Opinion: My Top 10 ‘Chuck’ Scenes of All Time

Most TV critics wrote their top ten scenes of Chuck’s five season run right before the series finale which aired last Friday. Me? I had to wait for the final episode before I could do that. And even then… I needed a few days to process it all. Part of me wanted to put that final scene on the beach in here. Another part wanted me to put the final Jeffster performance in this list. But alas, no scenes from the final episodes make it into this article—though they do come close.

This article is titled “My Top Ten Chuck Scenes of All Time” because I know a lot of you may disagree with me—especially anyone who hated Shaw. (Sorry, season 3 is my favorite season of all time, and I credit a lot of that with Shaw, even when he was a good buy.) I don’t even include any scenes from the episode about the Giant Blonde She-Male since, well sorry folks, I didn’t love that episode like most people. Instead, I focused on scenes that are still in my head, even years later. Scenes where I can remember the exact words, how the scene was lit and the way the emotions played on screen—even without the handy YouTube clip.

So here they are. In chronological order: my top ten Chuck scenes of all time.

Bryce Larkin Comes Back. (Season 1 – Chuck Versus the Imported Salami)
Most people would cite the kiss, the first real kiss between Chuck and Sarah, as one of their favorite scenes from the show. Don’t get me wrong—it’s a great scene. But I love the reveal instead of Bryce Larkin being alive. He wound up being a key recurring figure for the next season or so, and I’m glad they didn’t actually kill him all the way back in the pilot.

Sarah Kills Fulcrum Agent. (Season 2 – Chuck Versus Santa Claus)

Casey certainly never fretted about killing people on Chuck (even if it was rare), but watching Sarah cold-bloodingly kill a Fulcrum agent to protect Chuck’s identity is pretty memorable, especially since Chuck watches her do it and has to hear her lie about it later. The other thing I love about this episode is when it takes a dramatic turn from funny to dead serious when Frank Mauser utters the line, “We know John Casey is NSA.”

The On-the-Run Kiss. (Season 2 – Chuck Versus the Coronel)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuFJYH7m9Co[/youtube]

Sure, Chuck and Sarah had had a passionate kiss before (see the first entry in this list). But this fugitive kiss which allllllmost resulted in sex (Morgan stolen Chuck’s condom) was pretty incredible, especially thanks to the song climaxing when they actually kissed. Chuck is and always was known for an incredible soundtrack, but no song perfectly captured a moment like this elsewhere in the series’ run the way Creature Fear by Bon Iver did in this scene.

I know kung fu.” (Season 2 – Chuck Versus the Ring)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc4a3haKLyg[/youtube]
It was a game changing moment that completely changed the direction of the series going forward—Chuck finally embracing that he does indeed want to be a spy and he can be the hero. It also could have been, at the time, our final scene of Chuck ever (you’ll notice a lot of Chuck “fake” endings in this list), and man, am I glad everyone went out and bought all those Subway sandwiches. (Also of note: lost in this awesome moment, is the incredibly poignant moment of Bryce Larkin being killed.)

Morgan Coming into the Fold. (Season 3 – Chuck Versus the Beard)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_fp-YtnGnA[/youtube]
By season 3, most fans were clamoring for someone besides Captain Awesome to know Chuck’s secret—especially his best friend, Morgan. Over the course of season 3, Morgan was becoming increasingly upset that Chuck seemed to be lying to him about something. Most shows would have taken the moment when Chuck confessed his secret to have Morgan become even more mad at him for lying to him. But Chuck went the smart direction and had Morgan be overjoyed at the news. Morgan’s delivery of, “Book ‘em Sarah. Excuse me. Agent Walker.” was a hysterical end to Morgan finding out, but what I still remember looking back on this is how excited I was as Morgan was wandering through Castle for the first time and being shocked that the writers were finally going there…

Chuck Kills Shaw. (Well, He Thinks He Does.) (Season 3 – Chuck Versus the Other Guy)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5o2mD96wEI[/youtube]
One of the main plotlines of the first half of season 3 was the idea that as Chuck became more and more like a spy, Sarah began to fall out of love with him—culminating in her thinking he killed an agent on the railroad tracks. (Something Casey did and eventually admitted to.) When Shaw threatened to kill Sarah however, Chuck had no hesitation and killed him, in easily one of my top scenes of all times—in fact it may be my favorite scene of all time. It’s only slightly not as impactful knowing that Shaw didn’t die. (But the twist of him coming back alive was pretty amazing.)

