Chuck Season 5 Episodes 12 & 13 Review (Series Finale): Chuck vs. the Goodbye

by Melody Simpson on January 28, 2012 · 30 comments

in Chuck

If the series finale of Chuck wasn’t a proper farewell, I do not know what is. These final two hours of Chuck were the most beautiful love letters to the fans, cast, crew, and everyone involved in supporting Chuck over these five incredible seasons. The comedy, the action, the romance, the geek references… it all came to an end last night in the most perfect way. Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak did not disappoint. Everyone poured their heart and soul into the finale and it showed. What a beautiful ending.

“Wow, it’s all ending, huh?” – Morgan

In Chuck vs. Sarah, Chuck (Zachary Levi) did not have to go far to find Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) as she made her way back to Burbank… for Chuck’s spy resources in her mission to take down Quinn. The mention of Bryce’s name was the first butterfly to flutter and there were many more after that as the series finale aired. The final nod to Battlestar Galactica did not go unnoticed. We were able to see Chuck riding in the Nerd Herd vehicle one last time. And the flashbacks. Oh, the flashbacks. From the first kiss to the proposal and everything in between… what a wonderful five years this has been. While we will always cherish the moment of Sarah’s moves on the dance floor on her “first date” with Chuck… for some reason, the reference to the yogurt shop is what brought on the choking on your own tears moment over here. What about you?

Chuck wanting to destroy the intersect and Sarah following her orders from Quinn to upload the intersect into the glasses brought a tension that we have never seen before. Everything was going smooth until Sarah showed her “true” colors and attempted to kill her husband, John Casey (Adam Baldwin), and Morgan (Joshua Gomez). Say what you want about Morgan being a terrible person with the intersect… Sarah went above and beyond. If Chuck hadn’t kept one foot in reality, those glasses would not have been switched. But Chuck. Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. My, has he grown over the years. Sarah taught him well. And love drove him to make right decision after right decision after right decision. Love drove Ellie into a parked car with Sarah holding her at gunpoint sitting in shotgun. Love won. Love prevailed. Spies this team may be but its matters of the heart that was the mission this week.

“If you would use a plate when you were eating taquitos, I wouldn’t have to scrub the floors.” – John Casey

When Quinn gets what he wants and turns on Sarah, no time is wasted as Chuck takes the shot for Sarah and tells her to run. They say that if you love someone, let them go. Watching Chuck do that was one of the hardest moments of the episode. With Sarah so far gone, with her memory of certain things (none of which included memories of her relationship with Chuck) coming back slowly, and time dwindling away… it was unclear just how Chuck would get her back. Sarah may not have been open to working things out with Chuck had John Casey not found her and given her the mission log. Watching Sarah’s mission log created yet another tearjerker moment of the night. Sarah may not have felt anything for Chuck before, but at least now (and after hearing their story from Chuck himself) she was finally open to the idea of being won back. Sarah fell in love with a nerd once, Chuck would not allow for such a thing not to happen again. It was like watching the love story all over again. Not only that but Sarah’s interactions with Casey brought upon déjà vu as well. Talk about hard beginnings. If not for Chuck, these two would not have opened up their lives as they have done and to be reminded of that, it’s wonderful. Chuck fans were in for such a treat with the finale. We were given everything we could have ever expected and more. From the comedy to the romance to the drama, we were overwhelmed with all of the reasons we love Chuck in both “Chuck vs. Sarah” and “Chuck vs. the Goodbye.”

“A cloak of invisibility! Yes! You’re a wizard, Harry.” – Morgan

What a host of familiar faces the finale brought! General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) was not a surprise. Although the Get Smart orchestra activates the bomb story line was. Chuck deciding to upload the intersect one last time in order to cut off the bomb instead of uploading Sarah’s memories of their relationship for her was one of the toughest decisions that Chuck has ever had to make. Watching him make that decision definitely garnered some tears but he is a guy that knows how to do the right thing. Time and time again, that has been tested and every time and chooses right. As difficult as it may have been this time, it was still the right decision. All of that said, he still needed help keeping the music going. Cut to his fellow nerds. Lester (Vik Sahay) and Jeff (Scott Krinsky) may not have been able to convince Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence) about their saving the day moment but these nerds came through big time on their first and last mission. Their eavesdropping and determination to figure out the truth about Chuck saved lives… all while being able to rock the house like they’ve always dreamed of doing. The record deal from Germany that followed was shocking to say the least. But someone out there likes this duo and if they can garner one fan, these two have done their job.

