess was that it was Chuck that would lose memory. Usually the clues are cumulative and point to a direction, here there was one clue, Morgan, all the others pointed the other way, happily ever after, the question seemed to be how and where not if. These last two or three make all the happily ever after stuff seem to be a head fake.

        I wonder if part of the story was written in such a was that it could be expanded if there were extra episodes, both the grand conspiracy arc and the memory wipe arc seem to have a lot of room for expansion if that was required and the lack of a back order pushed it into a head snap quickness.

      • thinkling says:

        Good point, Herder. The clues (foreshadowing) that I thought we pretty obvious led nowhere. I would like to think you’re right, that they were holding some of it back for the back order, but they have said numerous times that they knew this was it. They have also admitted that they thought it was a great idea to make the conspiracy about Shaw.

        Both are real head-snappers. Shaw in no way fits the criteria alluded to in the conspiracy foreshadowing. I consider that a colossal waste of a potentially great plot thread. As for the house, it’s too strong a theme all the way through to conclude with honesty that it has vanished from their future. To assume that would be to invalidate the theme of the season. I can’t do that. The carving and Sarah’s words as she handed the knife to Chuck, tell me that that is indeed their happy ever-after, and they will get it. I mean listen to what she said, “One day this will all be ours, and when it is, I would like to always remember this moment.” The very fact that the carving was the first thing she remembered and the impact it made, tells me that her words were indeed foreshadowing their future. I have to come to the conclusion that S5 foreshadowed the epilogue. I know they intentionally left it open ended, but they are the ones that put the house and family in my mind, not to mention Chuck and Sarah’s. It’s not like I’m making it up out of nowhere. It’s as tenable as anything else, so that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      Also on the DVD: “2 full-length audio commentaries on the final two episodes by executive producers and key cast members”

      • atcDave says:

        Those might be interesting… or maddening. I just sure hope “key cast members” includes Yvonne. I can’t imagine anyone’s input being as interesting as her’s on this finale.

  34. MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

    Didn’t know where to put this, but Dave’s the fanfiction guy…
    The Chuck fanfiction nominations have opened early this year:
    http://forum.fanfiction.net/topic/49974/56553156/1

    • atcDave says:

      I’ll have another fan fiction post up in a few days Jeff (if I can ever get caught up on all the new stuff that’s coming out now!); and I’ll repeat that link then.

    • Jason says:

      Jeff – you asked about Hart of Dixie, I’ll post here since I may have led you astray in that other post. I did not want to mislead you in comparing to Everwood, I think I said some elements are there.

      If this makes any sense, HOD is to Everwood, like Chuck is to Alias in terms of tone, I think of Chuck as Alias lite, HOD is Everwood lite. But if what you liked in Everwood is the terrific drama, writing and characters, say like in Friday Night Lights, HOD is NOT your show.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        Thanks, Jason. I liked both Chuck and Alias, but I missed the beginning of HOD, so maybe I should pass. Maybe I need to use the opportunity of Chuck’s ending to further limit my weekly TV intake.

  35. Non Omnis Moriar says:

    Dave, Just wanted to thank you for a great post. I’ve tried to rewatch the finale once and it didn’t help me seeing things in another light than the first time I watched it. I just don’t like it and I don’t think that will ever change. Reading posts like yours and Thinkling’s does help a lot. I was a huge Sarah fan until season three. After the Shaw arc that was gone. In all honesty I also disliked Chuck at that time. Both love interest during that season destroyed a lot my initial enjoyment of the show. Like someone before me said, after Phase three I became a Sarah fan again. That was the Sarah I wanted to see. All in all I’m still depressed about the ending. Of course a lot of that feeling comes from the fact that Chuck is over, but there’s also a big part of me that feels deprived by that ending. I can’t understand how people can like this ending and at the same time I’ve stopped trying to explain why I didn’t like it. I feel empty inside. Tired of everything regarding Chuck. It used to revive me to talk about this show, but now all it does is bring me down and I don’t want to feel that way. Funny thing though. Yesterday I was standing in line in a supermarket for a checkout humming Take on me and suddenly the girl in front of me turns and points her finger at me. “You’ve seen the finale of Chuck, haven’t you?” This happened so fast that I could only nod. She continued to tell me how much she’d loved it and that it was so romantic. She was so full of enthusiasm that I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her that I hadn’t liked the ending at all. It was fun to see this young woman so happy. I may never like it, but it’s still good to see that people did like it. I just wish I could look at it like they do.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m really sorry to hear you’re still down about the finale NOM. These last couple days I think my attitude towards it has softened a lot. I think I’ll always consider that ending too abrupt, and I wish this hadn’t been the finale arc. My favorite aspect of the show these last couple seasons has always been Chuck and Sarah doing everything as team; I love the way we so often felt their trust and affection for each other. So this finale removed that from the equation for a long stretch of time, and left us wondering if Chuck and Sarah got their normal right away, or still had weeks or months of emotional work ahead of them.