Chuck’s Dad Dies. (Season 3 – Chuck Versus the Subway)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvSpPKlfhZs[/youtube]
The death of Chuck’s dad was shocking and emotional, and more than Bryce’s death, it had huge ramifications for the show going forward. There were rumors of them thinking about bringing him back, and I’m so glad they didn’t. This death mattered, even seasons later.

Bonus: one of my other favorite scenes of all time takes place at the very end of this episode when we find out that Ellie, Awesome and Morgan are getting ready to do the rescue and Ellie says she’s ready to give everything up to save her brother, but, well, including two scenes from one episode seemed silly. One of my chief complaints about Season 4 was the fact that Ellie was suddenly being lied to by Chuck again with him claiming he wasn’t a spy anymore. The scene below showed how much promise there would be if Ellie was in on the secret. She, Captain Awesome and Morgan are the ones to save our main three heroes from Shaw when he’s about to kill them. It was improbable, and slightly funny, but still thrilling.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1WA87ONd9c[/youtube]

Chuck Proposes to Sarah. (Season 4 – Chuck Versus the Push Mix)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_syAVGtwg8[/youtube]
Chuck the show has had to come up with a lot of endings over the years because of the possibility of cancellation. This proposal scene, so expertly shot with the floor washer in the foreground, is probably the best “fake” endings of Chuck. It comes after an amazing Jeffster performance, has a great song accompanying the scene (Young Blood by the Naked and the Famous) and the writers/director are smart enough to know we don’t even need to hear the words—we just need to see the scene. (Bonus: I also love Beckman’s delivery of the line, “Get this man a chopper!” a few minutes earlier.)

Morgan Gets the Intersect. (Season 4 – Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caCllW80Qh8[/youtube]
However, had THIS, been one of those “fake” endings of Chuck that turned out to be real, half of the fans would have been pretty angry, and half the fans would have been pretty happy. (I’d have been in the latter half.) Love it or hate it, this is a scene you can hardly forget if you’re a fan of Chuck—Morgan of all people, becomes the latest to get the Intersect. As much as they bungled that storyline in season 5, I loved this scene in that moment.

Jeff and Lester Save the Day. (Season 5 – Chuck Versus the Bullet Train)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_v0pDtT9Ng[/youtube]
Another thing that was divisive amongst fans was whether or not the Buy More-ians belonged in the show, especially after Chuck and Casey’s covers became increasingly unimportant. I always liked Jeffster, but didn’t love until the final season. The producers wisely got them more involved with the spy hijinks with them spending episodes trying to find out what was “off” in the store—thanks to Jeff being made normal by Captain Awesome earlier in the season. I thought for sure that they had been fooled into not finding out the truth at one point, but sure enough, Casey had to call on them to save the day and rescue Alex, Morgan and Awesome. The rescue scene was amazing, with them of course going for the most dangerous weapons in his car, resulting in Lester with a cigar and in a body of armor, while Jeff rocks a flame thrower. Oh, and Oh Canada, plays in the background. (Lester is Canadian). What a cheer worthy scene!

Alan Danzis is a lifelong TV watcher, especially of serialized dramas. In his top five list of all time, you’ll find The Shield, The Wire, Deadwood, Lost and Friday Night Lights. (He’s not sure where Mad Men and Breaking Bad go yet since they haven’t finished airing.) But his favorite thing to watch are the sci-fi shows, like Battlestar Galactica, anything British and sci-fi, and shows with vampires. He even put up with Terra Nova, because, well, it had dinosaurs and time travel–you had him at just one of those things. If you can stand his nerdy interests, you can follow him on Twitter at @adanzis.

Full Disclosure: Alan Danzis works at Ketchum Public Relations, which is his day job. His opinions here are his own and do not reflect the opinions of Ketchum, nor the clients Ketchum works with. His BuzzFocus.com writing is wholly unrelated.

Is NBC The Right Place For J.J. Abrams’ Next Sci-Fi ‘Revolution’?

jj abrams revolutionJ.J. Abrams is at it again. As if he wasn’t busy enough launching television series at every television network, Abrams sold another pilot called Revolution, this time at NBC. Revolution follows a family trying to reunite in a post-apocalyptic world where technology and energy has blacked out. Sounds like your average Abrams pitch mixed with post-apocalyptic elements from comic books The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man mixed in with it. Supernatural head writer Eric Kripke will write pilot and Bryan Burk (Super 8) will executive produce. Abrams also sold a hotel management dramedy pilot to the CW earlier this week called Shelter (formerly titled Maine).

