The (last) New Discs are Here!

The Season Five discs of Chuck arrived in stores today (May 8, 2012).  They managed to squeeze 13 episodes and over three hours of supplementary material onto two Blu-Rays or three DVDs.  Eliminating one disc from each set compared to Season One which had the same number of episodes and about the same amount of supplementary material; sorry, better compression appeals to the nerd in me…

We will have a longer post soon about the new material, especial the Director’s Cut of the finale.  I’ve already watched that cut, so a few very quick thoughts (before I go mow the lawn…)  First of all, I started just watching the finale, and got 18 minutes in without seeing a single new scene and got concerned.  After checking the insert (gee, read the directions, who’d o’ thunk it!) I found that the longer cut is not the one on the episode selection screen, you must go to the extra features menu and select the extended cut.  So on try two I did get to see the version I wanted.  I do like the longer cut better, but it isn’t a magic salve for all the concerns we’ve voiced these last few months.  Some of the extra eight minutes are wasted on throw away moments involving Jeff and Lester.  There’s also slightly extended dialogue between Casey and Beckman, and Casey and Morgan.  But for most of us, the highlight will be some extra scenes for Chuck and Sarah, and one of Sarah and Morgan about Chuck and Sarah.  As I said, no real magic here; but, some extra Chuck/Sarah dialogue at the Mexican restaurant absolutely makes “tell me our story” from the beach scene into a much more significant moment.  Maybe for some of us that will be all the magic they needed to transform this episode.  I think I’ve already made my peace with it, and I did enjoy the extra material.  But the last few minutes are exactly the same, so the new cut is better, but only a little I think.

~ Dave

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About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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438 Responses to The (last) New Discs are Here!

  1. The iTunes version came out today, but it does not appear to have the extended cut. I guess I still have to wait for my Amazon shipment (or a surreptitious upload).

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks for the heads up on that Jeff. I have the whole series of Chuck on my iPod, until now. I guess I’ll just stick with the DVDs for “on the go” viewing.

  2. Rob says:

    no fair. mine is still in “shipping soon” mode at Amazon.com

    • atcDave says:

      I cheated and did both, I pre-ordered the DVDs from Amazon and bought the Blu-Rays at Target today. I’ll keep the DVDs in my brief case for sharing with co-workers, and use the Blu-Rays at home.
      But I learned in years past that the “pre-order” is really not the best way to go if you want something quickly.

    • joe says:

      Yeah, me too. Still shipping.

      Dave, guess what. My TV (tube, old school, receives smoke signals and analog lo-res signals with only co-ax and “rabbit ear” antenna input jacks) died last week. My tax refund came the next day. I took it as a sign.

      The TV was immediately replaced with a new flat screen 1080i 100000-to-1 contrast 37 incher.

      I think a blu-ray disc player is in the near future.

      • atcDave says:

        Welcome to the 21st century Joe!

      • joe says:

        ??? Wa??? Na-ah! No way. That doesn’t happen until I really break down and get a cell phone. Or smart phone. Or genius phone, which ever they have then. I figure it’ll happen about the start of the 22nd century. 😛

      • Gord says:

        And here I thought I was a Luddite, I guess I’m not the only one. LOL

  3. Amron says:

    How much does it cost?

    • atcDave says:

      Around $28 for DVD or $34 for Blu-Ray. I’ve seen that vary a couple bucks either direction. On a related note, it looks like many outlets are providing previous seasons at $20. If price is a big issue for you, shop around, nothing seems to be set in stone.

      • Around Christmas the first two season Blu-Rays were running around $20 at Amazon and Frys. They are $33-35 now. I thought about upgrading back then, but hesitated because some reviews said the early season Blu-Ray quality wasn’t really much better than upcoverted DVDs. I’ve noticed S3 & S4 Blu-Rays look better than S1 & S2 DVDs, but that could be because of a better transfer. Dave or anyone else that has both, have you noticed a picture quality difference in S1 & S2?

      • atcDave says:

        I would agree that the picture quality difference, especially for S1, is very small between an upconverted DVD and Blu-Ray. I think the audio difference is actually more pronounced! With S3 there were two major improvements, the first just being the technical quality of the video transfer (I’m not sure WHAT they did, but the S3 and later discs DO look better), and the second being improved menu structure. That may be a small thing for some users, but the S1 and S2 Blu-Rays launch into auto-play when first installed, which I find VERY annoying. S3 and later load a home screen first, BIG improvement!

      • Gord says:

        Here in Canada I got it for 27.99 for the DVD and 37.99 for the Blu ray. I bought both so I can share the DVD and still have the blu ray ready if I get the urge to watch an episode while my dvd set is out.

        I guess the good news for Joe is that all the special features are on the DVD set so his lack of a blu ray wont be critical. Not like last season where there was the one special feature that was blu ray only.

  4. dkd says:

    It makes sense that the final cut of the episode would have included as much Chuck and Sarah stuff as they could fit in and it would be material for the other characters that would have been cut the most. So, not having a lot of C&S material to include is not a shocker.

    I did see some “deleted scenes” on YouTube from 512 that enhanced the C&S material in that episode, though.

    There are a lot of people who will appreciate more material with the other characters, particularly Casey.

    • atcDave says:

      Actually, I guess I wasn’t clear. The majority of new material IS Chuck and Sarah (or about them), just not all of it. I would guess between 60-90 seconds was the other characters, with Casey’s extra lines being the most interesting.
      I only meant to downplay Chuck and Sarah’s new material in the sense it was nothing major to the flow or outcome of the story. With the one exchange from the restaurant being a possible exception; and that will be most meaningful for those who doubted the significance of Sarah’s request for “our story” at the end. That is a huge moment, and the extended cut becomes even huger (!?).

      • I watched the extended version last night and I feel that by the time she got to the beach she had her memories back. It was the same Sarah that we grew to love throughout the entire series. There’s not doubt in my mind that they left that beach together and never looked back, which isn’t something that I could’ve said when the finale aired. For me I have a great sense of closure.

      • atcDave says:

        Awesome to hear that Nobit (wow, very interesting screen name there!)

        I think I would agree entirely if I hadn’t already been convinced of that. But the longer cut certainly makes it easier to come to that conclusion, at least to say her mature personality was back in control, and she knows she loves her husband.

      • Gord says:

        I would have to agree with that. Although I did enjoy some of those other scenes a lot.
        The longer Casey good bye was pretty good in my book.

      • Paul says:

        Finally got a chance to watch the extended cut (DVDs just came in the mail). I definately have to agree that the episode flowed much smoother with the extra stuff added back in. I also very much agree that the scene in the restaurant gives a lot more weight to the beach ending. While I am of the opinion that the kiss may not necessarily work, I think the extra stuff reinforces my belief that by the end, she was wanting to get back with Chuck and was willing to try to get what they had back.

      • atcDave says:

        Glad you liked it Paul.

    • dkd says:

      My copy arrived at work and I snuck in watching about half of it at work. I liked a lot of the new material. Even the bits with Jeff and Lester asking to be on the next spy mission improved the flow of things.

      One other improvement was seeing that Ellie was doing more to try to help. They showed that she and Morgan put together that montage. Some people had criticized that Ellie didn’t seem to be doing enough in the original version.

      Did anyone think the additional material would actually change the ending?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Speaking as one who liked the ending I hoped not. I did see in an interview that there would be more on Sarah explaining why she didn’t want to hear “their story” at El Compadre, which as Dave mentioned helps highlight the importance of “Tell me our story” on the beach as the event that signifies they are back together, but other than that I wasn’t looking for a lot more.

      • dkd says:

        If any sequence in the entire episode was close to what they originally intended it for the final broadcast version it would be the final scene.

        To have additional material or a different outcome would have required re-filming and THAT wasn’t going to happen. And, we would have heard about it, had it happened.

      • atcDave says:

        Really DKD I would have been 1000% happier with a change involving four words of voice over as the screen fades to black. Simply adding “take me home Chuck” (or maybe “I love you Chuck”) without any new footage at all and I would have been very happy. And yes, I knew all along it would never happen. Doesn’t mean I won’t continue to wish it would.

      • olddarth says:

        Sarah giving Chuck a shoulder bump ala the pilot would have been perfection.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah OD, that would have been a nice image.

  5. Paul says:

    Honestly, I didn’t think they would have changed the last scene one bit. I think it was exactly what they were going for.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah, I’ve been saying that since it ran. They were too proud of it to “tamper” with their genius. Oh well. As I said, I’ve mostly made my peace with it, and the extended cut does improve some things slightly due to what comes before; and honestly, that was my realistic best hope all along (I had some unrealistic best hopes too, but I always knew they were unrealistic).

  6. ww1posterfan says:

    Dave–totally agree with you about the increased significance of Sarah’s request to Chuck to “Tell me our story.” given her explanation in Castle to Morgan and Chuck in the Mexican restaurant that it wasn’t her story anymore. The request is a clear indicator that that moment is indeed where she gives him her trust and decides to become a part of her/their life again. The defensive barriers are down. I think it also bolsters the request for a kiss, as well. I was lucky and received my pre-ordered discs today and still have 10 episodes to go. I better get back to them.

    • atcDave says:

      Thanks for backing me up WW1! You’re right about the Morgan scene adding to it also, but the restaurant scene really hit me because the wording used was even parallel.

      • sd says:

        I agree atc, I just watched it. However, I think it also made it pretty clear that Sarah and Chuck are kinda starting from square one. IMHO, whatever happens on that beach moving forward won’t be the result of her getting her memories back but her falling for Chuck anew.

      • atcDave says:

        I would agree that initially they reconnected without Sarah remembering much, but we have heard from Fedak and others that the memories are still in there and are coming back. So it’s kind of the best of both worlds, they will reconnect and start moving forward together anyway; but the memories will come back in some fashion too.

  7. garnet says:

    Bah!, Don’t know when my preorders will arrive, but I can’t wait to see the extended version, It sounds almost like the extended version is what they should have aired without really changing the ending. Perhaps Zachary’s comments about the ending were coloured by his having shot scenes what were not included. There must be some still out there as they reported that they had about an hour of extra scenes.

    • atcDave says:

      My pre-ordered DVDs arrived about an hour ago. I am an Amazon Prime member, but even so it should only be another day or two for standard delivery.

      I do agree they should have aired this version in the first place, but then I think the episode should have been two hours long and the show should still be in production, so I guess I’m a little biased!

      • On the upside, the ending we got helped convince Thinkling to write her post finale fanfic.

      • atcDave says:

        That is pure bonus! I also like that the new extended cut only re-enforces Thinkling’s interpretation of how things developed.

      • joe says:

        I’m so glad you brought that up, Jeff.
        In case anyone here hasn’t noticed, Thinkling’s fan-fic has been great and getting better every chapter.

        How she does it, I don’t know!

      • dkd says:

        I kind of think the idea of doing an extended version was purely a WB decision that was driven by the desire to sell more DVD’s. Chuck DVD sales were falling over the years and given that DVD sales go into WB’s pocket and not NBC’s.

        They probably didn’t even approach NBC with the idea of a longer finale.

      • atcDave says:

        Actually DKD the finale that aired was about 2 minutes longer than a standard episode, so they did talk to the network about at least that much. But yeah, I’m sure WB intended the extended cut just for themselves.

      • phaseou812 says:

        I have to concur . . . at least the ending has led to Thinking’s fan-fiction which has simply been awesome. Not normally a follower of fan-fiction but it has been enjoyable to follow Thinking’s story telling.

  8. Ernie Davis says:

    Well I just finished a re-watch of both the commentary and the extended cut. It strikes me again just how much they love this show.

    On the re-watch side I’ve always said the climax was “Tell me our story Chuck”, where Sarah basically re-comitted to staying with Chuck after Chuck explained she didn’t have to be anything other than herself for him to love her. The rest was the epilogue.

    • atcDave says:

      Well I’ll still say it wasn’t enough. But I do agree the extended cut makes that a stronger case.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I understand. Enough is a very subjective thing. I go back to the commentary where they explicitly state they chose not to do the “safe” finale. They went for the finale that kept us invested and on the edge till the last minute of the series, all the while re-visiting the entire series. I appreciated that. Not everyone will.

      • atcDave says:

        And that’s the exact thing that rubs me wrong. I hate that they choose not to play it safe. I’m a cautious guy, I play it safe by temperament and training, I feel all kinds of alarm bells going off when someone is bragging about not playing it safe. It always means trouble to me.

      • andyt says:

        Dave, this is where I feel that we have been on the same wavelength at times and completely opposite at other times. I am also very cautious in my personal life and do not like to take chances or risks.(In fact I find no pleasure in any form of gambling, other than the occasional lottery ticket) However, in my entertainment, I actually want risk taking and do not like the safe play. I believe that this is because that I can safely deal with the risks in fiction but not in real life. That is why I love the final episodes of Chuck where they did not do what was safe and normal. It is also one of the reasons that I do not like other finales where they play it safe and just do the easy thing.

      • olddarth says:

        I’m totally for risky finales and they can most definitely be appreciated if the show has earned them by operating in that vein previously and consistently.

        Such endings need to be worked up to and not after two and half seasons of playing it light and safe. It’s another example of poor story planning and reinforces my analysis they wrote the ending for themselves first and for the fans that were still around, second.

        Which they never pulled off hence the disconnect between the characters goodbye moments and the Sarah memory loss storyline. Most noticeably Ellie.

        It is an even more noticeable misread because by this point in the series the mythology was so soggy. The majority of the fans left were there to see the Chuck and Sarah relationship played out safely and happily as the tone of the show, up to the last few episodes, rightly led them to expect.

        My belief is the fans did not want risky. They wanted Chuck and Sarah together in a good place at the end. No outstanding issues or questions left.

      • atcDave says:

        Yup, never a fan of risky. Especially not with the romantic leads; give me a nice sweet happy ending every time.

      • Rob says:

        Yep. No argument from me. Just finished up with Bullet Train. Hard to watch knowing where we end up. I’ve been reminded about how really brutal that last scene was. Nothing previously in the prior 5 seasons even comes close to matching it.

      • BigKev67 says:

        OD,
        Spot on. Agree with every word.

  9. Adrian says:

    what happens in the Mexican restaurant scene!?!?!

    • ww1posterfan says:

      I hope this doesn’t breach protocol. In the Mexican restaurant, Sarah stops Chuck from telling her the story of their first date. The extra part is her explanation for why she is doing so. She essentially tells Chuck that while she believes him that all those things happened, those events are not her story any more. She insists that that Sarah Walker no longer exists because she has no memory of it. She does the same thing with Morgan in Castle when he tries to show her a video montage of her and Chuck while Chuck is looking for Renny Deutsch. The extra scenes actually amp up the angst, but they definitely add a higher level of gravitas to the beach scene. It’s ironic as I’m thinking about it, because Sarah is very open and articulate with both Morgan and Chuck about her reasoning, much more like Sarah Bartowski than Sarah Walker. It also clearly causes her discomfort to see and hear the remembrances indicating internal conflict to me. The scenes definitly strengthen the story they were trying to tell.

  10. Ernie Davis says:

    Just as an aside I noticed that Buy More Best Buy is having a sale on all four previous seasons on DVD for $16.99 each (sorry Blu Ray doesn’t seem to be on sale). That means you can pick up the complete series for about $95 (season 5 is $26.99 on DVD). Just in time for Mother’s Day.

    • Those who want to thank NBC for its many years of fantastic support and show promotion can spend $301.82 plus shipping and maybe tax at the NBC Universal store. BluRays are only $315.83, so NBC must be taking a hit.

      In all fairness, Amazon’s DVD box set price ($199.99) is also higher than the five individual sets.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’d consider a box set if it actually had more than just the regular releases repackaged in one box. Maybe they can still do one if sales are good enough. How many times has George Lucas re-written re-released Star Wars after all?

      • atcDave says:

        That’s a pretty shocking premium to pay!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I wouldn’t object to over-paying a bit to support the show, but at this point NBC’s role in bringing us any more Chuck is over. It will be WB’s decision to try and bring us more Chuck if they see a profit in it.

      Still I am buying a second set of DVDs for the summer cottage, and will buy the Blu Ray once I upgrade my TV and DVD.

  11. Ernie Davis says:

    As another aside, and speaking of Chuck’s multi-genre appeal, I checked Amazon’s sales rankings just for fun:

    For DVD
    Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    #1 in Movies & TV > DVD > Comedy
    #2 in Movies & TV > DVD > Action & Adventure
    #5 in Movies & TV > DVD > Drama

    For Blu-ray
    Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    #2 in Movies & TV > Blu-ray > Drama
    #2 in Movies & TV > Blu-ray > Comedy
    #7 in Movies & TV > Blu-ray > Action & Adventure

  12. Gord says:

    I picked up the set after work yesterday. All I have had a chance to watch is the special features. Although there was one special feature I couldn’t bring myself to watch – the tear down of the Buy More. I like to think that the buy more is still out there.

    Also I liked the tag line for this season “never say one last mission”.

    • Faith says:

      Gord, when you watch Yvonne in the fans featurette, you will fall apart because she does. It’s a must see.

      • Gord says:

        Yes I’ve seen it. It was very emotional. I just hope we will see more of the cast soon on other projects. I hate to say this but I even miss the Buy Morons.

        I did see Fernando on Big Bang Theory a few weeks ago. He was at Howard’s bachelor party. I guess he was giving Howard a discount at the Buy More and Howard felt obligated to invite him. .

      • That’s “the world’s greatest extra”‘s second TBBT appearance. Last season he was one of Wil Wheaton’s entourage that bypassed the line waiting to get into a movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1632245/fullcredits#cast

  13. phaseou812 says:

    Well I did purchase season 5 yesterday and waited for my kids to get to sleep so I could watch the extended version . . . well because I have been “hooked” on this show and character development, and who really needs sleep, right? (Me and my kids have been re-watching the entire series and we are just now in the middle of Season 3, so I did not want to mess that up) Anyway I digress, but I agree with most all of the sentiments that I have read in the comment on the extended version.

    My overall impression of the extended version is that although I have heard mentioned that we only got an additional 10 minutes . . . those 10 minutes made the last episode so much SMOOTHER in the story development. Even the small scene with John Casey and Gen. Beckman, in which she acknowledges to him the importance of family life, but for this mission he had to be the old John Casey agent. That very small scene added so much more perspective and logic to Casey’s actions. In my mind it then becomes logical how Casey chooses to behave for the greater good of the mission/country in comparison to the character growth he had experienced over the last 2 ½ seasons regarding his family life. Those same small scenes existed throughout this extended version, that although it did not give us huge information, went such a long way in making some of the character’s actions more logical . . . Ellie/Devon’s conversation regarding a set deadline regarding having to choose Chicago or give it up, Ellie/Chucks conversation regarding the matter . . . again really small stuff, that tied things together from some perspective.

    The original airing was just packed with so much stuff, but left a lot of odd ends that did not tie up. As others have mentioned with the Chuck-Sarah exchanges at the restaurant and the Sarah-Morgan exchange at Castle . . . with those additional scenes . . . it added so much value. In the original, when Morgan indicates, that if he had to lose his closest buddy to someone, he was glad he lost him to Sarah. . . However, in the original story-line it basically goes on to another scene with no additional feedback . . . in which it just did not work and made Sarah look originally just “cold”. Here she at least thanks him and attempts to explain why it is not going to be an easy task, as it is a little easier to conclude she simply cannot process the information they are giving her at the time.

    Although many have analyzed and discuss her motives through the multiple talking points in previous blog postings, it really did a lot of good to hear her say why she was attempting to block their efforts. I say attempting, because as Yvonne has done so well, so many times, with her facial expressions also painting a different picture of her true feelings of confusion and hurt. But for me I have to get to some logic that I can relate to, to buy into the story, in which is what some of those extra scenes helped me reconfirm for myself.

    For example, Sarah’s reluctance to let them tell them her story seemed more like an attempt to hide her original shame or disappointment in herself after you put the entire completed scenes in perspective. Shame is probably the wrong word to use, but I mean it from the perspective of her waking up from the dream of being an all-star spy, in which she is being made aware that she has failed in the cardinal rule of relationships with an asset, that she let her feelings make a mess of the life’s of a husband she can’t remember, and a host of friends that are trying to convince her of a better life she has. It made her seem more with an emotional motivation, other than the original version, which felt more like it was a simple fact that she had lost her memory, so therefore it simply did not happen and she had to move on. Again cold and not the Sarah character that had developed over the series. Again I will go back to saying many have analyzed her motives and what was going on from the original, but with just a little more of the pieces being added in this extended version, it makes her responses seem more her need to focus on the necessity to finish off the mission because she simply could not process the rest of it yet. Not that she just blew it off based on the memory loss.

    Even Morgan in the restaurant redirecting Chuck, after Sarah’s deflating blow of indicating that it was not her story, by Morgan indicating that Chuck simply had to refocus, wait for the right time to break down her emotional walls and then follow up with a kiss. (I don’t remember that being in the original) But it added so much more value with the ending . . . with Sarah choosing to let Chuck get behind her emotional walls . . . then leading to the kiss. So the original mention of a kiss in the beginning of episode, which was more of comical perspective, to the kiss theory becoming an actual strategy, to Chuck trying to find the opportunity, to getting the opportunity to fulfill the theory . . . added value for me.

    On a side note, one thing I was thinking when watching this is . . . it would have been really nice if the main sponsors of the show would have chosen to simply sponsor the final episodes with placement products where appropriate and a few 30 second spots throughout to indicate the multiple sponsors responsible for bringing the show to its Chuck fans. That mechanism would have eliminated the commercials, allowed for much more story to be told during the final two episodes, which was desperately needed with the heaviness of the plot, as well as been quality promotional efforts for their companies . . . as one, fans would not fast forward through those small plugs, and would have gotten a lot of publicity from the core fans. Especially if they would have advertised a month in advance what they were doing for the show . . . probably been enough subway sandwiches bought in that time period to pay for all of their efforts and then some.

    Oh well . . . sorry for the length in response . . . really enjoyed this show. . . And just cannot imagine ever being this engrossed in a future show.

    One more small thing, I did start to watch the commentary version this morning, in which I did not make it through. I stopped somewhere past where Chuck stepped up in front of the bullet . . . but although I always find interesting to listen to the cast talk from their perspective, I was disappointing that the majority of the dialog had nothing to do with the actual episode. So with all that the last two episodes entailed, I was assuming for them to be talking more insight about the actual episodes themselves instead of random points in general.

    Again thanks . . . I have really enjoyed this site and look forward to exploring the rest of the extras on the DVD.

    • atcDave says:

      Never apologize for a long comment! We all like to read here, and appreciate your well thought out comments.
      I like the idea of limited interruptions, it sure would have been nice to get the xtended cut the first time around! Oh well…

    • dkd says:

      “On a side note, one thing I was thinking when watching this is . . . it would have been really nice if the main sponsors of the show would have chosen to simply sponsor the final episodes with placement products where appropriate and a few 30 second spots throughout to indicate the multiple sponsors responsible for bringing the show to its Chuck fans. That mechanism would have eliminated the commercials, allowed for much more story to be told during the final two episodes, which was desperately needed with the heaviness of the plot, as well as been quality promotional efforts for their companies . . . as one, fans would not fast forward through those small plugs, and would have gotten a lot of publicity from the core fans. Especially if they would have advertised a month in advance what they were doing for the show . . . probably been enough subway sandwiches bought in that time period to pay for all of their efforts and then some.”

      You have no idea how hard that would have been to coordinate at the network and ad agency level. Plus, it involves writing multiple product integrations into the script with a lot of people at the various agencies and clients weighing in on the content. All of that would have been very distracting to the writers just getting the core story done. It’s hard just getting one sponsor (Subway) in there.

      They filmed this in December and the show didn’t even air until late October. At that time, no one even knew for sure when the finale was going to run and what the ratings would be. As it turns out, they were worse than expected and the show’s finale was accelorated vs. its original date. Trust me. The more advertisers involved in product integration, the more hassle.

      Subway is actually easy to deal with because they do this kind of thing all the time. Other advertisers aren’t as adept at it. I’m not even sure the creative product of the episode would have been better.

      • phaseou812 says:

        Well I do not doubt your knowledge of the complexities of the matter . . . so it was just a thoughtful wish I suppose . . . however getting 15 minutes or so more per episode, I cannot imagine how that would not have given the writers more of an opportunity to develop the story line, in general, instead of the mad rush to get it all in. Just my opinion.

      • atcDave says:

        phaseou do you remember the Sunday Mystery Movies that used to run on ABC in the 1970s? In a lot of ways they were typical made-for TV mystery fair. But a couple years back a re-watched some of them, and what fascinated me was how they sort of turned my normal TV sense on edge. They were shot for a 90 minute slot. Which meant they often had like one more plot twist, or one surprise development that our life long television watching sense just isn’t used to. They didn’t really do characters well or anything, but as pure procedurals they were a lot of fun just because they gave us that one more bit of story we just aren’t really used to on television.
        It would have been so much fun if Chuck had had some extra long episodes.

      • phaseou812 says:

        Yes spot on Dave . . . I do remember and that is a good analogy

  14. harlock328 says:

    The extended version really makes the beach scene; Sarah asking Chuck to the her their story very significant. But my interpretation is the same as before (even more so with the extended version); her accepting they had a life together and she can trust him. When Chuck finishes his plead for her to trust him she sighs as though she finally decided to trust him; somewhat the same thing she did in the Other Guy when Chuck asked her if she loves him. That’s huge difference than having feelings or love for Chuck. At no time during the finale did we see her have any affection towards Chuck; or remembering any feelings or they life they had together. So it’s very hard for me to take the leap that she had feelings for him at the beach. I believe Fedak made the kiss have ambiguity; because Chuck pretty much prompted her for the kiss when he told her Morgan’s theory. I saw the kiss as her willing to try to see if it would work and if there were any feelings for Chuck left. Again, I see it that way because we never given any progression of her feelings for him before that. If Sarah would have asked him after the story without out hearing the theory, the kiss would have clearly showed he had feelings for him. I really didn’t see any affection for him during the kiss; she didn’t touch him, caress him or even embrace him at the end.
    I agree with atcDave, it wasn’t enough.

  15. Faith says:

    I only have one thing to say about the discs, the extended scenes, the featurettes, the season: BRAVO!

    • Gord says:

      I second that. Bravo. I guess I will be watching all 10 episodes of S5 this weekend (Morgansect episodes don’t count).

  16. uplink2 says:

    Well I received my disks yesterday and watched some of the extra stuff first. The deleted scenes from 5.12 were really tough to watch in particular the ring scene. It does explain the fact she never wears it again in the series which will always be a very sore spot for me. Plus it also highlights one of the really big issues I have with the direction they took. For all of 5.12 Sarah wears her wedding ring. At no point does she show any apprehension about the fact Quinn was telling her she was in fact legally married to Chuck. It completely ends any discussion of whether Sarah would ever have had sex with a mark. In fact it says that pre-Chuck Sarah would even have been willing to go so far as to marry a mark. That trashing of the Sarah character has always disturbed me greatly. I get the use of seduction and yes even sex but marry a mark? Really? At no point did they show her vocalizing any discomfort about that. Her only sign of uncomfortablity was the back rub scene and the foot scene. So her anxiety seemed to be based on the physical nature of their arrangement. Posing as Chuck’s wife as Quinn had told her she was doing was never questioned. This continues their approach that Sarah could be beaten on both physically and emotionally and that preserving the dignity of her character was always up for debate.

