Choices

I’ll tell you something about me: I’ve never been in love. At least not the once in a lifetime, you’re forever changed kind of love. I’ve had relationships, but none with that. And it’s because I believe I’ve never chosen to be. I’ve yet to really open myself up to be open to love of any form. I’m not ready yet. Now I’m sure some have felt the kind of love that blindsides you (one you didn’t feel you had a choice but to follow through), but I’ve never had that either…and I truly believe somewhere in there is a choice, if for just to embrace it or deny it.

Now this full disclosure isn’t meant to make you feel bad for me, or any other emotion relevant to the matter, but to illustrate that I believe, even in love there are choices. For me the choice starts with wanting to be in love, to opening myself up to be vulnerable to someone else, to letting love in. For “Chuck,” thereby Chuck and Sarah, that choice is and has always been what to do about it. Do they, choose love? Fight for it? Or set it aside? From the very beginning, and up to the very end that choice is paramount.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

Sarah: “Do you, ever want to have a normal life, have a family? Children?”
Casey: “The choices we made to something bigger than ourselves is the right choice. Hard as that is for you to remember sometimes.”

"Lisa. My middle name is Lisa."

That was Crown Vic, a long, long, long time ago. Back then, Sarah was just a day (or week) removed from staying for the “job.” A week removed from not running off with Bryce as to no longer face what she feels for Chuck. I thought then, and I do to this day that in Crown Vic, and in all of season 1, Sarah didn’t choose Bryce, and she didn’t choose Chuck. She couldn’t. So instead she reverted to what is essentially the non-choice, what she knows: her job. She had all these feelings, which the alarm clock felt the brunt off, but she didn’t yet know the extent of them, or what she could possibly do about it. And I’d argue, she also didn’t know if she even wanted to do something about them, just that they were there. Maybe they’ve been there since the beginning, who knows. But Sarah of season 1, wasn’t ready. She wasn’t ready to acknowledge feelings, and she wasn’t ready to open herself up to him, so she didn’t. Even in her most vulnerable moment, when he pleaded simply to get to know her, she couldn’t bring herself to open herself up for him. She couldn’t bring herself to tell him, “Lisa, my middle name is Lisa,” she had to whisper it to herself, as if it were something wanting to burst free but couldn’t. Not yet.

Fast forward to season 2, and the now infamous log (granted the log didn’t come into our collective consciousness until season 5 but for the sake of this illustration, I’m including it in this (season 2) timeline.)…

"I don't know what to do about it."

Sarah: “Day 564. Things are calm for once, no mission, nothing really to report. Except, I still find myself sitting here, talking to myself because…because I love him. I love Chuck Bartowski and I don’t know what to do about it.

Somewhere in between not making a choice in Crown Vic, almost shooting Longshore in Marlin, going on their second first date, going with Chuck to her high school reunion, shooting Mauser to save Chuck and his family, Jack Burton, Jill, Suburbs and the 49-B (wow that was a mouthful), Sarah made a choice. No, not “what to do about it,” but a choice to acknowledge what she’s long since felt for Chuck. “I love Chuck Bartowski.” Sarah, of the “never good at this, saying your feelings part (Nemesis)” Walker just acknowledged in a video message what she feels. If pressed, I would point to that moment in Break Up when Chuck “broke up” with her–and her facial expression of shock, awe, and devastation–to be that moment when she made that choice. Caught in between Ellie and Devon, she glances back at Chuck who looks at her with his heart in his eyes, gulps and she looks back. She looks back at him with an intense look that conveys a semblance of shock, awe, love and an epiphany that she didn’t quite know what to do with. But there can be arguments made for every single episode from season 2 to be that moment. Per Jeff, the timeline of the log seems to indicate post 49-B’s Broken Heart, that works just as well as any, especially being titled broken “heart.” Nevertheless, the choice has gone from accepting what she feels, to not knowing what to do about it. More, wanting to do something about it.

"Make a wish, Chuck. It's yours."

In season 2 as in 1, though Sarah had her own set of choices to make, it was always Chuck that acted, it was always Chuck who made his choices and she’s always sort of just gone along with it. He broke up with her in Truth, he told her they couldn’t ever have a future together in Break Up, and when faced with his past, he turned to Jill who was familiar, easier in some ways for his heart, and didn’t entail as much risk as Sarah. All of this because Chuck never really saw himself with her, he knew she felt something, he even dreamed of them together but he didn’t believe. In some ways this is the same situation he found himself in, in Phase Three when he wouldn’t and couldn’t ask Sarah to marry him because she’s a big fish, and he’s…well he’s a nerd without a supercomputer in his brain. In all of these, and ones before, Sarah was Chuck’s for the taking but he never really claimed her. That is until Colonel.

Chuck made a choice long ago to fight for her, but there was that pesky intersect to get past first.

"Live the life that I want, with the girl that I love..."

Chuck: “I am going to get this thing out of my head, and I will live the life that I want with the girl that I love.”

There can be no doubt as to whom he was referring to in that moment, and she had no doubt either if that look and that shake she had to give herself after his speech was any indication.

In any case, Chuck, sans intersect (even before that, on the run for his father) claimed the girl in Colonel. Sarah made her own choice in Colonel, not the “I don’t know what to do about it” choice per say, but it was her choice not to be separated from him. A choice to be the person he believed her to be, and to fight for what he wanted even at risk to herself and her freedom.

"One mission at a time (heh heh)"

Chuck: “Why are you doing this…why are you here? Risking everything you’ve worked so hard for?”
Sarah: “Because after everything you’ve done for this country, you deserve to find your father. To get the intersect out of your head and to have a chance at a normal life.”
Chuck: “Thank you.”
Sarah: “You don’t have to thank me, it’s my job to protect you.”
Chuck: “What about when it’s not your job? What happens to us then?”
Sarah: “One mission at a time Chuck.”

You’ll notice when pressed, she still wouldn’t commit to a future. “One mission at a time,” she says. Why? Because though her feelings are cemented, the future is still uncertain. That pesky, “I don’t know what to do about it,” remains a roadblock.

So we enter Ring (pt 1) and Sarah leaving to join a team with Bryce. As in Crown Vic, when faced with a decision about her future, the job seems to be her fallback. There needn’t be hurt, vulnerability, heartbreak and risk taken when choosing the job; she can be who she’s always been. But staying? Being with Chuck, in that “normal” life he dreams of and talks so much about? That’s scary. So she told him, “I’m leaving.” And though she breaks his heart, hers is broken just as much. Until the dance, “Chuck… I don’t want to save the world, I want…”

"I want more"

Stephen Bartowski, shipper-block the world over. What was she going to say? Was she going to tell him, “I want to be with you?” “I want to live a normal life with you?” Well in essence we got our answer in Pink Slip:

Sarah: “We could run. Together. You and me. We go now and we never look back.”
Chuck: “Are you serious?”
Sarah: “I have some money saved up, I’d have to get us some new identities, create an escape route. For now go to the training facility in Prague, meet me at train station in 3 weeks time at 7 o’clock and we can figure out the rest later.”
Chuck: “What are you saying?”
Sarah: “I’m saying I want to be a real person again, with you. This is what you want right? I mean this is it, Chuck. Will you run away with me?”
Chuck: “Yeah.”

Unfortunately for us, and unfortunately for Sarah, the world intervened. When Chuck made the choice to download the intersect in Ring, he essentially made the choice to save the world, over Sarah. Now I’m not going to get into whether that’s a choice he makes time and again, but in some ways that’s no different than him choosing to download the intersect in Goodbye to defuse the bomb, over using it to return Sarah’s memories. The point is, he chose the world. Chuck is a hero, he’s not a traditional hero but he’s a hero and he will always choose to save others over what he himself desires. It goes back to what was in seasons past… although Sarah has her own set of choices, in the end the choice that matters is always Chuck’s. In essence, Sarah is and has been reactive instead of proactive. And in this one, though Chuck claimed her in Colonel, he didn’t choose her or them when it was all said and done. So she’s had to react.

"Don't answer now, I don't want to have to convince you."

Chuck: “Look you were right in Prague. You and I–we’re perfect for each other, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, away from everyone else and away from this spy life.”

Chuck acknowledged before that, that he made the wrong choice. He should have chosen her, chosen to be with her and he, in his own way in American Hero, was trying to fix that. He was trying to fight for her, for them. In this, just like in others, Sarah was his for the taking. She may have needed convincing but for her there wasn’t really a choice. Not really. So she packs, with the photo of the two of them on the side table, draw your own conclusions. Personally I believe that she was going with Chuck even before Casey intervened.

In Honeymooners, “I don’t know what to do about it,” came into play all over again. Though their commitment to each other is unshakeable, the future and what it entails is not. Do they continue to be spies, or do they run away together like they originally intended? And in Role Models, can she really see herself living a settled, uncomplicated, moving-in-with-her-nerd-boyfriend-life…uncharted territory if there ever was one? So it’s only right that her fears causes her to regress momentarily. “Why would we do that,” indeed. It seemed for a time, that “one day at a time” is returning. But bumps and volleys aside, Chuck and Sarah made a choice together, to be together,

"I think I've found the one."

Chuck: “no matter where we go, or what we do”
Sarah: “As long as we’re together.”

Even when Chuck proposed, it was already a given, “when I asked you to marry me, you didn’t even have to say yes because we both knew-we both knew that we would spend the rest of our lives together.” From then on Chuck and Sarah got married and what was his choice or her choice, became their choice. Until Sarah lost her memories.

You’ll notice that I’ve emphasized the number of times that the choice to be together, the choice to do something about their love, has always fallen into Chuck’s hands. Well, no more.

More and more I’m convinced that we (including myself) are looking at the last scene, the last episode incorrectly. It was and is never about her getting her memories back (as stated, that’s partly a given with the objective facts shown to us scattered throughout the episode). It’s not even about when she gets it, or if she gets it back at all, it’s about love. It’s about choosing love, trusting love and embracing love. It’s about, “what to do about it.”

Sarah made, in the only time it mattered, her choice. She chose Chuck. Though in years past, Chuck’s choices were the emphasis, in this there can be none better, none other than hers, her choice. She wasn’t reactive in this one, finally; she was proactive. She decided their fate. She chose to fall in love again with him, she chose to stick around Burbank, she chose to hear their story. She chose love.

"Chuck, tell me our story."

“Chuck, tell me our story,” was her moment. Her making the decision she couldn’t make in Colonel with “one day at a time.” Her deciding to embrace what she herself turned down not long ago in the eerily familiar Mexican restaurant. It was her embracing an uncertain, scary and unimagined future that she’s been living for the past 5 years…something she never, ever imagined before Chuck. And if that wasn’t enough, she chose his kiss.

Sarah: “One magical kiss? (chuckles)”
Chuck: “I know…it’s…”
Sarah: “Chuck, kiss me.”

Look at her face, feel the yearning. Feel the hope, the dreams, the magic. It’s not about whether she regains her memories, or whether the life and dreams they have are regained or gone forever. It’s about love. It’s about choices. It’s about the choice she made to embrace love and do something about it. For now and forever.

Rivers 'til I reach you.

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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
This entry was posted in Analysis, Inside Casey, Inside Sarah, Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5. Bookmark the permalink.

236 Responses to Choices

  1. Aerox says:

    It took me a week and three rewatches of the finale after the air date, but I reached this exact conclusion. It’s been Sarah who wants it. Chuck wants it, sure, but she wants it more at that point. I’ll just chalk this up to great minds and their uncanny ability to think alike 😛

  2. joe says:

    You’re absolutely right, Faith. Somewhere along the line, “Chuck’s story” became “and Sarah’s story” and then “Their story.” And I, for one, missed it. You didn’t.

    There’s a certain amount of maturity needed to realize that love is a choice we make. Most starry-eyes adolescents going through the first joys and heartbreaks of what they think is love don’t realize that. They almost always say that you can’t choose who you fall in love with (and I certainly believed that too).

    But love is indeed a conscious choice and commitment that you can only grow into, I think now. There was a thread earlier about how S1 Sarah differs from S5 Sarah. Certainly, this is the most important way. She’s making a choice.

    • thinkling says:

      Interesting point, Joe. I think Sarah has made choices, small ones, all along that kept her in Chuck’s orbit and certainly chose to protect him, at cost to herself. That’s not the same, I know. She was pro-active when it came to protecting him and doing things for him, but not when it came to giving her heart Faith, reactive is a good word. Reactive is still a choice, of sorts, though. Like American Hero and Other Guy, she did choose, but it was a response to Chuck.

      In S4, even with them together, Chuck is still taking the lead on a lot of things. Sarah is all in, totally on board, but still more in response mode. I don’t mean she has any doubts at all, but Chuck is still leading.

      In S5 that begins to change, and Sarah proactively chooses things, like not going back to the CIA, and baby names, quitting spying, and starting a spied-up tech firm. I loved that. Now, I don’t know how much of that growth affects the beach, if any, but it is interesting how much more decisive and pro-active Sarah is in S5. I don’t think this story would’ve had the same impact at any other time, though.

  3. atcDave says:

    That was all really well put Faith. A very favorite old song by Don Francisco is called “Love is not a Feeling (it’s an act of your a will)”. Very true, and somewhat counter-cultural words. Certainly infatuation and lust are primarily feelings; but love is a decision and a commitment.
    There is no doubt Chuck also demonstrated that sort of choice all through the two part finale; going to any extreme, even taking a bullet and letting go of the woman he loves to save her. So in the end, Sarah does make an awesome decision to accept and return that love. Her last line is a wonderful moment; we know this sort of decision was never easy for Sarah, especially when she can’t even remember a lot of the process that brought her to that willingness in the first place. But in the specific context of Chuck telling her what that kiss would mean (she wants her life back!) she wastes little time in telling Chuck what to do! At that moment, Sarah seems pretty sure of her choice.

    • Paul says:

      I think the most important choice Chuck made was the decision to give Sarah her freedom. He didn’t force expectations on her. He gave her the room to she needed to find in herself what she wanted. And in the end, she wanted him.

  4. jason says:

    Faith – that was great writing. The first time Sarah (‘pro-actively’ is the word you used I think) picks Chuck, I’ll have to think about that. Here is why. I thought the final scene was a call back to the hotel in Paris (as well as the first ep obviously), when she woke up from the drugging in Paris, and essentially said the same line, cutting his fumbling ways off with a ‘kiss me’. At that point in s3, more than likely, Chuck and Sarah had not been intimate, and at least to me, it felt like Sarah’s choice to move forward in a very significant way. I think those words on the beach this time and the scene setting were specifically picked to let us know Sarah again was moving forward again, to choose as you so wisely described. Let face it, once she makes up her mind, she does not waste much time – does she? The last time she spoke those words, we had a great run of happy times for Chuck and Sarah, I ‘choose’ to think the same is going on right now for them, somewhere, as we speak, I mean write!

    • Faith says:

      Jason, I truly and firmly believe Honeymooners pt 2 is right around the corner from this. I “choose” to believe that, as you do 😉

  5. thinkling says:

    Great article, Faith. I love the beach scene more and more. I certainly believe love is a choice and echo what Dave and Joe said about it being a decision and commitment.

    I agree that the main thing was love and making that choice. Her love for Chuck was still there and she felt its effects immediately and reconnected with it over the course of the episodes. She tried to default to the job earlier at the fountain and in Castle. It was reminiscent of the Crown Vic Sarah. Even though she couldn’t admit her feelings or choose Chuck, she still couldn’t leave him. By the time she left Castle to go find herself, she knew she loved Chuck, but she didn’t know what to do about it.

    You compare the beach to Colonel, and you’re right that the beach was not a one-mission-at-a-time decision, It was all or nothing time. It was a beautiful commitment. In some ways it was even more beautiful and powerful that she embraced the love and made the commitment before her memories returned (which as you said is pretty much a given, as is their dream, IMO).

    I keep thinking of Quinn’s taunt in the Vail Buymore, “Take a good look at your wife. You think you get that without the Intersect?” Yes. Without the Intersect, without Sarah’s memories. It’s the love, and Sarah’s choice before she remembered everything was very powerful.

    • Paul says:

      That’s the irony that Quinn and everyone else in the spy world didnt’ understand (but his friends did): being a superspy wasn’t what won Sarah’s heart. It was being a regular dude who truely cared for people.

      • thinkling says:

        Yes, that –absolutely! …and also the guy who really saw her and accepted her and loved her. Watch Sarah’s face as Chuck begins to tell their story, the moment he says, “… and he fell in love.” She’s feeling his penetrating love for her for the first time … again, and it has the same effect on her that it did every time (Cougars, Best Friend, American Hero … their vows). She is coming in from the cold and stepping back into a life where she is loved unconditionally. I think she is amazed (relieved, blindsided, I don’t know) at how good and right it feels and how easy it was after such a struggle.

  6. uplink2 says:

    Beautifully written Faith. I love this look at things. What I particularly love about it is you really focus on Sarah and her story, her choices and her growth. That appeals to be because for me like so many others that is where my unbridled love for this show is focused. The passion I feel for the show and these characters always centers on her. I can easily understand why Yvonne was so sad at the end of filming and I think a lot of it was because she was not only saying goodbye to her friends and co-workers alike but she was saying goodbye to Sarah as well.

    So much of what you write about here is certainly great writing but its Yvonne that made us feel it and live it with her. She has lived with Sarah inside her for 1/6th of her life. How could she not be saddened by having to say goodbye to her. Her relationship with her was much more personal than any of us can eve imagine. I’m sure the same could be said for Zac. But the emotion we see on that beach was so real to us because it was so real for her, for them both. Sarah chose to embrace love., to feel love and to be open to love. She held their future in her hands and she chose to hold on to it she chose to Let Love Be. (Great song BTW I highly recommend it Chuck and Sarah)

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      I may have personally identified with Chuck, but his “becoming a man story” was never ( and I do mean like right from the start of the series never) as compelling to me as Sarah regaining her “humanity”.

  7. FlamesofDestiny says:

    Appropos of nothing and everything. Seems like Shaw’s car of choice, the Tesla Roadster, is as much of a brick as he is…
    http://jalopnik.com/5887265/tesla-motors-devastating-design-problem

    • I’m imagining “Rivers and Roads” with new lyrics:

      a year from now you’ll all be gone
      you all will move far away
      and you’re going to better places
      but i’ll still be in prison to stay

      nothing is as it has been
      and i’m stuck by myself in hell
      and i guess it’s just as well
      that i’m stuck by myself in hell

      been talking bout the way things change
      and none can hear me in my isolated state
      and i do not know what to make of this
      with no one to relate
      so if you don’t know what to make of this
      then we will not relate

      bricks and boards
      bricks and boards
      bricks ’cause i’ll never reach you.