Editor’s Pick: See Who’s Joining The Cast of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek 2

Abrams is one of the busiest men in the business as filming has begun on the Untitled Star Trek Sequel and he currently has three television series airing on two of the four major networks: Fringe and Alcatraz on Fox and Person of Interest on CBS. While not a constant presence on either show, Abrams does serve as executive producer on each project and has served as a writer and music composer on many of his shows as well. If Revolution successfully launches on NBC, that would give him a stake in three of the four major networks. (Let’s also remember that Abrams had a long standing relationship with ABC including five seasons of Alias, two seasons of What about Brian?, and six with Lost.) That is dependent of course if Fringe sees a fifth season.

Editor’s Pick: Lessons Alcatraz Should Take From Other J.J. Abrams Shows

After the winter session of the TCAs, Fox left fans dangling and waiting for the future of Abrams’ Fringe despite its imaginative storytelling and ability to fill the science fiction network void sufficiently. Fringe has a loyal following but in four seasons it has not grown that base to a point where it is profitable. If we’re being honest, its days are numbered. It’s marketed poorly. Fox would rather put its energy towards more reliable horses like American Idol and Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch, understandably. So once again we circle around the old issue of science fiction and genre television and their lack of support on major networks. It’s not unreasonable to achieve numbers that any cable network would be proud to have for multiple seasons. But to be kept on the air at Fox, ABC, NBC or CBS, shows need to shoot for and bring in total audiences of eight figures on a weekly basis.

alcatraz jorge garcia


Editor’s Pick: 5 Thinks Fringe Must Do To Get Back On Track

One wonders whether or not NBC of all places can sustain a high concept series in the sci-fi genre, much less another Abrams-produced show. His first run with NBC was with Undercovers, which only got to air 11 of the 13 episodes made before getting the ax in November 2010 and that was a spy show. The reality-based alien dramaThe Event was a drawn-out exercise in futility, trying to capture the legions of Lost fans still wandering in the wake of losing their favorite show. Unlike Fringe, The Event‘s relatively loyal though continually dwindling fan base could not pull it through to the 2011-2012 TV season. We recently put to rest Chuck, a geek-friendly spy series where NBC tortured its fans for the last three seasons. If that wasn’t enough to build a case against NBC’s handling of genre material, I’ll briefly utter the words Heroes and Wonder Woman pilot. I think I made a few people shudder on that last sentence. Really, J.J., this network has as much hospitality towards sci-fi as much as a Howard Johnson hotel in the middle of Gary, Indiana.

This season Grimm was launched late in the fall season and has somehow survived despite bombarding viewers with modern fairy tale genre, newly established on TV by ABC’s Once Upon A Time, while adding to the endless chain of weekly procedurals at the same time. Genre fans are already fearing NBC’s other promising new sci-fi show, the Inception-esque crime show Awake, which will debut in March 1. Response from the pilot has been superb, but let’s be honest, we’re going to be watching halfheartedly knowing that it will likely struggle in the ratings too. How much faith can you put in a show when the first thing you ask is, ‘How long a leash will NBC give it?’ Will we be asking the same thing about Revolution? Unfortunately, this is how we’ve become primed with NBC dramas. It’s a rarity when something isn’t canceled or is on the bubble, especially if it falls outside the law and order classifications. The network is a farm for half-hour comedies and talent shows.

fringe promoNeedless to say I am less than enamored that Revolution landed at NBC. They are a struggling network that is trying to redefine itself and because of that uncertainty, who knows if they’re the best place to land Abrams’ latest pilot? Revolution sounds as interesting as any other Abrams project, though not so special that I can’t wait. I’m sure it will have that promise of many years of stories and the sci-fi elements will be subtle in the beginning to lure as big a crowd as possible before it gets too nerdy and scare the mainstream away. NBC will likely stop promoting the show after its premiere and will hope and pray as it does so often with its marginal performers–praising it but not offering any creative way to really feature the show on a consistent basis. I hope I’m proven wrong, I’d be glad to see a TV “Revolution” begin at NBC. If not, maybe the CW will give you a nice deal for two pilots. At least we know it’ll last six or seven seasons there. In fact, I’ll take bets on which lasts longer, Shelter or Revolution? Trust me, you’ll get better odds on this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