    Now I agree with most that the added scenes with Sarah explaining that it was no longer her story but Chuck’s story and then changing it to “our story” at the beach was a significant improvement. Also the talk with Devon and Ellie I think helps my face plant at the thought of Ellie abandoning her sister in law when she and her brother needed her most. At least we saw some guilt and discussion of the event but still in the end Ellie chose what could be viewed as the non-Bartowski route of the selfish choice. She took the money and her career over the needs of her brother and sister-in-law. I really don’t believe Chuck would ever have done that. Hell he was faced by a similar choice with the Intersect download and chose to help others instead of himself and the woman he loved.

    Now here is an interesting question. Is this now considered canon? Is the restaurant scene of them or working as a team at the Russian consulate now canon? It didn’t air but just as the deleted scenes are not canon I don’t think this is either. I do think what this proves is that they tried to fit too much into these last 2 episodes. IMO they spent way too much time on the Virus and conspiracy story only to take the easy way out by having it all being the evil plan of a Fedak’s greatest creation (sarcasm intended) in secure custody whose main function was to ultimately simply come back so he could abuse and beat on Sarah again. Another case of way too much setup for a very unsatisfying resolution. Many were worried about the conspiracy story from the end of season 4 in that they would not do it justice as overarching story arcs was never their strong suit. Again they proved that to me at least. I think this ended up making the finale far less satisfying because of what they ended up cutting.

    Outside of the great performances in particular by Yvonne what has come to me is that I don’t think that there is a single season 5 episode that would end up in my top 20 or even top 25. I would have thought a season long love letter to the fans would have had at least one.

    So I’m beginning to be able to rewatch now as the pain and anger are being put behind me but what this extended cut does to me is highlight how much better this finale could have been. The extended version is much more cohesive and flows better but it cold have worked so much better if it had been spread out over 3 eps and not 2 and if as Dave said Sarah simply says to Chuck let’s go home, Chuck at the end I could have been very comfortable and appreciative of it. The new version makes me feel better but I will always be deprived of the chance to have said goodbye to these characters who mean so much to me. That will always haunt me.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with pretty much all of that Uplink, except that couple of S5 episodes are among my very favorites (Business Trip, Baby, maybe Bo). I would consider the extended cut to be canon, but not deleted scenes.

      • In general, extended cuts are normally canon in most TV shows and movies, but deleted scenes are not. I wish some deletes scenes were canon (e.g. Sarah covering Chuck when Morgan comes the the window in Truth). But sometimes deleted scenes are inconsistent with the episode (e.g. Sarah and Chuck having pizza after Bryce shows up in Break-up).

        I really wish some bloopers were canon. Jeff coming out of Shaw’s bathroom in Fake Name saves the entire episode. I even like Sarah leaving with Jeff, because we know that Jeff is the #1 Charah shipper from his statement earlier in the episode and from the rehearsal dinner video. So he is escorting her back to Chuck. Yep. That’s what he was doing.

      • atcDave says:

        I can think f a few other awesome deleted scenes that I either wish were canon, or occasionally are treated as such. Like Sarah questioning Casey if Chuck would be safe with the end of the mission from First Date (would have silenced any speculation that she knew about the kill order), mentioning her tour with the Secret Service from Ring (fan fiction writers often refer to this fun tidbit), or Casey and Sarah discussing her getting close to Shaw to gather intelligence (might have saved the whole misguided season).

        I also love the pizza dinner scene, and wish it had been subbed for the scene we actually saw, but that was clearly an either/or case; which is precisely why deleted scenes cannot be considered canon, they too often contradict what we saw in the final cut.

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree. I chose to add the Sarah questioning what secret Shaw had to my story as I think it was critical to keeping Sarah the great spy she was. Maybe during editing they had already got the impression that folks were questioning Shaw’s motives and including it would add to the rejection of the Sarah/Shaw relationship that they didn’t want to foster. Besides Sarah wasn’t allowed to be a great spy in early season 3. In order for the story to work she could not question Shaw’s motives. Stupid stick Sarah had to be totally gullible when it came to Shaw.

        But there are also scenes I’m glad were deleted. The ring scene in 5.12 for one and another in particular was the one from the Lon Kirk mission where Sarah really comes off as a bitch and Casey basically tells her not to mess with Chuck by seducing and screwing a mark on a mission.

      • The deleted ring scene in 5.12 might have worked if there were corresponding scenes in 5.13 where:
        – she picked up the ring and put it in her pocket, showing she didn’t want to leave it behind
        – at the beach, she pulls out the ring, lets Chuck put it on her, and then asks him to kiss her

        Without the contrast, the ring scene is too painful.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree about the ring scene. It was a well shot scene, but without a counter of putting it back on, or asking Chuck to put it back, it’s just way too much. But hey, it could have been worse, she could have given it back to Chuck at the fountain.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        I guess that’s why the ring scene didn’t play as negative to me as to others. I took the whole montage (Chuck on the bed, Casey drinking his scotch, and Sarah removing the ring) as the metaphorical reset to their pre-season one personas in advance of Goodbye for them to start their journeys back. Like you pointed out, she could have handed it to Chuck when she said goodbye at the fountain. Instead, she went back to her room. We have no idea how long she sat there at the table staring at it before she decided to remove it but it appeared to not be a snap “after thought” kind of decision. She was deep in thought and in conflict. If they had shown her throwing it in a trashcan- that’d be a different story. Instead, she places it on the table and keeps contemplating it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I actually liked the ring scene. I thought it was pretty obvious she hated taking it off, but she feels she can’t be the woman Chuck married anymore. To me it gives context to why she’s thinking she has to leave him. Maybe I need to watch it again.

      • joe says:

        Uplink, I’ve been re-watching S3, and I think there’s a nuance there (a big one) that needs emphasis. It’s not that Sarah wasn’t allowed to be a great spy (by the writers), it’s that she no longer wanted to be one.

        I think the best Sarah could say at that point was that every time she saw Chuck becoming a great spy (in S3), especially when he took the Laudinol in Tic Tac, she hated it. She talked often (for Sarah Walker) about how she was forgetting who she was, how the line between right and wrong always became more blurred, how she couldn’t know who to trust and who not to trust. She asked every friend she had (except Chuck) if they ever thought about living a “normal” life.

        And then there was the sacrifice. I didn’t catch it the first few times around, but there was a lot included about what they (Casey and Sarah and even Shaw) had given up to be spies. Each was deciding again if it was the right decision. Casey said yes, it was, several times. Sarah wasn’t so sure, and every times Chuck reaffirmed that he wanted to be a spy, she became less sure.

        One thing I missed was that Chuck kept thinking that Sarah wanted him to be a spy, because she said so. She had her type – Bryce, Shaw… He wanted to be that type too, the idiot. She really just wanted Chuck to be Chuck.

        I shouldn’t be so hard on him. Sarah kept forcing that on herself also. Good thing she was no better at doing that than Chuck was at being Shaw or Bryce.

        Ack! Wordy. Sorry. That was my way of saying that I don’t exactly see a stupid stick being applied to Sarah in the way you mean. It seems now to me to be a serious struggle she’s having. The first time through I was watching Chuck’s struggles. Now I see hers and Casey’s, and I’m liking S3 a whole lot more because of it.

      • uplink2 says:

        But here’s my problem with that Ernie. In the entire 5.12 she is wearing the Ring as part of her mission. She is totally ok with being married to a “mark”. That I find really disturbing. So she takes it off because she knows it was a real marriage? Now I can see your point about it meaning she can’t be the wife she was but it just really reinforces a very disturbing picture to me Fedak created of Sarah Walker being ok with going as far as to legally marry a mark for her mission.

      • uplink2 says:

        Joe, I see your point but even if she didn’t want to be one that doesn’t excuse her being a lousy one. There are so many instances in season 3 of Sarah being a terrible spy and nowhere near the “best the CIA had ever produced”. She may have wanted out but the Sarah I knew would never just ignore her job and her skills because she had lost the desire to stay in that life. The Sarah I knew never asks Shaw to save Chuck “for me”. She pulls her gun first. She never just accepts there is no cell service all the way to the desert from downtown LA. She never misses Shaw wearing his wedding ring. She never just blindly accepts Shaw’s word about being ok with working with her and going to Paris with no backup. All terrible spy moments needed to force their contrived story to the finish.

      • It isn’t clear-cut. I don’t think she was comfortable with the idea of being married to a mark. She looked uncomfortable the entire time she was in the apartment and in Castle, except maybe when she was wielding a large knife cutting the chicken. If she was comfortable with the idea, she wouldn’t have cut the massage short. The picture she saw confused her, because she looked happy in it. She believed it because she saw a video in which she said he was the asset and because Quinn was constantly feeding her misleading information. But that’s my personal take.

        Maybe she did take on missions like that pre-Chuck. Or maybe she didn’t but rationalized that she might after five years if it meant getting the person responsible for killing Bryce and Graham. Which of the two options is left to viewer’s discretion.

      • Rob says:

        “I took the whole montage (Chuck on the bed, Casey drinking his scotch, and Sarah removing the ring) as the metaphorical reset to their pre-season one personas in advance of Goodbye for them to start their journeys back. ”

        Absolutely…..and this is my problem with the entire last two episodes. We keep on having flashbacks to the first season….the Wienerlicious, the “first-date” Restaurant. While I understand the nuances deja vue message for Sarah, I almost think that Fedak thought it would be cool if C&S could do it all over again. I even think that he said something like that in one of the interviews.

        I understand that the signs point to them being together. I understand that the signs point to them falling in love all over again. I understand that love often transcends memory loss (i.e. alzheimer’s). But, that is not what I expected with the last episode, of a series that I have loved for 5 years.

        I wanted an overwhelmingly happy ending that tied up all loose ends. I feel like Fedak took all of that character development of Sarah and just did a reset in an effort to prove out that love wins over all. Again, I understand the motivation, but it just doesn’t deliver in a show like Chuck. It makes the ending bittersweet, which is not what we have come to expect. I’d expect that of a show like Battlestar Galactica, not Chuck.

        Sarah said that she felt that Quinn cheated and robbed her of her life. I agree, and frankly feel the same way about what Fedak did with his ending.

      • atcDave says:

        I think I see the “cover marriage” thing exactly like Jeff. In five years of show we had a strong image of Sarah never really liking the seduction missions. She would do what she had to do, but she never liked them. So one day she wakes up, with no memory, and is told she’s in a cover marriage. Whether she likes it or not, she knows what that means and what her role is. And that’s exactly how it seemed to play out to me, she was very uncomfortable being around her “fake” husband, and pointedly did not like the fake contact it required, but she does what the mission requires. I would also argue right here, that without Quinn pestering her in her ear the whole time, she would have figured things out pretty clearly that first night with Chuck. Quinn likely knew the memory wipe was only one component in a decision making process and he NEEDED to stay in ear all night so she wouldn’t be able to think straight. Even with him needling her, she wasn’t able to pull the trigger on Chuck. And even though she claimed no to feel anything for Chuck, we know that wasn’t true. Watching her video log, the goodbye at the fountain, and the deleted ring removal scene all show intense emotional reactions from Sarah. I do think that all indicates a pretty rapid recover.
        But I still wish so much they’d ended with with Sarah asking to be taken home, or even holding out her rings and asking Chuck to put them back on her. I know I would have felt 1000% better with such an ending, whether she actually remembered anything or not.

      • Rob says:

        Sorry for such an incomprehensible post above. As you can tell, time is not healing my wounds re: the finale.

        Dave — The disappointing aspect of the ending really becomes apparent to me when you have to say — “I’d settle for something as simple as Sarah saying ‘take me home’.” I just think that it shows how grossly insufficient the ending was for some people (including myself), when we are trying to conceive of the smallest things that would have made the ending more satisfying. If Fedak has simply stuck to his prior writing style (instead of going artistic — or whatever you call the ending), we never would be left with searching for the “bread crumbs” necessary to make the ending tolerable.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Rob,
        No apolgies necessary. I totally comprehend and empathize. I still would have wanted a more fleshed out episode and happier ending, too. But, unfortunately, we didn’t get it. My personal therapy is to try and understand the “framer’s intent” if you will, so I can manage my own emotions. I use the word intent specifically, because artists rarely give you the truth….your supposed to glean that from the art and each person will discern their own truth. If Fedak’s goal was to infuse us with emotion-he scored a 100% on that one. Some folks saw nothing but beauty in the last 89 minutes. Some saw beauty and the beast. Some only saw the beast. Some feel the finale had nothing to do with C&S’s love story at all except as a plot device to show Chuck’s growth. I know I’m not explaining myself very well, but in the absence of getting the closure I desired I’m building my own closure by ensuring that I’m “seeing”/interpreting the proper intent. I’m not making excuses or trying to convince anyone per se’, I just am sharing what I see.

      • uplink2 says:

        A couple of things, even if Sarah is uncomfortable with the idea of marrying a mark, she says nothing and accepts it. At no point do you get the feeling like she questions that idea with Quinn. She simply follows along like a good little spy, internal conflict or not. Sarah Walker married a mark according to Quinn and in doing so it established in canon that she would have done that to finish her mission.

        Dave it isn’t a cover marriage if one partner believes it’s real. It is playing the mark and would require her to do all that a normal marriage does. That is where I believe Fedak is trashing her character again.

        One thing I have learned Fedak is really good at is fracturing and dividing a fanbase. He isn’t very good at growing one. He took a very united fanbase after season 2 and tore it apart. Then in season 4 when trying to placate those he had alienated in season 3 he sent some of the fans of the Chuck character and spy story packing and heading for the hills. Then in season 5 he takes us down another path where a sizable portion of the fanbase is very discouraged and alienated by his “writers” ending.

        There’s a reason that the ratings for the finale of this show were pretty pathetic and overall in a basic freefall since season 2. Sure television viewing habits are changing but I still firmly believe that Fedak’s story choices and his abilities or lack there of as a showrunner contributed to the decline in viewers. Plus he could never figure out how to do something that grew the fanbase when it needed it most.

        I’ve been watching TBBT a lot on syndication as it is my other favorite show. One huge difference between Chuck Lorre and Fedak, and the infamous contrasting of quotes that was posted a while back illustrates it clearly, is that in season 3 they took the WTWT aspect of the show’s central relationship in completely different directions. Fedak went back to the well with that god awful Pink Slip episode. Lorre starts season 3 with Penny running into Leonard’s arms and kissing him. Now true they break up later on but the end result is that TBBT grew in viewers an Chuck lost them. Also Lorre this season has done a masterful job with the central relationship by putting them back together but never making it the focus of the season. He allowed other characters and stories to grow and the show has never been stronger.

        We all know what happened with Chuck and Fedak and even though he created some incredible characters he is one god awful showrunner and I certainly will never invest in his work again.

      • Half hour sitcoms often grow audiences, something hour long shows rarely do. I started with HIMYM co-promotion and a lot of advertising during CBS’s lineup that got great ratings. Chuck’s partner shows were always worse that it was. Second or third season, TBBT theory started airing back-to-back because it had a bad show following it. Two episodes a night helps audiences catch up. TBBT theory’s biggest growth was when it moved to Thursday. The competition was less, and the move was heavily promoted. Then it got even more promotion from syndication, which helps build even more audience. Personally, I liked the early seasons of TBBT better. A lot of the stories after the break-up were either dull or based on immature jokes, so not all problems were due to the break-up. At the time, I wondered if the growth in the audience caused them to dumb-down the jokes. Also, sometimes the show seems to be reprocessing Friends: multiple Ross/Rachel (Leonard/Penny) break-ups, getting together after coming back from China (Antarctica), the Monica/Chandler (Howard/Bernadette) wedding.

        Sitcoms are different because they rely on a short memory. The characters do things for laughs that make them unlikeable if you worry about it long term. In real life, some of those things would be unforgivable. The audience knows to not worry about past episodes too much, so it works. Jeff and Lester were like that. Sitcom-like behavior is why some people didn’t like Morgan in the first season (and some never changed that opinion). When people complain about Chuck’s whining, I thought he was really temporarily acting like a sitcom character. Chuck was a hybrid show, so it didn’t always work.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay you’re right Uplink, cover marriage is not the correct term. But the point is the same, pre-series Sarah WAS Graham’s enforcer and go to girl. She wouldn’t remember much experience with defying orders, whether she was comfortable with them or not. We even saw her kill in Final Exam and Baby when her conscience was clearly troubled by the order; in Baby she didn’t defy orders until it was clear they were not sanctioned. It was apparently Chuck’s influence that led to her following her conscience more, and orders less. I really have no problem with the portrayal, morality or logic of that part of the episode, it all seems consistant with what we know about Sarah and her history.

        I would agree I’m unlikely to watch another Fedak show. Even though I loved most of Chuck, I come away from it with little confidence in his ability to craft stories I will enjoy in the end. Of course I say that with many reservations, except for S3 I still consider this the best show I’ve ever seen. I don’t care so much about the intricate details of the plot, I think how the characters are written and portrayed matters far more to me, which I think Fedak is actually quite good at. But his attitudes about NOT delivering a complete and satisfying resolution for those characters concerns, and even angers me. Sorry, I just see no virtue or beauty in ambiguity.

      • atcDave says:

        Very well put Jeff about some of the issues with Chuck’s hybrid nature. It was exactly those moments when Chuck was made the comic focus of an episode that I disliked most in the last couple seasons. They didn’t seem to do that so much earlier in the series, but buffoon Chuck was always a bit of a problem for me.

      • Rob says:

        To a certain extent, I don’t try to over-analyze a show, because I think that we tend to infer concepts into the show that the writers didn’t intend. The whole “cover marriage” doesn’t bother me, because I’m sure that Sarah was processing many things and had no clue what to do. There seemed to be doubt in her mind the whole time (i.e. throwing Quinn out the window, refusing to kill Chuck even though she was told he was a really dangerous man, and constantly needing assurance from Quinn). So, I don’t view any of her actions in the final two episodes as indications of anything. She had just suffered massive brain trauma.

        Again, that is the difference between S3 and S5 in my mind. I don’t have a lingering problem with S3, because I’m willing to “forgive” Fedak. To me, he redeemed himself with Other Guy and Honeymooners (and the rest of S3).

        To the contrary, he never delivered the goods in S5. He only left us with a beaten and broken Sarah and a love letter that read like a horror novel.

      • ArmySFC says:

        interesting talk about ratings again. here’s food for thought. TBBT dropped .5 last night for it’s finale. maybe there is some truth that some folks don’t care about wedding episodes?

      • Curious, Army. TBBT went 2.5 (rerun), 4.1, 4.7, 4.2 (which could still be adjusted). I think last week was the abnormality. It could also be things like the NBA playoffs and American Idol. I don’t know if students have Nielson boxes, but that seems like the type of thing that could skew results during finales. 0.5 is still a big jump and drop, whatever the reason.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      I think you have to realize that the finale had nothing to do with Sarah (or the relationship) at all.

      It was about showing Chuck’s charcater growth from the pilot to the present.

      • Rob says:

        I would then to agree with you, except for the fact that Fedak called the finale a “love letter” to the fans.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        The above is probably harsh but does explain so much of the finale and TPTB tunnel vision when it comes to the Chuck character.

        It would have been nice if they had shown us something similar to a “ballerina moment” for Sarah to “start” to fall in love again. As it is she just trying to get away until the last possible second.

        The whole “fall in love AGAIN” idea is a hard sell for me regardless. I can’t shake the idea that episode 5.14 is necessary for me to revisit the show.

        Rightly or wrongly I feel like someone broke my favorite toy and however people try to tell me that it’s mended, it truly is still broken. Alas I suppose it was never my toy in the first place.

    • ArmySFC says:

      @jeff thats why i brought it up. i think boxes are only installed in homes (dorm rooms may not be considered homes because they are empty 4-5 months a year). my belief is young males 18-30 don’t care as much about the romance part of any show hence they tune out. it’s pretty much what i said when talking about chucks ratings drops and why most single males don’t go with their male friends to see movies like the vow or other romcoms. thats just my opinion of course.

      • jam says:

        There’s a big difference between romance as a part of a movie/tv-show, and just straight up romance.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jam I can safely say I definitely cared about the romantic story in most shows and movies even when I was in my teens, but I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to see a pure romance; still wouldn’t.

        By the way I was an Arbitron viewer when I was in college. That’s pretty old fashioned now, they measured with journals not boxes, and I believe Arbitron does only radio now anyway. In fact, I remember quite clearly that a major issue of the day was figuring exactly what the best way of measuring college students was. I don’t believe that mystery has ever been solved!

  17. dkd says:

    Just listened to part of the commentary during the final episode. Zac said that when he and Yvonne were told to do the “Chuck’s telling the story” scene, he and Yvonne were really reminiscing about their 5 years on the show.

    That was so cool to know.

  18. Gord says:

    It’s off topic, but I found out that Adam Baldwin is going to be at the Ottawa Comiccon this weekend. I thought I would put that out there for any Canadian Chuck fans that might want to know.

  19. harlock328 says:

    atcDave says:”…even with him needling her, she wasn’t able to pull the trigger on Chuck.”
    I disagree with Sarah have emotions for Chuck for the reason not shooting him. Look at season 1; Sarah was never a cold blooded killer. She only kills if threaten or others are threaten. She protected Chuck the first ep. even though she was ordered to shoot him if he resisted; she protected him from Casey. In the vs. Helicopter, she tells Chuck she kills the Frenchmen (I think they were french) because they were going to kill her. In season 3 ep at the end of Chuck’s red test when she’s telling Shaw about hers; we see that she shot his wife only after she thought Shaw’s wife was going for a gun.
    When she threaten Ellie’s life; I don’t believe she would have done it. As a spy; she was trained to use leverage against others; and Ellie was the perfect leverage against Chuck.
    Chuck never ever threaten her in 5.12; if he did I truly believe she would have pulled the trigger.
    I interpreted emotions she having watching the mission log seeing herself say she loves Chuck; was heartbreak because she doesn’t feel it. Which is why she was telling the truth to him at the fountain. She believes everything he said but doesn’t feel it. He was shocked; his wife telling him she doesn’t feel it and probably why he didn’t say anything when she was leaving.
    I thought 5.12 was really well written and stayed true to the characters and their emotions Sarah acted exactly the correct way. Chuck was fighting for her throughout the episode.
    Unlike Fedek’s finale “love letter”.
    My interpretation of 5.12; others interpreted different; which is fine and I diffidently could be way off. My wife has told my have no clue about women 🙂
    5.12 was superbly written and Yvonne did an outstanding job.

    • atcDave says:

      You know i do agree Sarah had a surprisingly strong moral center for someone of her background and training. But Sarah has killed on orders and not much else. In Baby she killed eleven men on orders and the assurance they we’re bad men. In the Pilot she shot two men after she disarmed them. And I’m not suggesting an emotional connection is the only reason she didn’t shoot Chuck, but I think the emotions provided the extra hesitation that let her find good reasons not to pull the trigger. Sarah was an admirable heroic figure in an ugly and dangerous world. But I think her love for Chuck helped her to find and act on her conscience in many more situations than she ever had before.

      I agree entirely she probably wouldn’t have shot Ellie. Although she apparently was convinced at that time that Chuck and Ellie were potentially dangerous domestic terrorists, so I wouldn’t say anything with absolute certainty. The situation was very dangerous for everyone involved, and no matter how heroic and noble Sarah and her motives usually were, Quinn had manipulated her. She had wrong and incomplete information and had drawn bad conclusions. I think deep seated (and very confusing for Sarah) affection for Chuck was among the things that caused her to hesitate several times in 5.12.

    • Rob says:

      Saying that she didn’t “feel it” was heartbreaking. I would have felt better if she said that she didn’t “remember it.” That line would have been more consistent my perception of Fedak’s message that “love wins out over all.”

      That said, I’m not convinced that she believed her own words at the fountain. If you watch her reaction after she said it, it really looks like she expected Chuck to do something. You can see her eyes screaming “SAY SOMETHING TO MAKE IT RIGHT.” Unfortunately, Chuck just returns a blank stare. Maybe he is simply in shock. Fact is, she wouldn’t have returned to the Fountain just to say good bye to Chuck if she felt nothing at all. That part had to be a lie.

      • atcDave says:

        Sarah was clearly lying at the fountain, or at least she was still confused and didn’t know what make of things. But we know she had just been crying while watching her video logs, I think she was actually sort of a basket case and was looking to run away from what she didn’t understand. But that all makes the beach that much more significant, she was ready to face it all and get her life back.

      • oldresorter says:

        Maybe that crying was the real person, Yvonne, who was devastated by the lousy send off her writing staff gave the character she developed into the fan favorite, somewhat on her own, without the support of writing to back her up. Seriously, the young woman cried, and cried, and cried the last week, was it goodbye, or was it, this script is gawd awful, what are they doing to Sarah?

        who knows really? I am in the camp the writers really don’t consider Sarah much when they write, I don’t think there was a bullet designed for vs Sarah, lets make sure the fans know she would be willing to sleep with a mark for years, as his wife, yet, inadvertantly, that was the interpretation. My guess is Schwartz or Fedak would answer something like this:

        “Really, fans thought that, they are crazy aren’t they? Listen, we got Chuck to the beach, and we showed Chuck was a man there, in charge, in control, along with a chance to use a bunch of call backs which we think are cool, and incorporate a great song by Jeffster, mission complete. What Sarah was thinking, come on, who cares, the show’s called Chuck.”

      • atcDave says:

        Jason you know I’m not a huge fan of the ending either, but having just watched several of the extra features on the discs I have to say I don’t think Yvonne was THAT busted up over it. She has been clear that it wasn’t the ending she would have chosen, but she seems to hold no animosity over it, she was clearly having fun and saying heartfelt goodbyes to co-workers, and has expressed a willingness to work with them all again. I think she made her peace with the finale, and she rewarded us all with an awesome performance.

      • oldresorter says:

        Yea – yea – I was being obnoxious, but who really knows, if we invent how an imaginary character really felt about a video she watched, and lines she delivered, saying she said those lines, which were the most powerful lines in the season, “I believe you, I don’t feel it”, then we say, yea, but she didn’t mean it, I guess, really, what else didn’t she mean, or did she, what prevents us from inventing anything else we want, it is somewhat the same process. That is the problem when Sarah is not in the show, but out there alone, yet driving the plot, same thing happened in season 3, this was just shorter, but will never get fixed. end of rant.

  20. Faith says:

    I’m feeling so much love for the show right now, I wish all of you can feel it. And yes, including the finale. If not…then I hope all of you will get there, someday.

    • ArmySFC says:

      faith, i hate to tell you this but for a lot of folks that ship has sailed and hit an iceberg.

      • Faith says:

        I appreciate that Army. I’m glad to see you’re trying and still conversing with all of us uninformed people out here.

      • ArmySFC says:

        thanks, not a problem! just a realist here and no amount of wasted hope will change some peoples minds, but it’s not my hope to waste so more power to you! see i can be snarky and condescending just like you.