Mary (Linda Hamilton) returning to help save the day was a pleasant surprise. Awesome covering Clara’s eyes as she held the gun brought for yet another laugh out loud moment. More importantly though, the entire (living) Bartowski clan was involved in the mission! Thank you Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak, thank you! Talk about a perfect delivery. What a precious gift this finale is. Really, there is not enough gratitude in the world to express to the writers for all that they included in the series finale. Watching Casey and Sarah walk out of Castle for the last time was a tough pill to swallow. But the ending was perfect. Bittersweet. Morgan and Alex (Mekenna Melvin) moving in together was predictable and yet suspect given how Alex has reacted in the past in this relationship. But things have been going well after all and perhaps in living together, Alex will take off the rose colored glasses and be able to not take the things that Morgan says in complete seriousness as a joke. Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) getting offers to work in Chicago was a very fitting and well deserved ending for these two. Chuck telling Sarah their story on the beach with just one kiss bringing her back… beautiful. Truly moving. Sarah’s tears moved viewers everywhere but that kiss brought it home. What a satisfying ending. Everything about the series finale was done right. Every note was hit just right and made for the best series finale of 2012… and the year has just begun. Who else is counting down the months until the Chuck Season 5 Blu-ray/DVD release? Brilliant finale. We will never forget you Chuck! A+.

Favorite Moments:
*The intervention in Chuck’s bedroom was quite comical.

*Chuck accidentally shooting down John Casey’s helicopter in his attempt to shoot a warning shot to Quinn was hysterical. Chuck is not a killer. Anything goes in order not to not hit his target, ehh?

*The “last dance,” if you will, was beautiful.

*Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth

{ 30 comments }

Somarie January 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Loved the finale! Sorry that it end! Chuck was the only show I was able to watch with my kids! What a lost! :(

Sanivdmerwe January 29, 2012 at 3:02 am

I cried so much. But I thought the end to be a bit blunt. if only with the last kiss had she put a arm around him too! remember her touching his foot was something she had to stage because she did not remember doing it, she overheard Chuck discuss this with Ellie. But I guess if she fell in love with him once she will love him again. It still leaves me with so much questions, would her memory return like Morgan, s when he had the bad version of the intersect? …..

Sanivdmerwe January 29, 2012 at 3:02 am

I cried so much. But I thought the end to be a bit blunt. if only with the last kiss had she put a arm around him too! remember her touching his foot was something she had to stage because she did not remember doing it, she overheard Chuck discuss this with Ellie. But I guess if she fell in love with him once she will love him again. It still leaves me with so much questions, would her memory return like Morgan, s when he had the bad version of the intersect? …..

Sanivdmerwe January 29, 2012 at 3:02 am

I cried so much. But I thought the end to be a bit blunt. if only with the last kiss had she put a arm around him too! remember her touching his foot was something she had to stage because she did not remember doing it, she overheard Chuck discuss this with Ellie. But I guess if she fell in love with him once she will love him again. It still leaves me with so much questions, would her memory return like Morgan, s when he had the bad version of the intersect? …..

paul gonzagowski January 30, 2012 at 6:30 am

what the heck u like that piece of crap.

BEEEEEEEEEJ January 29, 2012 at 12:58 am

Did you actually watch the show? You made a ton of mistakes in retelling what happened:

In the first episode they have dinner at a mexican restaurant and dance at a club.
They revisit the weinerlicious, which was clearly not the (FROZEN) yogurt cover, orange orange. 
Ellie drove into a parked car to stop Sarah, not a tree.