I will give Abrams plenty of credit for getting the networks to buy into his shows–no doubt a difficult feat–but I’ll be honest. Before launching all of these other series, it would have been nice to see Abrams focus a majority of his mojo into getting Fringe to stick around long enough to leave on its own terms. Star Trek 2 isn’t even on anyone’s radar yet and won’t hit theaters until 2013, yet there he is. And let’s say that NBC picks up Revolution for the fall or the 2013 mid-season schedule, and the unavoidable you-know-what hits the fan, will Abrams be around to make sure it defies NBC’s genre curse or will he be selling his next sci-fi pitch to the network who bids the highest? Either way, let’s just save fans the trouble and see if another network is interested, otherwise I’ll be practicing “Taps” in the corner.

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

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

Chuck Goes Out with a Bang for Series Finale, but ABC News & Shark Tank Dominate Friday

After five seasons, Chuck fans gathered in droves by their TVs to give their favorite Buy-More-employee turned spy a sendoff worthy of an international superstar. NBC’s presentation of the two-hour season finale, starring Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski, took in 4.2 million viewers between 8 and 10 PM on Friday, Jan 28. It was a season 5 high for Chuck. Among adults 18-49, the series posted a 1.3 rating. Viewers continued to tune in throughout the night as the series drew in higher numbers during in the second hour, “Chuck Versus the Goodbye.” It was a great showing for Chuck, showing that fans continued to love their comedic espionage drama.

However, ABC dominated the night with What Would You Do? and Shark Tank, both of which aired during Chuck’s competing 8-10 PM slot on NBC. ABC News ranked first for What Would You Do?, which had a 1.7 rating and 5.2 million viewers. Shark Tank came in second for the network with a 1.6 rating and 5.4 million viewers. 20/20 followed in third for ABC a 1.5 rating and 5.7 million viewers.

Fringe trailed behind the Chuck series finale, but still saw an upswing in viewership. The sci-fi series rated a 1.2, up from 1.1. over the past two weeks, with 3.4 million viewers.

What did you tune into this Friday?

‘Chuck’ Season 5 Episode 11 Review: Chuck vs. the Bullet Train

Chuck began with a very special opening title, one fans will definitely appreciate especially since this was not the series finale and fans would love nothing more for familiarity come then. Perhaps the original opening awaits us in the finale episode? No matter, this week was the calm before the storm and an almost movie like opening set the tone perfectly for this week and the final episode. Embrace the movie like opening, people because this is it.

In “Chuck vs. the Bullet Train,” Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and John Casey (Adam Baldwin) are on a mission to rescue Chuck (Zachary Levi), to Chuck’s surprise, with the intersect in Sarah’s head. Chuck was understandably worried about this result but watching the two later bond over how awesome the intersect benefits are was quite a moment. There are not many people on the earth who have had the intersect in their head, let alone a husband and a wife, so this was definitely a touching moment. In fact, Chuck’s time detained on the train turned out to be a wonderful romantic getaway, at least for a few hours until Casey’s hand was forced and Sarah found herself with a case of memory loss and an order to kill Chuck. What an incredibly touching moment for Casey, turning over his own men to save his daughter. There are not enough words to describe how moving this moment was. We’ll have to wait and see what becomes of this in the series finale, which brings the anticipation to an all time high.

Everything about this episode was so well crafted and timed. What may have surprised viewers is finding that while Sarah clearly needed saving from the intersect, she was not the only one in need of help. Sure, Chuck was detained but we’ve seen the gang get each other out of such situations before, this wasn’t really the conflict at hand. Sarah’s latest mission and Casey’s forced hand make for most of the suspense of the night. One conflict led to another, each minute was more suspenseful than the previous. If Morgan (Joshua Gomez) thought he had it easy back at Castle, he thought wrong.

Back at Castle, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) run tests on Morgan with Alex (Mekenna Melvin) by their side to figure out when and how Morgan’s brain deteriorated at the time that the intersect was in his head. Woo hoo! Ellie and Awesome in Castle working on the intersect, who would have thought we would have seen this day? Did anybody notice though that we did not see the “jerk” side of Sarah like we did Morgan? While Morgan had the intersect longer than her, the number of flashes that Sarah experienced were enough to make her forget her own fiance. So it is interesting that the memory loss was a major focus but a bad attitude, a selfish, egotistical attitude was not at all touched upon. Hmm.