      • Faith says:

        Actually I wasn’t but hey whatever floats your boat. Apparently extending courtesy and good will isn’t realistic. Now that is snarky.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Faith FWIW, i wasn’t referring to the fact you appreciate my comment, just the part about you saying i thought you and others were uniformed. i have said many times the most informed people are here on this blog. i do have one serious question for you and others.

        if someone posted this, “I’m feeling so much dislike for the show’s ending right now, I wish all of you can feel it. And yes, that includes the finale. If not…then I hope all of you will get there, someday.” how would you feel?

        as a non-liker of the finale when someone says that, it makes me feel like i missed something, or my opinion is somehow wrong. see my point now?

      • atcDave says:

        Army I mean no disrespect, and everyone s free to dislike whatever they want, but A LOT of the dislike is from viewers who actually didn’t get the ending. Those who saw a still critically damaged Sarah or a fractured marriage DID miss something. The writer HAS spoken clearly that was not what the ending was meant to show. So while arguing over how well that was depicted, or if we liked the story or not is always fair game, so much of the “dislike” we’ve seen is actually based on misunderstanding. In that sense, I think it’s completely fair to wish everyone had seen the joy in the ending that some saw, and was actually intended to be there.
        Just on a more general note, I think most of us would call it a generous thought to wish others could LIKE something. Nobody would consider it any kind of well wishing to wish others would dislike something. That’s like the very definition of mean spiritedness!

      • ArmySFC says:

        @Dave no doubt what you are saying is true for very vested fans. it’s the un-invested ones i feel suffered most. you have said many times they don’t read blogs like this or what the writers say their intent was. they don’t re-watch episodes numerous times to pick out all the minor details to make the story work.

        my attitude towards writers is pretty simple, i ignore what they say for the most part. IMO they are not going to tell you the truth if they screw the pooch, they WANT/NEED you to like what they put out. their jobs depend on it. they will say things to sway your opinion their way. have you ever heard a writer come out and say our show got canned because our writing sucked or we picked an idea that we though stunk and the audience agreed with us? i haven’t, yet i have heard writers say they had a great idea and can’t figure out why it didn’t fly.

        that may sound harsh but it’s how i view show runners and writers in general.

      • Faith says:

        So now I’m not allowed to like something or extend good thoughts. Well that’s the very definition of censorship. I think we’ve done our part in allowing both sides of the argument. Just read through this page, it’s populated with people who expressed those same thoughts (albeit not verbatim) as you put it and yet I’m not allowed to say something contrary, or for that matter hopeful. If for nothing else, I’m disappointed, if not angered by that. There are more than one voice, more than one opinion, I’m not even asking people to think like I think, I’m respectful enough to give people theirs and just…wish them the same peace that I have. And that’s not good enough for you, more that’s apparently not allowed. Just because we are the principals of this blog that doesn’t mean we are without opinion; we are more sensitive to opposing thoughts but we are not puppets, we are allowed to say what we feel, talk about what we think. I happen to think something good towards the show if no one else shares it, that’s fine. But it shouldn’t be okay to censor my thoughts just because it’s positive and hopeful. Especially since I think most can attest how open and accepting we have been to unhappy and at times cynical views.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Faith, sorry for starting something that has gotten way out of control. that’s not what i meant at all, in fact far from what you just said. in fact i put the blame on me because i didn’t really say what i wanted to clear enough and caused mass confusion. in fact i hope this clears it up.

        if i were to go to cali and asked you for the name of a good pace to eat and you told me to to place X because they had great food and service and said i hope you enjoy it and i went there for the first time that’s one thing. had i asked you the same question and i had been to place X and didn’t like it and you said well you didn’t add the right sauce to the dish you had or you missed out on this. do that i and think you’ll like it better. that would bother me.

        the point i was trying to make, and poorly i might add, is the only people who say they wish or hope that people would come around to their way of thinking are those that liked it (from what i remember reading but i might have missed one). like those of us that didn’t don’t have a clue about what the writers wanted us to see. those that didn’t like it may point out why they didn’t but have never wished or hoped for anyone to see their point of view. that’s why i asked the would would you think question.

        the last thing i would ever want is for people to not say what they feel in an open and honest manner. i really don’t care if a person liked or didn’t like the finale for whatever reason. that is for each person to decide on his or her own.

        i took you’re and others wishes one way, and you meant it another. for that i will say sorry.

    • oldresorter says:

      Faith, do you think the final’s reception was at all a gender related thing? I mean not 100% or anything, but skewed toward woman liking it, and men not? Just curious.

      I sure wish I would have gotten the house, the fence, the door, the archway, the dog, maybe a positive on the p-test, that is the show I really fell in love with, and it was teased so much all season long, my mind just doesn’t process artistically I guess. Being a fan of Chuck has made me not want to be a fan of a show that way ever again, had I quit watching at the end of season 4, it would have been just the opposite. I don’t know if you can understand that or not.

      Lakers will win it this season, I guarantee it.

      Glad you loved the final, and hope all is well with you!

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        I somehow think Faith is about to become a Kings fan. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Just among the six of us at the blog the like and dislike of it crosses gender lines. Casual viewers I know would seem to also. Of course that’s anecdotal, not statistically valid…

      • Faith says:

        I absolutely can understand that Jason, and I don’t ever…forget it. In fact I was just conversing with our fellow bloggers about my appreciation for this blog and its people in giving me a more rounded perspective even when it’s not one I have or initially appreciated. I think about how you think of the finale and in some ways I have internalized it to better understand what I think I may have missed. What I come out of it is this, we all take something from that which we are given. It’s as individual as we are, and in Chuck’s case, what has brought us together ultimately is the thing that brought us all apart and that’s just the case. No use putting ill will with it, people are just people.

        But because Chuck has meant so much to all of us, my hope is that at least some of that…some of that love, investment, whatever it is that made us love it and blog about it to begin with is recaptured in some form. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, and maybe never but I truly do hope that is rediscovered.

        As for the finale, it’s possible. I don’t know many men that appreciate the Notebook. Most of them just see it is a ridiculous tear jerker of a chick flick while some women put it as something more. But I also don’t think it’s as simple as that. In our little band of men and women, remember we had Thinkling not liking the finale, she had to see and feel and essentially convince herself that what she is seeing and feeling is something tangible to really accept it. And we have others like Ernie who liked it, so unfortunately it being a gender thing isn’t quite so simple either.

        I’m doing just fine, thanks for asking. Been swamped so I haven’t been here much but I have missed all of you 🙂

        Edit: LOL Shep, that would make me a bandwagon fan haha. I’ll stick with my lakers for now but I do congratulate the Kings for an incredible run that looks to continue.

      • Demographic breakdown on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2107930/ratings
        Males 483 – arithmetic mean 9.2
        Females 75 – arithmetic mean 9.7
        Unspecified 44 – arithmetic mean 9.7

        So females liked it a little better. However, even Colonel had a 0.2 spread, so maybe women rate all episodes slightly higher. 69.6% of men, 84% of women, and 72.8% overall scored the episode a 10.

      • The Notebook – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0332280/ratings-male
        25% of men gave it a 10/10. I’m guessing an unspecified percentage of those were giving it a 10 to impress their significant other who was watching over their shoulder.

        (If it isn’t obvious, my BluRay set, which left the distribution center 6 miles away almost 26 hours ago, still has not arrived. The substitute postal delivery guy we’ve had the past week probably decided not to bother. Makes me so glad my senator voted for the $34 billion bailout for the USPS. On the upside, I got a $10 refund for Amazon locking in the lowest price.)

      • Faith says:

        LOL Jeff.

      • oldresorter says:

        Interesting Jeff, thanks. Polls are tricky. The NBC poll I posted not too long ago, nearly 40% either hated or didn’t like, while an equal number loved or liked, with only 20% in the middle. I was a hate. Yet, if you made me give a ten point grade to vs Sarah, I’d probably give it a 6, goodbye probably an 8, and the ending, taken alone, probably a 9, vs every other tv show out there. How you ask the question is key, and understanding the ramifications of how all the information works together. Anyhow, it is so easy to use numbers to manipulate people … in any direction you want to pull them. It has been done on various Chuck blogs since I have been around, both in ways I enjoyed, and in ways I cringed and wanted to cry foul.

      • I know we’ve posted a lot of those other polls before, but IMDB is the only one I know that has demographics. It also tries to get cleaver with weighted averages versus arithmetic means. The “question” is fairly generic. Rate the episode or movie. The bigger bias is the typical audience. NBC’s boards and this blog are more likely to have die hard fans. Some may be more positive or negative depending on the general tone on the board. This blog is one of the more balanced. IMDB voters would be fans that are big enough fans to vote on Chuck, but would also sign up for an IMDB login. It still has a larger percentage of male voters, but the voting split can vary depending on the movie or show. When IMDB was created in the 90s, it had a different demographic: almost all men of college age and logins were not required. Most of the top 250 movies were sci-fi.

        Casual viewers and TV-only viewers (who don’t follow shows on the Internet) wouldn’t bother voting, so we’ll never know what they thought.

      • atcDave says:

        So sorry Jeff, but I think we’re all enjoying you not having your discs yet!

      • Excuse me, Dave, while I retask my imaginary satellite to your location. I used my $10 to hire Verbanski Corp to take you out. I’m relaying your position to Casey now. Unlike the sniper from Castle’s Kill Shot, he knows to use the rounds that can break through windows. You’re in Washington, right? Or is it Indiana? Doesn’t matter. He’s in a building tall enough to see around the curvature of the Earth and target both locations.

      • atcDave says:

        Pretty wasteful use of an imaginary satellite. Anyway, I’m in the Marshall Islands. Have your sniper look for me in the Marshall Islands. Look hard, leave no stone unturned. That’s the MARSHALL ISLANDS, west-southwest of Hawaii, east of Truk.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave, I thought you were in Zihuatanejo with Jerome Bettis. What gives?

      • atcDave says:

        That was last week Ernie. You know, the glamorous life of a civil servant.

      • Paul says:

        Hey, I’m a very straight dude and I loved the Notebook and The Vow….and no, I’m not gonna turn in my Man Card…. ;o)

      • Paul says:

        Of course, both feature Rachel McAdams who is amazingly hot….. ;o)

      • Nothing wrong with liking The Notebook. Any moving with James Gardner can’t be that bad. You found another perfectly good reason, Paul. I can see a 7, maybe even an 8 or 9. However, would you give it a 10? That’s basically saying your favorite movie of all time and your favorite Chuck episode of all time are not much better than The Notebook.

        Doesn’t somebody die at the end of every Nicholas Sparks story? That’s the kind of thinking that made JG, ZL, and AB all want to die in the finale episode of Chuck. Imagine they all got their way. Morgan, Casey and Chuck die, leaving Sarah to move into her dream house pregnant and alone. ZL directs the sequel movie launched on the Internet in which he comes back from the dead.

        See, the Chuck ending could have been worse,

      • atcDave says:

        Oh I never doubted it could have been worse. Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have hoped for better!

    • joe says:

      Faith, you’re not the only one. I’m well into S3 (of all things!) and I feel like I’m watching it for the first time. At least, I’m seeing it with new eyes. I blame George Bush S5.

      Army, you may be right. But of late, I’m thinking they’re outnumbered by the fans that came away thinking about it, continue to think about it, and decided that all in all, Chuck was a great thing.

      • phaseou812 says:

        I like that Joe . . . I think I am going to blame George for coercing the producers into trashing Sarah’s character only for the sole purposes to make people mad. It must be his fault. . Reading all of the comments . . . it seems to be a rough crowd in here regarding the opinions. I am a novice here regarding following the Hollywood scene, but I just cannot grasp the conclusion that the show runner’s goal was to drive Sarah’s role into the ground for the sake of just doing it or making Chuck’s role look superior. I understand some of the dissatisfactions with various aspects of the show in general but some of the points seem to be overly exacting.

        I like what Faith has said, that being able to see the variety of opinions does help to bring a better overall perspective, even if they are points that you do not necessarily agree with. But some of the thoughts that seem to pinch just for the sake of pinching are disconcerting. I have always liked the fact that this show brought together an eclectic audience, to talk and even debate or offer suggestions for better scenarios then the ones we have been given. . . but I would hate for a show that had so many good things in it, be only remembered for what was not liked.
        Joe I am in the middle of Season 3 . . . and still over all loving it . . . can’t help but smile about watching of the Beard episode . . . all though there are so many things I would have wanted changed throughout Season 3 as well as the show life . . . but regardless of those flaws, that are my personal opinion . . . can’t help but say that I am proud for have taken the ride on this show to the very end.

        Guess I don’t know how to explain it as I am not trying to tick off any of the readers or bloggers in here . . . I just do not want to become overly fixated on what I did not like.

      • George Lucas? What did he do? No, don’t answer that. Oh, George Bush. Wasn’t Sarah 11 years old when he lost his re-election bid? That doesn’t make sense. She couldn’t have been in the secret service then.

        Phase, remember part of the purpose of the Internet is to complain. I might not gush like Faith is trying, but I might if my order had arrived. Instead I’m making snarky comments about the satellite I purchased from Carmichael Industries and how smart guys vote in online polls how their wives and girlfriends want.

        Dave, you’re safe. I always get Marshal mixed up with Marshall, so there’s no way I’ll find you there. (In “In Plain Sight”, is it Marshal Marshall or Marshall Marshal?) Casey is disappointed, but he refunded my $10. He wanted to try out his special bullets that break through glass, shatter, and spray the contained water at the target. It’s the sniper version of a water balloon. Now I’m trying to figure out what I want delivered in a week or two.

      • joe says:

        Phase, that was well put. And I’m smiling because I saw The Beard again for the first time in months just today too.

        When this blog was conceived we wanted this to be a place where we could have a discussion about the show and basically not feel weird about saying “THAT’S SO COOL!” or even “That was so sweet!” when we wanted to without feeling awkward or attacked. We wanted to be able to say “I wish we had seen *this* (or *that*).” and share our visions and ideas about what was going on.

        At least, I did. Frankly, if no one had joined in, I would still have had to do that. The fact that so many did join in the discussion and appreciated what we wrote was a thrill for me, a testament to the writing abilities of Amy, Dave, Ernie, Faith and Thinkling, and a remarkable statement about the readers here and the fans in general.

        But all of that is still just a reflection of what we were given to work with. That came from a bunch of people ranging from the stars of the show to the crew whose names we seldom noticed, and most of all from Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak.

        I don’t think you have to worry around us about being “overly fixated” on what you did or didn’t like. For most of us, that boat sailed long ago 😉 and I’m still encouraging everyone to speak their peace. I do, however appreciate everyone who keeps it cordial and treats contrary ideas with respect, especially when those ideas come from people who brought us the show.

        I appreciate the way people have kept to that for almost four years now.

      • phaseou812 says:

        Touché Jeff! Such an unfair predicament you have been put in with the undue punishment of not receiving the purchased goods . . . maybe we can blame that on George. Take Care . . . and hope it comes in soon.

      • joe says:

        Jeff, you’re on a roll. 😉

      • phaseou812 says:

        Joe I think what you have stated was well put . . . especially regarding the writing abilities of the whole gang (Amy, Dave, Ernie, Faith, Thinkling and Sir Joe, of course that would be you) The insights and perspectives of the blogs core writers have always been an enjoyable read. I wish I would have found this site much earlier in the game, but none the less it has been an entertaining outlet to a show that needed a place to have some conversation. So a great forum to read the core writers induce dialogue of the show with the multitude of subscribers chiming in.

  21. harlock328 says:

    thanks Faith, I hope I can see what you saw someday. Maybe I’m just over thinking it.

  22. aerox says:

    Glad they didn’t include the Ellie scene, with Devon and such. It makes me lose even more respect for her, other than the butchering we were already witness to in the final two episodes.

    I actually mentioned this on twitter (rated T for language), when we were discussing Sarah’s actions and reactions to the montage and the Ellie scene straight after that.

    “I get where Sarah is coming from. She doesn’t /need/ Chuck like Chuck needs her. She can’t remember him, she’s a spy, fuck this shit, she’s out. Yeah, it’s sad for him, but ul m8, shouldn’t have let her out of the fucking cabin. Ellie and Devon know full well the odds of him winning her back (you’re a terrible liar, Devon) and yet they go through with it (going to Chicago) anyway. That’s cold. Colder than Sarah tbh.”

    We’re told throughout the show how much those two (Ellie and Chuck) rely on each other, how they’re there when times are tough, how they survived with their parents leaving and getting stronger.

    So Chuck is on the precipice of losing the love of his life, is clearly devastated about it–so much so that he goes damn near catatonic–while Ellie and Devon agree that the odds of him winning her back are… well, let’s just say that the future was looking bleak.

    “Lol, k, bye brother, gl with getting her back.”

    WHAT?! That’s not the Ellie we’ve been told (and shown) she was for the past 4.5 seasons. Hell, that’s not even pre S1 Ellie like Fedak did with Sarah. This was ‘different universe’ Ellie where Chuck physically abused her or something messed up like that. Honestly, I don’t have a relationship like they’re supposed to have with my siblings, but when my brother or sister comes home with a story like this, I’m not going to leg it to somewhere that’s over a thousand miles away.

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. I get that people think that Sarah was the one to suffer here, and maybe she did suffer. But that was NOTHING, compared to what Chuck went through. Shit, he even had it better in Fates, and that ended up *SPOILER* with him being brainwashed, betrayed by his nation, a danger to society and himself and a fractured relationship with the woman he loved, who in turn used vocal commands on him that triggered his brainwashed mind to kick into gear *SPOILER*

    It’s a miracle that the show didn’t end with him going to the beach, Sarah not being there, and him just throwing himself in the ocean for the hell of it.

    So yeah, at the end of this rant, I’ll just recount once more what I said: I’m really glad they didn’t include that scene.

    • anthropocene says:

      She may not have understood it until she had a chance to heal some from the memory trauma, but in the end, Sarah needed Chuck just as much as he needed her. Many fans focus on how Sarah brought Chuck out of his shell, and how “the nerd got the girl,” and that’s all correct, well, and good…but remember that Chuck saved Sarah from an even more dismal fate. And I don’t just mean giving her the home and family relationships she always craved, though that was part of it.

      Consider a Sarah without Chuck in her late 40s (assuming she survives that long). After a life of deadly missions and constant stress, always living out of a suitcase, with nothing but Bryces and Shaws around her…when her reflexes slow and her hair starts going grey, what would she be like then? At absolute best, maybe like Diane Beckman: an elder leader, but hardly a happy soul. More likely, a burnout.

      Chuck and Sarah saving each other repeatedly, on all kinds of levels, was a subtext of the entire series. At the end, on the beach, they were both doing everything within their capacities at that moment to save their love. Like many others, I would have liked to actually hear Sarah murmur “I love you” or “Take me home” before the fade to black. But no doubt that she would and did, in due course and probably very soon.

      • Faith says:

        Nicely put. Powerful stuff.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I’m comfortable in saying such words were coming soon regardless. But I still would have liked to hear them….

      • aerox says:

        All well and good, but that wasn’t the point at all. The point is, Sarah left, because that was who she was at the time. She can’t remember him, she has NO recollection bar vlogs that state her love for him and the word of others. At the end of the day, her first instinct is to run. And fast. See S1 for that exact behavior. It took him until Colonel to wane her down in his first try.

        Now, she doesn’t have the government telling her to stay (incidentally, I never got why she thought it was viable to run from Chuck in the earlier seasons to go with Bryce. Strikes me as going AWOL. The only thing I could viably see as her getting out was admitting she was compromised, but black mark on record yada yada yada yada. But that’s another debate) so the flight response is much easier for her to deal with.

        The point is, that amidst all this, Ellie is the one constant in his life. Always has been. He knows it, she knows it. And the decision to up and leave to Chicago is vile. That’s not Ellie. At all. This isn’t about Sarah. Forget about Sarah for the moment. Family is supposed to be there for each other. They’ve been there for each other physically, since their dad legged it.

        And now, when her brother needs her the most, she decides he’s fine on his own and leaves for Chicago. I can’t reconcile myself with that image of Ellie. It’s painfully OOC. Devon, while he loves Chuck like a brother, doesn’t have that same bond with him, so I get why he’s able to live with himself by leaving. But Ellie and Mary? His sister and his mother? No, that’s bullshit. There is NO way they could’ve made that decision, I don’t care whether it’s a TV show, or real life. And so, to see that added scene, the one where Ellie and Devon admit that the chances of him winning her back are slim, and the pressure is mounting from the hospital in Chicago, the fact that they go instead of telling them to shove it, are ridiculous. The message I get from that is more akin to: “Your job trumps all,” as opposed to “family is the most important thing,” like Chuck has been preaching all this time.

        That scene, to me, is the ultimate betrayal of characters. Even more so than Chuck telling Sarah to shove it in Prague.

      • aerox says:

        Actually, I say that about Mary, but then I remember the ridiculous plotpoint of where she left for 20 years. So, I take that back about Mary. Ellie is still OOC though.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Aerox we’ve had the Ellie talk here a few times. I agree it was poorly written, as we’re a lot of details. But apart from agreeing it was poorly written and out of character, Ellie just doesn’t have the same emotional resonance with me.

      • Rob says:

        aerox — I haven’t watched the extended finale yet. Just watched the first two eps last night.

        But, if the extended version remotely resembles what you described, that extra scene is really a disturbing view as to Fedak’s state of mind. It’s almost like everyone else is able to have a unequivocally positive ending (E&D — dream jobs, A&M — moving in together, Casey — going after Verbaski). The only relationship that really matters, however, is left in disarray and in need for massive re-building.

      • atcDave says:

        Rob I’ve watched the extended cut and I think it shows Chuck and Sarah will be fine. It doesn’t give us the clarity many of us had hoped for, but all the things we’ve been using as evidence of a recovering Charah was actually strengthened by the extended cut (especially the significance of Sarah asking for “our” story at the beach). There was one deleted scene that is even more painful than what aired (Sarah removing her rings), but even that doesn’t make the ending worse in any way. If anything it strengthens the argument that Sarah was lying when she said she didn’t feel anything in 5.12 as it was clearly an emotional scene.

      • The last image is of Chuck and Sarah kissing on a beach. That is the single best thing they could be doing at that moment without the risk of getting arrested. Could things be bad after that? Sure. It’s possible to imagine all sorts of bad things after that.

        Dellie – long hours at work and being away from family make them miserable
        Malex – Alex finds out about Morgan’s string cheese habit. That can’t be good.
        Cabanski – Casey becomes Verbanski’s kept man/cabana boy. Everyone at Verbanski Corp knows it, so they aren’t intimidated by his meanest grunts
        Big Mike – dies from a coronary because eating A LOT of healthy sandwiches isn’t healthy
        Jeffster – Lester’s prophecy from Best Friend comes true with the band breaking up and Lester dying in a hotel room while…
        Charah – live happily ever after in a big house with a red door and a white picket fence with two kids (Liam and Lisa) and a goofy house guest/in home babysitter named Morgan, who was thrown out by Alex

      • atcDave says:

        Darn that string cheese!

    • Richard says:

      Reminds me of Bruce Dern in “Coming Home” taking off his clothes and jumping into the ocean. (Suicide)

  23. joe says:

    In totally unrelated news, actress Molly Quinn just re-tweeted that Castle has been renewed.

    Added: I see the original tweet comes from Nathan Fillion himself. Cool!

  24. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    “… what’s worse from just the relationship perspective is the idea that she wouldn”t remember him …”

    Just ……..

    I don’t know what to say to that.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I completely, COMPLETELY, don’t get why you want to end a show by doing the worst thing you can imagine. It’s some sort of bizarro logic to me. I would have SOOOO much rather they came up with a FUN idea. Anyway, just remember it didn’t really end that way; Sarah was remembering things, and they were together.

      • BigKev67 says:

        You know Dave, for me it’s not even about fun or not fun. It’s more about being consistent with the tone of the world you’ve set up. The show became markedly lighter and rom-com like in tone in S4 and S5 – so end the show like that. Don’t drop a bucket load of angst on your fans and then say “but it’s meaningful”. It may be meaningful – but if you haven’t written anything like that for 35 prior episodes, you haven’t earned the right to do it in the last two. I thought the last arc was well executed for the most part – but it always felt completely bolted on to me.

      • atcDave says:

        Kev I do agree about the consistency part, I’d say that’s a big part of serving your audience. A more dramatic show would merit a more dramatic finale. To me Chuck was always about more than just a rom-com, but certainly that was a big part of it in the last two seasons. But it wasn’t even the romance part they abandoned for the finale, it was mainly the comedy.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        From the end of Business trip throughout the rest of the series they were constantly upping the stakes and going more dramatic and violent as a setup for the finale. It was interspersed with the lighter moments where we glimpse the life they want to have after they leave the spy world to build a sense of what they risk losing.

        It’s pretty standard drama fare, I don’t know why people see these statements as clueless or nefarious.

      • atcDave says:

        Well my biggest objection remains inadequate pay-off. But you are right Ernie, I typically don’t like season/series finales very much on any show.

      • atcDave says:

        And Ernie the thing is, we’re just bitching. The ending wasn’t terrible and the episode wasn’t either. But I would have prefered many things done differently, and with it all over now that will ALWAYS be true. So it’s hard not to vent whenever the subject comes up. Whenever I think about how Chuck ended, it makes me a little sad, or angry.

      • oldresorter says:

        The show never figured out what it was. The closest was a spy thriller in season 2, and a rom com that probably was more like a half hour show in season 4. Interesting about Ernie’s comment, I have not rewatched an ep since 5×6, other than Good Bye once. I tried many, many times, but have not made it through more than a few minutes. Chuck for me, will always be about what could have been, rather than what was. I blogged pretty often over the summer past that season 5 would be a legacy, and we would find out what Fedak thought of the show. We got our answer. Like it or not, his concept tended to fracture the fan base. In fairness to him, he must have disliked writing eps like the honeymooners, or season 4, he tried. But, at the end of the day in s5, Fedak was the blind alligator, his sighted mouse piloting him and keeping him afloat for five seasons was Sarah, he turned on her and consumed her by show’s end. Fitting I suppose, it was in his nature afterall.

      • Rob says:

        oldresorter — I forget who said it earlier (but it was a great comment) — it was almost like Fedak knew how to write about the difficulty of getting the girl, but didn’t know how to write a story about once the guy actually got the girl.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Guys, come on, it’s an action adventure movie thing. You always face the biggest worst obstacle just before the end and overcome it…

      Don’t make me explain The Hero’s Journey again… 😉

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        But what’s the problem in having a heroES (plural) where both are fighting for the goal, for once.

      • atcDave says:

        I guess it’s all our fault Shep for preferring the wrong hero.

      • garnet says:

        If you accept that they overcame the obstacle then that’s great, but if we come at it from the memory loss being the obstacle, it remains possible to believe that they did not really overcome it at all.
        Now I believe that they will be fine (on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and alternate Sundays), but I’m not sure we were SHOWN that they would be fine. That is what hurts in the end.

      • atcDave says:

        Garnet I think we were supposed to see it. There’s enough clues for me to believe that is the intent and it’s supposed to there. It’s just too subtle for too many of us.