      But I think two things have given me a lot of peace about it. First is just being convinced that Sarah “found herself” quite quickly. I think the internal clues are strong; and the Sarah we saw on the beach was the emotional and sensitive Sarah we didn’t really see much until late S3. Which tells me that at the VERY least, she was ready for Chuck in her life again. Add to that, “Kiss me Chuck” is sooooo similar to her earlier “shut up and kiss me” I see it as inviting Chuck back into her life, just as the original statement started their life together.
      The second big thing for me was thinking in the longer perspective. I think Chuck and Sarah made their dreams happen. Selling the Buy More lets them buy their house, start the lower risk computer security company, and have children. Whether Sarah was ready for “practice” that night after the beach, or they took a couple weeks to be comfortable with each other again; it WILL happen, and fairly quickly.

      There’s probably nothing we can say to make you LIKE the finale. But I hope you manage to at least be at peace with it so doesn’t ruin the show’s legacy in your heart and mind.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        I really hope by the way that people don’t have a problem with my English as it isn’t my native language.
        I recovered after season three, so in time, I will have peace with this ending too. I’ve just watched Chuck season one again and tonight it’s time for season two. I still like all those episodes, so the show’s legacy was never in peril to begin with. Season three is in safe place called “the black box” and will never leave that place ever again! So far I really like season four and I’ve watched the episodes till Chuck vs the muuurder. I’m still crazy about Chuck and Sarah, but I don’t think that I will ever watch another show by Fedak or Schwartz again.

      • atcDave says:

        That’s all great NOM! I’ll also be hesitant about another Schwedak production, but I won’t rule it out entirely. If they come up with a really intriguing idea, or partner with Zach or Yvonne again I might give them a chance. But yeah, I will be very careful about that. Their style manages to be both perfect and horrible for me at the same time! Talk about mixed feelings….

  36. atcDave says:

    I just got to do a complete re-watch of both parts of the finale tonight; first time since it first ran.

    I do feel better this time through. Especially the ending is more clearly up. For starters, I think she was more or less wanting to be with Chuck as early as the Castle scene and I thought she was even hoping he’d stop her before she left. But I really like several cues from Sarah that she wants her life back with Chuck; right from “tell me our story.” Chuck had early wanted to do this and she put him off due to the mission. So right off, she’s making time for him now, its almost an invitation.
    But the huge thing is her last line; Chuck has just told her Morgan’s theory. And she responds with a decisive (and weepy!) “kiss me.” Wow, that really is a great moment. I think there’s no doubt what she’s ready to reclaim her life. And what I really like is the feeling it doesn’t matter to her at that point whether the kiss works or not. I mean sure, she wants her memories back; but I think she’s completely fallen in love all over, and that’s real whether she ever remembers a thing or not. And since we’ve seen memories trickling back anyway, I think all is well from that moment on.
    By the way, even the song struck me as more positive this time. More like it was the story of what they’d been through, but they’ve made it. Journey complete.

    • atcDave says:

      Oh, and Jeffster! Oh my! That scene is sooo funny. easily the funniest part of an otherwise dramatic finale.

    • thinkling says:

      Glad you feel so much better, Dave. I had thought at one time about your alternate take on R&R … much better

      I’ve also come to see Sarah’s Chuck, tell me our story as that being the moment she decides to be part of the story again, not just an observer of it.

      • Paul says:

        Yup, I took that as her turning point as well. It was her taking the leap of faith and trusting Chuck. Chuck had given her her freedom. She could have walked away at that point and never looked back, and Chuck would have let her. She didn’t. She chose to stay and try again with him, whether it was getting her memories back or starting fresh.

    • joe says:

      You put to words almost exactly what I was feeling during my re-watch, Dave. Heh – Jeffster too. 😉

      Yeah, it’s clear to me that Sarah’s at least a good part of the way back to falling in love by the end. I’m pretty sure that, unlike the first time around, she’s not going to resist and fight it this time. Why would she? All the reasons that were valid before are gone.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah no doubt Joe. It won’t be nearly so “complicated” this time. But as I said, I think the memories are coming back fast anyway, so I envision a maximum of a couple of awkward days before they’re both ready to start on those dreams we’ve heard so much about all season.