  8. joe says:

    Hum! Not apropos of bricks, but of the song, I heard it again today for about the 4th time since the show ended. I guess the first time, I thought it was Chuck’s song to sing, with lyrics about friends moving away and family in another state. But today I realized that it’s Sarah’s song even more.

    nothing is as it has been
    and i miss your face like hell
    and i guess it’s just as well

    But that changes things a bit. It’s not Chuck anymore who’s struggling to get to Sarah. He’s already there and has no distance to travel.

    rivers and roads
    rivers and roads
    rivers ’til i reach you

    Now it’s Sarah traveling a distance, rivers and roads, to reach Chuck.

    That song, which I took to be so sad the first time, is now very encouraging. Sarah’s making the effort.

    • Faith says:

      Layers, Joe. It is to me what makes Chuck unique. Especially apparent in this.

    • Paul says:

      That song never struck me as sad. It always struck me as hopeful. Yes it’s sad to be away from family and friends, but you are always looking to reconnect with them. The hope you will see them again in the future. As they say, you never say good-bye, but I’ll see you later.

    • lappers84 says:

      I thought that exact same thing for a while now – definitely seems fitting for the scene. 🙂

  9. Great write-up, Faith. Choice was always big in Chuck. Switching Sarah’s choices in Nemesis/Crown Vic and American Hero is one of the most common themes in angsty AU fanfic.

    A few days ago, there was an in depth discussion of Sarah’s sighs and the “Chuck, tell me our story” editing. I thought it was a cut in a slightly off way, but two key components of that moment demonstrated her choice:
    – the silent pause at the end of the Chuck and Sarah theme
    – Sarah’s voice change from tentative, cautious and unsure to a rather frank “Tell me our story.”
    They showed she was committed.

    • thinkling says:

      I agree with that, Jeff. Those things show she had decided … no going back. The other tell was her smile after she said it. The smile says she trusts him, she’s received what he’s been offering all along, and that she’s in. When she asks him (tells him) to kiss her, the smile holds even more desire. Very nice.

    • Paul says:

      Yup. I tend to agree with Faith on her analysis. For me, I always said it didn’t really matter if she got her memories back or not. It was more important that she wanted to take a leap of faith, to trust him and be with him again. What I saw in that final scene was Sarah making a decision (that big sigh she let out after Chuck asked her to trust him) to me was when she made her choice. And her choice was Chuck. It is immaterial whether she remembers everything or they start anew. What is important is that they are together.

      • thinkling says:

        You know I agree with that in heart and theory. That’s why I say it’s more beautiful that she chose before she remembered. It is a much more powerful testament to their love, deeply moving, and, at the end of the day, more satisfying. However, I still wouldn’t go so far as to say that it would be immaterial if she were to really remember nothing. That would still be tragic.

      • atcDave says:

        Sarah’s choice is the most important thing, but those memories matter a lot too. To me its a difference as to if the entire series matters or not; if she can’t remember then the show doesn’t matter. But its not a terribly pressing issue since I believe the memories did come back quite quickly.

  10. Paul says:

    BTW, what Sarah was going to say before Stephen cut her off (via lip reading and tounge movement) in “vs The Ring” was “…stay”.

  11. jason says:

    I casually watch Fringe, it is getting so twisted and intertwined, I have to start rewatching and / or reading some spoilers and reviews, just to be able to watch live and understand some of it. I think their showrunner may have taken a shot at Chuck, something along the lines we are fans of tv, we won’t have our characters wake up at the end and say it was all a dream. Now it wasn’t a dream for Chuck and Sarah, but she did forget everything, and was not clearly remembering things as the credits rolled, even though many of us imagine she was.

    I don’t like that Sarah was destroyed by Fedak as a consequence of her being a spy yet again as the final big story, but I understand why he might have done that, it is the only way he has written final arcs for quite some time now. Many call him brave for that style, I think it would be far braver to have tried something else that would have hurt some other character and had Chuck and Sarah solve the problem together, but that is my idea to justify a POV as a fan as much as anything, who knows what is brave or not really?

    I thought for how joyless the pair of episodes were, Chuck and Sarah deserved a clear, joyful, tangible payoff after Sarah made her CHOICE. It was stunningly cold hearted to do a subtle, bittersweet, dramatic payoff to the fan base after 91 episodes of angst driven writing.

    • BigKev67 says:

      Jason,
      I agree with the crux of your conclusion, if not some of the sentiments. I don’t think it was cold-hearted of Fedak and the writers, I really don’t. But I do think that a show which is fundamentally light-hearted, optimistic and fun, with a slice of drama, should serve up a light-hearted, optimistic and fun final payoff, after fully resolving that drama. That just makes intuitive sense to me. I admit that’s an expectation on my part that informs how I view the finale, and it’s a writer’s prerogative to write their ending rather than mine. Frea O’Scanlin (a wonderful Chuck fanfic writer) has the view that the writer’s job is to write something that convinces me that their idea is better than my expectation. If that’s the acid test, then this ending failed for me.

      • atcDave says:

        I do understand much of Jason’s sentiment, although I think my final judgement is closer to Kev’s. To me, the highest obligation for a professional writer (as opposed to a hobbyist) is to please their audience. So writing a show a certain way for most of two seasons then changing it up for the finale strikes me as a foolish risk. Because presumably most of your audience likes what you’ve been doing, so by radically changing tone and outcome there’s a very high probability the established audience won’t like the result.
        Now I do get a little of the counter position, that is doing something unexpected and awing the audience with your genius. But I wasn’t awed by genius, I was mostly disappointed. I do appreciate it more in hindsight, and I’m liking some of the nuance of it more with time. But I still don’t consider it an ideal situation, if I’m not impressed on initial viewing its a VERY hard perception to shake. And Chuck is the ONLY show in recent memory I would have even made the effort to have a second impression of.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        I’ve read in spots that some say that TPTB, in order to be ambiguous, toned down the happy ending.

        But the reverse is also true. They toned down the ending to reduce the tragedy of it.

        Yes, it’s a glass is half empty POV, but to say that the finale was “half full” is a stretch. The finale, as presented, showed a completely empty glass with maybe a few drop starting to fill it. 

        Some see the video log scene and flashbacks as Sarah starting to recover her memories. Some (read “I”) also see it as Sarah seeing what’s she’s loss. 

        The original watching and the feeling it left me with is all I have, because I have no desire the work so hard to gleam a morsel of happiness from what I see as a total and complete reset.

        This likely has to do with my reasons for watching the show in the first place. Unlike most, the main / only reason I watched Chuck is to watch Sarah’s journey in rediscovering her “humanity” (preferably with Chuck, which kinda happened).

        I’m sorry but the showrunner’s “Chuck journey into manhood” story was a distant second.

        This is why I think the finale fails for me. In there efforts to show a more “grown up / mature Chuck on the beach, they totally forgot about the character I care about. They took her away. 

        Apparently that makes me a bad person incapable of seeing artistry / poetry or someone who watched the wrong show because the show is called “Chuck”. 

        And before someone starts saying “oh but TPTB said it was a happy ending”, I really don’t care what they said. These are also the guys that said, “emotional and traumatic, but in a good way”. In both cases I made up my own mind based on MY intrepretation (not their’s) of what was presented.

      • Faith says:

        It doesn’t make you a bad person, everyones entitled to their opinion after all. It just creates a situation in which those of us that liked it are frustrated because all the negatives and none of the positives are repeated ad naseum based on personal expectations and not what is or ever was. The bottom-line is, no matter how much I personally want the show to be titled “Sarah” or “Chuck and Sarah,” it isn’t. Even though I’ve expanded above how things have changed in that regard. Frankly it’s hard to read how Chuck is crap, how the ending is crap, how this whole thing ruined 5 years of investment when for some that is not the case at all. And yet the mentality seems to be that the negative viewpoints are drowned out, IMO they’re loud and I’m fine with that. To a point. Those of us that liked it, are we not allowed to treasure the memories? Enjoy what it is that we enjoyed and point it out, without people saying that we’re trying to convince ourselves or others? It seemed only one way and one thinking is oft allowed, “this sucks.” Well I beg to differ, though I doubt that’s allowed.

      • The show might have been called “Chuck”, but the theme song tells you what the show was really about. The entire song is a description of Sarah, from Chuck’s point of view. 🙂

        Keep the faith, Faith!

      • atcDave says:

        Faith we’re seeing strong intolerance from both sides. Those who loved it can’t accept that others hated it and vice versa. And I’m firmly in the middle and annoyed by both extremes. This finale was as divisive as S3. Just like Morgansect, which I loved and you hated BTW. And I spent months frustrated with those who couldn’t see how wonderful those first three episodes were. I guess we can never convince someone their emotional response was “wrong.”

      • Faith says:

        I can accept those that hated, I’m just tired of getting it drummed on a constant basis. And that was exactly my point, there is no attempt at convincing here, just a statement of one’s own feelings because we don’t all think everything sucks, or that it failed. Argh, I’m done. This is why I should always have coffee before reading…anything.

      • jason says:

        My opinion on this sort of thing is when a significant number disliked an arc, an ep, etc, and have reasonable logic why, the show failed. For example, even though I liked the Agent X & I liked Vivian the villain, those s4 stories failed, because they did not work for a substantial number of fans.

        I think the problem with Chuck is the writing has not been consistent enough in tone or genre, to carry a large portion of the fans along ever since season 2’s success. But usually the show gets by without too many problems, as long as the inconsistency does not cross over the melancholy line.

        In terms of the final scene, I was much like Morgansect in my opinion, although it was unsatisfying, it did not ruin anything, and I did get what was meant, it just was so lacking vs what could have been.

        I did not like the joylessness of the final pair of eps, much like the Santa Suit and most all of the misery arc in season 3. But, for Jeff and all of those who try to support everything the show does, I will grant you all this, had the end scene of the finale paid off the joylessness with some combo of full memory recovery, the house, the kids, Sarah enthusiastically smiling, etc ….. the final two eps would have been a smash hit, top five type eps & best final arc ever ….. that is the tragedy, the finale was set up to succeed, and then it stopped short. To be blunt, the end was kind of like people making love and then one partner decides to quit just b4 the climax, leaving the other very frustrated. In this case, Chris Fedak’s script walked off the beach prematurely, and many fans were left frustrated.

      • atcDave says:

        Colorful metaphor Jason, but I do agree. And it sums up my frustration perfectly.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Message received. Loud and clear.

      • I support everything the show does? I didn’t realize that. Maybe that post I made with the bullet list of what I didn’t like about the finale should be taken down. Ellie and Awesome choosing career over family was at the top of the list.

        Goodbye is the type of show that gets better with multiple viewings, but still is not in my top 10 or 13. It might be top 20, for me, completely because of the Jeffster performance. On the other hand, CvS was great in the first viewing (in a suspenseful way), but it was boring on the third watch. I fast forwarded through most of it. It did have enough humor (the invisibility cloak jokes were funny, but the cloak itself was stupid). The best part was the 10 seconds in which Sarah broke through the Intersect security, but that’s because I like Sarah better than Bryce.

        I recognizes that the ending could have been a little better with a few extra seconds, but I still appreciate what we got. I also don’t see the point of publicly disparaging and demonizing TPTB of any show. But I guess political moderates seem like communists to staunch conservatives and facists to staunch liberals. I still love the show, liked the finale, and even thought Morgansect was funny, so maybe that makes me an extremist to some people.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I know you’re in the middle, and somehow less angry about it than I am…

        I think frustration with TPTB goes back to S3 and I see a couple of specific reasons for it, probably the biggest being many of us thought they had “learned lessons” about their story telling and this audience. The “love letter to fans” seems to rub many of us very wrong too (it felt like something was promised and not delivered).
        But in the end, the single biggest issue to me is just the confirmation that Fedak penned episodes were never among my favorites. I remember as far back as Ring II being disappointed when we saw his name on the writing credits; and by Cliffhanger being just a little down about the realization every finale would be by my least favorite writer on the staff. Although he created a world and characters I will always treasure; I’m less enthused about his management of the over-arching story and specifically how Charah was handled in every single episode he wrote except the Pilot. My frustration with him is not in any way personal; but rather the professional oddity that I may love hiis creation, but its unlikely I will watch another show of his.

      • Faith says:

        This is what I learned: I’m not good without a cup of coffee. I just made things worse, and we were doing so good! #IBlameShaw

      • atcDave says:

        I also blame Shaw Faith!

    • armysfc says:

      jason, kev…it’s no surprise i agree with both of you.

      as for cf being brave i feel it was almost stock for the ending of a show. most shows that know an ending is coming leave something open. a brave ending would have been to actually end it is such a way they left very little to be fanwanked. c/s happy and all good with the hint they would either be working with beckman or still attempted to run the buymore, you get the idea. as much as i felt the ending to Jag was lacking this one was worse. they at least had the relationship part sealed it was the jobs that were in question.

      i have a feeling jeff will jump in so i’ll fire a preemptive strike. his favorite saying to me is “they didn’t say that.” well in the end they never concretely showed or told us all was going to be fine, hinted yes but showed or told nope.

      frea has some good points and i would agree with her to a degree. they don’t have to exceed my expectations as much as meeting them. so i’m with kev on this, it was a fail.

      • atcDave says:

        I can agree with all who called the ending brave; as long as we understand brave is usually also foolish. And that’s pretty much how I see this finale, foolish. Unfortunately, we do see many shows following this model where they think they have to re-invent themselves for a finale, and I find myself staggered by this brave foolishness. Its a model guaranteed to annoy a sizable portion of the audience.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave good points. i’ll go back to something i said before the season aired. some people were calling it a good thing that they had a limited number of episodes so they could write what they wanted. i cautioned back then it could be a bad thing as well because there would be nobody to answer to (fans) because it was over. for the most part the season was well received except the morgansect and close to the end where major riffs occurred in the fans. the ending was proof of that to me. if there was more to come it would have been better received i think but for an ending, not so much.

      • atcDave says:

        I do agree it would have been better with more to follow. And I do want to be careful about making too big a thing of this. The episode was well done and I’m satisfied all is well in the end. It just wasn’t fun or viscerally satisfying to me. So I hate to be too constantly down, its more of a 50/50 thing to me.

      • I feel like I should say something, but since you are self-policing now, there is no need. 🙂

        Instead I’ll focus on JAG (with only a tiny bit of Chuck). In JAG’s last scene…
        Harm: Well, I just got engaged; at least I think I did.
        Bartender: Don’t you think you ought to find out?
        Harm: Kind of why I’m here now.
        […]
        Bartender: Oh, so that makes you the almost fiancé.
        Mac: That’s the part we’re working on.
        Bartender: I don’t see a ring.
        Mac: We’re negotiating that.

        So we don’t know for sure things are going to be ok in JAG either. Plus Mac has a record of broken engagements. Also the previous season ended with the probably-unable-to-have-babies idea that so many people were scared about in Chuck.

        The difference is how the ending compares to the rest of the show. JAG’s finale was much more promising than its 9 seasons of UST. Chuck’s finale was coming off 40+ episodes of them being together. So by comparison, JAG felt better. But actually JAG’s finale was a good clip show combined with a bad case and a rushed, forced, and incomplete resolution.

      • Faith says:

        Jeff I need my own Sarah belly dancing gif. Well the girl version. I’m getting frustrated myself.

      • Faith says:

        Ha. Awesome (literally). Though Zac’s more my type I’ll take it.

        But to be honest my mood probably has more to do with the lakers. *Headdesk*

      • armysfc says:

        Jeff you didn’t get to the end of the jag episode. at the end when creswell gets there (paraphrasing) harm says mac and i decided to get married, creswell welcomes him the the corps, bud and harriet congratulate them and the the coin toss (after they give the speech about who has to quit). at that point they plan to get married. at that point the past doesn’t matter. they told us, which is what you look for, they will be getting married.

      • I’ve never seriously doubted Harm and Mac would get married based on the final scene. But from the perspective of we-didn’t-see-it-so-it-didn’t-happen, there was no ring, no one actually quit, and there was no “I do.” Believing those things happened takes the same belief that certain things worked out in Chuck. I believe both shows had happy endings.

        I think of the endings of JAG and Chuck as very similar. Chuck had uncertainty about Sarah’s memories, but clues were provided throughout the episode. They might not be sufficient for some people, but they were clearly there for those that wanted to see them. JAG had more uncertainty only on the who-quit question. It was literally a 50/50 coin flip. A year earlier, JAG took away 5 years of foreshadowing from the baby pact. Chuck’s finale possibly took away 1 year of red door foreshadowing, but the “door” was never closed on it, and I think the option is still very likely. The full Chuck episode was far superior.

      • atcDave says:

        Not only was the Chuck finale superior, the whole show was superior. And JAG is sort of the poster child for wt/wt continued to an idiotic extreme, while Chuck only carried it out a (slow) beat too long. To me, JAG’s finale was not particularly happy or sad as I’d long ago stopped caring. While Chuck’s finale got a very strongly negative reaction initially, that has moderated some after careful consideration. You are right Jeff that in the end, Chuck actually gave us more information and certainty than JAG did, and perhaps the added bonus that in the end I cared more. Although the caring is certainly a double edged sword, I could never have been so angry about JAG. But I think that strong duality will always be there for me with the Chuck finale; I can appreciate it and even look forward to my re-watches now, but I remain quite grumpy about that initial reaction.

      • joe says:

        But to be honest my mood probably has more to do with the lakers. *Headdesk*

        Oh, kwizurbellyakin, Faith! Just remember – you could be stuck here in DC with the Wizards!

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff, the point i made on JAG i said they decided to get married. that happened. what happpened after that or before that for this talk is unimportant. on chuck they never said she got her memories or feelings back, just hinted at it. at the end it was open, again a fact. so despite all the talk what they hinted at, they never said it, which is an arguement you make all the time to me. when i said morgan didn’t get all his memories back you say, they didn’t say that. so for the ending, they never said she got them back so…

        as for what show was better thats personal choice for the viewer. did Jags ending pay off? not enough by far.

      • I agree that JAG’s ending was not enough of a payoff. The funny thing is on first watch, I thought it was extremely satisfying. The expectations for the show were so low (4%), the end seemed really good. When stepping back and looking at 9 seasons of UST, the end wasn’t nearly enough. Also Mac decided to marry Brumby once. An actual marriage would have been a better payoff considering Mac’s track record.

        Chuck was handicapped by higher expectations built from 40 episodes of Chuck and Sarah being together. Chuck’s bar was higher (JAG was in the junior shipper division). Whether they went under the bar, hit the bar square on, or barely made it over is up to the viewer.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff agreed. no matter how any show ends there will always be some one who wants more.

        JAG was handicapped by JAG San Diego being in the mix when it was written. had it taken place you can bet they would not have gotten married, DJE did not sign a new contract and wouldn’t so CB would have had to go alone.

        chuck was not only handicapped by 40 episodes, they were hampered by what they were putting out during the last season. the house and a possible kid being good examples. like i said before if you asked anyone early in the season if this was the ending they saw coming, i’d guess less than 10% would say they did.

  12. Faith says:

    Piggybacking on what I said up above: when it’s all said and done, what matters is the choice. The love. The two of them.