      • garnet says:

        Yeah Dave, I know what you mean. When I look closely and think about every little scene, I can convince myself that they were trying to write that love letter, but I think they left off the final sentence. I will accept (having seen Zachary’s comments, and Fedak’s) that we are supposed to feel warm and fuzzy about the couple on the beach, and I can feel that way at times. I also have other times when the feeling in the pit of my stomach is not warm and fuzzy, but more “concerned” that they were not in a REALLY good spot. Yes it could have been far worse….no beach scene at all, end it at the fountain with Morgan for example, but it could also have been far more in keeping with the Spy/Adventure/Dramedy we have come to love.Spyjinks was what we had come to expect, and we got high drama and an artistic ending.
        I guess in short, I was not expecting to feel heart broken over the events of the finale (heart broken because CHUCK is over, yes, but hot because of the finale itself) and I just didn’t get the feeling of happiness and relief I would have expected.

      • atcDave says:

        Sounds like we’re in about the same place Garnet.

  25. ww1posterfan says:

    Maybe the response to the finale broke along favorite character lines instead of along gender lines as posed by OR? And, maybe Shep’s comment about the finale being all about Chuck’s growth and the mechanism to do their callbacks and NOT the love story has some merit?

    • atcDave says:

      I think you’re on to something WW1!

    • My favorite character is Sarah, second favorite is often Morgan when he is being funny, and Chuck is a close third. I still liked the finale, so that theory doesn’t work for me. But it might be true in a general case. Still, I’d bet more than half the people think of Sarah as their favorite character, and in many polls, more than half the people liked or loved the finale. So maybe its a biasing factor, like medical research. (e.g. If you eat XYZ on Tuesdays in the rain and three times on full moons, you are more likely to grow a third leg.) If your favorite character was Sarah, you are more likely to like the finale less. Yep. That’s more believable than most medical research.

      Like all Chuck episodes, the finale was trying to do a lot of different things for different characters (in addition to a fun trip down memory lane and the dubiously romantic concept of letting Chara fall in love again):
      Chuck:
      – show Chuck’s maturity and patience in handling the most stressful situation possible – the possibility of loosing Sarah
      – show Chuck able to stand on his own without his sister
      – one last hero’s choice
      Sarah:
      – show that even without her memories, she wants to kiss Chuck on their beach
      – show that even without her memories, she no longer wants to be a spy
      – reverse the ‘trust me’ idea between Sarah and Chuck. As someone who didn’t trust people, this is huge
      Casey:
      – show he can still stalk his prey and find happiness
      Morgan:
      – show him being the type of person mature enough to move in with Alex
      Jeffster:
      – one last performance and a happy ending
      Ellie:
      – no goals, showing that she was just the 6th most important character

      Not all of that worked for everyone, but that was often the case with Chuck episodes.

      • atcDave says:

        I think most of that worked well enough Jeff. Chuck and Jeffster (?!) we’re probably best served by this episode. As I’ve said from the start, I think Sarah’s role and ending we’re just too understated for many viewers to be sure of what they saw. Even though I always had some reservations about this entire story, it’s not impossible to me that if her decision to stay with Chuck had been made more clear I might have enthusiastically embraced this episode from day 1. As I said, it wasn’t a terrible episode, unless you were a die hard Ellie fan (Chuck was made to look strong at Ellie’s expense); and although I can nitpick and find many things to whine about, I think if the ending had provided just a little more assurance I might be singing a very different song today.

    • ArmySFC says:

      i may be off base here, but i think most broke along the lines of what they expected and what they got. i know some people say folks should not go into an episode with any expectations of whats going to happen. for a majority of fans i don’t think that will ever be the case. just look at all the forums/blogs dedicated to a show or shows. each one has a spoiler/speculation thread. *of the ones i go to they all have them, that’s not to say there are ones out there that don’t, i just haven’t seen any*

      go back to s4 (on here) and look at the speculation threads for push mix. a good number of the posts made at that time had people saying how disappointed they would be if the proposal didn’t happen, that it would be a good last 10 minutes, just not the best ever with out it. had the proposal not taken place, IMO some fans would have liked it less.

      right or wrong fans wanted to see what they had been teased about most of season 5. when they left it with, for lack of a better term, a make up your own ending based on the bits of information we give you, some fans felt cheated and let down.

      there are probably many reasons for the divide and just like trying to figure out why ratings drop, we will never had a solid (majority) reason.

      • You’re right that expectations have a lot to do with it. We’ve talked here before about how a lot of series finales are notoriously bad. I’m sure my lower expectations helped me like it more on first viewing, which helped me watch it again with a positive eye, which resulted in me liking it even more. Others had expectations so high, there was no way they could be met. Some others are still so mad about Shaw, the returns of Shaw, Morgansect and/or Sarah’s amnesia that there was no way those negative biases could ever me overcome. And some drew lines in the sand before the episode aired saying XYZ must happen or the show is awful (like your proposal example, but with a white picket fence).

      • oldresorter says:

        Jeff, near a hundred percent of the fans would have liked the final, if it had been great, it wasn’t. You seem to have a great deal of dislike for us fans who wanted more, you time and time again blame us and lose your cool if we dare blame the showrunner. We did not write the final, we only watched. and you can make up any stat you want, but the final was not enjoyable, with a passion, for many. there are millions of fans, and only one Fedak, is it likely he screwed up, or was there mass lack of smart going on, unable to comprehend the greatness of Fedak? I think the dislike of the final is NOT THE FANS fault, period.

      • Mel says:

        I didn’t have much expectations, except I hoped the finale would not suck.

        Unfortunately it did, and I can’t blame anyone else but Fedak for it. I liked Sarah as much as I like Chuck, possibly even more, but I can’t help but feel that the character was raped in the last 3 episodes, both figuratively and literally.

      • atcDave says:

        Expectations are always hard to manage. At the very least, time is not in infinite supply and I don’t invest it in any show or movie without some expectation of liking it! And I am a discerning viewer (yeah I know, you all are thinking picky, fussy, or worse!) and I do not just accept whatever a show runner or studio wants to shove down me. So I tend to choose my viewing carefully and critically. But I think the biggest problem is sometimes one of elevated expectations. With a show like Chuck (not that anything else was ever quite like Chuck!) I got so used to liking the characters and outcomes every week, or at least being okay with arcs by the end, I was really shocked to be left numb and frustrated by the ending. I guess it’s true I expected better, but I don’t honestly think I expected any particular outcome. I certainly wasn’t specific about needing to see the house or needing to know Sarah was “all better”. Needing to know Chuck and Sarah were together and happy about it was the only stipulation I ever put on it, we actually got that. But I was put off by having to research the issue to be sure!

      • ArmySFC says:

        @Jeff you know i had pretty low expectations of the finale because before it aired i predicted sarah would not have her memory back by the end. it was one of the 7 i got right for the finale. i was even told they wouldn’t go there.

        i liked the episode until the finale few minutes, that’s where it tanked for me. i don’t see the romance in watching a couple that was in love once, fall in love again. i had 5 seasons of it. i want to see what lies ahead, not what lies behind them that’s already been done.

      • I was trying to agree with a point made by someone who didn’t like the episode. My mistake.

      • Rob says:

        Army — you are spot on. I also don’t even mind plot structures that take two steps back in order to move forward 3 steps. That is what builds the tension, and ultimately the artistic payoff in the end.

        In this case, I feel like we took 5 steps back in the last two episodes, but the beach scene only brought us 3 steps forward. I liked Chuck because most of the arcs left the characters in better positions than where they were at the start. The finale was difficult for me, because it was the one arc that failed on that level.

  26. YozaWB7C says:

    MyNameIsJeffNImLost-my Blu-ray arrives on Monday from the USA,so many thanks again for your advice and assistance .I can’t wait to see it properly,because like you,Faith,and Ernie,I loved the finale-even on you tube clips!!!!Maybe I am just an optimistic guy,but to me,the show had always,throughout the whole series,conveyed that whatever the obstacles,Chuck and Sarah’s love for each other would overcome all.The final two episodes were clearly for increased dramatic effect but never lessened my belief in this respect.
    Incidentally Sarah has always been my favourite character and I loved the fact that the writers gave Yvonne(and Zac) the opportunity to demonstrate exceptional acting ability.Yvonne has already commented how challenging it was to have to revert back from her final season rounded character,and she was magnificent!!Zac,too,in my view has never acted better from a dramatic point of view- something we would all have missed with a straightforward ending.
    I would disagree with those who have suggested that Sarah showed no feelings for Chuck during the final two episodes-to me her watching of the video logs painted a different picture and she was clearly lying at the fountain ,which was again consistent with the entire series.And as for the Tango scene,she was desperately trying to contain her emotions-and desire!!!
    I would stress that I greatly respect other people’s views,but am simply saddened to hear that for some on this blog,the entire series has been tarnished.It does not deserve that,as I seriously doubt we will ever see the like again.

    • garnet says:

      I agree that we will not likely see the like again. I retain hope that we will see CHUCK again in some form. The marketing smarts of NBC/WB astound me. We now have figurines for the shows’s main characters avaiable at NBC. Now they don’t really look that much like Chuck and Sarah, but why oh why didn’t they put these out before the series went off air? Castle has novels on bookshelves, there are Dexter books, and even Books on which Bones was based. Where are the “CHUCK the Lost Files” books?? There were some comics, but try to find them now!

      Rant aside, I wonder if Fedak and company were going for something that has eluded CHUCK,-a major Emmy. They certainly got the acting and the drama in the last 2 hours to have a shot at one or three!

      • joe says:

        Speaking of seeing Chuck again in some form, I don’t think anybody’s commented that the tag line on the DVD & Blu-Ray covers was kept a bit of a secret this year.
        S1 – He’s the secret, She’s the agent
        S2 – Not Shaken, just nerd
        S3 – No more Mr. Nice Spy.
        S4 – Underestimated. Underpaid. Undercover

        And now, S5 – Never say “One Last Mission!”

        Am I indulging in wishful thinking? Sure. But I’m going to believe that’s one last clue for us for a long time yet.

      • Nice catch. S3->S5 are all very satirical. S3 wasn’t considered ‘nice’ to a lot of viewers. S4 (and S3) suffered from the show’s budget being underpaid. S5 was the last mission… or was it.

      • Speaking of one last mission

      • atcDave says:

        That would be so cool…. But we know better than that. Sigh.

  27. I’ve watched the extended finale now. As others have said, nothing significant changed, except maybe the ‘tell me our story’ counterpoint. Casey’s advice to Morgan at the end was a little creepy considering the guy is dating his daughter: trigger discipline and muscle management (I couldn’t help but add: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=in%20bed)

    What surprised me wasn’t the big changes. Shows usually try to get the big points as the wanted (even if they are not always successful). The surprise was how there were little changes to a bunch of different conversations–a few seconds here and there that had to be cut to fit into the original broadcast. These little transitions made the conversations flow better or sometimes make more sense. For example, Big Mike was told Morgan worked for Chuck’s spy company. Of course Big Mike would ask about his son-in-law. Germany felt less rushed. It makes me wonder how much better all of the episodes of most TV shows would be if they had a couple minutes of wiggle room each week. For example in Colonel, we might have seen a little more of the conversation when Chuck and Sarah were locked in a cell together. I guess a few of the deleted scenes for past seasons of Chuck were slightly extended scenes, so maybe they fit the bill.

    I’m not generally for the Peter Jackson school of editing (i.e. cut nothing). But editors have an unenviable job, and I can see how they could make or break the feel of an episode.

    Movies have extended editions a lot. Does anyone know of other extended editions of TV show episodes? The only ones I can think of are Stargate 8×18, “Threads” (the episode were the OLI is eliminated and the WT/WT is implied to end) and some of the 7th season of Friends. Those were all broadcast as extended and then heavily edited to fit in the appropriate time slots for reruns.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m a big fan of extended cuts, I really wish some of the deleted scenes would be edited back in on occasion. With Blu-Ray technology it wouldn’t be that hard to allow a standard or extended cut on any episode, at least when finished scenes are available.

      You’re right though that while it’s common for theatrical films, it’s uncommon for television shows. I’m sure it comes down to the relative amounts of money to be had from tose respective disc sales.

      I did love some of those extended conversations. In the broadcast version Casey’s transition back to being cold seemed abrupt and poorly motivated, it made a bit more sense in the extended cut. Also Ellie’s departure, while still not my favorite bit, didn’t seem quite as far out of left field as it did with the original version.
      But “tell me our story” haunts me. I’m almost positive I would have felt far better back in January if extra scenes had aired.

  28. thinkling says:

    This is a little embarrassing. I missed this entire post. I blame it on the email gremlin that invades my inbox in the wee hours of the morning and plays hopscotch on my keyboard, hitting the delete key at random intervals. So now I’ve paid for it and read all 104 comments in one sitting.

    Thanks Jeff, Dave, Joe, and Phase for your kind words about my story. I have spilled a LOT of words over Chuck the last year and a half or so, and a huge percentage of them over the finale, and I’m counting my story as words spilled over the finale, because that’s what started it all.

    It’s certainly a testament to the show, especially Zac and Yvonne, that all this time afterwards, it still affects us. If the show had not affected us, then the finale wouldn’t have either. So no matter how we see the finale, it reflects our love for the show. Some were and still are on cloud 9 about the finale, finding there all the love they always felt in the show. The fact that some are still sad is indicative of how much they cared. I think for many the sadness comes from the tragedy of seeing a character (and consequently a relationship) they love brutally broken and not seeing enough restoration to say a proper goodbye. Some immediately saw the restoration. Some saw the beginning of it clearly. Others never saw it at all.

    I have really enjoyed reading the comments of the post. I’m just sort of worded out at the moment to say much more than I’ve already said. I look forward to getting the DVDs soon and watching the extended cut.

    • atcDave says:

      Wow, a heroic effort wading through days of arguing and angst! I’d give you a cookie, but I’m pretty sure it would get broken in transit. So I’ll think kindly of you while I eat my cookie…

  29. oldresorter says:

    Dave, I thought the extended clip fixed four things, three important things:

    1 – Ellie and Awesome make some sense now
    2 – The Morgan and Sarah scene makes some sense now
    3 – The line, “I believe you, I just don’t feel it, has at least some counter balance, when Sarah asks for her story, after turning it down twice
    4 – I thought Yvonne really blew the line on the beach watching live, I thought because either she was cold, or crying, when she said tell me our story, with the rest of the context, the line was awesome, perfect really

    I never will like the joylessness of the final two eps, and I really did not like the beating the living hell out of Sarah, in the Shaw Christmas ep, in the baby, and in the last three eps, but overall, the end, was OK, far better than much of the rest of the last two eps. The ending probably was appropriate for how dark and mean the last three eps were.

    But, with a cast of clowns, I don’t understand how anyone can justifying doing that to the fans, I will never, ever get what the showrunner thinks of himself, his cast, his fans, or his show, to do that. I don’t understand, sorry.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m glad you liked some of the changes Jason. I also thought the ending was more effective with the longer cut. I still don’t take the darker finale arc quite as personally as you seem to, but I do agree the more dramatic episodes are not as much to my liking. I’ll always wish they’d let us have more fun with the gang for a send off, instead of choosing the edge of our seats approach, but I can at least feel sure Chuck and Sarah are enjoying a happy, lower stress life now!

    • Rob says:

      Watched up to Baby tonight. Again, while I don’t like to see Sarah getting beat to hell, I think that the episodes are all leading to important conclusions: (1) Sarah wanting out of the CIA for good; (2) Trusting Chuck without hesitation; and (3) eventually wanting the family that she really didn’t have growing up.

      I’d forgotten how good of an episode Baby is. I think that it really gives some perspective on her assignment with Chuck.

  30. aerox says:

    In other unrelated news, did anyone see the finale of the Barclays Premier League? Hot damn. If the Chuck finale was ANYTHING like that, we’d still be buzzing today, instead of moping 😀

  31. harlock328 says:

    I never see her remembering anything about Chuck or their life together during the finale. They shredded their marriage and their life they had together in 5.12. To me they needed to show concrete evidence that it was being repaired during the finale. Not imagine it; not for a series finale because what one person imagines is different from person to person.
    Showing her remembering how to stack cups and a po#n virus has nothing to do with her feelings for Chuck.

    When we get to the beach scene; I still believe she doesn’t remember Chuck, she says “this place is special” but she doesn’t know why. I believe she’s changed and is willing to trust Chuck; accept she did have a life together with him and wants to remember it. But that’s not loving him or having feelings for him.
    Chuck telling her their story is supposed to make us believe she’s going to remember or start to remember their life together.

    But what happens instead after the story? Chuck telling her that “Morgan has this theory” and she quickly asked with desperation “what is it?”
    Now if she remembered anything about Chuck and their life together; why ask? I see no point in her asking if she remembered or even started to remember. So when he tells her; I see her asking to kiss her because she wants to remember; wants to see if there’s anything there between them still.

    So whom did Chuck kiss? It wasn’t Sarah Walker because the women on the beach let Chuck in; it wasn’t Sarah Bartowski because she still asked Chuck what Morgan’s theory was and Sarah B. wouldn’t had needed to ask. So who? Is it an entirely new Sarah falling in love with him? If so what was the point of the last 5 years of Sarah’s growth?

    What we saw was a damaged; confused woman trying to get her life back. We never saw Chuck and Sarah doing things together while being happy. At the end of the series Sarah B. is still gone at this point. We never get to say goodbye to Sarah B. Since this IS a TV show were we watch the story and not imagine (that’s the writers job on a TV show). Then the end is disappointing to me.
    The core of the show, Chuck and Sarah’s love story needed to be resolved clearly not having me imagine in the future if she’s going to remember more of their life together. I’m fine with not showing the picket fence, what job they’ll be doing or if they’ll have a baby. That’s for another chapter in their life. This chapter (their love story); the series finale, needed closure.

    I hope I made sense and didn’t ramble on too much 😉

  32. harlock328 says:

    Oops, wish there was an edit function. last part should be
    What I saw was a damaged; confused woman trying to get her life back. I never saw Chuck and Sarah doing things together while being happy. At the end of the series Sarah B. is still gone at this point. I never get to say goodbye to Sarah B. Since this IS a TV show were I watch the story and not imagine (that’s the writers job on a TV show) it. Then the end is disappointing to me.

    • Rob says:

      Unfortunately, I think that we said Goodbye to Sarah B. in Bullet Train. Some part of me hopes that the ended was intended to create some momentum within the fanbase for a movie. It the ending was unequivocally happy, there would be no need for a movie. Everyone would be content and move on (at least I think that I would). I can dream, right?

      • jam says:

        Fedak loves drama and angst at any cost over more realistic character behavior, and if we ever get that movie, it will undoubtedly have Chuck and Sarah separated at the start due to what happened in the last 3 episodes. So… be careful what you wish for.

      • garnet says:

        Even if they start serparated, I suspect that we would see them getting together, and that might even be a lot of fun to watch, but I feel happier now that they are going the right direction. Chuck has always needed a little support to get him to go the right direction, but once he stars on his way he is unstoppable. I see the same for their relationship.

      • joe says:

        Rob, there’s some truth to that, but lemee tell ya. After last night’s Desperate Housewives series finale, I think there’s more to be said.

        Now, I don’t mean to compare Chuck to Desperate Housewives directly. Two shows couldn’t be more different or have philosophies that differ more. But the choices made were stark.

        What they did last night was tie everything up in a bow. Clichés were everywhere and they all lived happily ever after (except for Mike who died happily ever after). The net result was like saccharine and anyone who’s had to handle powered saccharine in bulk knows what I’m talking about. The sickeningly sweet taste sticks in your throat. And you’re quite right – no one wants to see a DH movie being made (except maybe some network execs who will take a financial bath if they try because they are not the brightest bulbs on the tree).

        The season finale to Once Upon A Time (also last night) was quite different and quite a bit better. They went much further along the path of ending the story with “and they lived happily ever after” than I thought they could – which was actually quite appropriate for the fairy tale being told. Then they added just enough of a treacherous twist at the end to signal that the story wasn’t over. Everything’s different, but it’s not over. I thought it was pretty cool, much like the cliffy to S2 of Chuck.

        Do you think the execs are watching the social networks to see if a Chuck movie deal is warranted? Right now I’m not sure they’re smart enough to do that. I dare them to prove me wrong.

      • aerox says:

        I doubt they are. Whatever way you turn it, it just doesn’t seem like a profitable idea for me and if there’s no profit to be made, you can bet your life on the fact that they’re not even going to attempt it. I’m pretty sure that the only way a movie could come close to being made, is a fan-made kickstarter or indigogo project.

      • Speaking of Kickstarter, today’s xkcd: http://xkcd.com/1055/

        If a hypothetical movie were to start with Chuck and Sarah separated, it wouldn’t be fun for me, and it would be a bad cliche. See The X-Files: I Want to Believe, The Legend of Zorro, National Treasure 2, and many others. I don’t know why writers to it, but they do. Maybe some people like that story line. (It might have been the best part of Indy 4.)

      • ww1posterfan says:

        What is Kickstarter?

      • jam says:

        “Even if they start serparated, I suspect that we would see them getting together, and that might even be a lot of fun to watch”

        Sure, post-finale the fans have been convincing themselves that Chuck and Sarah will stay together and be okay, then Fedak comes and pulls the rug out from under them. That would certainly be a lot of fun to watch. /sarcasm

        Of course, this is a pretty useless discussion to have when the probability of getting a movie is so low… but while the last scene of the finale, and even Fedak’s own words, give Chuck & Sarah hope, I doubt he could resist messing up with them if he ever gets the chance to do it again.

      • My feelings about starting with Chuck and Sarah separated in a movie is completely independent of what I think happened immediately after Goodbye’s ending. All of the examples I provided had the couple together and the end of the previous story. The break-up happened off camera with no foundation. I didn’t like that method of story telling.

        Kickstarter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kickstarter

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff that’s exactly my feeling, and is by far the biggest reason I have some reservations about a follow up movie. For now, I believe in the best possible outcome. I would be beyond POed if a later movie came along and tampered with that. Movie sequels have often made a mess of previous endings, and Legend of Zorro is a great example of a poorly conceived story, it took the entire sequel to arrive at a shaky conclusion that still seemed weaker than the first movie. National Treasure was only slightly better, at least to say, I’ve actually been willing to watch the sequel more than once. But I think those are all examples of how Hollywood is clueless when comes to actually writing relationships, there seems to be attitude that bringing a couple together is the only story they can tell. I’m really glad Chuck broke from that tradition for two whole seasons. The Mummy movies are the only cinematic efforts I can think of that avoided the break up cycle.

        I also wanted to address Harlock’s comments. I do agree we didn’t really SEE any of Sarah’s returning memories on screen, and that is a huge part of what I found so frustrating and disappointing. But I’m satisfied we did see a lot of Sarah Bartowski in the beach scene; both her laughter and tears seemed like emotional recovery to me. I am satisfied that as a personality Sarah is healed, just like Morgan’s personality was healed by the end of Frosted Tips. I will always wish they had shown us more, but I can settle for what we got.

      • It’s a kickstarter kind of day. The Wall Street Journal had an article today about a security hole at kickstarter.com for unlaunched projects. The WSJ article is behind a paywall, but it’s been slashdotted: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/05/14/1722251/kickstarter-leaves-project-ideas-exposed

        For about three weeks, up until Friday, we could have seen if someone had created a kickstarter project for a Chuck movie, but had not announced it or made it public. Too late to check now.

      • joe says:

        For those who don’t speak fluent geek-speak, “slashdotted” is a transitive verb, meaning “to have your servers overtaxed.” I guess there’s about three people here who haven’t seen it before. 😉

      • Isn’t “nerd” more appropriate that “geek”? The point of nerd-speak is to explain one technical term with another. kickstarter leads to slashdotted, which should lead to something else. For the politically concerned, when servers are overtaxed, this isn’t class warfare or a way of fighting supply-side economics. It just means when slashdot.org posts a link to your web site, it is time to “buy more” servers to handle the extra traffic and load.

      • joe says:

        I stand corrected and bow to your nerdiness, Jeff! 😉

      • Rob says:

        Absolutely Dave. I’m with you 100%. Thinkling’s story is actually how I envisioned the details coming back (and I think is wholly consistent with Morgan’s healing). We know that the memories are not lost, only repressed.

  33. garnet says:

    By not together, I would hope that it was closer to Thinkling’s Fan Fic than a major break. There are stories yet to tell, but I think They might likely start with the immediate aftermath of the beach, and (although I’ll have to reread thinkling’s story –again) She did not use the Magic Kiss, but rather a gradual return of memory that seems logical. Yes they are not exactly together, but they are not far apart.

    I agree that a whole movie of them apart would be more painful than the season we don’t mention- even if we saw them together at the end.

    • Gord says:

      In my opinion I see 2 possible movie starts that would be acceptable to the fans.

      1. It takes place shortly after the beach scene and we see them out on a date and by the end of the movie back living together and perhaps moving into the dream home.

      2. It takes place a few years after the beach scene and we see them living in the dream house (with or without little Bartowskis), running Carmichael Cyber Security Solutions Inc. together, along with Morgan. Casey could be with them as well or be working with Verbanski corp nearby.

      I don’t think we as fans would go for a movie where Chuck and Sarah are divorced and living seperate lives.

      As for the finale, I was one of the fans who loved the ending. Yes it was a tear jerker and very dramatic for a Chuck episode, but when you look at past season enders they were also very dramatic (S3 – death of Orion, S4 Sarah at death’s door),

      I have to admit that I probably would have been quite happy with a safer ending in which we saw Chuck and Sarah in their dream home with little Bartowski’s running around and having a family reunion dinner, with the whole gang. However, I think the ending they gave leaves many more possiblities open for Chuck in some other form of medium.

      I remember NBC doing some made for tv movies that carried on the story of some of their fan favourite series (The Pretender comes to mind); I also remember the direct to DVD movies that Star Gate SG1 put out; so maybe that was the impetus in not wrapping it up in a nice tight bow.

      I honestly don’t think we will see a theatrical release movie, unless Chuck were to really take off in syndication, but TV movies, direct to disc movies or perhaps even a streaming service like NETFLIX picking up the gauntlet as they have done with Arrested Development; I think are real possiblities for Chuck.

      • olddarth says:

        They could have given a happy ending that was open.

        They could have given a risky ending that was also happy and open ended.

        Instead they gave an open and nebulous ending.

        From my point of view they choose the poorest option.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Actually, moviewise (I’m not holding my breath) the ending they gave us leaves no options. Nothing except showing that Chuck and Sarah left the beach together and now live happily after would work for the majority of Chuck fan.

        Any separation instantly implies that the beach wasn’t the “hopeful” scene they tried to make it.

        But since continuity was never a big deal before it shouldn’t really matter.

      • atcDave says:

        My first thought is that I would vastly prefer your second option. Kind of a wild card here though is, what time frame are we talking about? If a movie happened quickly, and picked up right from the beach, they might have some flexibility in telling the story of “what comes next.” But with more passage of time, it becomes imperative that we know Chuck and Sarah got their lives back fairly quickly. Of course if 20 or more years pass it starts allowing for a sort of complete reset, especially if recasting is involved (I wouldn’t expect to feel as invested in a “Chuck” and “Sarah” who aren’t Zach and Yvonne).