        Also, I now have a very amusing scene in my mind. Chuck and Sarah sneak back home after the beach, needing privacy for obvious reasons. Ellie and Morgan decide to check in on Chuck first thing the morning (like at the start of 5.13); hilarity and a loud EllieSquee ensue…

      • thinkling says:

        Funny Dave. I had exactly the same idea. I had them checking on him at night, which which could be anything from embarrassing to sweet.

        Or Ellie could have pancakes ready for Chuck the next morning. When they both walk out, we get a call back to Lethal Weapon

        Or Ellie could talk to Chuck through the bathroom door, and Sarah could walk out in a towel.

        Lots of fun scenarios to play with.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, lot’s of great possibilities.

      • Wilf says:

        I think these posts underline the point for me. It’s meant to be fun. It wasn’t. Not this time. For me.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Wilf, that remains one of my big beefs. The most fun series ever ended with a very dark and painful finale. I feel strongly it ended on an up note, but the episode itself was too dark. It will never make my favorites list.

    • Paul says:

      The song had always struck me as hopeful. Yes “Rivers and Roads” is about family and friends being far away, and how sad that can be, but the gist of the song is finding your way back to them via “rivers and roads”. Perfect considering that even with Team and Family B going their seperate ways, they will always come back together again in the future because they ARE family.

      • thinkling says:

        Good point, Paul. I was so fixated on Chuck and Sarah, I forgot how appropriate it was for all the goodbye’s we just saw. So, Chuck and Sarah have found their way back to each other, never to part again. They will be the home that the others will always wind their way back to for visits and holidays.

        I see Cabanski ending up back in Burbank anyway, in the near future … Thanksgiving at the latest. Verbanski Corp will be the muscle for CI. And even Cabanski will settle into less dangerous missions over time.

  37. joe says:

    Zac put this up a few hours ago. I think it’s good advice.

  38. Yayness says:

    David,

    Thank you for stating everything I’ve felt about this show, including all of the praise and criticisms (only BETTER). So glad there are other people out there who understand.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m really pleased if it helped you Yayness. I still have some conflicted feelings about what we saw, but I am confident Chuck and Sarah are now living their happily ever after!

      • Kerowyn says:

        It really has helped because you articulated my feelings on the subject so well.

        It’s been a few weeks since I first watched the episodes, and I can honestly say it is more enjoyable on rewatch. That said, I don’t think I can ever reconcile myself with the ending. To elaborate on what you wrote: I missed seeing Sarah, and the finality of it being the last episode ever made it suck all the more. I don’t have an issue with the amnesia so much as the rushed feeling of it all. It really should have been at least a five or six episode arc in my opinion. That way, we get to see kick ass Sarah, Sarah getting her memories slowly, and Sarah coming back.

        Beyond my issues with the ending, it just felt like they crammed an entire season into three episodes. From a writing standpoint, the lack of proper pacing just killed me. Also in addition to what you’ve already listed, my other issues are: (1) The intersect was a total McGuffin. (2) Chuck taking the intersect to save Beckman was like a giant step back. They spent how many seasons developing Chuck as a person who didn’t need that crutch?

        Whew. Okay, that was a little long. All I wanted to do was say I agreed. Um….yeah. Also thanks! (deep breath)

      • atcDave says:

        I’ll have to watch again, but if I remember correctly, Beckman MAY not know Chuck downloaded the Intersect again. I like to imagine that in the end, it’s just Chuck and Sarah’s secret.

      • You’re right, Dave. I originally assumed everyone knows. However, after a discussion here, I realized that is not the case. It is very likely that Casey knows because he was next to Chuck and looking at him when he flashed and said ‘It’s been a while since I’ve done that’. Casey knows what a flash looks like.

        Everyone else knowledge is ambiguous. Beckman was looking at the stage at the time, so she doesn’t necessarily know. If she knew, she probably would not have given up so easily in Castle. Ellie and Beckman would have asked about the glasses (for different reasons), but Chuck and Sarah could have said Quinn downloaded before Sarah shot him. Chuck would probably tell Ellie and Morgan, but we don’t see that.

        Maybe more of an explanation is in the extra 8 minutes.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, Jeff. I remember that sudden realization that really, as far as what happened on screen, only Chuck and Sarah and Casey knew. So, the secret is safe. When or if Chuck tells his family is up to them.

        If GB asked, I think it would be pretty cool for Sarah to glance at Chuck and then say that Quinn downloaded it and she shot him before he could shoot them. It would be a nice touch for Sarah to step in and save Chuck from having to lie to Beckman.

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

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