    Here is Zac Levi’s interpretation of Chuck’s finale. Oh BTW for all those rumors of him not liking it, he says he was on board with it:

    “To me I’ve always interpreted it as absolutely Chuck and Sarah get together. Even if she doesn’t have that miraculous like Morgan said just kiss her and she remembers moment, I believe they’re on their way to falling back in love again. I absolutely believe Chuck and Sarah end up happily ever after. Because that’s the kind of show that it is. It’s not a Debbie Downer.”

    • atcDave says:

      I never doubted Zach was on board with the finale, Yvonne I’m not as sure about.

      But it s nice hearing his positive take on it, which is actually very close to my own. I hope and believe Sarah got her memories back; but even if there remained significant holes, Chuck and Sarah are together and did get their happily ever after.

      • atcDave says:

        BTW, I loathe that he feels the need to say “I believe…”. That is cop out. He is in the position where he should know. A story teller should know the end to their story, and not sharing it is either smug or lazy. Either way it makes me angry.

      • Faith says:

        I’m glad that you’re appreciative of his positive take Dave, and that it’s close to your own. Hope it makes you feel better about all of this.

        To be fair Dave, he says that as to not enforce any one belief on anyone. He stated what he thinks and left it that. You’ll notice he even went as far as to internalize the opposing view, that’s just the kind of person he is.

      • atcDave says:

        Well I do like that both of his options mean they were together. Fedak himself said that wasn’t in doubt. But I’ll never like how they embrace the ambiguity of it. It just totally rubs me wrong.

      • dkd says:

        “BTW, I loathe that he feels the need to say “I believe…”. That is cop out. He is in the position where he should know. A story teller should know the end to their story, and not sharing it is either smug or lazy.”

        Totally disagree. Zac is an actor. When he acts a scene, he needs to be in the character’s head at that moment. He shouldn’t know what is in that character’s future. Since there are no scenes after the final one, neither Zac or his character should know what is going to happen. He does not need that knowledge to play the scene correctly. In fact, actors should not know what is going to happen to the characters.

        What an ending to a story is of the storyteller’s choice. Other than stories that end in the death of the charactors, all character stories end with unknowns and potential for further storytelling. That’s why there are so many sequels.

      • atcDave says:

        Zach is far more than just an actor, we’ve been told he was like an unofficial executive producer and was “on board” with the ending. Not only that, if a later Chuck project ever develops, Zach will be far more important to the franchise than Fedak, who has already talked of “passing the torch” to a later generation of writers. That and we all know how sequels work, whatever gets said between now and then is meaningless once a later project actually gets started.

      • dkd says:

        I have followed Zac’s role in the show as closely as anyone and I can’t think of any instance where he got involved in the writing of the show or dictated the direction of the story.

        Can someone give me an example where he did? Maybe I missed it.

      • Zach was a director, but that is still different than a writer. Directors influence how the story is told, not what story is told.

        Some shows have actors who write episodes. Ben Browder wrote two episodes of Farscape and one of Stargate. Christopher Judge pretty much owned his character in the second half of Stargate, writing four episodes that greatly influenced his character’s arc and some side story arcs for the entire show. None of the actors had that kind of role in Chuck.

    • Rob says:

      Maybe I’m the eternal optimist, but it sounded like his view is that a Chuck movie is a foregone conclusion (at 2:57).

      • atcDave says:

        I have no doubt Zach is an eternal optimist too!

        No matter how optimistic I think there will be some steep hurdles to getting it done, but it sure could be a great thing.

      • dkd says:

        I think you are the eternal optimist. It didn’t sound that way to me at all. It just sounded like he’d love to do it. Duh. Like he wouldn’t.

        But, he’s clearly moving on to other projects, isn’t he?

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah he has a new sitcom coming on FOX. But of course that doesn’t rule out a Chuck “summer project.”. But no doubt, scheduling and financing would likely be the two of the biggest issues in getting such a thing done.

      • dkd says:

        Zac wouldn’t sign for a pilot if there was anything asking to keep his schedule open. Once the pilot is filmed in late March, there is the wait until May to see if it is picked up. If it is, it will go into production in mid to late July.

        A Chuck movie would have to be in pre-production already to be filmed in Zac’s dowtime of April-May-June.

      • atcDave says:

        No Chuck movie is even being considered at this point. If it happens it will be a summer project for all involved; just like most projects by actors who are concurrently involved on TV shows. And obviously that means 2013 at the soonest, probably many years later.

      • dkd says:

        A Chuck movie will never happen unless someone thinks they can make money off of it. If the Season 5 DVD’s sell as poorly as the Season 4 ones did, it’s unlikely anyone will think they can make any money.

    • BigKev67 says:

      It’s a typically gracious interview from Zac and it’s interesting that he acknowledges the disappointment felt by some – but I’m wondering if I’m alone in thinking that he’s missed the point of where the disappointment came from?
      I don’t think there are many out there who seriously doubt that Chuck and Sarah end up together. No doubt there are some – Shep is one, I think – but to my mind there are many more who accept that they end up together but wanted a definitive answer to the memory question, and more payoff on their reconnection. If you notice Matt Mitovich’s question to Zac is actually “does Sarah get her memories back?” and he doesn’t answer that question.

      I’ve settled on my opinion on the ending. I’ve tried to share it honestly and with respect for opposing views. I hope I haven’t contributed to the climate of hostility that some are feeling currently, and I apologise if I have. I’m past the point of emotional engagement on the issue and my academic side is now enjoying throwing around some new questions.
      On that subject, the last remaining perspective for me is Fedak’s. Did he know his ending was going to be so divisive? If he did, what was his thinking? How did the risk of splitting the fanbase stack up against his desire to tell his story the way he wanted? If he’s surprised by the reaction, how does he feel about it? I’m genuinely interested in his response, not because I’m a Fedak-basher, but because I’m interested in how creative decisions are arrived at. Mel at ChuckTV has indicated she’s going to address the issue of his thinking behind the ending, and I’m really intrigued to hear what he says. The interview should drop next week, apparently.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        “… that they end up together but wanted a definitive answer to the memory question, and more payoff on their reconnection.”

        ^^This^^

      • jason says:

        Kev – I too am interested in Fedak’s POV, yet I doubt he really can add much, he has as much as answered the ?. Sarah’s memory is a matter of your own personal interpretation. One of the interviewers after the night asked Fedak and Schwartz that very ? so his wife ‘would be happy’ and the answer was something like if his wife wanted to think Sarah remembered everything, she could.

        I do not understand the ‘hostility’ feeling, those who liked the ep got the darned ep the way they wanted, the showrunner did not steal the show from them. Why not sit back and enjoy yourselves, but don’t expect others to be happy about the ending. I am happy for any blogger that liked the end, I dislike the showrunner for writing such a joyless pair of eps, and THEN refusing to even tell a conclusive ending. But what really irks me is the joy the showrunner expounds when discussing his ending, how proud he is that he ruined the show for so many. That is where the hostility is, but if any viewer liked it, I am honestly happy for them.

      • BigKev67 says:

        @Jason,
        We’re in synch about the ending but I just don’t think Fedak is proud because he “ruined” the show. I don’t agree with that at all. The logic that any showrunner would deliberately antagonise their fans makes no sense to me. It never has, and I stand by that in full recognition of the things Fedak has done over 5 years that I don’t agree with. I know you and others think he has been willfully arrogant at times. I don’t share that view. I think he’s been mistaken – and the ending is as annoyed with him as i got – but I still think his decisions were honest ones.
        But clearly he picked a risky ending – and he did that having run a largely risk-averse show for the last two years. I’m not expecting him to go back on his desire for ambiguity – he’s made it clear that was the intent – but I’m interested to hear what factors played into that decision, where other (easier? Less controversial?) ones were available. Or alternately – is he genuinely surprised that so many people don’t get it? I’m not going to judge whatever answer he gives – I’m just interested to hear his thinking.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t believe for a second that Fedak set out to antagonize anyone: but I do believe there is something in the artistic mind-set that assumes ambiguous is “good” because everyone gets their own end. But I think they’re completely wrong. Most of us prefer a more definitive ending, probably for similar reasons to why we aren’t story tellers in the first place; we want to experience the story not have to write our own. I also would guess that where CF is thinking “everyone can choose their own ending” he doesn’t get that many of us would actually prefer the assurance that all is well, or at least know what specific challenges remain (e.g. Sarah mostly remembers and reconnects with Chuck quickly, but it will be months before she’s comfortable with other friends…); and that those who didn’t get that assurance are not pleased at getting any ending, but POed that the story stopped short of providing answers.

        My guess is, he would have done things a little different if he had foreseen this reaction, but I bet he’ll never admit to it now. In fact I’m certain, if he has any inclination to make amends we will see some evidence of it in the DVD sets; there will be some addition or material that answers some of our questions. At least they’ve shown a willingness to answer the question that Chuck and Sarah are together (minor snafu that some were uncertain) and expect that to be made clear somewhere on the discs. But I bet they stay reticent about the memories returning. I hope I’m wrong.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh and just to be clear, I’m have some problems keeping my own “manys” and “mosts” clear here. When I say “most” I’m thinking broadly in terms of how we respond to ambiguous endings in general, and I believe ambiguous is more popular within the creative community than it is for us ordinary schmuks. But for the Chuck finale in particular, I think it actually was clear enough that MOST viewers were satisfied with it; and I mean to use “many” to refer to the still significant minority who found it too ambiguous to satisfy them.

      • joe says:

        I agree, Dave. No one was trying to antagonize anyone.

        I’d guess (and I realize I’m being very generous here), that a calculation was made about the audience’s willingness to make assumptions, follow subtleties and partial clues. The fans are an engaged bunch and have been picking up on tiny things since the beginning, and the last thing anyone wanted was to be insulted by an deluge of gushy, feel-good “clue-bricks.”

        Ultimately, the whole thing may have been too clever by – well, not by half, but by a bit too much for many of the fans. In attempting to not-insult the fans, the ending was left too ambiguous and too open to dark interpretations. That is, it was unless you were willing to work very hard and be very generous with your interpretations. That was the risk Fedak took.

        Many of us did just what he asked, too, which is unusual for a TV audience.

      • thinkling says:

        I think Fedak has already answered the question of whether she gets her memories back, as well as the objection that the ending cast a doubt over the meaning of the entire series. The only ambiguity is how soon she recovered her memories. There’s plenty of evidence on screen that the memories are still in there waiting to be triggered. Plus we’ve seen Morgan return to normal, albeit with some insignificant gaps in his memories. He was fully himself, and we saw Sarah returning to herself as Chuck told their story.

        For me, I really wanted to (and truthfully expected to) see full-blown, happy Sarah one more time, and I admit that knowing isn’t the same as seeing it. That said, you all know I’m still happy with the episodes. Setting aside my original expectations and looking at the episodes on their own merits, I’m satisfied. I enjoy rewatching and thinking about their journey and imagining them pursue their dream (the one we watched them define together). I think the episode in its structure and what it presents gives us that.

        Anyway, here is Fedak’s answer to the memories question:

        Q: Well, after last week’s episode, a few commenters were upset with the idea that Sarah’s memory had been erased, and that all her character growth we had spent the last five seasons was for naught. What would you say to that? CF: I would certainly say it’s not erased. It’s not all gone. It hasn’t been five seasons all for naught. It’s in there. And the fun will be remembering it and falling in love again. How could you imagine anything better?

        And his answer to their future:

        CF: I see Chuck and Sarah together, being a husband and wife, starting up that computer security firm. Hopefully they won’t find themselves dodging bullets for the rest of their lives. Of course, as a writer, now I start thinking, “You know what? They could get into a little bit of trouble.” That gets the story side of my brain going. But for now, they’re happy and they’re together and thinking about their future.

        To be really absolutely clear as crystal on this … one more time … again!! (since I really don’t appreciate being characterized as delusional or dishonest, and I think some of the repetitious comments, intentionally or not, imply both, and yes, I do take it a wee bit personally). I did not need Fedak’s interviews to let me know those things. I did not try to convince myself of any of it. What I saw (because it’s there to see) on screen, as well as what we know about the structure of the episodes and what we know about Sarah’s journey … that is what convinced me that Sarah still loves Chuck, that they are together for good, that she will get her memories back, and they’ll continue to pursue their dream. Fedak’s remarks served only as confirmation, and should put to rest the notion that people who actually see those things are self-deluded.

      • atcDave says:

        Thinkling those are exactly the sort of CF comments that I hope end up on the DVD set. I think that would solidify the positive aspects of the story and ending for many viewers. I’m sure there would still be some who are determined to find a negative spin, but we see so many viewers who just felt the ending was lacking such assurance. I can’t even count the number of comments I’ve seen here and elsewhere from those who seem to see dark and dire things happening next, and i’d love to get something in quasi-canon that quashes such talk. For a lot of viewers who just need a little more assurance I think that would be enough.

      • Wilf says:

        Thinkling, “How could you imagine anything better?” – that comment of Chris Fedak’s really creases me up every time I see it. My reply to that is “How could you imagine that was good enough, Chris?”. Just suppose I spend 5 years lovingly and painstakingly building, say, a beautiful light aircraft from a kit. It is my pride and joy. Chris Fedak comes along and smashes it up with a sledge hammer, saying, “Hey, now you can have the fun and pleasure of rebuilding it all again, from scratch. How could you imagine anything better?”. Actually, I can imagine something a lot better. The finale was sufficient to satisfy me (as you know after a lot of pondering, and support from you and others). Just sufficient, not a jot more.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah Wilf, I agree. Fedak does have a rather fiendish idea of the best of all possible outcomes. I don’t point that out to say I agree that this is what I had in mind as the best ending, but that the writer believes Sarah will get her memories back and Chuck and Sarah will be returned (more or less intact) to where we left them mid way through Bullet Train.

        Like I said, on its merits, it’s a valid, well told, well acted story. When I look closely, I really do like what I see. Given the setup and structure, it’s a happy ending. That doesn’t mean I’m over the moon with the whole ultra-heavy amnesia idea or what happened to Sarah or what they went through. But once I accept the setup, I like the story and find a great deal of beauty in it.

      • Wilf says:

        Yes, it is a valid, well told, well acted story. I just like to have another moan occasionally 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Hey, I can whine and dine with the best of them. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        I would completely agree it was a well acted and well told story, that absolutely required a little more closure…

        You know Wilf as an active and enthusiastic scale aircraft modeler I find your example to be painful and very close to home! But I think I’m exactly on the same page as you… well maybe my moaning is still a little louder!

  13. ww1posterfan says:

    I personally think a Chuck movie on the big screen is a possibility. Hollywood is so bereft of anything new or original, a Chuck movie with the right script could possibly be sold. You could do some flashbacks to show Steven, Hartley, and Roark originally working on the Intersect and the Key to provide background on the “mythology.” Shoot to fast forward of Chuck and Sarah in their dream home negotiating getting the kids ready and off to work at Carmichael Industries. Chuck gets a weird email message from Casey at the office indicating he is in some kind of trouble – and Team B pulls together to rescue their friend. The trouble could be linked to the original Intersect technology and Chuck actually learns the REAL story behind it. Peppered throughout, we get glimpses of how Chuck and Sarah got themselves back to their dream. I’m an engineer and never took creative writing, so the above is probably pretty lame. But, like I said, so is most of the crap coming out of Hollywood–super hero reboots, Hangover #25, etc. What I know is people like action, adventure, comedy, romance, and a happy ending-many go to the movies to escape and if someone can come up with an engaging story involving Chuck and Sarah kicking some a__ saving the day, I think it could sell. I mean the Fugitive went from the small screen to the big screen. X-Files from the small screen to the big screen. Sex and the City, same same. One could argue how good those trnsitions were, but I think they all made money. The Bond franchise has been chugging along for decades. People love spy movies and the good guys winning. I realize it’s a long shot, just my two cents.

    • thinkling says:

      I’m sold! 🙂 You’re certainly right about the Hollywood drivel. There is less and less coming out that I care to see, especially at the cost of an evening at the movies.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree it could be a total blast, and many excellent movies have come from TV shows. Although usually its years later with a different cast. Maybe Firefly and Star Trek being the obvious exceptions.
      The best thing we can do is show it could be profitable, and that means spending money on Chuck; especially buying DVDs and downloads through legitimate sources. Other licensed material, especially if WB starts selling stuff, would also be a good idea (not so much NBC, I think their links to the show are now at an end).

    • Faith says:

      I wonder how many here (Chuck fans in general) hail from the engineering, math & sciences fields.

      The problem with Chuck in any continuing medium is that it already didn’t sell as it was. We loved it but that wasn’t the case for the rest of the world. So any other continuing medium, be it movie or comic will have to consider that. That is also why Zac and the Nerd Machine are the most viable conduits for the Chuck movie.

      And the interesting thing is, the show as it ended gives that movie, etc. the best possible opening. Especially if you consider a movie in which people have never seen it, you can do that and do it well.

  14. ww1posterfan says:

    The NBC links were working last night-did not purchase from there, however. I also went to the Warner Brothers site and ordered 2 Carmichael Industries T-shirts for myself. I had already ordered my Season 5 DVD from Amazon last week.

    As for Chuck not selling, I do believe night and timeslot had a great deal to do with that. I am not familiar with the ratings, but if I have interpreted correctly there were at least a 1.5M people watching Chuck live on Friday nights. I think a deal for a movie could be done in the next 3-5 years if someone can pitch the right story concept/basic script. Zach and Yvonne’s stars are only going to get brighter and their star power from exposure via the intervening projects would probably bring in new viewers who may not know Chuck, but know them. Heck, if the soundtrack is half as good as some of the musical selections on the show, it would make some money. I’m not familiar with the Nerd Machine, but will do so quickly. Again, I realize it is an uphill battle, but while the fan base may be small (relative to what?), it appears to be extremely passionate.

    • atcDave says:

      The fan base was small for a prime time TV show. And when you consider only a portion of TV viewers will actually pay for content it would seem to be an uphill battle.
      But the good news is, we’ve always been an active fan base and we’ve spent pretty well in relation to our size. So if you add to that the possibility of Zach and/or Yvonne becoming bigger names in the next couple years it could make a project featuring both of them more appealing. Although both of them being in demand could also be a double edged sword in that scheduling and cost could become a bigger issue.
      Nerd Machine is Zach’s own company. His involvement in the business and production end of things does bode well for the prospects of him possibly producing his own Chuck movie (cinema, TV, or internet) at some point. But even a labor of love will likely require some sort of revenue stream.

    • ArmySFC says:

      chucks ratings were good? i guess the first 2.5 seasons pulling about 2.5 or higher and over 6 million total viewers. then it started to drop. even TPTB say the type show it was caused viewer problems, it fit into to many genres. just a guess on my part but fans of certain genre want to see more of what they like when they watch a show. it simple could not meet the requirements of those fans and they drifted away. a good example of that is this blog. some fans complained about the mythology not being up to par, and some complained about the OLI’s in the past.

      chuck fans also tend to be older well into the 40’s on average. chuck was a different show while it was on and this in itself may have been part of it’s undoing.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Ouch! I’m 46 and consider myself to be pretty young still. Just remember the line from Fried Green Tomatoes–I’m older and better insured. You bring up a good point about genre….I would say Chuck was at its best when it was a romantic comedy with high action and a nice smattering of drama-some of the most popular movies fall into that genre. ChuckTV.net has posted their viewer poll results. Obviously, the respondents skewed to a younger demographic since us old fogies apparently don’t surf the net as much. It’s kind of interesting-you may want to check it out.