        I do want to comment some more on word usage above. I think “brave” is a rather manipulative word choice designed to shame us into accepting a dark or unpleasant ending. We are obviously supposed to “man up” and express our unbridled enthusiasm for anything labeled “brave”. But I reject that notion outright. If someone wants to end a story with a big change in a world’s political, scientific or technical realities; well cool. But we all know that isn’t how “brave” is usually used. Its meant to describe an ending in which something awful has happened that will test the patience of, and anger a segment of the audience. I categorically do not respect or enjoy that sort of story-telling. I don’t really watch stories about anti-heroes, I like my heroes to be good guys all the way through, and at the end I expect them to prevail and to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. On occasion, I may accept an ending that celebrates ultimate sacrifice. But I need some balance to see how it was worth it for “the greater good” or something. I certainly don’t want to see such an ending for a long running TV show or movie series (I might enjoy a book or movie about The Alamo, but not a TV series!).
        And a big part of that is I will always want to see the romantic leads get together. I have no interest in doomed relationships. If either character is somehow “undeserving” of their happily ever after, I likely stopped watching the show early on. I’m not going to enjoy a show in which things don’t work out pretty well for the protagonist, and I’m not even going to watch a show in which I don’t like the protagonist (and again, anti-heroes need not apply). No part of things working out pretty well ties back into a failed primary romance; I don’t believe there is any part of my daily life that is more important to me than the relationship with my wife, and I absolutely transfer that to the stories I read or watch. A story where the hero saves the day but looses their love holds zero appeal for me.
        Chuck tread dangerously close to that line for me. I’ve been able to find assurance that things actually did end on a positive note. But I will always be sad that we didn’t to see that Chuck and Sarah were together and happy about it. Too much inference was required in the end for me to be completely pleased with it.

        Sorry. The above rant was brought to you by the word “brave”.

      • Stargate was not like Buffy or Chuck with a “big bad” every season. It always had multiple villains and multiple open threads. That’s part of what helped the franchise last 17 seasons over 3 series. Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis produced only 2 of 5 planned movies (Ark of Truth – not the Chuck “Arc of Truth” and Continuum). They were direct to DVD, then were later broadcast on SyFy. They had the advantages of ongoing production of Stargate Atlantis and broadcast and re-run syndication deals with SyFy. One of the unproduced movies became the two-part 7th season finale, so you could say it was rewritten for lower budget, then produced. The other two (Extinction and Revolution) were repeatedly delayed until MGM finally filed for bankruptcy, which I think was unrelated. That’s why Bond 23 was delayed as well. One unproduced Stargate movie was supposed to be an Atlantis movie and even was referenced in SG:Continuum. The other was finally supposed to make Sam/Jack canon (with a small dinner scene). Instead, we’re stuck with statements from producers that are far more vague than anything Fedak said after the Chuck finale. Stargate Universe was left with a nasty cliffhanger that made NBC execs look like model citizens. Oh, yeah. SyFy is part of NBC Universal.

        Unfortunately, all of these differences mean SG can’t be used for learning good or bad lessons about how to get a Chuck movie–except don’t expect much cooperation from NBC. MGM didn’t get much.

        Ark of Truth’s 2007 budget was $7 million with $9 million in DVD sales and $4 million in 3 week rentals. Considering retailers’ cuts, that probably does not break even before SyFy’s and Sky1’s broadcast fees. Continuum had the same budget and $8 million in sales. Any production of a Chuck movie is likely to be risky and is not going to make anyone rich. It might only pay off if they do more than one movie and amortize the production costs.

      • atcDave says:

        Shep part of the problem with later movie projects is they are often done in ways that are not respectful of the original show. And the more time passes the bigger that problem becomes. But I do think Gord it the nail on the head for the two most likely scenarios. If a movie gets made in the next couple years, I could imagine part of the story being how Chuck and Sarah rebuilt their lives. It may be more involved than most of us would currently like to imagine. Again, as long as things do unfold quickly I might be able to live with that. But as you say, if more than a couple years pass, they pretty much NEED to assume things progressed at a rapid and happy pace after the beach; for reference, you know I’m a HUGE fan of the way Thinkling has worked out the aftermath of the show (Chuck and Sarah going home together after beach, and Chuck only being on the couch for a few days).
        The most likely scenario I think for a really ugly twist is if many years go by and someone gets a hold of the franchise who wants to take it in a darker direction. The other possibility is a much later movie that is completely re-imagined with a new cast.

      • atcDave says:

        Jeff I think it is possible a Chuck movie would be a bit cheaper to produce than a Stargate move, the economics might be to our advantage. But again, I would still consider it a long shot unless Zach decides he wants to produce it himself someday.

      • joe says:

        If I could address Shep a few posts up, about not leaving any options…

        Yeeeaaaahhhh I see the point you’re making. But it’s a bit like saying in S1 that C&S didn’t have any option about getting together. We always knew that they had to (at least, I did). It was only a question of when and how, right?

        Same here with a movie. Without them getting back together (or staying together as the case may be), there is no movie. There’s not even a chance of a prequel here – we saw Chuck and Sarah at the beginning.

        So it ‘s only a matter of TPTB coming up with an interesting idea about the how and the why of it, something for which we’ll be willing to spend money. There’s lots of room for options there.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Joe,

        No snarkiness intended in the least, but you might have to explain to me what you mean. I don’t get what your saying.

        Sorry.

      • atcDave says:

        I think he’s just saying the fun is in the telling (and seeing), even if we already know the outcome.

      • joe says:

        No problem, Shep. I guess I’m trying to say that, when you say that the story-line was left with no options at the end (that C&S must get together after the beach scene), I agree. As far as the fans are concerned, they boxed themselves into that corner.

        But it’s a very large corner. Much like I knew from the start that C&S were destined to get together sometime (we only didn’t know when and how), the very existence of a movie would mean that C&S did survive Sarah’s trauma as a couple. It’s only a question of when and how.

        I think a lot of fans would pay their hard earned dollars just to see when and how, provided the principal actors are all back (including Jeff and Lester, I suspect). The actual fact of that happening in canon will have been answered the moment the movie is announced.

        Say! We don’t even have to wait for a movie to think that. Right? It’s a Jedi mind trick! We can write our own canon now.

        Thinkling? Paging Thinkling!

      • Stargate already had sets built from the TV show and it was filmed mostly in Vancouver. Throw in 5+ years of inflation, and I think Chuck would be more expensive, with one caveat. Continuum was partially filmed at the Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station in the Arctic and had a submarine emerging through the ice. So it depends on what kind of break they got filming there. SG did promotion with the Air Force and had two different active Chiefs of Staff do cameos, so they probably did that on the cheap.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Does anyone know what the production costs were for the weekly show? Just curious.

      • atcDave says:

        We’ve had practically no inflation since the SG movies were made, and assuming the Buy More is no mas, Chuck would not require any specialized sets at all. Sure it would be fun to have some iconic sets, but they aren’t needed as long as the story is good and characters ring true. It might be like the Rockford Files movies (which were outstanding by the way), I think the only returning prop was a ’75 Firebird.

      • Rob says:

        Agreed. They don’t even need the Buymore anymore, because as Casey said, they’ve “left the ugly stepchild behind.”

        Joe — after the finale, I honestly think that there is nothing guaranteed. I would have thought that by keeping the show alive for 3 extra years, the fans were guaranteed a unambiguously happy ending. That didn’t happen. But, I think that you are right in that any movie not involving C&S being together would fail miserably.

      • “We’ve had practically no inflation since the SG movies were made”
        Using the CPI-U, there was 9.2% inflation between Jan 2008 and Mar 2012. California’s is only 8% Gas prices have gone up more. Of course consumer inflation does not really apply to TV shows. General consensus is inflation in the future will probably be higher because the US debt will cause the dollar to be devalued.

        All of this is a red herring anyway. The budget could be $20 million in the future because of future inflation, but then DVDs would costing $30 instead of $15 and downloads would twice as expensive as well. Cleopatra was $44 million when the ticket price averaged $0.85. Waterworld was $175 million when the ticket price averaged $4.35. Now $200 million blockbusters are routine when tickets average $7.92 (more for 3D).

      • ArmySFC says:

        ww1, it depends on the show. from what i recall the first seasons of chuck were budgeted at about 4 million, season 3 was close to 3 and seasons 4-5 2.5 million an episode. i could be wrong but i think these numbers are close. lost was more expensive because they had to pay a fee to use the island.

  34. Harku says:

    Actually Chuck episode budget was much lower than what you wrote here.
    Pilot episode costed around 4,5 million, but the rest of season 1 was around 2 millon.
    Season 2 had small budget cut to 1,7-1,8 million.

    Season 3-5 had budget around 1-1,5 million, so it took significant cut and unfortunately it showed on screen.

  35. oldresorter says:

    I would think any standard movie would require a bit of new cast, dramatic in nature to be able to attract a wider range of fans, new fans, with some new drama. It would be hard for me to imagine a comedy, fluff movie being attractive to the normal industry. Now if Zac did something independently, then who knows?

    Just a quick shout out to the ABC shows Castle and Revenge on renewals. On first glance, none of you should like Revenge. I have watched it from the start. Think Sarah Walker (in this case Emily Van Kamp) returns as a 22 year old, under an assumed name & filthy rich in this case, and she piece by piece tears apart the men who framed and ultimately killed her father. There is a Byrce love interest for her, his name is Daniel on the show, a Chuck like PLI whose name is Jack, and a Morgan like geek know it all brother type to the lead female named Nolan. The dynamics are not that different, except in this case, the lead character just kicks butt the entire hour. I watch the show with no expectations, would not dream of rewatching an ep. But the actual hour is really, really, twisted, as the Sarah Walker type character is ruthless and heartless, yet they keep flashing back to her as a seven year old, and it breaks your heart, and you want to see her take these people apart, no mercy.

    • I like Revenge, but the last three are unwatched on my DVR. I like the Count of Monte Cristo story, which is why I was drawn to Revenge. I agree that it is enjoyable but not rewatchable. The show is also very well acted. The constrast between EVK in Revenge and Everwood is a little scary. Almost from the start I’ve wanted show story to only get one or at most two seasons before coming to a satisfying conclusion. The twists and turns are already getting soap opera-ish. If they stretch it too far, I fear it will fall under its own weight.

  36. Sam Carter says:

    Got the bluray last week. Hope it sells well. I have only watched Santa Suit and the Tim Jones featurette. LOVE the score on this show! I still don’t feel like watching the rest. Some day.

  37. garnet says:

    If you are looking for something beyond the beach, The online pledging for a movie has begun. No upfront money, just a pledge.
    http://www.reelfans.com/reelfans.com/chuck/index.php

  38. Gord says:

    ATC Dave, with regards to timeline – I agree that any recasting of characters would definitely be pointless to most fans. The cast that we had at the end of the series is the cast we would need to see. Maybe a few of the characters from the Buy More could be excluded but definitely the main cast would have to stand.

    I’m definitely thinking near future – no more than 5 years from now for a Chuck movie (or any media form there of). I of course wouldn’t object to them putting out Chuck novels written by some of their best writers like Lefranc and Judkins or Kristin Newman. I will take my Chuck any way I can get it.

    You said something about the word “brave” being used above and not liking its use, but I’m not sure what post you were referring too.

    With respect to the ending – I’m personally not mad about the ending, because I loved it.

    However, I am mad that Fedak once again misread the fan base (or ignored it) in the sense that he didn’t come up with an ending more of the fans would love.

    For example, as much as I loved the ending, I would have been just as happy with an ending that showed the Bartowski’s in their dream home hosting a dinner party for the extended Bartowski family. As some of you have said if they had just included perhaps another line of dialog from Sarah that had a better indication of the future you would have been happy.

    While I personally did not need that I see your point and wish they had done at least that.

    One thing that did surprise me in the comments were all those comments regarding Ellie being OOC.

    I guess it comes form personal experience, but I’m blessed with being very close to my siblings, yet they live on the other end of the country. Ellie moving to Chicago didn’t even phase me because of my own family situation. In this day and age of air travel, and numerous ways of communicating, being halfway across a country is not a barrier to maintaining close ties to family.

    • atcDave says:

      The “brave” thing was more general in nature Gord, it was not really in reference to your comments, I tried to space it out as a separate comment; perhaps I should have made a completely separate entry.

      I do agree the cast we had is central to the whole “Chuck” experience. Zach and Yvonne are simply irreplaceable. Adam is too, although I can imagine a Chuck story in which Casey simply isn’t present. Kind of ditto on Ryan and Sarah (Ellie and Awesome), although I might be more open to replacing one of them if they were unavailable.
      But at least for the next few years, any new Chuck content pretty much has to mean original cast.

      As far as sisters go, I used to be very close to mine, but she lives 8 hours from me now and we have really drifted over the years (of course the funny thing is, we all left Chicago instead of the other way around…). But Ellie was almost like a mom to Chuck, and Chuck was at a huge crisis point in his life. I like to think, the way things unfolded and Chuck and Sarah are fine together, that Ellie would be okay with leaving pretty quickly after the events we saw. But I have hard time buying that she would have been ready to go BEFORE Chuck came back from the beach with Sarah.
      And that would have been the perfect “fix” for the story we saw, Chuck AND Sarah having the goodbye talk with Ellie at the end of the episode. Sarah would be a part of the discussion to say that while she doesn’t remember everything, she knows she loves Chuck and they will work through this together.
      Although as I’ve said many times, just a couple of extra words at the beach and I would have felt far better about Charah anyway. And in the end they are the emotional crux of the story for me.

    • olddarth says:

      Beyond the personal ties, which is very big, there is Ellie’s technical expertise with the Intersect. She is the best medical resource available to seek out or do a knowledge transfer to more capable resources before leaving, to determine if there is a cure for Sarah.

      For me, it is akin to a close relative – who is the best organ donor candidate – finding out a stricken family member needs a transplant and choosing their job over another person’s health. Consider the amount of reprogramming Sarah underwent, further symptoms beyond memory loss could be a real possibility.

      For Ellie to leave under those circumstances is totally OOC for me. Especially for a character over the course of the series was shown to place an extremely high value on family.

      • phaseou812 says:

        I do not disagree that Ellie’s move is not true to what we would perceive the character of Ellie to do over the course of the series . . . which is find a way to help Chuck. However, in fairness, I think you have to look at it from the overall perspective of a TV series that is ending. They basically wrote scenarios for all of the characters of the show to be on their way with a path forward.

        Ellie/Devon are heading to Chicago to fulfill paths in their medical careers.

        Morgan/ Alex are beginning a new life tougher as a full-time couple.

        Casey is heading off to begin a new life with Gertrude and develop a relationship.

        Jeffester is heading off to become Germany’s biggest rock band.

        Sarah/Chuck are beginning to move forward as being the couple minus the spy life (Okay I know there is some argument on that . . . but that is what I belief)

        Anyway, the show writers could not have ended the show the way they chose to with the “rebirth” of the Sarah/Chuck relationship, if they had written a part for Ellie to be waiting on stand-by to help fix Sarah’s memory. I think it is easy to assume that Ellie would be actively helping Chuck with this process and or working on medical solutions to help solve the problem. But I also believe that Casey would have never left either or so soon, regarding his character development . . . as he would be concerned about his friends and tring to do his part to help to help them restore their relationship. But again, it is all about them having a path forward after the ending of the show.

        Heck the only ones that did not get something new to do was the General and Big Mike . . . unless you consider Big Mike having access to a Subway store at his place of business.

        So in my opinion, if they would have been writing the end solely based on a possibility of a Season 6, you would have seen far different story lines at the end, instead of an overall exit strategy for the entire cast. So I guess that is why I do not hold it against them regarding Ellie’s part in the final.

    • joe says:

      Gord, I agree with most everything you say here, especially about the siblings. You even matched my sentiments.

      And it’s not the first time you’ve done that! 😉

  39. Rob says:

    I’m probably going over old territory, but thought that I’d post some thoughts after having finished a rewatch of S5 (including the extended version of the finale). Having seen all five seasons in a relatively short time period, I feel like I have a slightly different view of what Fedak was trying to accomplish in the last two episodes and why he called it a “love story to the fans.” I’d love to hear if others had the same impression.

    I’m starting to think that the last two episodes were really designed to show how much growth each of the characters had experienced over the last 5 years — a celebration one might say. Forgive me if you all have already figured this out.

    The last two episodes really seemed like a microsm of the entire series (and the flashbacks to similar scenes really made it stand out as such for me — the Mexican restaurant, the dancing, the Wienerlicious, the helicopter landing). Now for the specifics.

    For Casey, Beckman asks him to go back to being the cold-blooded killer that we saw in the Pilot. Over the course of two hours (just as he gradually did in five seasons), he rejects that notion and we see him accept others into his life. We also get to see Chuck’s evolution in the last two episodes. We see him as the guy who whines about his past relationship (in this case Sarah). We see him hit an all time low and admit that he is back where he started five years ago (no Cheese puffs this time). And, then we see him rebound, and take action like the spy that he became (even though it required some prompting from his family).

    That leaves Sarah. At the beginning, we see Sarah, the spy. We see her pull the same spy moves as Bryce did in the Pilot. We see her steal the Intersect and effectively blow up the Intersect Room, just like Bryce did. We see her struggle with her feelings, just like she did during the first 3-4 seasons.

    In the end, I think that Fedak was trying to tell us that the beach scene was no different than the hotel room in Paris where Sarah accepted her feelings and acted on them without hesitation (telling Chuck to kiss her). I also got the feeling that Fedak was saying that Sarah accepted that it was okay to love over the first 3 seasons and we see that same Sarah on the beach at the end. Finally, we see the same events that Sarah told Chuck led her to fall for him in the first place (fixing her phone, and difusing the bomb with a virus). In the finale, she saw Chuck (using his nerd skills) help Sarah find Renny Deutch. We then see him difuse the same type of bomb, using the same method as before. Is that Fedak’s way reliving the Pilot and establishing that everything will be okay? In this case, history will repeat itself – only in an expedited fashion?

    Anyways, I’m done rambling. In my last viewing, I guess I saw some of the “genius” in the last two episodes, when Fedak recalled many of the events that brought Chuck & Sarah together during the entire series. And, in his view, we got to rewatch them fall in love again — just quicker this time. I still don’t think that the message was explicit as it could have been, but I’m starting to believe that Fedak intended for us to see that everything was back where it needed to be for C&S to have a future together. Again, a little too subtile and artsy for my taste, but there nonetheless.

    • Faith says:

      You’re definitely not alone, I feel the same way too. It’s largely why I personally see it as a love letter to fans. It requires an eye for the whole picture, the whole story to see how far they’ve come to believe. It’s one of its strongest clues. You almost have to watch the pilot to watch the finale to really appreciate it. But I do understand that in doing so it/they may have asked too much from the fans.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        “… it/they may have asked too much from the fans.”

        Or conversely, perhaps the fans asked too much from “it/they”.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with all of that Rob. Much of what they did was very clever, genius even! But yeah, the very end was just a little too subtle for my taste, and it sort of damaged the whole experience.

    • olddarth says:

      Attempts to tie the series finale exist but the journey from start to finish – pilot to finale – has been so muddled that the picture they have presented is not clearly developed. There is ghosting and multiple images superimposed all over the place.

      The picture is a collage of conflicting connections so if they wanted to make such connections they should have made them with greater clarity over the course of the last season at the very least.

      Or made the few final few moments much clearer.

      • joe says:

        Actually, Lou, that’s pretty much true. But, you know, those conflicting connections (and even contradictions) – that’s like life, which is one of the things that make this fantastical story so compelling for many of us.

        If the story and the characters were less compelling I know I wouldn’t be able to accept it. But it’s gotten so that I see myself in Stephen, Morgan and of course, Chuck. For me, at least, there is truth enough in that.

        It’s me. I’m seeing the same sort of thing in some of the characters in Once Upon A Time right now (but not so much as in Chuck) and that’s a fairy tale, for Pete’s sake! Contractions and confusion everywhere!

      • olddarth says:

        Joe, conflict in entertainment is vital. So is clarity in story telling. I view the two as separate items.

    • joe says:

      I think you’re right about Fedak’s intent too, Rob.

      I haven’t gotten to S5 in my re-watch yet. But I will soon. I’m looking forward to that.

    • garnet says:

      On my good days I feel much as you do. I would say that the issue for me is that we don’t actually get confirmation that Sarah is going to be OK. As for Paris and the beach, I’d fully agree if the words she used were ” Shut up and kiss me” (I think that was the phrase from Paris), and that might have been enough to put me over the top as far as accepting that Sarah was coming back.
      I also agree that they were trying to do a whirlwind relationship recap, and yet it somehow seemed to stop a beat too early for me to be fully comfortable with the end.
      I think they could have made all the fans happy with about 4 more words, a shoulder bump, or even a slightly more passionate response from Sarah.
      In the end I think it was a good finale, and it meets the definition of good showmanship-it leaves me wanting more, but I really had been hoping for a great finale. The sad thing IMO is that it was sooo close.

      • atcDave says:

        More and more Garnet the finale reminds me a lot of Ring. That was also a great episode that would have made a LOUSY series finale. Ring also could have made a passable series finale with about 5 seconds more footage (Sarah running across the room to Chuck and kissing him or something; which I would point out, would have still let them write S3 exactly as they did). When you think about how very close we came to Ring being the series finale, it really drives home to me that these folks are really not gifted with knowing how to end things.

      • Rob says:

        It is quite puzzling that Fedak would choose Sarah as the one character whose completion of the journey is not explicitly clear. If Sarah were to bolt, I even feel that Chuck will be okay, because he says (although I don’t fully believe him), that it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

        Fedak really was so close. I think that he simply needed to complete Sarah’s journey of emotionally reconnecting with Chuck. Unfortunately, because we heard repeatedly throughout the episode that she “didn’t feel it” (not that she “didn’t remember it”), Fedak really needed to show that she felt it at the end, instead of calling on another implicit “flashback” of the beach. The deja vu message of the finale was powerful, just not powerful enough.

      • Faith says:

        Dave, I’m not convinced anyone is [gifted at knowing how to end things]. There’s just too much pressure, both within the story, and outside of it from the fans and from the time and emotional investment through all the years the show has been on to really do justice to any one [series] finale. In the end all you can do is to look back, celebrate the history of the show and pay respect to it. It doesn’t help that in Chuck’s case, they had the unenviable position of having to close and open more doors every season than most shows have had to. And it also doesn’t help IMO that the idea of a Chuck movie is omnipresent…partly why I think the ending was more prologue than epilogue (the other part is of course as stated that’s the preference of TPTB).

      • Faith says:

        Rob, I go back to what is asked of the fans…in this case perhaps too much. We’re dependent on what used to be the bread and butter of Sarah Walker and that is her facial expressions. After having to do without it for so long it almost seems like we’re out of practice. We’ve forgotten how to read the message beneath the surface of minute facial expressions and so we’re left feeling lost and confused, maybe even dissatisfied (for some momentarily, for others much longer). It’s one of the callbacks that packed a powerful and amazing punch but can be in this situation especially, too subtle and forgettable but yet oh so essential.

      • atcDave says:

        Faith it’s a fairly recent development that epilogues have gone out of style. There have been some experiments with abrupt endings going back to the 1930s, but I believe it’s come to be considered “good style” in about the last decade. I REALLY look forward to the end of this fad.

      • Faith says:

        I have a friend that went to film school in SF and he told me that they’re actually taught in school that viewers/patrons prefer a more prologue-ian/leave threads to continue kind of ending than the straight out everything is hunky dory epilogue. Damn you teachers. Heh. Thankfully the same is not taught in Literature as I’m nothing without my romance novels epilogues. For me, it really depends.

      • oldresorter says:

        Wow, the whole gang is posting up a storm. One problem with long happy endings is they take lots of time, which for last eps is hard to come by. Ponder, how much better season 3 would have felt if ending with honeymooners, rather than other guy, had it been not renewed at that point? Am I the only blogger here that was more than OK with the final scene, but disliked the last two eps with a passion?

      • Faith says:

        In the eternal words of Michael Jackson: you are not alone. I’d have loved Honeymooners as the s3.0 finale over other guy. Shawless is flawless ;).

      • Rob says:

        I think that it is a testament to the show that Fedak created that we are so involved in discussing the finale, and show as a whole. I really enjoy the discussion.

        However, to your point Faith, I think that most of America looks to televison as an escape, a form of pure entertainment. No writer should have an expectation that his audience is going to analyze the product as much as we have here.

        The writers of Lost went down that path, making the show extraordinarily complicated. As a result, the show gradually lost viewers presumably because Joe Public simply didn’t want to deal with having to over-think the plot.

      • atcDave says:

        I think Faith just identified the problem right in film school. I’m pretty sure that instruction is plain wrong.

        I do think Jason is completely right that Honeymooners would have been a vastly superior ending than Other Guy. I would not have been as happy with Ring II as a series finale, not enough of a Charah finale after all the lying that had been going on (and the Orion cave ending just set up another potential round of lies). Cliffhanger would have worked for me, to me that’s possibly the only season finale they did (well intentional finale, Marlin could have worked too) that adequately resolved the ongoing stories AND emotional issues, while providing a bit of a hook for our imaginations. Goodbye DID provide adequate resolution the the story, but an epilogue was needed for me to be happy with the ending emotionally.

        Now I do agree Fedak and company created a beautiful thing. At this point, I can accept to some extent every story they did except for S3. I love the characters, the mood of the show, and the blend of action, comedy and drama. But it remains frustrating that the very end of the finale is unsatisfying to me.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Rob,

        To your point..The Avengers has raked in over $373.2M in 2 weeks. I saw it on opening day and loved it. The themes are universal—flawed yet heroic characters, teamwork, leadership, good winning out over evil, redemption. Add to that awesome special effects, all the heroes live to fight another day-the setup for the next batle. I plan on going out and purchasing all the “prequels” now. I go to the movies to escape and hopefully feel good when I come out. In my opnion, in today’s challenging times,people want to believe the underdog can win…can have it all….America is known for loving its underdogs. That’s what I came to expect from Chuck. The conundrum is that Fedak truly believes he showed us unequivocally that C&S were going to make it-just not exactly how fast the restoration would be complete.

      • atcDave says:

        Avengers is a great example WW1. They really got everything right.

      • olddarth says:

        Yes! Yes! Yes! Avengers is awesome! Joss Whedon nailed the characters.

        Such a great bit of writing in a story universe with very little wiggle room.

      • The Avengers production budget was $220 million. Going by Harku’s numbers, season 1 of Chuck was 28.5 million. S2 up to 39.6mil, S3 up to 28.5 mil, S4 up to 36mil, S5 up to 19.5 mil, for a total of up to $152.1 million. The Avengers marketing budget is an estimated $100million, probably 10 times that of Chuck, and it could go higher. That’s ignoring the 4-6 prequels (ok, the Hulk movies shouldn’t count) and countless comics that helped launch it.

        Even at $320million+ The Avengers is going to make a lot more money than Chuck or any TV show ever could. I really liked The Avengers, but I’d still take Chuck over The Avengers any day. Chuck is a hard core DC Comics guy, so he would too.

        I once read a question to Joe Straczynski (who co-wrote the screenplay for Thor) what would he produce if a studio gave him $100 million. This is when big budget movies cost around that amount, instead of $180+ million like today. His response was he produced 110 episodes of Babylon 5 for less than $100 million. I’ve probably rewatched seasons 2-4 of B5 more than I rewatched any movie except Star Wars, which was my background noise study movie in college. Same with seasons 1-3 of Chuck. The others are gaining fast.