BEEEEEEEEEJ January 29, 2012 at 12:58 am

Did you actually watch the show? You made a ton of mistakes in retelling what happened:

In the first episode they have dinner at a mexican restaurant and dance at a club.
They revisit the weinerlicious, which was clearly not the (FROZEN) yogurt cover, orange orange. 
Ellie drove into a parked car to stop Sarah, not a tree.

BEEEEEEEEEJ January 29, 2012 at 12:58 am

Did you actually watch the show? You made a ton of mistakes in retelling what happened:

In the first episode they have dinner at a mexican restaurant and dance at a club.
They revisit the weinerlicious, which was clearly not the (FROZEN) yogurt cover, orange orange. 
Ellie drove into a parked car to stop Sarah, not a tree.

BEEEEEEEEEJ January 29, 2012 at 12:58 am

Did you actually watch the show? You made a ton of mistakes in retelling what happened:

In the first episode they have dinner at a mexican restaurant and dance at a club.
They revisit the weinerlicious, which was clearly not the (FROZEN) yogurt cover, orange orange. 
Ellie drove into a parked car to stop Sarah, not a tree.

ElrondS January 29, 2012 at 3:02 am

It’s a sad moment when a great show ends, but unlike a lot of great shows (SG:U) that get canceled, this show planed for the ending and it did not disapoint. Season 5 was a bit of a lettdown for me (The Volkof story was better and hard season to follow), untill the last 3 episodes. One word : Nostalgia, all the things that made this show great, a lot of the great scenes we know and love, the humor, the comedy, the action, this ending had it all.
Thank You Chuck!

ElrondS January 29, 2012 at 3:02 am

It’s a sad moment when a great show ends, but unlike a lot of great shows (SG:U) that get canceled, this show planed for the ending and it did not disapoint. Season 5 was a bit of a lettdown for me (The Volkof story was better and hard season to follow), untill the last 3 episodes. One word : Nostalgia, all the things that made this show great, a lot of the great scenes we know and love, the humor, the comedy, the action, this ending had it all.
Thank You Chuck!

ElrondS January 29, 2012 at 3:02 am

It’s a sad moment when a great show ends, but unlike a lot of great shows (SG:U) that get canceled, this show planed for the ending and it did not disapoint. Season 5 was a bit of a lettdown for me (The Volkof story was better and hard season to follow), untill the last 3 episodes. One word : Nostalgia, all the things that made this show great, a lot of the great scenes we know and love, the humor, the comedy, the action, this ending had it all.
Thank You Chuck!

Diana January 29, 2012 at 5:42 am

I would have to disagree… I thought after watching Chuck for 5 years, the ending would have been more touching and emotional, as the show had always been. I sobbed just because I can’t understand why the producers decided to take it off the air – One of the Best shows on TV gone, so we can watch the new comers like Pan Am and working Girls. What a JOKE. I hope they left it open, just in case they decide to bring Chuck back. Erasing Sara’s memory also SUCKED!

BTW – I just got 1 hour, not 2!

paul gonzagowski January 30, 2012 at 6:34 am

i think we all should  get together and throw eggs at josh schwartz and chris fedak for make a piece of crap series finale.

DLW January 29, 2012 at 5:54 am

The creators have stated in interviews that she will eventually get all of her memories back, and to take the ending as that – it’s a slow process, but it would eventually happen, with Irene Demova and her cleaning habits at the Wienerlicious as the tip offs.

With this last scene, however, the power of it is that Chuck got Sarah to fall in love with him all over again. She went back to being the Sarah of Season 1, but by the end of Chuck relating their lives she was completely changed again – maybe not the Sarah of the second-to-last episode of the series, but a changed Sarah nonetheless, and in a short matter of time no less. The end was deliberately ambiguous in some ways, but what is glaringly obvious is that CHUCK GOT SARAH BACK. It was just done in a way no one was expecting, and that’s what made it work so well.