Unfortunately, while Morgan is being tested, Alex takes a break from being the supportive girlfriend and heads up to the Buy More. Bad move. Alex ends up kidnapped by the big bad’s crew dressed as Buy More employees and the rest we will find out in the finale. While unfortunate to ask, has anyone else been slightly irritated by Alex’s actions this season? She is far too oblivious and carefree for someone whose father and boyfriend both work for Carmichael Industries. Not believing Morgan the numerous times that he told her about a certain mission (gone wrong), she laughed it off, knowing all that has happened. So why would she go for a walk in Buy More when some of those situations in fact took place in that very spot? The safest place to be was Castle and she walked right out. Disappointing. While many would love to see the series finale end in one nicely wrapped bow, this does bring up the question, “Who will not make it out on a high note when we last leave them?”

While “Chuck vs. the Bullet Train” was indeed a wonderful episode, many may have found themselves thinking throughout the hour broadcast, “I wonder how this ties into the finale” and “I hope this gets answered in the finale” and even “General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) better be in the series finale!” There’s so much going through the mind at this time, it at times may have been overwhelming to watch. Lester (Vik Sahay) and Jeff (Scott Krinsky) reeled us back in when the gang had no choice but to use them for help. Was anyone else wondering where Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence) was in all of this? Too bad he wasn’t clued in. But the less, the better? Anyway, Nicholas Quinn (guest star, Angus Macfadyen) was not given as much screen time as I anticipated but when he was seen, he made a major impression. Still, some may find it hard to find the energy to care about this villain since we have so little time to get to know him and know what the general outcome will be anyway. So it will be very interesting to see what goes down in the two hour series finale. This week was a fabulous set up to what’s next so now we wait.

Watch Chuck The Two Hour Series Finale this Friday at 8/7c on NBC.

*Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/NBC

‘Chuck’ Season 5 Episode 10 Review: Chuck vs. Bo

In “Chuck vs. Bo,” Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) wasted no time in coming straight out about her thoughts of quitting the spy game to Chuck (Zachary Levi) and shift Carmichael Industries to an office job rather than a field job. But before this transition began, the team took some of their spy gear to Colorado for one last mission where Morgan (Joshua Gomez) was reunited with Bo Derek….his past “lover!” The first thing that surely came to everyone’s mind was, when did that happen? The next thought… what is Bo up to now in the world of Chuck? The title of the episode clearly details Bo as the bad guy. So it came as no surprise that Bo was involved with the case of the intersect. Is it safe to say she is our final female villain? Either way, it all made for one of the most entertaining episodes this season. The laughs kept on coming and the action, putting the pieces to the puzzle… it all had us at the edge of our seats. Job well done!

“Bo Derek is taking your pants off.” – Chuck

Morgan may have handled Bo Derek but Sarah is now handling the intersect. A moment that we have been waiting for far too long has finally come! The intersect is back in action and Sarah is kicking butt trying to save her man. But we’ll have to wait until next week to see how well her not very thought out plan using the intersect to save Chuck will work. Based on the promos, it is clear that having the intersect in Sarah’s head is not at all good for her well being. And there are only two episodes left, so what do you want to see go down? How will Chuck and ultimately, Sarah be saved?

Meanwhile, John Casey (Adam Baldwin) had a fancy memory swipe (Men in Black anyone?) for Lester (Vik Sahay) and Jeff (Scott Krinsky) which put to bed one problem. It was awfully funny when Morgan got a taste of their own medicine back at the apartment complex and fans were given a throwback to season one when he was still crushing on Ellie (Sarah Lancaster). Great throwback and continuity here. We have noticed Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak and we thank you! But back to Lester and Jeff… the two may have forgotten about their own mission to spy on the gang but they quickly remembered. Following the crew to Colorado seemed to be a bit much for these two. Then again, they do not have anything important to do outside of work anyway, so their travels should come as no surprise.

Too bad these two went as far as they did only to have their own spy kills work against them unknowingly. What a laugh. But it was a trip well worth taking so that everything could play out the way that it did with Casey and Morgan covering up all of their true identities the way that they did. Although I cannot be the only one disappointed in Casey for not wiping Lester and Jeff’s arms which were full of notes about their progress in the case. Plainly put, things would have been much more exciting had this story line had more time to play out. But with what we’ve been given, even when logic is thrown out of the window for a moment, it was satisfactory.