      • armysfc says:

        i’m talking ratings wise. the normal demo is 18-49. over the last few years chuck has gone towards the older end.

      • armysfc says:

        just checked it out. liked the answers on the finale. i agreed, liked the episode but the ending was to ambiguous.

    • jason says:

      My take on Chuck vs the Movie would be it would have zero chance, except for Zac:

      1 – I think Zac Levi is very interested in re-inventing entertainment
      2 – I think Zac also will be trying to push the envelope of revenue streams vs production costs, attempting to create new models
      3 – If Zac can convince Yvonne to join his effort (maybe for a stake in the profits?), I would assume Gomez would say yes tommorrow (Mckenna too probably)
      4 – If the four of them are in, throw in a few handheld camera’s & Zac’s personal Nerd Machine posse that seem to follow him around to film, edit, etc – I think it is possible
      5 – Zac has some ‘other’ famous buddies who would make terrific guest stars

      For me, if Chuck and Sarah went in the Hart to Hart direction, even if low budget, and they were having a blast together making bad guys pay for their evil ways, I think they could become a cult hit, and begin Zac toward his goal of re-inventing media and entertainment. Stranger things have happened.

    • Aerox says:

      If they want to get a decent soundtrack selection, they need to get in touch with Zach Braff. Man is a genius when it comes to selecting music for films.

  15. andyt says:

    Faith, this was a wonderful article. It articluated many of them of the thoughts that I had about Chuck and Sarah throughout the show. I was also touched by your personal connection to the story as I also have never truly been in love. I know all to well that it is a choice, and that love involves the concious decision to make a leap into the kind of emotional intimacy necessary for a successful relationship to work. Chuck and Sarah both made that choice at various stages over the course of the series. Goodbye was all about validating their choices and reaffirming that their romance was not just fate, or Chuck having the Intersect, etc. It was the concious choice of both people to make this leap together.

    Also, I am in full agreement with your sentiment above that it seems hostile for those who like the final episodes to comment on the aspects that they like. I have not commented since the finale, since it felt that any positive appreciation was attacked at being either “stupid” or in the tank for the TPTB. I don’t hold anything against those who didn’t like the finale that is their perogative. However, it seems at times that some people believe that you have to hate the finale or you are somehow brain damaged or an uncritical viewer. Some are generous in their views such as Dave, but it is the others that make it feel less than welcoming of alternative viewpoints. Thank you for your perspective.

    • Faith says:

      Thank you very much. Not just for the kind words but it’s always good to hear other people feeling, or going through what you do. I appreciate that and treasure the words.

      You know it’s always amazing to me the many times and the many ways their love hits home for me. It is genuinely what I wish for everyone. Though it’s fiction, it is so real and so significant that I have no problem imagining it happening in real life. And I think that’s a credit to the show and its people. Yes it’s in some ways idealistic, but there is an earthiness and an undeniable truth in it, in them. I’m not explaining it well but to me it’s a story I not only enjoyed but want told. I don’t know how many words I have written since the inception of this blog but it is-all of it was well deserved. All the accolades, all the merits and even the criticism.

      Anyway I think you’re the first person to point out my personal connection and share yours. Thank you for that. Makes all this more real somehow…so thank you for being brave enough to share.

      As for the climate…I’m sorry that you’re feeling what I’m feeling but I’m glad that even in that I’m not alone. I hope that’s as much a comfort to you as it is to me.

      • Paul says:

        I had the same feelings of isolation back in S3 when I was one of the few who actually liked the storyline, to include the Shaw arc.

      • andyt says:

        Faith, thank you for the kind words. I believe that you are correct in that while the Chuck-Sarah love story is a bit idealistic it also contains some very real elements. I believe that one of the strongest was that both of them knew alot about the other at their “worst” moments. In some ways I think that is what made it very believable to me. Chuck saw Sarah carry out her job by killing the Fulcrum agent in “Santa Claus” and his Intersect memories of her from the end of “Pilot”. It would be hard for Chuck to idealize her as a pure from those moments. Also, they never shied away from the reality of Chuck’s “geekiness” in his interactions with Sarah(think “Sizzling Shrimp and his horrible Kung-fu movie impression). They truly did not have secrets from each other.(Not the really important ones from a relationship standpoint). This is the earthiness that you noted in the story.

    • atcDave says:

      I felt the same way during the Morgansect arc. Just know its always easier to complain than praise. So even now, with my feelings mixed, it’s easier to complain than talk about what I liked. But that doesn’t mean I saw nothing to like.

  16. garnet says:

    After yet another rewatch, I just have to say that I think I am beginning to understand what TPTB were trying to do. They allowed us to relive the entire relationship over 83 or so minutes. Sarah is back to the cold killer she was in the pilot and she progresses and progressively warms up to Chuck as we relive the important scenes that helped shape their relationship. It ends with Sarah taking a leap of faith and TPTB are clearly trying to give us a happy beginning. No Sarah is not yet back to the open and happy soul she became with Chuck, but her progression is clear and ,he direction is also clear. So now I can say “Yes I can see a love letter to the fans”, but I can still want more.

    • Rob says:

      I’m in total agreement, Garnet (and may have actually posted the same thought in another entry). I think that TPTB wanted to establish a reset of the relationship, and then show the prior 89 episodes in Fast-Forward as a “love letter to the fans.” They wanted to show us Sarah falling love with Chuck all over again, and deliver the message that “love conquers all.” The problem is that they never got back to the pre-intersect Sarah. They simply didn’t go far enough, and so the “love story” is frankly incomplete for me.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah, I think that’s exactly the problem Rob. What we saw was very good, and potentially very powerful. But it ended a beat too soon. As I’ve said before; I would have prefered an entire epilogue epilogue episode (a nice long look at Sarah’s recovery and post-spy family life for the Bartowskis), a 10-15 minute epilogue would have worked pretty well, but four more words are the minimum to make it work for me (“take me home Chuck” or “I love you Chuck”. Both work equally well).

  17. Delwin says:

    I “entered” in the Chuck’s world very recently and I made a terrible mistake (when checking some details on the show I did not get) learning about the ending (when I was watching S3). At the end of the day I admire the quality of the art of TPTB as wellas the acting but I do not “buy” the ending. My problem is that i liked both characters too much and it feels that the whole 91 episodes does not matter anymore – it is not about spoon feeding but I feel that one of the favourite characters has been killed. It’s all about the feeling at the end.

    • jam says:

      I know the feeling. I haven’t been able to rewatch even my favorite Chuck episodes after the finale. If I could magically erase the show my memory, I’d probably go for it. :p

    • atcDave says:

      A lot of us weren’t real happy with that ending Delwin. But you know we have been told by the writer that Sarah’s memories were there and were coming back. Additionally he has specifically said that the beach scene showed Sarah had caught up emotionally to where she was before Quinn. Now I would agree 1000 times over that a show is poorly written if we need more information from the writer to figure out if the ending was any good or not; but you have to know Sarah will be fine, and she wasn’t going anywhere. So says the head the writer.

      • Delwin says:

        The magic of the cinema is that you do not need many words… It seems that at end of the day I will prepare my own version of last episode – perhaps using some alternative ending.

    • BigKev67 says:

      Dave,
      Fedak “specifically said the beach scene showed Sarah had caught up emotionally to where she was before Quinn”. Did he say that? I must have missed that interview. Or more likely I just blocked it out 🙂
      I didn’t see that on screen at all. I saw a woman who was lost and damaged, and wanted her life and her love back – and the beach scene and the kiss were the start of a (long) healing process. But someone who was back to the level of emotional commitment and attachment of Sarah Bartowski pre-Quinn? Not even close. It’s like when he told me Shaw was a classic spy and showed me a barely competent reckless creep. It’s that level of disconnect between what I see and what I’m apparently supposed to see all over again.
      I honestly can’t think of another show where I’m so in tune with the creators vision in some things and so utterly miles apart on others. It’s really bizarre….

      • Faith says:

        I was just about to tweet you about how you’re healing/dealing with the finale after some time. After our last conversation and all. Not good, I gather. Oh well, saved me a tweet ;).

      • BigKev67 says:

        Ha! Actually not so bad. The extra scenes didn’t change my opinion much but a comment Dave made about how most of us can’t remember most of our lives anyway (unless we’re Marilu Henner, apparently….) stayed with me so I’m less hung up about that than I was. Still haven’t rewatched but that’s more because I’m just doing other things. I’m sure I’ll rewatch at some point – it just might not be all the way through.

        Always a pleasure to exchange tweets with you though! 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        I can’t find the exact interview right now Kev, but yes, that’s what he said. And I agree, I didn’t really see it on screen. The extended cut helps some, but what we actually see still strikes me as completely inadequate. I also agree his vision of Shaw is another thing that just completely never worked for me. I’d still say I enjoyed Chuck enough for it to be my favorite show ever, but man, there are a few disconnects like that, they will never sit right with me.
        I do draw some solace though from knowing the intent is that all is well in the end. Sure wish I’d seen it…

      • atcDave says:

        Okay, just a little more research here (sorry, busy, can’t really get into this), but I believe it’s from podcast 105 at chucktv.net. Fedak actually says Sarah has caught up to Chuck emotionally. And that all the memories are intact, five years of growth was not for naught.

        I can watch the finale (especially the extended cut) in that light and enjoy it quite a bit more. But it sure would be nice if that had actually been on screen….

      • thinkling says:

        Hey, Kev, sounds like a little progress, at least, if you’re contemplating thinking about considering rewatching. Always nice to see you around.

      • Delwin says:

        I find this comment perfekt

        I didn’t see that on screen at all. I saw a woman who was lost and damaged, and wanted her life and her love back – and the beach scene and the kiss were the start of a (long) healing process.

        This is also what I saw – the women who wants to be back. Unfortunately “only”. The chance that this will happen. No “happily ever after”. Remembering the show in general it is totally out of place for me and that’s why it so painful to watch. I cannot recall any TV series where I “supported” the main characters so much (they were extremely likable) – the way you support your football team (I mean soccer here). OK – “Dempsey and Makepeace” but I was 10 years old then ;-). The idea of magical kiss was fantastic (Chuck is a kind fairy tale anyway) if we had a chance to see its working. So little was to be done and I would be more than happy. Now I can only dream about the TV movie or revival of the series – just to see this happily ever after…

      • BigKev67 says:

        Thanks Thinkling – much appreciated 🙂
        “Contemplating thinking about considering….” sums it up perfectly. I’m in the middle of a West Wing rewatch at the moment (which remains my all time favourite show) and then I’d like to get caught up on Fringe. Maybe further dust will have settled and I’ll get back to Chuck then.
        I’ll say this though – your wonderful story and quistie’s equally good SOM2 are pretty much the only Chuck stories that have survived my semi-voluntary hiatus since the finale – you should be really proud of it, even more so as a first effort. It’s fantastic work.

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks very much, Kev. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

      • atcDave says:

        There are some other good stories going, but no doubt Kev, you did just name two of the very very best.

      • oldresorter says:

        Kev – funny, this past week I wanted to re-watch one episode of the West Wing, found myself so entertained, I watched out the entire season, then started the next. I think I used the FF function only once or twice, even Chuck at it’s very best, say Honeymooners, I FF through several scenes in comparison. Chuck at its worst, I FF thru nearly a dozen eps at a time, and the final two episodes of the series was so insensitive to my POV, that I have not watched an episode from any season since. For my own sense of rationalization, I have come to the conclusion, I watch for the two characters, Chuck and Sarah, and only hope that the writing doesn’t harm either of them, or their characters too much. I have no interest in a Chris Fedak written Chuck movie. IMO, the genius of Chuck was more Schwartz’s ability to create characters, Chuck and Sarah, more than any story told. Now that the two real life actors aren’t taken by any project, how much I would like to see a remake of Thin Man or Hart to Hart with those two, that would be my dream, far more than more eps of Chuck.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Jason,
        I think West Wing is just the best written show I’ve ever seen by a distance. I’m a bit of a political junkie too so it’s just a perfect show for me. Even when Sorkin left and it became much more plot driven it was still a damn fine show. I can’t watch an episode without watching the whole season!
        As for Chuck, I’m happy to give Fedak equal credit for the characters and the creative genius of his concept. But completely agree that consistent characterization or tone and coherent stories are not his strong point. And they’re kind of a deal breaker for me so Fedak’s MO is problematic for me. If he has someone to take care of those issues in his next project I’ll watch. If he’s in sole charge then I’m out.
        I’m not sure I could watch Zac and Yvonne together in something else. If Chuck had been a movie, no problem, but after 5 years Chuck and Sarah are too ingrained in my mind, for good and bad. In the absence of a movie – which I think the controversy over the ending has probably scuppered – my honest preference would be to let them be.

      • I liked West Wing, but liked Sports Night more. Both shows had Sorkin’s patented quick dialogue and wow-look-what-they-just-did moments. SN was about Sports and TV production instead of politics, and it was funnier. It had a similar problem with viewers as Chuck in that in was a dramedy. That’s probably why I liked it so much. I’d probably rank it with Chuck, Farscape, and B5, except with only 2 seasons, it feels unfinished. Although, it did end with Agent Phil Coulson.

      • CaptMediocre says:

        My thoughts on the finale are very similar to BK’s. 

        It was certainly an excellent 2 hours of television. Unfortunately it was the wrong two hours of television. The end of the show is missing, it’s simply not there for me, and it should have been allowed for. It’s not like they didn’t know it was coming.

        The ending as presented, totally took away any desire I have to rewatch any episode. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but it isn’t. I still can’t figure out why, although I have a pretty good idea (I don’t know the new Sarah, and the one I did know never came back). I haven’t even purchased the DVD’s, since there’s no big panic to rewatch.

        The whole “fall in love again” angle that they seemed to be going for, certainly never played out on the screen for me the TPTB go on about it.

  18. Delwin says:

    I have seen many alternative endings and a small flash in Sarah’s memory of other kisses would be perfect. More perfect if because of that flash the kiss turns into sth more passionate and Chuck’s comments while trying to catch the breath – “I am not sure whether it is the kind of kiss that happens in the fairy tales”.

    • Delwin says:

      The more I learn and rewatch the original ending – the more looks like a “show off”. Chuck was intended more as a comedy not a “Love Story”. (this “Love Story”). On the other hand – maybe the writers wanted to create the demand for the TV movie ;-)?

      • atcDave says:

        Actually the scary thing is the head writer claims the finale was all about the love story and he couldn’t imagine anything more perfect than Chuck and Sarah falling in love all over again. We’ve spent a lot of time here hashing over endings that would have worked better for us, and I really don’t think Chris Fedak was planning for a movie. But it sure did leave a lot to the imagination. By the way, if you want to read something really excellent about what comes next try “Sarah vs Finding Herself” by Thinkling.

  19. Delwin says:

    Yes, it is the kind of love story but comedy as well. Mixing so heavy tones with comedy does not work. I will definitely go for the “Sarah vs. Finding Herself”. Maybe I “force” myself to watch “Chuck” again…

  20. Faith, Let me first say that a friend of mine sent me to your blog. I have read the entire story, as well as the comments. I recognize a few, not others, some I have even spoke to. I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to comment, and possibly ask a question.

    Let me first thank you for this story. It’s helped me connect in a way to Sarah that I really hadn’t thought about. You helped focus my attention to another way of viewing the Charah story. And yes, that’s an admission on my part. Chuck was a decent show. I spent 4 years of my time and $$$ on the merchandise, and truth be told, still do. Although I liked the series, it wasn’t the spy stuff that kept me coming back week after week, that was just window dressing, icing on the cake if you will. The whole everyday-joe who saves the day and gets the girl (some could and have argued girl gets boy) was appealing, as well as the down to earth characters that we all could relate to in one way or another was a godsend, but the story for me (and by implication the show) was always the love story that was/is Charah. Your obvious love for the character, as well as the emotional connection that you shared with the love story, has at least resonated in my heart, and deepened my love, my affection, for Sarah Walker and the romance.

    I don’t really want to go into a lot of detail, and I certaintly don’t want this to be a “how-Chuck-changed-my-life post. It could suffice to say that life happenens, but I would like to leave a little background.

    I fell in love with the show Chuck all those many years ago. If I had to be honest, the show had me before it aired. I remember seeing “trailers” for a new series, remember the hot girl, and geeky cute guy, remembering, “You know what, that seems like something I want to check out. Looks kinda cool.” Every week, without fail, I made sure that my schedule included time for Chuck. No matter between my full-time attendance of college, my full-time job, not to mention trying to do schoolwork and everything else, to include sleep, I always set aside an hour a week to “catch up with my friends”, the cast of Chuck. Maybe I wasn’t always able to watch it live, but I always caught up that week, usually from the NBC site, but occasionally a friends DVR. I watched every episode from season1-4 in this way.

    Then life got in the way. I don’t want to go on the greenblatt(?) bashing train or anything, but someone made the decision to remove Chuck from the NBC site, stopped from selling them on itunes, making the only way to watch the show live or DVR. Chuck just kinda fell to the wayside for me. I go to a small school, in a small town, and to be honest, I can honestly say that in my town, I knew of only 2 others that were Chuck fans. Point being that between life, and really a lack of interst in the area I’m from, the only thing I really knew was that season 5 was coming and that it was the last season. I’d try and keep up with what I could, watched the little recaps that would be posted. I felt kinda guilty, but I mostly appeased myself by promising myself that as soon as it was relesased on dvd I’d get them and do a marathon that very weekend. I was only partially succesful in that endeavour, which you will quickly see.

    I guess you can say I spoiled the finale for myself, and it ‘s probably even honest to say that my viewpoint on the finale is probably colored by the fact that I have never seen one entire episode of season 5, only weekly recaps posted on the NBC site and youtube. Even after recieving my S5 dvd in the mail, I have only watched the final beach scene of the finale, and a grand total of 2 of the special features. I rushed the dvd straight to the player the day I got it, fast-forwarded to the final scene, hoping that there was something more. After those 4-5 minutes, I turned away in tears and betrayal.