        In general, movies always have a broader appeal. They also have less of a chance to screw up the characterizations because the stories are more condensed. So it’s probably not a fair comparison.

        ****SPOILER**** Also, none of the good guys died in the finale of Chuck. ******SPOILER*****

      • Faith says:

        One word re: Avengers: romance.

      • atcDave says:

        Movies are a completely different beast than television. Until Chuck, I was far more likely to re-watch a movie than a television show. Movies have more time and money for the production of a tighter, better crafted product. Think about what Chuck might have looked like with 2 to 3 years and $200 million for every two episodes. We’ve spent the last few years here agonizing over every detail of production, story and character; and often been very impatient when continuity or details were sloppy or rushed. I’ve been as guilty as anyone at times, but television and movies are made to different standards.
        Of course television does do some things better. Especially things related to long term familiarity with characters and setting. For myself, I don’t expect or even want television to try to tell the sort of involved stories that work better in movies. I’ve never, EVER, seen a television show that can avoid plot holes, leaps of logic, and continuity errors that build up over the course of a series. Absolutely every time I’ve seen someone come up with an “exception”, it was merely a new series and the errors hadn’t started to compound yet. But again, that’s not really what I watch television for. And Chuck did better at the things television does best than any show I’ve ever seen.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jeff, i see the point, but i see something else as well. those characters have been around for many years. to keep the characters true to form takes a lot of skill. if the graphic novel writers can do it for such a long time why can’t writers of a TV show meet that same standard? it would seem to me that there a quite a few examples out there for TV writers to follow. yet to often on shows we see characters acting different than normal to meet the situation the writers want to show.

        i do agree that a 2 hr movie may be easy to keep the characters true to form, so why do Tv writers have trouble doing it during a one hour episode?

      • I’m no where close to a comic book expert, but I’ve read some heavy debates about Golden Age vs. Silver Age vs. Bronze Age vs. Dark Age comics. They say the characterizations of the heroes and villains are very different between ages. Many times it’s because of changes in the times. Other changes are intentional. DC’s New 52 versions of Superman and Batman are getting blasted in many reviews because they are so out of character.

        One good thing about the lower budget of Chuck… If Chuck was big budget, we probably wouldn’t have been treated to Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah. They would have gone with a well-known star.

      • atcDave says:

        Even big budget movies sometimes introduce new talent. But in the end the discussion is purely academic. Although certain obvious similarities exist between television and cinema, in the end they are far more different than we typically assume. I am glad for so many reasons that Chuck was a weekly television show. Like most everyone here, I’d love to see a Chuck movie some day, but it will never be the same as a weekly show.

      • ArmySFC says:

        jeff if it was big budget we might have seen any of them for that matter. none of them are really household names. they might be to a certain group but over all not really.

        big stars don’t always make for a good show or one that’s a ratings hit. harry’s law had an oscar winner (kathy bates) in it and it crapped out. body of proof has a well know actress in dana delany, and a pretty well know one in jeri ryan and it’s on life support. missing has ashley judd and it crapped out as well. i’m sure there are more but you get the idea. my personal belief is the story will trump the stars most of the time. you may tune in for the actor, but if the show sucks or just doesn’t appeal to people, my guess is people tune it out. there exceptions to the rule of course, bad acting or actors in a blow em up smash em up show or movie, well its all about the wow factor anyway.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        I don’t thinnk I got my point across wrt Avengers. I was trying to address the theme of audience preferences in terms of themes and endings (epilogue vs. prologue). I mentioned Avengers monetary success only to emphasize that its formula works and is popular. It seems to me the Hollywood types look at endings as black or white. Most of us have stated that we didn’t need a saccharine sweet, tied up in a bow ending/send-off or epilogue. Prologue type endings don’t have to be hugely vague either. It’s like its all or nothing for them. I think most audiences (TV or movie) prefer their protagonist(s) to ultimately succeed, especially when its the send-off. For Chuck, in my opinion, it was him having the future he and Sarah had worked toward. Someone mentioned Once Upon A Time. I watched every episode, but I almost stopped watching because the protagonist kept making stupid decisions that were out of character in my opinion and kept getting bested by the Evil Queen. I didn’t need her to win every week, but it was getting pretty boring watching her make the same mistakes over and over again and not appearing to make any progress against her nemesis. I stuck it out because I like the actors and the show concept and when its good its very, very good.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Dave,
        Couldn’t agree more with your disdain for the open endings that Hollywood so seems to love. I’ll never run a film school (I can hear the cries of relief all round!) but if I ever did, one of my rules would be Finish. The. Damn. Story. What’s the point of putting yourself in the hands of a storyteller if they just say “yeah, you can make it up at the end….” A bit like going to a restaurant, having 2 courses and being told you have to make your own dessert…..

        So it sucked that Chuck gave me precisely the type of ending that I most disliked. But that’s personal taste, and they’re allowed to do stuff you don’t like. What I struggled with was that they wrote 4 previous finales that I loved. I loved them precisely because they closed out the main story points and left us a hint of what was next. To my mind they reversed that for the actual finale. They gave us a hint of resolution and an ocean of stuff to figure out for ourselves – and made this finale utterly different to any of the previous four. Rightly or wrongly I felt like I’d been sold a false bill of goods. I guess I still do.

        And now I’m paranoid. I recently started watching “Friday Night Lights”, and I really like it. So just to be safe I asked a few people on Twitter – does it have an ambiguous ending? Does it end like Chuck? I’m reliably informed it doesn’t so all is well.
        How’s that for paranoid?? 🙂

      • ArmySFC says:

        Kev, funny you brought up paranoia. castle just ended similar to chuck s4 with a big cover up (ok its been going on a while) and someone wanting to put beckett in the ground. flash back to the big Chuck bartowski must be stopped. i can’t help wonder if it’s actually an important person or organization or a dud like in chuck?

      • atcDave says:

        WW1 I think I actually got your point, but I did get distracted! I do agree strongly with all of that, fun positive stories about good people trying to do the right thing WILL sell. And clear unambiguous endings WILL please an audience. Obviously a movie like Avengers won’t be satisfying on every level (no romance at all), but it is a great example of how an edifying story can excite and engage an audience.

        Kev I often to the same thing with shows, movies, and books. Unless I have a lot of confidence on the writer from previous work I will vet a story carefully before engaging. I DO NOT want to get into a story and then discover an incomplete or unsatisfactory end. I think you’re right about Chuck too, even though the Quinn story was arguably the main plot, and THAT was adequately resolved; for many of us who’d been following the show for five years, Charah had become the main plot. So getting cute with their ending was exactly the worst thing to do for many of us.

      • Dave, you’ve admitted Sarah and Chuck were cute at the end. How far you’ve come! Wait, that’s not what you meant.

      • olddarth says:

        Kev you have brought up a very important distinction.

        Finish the story.

        It is one thing to leave some open texturing to allow the audience to apply their own interpretations to how things will play out AFTER the story ends. For me the best works do that. And I go back to the final shot from The Shawshank Redemption.

        It is quite another to leave the audience with WHAT JUST HAPPENED questions.

      • atcDave says:

        Ummm, perhaps that wasn’t the best word choice….

      • olddarth says:

        Oh and Kev, you really need to watch FarScape.

        They finish the story.

        And you have no questions about where things stand between John and Aeryn.

        Same with Fringe at the end of the current season for Peter and Olivia.

      • Farscape’s only “finished” the story because fans raised money for several national TV ads to save farscape and Brian Henson bought back his company so they could produce a miniseries.

        Farscape TV show regular series finale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAZxGIkTkMY The first 3:40 is exactly what people would want. After that is the more “artistic” cliffhanger ending. The original finale had the equivalent of Chuck and Sarah being shot by a sniper on the beach, presumably left for dead. I loved that end in Farscape, because it was a big ‘frell you’ to the SciFi Channel for cancelling the show, but I would have hated that ending in any other show.

        In all fairness, SciFi Channel had promised another season then changed their minds, so the show’s producers didn’t realize this was a series finale. The miniseries did the equivalent of killing off Casey and Ellie with Quinn surviving, but John and Aeryn were in a very good place. Until… After the miniseries, the story continues in comics, coming from one of the show’s creators.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        Finish the story.

        I think you’ve just basically stated the great division in the fandom over the finale.

        Those that see the beach scene’s “hopefulness” and “poetry” can see or perceive it an ending to the story and springboard to the next step.

        Those who don’t “get” the beach scene, see it as the “start of the ending” of the story. In other words, “Where’s the rest of it”. There is no next step until this one is complete.

        They wanted ambiguous. They certainly got it.

        For me, the beach scene can work as the ending to the story, but we (I) needed to see Sarah having a “ballerina” type moment, sometime before the beach in Goodbye.

        Myself, I’ve never argued that the episodes weren’t all that they’re cracked up to be. They are. They’re great episodes. But IMO, simply put, the story is not finished. Nor will it ever be, for me.

    • phaseou812 says:

      I agree with you Rob as well as I belief that was their intent. I also believe what Faith said as well, you almost have to view some of the occurrences through the lens of watching the pilot and Season 1 as a whole. That process probably helped me somewhat with watching the final, as I had been re-watching Season 1 while watching Season 5 as they had mentioned on numerous occasions that the story would come back full circle from the beginning.

      Again I like the extended version of the final (and wish I had more) as there was a lot of content to plug into the last hour . . . so a lot of meaningful dialogue got left on the cutting room floor in my opnion based on time, that would have brought some additional logic to the conclusion.

    • Gord says:

      Rob, I agree with your sentiments, and I also think that is what Fedak intended to show us. I personally saw it, but unfortunately it was very subtle and a lot of the fans would have prefered a more definitive ending.

      I see there point and while I was personally happy with the ending, I’m sure I would have been just as happy and maybe even happier with an alternate ending. I think just like in early S3, TPTB misread what the fans wanted.

      It is their story and they are entitled to end it their way, but I’m sure they did intend to make all the fans happy. Unfortunately, as we can see by how many posts that have been generated on this topic, they defintiely fell short for a lot of the fans.

      Overall, this is the best TV series I have ever watched on television and I have yet to find a new series that even comes close to being as good as Chuck. It is too bad that it ended in such a way that it left so many fans unsatisified.

    • Judy says:

      Very well put. Rob, your comment sums up what was intended by TPTB even if the execution was not all there.

      I think that the single biggest problem in the editing of the finale was omitting the extended scene at the restaurant. For me, it puts the beach scene in perspective and makes the “tell me our story” so much more meaningful.

      This probably isn’t literally true, but it seems like the only time that we saw Sarah smile in the entire last two episodes was when she was listening to Chuck’s story at the end of 5.13.

      • atcDave says:

        I think you’re exactly right about the smiling Judy. I remember when the finale first ran, my wife disliked the entire episode, calling too dark and sad for her taste, BUT, Sarah smiling and laughing on the beach saved the entire series for her. I would still call the ending inadequate, but at least it wasn’t totally dismal. And I do agree the extended restaurant scene makes a huge difference, it provides some extra context for the beach.

      • Not literally true. Evil!Sarah smiled while she was cutting the chicken, when holding the Darth Vader helmet, and when she was about to pull a gun on Ellie. All of those were fake smiles. Listening to Chuck’s story was the only time she genuinely smiled.

        I think there might be correlation between Sarah smiles and how well an episode is liked. It’s not the only factor, but Sarah didn’t smile a lot in S3.0 and she smiled a lot in Honeymooners.

      • atcDave says:

        I seem to remember commenting when I first saw Honeymooners that Sarah smiled more before the opening credits than she had all season before (and I think half of her previous smiles were in Other Guy!). There’s no doubt her smile melts me… But my wife loved Honeymooners too… I guess she likes happy characters a lot too!

  40. Off topic a little, but I had SportsCenter on in the background and heard that Steven J. Bartkowski was selected for the College Football Hall of Fame. Wait, that’s Bartkowski, not Bartowski. I guess I have Chuck on the brain too much. Bartkowski was a quarterback at Cal, Stanford’s rival, from ’72-’74.

  41. harlock328 says:

    I agree with Faith, Rob and others that the end was supposed to be happy, that she was remembering. Problem I’m having is they destroyed Sarah and Chuck’s life together in grand fashion in 5.12. and ending the episode with her telling him “I believe you but I don’t feel it” put a huge barrier up (I believed she was telling the truth). Fedak was too subtle in repairing the relationship, especially when we have such things as her saying ” I don’t know how to be the woman you remember/want” (can’t remember exact quote” or giving Chuck a gun and telling him to shoot Quin; showing that point she doesn’t remember him at this point. Finally the kiss, I still keep running into the question of if she was remembering why ask Chuck what Morgan’s theory was? I don’t see her needing to ask that if she remembered. So the kiss to me doesn’t mean what Fedak wanted it to. If she never asked the question what Morgan’s theory is and just asked Chuck to kiss her after him telling her their story; I would be in the place Faith and others are; loving the ending.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Sarah never heard Morgan’s theory, why would she be expected to remember it as a sign that her memories were returning?

    • phaseou812 says:

      Harlock,

      For perspective purposes, I tend to look at that differently. I think the loss of memory is only used as the mechanism to propel the writer’s storytelling and in their minds take the story into full circle from the beginning. Now obviously, I assume that if you would not have followed the show from the beginning that the ending would not mean nearly as much.

      But, first off, excellent point, in which I did not pay any attention to it originally until you said it, but Sarah’s quick reaction to give him the gun was in direct relationship to the fact that her memories were not intact. Obviously they talked about the matter after they were locked up in Castle but I did not originally draw the correlation with her handing him the gun, without hesitation, before the mission started. And even the beach scene with her asking about Morgan’s theory, I can understand the perception that she did not have those memories or she would have not needed to ask the question. Although on a side note, I think the line was used by the writers for the purpose of storytelling (no pun intended) to tie in the restaurant scenes from earlier and Chuck’s ability throughout the series to take something Morgan has concocted or one of the offbeat ideas Morgan has come up with, and use it to save a mission in some form or fashion.

      My point or perspective would be (I know it is taking me entirely too long to get to my point) that wrongly or rightly, the writers decided to take Sarah’s character back to pre-Chuck days through the memory loss scenario. What we were lead to belief about Sarah prior is that she was a stone cold mission type of person. Not from the perspective that she was evil or immoral, but from the perspective that her life was about the agency, and doing what is right by completing the desired mission. Based on a rough childhood she seemed to have no allegiance to family, friends or relationships, if they interfered with her job responsibilities; as her job became her sole guiding compass and purposes in life. As she was portrayed originally, her ability to trust others or depend on others, did not exist in her life. However, we are able to see very early on after Sarah becomes involved in Chuck’s life, that she gradually begins to gravitate to Chuck’s perspective in life. His life was polar opposite, his job meant nothing to him in the grand scheme of life; however, the love of his friends and family meant everything to him. As Sarah begin to relate more to Chuck’s values of unconditional love, family/friends first, and his devotion to her well-being as the primary drivers for his actions, she slowly begin to trust him in a way that she had never every been able to do prior in her life. Even to the extent that some of the drama written in the middle of the series was her concern that he was shifting to be mission driven, at the expense of his loved ones. Of course from Chuck’s perspective, he was trying to become the perfect spy as he thought that would make their relationship complete.

      So my perspective is that the ending is to take you full circle in their development, which is her asking for Chuck to tell the story . . . as she trusted him to have only the sole purpose of loving her unconditionally. Something she needed and did not have in her life. . . which was a stark comparison to her mindset earlier in the episode. Early in the episode, when she was told the truth about her life, she could not relate to it at that point and she was more focused on the mission of destroying the SOB that had started the nightmare. So the ending for me is her willingness to letdown the iron walls she was trained to keep in place at the expense of others who loved her.

      And to follow up on what so many have explained in much greater detail than I can, at other points on this site, about memory loss relating from a traumatic experience. The memory loss resulting from a serious traumatic injury, is typically never lost in the brain, only a functionality barrier exist or the memories have to be put in context so that the brain can recall it . . . such as remembering that the cups were not in place, although she had no reason to think that originally. I know some have compared it to the Morgan scenario of losing some of his intel while having the Intersect, but I also remember that a lot of that his memory loss could have been contributed to him partying or drinking himself into oblivion regarding the matter. . . oh well that is another subject.

      But by Sarah asking Chuck to tell the story and inquiring about Morgan’s idea, for me puts into motion all of the pieces that got them together in the first place. So the viewer is left to believe that the magical fairytale kiss did the trick or it was the starting point to her allowing her self-conscience to begin remembering their relationship and life, similar to a perspective that Thinkling has done such a marvelous job in telling . . . where her memories continue to come back over time and through proper stimulation. So for me, her ability to trust and belief in Chuck has always been the directional maker in their relationship . . . which is taken away from us in the majority of the last two episodes . . . and returned to us at the very end.

    • joe says:

      Great discussion.

      But, you know, there’s one thing that I don’t think anyone’s brought up yet, including me. What does Chuck think?

      Does Chuck think that Sarah is gone, or is he just afraid that she is? Before you answer too quickly, consider that his otherwise OOC moment, when he doesn’t fight to keep Sarah from leaving, might be because he’s not just in love with the face and the body, but with who she is. A large part of that person has been destroyed, and he may think she is never coming back.

      Maybe. And maybe not. He’s got evidence too – the same as us – that a larger part of Sarah remains, and he’s got Ellie’s words that her emotions (which has been the central fact of Sarah’s growth these last five years) are there. We’ve got evidence of that too, and Chuck is endlessly hopeful. Chuck’s taught Sarah to be hopeful and look for the best.

      TPTB could easily have make the ending much more obvious, but they deliberately chose not to do that. It was done to say something to us. Personally, I still don’t see meanness or bad intent. I see something more profound.

      • atcDave says:

        Well Joe, I agree it wasn’t meanness. But where you say profound I say clueless. I think they were so wrapped up in modern storytelling contrivances they chose to honer their film school teachers and abandon their audience. So they get an “A” in graduate level creative writing theory, and an “F” (okay, let’s say a “C-“) in entertaining 101.

      • oldresorter says:

        Mean gets my vote. I didn’t start this with the final. I accused them of disliking Sarah way back in season 3, season 4, season 4’s end, then the Santa beating was the culmination when I broke out the hate word. But, clueless or profound also explains what is going on in the final, but it can’t explain the constant vendetta against the one character, while the rests of the cast burps and farts and gives one another hinder binders.

    • Faith says:

      Sarah is very proficient at lying to herself. It’s not so much that she’s not feeling it (play back the episode without sound just once and you’ll see some fantastic and meaningful facial expressions that tell its own tale on behalf of Sarah), it’s that she’s fearful of what it could mean and how to be “that” girl. Sarah of season 4 took months to become accustomed to GF Sarah, then engaged. Ironically wife Sarah is probably the easiest transition because by that time all her reservations have been revealed and solved by Chuck, with the two of them. But it was to paraphrase Joe, still a revelation—her very act to want to remember after running scared—it’s an illustration that Sarah!5yrs is present. It’s the hopeful Sarah that wanted to be told, that wanted to remember, that wanted to embrace the emotions and the love teeming inside of her. She even sounded hopeful that the magical kiss would take. Sarah have to have felt something, been as she was to even for a moment consider to. That’s the journey within the journey and it was shown in 44 minutes. But I do agree it is too subtle. Definitely.

      • “She even sounded hopeful that the magical kiss would take.”
        I completely agree. Whether or not she felt it in CvS (I think she was lying, felt it, but didn’t understand it), her hopeful look showed she felt it but the end.

      • atcDave says:

        Now those comments I can totally agree with. In some ways, the kiss was magical before it ever happened, just because Sarah was clearly ready for it!

    • SamCH says:

      The point of the kiss was to pose the question of whether or not she gets her memories back immediately. She does ask “one magical kiss?” suggesting that she hasn’t remembered yet, but wants to, after he tells her their story. Personally, at that point I don’t think the memories matter but rather the fact that she has learned to trust and possibly love him again.

  42. garnet says:

    While I agree with some of what you are saying, I think that the “I don’t feel it” line is a lie. We have just watched her looking at the video logs and crying. Now I don’t know what she is feeling exactly, but I suspect that it is that she is seeing that she actually had a life that was more than she could have dreamed of, and Quin has, apparently, taken it away from her. She may not be in love but she is feeling. Her default answer is very much like Ryker told her, she is a loner and has no one to go to for backup, so she runs away from Chuck to take on the “problem”. Yet when the chips are down, who does she come to for help, the old team.

    She did start to remember some little things (which after only a couple of weeks is quite hopeful in itself) but at the beach she has no knowledge of Morgan’s theory until Chuck tells her, so she would not be expected to remember anything about it. I think it played out reasonably well, and a few tweaks could have made it perfect.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree with all of that Garnet.

    • garnet says:

      Thanks. Always nice to be agreed with 🙂
      What about the end line being “Chuck, Shut up and kiss me.” (I believe that was the quote from OG in the Paris Hotel). I think that might have done it for me.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m not sure it would have been enough, but I know I would have laughed! Maybe if she had the right sort of knowing smirk it would have been enough.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Don’t forget Sarah did remember one big thing almost immediately, and that is NOT open to interpretation: “I wrote that”. It is clear and unambiguous that she remembers herself and Chuck carving their initials in the door frame. She remembers the event and is confused by the emotions that surround it. Not deception or shame or hatred, but genuine happiness and love. We see this again when Sarah watches her mission log. She clearly feels the impact of what she is saying on the log, and the emotions that go along with it. “I’m in love with Chuck Bartowski, and I don’t know what to do about it” is a pretty clear statement of what she is re-experiencing.

      As far as seeing Sarah get her memories back, I never saw that as important as showing that she had remembered who she is and reconnected with Chuck. Those things are more than a collection of memories. When you watch the final scene on the beach, pay attention to Sarah’s body language. She is open and emotional and reacting in a way we NEVER saw Sarah behave before season 4 or 5. That is not a pre-Chuck Sarah hearing their story.

      • atcDave says:

        On first viewing I simply took recognizing the carving to be a recognition of her own handiwork, no actual memory at all…

        But otherwise I agree with all of that Ernie. She was clearly very emotional on viewing her vlogs, and I think the “I don’t feel it” line had her in exactly the same place; she actually did feel it but had no idea what to do about.
        The scene on the beach really does show an open and happy Sarah. The last few times I’ve rewatched it’s impossible not to smile at this point. I still feel like I needed a more overt statement of her recovery (I’m also more concerned with the emotional and relationship issues than I am with any specific memories), but the end scene really is beautiful in its own right, it just stops a moment too soon to fully work for me.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        On first viewing I simply took recognizing the carving to be a recognition of her own handiwork, no actual memory at all…

        That surprises me a bit. My first impression of what was happening in the house was that with the way they were interspersing what Chuck was saying with flashbacks it was pretty obvious that Sarah was remembering the events as he was describing them, but she hadn’t connected them to the emotions until the door frame when you hear her actually saying the lines again (as opposed to just seeing the images). Maybe I need to re-watch again.

      • oldresorter says:

        Be interesting to hear from the actual writers what the real intent of the reaction to the carving and the tapes were. To me, it was ambiguous. Especially given the very clear line that followed shortly, “I believe you, I just don’t feel it.” If the words are interpreted to be a lie, but facial reactions are taken as fact, that might not stand up in a court of impartial observers, no matter how hard the litigator wants to think it to be so.

        I honestly don’t know what the intention was. If I had to guess, the intent was to try to make everything ambiguous, so the final moment would still hold mystery. To that end, it worked, except, they played it so close to the vest, they may have forgotten to pay off all the effort that went into the dramatic moment.

        Then again, they did kiss, and Sarah asked for the story, then the kiss. In some universe, that is pretty cool. In a surprising number of loyal Chuck fan’s minds, it fell woefully short upon first viewing. Many if they watch long enough, fell better, is that because it was better, or because those fans wanted desperately for it to feel better? I will never know that answer, neither will anyone else, other than God.

      • phaseou812 says:

        Oldresorter . . . It would be interesting to see what the writers intents where, but I don’t take her statement of “I believe you, I just don’t feel it” . . . being an absolute lie on her part. I take it from, as you alluded to in her facial expressions, the deep conflict of confusion emotionally she was in, but as a matter of fact, she did not feel how all of those things that occurred could be reality. Based on memories being destroyed, that although she has been presented with evidence that she was in love with Chuck (v-logs) and had developed a whole other change in direction regarding her life as she knew it, with the past always being missions first with relationships taking a backseat, that she was not feeling the “why’s” or “how’s” she got there. However, as in life, so often, humans are not able to put into sentences what they are really feeling emotionally at any given moment, . . . especially if compounded by the storylines chain of events with no active memories to draw off of except what you have been told and shown. To counter that with, what you been shown and told, would make absolutely no sense to Sarah’s perceived way of living with none of the memories to tell you differently. So I can see her living out the not “feeling” it part with her emotions below so confused and uncertain of herself and or what her actions should be going forward. I think a better choice of words from the writers would have stated her current level of confusion . . . but I think for drama purposes they selected to use the word’s that “she did not feel it” to drive the stakes up for the conclusion episode.

      • phaseou812 says:

        I agree Ernie . . . as you do a much better job of putting my thoughts together then in the manner I recently responded to Harlock before reading your comment.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I really don’t believe it was ALL meant to be ambiguous. Like Sarah’s denial of feeling is clearly not the whole truth, we JUST SAW her emotion. Now it may still be confusing or disassociated for her, but she clearly is feeling something. And I really do believe, as Fedak himself has said, it was really only the speed of Sarah’s recovery that was left to be ambiguous. The internal evidence makes a pretty strong case for eventual total recovery, it’s only how we define “eventual” that was left hanging. Now all that said, I do still feel this all too subtle in execution, that so many of us are uncertain of what we saw indicates a flawed execution to me. But I feel pretty confident the conclusion can only point towards total recovery.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well we do have some information about Chris Fedak’s intent. The ambiguity he refers to is only whether the magic kiss worked, or if her memories returning would be a slower process. There was no sense of ambiguity that Chuck and Sarah were back together and falling in love all over again. From Alan Sepinwall’s interview.

        AS: I want to start at the end. They sit on the beach, Chuck tells Sarah the story of their relationship, she laughs, and we’ve gotten hints that she’s starting to remember her life with him. And he kisses her. Does Morgan’s magic trick idea work and she remembers everything instantly? Or is it just going to be a slow and steady process for her to get all her memories and feelings back?

        CF: I think I’m going to leave that up to the audience. I have my thought, and Josh has his. It’s a sweet, nice moment. A happy ending for those two. I think it’s up for everyone to judge that kiss at the very end.

        AS: 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?

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks again Ernie, I know that interview made a huge difference to me right in the aftermath of the finale.

      • garnet says:

        Just in case this finds the wrong thread, Ernie, this is in response to your quote on the interview with Chris Fedak:
        I think I found the fun in Thinkling’s story.

        And while I could have hoped for more from Fedak, and while a good story should need no explanation, I can accept that this was meant to be a happy ending. Perhaps the dust in my eye is just the house needing a good cleaning, or perhaps it is just that CHUCK is over.