“You didn’t hit her in the face, did you?” – Chuck

One of the best moments of the night came when Morgan came clean to Alex (Mekenna Melvin) about sleeping with Bo Derek and she laughed, telling him he did not have to make up stories. When will she learn to take spies seriously, even when they come in the form of Morgan? With only two episodes left, how are the writers going to leave Alex and Morgan’s relationship? We’re in good hands so there should be no reason to fret. The writers haven’t let us down before. Another moment definitely worth mentioning… how hysterical was it visiting another Buy More which turned out to be a parallel version of our own? This week’s episode of Chuck easily goes down as one of the best of the season. We can all thank Bo Derek for that. That said, will you ever be able to to look at rainbows the same again? Despite no Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) or General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) “Chuck vs. Bo” reinforced just how much we are all going to truly miss Chuck when it’s gone. There were some great references tonight. Really, this episode had the whole package. What did you think?

Notes:
*Does anybody else want to watch “Chuck Vs. The Frosted Tips” again and then watch this episode again to make sure all lines up time wise?

*Bryce Larkin’s name came back into play this week and it is so great to see the intersect story come full circle. It may all be happening awfully quick (who is this Nicholas Quinn guy?) but it is happening and we cannot wait to see how it all ends.

*Who else is making sure they eat Subway on the night of the Chuck series finale?

Watch Chuck The Final Season Fridays at 8/7c on NBC.

Chuck Season 5 Episode 9 Review: Chuck vs. the Kept Man

This week’s episode of Chuck took a back seat in exhilaration and heart pounding action. Ordinarily, a break from all of the action would be fitting but with these being the final episodes of the series… much is expected. And unfortunately there was not enough action… or comedy. Last night’s episode actually seemed rather slow moving. With such dynamite episodes in the past few weeks, this change of pace did not go unnoticed. So while this episode does not stand out among the rest, it did provide for some entertainment.

In “Chuck vs. the Kept Man,” John Casey (Adam Baldwin) rekindles the fire with Gertrude Verbanski (Carrie-Anne Moss) who also becomes the first client of Carmichael Industries ever since their C.A.R.E. Mission Statement released. Let it be noted that Moss and Baldwin’s chemistry is off the charts! Chuck (Zachary Levi) is so clever and so human! Neither Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) or Casey would have ever come up with Clandestine Agents Relating Emotionally. Chuck knows how to touch people’s hearts and their inner desires. He listens to his heart and encourages others to do so as well! Go Chuck! On the other hand, he was so completely invested in getting at the eheart of his business that he missed the signs that Sarah could be pregnant. Unless Josh Schwartz plans on jumping a few years in the series finale so we can see Sarah and Chuck as parents, it would be much more fulfilling for Sarah not to get pregnant

As for the assignment, the gang is sent to South Beach where the many steps to completing Gertrude’s mission begin. But Gertrude isn’t as clever in her mission as she believes and becomes a hostage victim with $10 million on her head. The team comes to the rescue just after Casey pours his heart out to Gertrude. Even looking at this episode as a story of the heart, the yawn factor was still there. Surprisingly, what brought the most laughs and interest was what was happening back at the Buy More.

The newly intellectual, Jeff (Scott Krinsky) shared his conspiracy theory with Lester (Vik Sahay) in the break room about Chuck being a spy. Thankfully, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) catches them in this crazed meeting and in a hurry, directs their attention to Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) as the missing piece to the puzzle. Hysterical. Dragging Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence) into the search was one thing but Lester in a dress has earned its spot in one of the most unforgettable moments of Chuck. This does beg the question, will those at the Buy More know about Chuck and Sarah’s occupation (past or present, depending on where it leaves off at) by the end of the series? Are they capable of keeping this confidential while also possibly being assets? By the way things went this week, Morgan has put that possibility off for a bit longer. But who of the Buy More team would you like to see “in the know” with Carmichael Industries?

Viewers missed quite a few familiar faces tonight including Ellie (Sarah Lancaster), Alex (Mekenna Melvin), and General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy). Oh, General Beckman. After what we’ve seen of Beckman so far this season, it’s hard not to want to see so much more of her in every episode. What did you think? This is the beginning of the end and a fine end it is so far… but how would you like to see Chuck conclude in its final three episodes?

Watch Chuck The Final Season Fridays at 8/7c on NBC.