    As mentioned before, I am a full-time college student. I’m going to school to be a RN, and my life is filled with hard, identifiable facts. It would even be safe to say that I lack imagination, not really having the time/luxury of thinking about “what-ifs”. Knowing what I know about the finale, namely the final beach scene, and albeit not having “all-the-facts”, I find myself in the camp of people who not only disliked the finale, but feels slapped in the face as a fan, who wanted nothing more than the larger than life ending that Chuck and Sarah deserved, especially considering that, in all likely hood, this IS the final chapter of the story. The likelyhood of any kind of movie is remote, at least from all the news I’ve seen, and the longer they wait, the less likely it becomes. To confound the time issue, although you could introduce other actors/actress to role players, could you really see anyone being Chuck, Sarah, Casey, Morgan, Ellie, or Devon, other than Zach, Yvonne, Adam, Joshua, Sarah, and Ryan. Chances are, the 91 episodes we have, is all we’ll ever have. With that in mind, and the limited amount of knowledge that I do have about season 5, I have to say the finale was far from satisfying to me, and because I know how the story ends so to speak, it’s also kept me from watching season 5, as well as having dampened my spirits on rewatches of previous seasons. And yes, I know that Zach, Yvonne, Fedak, everyone connected to the show say that yes they believe Chuck and Sarah end up together, that really doesn’t help, because I don’t have that imaginitive spirit, I don’t really have the time either. After 5- ok, really 4- years of investment, both finacially and emotionally. After watching two of my favorite “friends” fight for the right to be happy, together. And after knowing that there probably won’t ever be anything more, I think it would have been fair to ask to have seen the ending that was live-happily-ever-after.

    Which, after all that rambling, actually brings me back to why I felt like I needed to comment in the first place. I have stopped my rewatches of the show with vs The Ciffhanger, refusing to watch anything past the episode. I try to treat season 5 as if it never happened, never discussing it, treating it like a parriah. I have the preconcievied(?) idea that the finale is not a good chapter in the story of Charah, and literally get sick every time I sit down to try to watch season 5.

    I can see the love you have for the show. I can also see the compassion to speak intelligently to some one, without belittling that persons views or concerns. And that’s why I wanted to “chime” in. I know someday I’m going to have to sit down and finish the story, watch those final 13 episodes. When that will be, I’ll don’t know. To be honest, I’m not even really sure how I’ll react/respond to it when that time comes. What I do know is this, after reading this, that when that day finally comes, and I’m faced with making a “choice,” I will remember your writings. You’ve given me something to think about, and I thank you for sharing.

    • joe says:

      Sierra, Hi. I’m sure Faith will have something to say about your wonderful comment, but until then, I’m afraid I’ll have to do!

      Yeah – Chuck‘s been a little life-changing for me too, which is a little weird since I’m no kid. I mean, it really takes a lot to make me say things like that about a “mere” TV show. But I can’t deny it’s been like that either.

      One of the biggest things has been the fans around the show. Here, on Twitter and on the NBC boards (where I started), they’ve been a rather unusual and amazing bunch, all in all.

      As for the show, we’re still discussing and thinking about some of the things we’ve seen, and what it’s meant to us. This post is three months old – I really hope you join us in one of the active threads too, ’cause you’re right. You’ll have a perspective that we won’t have. I’ll be looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

      Can I persuade you to give S5 a chance? Maybe buy or borrow someone’s DVDs? The ending really is controversial (especially here), but I can guarantee you that you’ll find an incredible amount of stuff to like in the rest of the episodes, and you may indeed be one of minority (like me and Faith) that like the ending. It really is a matter of your outlook and experiences, I think.

      And I hope that the WordPress button to get notifications of follow-ups works for you. I’m sure it will, but you have to check it at least once for every post for which you want to have comments sent to your e-mail.

      • Email notifications never work for me. I rely on an RSS subscriptions instead.

        https://chuckthisblog.wordpress.com/feed/ for new posts
        https://chuckthisblog.wordpress.com/comments/feed/ for new comments

        They only check once an hour and only provide up to 10, so if comments are going crazy, you have to check for missed comments manually.

      • thinkling says:

        Hey, Jeff, love the new gravitar.

      • Thanks. I finally got around to creating an account. I used to use this for FFnet, but switched back to the “My NAME IS JEFF AND I’M LOST” screencap from Tom Sawyer.

      • Joe, thank you for the response. I own the DVD’s, I just refuse to watch. I have spent probably 5-7 thousand on Chuck merchandise through the years, and there really isn’t alot let for me to buy. It’s more that I literally get physically sick to my stomach whenever I think about how it ends (yes,I realize I don’t have the full story). I just can’t even fathom or contemplate that Charah’s future is in any doubt. Granted, I realize it’s a fictional show, with fictional characters, and a fictatious relationship. But they were my friends, my family, and I hurt when they hurt. I’m just not emotionally strong enough to let it go right now. I’ve lived my life vicariously through them, and now, well, that once in a life time love that we all new Chuck and Sarah had found, that happily-ever after ending that we all rooted for them, that after everything they had to sacrifice, to fight through and for, is over. I’m not sure about anyone else, but for me, to end the story with any question or doubts like they did, was a slap in the face to me, and unfortunately, my life is just a little lonlier(?) 😦

      • atcDave says:

        Sierra their outcome is really not in any doubt. They are fine. The ending was inadequate, and ended at the first moment we could be reasonably sure all was well; but in full context there is really no doubt that Chuck and Sarah are fine.

    • atcDave says:

      Sierra I can’t speak for Faith, but like Joe above, I would encourage you to give Season 5 a chance.
      Joe mentioned just that there was some great stuff and there was. But I’d like to add, the ending was far more positive than you can get just from watching the last five minutes. And its not about anyone’s wishful thinking or speculation. In the context of the full season Sarah’s recovery becomes a little more clear. In particular, Morgan went through a similar, if less extreme trauma to what Sarah did. And in the end, Morgan recovered all the essential characteristics that made him Morgan. And we’re talking the more or less mature Morgan who can manage the Buy More and quarterback missions from Castle. A Morgan who eventually restored all of his damaged relationships, even Alex.
      There is also season long context showing us a fully mature Sarah Bartowski, and clear signs in the finale that Sarah is still her, NOT the emotionally challenged spy who met Chuck five years before. (S5 Sarah did not want to go back to being a spy; Sarah, in the finale, rejected the CIA’s job offer, again) Over the course of the Finale, Sarah went from telling Chuck she didn’t want to hear “his” story about her; to asking Chuck to tell her “our” story.
      Also, the head writer wasn’t supposing or speculating anything when he SAID Sarah had caught up emotionally to Chuck and was ready to reclaim her life in that final scene.

      Now I agree that’s not enough. I consider it a story telling failure. Far too many fans felt let down and disappointed by that finale for it to be anything other than a failure. We shouldn’t be left scratching our heads at the end. It should have been obvious to us viewers what we were supposed to see. They tried to get clever and artsy, and they completely lost many of us. I will always carry a little anger over how poorly they ended it. But we don’t need to be sad for Chuck and Sarah. By all accounts, they are fine. They are together and happy. They are running Carmichael Industries as a security company and staying away from the more hazardous dimensions of their field (Sarah’s plan from earlier in the season). They both want kids and are planning a family (we know this from earlier in the season! Emotionally Sarah and Chuck are both ready for it). They bought a house (we know they were planning that from earlier in the season too!) and sold the Buy More (we saw that in the finale).
      We don’t know how much of Sarah’s memories came back. The writer assures us they were still in there, but we know Morgan never quite got all of his back. But a person is more than just their episodic memory; and Sarah Bartowski is fine and happy with whatever portions of her memory came back.

      If you really need help visualizing some of this there are two fanfics I recommend VERY HIGHLY. The first is “Sarah vs Finding Herself” which I also mentioned above. It is a fairly long; but very thoughtful and well written story of Sarah getting her life back. Essentially the epilogue the show should have had. I guarantee you will enjoy it.
      If you prefer things more light and funny (and MUCH shorter!) I would recommend “Beckett vs The Linchpin” by MyNameIsJeffNImLost. Its a Castle crossover, but mainly it just puts Kate Beckett in the position of observing Team Bartowski’s eccentric dynamics several months after the finale. Its a fun time and an encouraging glimpse of a possible future for Chuck, Sarah and the gang.

      The show may be over and the time of Chuck canon past. But our favorite characters are fine. And no show runner can hurt them ever again!

      • BigKev67 says:

        Dave,
        “….and no show runner can hurt them ever again!”
        I’m presuming that’s a thumbs down on any potential movie from you then?? 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Well I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want the former show runners writing. If it really looked like it was going to happen, I’d probably get all excited and be ready for it. But for now I’m content for them to be left alone!

      • “They are together and happy.”
        Are they? I want to believe that as well, but then again, we are left with questions with the finale. She she wanted to hear there story. Wouldn’t you if had lost your memory. Yes, she asked for the kiss, but again, wouldn’t you be willing to try absolutely anything, regardless of how silly it sounded.
        “They are running Carmichael Industries as a security company and staying away from the more hazardous dimensions of their field (Sarah’s plan from earlier in the season). ”
        Before she lost her memories.
        They both want kids and are planning a family (we know this from earlier in the season! Emotionally Sarah and Chuck are both ready for it).”
        Again, before she lost her memories.
        They bought a house (we know they were planning that from earlier in the season too!) and sold the Buy More (we saw that in the finale).”
        And again, all before she lost her memories.

        I don’t mean to be a “Debbie-downer” and I really want to believe these things. As a nursing student, as a person who is learning about these things, dealing with people who have amnesia, long-term or short-term, the odds are against it. Throw in the fact that I lack that imagnative spirit, and I just don’t see it. I NEED someone to show/tell me, in the visual sense.

        By the way, I did read the finding herself fanfiction. The other one, well, I’ve never seen Beckett(Castle) show. Though I liked reading it, the chemistry between the cast was half the show, and what made the show work. Zach and Yvonne ARE Chuck and Sarah, and as a fan, I just really think/thought that they deserved so much more.

      • atcDave says:

        Sierra I do agree we were robbed by that finale. A huge part of what was special about Chuck was the warmth, love and friendship among the major characters, Chuck and Sarah in particular. And that was completely absent from the last two full episodes. Essentially it was a completely different show than the one I loved for most of 5 seasons.

        But it was categorically a happy ending, even if just barely. You must watch the whole season and episode to understand the context. But Sarah asking for “our” story was a huge and significant moment. She had pointedly avoided wanting to know about her old life for two episodes, but in the end she was ready for it back.
        You have convinced yourself of a worry that is simply not valid. And of course the postlude I suggested is based on before Sarah lost her memories, because that was the story structure chosen. I don’t like it either, but that doesn’t invalidate it. The writer has uneqivically said that Sarah’s memories will return. It was very rude of him not to show it onscreen any better, but if the boss says the memories are coming back, then it’s true. Your professional knowledge may be interfering with the story-tellers craft here too. You may know something about neurology, but Chris Fedak does not. Since he is “god of this unverse” that makes him right and you wrong. I will always agree its fair game to comment on, and complain about the way things are shown, the way a story is told, or the overall effectiveness of a story. But it’s not fair to get upset over something that is pointedly not true about the story. If you watch the full story, Sarah’s recovery is a little more evident. And when you add in the “author’s notes” we got from Chris Fedak it is absolutely categorically a good end for Chuck and Sarah. They won, Quinn lost. And their winning means precisely that their love won out.

    • Faith says:

      First, thank you for the comment. To be bluntly honest, the lot of us…we don’t really write for you guys (sorry!) but for ourselves and if in the process others get something/feel something/think something because of it then we’re glad. I think it’s fairly obvious that I have a view on the finale that is not necessarily shared by others so yeah, I try to say it with a consciousness to others’ strong emotions–no one is really going to convince anyone anything and I’m heartened to read that you’re keeping a hopeful mindset when you do gather the courage to face your Chuck demons (so to speak). I think that aspect of your personality will serve you well when that time comes :).

      As for the show itself, we’ve had these conversations of course (I’m also @jemjoven on twitter), so you know I’m here for you when you’re ready for it. I will say, as I said before that the entire season gives context…yes the entire 5 years gives context, but more than that, the season. It has a lot to do with loss, healing, trust, faith, love. I have never seen Sarah Walker as evolved as she was in season 5, I have never seen their marriage, their relationship progress to that level before. To me it rivals that of their chemistry of season 2, it’s that powerful. More #SexyTimes too!. So the little actions that others have mentioned, and the ones I put forth above and in my review become more significant. Sarah Walker (pre-Chuck) has trust issues, she runs from emotions, she fears relationships, and she was never to be compromised. And yet little by little you see these little things crop up throughout the 5 years, and in a landslide in the finale. Is it a happy ending? Indubitably. But is it a satisfying ending? That’s something everyone has to decide for themselves. I think in time you’ll heal and see for yourself and make of it what you will. Hopefully you’ll come to see that your fears have been magnified by the emotions and find yourself understanding, if not cherishing full Chuck and Sarah again.

      Oh and you never asked your question?

      • atcDave says:

        I think your distinction between “happy” and satisfying is excellent, Faith. It was objectively happy in the sense Chuck and Sarah made it. They won. They overcame the final villain, and all of their own various demons, and in the end their love triumphed and they were together.
        But satisfying can only be decided by the viewer. Did you like the way it played out? Did it move you in a way you appreciate? Did it honor the characters you’d watched for five years? Those are personal questions that each viewer has to settle for themselves.

  21. wanted to opt in for email new comments in case of reply

    • I apologize, wasn’t trying to be rude or confrontational, And definitely wasn’t trying to imply a I’m right-you’re wrong situation. I was simply telling why I have such a difficult time accepting or watching season 5. I have been told numerous times that I need to watch the entire season to understand what’s going on, and to be fair, one day I will. I always try to be honest and forthcoming, readily admitting from the beginning of any conversation that I haven’t seen season 5.

      • The end of Chuck vs the Baby works as a solid, happy ending for some people, so you could try the first 8. Kept Man is safe too. Some people didn’t like Baby for continuity reasons and Kept Man because of the sitcom nature of the first half, but the first nine are independent of the amnesia plot. Since you already spoiled yourself of the ending and have animosity towards it, I recommend waiting on the last four until you are ready.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s a good solid recommendation, Jeff. The first 8 and/or 9 episodes give us a delightful picture of the intended future for Chuck and Sarah, the one I believe they finally get to. I think the finale shows the ultimate attempt to take it away from them, but that the beach scene, as understated as it is, shows us that love won out and sets them solidly on the road to recovery and their happy ever after.

        If you don’t want to see the last battle, then stop after 9, knowing that the writers showed us all season the future that Chuck and Sarah would finally have. (The introduction to 10 is super great, too)

      • The last thirty seconds of 10 (Bo) is awesome and the first 20-35 minutes of 11 (Bullet Train) is great, but by then you’re stuck in the middle of the amnesia arc. Best to not start 10 until you’re ready. I find it too hard to stop in the middle of an episode.

      • thinkling says:

        That’s true Jeff. I also love Sarah’s drive to remake Carmichael Industries in Bo, that plus the last 30 seconds. Then you can stop after the drawing in the sleeper compartment (in Bullet Train), one of the best CS moments, among so many good ones.

        Although, I agree, that if you want to stay clear of all things amnesia, it’s best to stop at the end of Baby, whose last 7 minutes comprise one of the best feel-good endings of the series … right up there with the wedding for pure happiness.

      • atcDave says:

        I would agree stopping at Baby is an excellent choice for just avoiding the amnesia arc. Continuing on to Kept Man wouldn’t do any harm, but it doesn’t come close to the feel good ending of Baby. I do think the intent is to say the plans and dreams discussed all season long are the epilogue, they are what comes next after the finale. But it was unconventionally told to the point it isn’t obvious to many viewers on first viewing. I’ll take it a step further and say I think Baby really would have made the best series finale possible. The last part of Bullet Train, and then the final two episodes are a dramatic and often painful story. It has an objectively happy ending; but in a “phew, made it” sort of way. The joy that was so often a wonderful part of this show is not present in the last two and half episodes.

      • Faith says:

        Not to sugarcoat it, but all those episodes you mentioned IMO makes the heartbreak even more significant. When viewed through the lens of the entire relationship, you tend to see it as yet another reason why things worked out for them but if you’re just watching those early feel good you tend to be swept away and aren’t really thinking so you get blindsided. In the process, may miss the subtleties they inject about memory and not so subtle Darth Morgan evolution. I know I did at first watch. I had a point in there somewhere, heh.

      • atcDave says:

        I think I get your point Faith. The “Darth Morgan” story as you put it, says tons about Sarah’s story in the end. And apart from the tragic part that we saw, its all good news for Sarah’s recovery.

      • Faith says:

        Thanks Dave. Yeah, that was my point.

  22. Since we’re all talking about the finale again…

    Before the amnesia arc, when we only had spoilers of it, I was very concerned about it. From my others comments, it’s clear I like the ending, despite the plot device. Other shows have had mixed results. I hated when Lois & Clark did it to Lois. It was kind of funny when in happened to Superman in L&C and Smallville, but that was only for part of an episode each time. It was kind of funny in Monk too, but wasn’t one of my favorite episodes. I didn’t like it over multiple episodes in Alias. It was ok when it happened to Vala in Stargate SG-1, but mainly because of two funny scenes. It was too tragic in the third season of Doctor Who. In each of those cases, I liked it better when it was done for humor and resolved in a single episode, not when it was a serious multi-episode situation, as in Chuck.

    However, right now on BBC America is a great and serious “amnesia” show: Star Trek:TNG, “The Inner Light”. It’s not really amnesia, because they just make him think he has another life and has forgotten it. It’s a little tragic, but it’s still one of the best TNG episodes.

    It’s really difficult to pull off a serious amnesia plot-line. Chuck did for me, but obviously not for everyone.

    • olddarth says:

      ‘The Inner Light,’ works because at the end of the episode the show gives the appropriate cues to make it the story ending satisfactory. ie Picard remembering how to play the flute.

      The Chuck parallel would have been for Sarah to give Chuck a shoulder bump like she did in the pilot.

      • atcDave says:

        That’s actually an excellent point. Of course the whole quasi-dream reality thing is a little different, but I like the parallel. And yeah, it was much more clear in the end that Picard remembered. I think Sarah was in a similar place, simply going to that beach would be the parallel; but it still wasn’t enough, shoulder bump would have been perfect. I did kind of like having to come up for air twice during the kiss though…

      • I’m not sure why it works because it’s a really melancholy episode, but it does work. It even won the Hugo. The circumstance was kind of a reverse amnesia. Picard never had it, but he and everyone thought he did. He still managed to have a good (imaginary) life despite not remembering the beginning of his life on that planet. It just required extreme patience from his wife, something Chuck effectively promised Sarah on the beach.

        I liked the TNG follow-up, “Lessons,” but it kind of made “The Inner Light” more sad because Picard hadn’t shared his experience with anyone until his girlfriend in that episode, then she died.

  23. Ok, I’m lost Faith, with you’re above comment. Strengthens the heartache? Not something I really think I want to endure. 😦

    • Faith says:

      I’m not going to lie to you, it really does. Because you see how far they’ve come, and because you get to experience the best they can be (especially in the early part of Bullet Train), it makes it way, way more heartbreaking. But if you’re like me, when taken into the context of the last 5 years, it’s yet another reason why things do work out.

      • I disagree, Faith. Watching the season 4 finale with the wedding followed immediately by Goodbye would be worse. But if you see heartache in the ending, then it would be there in any case. I saw symmetry, hope, and the future. The first nine provide the template for that future.