      • Faith says:

        I’ve always assumed (without cause I might add) that the subtle difference in filters of the flashbacks meant something. I tried asking Matt Barber but didn’t get a response.

      • ArmySFC says:

        ernie this part of the interview bothers me the most,

        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?”

        ernie, this is NOT directed at you or anyone that liked the ending, just my opinion on the fedak quote.

        maybe i’m on a different wavelength than the rest of the world, well probably am for that matter, but he does make it clear that some of her memories are gone. “it’s not all gone” strongly implies that some of it is. like when your partner asks you did you spend all of your money and you say not all of it. “not all of it” is a common phrase where i live that says part of what you have is gone and some still remains. so i take his words to mean yeah she has lost some of them just not all of them. as for how could i imagine anything better than that, well i saw them fall in love once, so doing it again is no big deal, but staying together, fighting the obstacles in their way as a married couple comes to mind, raising a faimily and dealing with those problems comes to mind. what they do with their future comes to mind. there is a whole list of things i could come up with that would be more fun than seeing them fall in love again. i guess fedak wants a groundhog day type story, each time they fall in love they will lose it and start it all over again, like he said, “And the fun will be remembering it and falling in love again.” that’s where the fun is for him.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Sorry that bothers you Army.

      • atcDave says:

        Army on that specific quote it’s just impossible to tell where the emphasis was and exactly how Fedak meant it from a print interview. Even in a spoken interview it might have been difficult to discern exact meaning. But that is something that may have been intentionally ambiguous, and it doesn’t really strike me as a big deal either way. I mean nobody actually remembers all their life experiences anyway, as long as she pretty quickly remembers big things like who her friends and family are and those appropriate milestones I think most people would call that good enough. We’ve all learned enough about memory here in the last few months to know things like personal skills, emotions, and major life events have more durability in a person’s mind than day to day minutia anyway. Fedak’s assurance is enough to conclude Sarah will likely be fine in a very normal sense of the word quite quickly.

        The other part of that I do agree with some, the idea of having to “fall in love all over again” actually sounds pretty tedious unless it unfolds quickly enough for observers to say “wow, that’s amazing”. But I think a quick process is both likely and realistic for reasons we’ve explored in depth here many times since the finale ran. I do believe we saw that process start on screen, my only complaint remains that due to my own stupidity I wish it were more overt.

      • joe says:

        Army, I think you just admitted being a “glass is half empty” kind of guy. I wouldn’t change you for the world, but it’s not the template some of us use.

        And I suspect we’re in the minority, not you!

      • Rob says:

        The problem (at least IMO) with Fedak’s quote is not that some of the memories might be gone. Many of Morgan’s memories seemed to be permanently damaged, and he seems to have repaired what is important in his life. So, not all of the memories are even important.

        The problem with the quote is that Fedak had to be asked the question. Chuck has generally been a light-hearted show. We shouldn’t have to ask the question: “will everything be alright?” The answer to that question should be obvious from the story itself.

      • Rob, I completely understand that it is a problem that the question had to be asked. I personally didn’t need the question asked, but I liked that it was asked and I liked the answer. I would disagree a bit about Chuck being a light-hearted show. Yes, it had dozens of sweet moments and hundreds of funny moments. But Emmitt was shot for not keeping his mouth shut. Team B was regularly tortured, and they in turn killed many people. The government took out a hit on a civilian. Chuck’s dad was killed on screen in front of Ellie and Chuck. Chuck wasn’t as dark as a lot of shows are nowadays, but I wouldn’t call it light-hearted either. The dark moments were simply shrugged off quickly and easily. Maybe good-hearted is a better term?

      • Faith says:

        I tend to agree with Rob, but maybe for different reasons. While I would never presume to dictate what fans can or cannot ask, especially in something as important as this, I do think that with what we know and what we’ve seen the end result is pretty much a given, if not outright clear. Partly why I think you have to view the finale with the lens of the past [episodes]. Or as Adam Baldwin put it when asked before the finale broadcast about Sarah’s memories and whether or not they would return his response was: “come on, it’s a comedy!”

      • joe says:

        Hum… I’m going to agree with Jeff on this one. Yes, plenty of laughs and lighthearted moments. But the gems were not there. They were in the most serious of scenes, some of which should have brought us to tears.

        I was going to save this for a post, but I just saw something in The Tooth that applies. There was an amazing song used in that one, called Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid by Gas Light Anthem. Great tune, and the reference to Casablanca is deliberate, if oblique.

        The song is sung by a pseudo-successful rock ‘n roll star who’s reminiscing about the girls who didn’t give him a chance before he made it.

        You can tell Gayle, if she calls,
        That I’m famous now for all of these rock and roll songs.
        And even if that’s a lie, she should’ve given me a try.
        When we were kids on the field of the first day of school.
        I would’ve been her fool.
        And I would’ve sang out your name in those old high school halls.
        You tell that to Gayle, if she calls.

        What’s that got to do with Casablanca? It took me a while to realize that the famous scene there is Rick realizing that, for everything Ilsa meant to him, he’s moved past that too. The tune’s on my mp3 player, and I couldn’t remember what scene it was in, or what it might have to do with Chuck and Sarah.

        The answer is, it doesn’t. Remember that Anna Wu reappeared into Morgan’s life in that episode? The song is played during the scene when Morgan tells her he doesn’t need her anymore. It’s all about him finally getting past her, and shows him growing up in the starkest terms possible. There’s nothing funny about it – the loss of innocence is seldom funny. And NOW (after two years) I finally see the message.

        The show is full of scenes like that.

      • BigKev67 says:

        Jeff,
        Unwittingly or not, you’ve given an example of something I’ve long thought. Both of your examples of “darker” Chuck come from Season 3. S3 was the season where a darker last arc and an ambiguous ending would have fit. Seasons 4 and 5? Not so much.

      • Joe, thanks for the song reference, I’ve pulled it up and am listening to in now.

        Kev, yes the specific examples were unwittingly. Season 3 was the darkest season throughout. If Chuck was conceived as a 5 year story (it wasn’t), the middle part of the story should be the darkest. However a lot of the torture scenes were in seasons 2 and 5. And the government planned to kill a civilian (Chuck) at the end of season 1 and beginning of season 2. Season 4 was lighter, but it was also the closest Chuck or Sarah came to dying. So I think a little darkness was spread throughout.

      • joe says:

        Jeff, I’ve seen a couple of versions – this is the version I like best. It’s from their ’59 Sound album.

      • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

        That’s the version I have, Joe. Lately, I’ve been listening to my “Best of Chuck” playlist instead of my entire Chuck playlist, and this song was not on it. I think maybe the best-of list needs more songs.

        The song is featured on the Morgan/Anna scene, but it is also the background for Sarah’s first “I love you” to Chuck and Chuck lying about being ok. It’s a growth scene for Sarah, but a loss of innocence scene for Chuck. Like Rick, Chuck was telling Sarah what he thought she needed to hear.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndswYnL3KZ8#t=0m26s The Charah scene starts at 2:36.

      • oldresorter says:

        Jeff, exactly. But yet, many, many, many people refer to Chuck as a comedy. Not taking itself seriously as a major strength. And you have to admit, the show doesn’t have any serious characters, except for Sarah. Casey became Morgan’s straight man for example. The characters who get paid on a weekly basis are mostly comedians. Beckman is a pint sized parody of a General, when she shot that bazooka, there may not have been a funnier scene in the entire show.

        That is why I say Fedak is mean spirited, he has a comedy, with comedic characters, that has an extraordinarily dark side, which he seems to love – the dark side of his show that is. Maybe that is unfair. Ok, it is unfair calling him mean. I have no idea how he is, he actually seems sort of like a putz, but a likable guy, heck, he seems sort of like Morgan. But, how about this characterisation of the show, ‘Chuck is a comedy with a mean streak in it.’??????

      • I’m not sure about the whole “mean streak” idea. That could imply TPTB were deliberately trying to be mean to the audience. Darkness in a show does not imply they are being mean. They are just trying to tell a more rounded story in which actions have consequences. No PTB are mean on a show they want to be renewed. Even the last season, when the show was pre-cancelled, they wanted to be liked. Personally, I think the darkness in the last few episodes was consistent with the overall show (death of Bryce, death of Orion, almost death of Sarah and Casey, memory wipe of Sarah). I also think the ending was motivated by trying to be memorable (ironically), not vindictive.

        The show’s problem (and strength) was it did not fit into a single category. It was a comedy, but wasn’t like a typical sitcom. When it occasionally fell into sitcom-like behaviors, it felt out of place. That’s exactly what the second half of Curse and the first half of Kept Man were like. Chuck was acting like a sitcom character. In sitcoms, the audience laughs and forgets about the stupid, idiotic, and sometimes unforgivable things the characters do every week. In Chuck, it didn’t sit well with the part of the audience that took the show more seriously. The show had a similar problem on the drama end because of unresolved questions and plot holes. Part of those were because of the nature of TV and trying to do so much in every episode. Part were simply because the show wasn’t a rigorous drama or procedural that had to get the facts lined up each week.

        I think the hybrid nature is what made Chuck so special. It also required more tolerance at times when the pieces didn’t fit so well. In heightened moments like a series finale, tolerance inevitably drops.

      • oldresorter says:

        Jeff – I cheered when Bryce died, almost as much as Shaw. Bringing them back however, was mean. In Shaw’s case, they brought him back twice, knowing that a HUGE portion of the audience did not like his story at all – VINDICTIVE, STUBBORN, WILLFULL and MEAN SPIRITED. I thought Emmit’s death was funny, comedy, I laughed. But, in SIX of the last 14 episodes the show runners poisoned in a graphic manner, kicked, punched, slugged, then mind raped the lead female character, very, very mean spirited and borderline vindictive toward one character. Oh, and this lady that they beat the living hell of in 43% of the last 14 episodes, they also teased pregnancy in two of those episodes right in the middle of it all – MEAN VILE SPIRITED. They did this, while her so called devoted hubby and his BBF did a vaudeville act most of the time, mean spirited. Mixing of genre’s works, if you mix the genre’s, and still find a FRANCHISE that you write to. The showrunners lose sight of this, and piled on the Sarah character, while they had Chuck aimlessly meander through the last two seasons, somewhat lost. ON top of it all, at the very end, they chose to not give back, what they had, and instead, had to give interviews in order to set the record straight. Interviews that even the show’s most ardent supporters must reference, to explain the even minimalist satisfaction that might be derived from the show’s final two episodes. What was that chorus again? MEAN SPIRITED.

      • ArmySFC says:

        jeff i think you got that right. chuck’s PTB’s mixing of the genre’s made it the special show it was, and caused the divides in the fans we saw after a lot of the episodes or seasons. the mixing of them was the shows greatest strength and also it’s greatest weakness.

        there are several shows airing right now that i think do a good job of mixing the drama and comedy. the thing that’s different with those shows is the leads are, in most cases, not the ones used for the comedic relief. it’s the minor characters that deliver the comedy part of the show.

        i also agree about the sitcom stuff you mentioned, with a small add on. in sitcoms it’s often expected the characters will behave and do the things you mentioned. fans wait to see what, insert your list here, they will do next. it’s when they don’t act that way, or try to do a serious moment or story, that some fans don’t like.

      • atcDave says:

        Generally speaking, I don’t have a problem with the sort of darkness we saw on Chuck. Most of it was there to highlight that the bad guys, were in fact, bad guys. There were only a few times it seemed to go too far to me, most significantly S3 when Chuck became a habitual liar, what separated him from the villains was in danger of not being enough (for me to root for him as a hero). The later part of S5 did become tedious in the way Sarah really became a punching bag too often. Although arguably that could have shaped her decision to stay out/get out of the spy business. But I really don’t have a problem with Quinn’s actions as a villain, he was evil and malicious as was fitting for his role. My problem is purely a pay-off issue, we didn’t get to see any of the joyful person Sarah had grown into for the last two full episodes. Given that was pretty much my favorite part of the show, I sorely missed it in the end. It’s one thing to say I’m convinced all is well in the end, but I remain disappointed that the finale was lacking a big part of what I was tuning in for.

      • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

        “They are just trying to tell a more rounded story in which actions have consequences.”

        Other than (maybe) Stephen being being killed, the show has never had any true / lasting consequences. Why change that and pull a 180 on your fans in your final 2 shows?

      • Jason, I know you think it was mean. I just think it was occasionally dark. We can agree to disagree on that.

        I also cheered when Emmitt died. He was a jerk and a little nuts, but that didn’t mean he should die. Shaw coming back was controversial, but it was a common TV trope: tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BackFromTheDead Some people like that kind of thing. He’s like Chuck’s version of the Zombie Apocalypse. Chuck seriously needs to keep a cricket bat handy. Yes, Sarah was piled on in season 5, but I never took her to be that much of a wimp. The injuries caused by Shaw and Ryker couldn’t have been that bad because she was wearing a bikini in the very next episode (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodHealing). I think if the season was a full 20+ episodes, those fights would have been further removed from the final arc so it would have been less noticeable.

      • ArmySFC says:

        jeff one of the things i can’t buy from a viewers perspective is the number of episodes making a difference in the quality of a show or what happens in it, baring unusual circumstances like a writers strike or pregnancy.

        keep in mind my theory or opinion applies only to show that could come back. say a show gets 13 episodes before the season starts. they script out what they want to happen during those 13 episodes ad what the end point will be. they should also have an idea where they want to go after those episodes conclude. this would be the basis for the next season. sometime during the filming of those 13 they get an order for more episodes, they already have the idea, now they just need to write it. keeping the same thought process where those added episodes end should be the lead in to the next season. again they should have an idea for where they want it to go. both ideas, the one after the first 13 and the one for what happens after the added ones, would be used to sell the networks what the plan is for the next season.

        where shows get in trouble is they change their plans during the filming the first 13 after they get the word for more episodes, push stuff to the right that was planned for the original 13.this moves planned events for the follow up around, in some cases causing problems.

        maybe i’m just to simplistic in that approach.

        one thing chuck’s PTB did during the course of its run, mostly in late s3 and after is get an idea they think is good and run it into the ground. there was a stretch of 22 episodes, s3.5 into s4 where chuck either had issues with the intersect or it didn’t have it. my count was around 13 of those 22. during s4 there was a span of 4 episodes where they had a countdown to death ad s5 as OR said beat on sarah.

      • You’re right Army, that the number of episodes shouldn’t make a huge different in quality. Certain stories require a certain amount of time to do them justice, while others are stretched too long. That’s part of what season planning is for.

        I was just sharing a random thought that maybe the condensed season had an unforeseen, unplanned side-effect of condensing the Sarah fight sequences. I still think Sarah was tough enough to handle them, and she had the upper hand more often than not. But maybe there wasn’t enough time for the shock of her losses to dissipate between rounds.

        Random video from the people who must make Intersect chips, Prism Express laptops, and CIA mission video devices: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLxaVFBXbCk#t=2m7s
        This post will self destruct in 10 seconds…

    • harlock328 says:

      Sorry, I wasn’t clear by what I meant by saying I believe her. I agree she was feeling emotions watching the log. I saw heartbreak because she doesn’t remember Chuck; loving him. So when she said to him “I don’t feel it” that what I think she meant. She doesn’t remember him or love him. From that perspective they put up a huge barrier at the end of 5.12 for me. Why she meet him at the fountain was she did believe him and she is his wife; only makes sense to say goodbye her husband that she no longer knows or loves.

  43. FlamesofDestiny says:

    I think it’s obvious at this point that no minds will be changed. I’m biased, of course, so I think the realists who understand that this was and always been about the character Chuck, that 20-something slacker becoming a man, get the ending. Those who continue to believe that the show was about more, a romance, will continue to be unhappy.

    That said, I would like to inject something here that is worth noting: I think the anti-Fedak folks miss one gigantic concession he DID make. People just ASSUMED that the show would end at the beach, in a callback to the scene in the pilot. But people seem to forget that that the beach scene wasn’t even the final scene, or the most important one, of the pilot. After the beach scene, we return to the BuyMore for the actual final scene: Chuck applying to be assistant manager and literally running into Harry Tang.

    From the beginning, Fedak saw this as a vaguely workplace/coming of age kind of show. I mean, it’s right there in the pilot. In his mind, this was about this guy named Chuck struggling to find his place in the world. He didn’t end the pilot on the beach, he ended it in the BuyMore.

    Five years later, for him to admit the beach scene was the heart of the show after all is actually a fairly large concession. So when folks say that he doesn’t write good romance/couples stuff or that he didn’t pay off on Sarah’s “journey,” I would suggest you remember where he was when he created the show.

    The show most of the posters her fell in love with wasn’t really the show he started out to write. That he even brought the show to the beach for the last shot of the series is major progress.

    • atcDave says:

      Actually Flames, Fedak’s own words deny that. He has often claimed the last couple seasons were more of a romance, and S5 in particular was about a shared journey. Those of us who have complaints are often saying exactly as you pointed out, Fedak kept too much of the focus on Chuck and not enough on Sarah or Charah. And as for the Pilot, there were scenes after the beach, but the beach scene is the one flashed back to, at least four times I can think of, over the course of the series. And that very last line from the Pilot, “don’t freak out”, came immediately after Chuck flashed on Sarah. The show was always Chuck’s story, but Sarah was always the single most important thing to Chuck. There are other things, certainly other people that do matter to Chuck quite a lot, that’s what makes him a good guy, but Sarah is number one.

      • FlamesofDestiny says:

        Fedak has SAID a lot of thing, many of them contradictory. And while I agree with you that he DID change focus starting with Season 3.5, it is clear that his interest was always Chuck. Everyone else, including Sarah, were in service to Chuck. That’s why I never believed Chuck was on a hero’s journey, just headed to adulthood. It’s why I stopped sweating the Chuck/Sarah relationship after they didn’t pay off on Colonel. I certainly NEVER saw a “journey” for Sarah, because the character was never written logically or consistently and. clearly, they never thought about her backstory except on an ad hoc basis.

        So, to me, the ending was pretty clear: Chuck was now the adult on the beach, guiding the woman who once helped guide him to adulthood. It’s not that my standards are LOWER that the Sarah-centric viewers. It’s that I stopped expecting anything logical about Sarah or the romance a long time ago because it clearly wasn’t in Fedak’s wheelhouse.
        Sarah is important to Fedak only because he sees her as important to Chuck’s growth. She just don’t exist organically in the show.

      • atcDave says:

        So just to verify; you agree with everything I said, but you’re taking a superior tone because you learned to expect Fedak to not deliver while I always hoped he would? Interesting.

    • jam says:

      Your claim that only people like you, who “understood” what the show supposedly was about, got the ending they wanted is not only rather insulting, but also very wrong. Even Fedak says the show was mostly about Chuck and Sarah.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Flames, I think you correctly identify Fedak’s original intent, but as he himself says, he learned TV is about relationships. I’d say you correctly note that his view of the show and what it was evolved to where even he now says the love story is the central element he wanted to make the finale about.

    • olddarth says:

      To further muddy the waters, for me, the show lost the character of Chuck during the third season – especially from the Beard on when many of Chuck’s best attributes were given to Morgan because of the show’s Robin Hood method of writing.

      There were very instances of the everyday guy who possessed the sensitivity and empathy to pick up on such small cues as Sarah not liking olives on her pizza from that point on.

      So, for me, the show failed on Chuck’s journey too. The restoration of the BuyMore in Season 4 signified the end of Chuck’s personal journey and left just the relationship – something I only realized in hindsight because I was so enamored with some of the guest stars like Timothy Dalton.

      • olddarth says:

        sorry – There were very few instances

      • jam says:

        “There were very instances of the everyday guy who possessed the sensitivity and empathy to pick up on such small cues as Sarah not liking olives on her pizza from that point on.”

        While I liked season 4 overall (Dalton was fantastic and I think I was just happy to see Chuck and Sarah together), I have to agree with that.

        Man, I *really* hated clueless Chuck in episodes like “the Kept Man”.

      • harlock328 says:

        jam, I like to get the Curse episode out of my mind…very whiny and stupid Chuck.

    • Rob says:

      I agree that Fedak’s initial story revolved around Chuck. But, if you watch the extras on S5, they admit that the series evolved into a love story after TPTB saw the chemistry between Z&Y.

  44. Chuck Season 5, Region 2 DVDs in PAL format are being released on October 15
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Season-DVD-Zachary-Levi/dp/B00538VYE0/

  45. Gord says:

    I have come to a new conclusion about this board.
    I think I’m going to need a speed reading course to keep up with everyone here. What an amazing volume of qualtiy discourse.

    • Faith says:

      I’d say. We actually have been holding off in picking up the review because it’s been so busy. But that’s a good thing, in a way.

      What we need is a supplemental blog post. Or a cliff notes version. Faith loved it, others a little less enthused. The end ha ha. JK guys.

      • Ok, everyone… shut up. Let’s make them post that review. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Great summation Faith!

      • Gord says:

        Faith, you know I’m right there with you – I loved the ending as well. This might actually help us when looking for a job – we can claim we are part of a visible minority group. At least that works for Government jobs here in Canada, I don’t know about where you live.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        I can multi-task with the best of them. Go ahead and bring on the review…..:-)

      • Faith says:

        Oh no, what have I started? Heh. Don’t worry review is in the works. 🙂

      • I liked it a whole lot. A few tiny tweaks would put it in the love category for me:
        – Ellie, Awesome, and Clara move to San Diego or the LA suburbs instead of Chicago. Some families can be strong and stay close cross-country, but I think Ellie would have enough abandonment issues that she wouldn’t travel that far from Chuck. Just look at the mess she was before and during Doctors Without Borders. Plus Clara needs someone nearby that can teach her to throw knives and how not to be a sucker.
        – One line from Ellie about leaving Sarah with her memory problem. Something like “I’m going to keep going over the research, and I’ll let you know if I come up with a solution” or “If Sarah changes her mind and is willing to let me run some tests, let me know and I’ll be here”. This issue doesn’t bother me as much as the first one, but it would be more in character.
        – Have a menu option on the DVD for an extended, extended cut. On even days, the viewer could leave the ending the way it is, for artist reasons. On odd days, there would be two tiny changes. Before the kiss, Chuck slips Sarah’s rings on her finger. Before the cut to the last shot, Sarah breaks the kiss and says “Let’s go home, Chuck”. Chuck replies, “In a minute,” and kisses her again. The last shot stays the same.

        Two of those three would put it as a tied for top 10 episode. All three would make it tied for top 5 for me.

      • atcDave says:

        I have to agree Jeff those changes would have made Goodbye an awesome episode!

      • One note about my last change, the memory recall ambiguity of the ending is still there, so I technically didn’t change the writers’ intent. It still wouldn’t make everyone happy, but I’m already on the happy side, so it would just make me happier.

      • What I am doing on an old thread? Am I trying to increase the comment count by 9 thousand 9 hundred something? (no) Am I lost? (groan) I’m doing some shameless self promotion. Chapter 1 of Chuck & Sarah vs Their Next Adventure is finally posted.

        It is very short and serves as a DVD menu option for the extended, extended cut I mentioned a couple posts up, which is why I posted here. The rest of the chapters will be longer. So far, I’ve written the first few chapters and very rough drafts of the next several. I’ll be updating daily for at least the next ten days. Romance starts today, humor tomorrow, and the action/adventure begins in a few days. Enjoy!

      • atcDave says:

        Sounds great Jeff, I look forward to reading!

    • joe says:

      Wa??? You think we have a life here, Gord? 😉

    • Ernie Davis says:

      You could add Ernie loved it to the cliff notes.

      Now, let’s get that Season 3 discussion going! (Says the guy who is way behind on the re-watch and trying to avoid writing the next review)

  46. One year ago today, Chuck and Sarah got hitched.

  47. harlock328 says:

    I still love Chuck and don’t hate the ending, just disappointed in it. I’ve been re-watching the seasons over and over (except 1st half of 3..still can’t like it). Driving my wife mad.

    • Gord says:

      Personally, I can handle everything in early S3 except for Mask and Fake Name. Two of my favourite episodes from S3 were the Capt Awesome super-spy arc of Angel and Op Awesome. Poor Awesome had to decapitate the bear – it was grizzly. I also found Nacho, Beard, Tic Tac and American Hero pretty good and of course Other Guy to the end of the season I found outstanding.

      Some people thought that some of those S3.5 episodes were weak in plot etc, but I thought it was great because we finally got fun interactions between Chuck and Sarah, not to mention all the great Casey/Morgan and even some Sarah/Morgan stuff.

      • atcDave says:

        I liked the two Awesome episodes a lot. And Beard and Tic Tac were bearable. But at heart I’m a pretty hard core ‘shipper, and I’ll really never be very enthused about any episode with a serious Charah malfunction. I really loathed about six episodes from that front arc.
        But I am interested in other issues too. I never enjoy seeing the protagonist in a dark place. So I loath Nacho Sampler for reasons that have little to do with Charah issues. I’m also not very enthused by some of the back episodes like Tooth and Living Dead mainly because I dislike lying dirtball Chuck almost as much as I dislike Charah malfunctions. S3 was just a rough time for to be watching Chuck. Honeymooners is the only S3 episode to be counted among my all time favorites; although the Awesome episodes, Other Guy, Role Models, Subway and Ring II are at least passably good.

      • jam says:

        Considering what Sarah just told Chuck, I can forgive his lie at the end of Tooth, but that definitely should have been resolved early on in the next episode. Their romantic relationship was still quite new at that point.

        I have much harder time forgiving lies and general stupidity in the later episodes, Anniversary, Curse, Baby etc.

        Sadly the writers on this show were often all too happy too butcher good characterizations in order to create drama, angst or simply to make a stupid joke.

      • Faith says:

        Hey hey wait to rehash the dark side 😉 until the post goes up. Don’t want you all to run out of fumes heh.

      • Faith, S3 discussions are one of the proposed solutions to the energy crisis. Those flames will never die.

      • atcDave says:

        It’s all about distracting from the finale…

  48. Gord says:

    Ah Honeymooners. Maybe Chuck and Sarah will take another trip on that train as a second honeymoon.

    One thing I was kind of hoping for when I first found out that one of S5 episodes was entitled “Vs The Bullet Train”; was that we would get to see the Charlesesez cover again. That was so much fun.

    • Faith says:

      In some ways I loved and hated Bullet Train for those reasons. Mostly loved because I don’t mind dramatic license. But IMO married Chuck/Sarah in that episode were better than the Charlesesez sans accent. They were just…wow. Unfortunately it wasn’t as much “fun,” but rather far more dramatic. That’s Chuck for you: multiple themes under one big umbrella.

      • thinkling says:

        Totally agree, Faith, that married CS were so much better than the Charlesesez. I loved the Charleses, but the mature couple they became were everything I wanted them to become. I really loved Bullet Train until the cars separated leaving Sarah with Quinn. Of course the last scenes were just heart wrenching and brutal as no other scene has ever been on Chuck, IMO. But up until the beginning of the tragedy, Bullet Train easily qualifies as a favorite episode. Everything about Chuck and Sarah was just perfect, not to mention the rest of the episode was great, too.