It’s also glaringly obvious that everyone involved with the show wants it to continue in some form or another, which is why it was left open. Question is, as what? Comic books? Tie-in novels? Audio/radio drama like Big Finish’s programs in the UK? I like Zach Levi’s idea of an online only reunion movie picking up where we left off. The online community would take to that like rabid wildebeests.

DLW January 29, 2012 at 5:54 am

The creators have stated in interviews that she will eventually get all of her memories back, and to take the ending as that – it’s a slow process, but it would eventually happen, with Irene Demova and her cleaning habits at the Wienerlicious as the tip offs.

With this last scene, however, the power of it is that Chuck got Sarah to fall in love with him all over again. She went back to being the Sarah of Season 1, but by the end of Chuck relating their lives she was completely changed again – maybe not the Sarah of the second-to-last episode of the series, but a changed Sarah nonetheless, and in a short matter of time no less. The end was deliberately ambiguous in some ways, but what is glaringly obvious is that CHUCK GOT SARAH BACK. It was just done in a way no one was expecting, and that’s what made it work so well.

It’s also glaringly obvious that everyone involved with the show wants it to continue in some form or another, which is why it was left open. Question is, as what? Comic books? Tie-in novels? Audio/radio drama like Big Finish’s programs in the UK? I like Zach Levi’s idea of an online only reunion movie picking up where we left off. The online community would take to that like rabid wildebeests.

Minifoot4 January 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm

She should have flashed with all of her memories at the end… That would have made it perfect.

paul gonzagowski January 30, 2012 at 6:39 am

what would have been better if sarah and chuck have a kid and morgan and alex and john casey and gertrude verbanski have a double wedding.

Ben G January 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

totally awesome, this said, I would have love to see any sign of change in Sarah’s behaviour, in action or on the beach; anything to show here momories are getting back. God, they both got the Intersect in their head! An what about that drawing they made in the train, with both of them and a baby in front of their dream house? I thought that would have been a powerfull tool to get her memory back, together with their name engraved in the door frame.
I’ll miss them, I truely love them

Buzzing4eva January 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

she did remember the carving on the door frame, but i don’t thnik chuck showed her the drawing of the house with white picket fence did he? sorry if i’m wrong, but chuck and sarah belong together…….. Even if i would like her for myself lol.. yvonne strahovski that is.lol

Jim January 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

The show made many wrong turns, the writing has suffered, and ever since the
boneheads in charge took the intersect from Chuck the show has simply sucked.
Casey got fat, Ellie got fat, Chucks Mom got fat, they brought in Carrie Ann
Moss FAT, and the acting got fat. And you know all that fat is not good for
you…that’s what killed CHUCK…fat, lazy scripts and actors who forgot how to
mesh. The show died from within, and it was obvious nobody at Chuck gave a damn
about it. The entire series was in hospice the last two seasons dying a slow death starving from lack of attention.

Buzzing4eva January 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Everyone like my comment and i’ll try my ass off to get a season 6 of chuck, jeffster was cool in the series finale, chuck and sarah belong together, and ya can’t not like caseys growl when they say something nice about him…

Rshrock January 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Chuck was one of the best shows on tv! Sorry to c it go. But, I did not like the finale at all.

Sliders72 January 30, 2012 at 6:27 am

THE SERIES SUCKED SO BAD I FEEL LIKE THROWING EGGS AT CHRIS FEDAK AND JOSH SCHWARTZ AND IF THE CAST HAD A PART OF THE SERIES FINALE I WOULD BE HAPPY TO THROW EGGS AT ALL OF THEM.IT SUCKED GET A CLUE AND REDO THE SERIES FINALE.

SIGNED YOU PISSED AWAY 5 YEARS OF MY LIFE FOR SUCK ASS ENDING.

Loved the ending! January 31, 2012 at 9:59 am

The ending was perfect. And everyone who says otherwise is a complete moron.

Guest February 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm

The show was awesome. Totally worth every time spent.
However, it annoyed me that they “ruined” it everything with making it such a bad ending.
Why make that mysterious “whats gonna happend next” ending when it like 2 episodes back would be perfect for the normal “hollywood ending”. 

A great show, and sad it is over. But the ending – why?!