        Also the first nine can be watched and enjoyed without ever watching the last four. Just like the first two seasons can be watched and enjoyed independently of the last four episodes. We often talk about the halves of seasons 3 and 4 (especially season 3). The first 8 (or 9) are like season 5.0. The last 4 are like season 5.5.

      • Faith says:

        I do agree that if you see heartache, you will regardless. I tend to see it as you do with hope, faith and the future but not everyone can.

        I don’t think you can watch the first 9 and stop there. I think that’s tantamount to skipping season 3.0 altogether and heading to 4. There’s progress, a story and growth there that you’ll miss. Plus knowing how it ends tends to color those first 9 and that was mostly what I meant about it being even more heartbreaking. Without the full picture, you can’t really judge objectively, only emotionally. But then again I have a thing about things being finished, I won’t read a novel unless it’s complete.

      • atcDave says:

        The problem is, hope isn’t what a lot of viewers want. It’s about assurance and seeing it on screen, and that’s where the story fails. And I think that’s where I remain a little grumpy. But the assurance there too, with a little research. There’s no reason for viewers to feel such cynicism and anxiety over the end; a thorough examination of the whole (S5) story plus “author’s notes” (the various interviews in which the writer explains himself and his intent) reveals the assurance. But having to spend an hour or so doing research tends to rob the episode of its intended emotional impact. Obviously that isn’t such a problem for those of you who saw the intent on initial viewing, but for so many of us it wasn’t so obvious. I may be now satisfied with the end, I can actually enjoy much of the episode and it’s intent now. But it will always strike me as flawed; really pretty severely flawed.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        I give up. I’m trying to convince Sierra she could enjoy 9 more episodes of Chuck, but I guess Dave and Faith don’t want that. I’m not saying skip the first 9 and watch the last 4 (which is like skipping 3×01-3×16 and going straight to Living Dead. Wait that’s worse. That would be skipping OG and Honeymooners to see Orion be shot.). I’m saying watch in order and stop at either Baby or Kept Man. That’s like stopping after Honeymooners (clean, happy ending) or Role Models (another nice episode tacked on).

      • Faith says:

        I don’t dispute that at all Dave. It goes back to what I said about maybe asking too much from the viewers.

        Jeff, she’s been told before by others to watch and stop at Baby so you aren’t alone. My pt was that knowing how it ended and then watching to that pt isn’t any easier or better. In fact IMO it can be more devastating. But sure why not. I’m sure plenty of people watched to Colonel and stopped altogether. One of my exes did in fact. It’s my own personal failing that I can’t understand how you can do that and read about the rest and feel all the feelings that come with it without really knowing for yourself. I guess it’s my finishing thing. For others I suppose it’s Shroedinger’s cat, with additional torture lol.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I agree entirely with stopping at Baby and said so above. S5 through Baby is an awesome experience. I also think there’s nothing to fear from watching the finale. But Sierra already watched the ending and there’s no point telling her she’ll love it, she already didn’t.
        But I think watching the entire season in context does lessen the sting. It becomes possible to understand the ending, which is simply not possible out of context. Because the sort of assurance that many viewers crave is not present in the very end without context. But with context, it can be found.

      • Spoilers for the finale are all over the Internet. It is likely that anyone who reads about Chuck will find out about the finale. It might seem ridiculous, but every argument you are making would apply to a new viewer. So when would you recommend a new viewer, who has never before seen Chuck, to stop watching? Would you recommend they chuck the whole thing an not bother watching the pilot because the ending is too heartbreaking?

        I completely realize Sierra and others aren’t going to enjoy the last four any time soon. I said watch the last four when she was ready. That might be never. I’m concerned you two have convinced her and maybe other people lurking here the entire fifth season isn’t worth the time. Is any of Chuck worth the time? Some people here have argued it was a 91 episode waste, but they was after they watched it and judged for themselves. I hope someday she’ll give at least the first 9 a try, but it’s probably too late to convince her now.

        I understand not recommending S1 of Chuck because of hatred of S3.0 (I don’t agree with it, but I understand it). But not recommending 9 or 87 episodes because of the lack of an extra 5 seconds in the last four independent episodes that don’t have to be watched? That’s like saying don’t watch Star Wars IV because Anakin getting burned alive ruins the awards ceremony at the end of A New Hope. Should people not watch the first Matrix because of what happens to Neo and Trinity at the end of the third movie? Both Matrix 1 and SW IV are stand-alone stories where people are likely to have heard about what happens at the end of Episode III and Matrix 3. Even if Dark Knight Rising ends up being horrible, I’ll still like Batman Begins and Dark Knight and would recommend them.

        My recommendation, watch the first 87. Treat the last 4 like Indy IV or Matrix 2 & 3: read spoilers and reviews and watch at your own discretion. I liked them, but I liked Indy IV too. Not every will, but at least Casey seemed happier with his ending than he was with Indy IV. Also, even Casey thought Morgan would enjoy the first three Indy movies when he would inevitably find out about the fourth managing a store that sold it.

      • atcDave says:

        Geez Jeff I don’t know how you draw any such pessimism from anything I said. I would never suggest skipping any of S1 or S2. And I think I said several times there that S5 was an awesome experience all the way through Baby. The qualifications pop up only after that point, and even then I think the finale is well done and worth watching. I offered the qualifications on it that I always have, the ending is too abrupt and may require some work to understand (and just watching the last 5 minutes is NOT going to be satisfying or offer a complete picture).
        If someone wants a more detailed viewing schedule from me I’m happy to provide one based on their interests and taste, and I can do that for Chuck, or Star Wars, or James Bond or many other movies and television shows. But the first step is always just to say
        watch it, you’ll love it. And Chuck of all things gets my very highest recommendation. I have occasionally told people to skip the first 13 of S3. But the first and only time I’ve suggested that someone stop watching at Baby was here yesterday, for a viewer who said she already didn’t like the end.

      • Faith says:

        I’m never a proponent of not watching Chuck. I realize for some it’s more difficult than others but it’s really more than just “don’t watch this, because blah, blah.” In Sierra’s case, it’s really more individual than you’re putting it. I’m a proponent of watching the entire thing, I make no secret of that. It’s just so happens that I know of several people that have stopped at one point or another and I don’t really see anything wrong with that. To each his, her own. And I think I may be missing something, but I really don’t see the difference between stopping at Baby, versus stopping at Cliffhanger. In both cases you’d stop before you ever really get the full picture, and like I said, in this individual case it would lead to more heartbreak for her. That is until she’s ready.

        To everyone else lurking (not in this conversation), first, join in! Second, don’t listen to me, watch it all the way through! You’ll feel something at the very least. Isn’t that what entertainment is for? To make us experience a facsimile of life?

      • thinkling says:

        Hmm. I know Faith didn’t particularly like Cliffhanger. And she instantly loved Sarah/Goodbye. I loved Cliffhanger and had to grow into appreciation for Sarah/Goodbye and had to look a second time to see the happy ending, or reassuring is my word for it.

        I, personally, see a great deal of difference between stopping at Cliffhanger vs Baby. I loved the wedding, but even more I love S5 for the joy of seeing Chuck and Sarah married. It’s what I’ve always wanted for them. They are figuring out the future they want, realizing that the spy life and having a family don’t mix. They are building their happy ever after all season, right up until the last third of Bullet Train. Want to know what their future is? Watch the sleeper compartment scene in Bullet Train. It’s the future they want. It’s where the journey is headed before it is catastrophically interrupted. And I do see it as an interruption and a detour, but the destination remains the same. The happy ever after was built all season long. For me it’s worth the journey, even given the lack of the completion of the journey. By the time we leave them on the beach, we know they are back on the right path, and we already know where they’re headed.

        To me the reason the heartache is more, so to speak, is because the joy became so much more. Their future became more real and less hypothetical. They suddenly had so much more to live for, and thus more to lose. It’s like the quote from Shadowlands, “The pleasure now is part of the pain then.” Joy was trying to persuade Jack that the joy of love was worth pursuing, even knowing that she had cancer and only a short time to live. The pleasure now ultimately resonates in the future pain. They are inextricably linked. Jack finally decides that the present pleasure is worth the future pain. That’s why the logic of where to stop watching becomes illogical. At what point does the pleasure make the future pain unbearable. I go for the opposite. The more pleasure, the fuller the life, the easier the pain is to bear, because the pleasure then resonates in the pain now.

        Sorry, didn’t mean to wax so … something-or-other.

        Okay. So, all that to say that I find it more than worth it to see Chuck and Sarah married. They have both matured into the people we always dreamed they could be. Sarah is absolutely stunning, in love, emotionally empowered, and communicative. She knows what she wants and she’s going after it. Hence the pain everyone feels with her tragedy.

        But I believe they recover all of that. HOWEVER, if the tragedy and pain are too much, I think it’s worth it to keep watching all the way through Baby. Then believe the writers declared intent, if not their execution, that all that you see in S5, up until the last third of Bullet Train, IS their future.

      • atcDave says:

        Not the first time CS Lewis seemed relevant to a Chuck story!

        But I think you summed up nicely what several of us were trying to get at. The story is unconventionally told, so the epilogue is spread throughout the front of the season; and the finale is Chuck and Sarah’s last detour. But unlike Jack and Joy, Chuck and Sarah both survive and get their happily ever after. We just have to remember back to the earlier episodes to know what it was!

      • thinkling says:

        Right Dave. Sarah gets her life back, so the pain is very real, but not final.

      • joe says:

        Amazing comment, Thinkling. I’ve not seen Shadowlands, but I want to co-sign everything you said.

        Love C.S. Lewis.

      • Faith says:

        To me the reason the heartache is more, so to speak, is because the joy became so much more. Their future became more real and less hypothetical. They suddenly had so much more to live for, and thus more to lose.

        Exactly. I tend to see that as the brilliance of the story telling (but again I understand others don’t)–that and the fact that those first however many built up to yet another reason why they make it. Why she remembers. I know I’ve said this before but my faith is predicated on not just what we know from the last 4 years but all thoughout the season as well.

        Fantastic wisdom about life in the post as well. Can’t go wrong with that quote. Actually it applies fittingly to Cliffhanger vs. Goodbye, to me anyway.

      • Dave and Faith, sorry if I came across harsh. My issue was really about time and place. When trying to convince someone to give season 5 (or any season) a try, it’s best not to talk about how the finale was dissatisfying, the hope in it was worthless, and the first eight were heartbreaking. It’s better to say in the first nine you get to see Morgan depantsed and shot, Sarah and Chuck infiltrating a nudist colony, Lester arrested, Shaw beat over the head with a frying pan, Sarah’s adorable little sister, and a happy Mr. and Mrs. Bartowski. Also Casey gets a girlfriend. Ok, maybe that last one is a little scarey, but it’s funny too.

        I’m also a don’t stop in the middle person, but not everyone is like that. Considering the circumstances, my recommendation seemed reasonable. It’s been spoiled now.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        “You’ll feel something at the very least. Isn’t that what entertainment is for? To make us experience a facsimile of life?”

        No, Faith. That is what entertainment is for YOU. A great many people need entertainment to escape from life, for just a few precious moments. Where life is concerned, you can’t change the channel or turn the set off. Those moments away from the heartache, the loneliness, the dragging pain and the seemingly endless burden of what they face every day might be part of what allows them to stay sane. What many people wanted was joy, happiness and maybe a sense of moving forward, of finding new adventures; instead they got repeated emotional abuse, capped off with (what was at best) bittersweet ambiguity.

        If you liked the finale, that’s great for you; it just wasn’t what many people wanted, or see as entertainment.

      • Faith says:

        Verkan, let me be clear. I’m not forcing anyone to like it. I’m not even dwelling on the reasons I do. Obviously entertainment is entirely subjective. I never said otherwise. I also never said that the facsimile is a happy one. It’s sad, devasting and for some hopeful if not happy ending. I don’t know how many times I have said that people will make of it what they will, just like they will make of life what they will. In this instance I think the up and down of the season specifically showcases the full extent of life as Thinkling put it. It is to me entertaining. Maybe to no one else, I never said it had to be.

        I feel sort of defensive today. On the one hand I’m perceived to be saying it’s horrible, on the other, too good. I am probably somewhere in the middle.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I get all that. I’m really not that hopeless at sales, I’ve brought at least eight viewers since mid S2 to Chuck that I can think of right off. But this was a specific case of someone who had already watched the first four seasons, and the end of the finale and not liked it. I see no way to deal with that without addressing the specific concerns regarding that finale. I’m actually watching through S5 with a co-worker right now, we’re up to Bo. He has no preconceptions or expectations beyond the fact I mentioned the ending was “controversial” back when it first ran. I am really looking forward to his opinions when we get to it (hopefully next week). I’m certainly not about to say anything to predispose him against it. My happyist outcome would be if he loves it and can tell me why.

  24. I think I understand what you’re trying to say Faith. That to watch the first 9 episodes and then stopping, while having knowledge of the end will only increase the emotional depression that I find myself in. If/when I start season 5, there is no stopping until the finale is reached. That all though the final 4 episodes are dark and emotionally trying, they must be watched as a whole, with season 5. Knowing the outcome of the finale (did I say that right) it’s an all or nothing thing. The choice boils down to either stay at CliffHanger, or watch all of season 5, because if not, the ending is even more out of context?

    • Faith says:

      Yeah that’s it. But instead of out of context, I mean more heartbreaking. My personal opinion of course. The context pt was regarding the finale. Like Dave put it above.

    • oldresorter says:

      There are several points where season 5 did end good enough for a series final. Two times at the end of baby, as well as the beginning of kept man with a positive result for the test, and also after Chuck and Sarah got together in the bullet train. Another way of looking at the show this season, the series ended at the end of baby, and after that, two movies were made, the first one was a ‘fluffy’ one, kept man and bo ending with a cliff hanger, the second one was a ‘dark’ one, ending in an ‘artsy’ way. Bullet train even has a movie like beginning, maybe a warning that the next three eps are going to be something different. I’ll never know why TPTB decided to do something so strange to end the series, but they did. Honestly, if the end is the first time you noticed this tendency, you should be able to accept the ending, the strangeness was with us most of the way. For me, I liked the show in spite of the way the show was written, not because of it, the ending, just cemented that legacy.

  25. My apologies. I really didn’t mean to cause such a heated and emotional confrontation. That really wasn’t my intention. Unfortunately it happens everytime I try to interact with people. Which is generally why I don’t.

    I appreciate the advice and the willingness of complete strangers going out of their way to try and connect with a fan, and to try and help.

    It’s correct to say I’m not a new viewer or fan of the show, or of the relationship that is Charah. I used to have daily watching of various episodes, as well as monthly marathons, up until life happened and/or when the finale was spoiled for me. Since watching the last beach scene, I haven’t watched Chuck, save an occasional episode here or there. My lack of interest in S5 has nothing to do with whether I believe the show is a waste of time, but rather my own emotional state and the emotional investment/attachment to Charah. For 5 years they were my family, my friends, and quite honestly, I lived vicariously through them. Talking to people is easy on the computer, because I can be whoever I want to be behind the screen, but in real life? I’m extremely anti-social, keep to myself. For 4 years (s1-s4) I experienced life through Chuck. I went through a very dark time in my life a few years back (no, I’m not going to go into details) and it would be no exaggerations(?) to say that Chuck was one of the very few things that I held onto to keep my sanity. Which may explain my unwillingness to say goodbye.

    To be brutally honest, the only two people hear that I really “know” in the responses to this blog are Faith and Kev, both through twitter. I’m not saying that everyone elses view is irrelevant or unwelcome, but that they both have a little more detail on me and my issues because of our twitter conversations. I didn’t realize that Faith was jemjoven (for it was she who sent me to this blog, after conversations that we had on twitter about this very topic, and my concerns of saying goodbye). It was her love for the show and the compassion that she showed to a complete stranger (who is obviously having emotional/mental issues right now) that garnered my respect for her and the way she looks at the show. Kev is the same story (sorta) with his opinion on the opposite side of the spectrum as Faith’s. Where as Faith sees hope and happiness, Kev said …”I didn’t see that on screen at all. I saw a woman who was lost and damaged, and wanted her life and her love back – and the beach scene and the kiss were the start of a (long) healing process.” And there is the biggest issue in a nut shell. Along with all the other blogs that I’ve read, all the research I’ve personally done to try and help reconcile my emotions, two people that I “know” and respect, both who love/loved the show, who’s opinion are respected by me and others, who have both seen all 91 episodes, view them from totally different sides of the spectrum, which I guess is par for the course, because noone that I’ve tried to talk to, to garner their insights and opinions and advice, seem to agree with anyone else.

    Jeff and Dave, rest assured. I don’t hate the show, at least I don’t think I do. If I did, I doubt that I would be trying so desperately to find answers to help me deal with the emotional state that I find myself in. I value what everyone else has said. I have been adviced by several people, including Kev that I I could stop after the BABY and life is happily everafter. I have heard it, and am considering it. I know that I am going to one day sit down and watch some or all of season 5, though I am still undecided about how much I’ll be ready for, or when that will be. today, tomorrow, next week, next month? Probably not, but then again it’s possible.

    Faith said something that stuck with me earlier, and that’s that because I know the ending, without the context of the final season, the heartache that I’m experiencing won’t get any better or easier, and that I need to decide for myself when and if I’m ready to watch, and when I finally do, then it’s up to me to take what I can from that.

    Again, I am so sorry that I caused rife and distension among everyone here. And again, Thank you guys.

    • Faith says:

      No apologies necessary, it’s par for the course. We take our Chuck seriously (ownership and all), maybe too much. Okay never enough ;).

    • BigKev67 says:

      Hi Sierra,
      Just wanted to clarify something to make sure I’m not giving you an incorrect impression of what I think 🙂
      I think Chuck and Sarah end up together and happy. Faith and I aren’t completely at the opposite ends of the spectrum, because we completely agree with each other about that. Even if I do see Sarah as damaged at the end, I think her and Chuck leave the beach together, rebuild their lives together and heal together. I think it just takes a while.
      Faith and I disagree (respectfully) about whether that is a satisfying ending, or an appropriate ending for the show – but I don’t want you to leave you with the impression that I think all is lost, or that Chuck and Sarah don’t end up together. They absolutely do.

      • atcDave says:

        And Kev I do think watching the episode those are the only reasonable choices. Those who try to paint very bleak possibilities just weren’t paying attention.

        You know I’m also in the camp of those who weren’t terribly pleased at first, but I think I’m mostly okay with it now (at least the intent, not so much the execution!)

  26. Ernie Davis says:

    I’ll just say this. I have season 5 on DVD, and iTunes, but I still can’t bring myself to delete it from my DVR. The end was bittersweet, which to me was the perfect emotion to share with the fans.

    And if you’re on twitter it seems Zach is doing his best to keep the Chuck family humming along, working together. (with a dash of Firefly)

    The dude’s nerd-cred is about to go postal.