      • joe says:

        Think, that’s what I was trying to say a few weeks ago – that we got a lot of what we were asking for since S2. We saw C&S as Jonathan & Jennifer, as Nick and Nora (on the bullet train) and even as Max and 99 (that’s my take on The Honeymooners). We got to see them sleuthing, having adventures, solving mysteries, saving the world (a few times!) and even being normal. At least, we saw that a little.

        It seems weird to say it, but I almost wish we could have seen more of the normal. They are our friends, after all. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        I loved the first 3/4s of Bullet Train. It will always make me a little sad that it’s the last time we see the fully mature Sarah, even believing she got back there, it’s a little tough saying goodbye to her two full episodes before the others. It really still chokes me up in way.

      • thinkling says:

        I agree Dave. The intimate scene with the drawing, such a fantastic CS married scene, is now a little bittersweet for the precise reason you mentioned. We know it’s the last such scene we’ll see. The scene on the beach points them in that direction, but leaves them a mile or two short.

  49. O.K. Total newbie here, but I have to throw in my two pennies. Well, maybe only one.
    I bought the extended version of 5.13 in the hopes of seeing one tiny little thing that would have been a game changer for me. And that was some sort of reaction from Sarah during that last kiss that indicated something had been reignited within her, not a woman receiving a kiss and just sitting there with her hands in her lap. That one little act of self-containment – not reaching out to Chuck in some way beyond just asking for and receiving a kiss so passively sort of ruined the ending for me.

    I didn’t need the house with the red door, the white picket fence, or a positive p-test. All I needed to see was Sarah turning to Chuck and embracing him while they kissed. Alas, I was left wanting.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah that’s why I said the extended cut only might help some viewers. It certainly didn’t make everything all better. That’s pretty much what I expected based on how proud they seemed to be of their original ending. But I thought it did help with that one small detail, where Sarah had been telling Chuck early in the episode that it wasn’t “our” story anymore, it was only “his” story because she couldn’t remember it. So it did add some extra significance to her wording on the beach when she asked for “our” story; like she was starting to accept it was her story too. I’d also add that Sarah rejecting Beckman’s job offer in Castle is like a very recent version of Sarah; as recently as “Hack Off” Sarah was worried about what she would do apart from spying, it wasn’t until “Baby” that she clearly wanted to stay free of the agency, or “Bo” when she was ready to be done with spying. I’d also add that although she seemed pretty cautious in her big kiss at the end; she was the one who initiated it, pretty much immediately when Chuck suggested it. But it was more of a tender kiss, appropriate for someone who’s been hurting and sad.

      Now I agree entirely that we shouldn’t have to work this hard to figure out if the ending was positive or not. I will always wish they’d given us a stronger indication things were fine in the end. My favorite possibilities being Sarah either saying “take me home Chuck” or “I love you Chuck”. I’m more than a little annoyed that the writers chose such an “artsy” ending and denied us a little more clarity. But it is what it is, and now I can only imagine that good things happened next (I’m positive that when Sarah finally came up for air she told Chuck to take her home!).

      (BTW, welcome aboard! And I love your photo. Is it a Pawnee? A little hard to tell head on)

      • No doubt, I think we can all acknowledge there were very many indications of Sarah’s eventual return to Chuck. But the writers – Chris specifically – left it ambiguous enough, even up to and including the kiss, that what came after could have been interpreted many different ways. That was a mother lode for FF writers and headcanoners, but it left many dedicated viewers with a knot in their gut.

        Dang it, I didn’t even need to see unbridled passion, I just wanted to see Sarah get her hands out of her lap, and show us that maybe she was looking beyond the pain that had been inflicted on both her and Chuck through the simple and meaningful act of returning Chuck’s touch.

        Thanks for the welcome, Dave That’s an Air Tractor 502 with a -45 It’s a fire breathing beast. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        I should have noticed the engine was a turbo prop! We don’t see many agricultural aircraft at Ann Arbor, except occasionally as banner tows. Extra awesome to have someone else from the aviation community stop by.

        I would definitely be one of those who ended the series with a big knot in my gut. I was very frustrated and angry when the credits rolled. I found a couple interviews right after that convinced me it was meant to be a happy ending; but I’ve still wrestled with a fair amount of disappointment and anger over how it was shown. I agree entirely that something else was needed; I would have prefered A LOT more, like a 10 or 15 minute epilogue showing Chuck and Sarah getting on with their life and plans. But I think I would ha been a lot more satisfied than I was with just a little more assurance than we got.

    • I wasn’t expecting anything new in the very last scene. That’s something that TPTB would have sacrificed other parts of the episode to make sure it was as they intended. They didn’t know so many viewers wouldn’t interpret it as they intended, a common occurrence in producer/writer/director bubbles. They don’t have test audiences like movies do, with an opportunity to reshoot afterwards.

      The biggest bonus in the extended edition is the extended restaurant scene in Berlin, which Dave mentioned. Another thing, which I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned before, is they actually slightly break apart twice. So they actually kiss three times, and she leans in just as much as he does. (No I haven’t measured with a protractor, but it seemed close enough.)

      Who knows what happened after they faded out. Ernie and I have a theory that the police might have had to interrupt them.

      As for how passionate the kiss was… that’s an argument I’ve seen since Honeymooners, and I’ve never understood it. This was 8E/7C network TV, not cable. The Charah relationship was always depicted more sweet than passionate.

      • olddarth says:

        “As for how passionate the kiss was… that’s an argument I’ve seen since Honeymooners, and I’ve never understood it. This was 8E/7C network TV, not cable.”

        But they gave us the Sarah/Cole kiss in the Castle in Chuck Vs The Beefcake.

        That was damn hot.

        And the most sexiest & passionate kiss of the entire series from my viewpoint.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        My vote for all time hottest kiss was Vs.The Seduction. And Sarah’s reaction was priceless. That last scene is a tough one to evaluate. The cast is on record that it was a really emotional scene and that it was cold and the weather was poor. It could be that the director told Yvonne to play it in a “contained” fashion based upon their interpretation of the script. Yvonne was obviously cold as she kept pulling her sleeves down over her hands which struck me as very un-Sarah Walker-like, i.e. Sarah Walker the agent was pretty impervious to adverse environmental conditions. So, it’s difficult to tell how much Yvonne, the actress responding to the cold weather or the vulnerable Sarah Bartowski or the restrained Sarah Walker was on display. I agree Sarah reaching out to Chuck during the kiss is another lost opportunity and subtle one at that which would have added a little more to the foundation of their restoration as a couple. But the kiss was by no means chaste or short…..Jeff is right that Sarah had 2 opportunities to end it and chose not to…..the showrunners apparently wanted a specific tone-maybe hopeful, healing, yearning, happy, and, unfortunately, at first blush for many of us fell short on all those accounts. And one hand gesture or phrase could have made it unambigously all of those things. Now I need to work on my input for Faith’s post.

      • That post from Ernie is so funny for me because I wrote a similar scene involving ice cream – and this is the first time I’ve seen Ernie’s post.

        I’m in agreement with you about Chuck and Sarah’s relationship being more sweet than passionate. It was that distinction that separated Chuck from all of Sarah’s other relationships…this one had heart.

        When it comes to prime time network vs. cable: Need I remind you of the pilot and Sarah in her underwear attaching her throwing knife sheath around her ankle…?

      • thinkling says:

        Welcome Angus!! Glad to see you here.

        As for these various topics:
        I appreciate the sweet/heart style relationship for the most part, but I would have liked it to be punctuated with a little more passion from time to time.

        I agree with ww1posterfan about the Seduction kiss, and her reaction, as well as Chuck’s and Roan’s. What a great scene. One or two more like that after they were together or married would have been nice.

        Angus, I would have liked Sarah to touch Chuck, too. I’ve had that same thought. However, I don’t really perceive her passive as in the kiss. First, she asked for it. Then she leaned in and met him halfway. When it broke the first time, she showed no signs of wanting it to end, and again the second time, they tilted the other direction and both continued the kiss. She wasn’t aggressive, but she was responsive, reciprocating the kissing action. (Now in American Hero, I thought Sarah was much more passive. Chuck told her he was going to kiss her and she didn’t respond much. Looked like he was doing all the kissing.) Back to the beach … yeah, I would have liked to see some touch, but I still thought it was a good kiss. The screen just went to black before it ignited … which I fully believe it did. 😉

      • Angus, I’ve already bookmarked your story so I can catch up on it. Now I really need to read it. Here was my slight adjustment to Ernie’s idea.

        My comment about network TV was more directed at other arguments I’ve seen too often, rather than what you said. The show did skirt the edge a lot, not that I’m complaining one little bit.

        If there is someone to “blame” about Sarah’s body language in the last scene, I’m leaning towards the director or director of photography, rather than the screenplay writer, because they are more responsible for the look of a scene. I warmed up to the last scene faster than most (about an hour vs. some who will never like it). However, I liked the location, lighting, and overall look of that scene from the first moment. A little gesture might have improved the scene. For example, Sarah’s hand could have lightly touched Chuck’s jaw, like she always does. But we’ll never know if it would’ve looked alright on camera, so I’m fine with what we got.

      • Thanks, Thinkling it’s nice to be here. You’re right, I way overstated how passive Sarah was during that kiss, and yes, it was much better than the one she returned to Chuck when he laid it on the line in Castle. But I still can’t stop thinking how much better that scene could have been with a simple touch, or a gesture, or even one of Yvonne’s amazing non-verbal dialogues with her oh so expressive face and eyes.

        As ww1posterfan said, the weather on the beach that day probably had an influence on how that scene was directed, how many takes were shot, and how it played out.

        The ‘demonstration’ kiss for Roan was definitely one of the best, and for me the one on the docks when they thought they were going to die was a close second. Nothing like a brush with mortality to bring out the best in a person.

        Jeff, the more I see of the myriad ways this story has been brought forward by the fans, the more easy it is to accept and enjoy the ending we were given.

      • joe says:

        Hi, Angus. Nice to see you here. Although I’m lovin’ Thinkling’s FF (and I’m a fan of Frea’s too – but then again, who isn’t???) I’m not a big FF reader yet. I’ll make a point of reading yours.

        Since everyone’s putting in their $0.02 about the finale (again), I should tell you that I’m the weird one around here. In all honesty, I both loved and hated it. I came away feeling very hopeful for the character’s future together, and almost angry that we aren’t going to see it. I was profoundly affected, which is more than “just entertained” in my book.

        These last four years have been an experience I won’t soon forget. And that’s one heck of a statement to make about a “mere” TV show.

      • Thanks for laying down the welcome mat, Joe, even though I jumped in with nary a word of introduction and a horse pill of opinion. Seems to be the regular way I introduce myself these days.

        I guess you could say I’m a latecomer to the Chuck universe. I only started watching the show at S3 E12 and was immediately hooked. Didn’t even pay much attention to the the Chuckverse on the web until the series was over and mostly just lurked until a couple of months ago. Can’t say I really even watch much TV either, but Chuck is one of the rare exceptions and one of my hands down all time favorites.

        I enjoy reading the opinion here, it’s insightful, thoughtful, respectful, and friendly. I’ll try to make a meaningful contribution.

      • joe says:

        Why, thank you for the complements then, Angus. You’re a bit of a rare bird, starting with Chuck in S3. I saw the first few episodes, but I didn’t get “into” the show myself until about the last half of S2. I was lucky that many of the episodes were still being shown on HULU at the time, because I was a gonner.

        I can tell you for a fact that many here will be interested in your opinion because of that unique POV you have. The show is one of those rare ones that deserve to be seen again and again, because the character development really makes a lot of the early stuff look different (and better!) on re-watch.

        At least, that’s my opinion. You picked a great time in S3 to join in the fun!

    • ww1posterfan says:

      By the way, in case you guys didn’t know, Angus has a pretty good little story going as well at fanfiction.net. It’s my second favorite (behind Thinkling’s :-)) for a post Goodbye continuation. It’s Chuck Vs. The Lost Years. Angus, alot of us feel your pain.

      • I think most of us have worked through whatever pain the last three episodes inflicted on us. And hey, we’re still talking about it four months later; they must have done something right.

        Thanks for the shout out. I’m kind of jammed up on that story right now because there are three action scenes happening simultaneously in the next chapter and real life distractions are getting in the way of the laser-like focus it takes to make something like that come together.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        No worries on your story. You gave us plenty of heads up regarding your schedule. I’m really impressed with your level of detail in the action sequences. Very intrigueed by the new character Nikki and former Marine Capt. being a former WM myself. Totally off topic, wish me luck. I start courses for my private pilot’s license in June. Went up in a Cessna 172 last Sat. and actually got to fly it some….it was pretty amazing. I’m going to confirm whether you can teach an old dog new tricks. Thanks again for putting the obvious effort into your story.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I was one of those who liked the ending, having caught (even before the extended restaurant scene) the significance of “Tell me our story” after the sigh (taking a huge leap of faith like this is tough for Sarah, but there is no way around it, she still loves him).

      Faith has said it on another thread, or maybe this one elsewhere, we have to remember Yvonne’s talent for conveying without words what Sarah is feeling and re-acquire a bit of that skill. Her facial expressions and body language are key in these last episodes. I remember in season 3 people were saying Sarah was like a split personality, they were right for the wrong reason. Sarah tries to present one face to Chuck, the cool detached professional spy who, regardless of their past history, has moved on and will do her job. But she lets another show when Chuck isn’t around. This was key to understanding her, and it is key again.

      Aside from a few moments where Chuck starts to break through to her (The white room, the dream house, the Weinerliscious or the dance) Sarah is showing one face to Chuck, the cool detached spy. She’ll break down and cry at the site of her confession of loving Chuck, so we know she still is an emotional woman in love as opposed to pre-Chuck Sarah, but she shows that side to nobody. Till the last scene.

      From the point of her sigh, where she allows it to show that she is struggling, to the look on her face, the open emotion of hope and fear there for all to see, or rather there for Chuck to see is to me, so different and distinct from the way she’s acted for the past 2 hours, to me, that said Sarah is back. The laughing, crying, the joy at hearing their story and her reaction were something we’d never seen from Sarah before season 4-5, and something we hadn’t seen in the last two hours. I think it is there for us to see and understand that Sarah, Chuck’s Sarah, was never gone, she just needed to be around him for a bit, maybe turn off spy-mode, and her natural reactions and feelings for him would return almost immediately. I think the problem was that so many of us got so used to the emotionally open Sarah in season 5, and rejected or ignored the closed off Sarah if the finale, that the significance of that change in demeanor was lost.

      Now that said, could the scene play differently with different body language? I suppose, but there was enough there for a lot of us (or at least Faith and I) to see the love letter Chris Fedak was trying to write. Some others have noted problems in the filming or the emotions they were going through as they shot the scene. Both Zach and Yvonne mentioned how tough it was to get through that scene without losing it. If you follow any of the Chuck crew on Twitter you may also remember that the flu swept through the Chuck cast and crew like a firestorm in those last weeks of filming. Yvonne in particular tweeted from her sick-bed where she spent three days recovering. Adam Baldwin was also sick part of the time. So we might want to give them some slack if the kiss seemed less enthusiastic that some would have liked.

      As far as I’m concerned they gave us their all for 5 great seasons, I think we owe it to them to believe they played it the way they thought it should go, given the characters and what they were feeling rather than amp it up for the fans.

      Jeff has mentioned the production bubble, and I don’t doubt that it was a factor in missing the possible controversy, but I also think that they were going for an emotional farewell where they could once again share with their fans exactly what we were all feeling. Acknowledging a sense of loss, giving us a bittersweet sense of hope for the future, and showing us the joy that we could re-live the entire story as often as we wanted. They haven’t taken Sarah away, she was there with Chuck right to the end, and her memories or not, we can re-live her story and theirs as often as we like.

      • ww1posterfan says:

        Ernie,

        Beautifully said. Thanks for putting it to “paper.”

      • joe says:

        Great comment, Ernie. I have only one tiny quibble:

        The laughing, crying, the joy at hearing their story [Sarah] and her reaction were something we’d never seen from Sarah before season 4-5,…

        As far as I’m concerned, this is true, except for one shining moment in a dirty motel room in Barstow at the end of S2.

        It’s somehow key, though, because although we really hadn’t seen that Sarah before and we didn’t see her again until Honeymooners, we knew she was there somehow from the first, and we refused to let that character be hidden away without complaints.

        That was the Sarah we wanted 100% of the time. Fact is, the story had Chuck bring that Sarah to life in the first two seasons and we got to see her for S3.5, S4 and all but two episodes of S5. Those were precisely the moments we most enjoyed, right?

      • atcDave says:

        You know I agree with most of that analysis Ernie, and I agree that so much about this show, and the effort everyone put into it was awesome. But I’m not willing to let go of the notion that the final execution was flawed. Too many viewers missed crucial details and drew flawed conclusions. I know you are often eager to blame the viewers for that, but I cannot. It is the job of the story-teller to get the point across, and the number of upset viewers means something went wrong. I do appreciate that cast and crew worked through flu bugs, lousy weather, and an emotional farewell. But I remain convinced the end scene needed something more clear, more overt. It’s a close thing, and I can see everything you mentioned with some effort; it will always annoy me that they could have added what most viewers needed with so little extra material.

      • Faith says:

        “You’re a spy now Chuck. You have to keep your feelings to your self.”

        And yet she can’t quite help herself. From the video (self) to the eerily familiar Russian restaurant, to the story. Little bits to a flood of Sarah!5 trickles out.

        Welcome to the blog, Angus. I hope you’re not the Angus that played the villain in Chuck’s last arc heh. Just kiddin you. Welcome.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave I wouldn’t say I blame fans for missing things. We all watch for different reasons and invest in different things, so we’re likely to be looking for different things. I’m trying to share what I see as the strengths of the episode and where I think TPTB put their efforts so that those who want can see a different side, or a different focus.

      • Well said, Ernie. But for me, the starkest contrast was the Sarah between Chuck vs. Sarah and the Sarah in Phase Three. If she had only one memory to recover and carry forward with her, her trip through Thailand was the one that would have made her decision an easy one.

      • @ Faith. The Macnabs and the MacFadyen’s have been feuding for centuries. Macnab’s never wash the Macfayden’s blood from their kilts, it’s a badge of honor…

      • I’ve thought a lot about what’s the one recovered memory or token that would have helped everything click. Phase 3 is an interesting one I hadn’t thought of, Angus. The Sarah+Chuck helped in the show. A lot of people have mentioned the drawing from Bullet Train, the bracelet, or the picture that made her feel safe. The one that makes the most sense for me is Emma and Molly. “Sit tight, Sarah, while I call your mom. It’s ringing. Oh, hi, Molly. It’s your Uncle Chuck. Before you get your mom on the phone, would you like to talk to your Aunt Sarah?” Sarah would know that she trusted anyone who knew about her mom and the baby.

      • Gord says:

        Ernie you mentioned the dance scene and to me one of the most significant events in that scene was Sarah fixing Chuck’s tie. We first saw that in S1 – it was Sarah’s way of expressing her affection for him, when she couldn’t admit to herself that she loved Chuck.

        Also all the mentions of Sarah/Chuck kisses and I didn’t see any mention of the motel scene in Colonel which to me was the most passionate we ever saw them. Mind you I was skimming the posts so I might have missed a reference or two.
        Also I thought another fairly passionate moment was the brief scene on the apartment couch in Business Trip where they were interrupted by Gen B just in time to keep it an 8pm network show.

        I was over on the NBC boards earlier where I have been having a dialogue with one fan in the Other Guy thread. We were talking about the fact that both that episode and the finale ended with Sarah asking Chuck to kiss her and how in Other Guy the tone was much more joyful.

        I definitely agree that the final scene in the finale was not an entirely joyful scene. Yvonne said it best when she called the finale bitter sweet. I have watched the finale at least a half dozen times and it always has a powerful emotional impact on me. For me it wasn’t a joyful ending, but it was a happy ending. I have no doubt that they all lived happily ever after.

        I know many here wanted the joyful ending, and state that the ending wasn’t in the character of Chuck, but if you look back to S2, S3 and S4 there was an element of darkness in all of those season finales – we had the death of Bryce in S2 finale, we had the death of Orion in the s3 finale and in S4 we had Sarah on death’s door in the finale and for me the darkest final moment of any season – MORGANSECT. LOL.. Granted there was a little more joy in each of those finales than we saw in the series finale, but maybe we should have expected a dramatic conclusion to this series based on what we saw in those previous seasons.

        Although I loved the ending, I probably would have enjoyed one of those joyful endings as well. I do wonder though if I would have remembered it as well as I remember the powerful emotions that the series finale evoked in me.

        As for Fedak being mean or vindictive to the fans, I’m sure that was not his intent, and I truly believe that he thought the fans would love this ending. Some of us did, but unfortunately many did not. I doubt that there are very episode (if any) that all the fans would agree was the best episode or the worst episode of this series. There are no doubt many episodes that pleased the majority of the fans, but not everyone. Yet I think in spite of the occasional show runners missteps (whichever episodes they are for you) we all pretty much agree that overall this was a great show.

        There are very few shows that I will watch reruns of even once, but just about every episode of Chuck I have rewatched so many times I have lost count and yet still manage to enjoy and sometimes even pick up new things.

      • oldresorter says:

        There is no intellectual breakthrough required to understand the end. That wasn’t the problem with it, the problem was on first viewing, many viewers, ones who stuck with the show to the bitter end, didn’t like the ending. Much like Sarah, they believed the ending, they just didn’t feel it.

      • Rob says:

        @Gord — I totally agree with the emotions that you described about the finale. I think that I was always looking for a joyful sendoff, especially after the 2 episodes building up to the end. Happy just wasn’t enough. Bittersweet also comes to mind for me.

        @Jeff — There is one other moment in the Chuck-Sarah journey that is never revisited. It is when Sarah gives Chuck her spy will, which she admits contains everything about her (including presumably her real name). According to the “spy lore” created by the show, it is the ultimate show of trust, and she never would have given it to a mere mark. That said, by not bringing up that fact or others, I think that the finale stuck to one of the fundamental concepts of the entire show. Chuck doesn’t want to have to “convince” Sarah, he wants her to act of her own free will. Ironically, Casey is often the one that has a large part in pushing the relationship forward (in the finale, his role was delivering the vlogs).

      • The spy will is another good one, Rob. I completely agree and prefer that Chuck is letting Sarah make her own choice. It’s a parallel to the “Down River” scenes in American Hero and the ice cream/whiskey scene in Other Guy. It helps make the “Tell me our story” moment more powerful for me. The convincing stories and props were more important in CvS, when they were trying to get Sarah to not kill everyone. That’s why the Sarah+Chuck and the vlog were important. Once she wasn’t pointing a gun at them, it was her choice to go to the beach, ask for their story, and tell Chuck to kiss her.

  50. Gord says:

    I never thought about the spy will good catch.
    There were a few times in the finale where I thought Sarah wanted (and was hoping) Chuck would stop her from leaving. Yet Chuck didn’t take that step.

    I also wondered about how that finale would have gone if they had Sarah’s mother involved. Presumably Chuck knows how to contact her now and Sarah could have used the emotional support. Of course Sarah would have been surprised because she wouldn’t remember that her mother was safe now.

    There are all sorts of what if’s and guest stars that could have made an impact on that finale, but I guess it came down to time.

    I have always wondered if a full 22 episode season would have changed how they ended the series or at least done a better job of building up the fans to that point. As I have said in other posts I loved the ending, but I do understand why many did not.

    If we are lucky enough to get some additional Chuck stories in some form of media (straight to dvd, tv movie, theatrical release or made for netflix series) lets hope TPTB make it something that will placate the fans that were angry with the finale.

    • atcDave says:

      We were talking on another thread about television standards and cliches, I think that’s relevant to this. Mainly that, no matter how relevant, or how much help Emma might have been to Chuck and Sarah’s problem at the end, Cheryl Ladd was not signed for another episode so she wasn’t going to play into it. And as you mention, not only is time a consideration, but TPTB had clearly decided what they wanted for an end point and we simply were not going to get to see any more of the recovery. It is too bad, there’s so much that could have been revisited from Chuck and Sarah’s love story. We had heard before the finale even ran that part of the story would be about falling in love all over; well I think that is the exact thing we didn’t see nearly enough of. I really would have loved one more episode that was basically all epilogue and centered on Sarah’s recovery. Oh well, at least we have Thinkling’s story, “Sarah vs Finding Herself“; I don’t believe any of the pro writers could have done any better!

      • garnet says:

        Second that Dave, I am loving Thinkling’s story and I agree that they missed out when they didn’t invite Thinkling to be part of the writing team. For me, I will think of it as canon. Only thing is, I suspect I am going to be just as sad when her story ends as I was with the “official” end. Perhaps we could twist her arm to do another story……

        On that note, I am amazed at the number of Chuck stories on the Fan Fic site, Over 2,500! Hard to believe CHUCK wasn’t a massive hit!

      • ArmySFC says:

        garnet, i wouldn’t get wrapped up in FF numbers. castle thats only been on for 4 years has almost 10k, hannah montanna also at 4 years has 12,000 and buffy has 44k. i’m not sure if i would say any of them are massive hit, they are good for sure but none were ratings monsters.

      • atcDave says:

        No doubt a show’s ratings success and its FF success are not closely related!

      • UST and wish fulfillment are huge factors with the number of fanfiction stories. Half way through season 3 of Castle, there were less than 2K stories. Then the first undercover kiss happened with no followup kiss for 34 episodes. Over 7400 stories have been started during that year and a half.

        Stargate SG-1 has 25K stories over 10 seasons, partly because the UST was never officially resolved in canon. The resolution was only implied–a perfect setup for fanfiction. The 25K number is low, because there are other Stargate story archives floating around.

        Chuck, on the other hand, resolved the UST very quickly, even with the S3.0 interruption. That interruption inspired a lot of stories, though.

        The comparison isn’t completely fair for another reason. chezchuckles has written and co-written 95 Castle stores since 4/18/11 (90 complete). Chuck has 668 stories started and 381 of those finished over that same period, meaning one author has 14% and 24% of the output of all Chuck writers who started stories in the last 13+ months, by the arbitrary story count stat. chezchuckles is slowing down on story count this summer because she’s in the middle of her 3rd and 4th 100 chapter stories.

    • Rob says:

      @ Gord — One of the more frustrating scenes in the last 2 episodes was the one at the fountain, when Sarah comes back to tell Chuck that she believes him but doesn’t feel it. Regardless of whether you believe she was lying or not, there was a hesitation in her departure that was a clear sign that she was looking to Chuck for some guidance, and the best he could do was “good bye.” After everything that Chuck had done to help her remember, I’m not sure why the writers would suddenly make him mute.

      • Mel says:

        “I’m not sure why the writers would suddenly make him mute”

        Over the 5 years, I think the writers demonstrated many many times that they were willing to make characters act like idiots in order to make a joke, or to make the plot work. They managed to avoid this pretty well for the first two years, but seasons 3 and 5 were bad.

      • Mel says:

        So what I’m trying to say, if Chuck had actually acted smart in the last two episodes, Fedak’s idiotic amnesia plot would have never worked.

      • aerox says:

        Stupidity got the ball rolling in the first place. “Hurr, I have the Intersect, I flash uncontrollably if I see things, and they hurt my brain and give me amnesia… I’m going to chase after Quinn now, lolbye!”

        -,-

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