Vergara April 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm

To everyone who dont’t get it:

Having a new falling in love as long as possible is a much better ending than the old silly kissing ending. 

Have you ever thought about any couple after the Hollywood kiss? What when the falling in love ends and the stale routine of any married couple begins?

What Chuck/Sarah got, instead, was a great everlasting emotions of a brand new relationship spiced with a flashback here and there until they really love  each other from there on to eternity

Vergara April 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm

To everyone who dont’t get it:

Having a new falling in love as long as possible is a much better ending than the old silly kissing ending. 

Have you ever thought about any couple after the Hollywood kiss? What when the falling in love ends and the stale routine of any married couple begins?

What Chuck/Sarah got, instead, was a great everlasting emotions of a brand new relationship spiced with a flashback here and there until they really love  each other from there on to eternity

Stephen Thornton May 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I loved the show but disliked the ending. People try to justify it in that “oh but he got her to fall in love with him again”, well that’s nice for him but what about her.  Just a few episodes earlier we saw that she has a little sister, was reunited with her mother, she expressed how happy she was to finally have a family.  Her evolution as a character was going from a loner into this women who was open with her emotions, has real friends and family and was ready to start a family!  That’s the Sarah I wanted to see at the end of this journey. The Sarah who though being a hardcore spy for the majority of her life was finally ready to leave it all behind for a real life.  That’s what I wanted it and I think her fans deserved.  Instead we have her mind wiped so we can stroll down memory lane for the final episode into a bitter sweet ending?!  Why oh why? 

What about all those relationships she built, with John, Morgan, and Ellie. Now everyone is moving on, how is she going to rebuild those?  Especially Ellie, who’s final interaction was being threaten and almost killed by her.  We were treated to seeing the final evolution of all our favorite characters in this finale, Morgan, Casey with him hugging Chuck, General Beckman with her clear admiration for this team, Ellie and Awesome etc, heck even Jeff and Lester were allowed to move on.  But the two stars, the characters the show revolved around are essentially reset to ground zero?!  How is that romantic?  We were there to see all those first moments and they were fantastic, since the middle of season 3 we moved well past the “will they, won’t they” phase, and honestly that totally opened up Sarah to some real character progression.  I loved her character and how she grew over time, that was one of the chief themes of the show, how Chuck had changed her world, that’s what I wanted to see at the end, how these two were ready to move forward, possibly having a family or Charmichael industries (whatever form it would take) but we were robbed of seeing the final version of Sarah and that makes me upset.  I’ve tried to explain it away, rationalize it, etc. but the ending , as emotional as it was, just left me sad/melancholy, now whenever I think of the show I’m left with this awfully sad feeling that  I don’t want.  The show was so full of joy, why couldn’t we end on a high note a go out with a bang?  I would have preferred any of the numerous “almost series finales” from season 3 onward.  Like season 4 when Sarah almost died but it ended with them getting married, that was a fitting conclusion and reward to their journey, not her growth and character development, relationships (not just with Chuck) being erased.  

I’ve seen the explanations and how some fans feel it was “beautiful” , but I think the whole final story was unnecessary.  I didn’t need to see her memory erased so he could win her back. It was unnecessary.  He already had the girl, and we were all happy about it.  Why complicate things and regress her, just for dramatic effect? The Christmas episode would’ve been another great place to end the show, the stakes were high, we had the return of the worst villain, his plan was explained etc, and Sarah was in jeopardy, everyone worked together to save the day and Chuck without the Intersect showed just how far he’d come, with a little assistance from Ellie.  Now that was a perfect note to end on.  Sarah and Chuck intact and ready for the next stage of their lives.  but no, after we just celebrated how much Sarah’s life had changed, how she had a family and wanted to have kids, with some many beautiful moments between Chuck and Sarah highlighted what a great relationship they had, one of truly knowing each other through and through and being completely comfortable together, after all of that awesomeness…some genius decided “hey let’s copy Smallville and mindwipe one of our main characters…b/c if Smallville did it, it must be a good idea”.

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