  27. Sam Carter says:

    @Ernie Davis:”The end was bittersweet, which to me was the perfect emotion to share with the fans.”

    Really?! Why? I wanted it to be more like Other Guy or Subway (minus the last 5 mins).

    • Sam Carter says:

      I meant Ring P2.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      This was the end, the definitive end. Being happy to see our heroes reach an end, and a new beginning, but sad we’d see no more of their continued journey together was bittersweet, and to me appropriate,

      I was glad to see the story, sorry to see the end of our part.

      • Sam Carter says:

        Wow, as a fan I wanted to feel happy for them not sorry. The ending didn’t really work for me because Chuck was more like a comedy at heart. I still love the show, haven’t done a rewatch since the ending, but I’m planning to. I just chose to mostly ignore the final few episodes and the whole thing works better for me.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        As I said, I thought it was a happy ending, the two of them reconnecting on the beach, even though there was a sense of loss about it both based on the end of this chapter of their story and the (temporary) loss of Sarah’s memories, but she remembered who she was after her time with Chuck, even if she didn’t remember how she got there yet.

  28. Delwin says:

    Ditto for me. The ending of Chuck would perfectly fit for some more serious show (to be clear: I find the last episode really good when talking in pure “technical” manner) but not for Chuck (it simply does not “sound” right). I need to wait for DVD (I am not Region 1 unfortunately) and hope to see it in better light. At the same time I hope that it will not mean that I stopped to care for the characters. Because if you stop to care about them it means that the ending is not heartbraking at all. Unfortunately it happens for my “Castle” approach – I do not care about all this romantic [ ] anymore (the magic was gone about 1 season ago). What’s extremely awesome here – it seems that we discuss the Chuck’s ending because we still care :-).

    • atcDave says:

      Delwin I hope re-watching the finale helps you like it more, or at least see it as more upbeat! The extended cut helped me quite a bit (it’s in the extra features, not the episode list); I think it makes Sarah’s progress and readiness to take her life back a little more clear. Although its all still a little artsy for my taste, but I do get it now.

      I hear you on Castle too, although I’m not as invested in that romance anyway, I do think they carried the wt/wt out a season too long. Of course Chuck did exactly the same thing (even though Chuck resolved it in S3 instead of S4 like Castle, I think that was a season too long).

    • Delwin, Region 2 is coming out October 15. I don’t know about other region release dates. But the Blu-Ray is supposed to be region-free.

  29. Delwin says:

    Perhaps I should invest in one (I do not have the Blu-Ray player) as my patients is not my virtue.

    @AtcDave
    Of course Chuck did exactly the same thing (even though Chuck resolved it in S3 instead of S4 like Castle, I think that was a season too long).

    Can’t agree. The “starting” position for both cases is totally different (it is much “closer” to imagine the romance between the famous writer and the attractive policewoman while in Chuck, well – nerdy asset to be with “stone cold/hot as hell” CIA operative? Although I am not entirely happy with the Season 3 beginning and solution how to create the break up, getting them together in Season 3 was fine. It is still believable while in Castle, well… Who cares?.

    • oldresorter says:

      Interesting how much disconnect Chuck fans have between each other. No wonder the writers had so much trouble. I too saw Chuck as having no shot at Sarah (superficially at least), which made the show ‘funny’ as hell, and fun. So the lady walks into the BuyMore in the pilot, sees this awkward geek, and thinks ‘loser’ immediately, but by the time she leaves, she ‘magically’ has been swept off her feet.

      Many fans see it quite different,and see Chuck and Sarah as much more equals, which again, is either a failure in the story teller to communicate a clear message, or a purposeful attempt to tell an ambiguous story, beginning way back in the pilot. The comedy vs drama stuff is the same discussion. The final two eps were either way too melodramatic for a comedy, or perfectly fitting for a melodramatic series. Both opinions have been eloquently exposed, by a wide variety of fans on this very blog.

      What I felt really, really, really failed in the final two eps, was Sarah was NOT swept off her feet by Chuck early in the pair, nor was the reason she was not swept off her feet communicated at any point, hence people have to make stuff up to come to terms with how joyless the final two eps were. I can’t disagree with how people came to grips with her not being swept off her feet in an obvious manner, and I am happy that many were able to enjoy the final by digging for the story and filling in the blanks. But even they do not see a happy pair of eps, and most of them had to blink twice when the show ended ambiguously on the beach.

      But, few really would call the final an obvious triumph of ‘epic’, more a subtle tribute to the most nuanced aspects of the show that many did not perceive at all. The man or woman who thought of the idea for the final is either clueless, incompetent, or downright mean. Once you realize the flaw in the story teller, the ending is easy to accept (as is season 3), the style is in the very nature of the show.

      • joe says:

        So the lady walks into the BuyMore in the pilot, sees this awkward geek, and thinks ‘loser’ immediately, but by the time she leaves, she ‘magically’ has been swept off her feet.

        That’s particularly striking to me today, OR! It’s very coincidental, but in the course of my re-watch I just decided that I misunderstood nearly everything about Sarah, and you just hit on it.

        I too thought Sarah waked into the Buy More, saw a nerd, and waited years to be swept off her feet. Well, what I’m saying is that it took Chuck years to sweep her off her feet.

        Uh-uh. Now I can’t shake the feeling that she was head over heels from the first, and fighting to constantly, even heroically for two years, and then fighting with Chuck, constantly and heroically, to be the couple they wanted to be for the last three. That was the story.

        All this struggle was done almost without words, because Sarah was just not good at expressing her feelings. Ever. That’s why I misunderstood her for so long.

      • atcDave says:

        In Other Guy Sarah said she’d fallen for Chuck in the time of the Pilot. We all know it’s a long way from that to any life changing decisions, but the journey towards that started right away. I think from that very beginning I always saw two very admirable characters who complimented each other perfectly (Chuck had interpersonal skills and emotional self awareness but was lacking direction. Sarah was very focused and driven, but had no personal life. They both had a moral center and desire to do the right thing. So they strengthened and completed each other).
        That’s all part of why I’ve come to see the ending as all positive too. They were more or less made for each other and there’s no escaping it.

      • olddarth says:

        ‘Interesting how much disconnect Chuck fans have between each other. No wonder the writers had so much trouble.’

        That’s what inconsistent writing vis a vis – backstory inconsistencies and character serving story instead of the other way around – results in.

        The differing reactions of the fans is not their doing but what the writing left them to ponder. The writers, not the fans, created the ‘trouble.’

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think some of us fans have contributed quite a bit to the “troubles” at times, and the writers ended up pleasing some of us while alienating others. As I recall OD you famously broke with the show over a plot twist you declared dishonest retcon that some of us quite liked and didn’t see a problem with.

        Chuck could be uneven at times and writing was certainly a part of that, but I see just as much angst arising out of the fan base over differing tastes and expectations over what kind of show Chuck is or should be.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, while I do agree with what you say, I always saw a certain West Side Story aspect to Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. Each in love with someone they didn’t think they could be with and whose competing worlds and lives seemed determined to deny them the chance they wanted. Maybe that’s why the ending bothered me less than some, I just saw it as the inevitable last gasp of the spy world, sort of personified as the intersect, trying to pull them apart before it lost it’s hold on them.

      • atcDave says:

        While I always hesitate to put much blame on fans or viewers I think it is fair to say the first two seasons brought together a very diverse fanbase with very different tastes and expectations. The next three seasons tended to consistently please some viewers and alienate others. Now in spite of that, surveys do show some very popular episodes from the later years of Chuck (Honeymooners and Phase Three come to mind); but after Ring (2.22), I don’t believe there was ever another episode without a significant number of detractors.

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie I like the way you put that about the ending. Given that I didn’t see it that way on initial viewing, it will likely always leave a bitter taste in my mouth; but the peace I have been able to make with it comes down to something like what you said.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, I certainly don’t blame fans for their differing reactions to the show. That’s just a matter of taste and individual preference. I do however wish people would be a bit more aware of the part that their preferences and expectations play in their enjoyment of the show and not “blame” other fans or TPTB for “ruining” the show or for intentionally insulting or alienating one or another segment of the fan base. There were a lot of differing tastes and constituencies to please, and unfortunately they sometimes seemed mutually exclusive, but I think that is the cost of a genre-crossing show like Chuck. The benefit was when everything worked there was nothing better. The downside, if any one thing was a bit off it was bound to piss off some part of the fanbase. From the post-series interviews it seems that the season 3 production cuts took quite a toll on TPTB’s ability to maintain the balance they’d achieved in season 2.

      • oldresorter says:

        Story telling in not just about choices, but also about consequences. The showrunner, advertised a ‘love letter’ to the fans and delivered instead a joyless kick in the teeth, ended by an ambiguous’ artsy’ ending, that was done by choice. Fan’s reactions are the consequence. The ending was done in a certain manner by choice, certainly TPTB knew that a happy ending that delivered on the season long ‘teases’ would have been more popular, rather than forgetting all the teases, in a mind wiped leading lady and starting over. If they did not know failure to deliver on teases would be unpopular, they are clueless and incompetent. If they did know, they are mean spirited, by choice. Fan reaction, that is the consequence.

      • olddarth says:

        Ernie, your recollection is spot on as to my position on the Volkoff Retcon. And I still stand by it. But I never broke with the show. Chuck became a show I was no longer invested in after that point.

        The first 3 seasons and the characters, will always remain near and dear to my heart. And I rue the lost opportunities that followed in the seasons afterwards.

        Viewer interpretation will always be a factor in the equation, and good stories indeed do leave open texture for the audience to feed off of. Its when the texture is composed of conflicting strokes is where problems arise. Which is what happened with the writing on Chuck and the fractured fan base.

        Also, viewer reaction is not solely what is being presented to them but also what they want from the story.

        And there is no right or wrong in anyone’s reactions. There is just our….. reactions.

      • garnet says:

        I think I have given the writers quite a bit of leeway where some plot holes/retcon is concerned. I think that for a show with the history that Chuck has, it can be difficult/impossible for a group of writers who have a limited time to work on an episode without throwing in a few inconsistancies. For them it was their job and not their obsession. I doubt that they woudl rewatch whole seasons multiple times before starting the script for an episode. At least we didn’t get wholesale plot tropes (the whole season was a dream–I’ll just twist my sonic screwdriver and it will be fixed again this week).

        Some issues I find harder to forgive-the Intersect itself, the artificial heart of our story if you will, has gone through multiple changes and inconsistancies. The biggest being, if Roark, Bartowski, and Winterbottom had made the intersect that was downloaded in 5:13 why would the intersect room have been necessary at all? And the idea that they each had a part of the key to change it, well how could Steven B have changed it to produce the intersect 2.0 without the help of Roark or Winterbottom?

        Inspite of these questions CHUCK remains fun to watch and at times fun to pick apart. I’d like to see a thread about all the “Mistakes” that we have picked up on over the seasons (think about the hair behind the scene-or not behind the ear depending on the view). I would see it as a chance for the sharp-eyed nit-pickers to shine. After all ST: TNG has a whole BOOK about nits that have been picked.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t know Garnet, we’ve done so much nitpicking here it makes me nervous to encourage more of it! I do agree a lot of it is just in fun, and I often love a good laugh over an inconsequential mistake. But it seems such a fine line from there to really getting into some of the more bitter things. In particular, one thing that strikes me as small and silly may be a big deal to someone else.
        And I manage to stir up enough ill will regularly as it is, I don’t need a new thread to encourage me to do it more!

      • garnet, it’s not always as simple as a sonic screwdriver. Need to rebuild the sets to be HD quality? Need everyone to forget Cybermen and Dalek’s in streets? Need everyone to forget planets in the sky? No problem. Just tear a hole in Amy Ponds wall that represents a crack in the universe. (WHAT?!?!?)

        The Intersect tech “stuff” was always fuzzy. Chuck was technobabble-light, unlike shows like Star Trek and Stargate. I’ll take a shot at your questions:
        1) if Roark, Bartowski, and Winterbottom had made the intersect that was downloaded in 5:13 why would the intersect room have been necessary at all?

        The Intersect room didn’t make sense because no one could look at all of the walls at the same time. It followed the Rule of Cool. However, Roark, Orion, and Winterbottom didn’t necessarily let the US government keep all of their research. Orion somehow gave the third part of the key to Beckman without her knowing his name was Bartowski (retcon, Beckman was lying, or Beckman was stupid, your choice). Maybe the room was a “design enhancement” after the three disappeared. Maybe it was a workaround to a problem that the super trio didn’t reveal to the government.

        2) And the idea that they each had a part of the key to change it, well how could Steven B have changed it to produce the intersect 2.0 without the help of Roark or Winterbottom?

        I have a better answer for this one. The key was so anyone could use it safely. It prevented the memory bug for taking effect. An Intersect expert, like Ellie after she studied her dad’s laptop, could use the key to reprogram the Intersect for other purposes (e.g. maybe memory recall). However the designer of the Intersect (i.e. THE expert) would know enough to reproduce the functionality of the key on his own. Roark couldn’t do this because he stole ideas from Stephen. Winterbottom wasn’t already Volkoff before the big bugs were fixed. So Stephen is the only one who could do it.

        Think of it as the key let anyone open the door. A locksmith could customize the key to open other doors. Stephen could build a new key cutting machine and could forge blank keys.

      • garnet says:

        I accept your point Dave, but there are moments that are worth going over because they could be deliberate or they could be technobabble or they could be convenient.
        I think of Devon’s comment I think from the pilot: “I’m late. I have to do an emergentcy endotracheal intubation”.

        If we analize this it is nonsense (what cardiovascular surgeon does intubations let alone emergency ones, and if it really is an emergency he has about 4 minutes to get it done before it isn’t an emergency so what is he doing at home and giving group hugs) but it is a great line and I think I snorted my coffee up my nose when I first watched the episode. In another scene, what is Devon doing putting steristrips on Bryce’s cut, that hardly seems to be in keeping with a cardiac surgeon (but again gives us a great line about knowing hearts)

      • Rob says:

        I never thought about the gaps in the technology story, mostly because it simply wasn’t that important to me. But, is it possible that the “intersect rooms” which were enormous, and therefore difficult to construct, provided the person who uploaded the intersect with the safest and most stable version. On the other hand, the glasses which provided a more portable, and likely less stable version, needed specific enhancements to ensure that the upload would be safe.

      • atcDave says:

        I know Jeff has written up a version history of the Intersects.

        As for the room, I suppose the whole room could be faster or more efficient, especially for mass downloads. But of course, that hardly matches what we saw on screen, the Intersect room always seemed to take much longer. But then we never had a true apples to apples sort of comparison, its all been a mish mash of different versions with different characteristics. I think the bottom line is, we weren’t really meant to think about it too much.

        BTW, Thinkling has made a heroic effort to explain some of Ellie’s work on the Intersect; Coming soon! In the next chapter of Sarah vs Finding Herself… (again, its not up yet, don’t get tooooo excited!)

      • My Intersect history is here.

        I like Rob’s theory about the room being safer. The safety also depended on if the target could handle it better (like Chuck could). In the first four seasons, I thought the glasses were only for temporary downloads (Manoosh), updates (Chuck), or suppression (Hartley and Chuck). Intersect rooms were the best way for Chuck and Shaw to do initial downloads. We don’t know how the Gretas were downloaded. Chuck’s computer took a long time with the initial email, so Dave’s theory makes some sense. Even the suppression in Colonel took a while because it was a single screen. It could be argued the laptop was quicker because it was an Orion laptop. The glassed used by Morgan at the end of S4 and by Sarah and Chuck may have just been faster because the technology was improved. More likely it was because they weren’t worried about it. Like Dave said, we’re thinking about it too much.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well the intersect itself has gone through some retcon. If you recall in the pilot and Helicopter it was portrayed as if Chuck being able to remember the secrets was a freak accident, not the designed intent of the intersect. By season 2 it had been Orion’s goal all along. That said they did connect a few dots, so we can fill in a history of sorts.

        In 1980 the first experimental intersect is uploaded to Hartley Winterbottom who goes undercover and promptly disappears. We can assume that “the key” was divided up prior to this. Mary’s explanation, that it allowed you to add to or reprogram the pristine intersect but required the consent of all three implies that there was likely a falling out between the three, which also matches up with Stephen’s animosity toward Roark in dream job. Subsequently each of the three then pursued their own version of the intersect technology. Stephen’s was apparently the most successful, and is the one that the NSA and DARPA have preserved and modified. Stephen, and then Ellie have continued to modify their versions however, so which version who has may be the determining factor of whether it has had bugs introduced that “the key” could prevent or repair.

        Mary Bartowski disappears around 1991-1992. I always like to imagine that after the cold war Hartley is spotted and Mary (a familiar face) is sent to contact or extract him, then finds Volkoff has taken over, but is trapped on the mission due to Volkoff’s obsession with her and her need to protect her family.

        In Predator Beckman says that after the first intersect cipher was complete Orion erased all his personnel records and disappeared, and in Lethal Weapon Perseus seems to indicate that the project scientists knew each other only by code name, meaning that Beckman might know Orion and what he looked like but would have no way of associating that code name with Stephen Bartowski. Beckman if you recall was still in the field taking down the Berlin wall with Roan throughout the 80’s so she might not have taken over the Intersect project till after Mary was gone, so Orion could have given her his part of the key shortly before he left the project to disappear.

        As usual with Chuck the timelines get a bit fuzzy and confusing, if not conflicting, but (at least initially) Ellie is 11 and Chuck 9 when their mother disappears. Their father leaves when Chuck is 16 and Ellie apparently 18 based on the initial chronology of the show (it starts on Chuck’s 26th birthday based on his flash on himself in Alma Mater). Of course initially Chuck was from Connecticut according to that flash, so…

        So we aren’t sure if Stephen leaves the intersect project shortly after Mary’s disappearance, taking himself out of the government databases so he can stay with Chuck and Ellie till Ellie turns 18 and can legally act as a guardian for Chuck, or if he only leaves the project later and immediately goes on the run. I usually go with the first scenario. It also fits with him working on the intersect to fix Hartley and get his wife back, plus he’s hiding from different factions within the CIA for multiple reasons, some because he can tie them to the creation of Volkoff, others (Fulcrum included) because they want his expertise on the intersect project.

        As for the intersect history itself, Jeff’s chronology is about as close to definitive as we’ll probably ever get, but this is just the way I reconcile the often confusing and fuzzy mythology.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Ernie,

        Thanks for the timeline. I was in the process of doing one and you just saved me oodles of time. Where did you get the time hack of 1980 for Hartkey’s upload? I thought it was more like 1985. I’m curious because it impacts dialogue to the story I’m writing.

      • oldresorter says:

        ww1 – I used those dates for something I wrote, I found the same ones as Ernie here:

        http://chuck-nbc.wikia.com/wiki/Chuck_Timeline

  30. Sam Carter says:

    @Ernie Davis:”As I said, I thought it was a happy ending, the two of them reconnecting on the beach, even though there was a sense of loss about it both based on the end of this chapter of their story and the (temporary) loss of Sarah’s memories, but she remembered who she was after her time with Chuck, even if she didn’t remember how she got there yet”

    I didn’t see all that. To me it was clearly a very bettersweet ending, totally out of tone with the whole show and especially with how the show handles the ‘endings.’ Also, She remembered who she was? Didn’t see that at all. She was still a broken woman who was acting more on instict and some residual memory than an actual memory, IMO. Fedak says that they stay together, etc; but the contrary could have happened as well. Why? Because Sarah was always changing her mind being the damaged woman that she was. Before the amnesia arc I can totally see her staying with him forever, but after that.. not so sure. Look, everybody sees what they want to see, and that’s ok, but I just hated that the show went there this late in the show. It was NOT the best way to end it, to me. The whole things felt VERY forced. Oh well, it’s just a show. I have more important things to worry about in my life. Cheers!

  31. garnet says:

    I still have to think that my own reaction is coloured by the fact that CHUCK was ending. I don’t think that the “happiest ending in the world” would have left me feeling remotely happy.

    I see the romance restarting, and I think that the extended scenes really do help to make it clear just how big a step Sarah was taking when she agreed to hear “our” story. And to request the kiss. I think that Chuck has broken down her walls yet again and it is happy time for them.

    For me, it remains quite sad because I no longer get to be a part of anymore of their adventures. It is like losing a close friend.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with all of that Garnet. I still think I would have been more pleased with something overtly happy. But the end of the show was going to have certain negative feelings no matter what.

      • garnet says:

        I agree with the comment above about the West Side Story feel, except I’d say more Romeo and Juliet, and if the truth be known I have never really liked that play. I little more communucation and there wouldn’t have been a problem….. Wait, isn’t that what people have said about TV shows, you can’t have good communucation or you don’t have a story. Perhaps we shouldn’t blame the writers of today for believing this, perhaps we should blame old Will for staring the trend!

      • garnet says:

        That should have been “communication”…… twice.

  32. “I feel in love with you a long time ago, after you fixed my phone and before you started diffusing bombs with computer viruses.”

    I am in the camp that Sarah was not just outside of Chuck’s league, but that if Chuck wasn’t the “mark”, she’d have never glanced his way twice. Then, in those first magical scenes, with first the ballerina, and then the “date”, especially at the restaurant, “I like you Chuck” *magical smile*, somehow, geeky-old Chuck Bartowski, the everyday-average-Joe, breaks through the walls of a sophisticated, attractive, experienced CIA operative. (I’m not saying she fell head over heels in love with him right away. Even as Faith pointed out, she had her own personal demons to wrestle with—Bryce, the fact that she WAS a spy, Chuck was her asset, she was completely unavailable and closed off emotionally, but somehow by the time we get to Sizzling Shrimp and the infamous “Lisa. My middle name is Lisa.” It becomes clear that she has feelings for Chuck, beyond the professional boundaries, and again as Faith pointed out, she didn’t know what to do about it.) He should have had NO shot, but it happened, and we loved them for it. What was it MORGAN said to CHUCK? “After all, if you can get someone like Sarah, that means just about anythings possible (Corina)”; meaning it could happen to us. It was one of the things that I found magical about the show. It’s what kept me coming back time and time again. Which gives me pause when I read this:

    “…hence people have to make stuff up to come to terms with how joyless the final two eps were… I am happy that many were able to enjoy the final by digging for the story and filling in the blanks. But even they do not see a happy pair of eps, and most of them had to blink twice when the show ended ambiguously on the beach… The showrunner, advertised a ‘love letter’ to the fans and delivered instead a joyless kick in the teeth, ended by an ambiguous’ artsy’ ending.”

    I think it’s relatively obvious how I viewed the show, the love story was always front and center. That’s why my original concern over Season 5. I’d love to be able to watch up until Baby or Kept Man, because I want to see them happy. I want to see them get everything they wanted, what they discussed, and from what most people have said, what was shown in those and earlier episodes. I want to be swept away on those magical adventures that I’ve missed, basking in the love and warmth that characterized Charah’s relationship. But I’m a lot like Faith in regards to, once I start watching, I won’t stop until the end. Granted the person who made this statement probably isn’t as emotionally unstable or connected to the story as I am, but he’s is, or was, clearly a fan of the show, and his response really isn’t heartening as to my ability to “hold it together” when I finally reach the end of the finale.

    “… but she remembered who she was after her time with Chuck, even if she didn’t remember how she got there yet. I didn’t see all that. To me it was clearly a very bettersweet ending…”

    To be perfectly honest, I’m not so much hung up on her memories per say. I mean it would be sad and tragic if she didn’t recover her memories, but my main concern is and always has been, are they happy, are they together, most importantly, does she feel that love for him? To me it’s not as important to remember the details of the 5 years; so much as she remembers the emotions of the last 5 years.

    Also, she remembered who she was? Didn’t see that at all. She was still a broken woman who was acting more on instinct and some residual memory, than an actual memory, IMO. Fedak says that they stay together, etc. but the contrary could have happened as well. Why? Because Sarah was always changing her mind being the damaged woman that she was. Before the amnesia arc I can totally see her staying with him forever, but after that… not so sure.

    Again, another reason why I worry about watching Season 5. Maybe I’m a little mentally and emotionally unhinged in regards to my attachment to the characters. But, in a lot of ways, they were friends, family, in a very real sense. For 4 years I celebrated when they did, and cried when they did. I found myself empathizing with their trials and tribulations, rooting for the best possible future for them. I really don’t want to see Chuck as emotionally devastated as I am, nor do I want to see Sarah damaged and emotionally broken. I don’t want to leave my friends and family where there is any doubt as to their happiness and future. This person was a fan at one point, but evidently the finale left them vastly disappointed and it looks like they have stopped caring. Yet, they saw the same thing as everyone else, what I’ll see if/when I finally do sit down to watch season 5. I fear that I may react as “violently” as both he and the afore mentioned fan.

    Honestly, Seasons 1 & 2 are my favorite, but I did like and enjoy seasons 3 & 4, and I do include all 78 episodes of seasons 1-4 in my rewatches. I actually came to this blog, looking for answers and a reason to even try and watch season 5. I wanted/needed answers to try and make sense of what the season, but more importantly, what the finale was trying to say. Unfortunately, I’m still shaking my head in indecisiveness (?). Everyone see’s something different, but there is definitely a clear-cut black and white emotional line. You either get it or you don’t; you either love it or hate it. Guess in the end, Faith was right. It’s something personal that each person has to decide for themselves. It just doesn’t look like I’m going to be making that decision soon. As much as I want season 5, I’m definitely not ready to see my favorite people shells of what they once were, with questions or doubt surrounding them. I’m afraid I won’t see the happy ending, but instead the emotional abuse and damage dealt to the characters.

    • atcDave says:

      Sierra seriously, you’re spiraling, stop it. Everything you said you want to see was there. Chuck and Sarah are together, they are happy about, and they will get better very quickly from the end we saw. You are taking five minutes grossly out of context. Sarah is not nearly as damaged as you presume. If you watch the whole season the course of Sarah’s recovery is not really in question or doubt. Until you watch the season you have no grounds for making such worrisome comments. And the worst case scenarios have zero chance of being true. Sarah is the same person who fell in love with Chuck in about 24 hourse the first time around. The second time, even if memories don’t come back quickly, she is emotionally more mature and there are no external obstacles.
      You are spilling a lot of electrons here over nothing.

  33. garnet says:

    Sierra, I’d like to give you my two cents, and first, I’d hazard a guess that you are not alone in the camp that thought of them as friends. I know that they are only characters played by actors on TV, but the acting brought them to life in a way few shows, I have ever watched, managed to do.
    I also know that as a nearly 50 year old guy, the finale left me emotionally wrung out. I was prone to finding the room “dusty” any time I even thought about CHUCK for almost the first week. Even months later it is sometimes hard to think of the show being over. BUT, I am glad I watched it, I am glad I did analyze it over and over, and I do belive that the episodes of Season 5 holds the overall key to what Chuck and Sarah want and will have. I believe I am seeing Sarah let down her defences and falling for Chuck all over again. I also believe that TPTB thought that we would love the idea of revisiting Chuck and Sarah falling in love again against a backdrop of familiar scenes and situations (a love letter to the fans). The extended finale does help show just how significant the final “Tell me OUR story” was, in a way that might have been too subtle in the original aired version. And the willingness to try to retrieve her memories with a kiss… that isn’t season 1-2 or even 3 Sarah. It is Sarah Bartowski on her way back.

    Do I regret watching Season 5? No. I only wish that it was not the end for my involvement in the lives of these special friends. My suggestion would be to watch all the episodes and come back to discuss them with us (like it, hate it or somewhere in between) I’d also suggest visitng the post “Past is Prologue” and finally I’d really suggest reading Thinkling’s Fan Fic Sarah vs Finding Herself for a very enjoyable and true to CHUCK post 5.13 story.

    Darn it, even writing this post is making the room a little “dusty”

    • atcDave says:

      That was all very well put Garnet, thank you.

      • garnet says:

        Thanks Dave, now if I could only spell (or type) I’d be doing well.

      • atcDave says:

        Blame it all on auto-correct, it always seems to compound errors (and don’t worry about if you’re actually using it or not!).

    • Rob says:

      Garnet — couldn’t agree more.

      Speaking of Choices … since that is the title of this entry … I have been feeling brave and decided to revisit the beginning of S3. Both C&S make pretty significant choices that lead to the angst in S3. Sarah picks Chuck over Spy Life and Chuck does the opposite. Both of these choices are logical extensions of S2. Sarah realizes that she wants to have a real life, and Chuck decides that he is not content with being average (as he percieves himself), and wants to become the hero. These seemingly inconsistent choices drive the two apart, and it is not until Honeymooners that they realize that the two choices can be compatible.

      As much as I dislike the specific path that TPTB chose for S3, I better understand their method. Both C&S had to come to terms with the ability to be both couple and spy. In that regard, the first two episodes of S3 (which is far as I got) are actually quite good. They show Sarah’s disappointment with Chuck’s choice (no shock here), and then they show the mending of that break when Chuck confesses his love for her through the vault door. I will probably never understand the introduction of Hannah and Shaw as romantic interests for Chuck and Sarah, but having re-watched the first two episodes of S3, I now believe that Sarah and Chuck could not have jumped to Honeymooners as of the beginning of S3. They simply weren’t ready to make that choice yet.

      • atcDave says:

        Rob you know Chuck and Sarah are fictional characters, they’re ready to make the jump when they’re written to do so (sorry)! I never buy anything “had to be” a certain way. I’ve read so many well conceived amateur attempts that skip or lessen the S3 angst I don’t believe there was any inevitability about it.
        But that said, having Chuck and Sarah’s goals switch at the beginning of S3 was potentially an interesting story. I don’t believe I ever would have loved it, but it might have been perfectly functional (like the finale). But the love triangles just reduce the whole thing to soap opera tripe. They completely negate any value that have otherwise come from the season.

      • Rob says:

        Come on Dave…..I thought they were real (lol).

        I know that many here didn’t like the Intersect 2.0, and what it did for Chuck. But, I don’t think that we could have had another season of the Intersect 1.0. How many times could Chuck have stayed in the car? So, I think the transition of Chuck into a “real spy” was the next logical step of the story, and he probably couldn’t have done it without the 2.0.

        Dave, I also know that you didn’t like the continuation of the wt/wt in S3. My point above was that I don’t think that the wt/wt was the problem with S3. It was (as you put it) the love triangles that were fabricated. I haven’t read any of the AU for S3. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of AUs because they are just that. If there was an FF that somehow justified the love triangles (like a back-story of how Sarah used Shaw), I’d probably be interested in those.

        Since the love triangles are so revolting to me, it will be interesting to see how far I’ll get before fastforwarding to Other Guy. Maybe I’ll just pretend that Shaw and Sarah were just friends.

      • jam says:

        Yes, the Intersect 2.0 definitely caused some lazy writing, but I’d agree that it was necessary to get rid of the “stay in the car Chuck”. They could have had Chuck go through a rigorous training process, but I think 2.0 was the more realistic option, as funny as that may sound.

        At that point in the show I was ready for Chuck to take a more active role, instead of seeing him do “the Morgan” while Sarah and Casey did the hard work.

        And Rob, consider giving AU S3 fics a chance, a few of them happen to be the among the best Chuck fics ever written (like Crumby’s Rogue Spy, or NinjaVanish’s Chuck & Sarah vs Themselves), 🙂 I used to think like you about AU fics and avoided them, but I’ve seen the light now. :p Besides isn’t basically every fanfic ever written AU, some more, some less?

      • atcDave says:

        Rob I know you know that! I’m mainly reacting to the “had to be” sort of argument.
        I do agree something needed to be done about Making Chuck more useful on missions. And I don’t hate the 2.0, it just isn’t my favorite plot device. I would have prefered just Chuck deciding to become a real agent and getting some traditional field training. The 2.0 always struck me as a silly gimmick, but you know,Chuck was often silly, and the 2.0 was a lot of fun on occasion, so that really isn’t a big thing to me.

        No doubt the love triangles are the S3 deal breaker to me. As I’ve said many times, I probably could have taken another round of wt/wt if they’d done it in a way that didn’t feel so disrespectful and destructive of the main characters. But what they did truly angers me.

        The fan fiction thing is funny. Of course it’s all AU, but that isn’t really my point. My point is all the different ways of advancing the story that fans have found. Some deal with similar issues to canon, some approach things from a completely different direction. I think the best S3 AUs I would recommend would be “Chuck and Sarah vs Themselves” by NinjaVanish; “Chuck vs the Fight” by KateMcK (more a collection of one-shots); “Chuck vs the Rogue Spy” by Crumby; and “Chuck vs Life, Love and Lies” by Uplink2.

      • Delwin says:

        Concerning the S3 – it always reminds me an old joke on the architect who is proudly presenting his newborn baby to the colleague. The collegue comments: nice one but I would done differently,…

        S3 idea – Chuck was going to be a “real” spy while Sarah wants to go back was actually very good, It is believable – the nerd who dreams to be a hero, the only annoying part was about the beginning: Chuck should not so openly betray Sarah (it was a betrayal and she took it too lightly in my opinion) when refusing to run with her from Prague (it should be less open – sth like Sarah is discouraging him from that route while he claims more less the same but with some extras e,g, “I owe it to Bryce” which would make his decision more “likeable” with unspoken question: Do you want it more than being with me?). in such a case there is no need to have so fast “mending” the friendship with Sarah at the beginning (which was actually totally unbelievable – ok, she loves him still but it was too quick to accept his “kind of” coming back). Then Shaw steps in and Sarah sees how “her Chuck” is becoming somebody else until he realizes that it is not the path he wants to choose. Although B. Routh makes more less believable love interest and “good guy” he was not presenting such believable “steel” as mentor pushing Chuck. To be frank with you: Mark Harmon character from NCIS would be in place. In any case: if “Chuck” was to become more serious the general idea was really good. Some details has not been “played” as good as they could. But it’s kind of “armchair general” right now.

  34. I don’t mean to spiral. But the quotes i quoted came from people on this very blog. I get it that you and others find the ending happy, and in the end everything is okay, but there are others, on this blog, who also respond that it’s “emotionally abusive”. Who’s right or wrong, wasn’t what I was driving at. I was trying to say that I’m not really getting alot of help from the 2/3 different/conflicting reactions. All of you are fans, or at least once were. You all watched the exact same 4 seasons as I, you all watched the exact same season 5, and the exact same finale, yet the dividing line I mentioned exists. I was trying to say, that it looks like I would have to watch the season/finale for myself to decide, but that I am afraid that I’ll respond negatively, as others have. And because of that, right now, it’s just not a good idea for me to do it, because yes, my emotions concerning the whole Charah situation are in an uproar, and frankly, it doesn’t matter to me if you snicker or sympathize, it just is. I don’t want to be that person who walks completely away from the show because I don’t understand what the story teller is trying to tell me.

    My concerns are invald and out of context? How? I’m asking questions, reading all the response comments, and taking direct quotes to how people respond direrctly from this blog. I’ve tried to weigh both sides of the argument, poth positive and negative, and I value the insights from all parties, but to chastise me because of my lack of understanding and emotional sensativity?

    • atcDave says:

      Even those who disliked the ending, and I am one of those Sierra, tend to agree we got a “happy” ending. Chuck and Sarah were together and happy about it. The only viewers who question that have to ignore huge chunks of the episode to arrive at that conclusion.

      I called your concerns invalid because you haven’t watched the episode, and you are even taking other viewers’ comments out of context! If you watched the whole season you might understand what we’re talking about, but until you do so, you cannot understand. I am well familiar with Jason (OldResorter) and his opinion of the finale in particular; and I partly agree. But when he talks about it being no fun he’s referring to the type of show and style of entertainment, in particular how different it was from the best of what the show could be. Yet Jason has also said quite clearly elsewhere that he knows it was a happy ending. I know my wife had a similar strong reaction, she hated the whole two hour finale; calling it way too dark and no fun; BUT, she loved the ending. She enthused over Sarah laughing and crying and loved how all was well in the end. But she had the whole context of the season and episode to know that. She knew Sarah was regaining her affection for Chuck right from the end of 5.12 when she watched her vlogs. She saw Sarah push Chuck away several times because she didn’t know how to react to him and HEARD Sarah’s exact words about what was not working for her. Which meant, my wife KNEW when Sarah said the line “tell me OUR story Chuck” it was a huge and life changing (well, changing back to how it was supposed to be!) moment.

      But Sierra if you can’t bring yourself to watch the season then you really have no place to comment on it. Many of us here have tried to assure you there is nothing to fear. There is not. And the first 10.5 episodes of S5 will show you a beautiful and mature sort of love between the main characters. Sarah in particular becomes a complete person of the sort she always showed so much promise to be. The last 2.5 episodes may be hard to watch as that love and relationship is shaken to its very core. That is the really hard part to watch that you’ve heard about. But they prevail. Chuck and Sarah love each other; and neither Quinn nor his memory stealing can change that. That is exactly what the finale shows, a beautiful and unbreakable love.
      I have said many times I didn’t care for the finale, but its because I found it too dramatic for too long. I watch Chuck to laugh and have a good time. The big two hour send off of my favorite show ever didn’t give me enough of what I like. I wanted to see something of their happy future at the end. But we’d already seen their happy future; all season long it had been fed to us in bits and pieces. So when Chuck and Sarah triumph in the end, we can know what their future looks like. I don’t think it was the most satisfying way to tell the story, but I do get it.
      But having watched the season and finale (several times in fact, I like the extended cut quite a bit more than the television edit) I am qualified to offer my opinion. It is certainly your right not to watch it; but until you do, your lengthy and angst filled commentary is completely misplaced and you will continue to misunderstand everyone else’s commentary about it too.

  35. Delwin says:

    One extra point – on the leap of faith issue please watch the deleted scenes from “Chuck vs.the Tooth” i.e. conversation between Morgan and Sarah. Sounds familliar?

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