‘Chuck’ Season 5 Episode 8 Review: Chuck vs. the Baby

Chuck ended the year on a high note with last night’s all new episode, “Chuck vs. the Baby.” Last week’s episode ended with quite the cliffhanger and watching this story play out the way it has, certain events definitely pleased viewers more than it did worry them. While the best episode of this season has already been claimed, this week’s episode was just as engaging and provided just as thrilling of a punch as expected.

Tim DeKay (White Collar) guest starred as a CIA handler who helped Sarah on a mission in which Sarah had to kidnap a baby for what turned out to be a dirty job. Five years later, that mission has come back into her life and brought not one but two lovely faces to smile about. What is so wonderful about this show is that it takes you to a place where you think, “How can they possibly get out of this conflict on a high note?” and they always manage to take you on the most incredible ride leading up to the end point.

Seeing Sarah so secretive towards Chuck and Casey, even calling Casey by his first name, things became very tense and serious! It was no wonder Sarah found herself as the damsel in distress once again this season, needing Chuck and Casey’s help to complete her mission. While it has been awhile since we have seen a Sarah centered episode, Sarah has had to depend on her team more than ever this season and it’s quite odd to get more back story on her as the series is coming to a close. We’ve heard the saying, “Better late than never” but Sarah is so strong and watching her in vulnerable positions now more than ever is offsetting. Hopefully she doesn’t need too much help in the missions to come. And while we are on the subject of hope, it would be a shame to see Chuck and Sarah not sweep for bugs in the future after putting Sarah’s loved ones in such danger. But it did seem a little odd that it had to get to this point for this to be said. Checking for bugs should go without saying. If that means taking a shower before regrouping, let it be done.

Anyway, this mission was very important since an innocent child’s life was at stake and the safety of Sarah’s mother (guest star, Cheryl Ladd) was also an issue. The two went hand in hand and the way this revelation was unraveled was wonderful. It is difficult to say which moment was more touching, the lullaby or the moment that Molly is introduced to her “sister,” Sarah. Sarah may be a spy but she has always had a heart. To see the mission that was tugging at her heart and breaking down the walls right before her mission became Chuck, the significance of this mission did not go unnoticed.

Meanwhile, Morgan was holding down the fort in Castle with Alex, Ellie, and Awesome keeping him company. Alex keeping him company was understandable but seeing the other two in Castle was just plain odd. The good thing about this though is that Ellie and Awesome were at it again role playing. This made for one of the most comedic moments of the night. As for Morgan and Alex… well, Alex rejected Morgan yet again. But Morgan is a persistent individual and Alex is John Casey’s daughter. Seeing how long it took for Casey to come around in Chuck’s case, it is obvious that Morgan’s persistence will pay off. The same can be said for what the future holds between Chuck and Sarah, whether in the CIA or not and starting a family or not. There is so much to look forward to for this couple in the final five episodes of the series and “Chuck vs. the Baby” has done a great job at preparing us for the inevitable. What do you hope to see take place in the final five episodes?

Favorite Aspect of this Episode: Tim DeKay guest starred in this episode in the final season of Chuck while his current co-star on White Collar, Matthew Bomer played Bryce Larkin in Season One of Chuck. Full circle, anyone?

Watch Chuck The Final Season Fridays at 8/7c on NBC.

‘Chuck’ Season 5 Episode 7 Review: Chuck vs. the Santa Suit

“Chuck vs. the Santa Suit” is without a doubt the most intense episode of season five and there are still a month’s worth of episodes left to air of the series. This also makes for the best Christmas episode of the series. There were lows and highs which included the most breathtaking game changer of the series at the very end of the episode. “Chuck vs. the Santa Suit” gave us action, tension, laughs, heart, and so much more. What an impressive hour.

“Stan Lee’s a spy? That is so weird!” – Chuck

The episode started off with such a downer of an opening this week. So dark. It’s been awhile since Chuck has touched such waters. The return of Shaw (guest star, Brandon Routh) came sooner rather than later and really anchored the episode. While he was definitely hated before, his little act of capturing Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) in a step of many to take over the CIA for his own intersect desires did not give him any redeemable points. General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) brought the house down last night, helping Chuck (Zachary Levi) save Sarah, save her team. The best lines of the night were undoubtedly given to her and mean more to longtime Chuck fans than the writers will ever know. Thank you. Watching Beckman and Chuck at the CIA Christmas party was also quite a highlight. Stan Lee’s cameo was awesome but General Beckman kissing Chuck so as to not blow their cover takes the cake. And let’s not forget about Mo Collins’ guest appearance as well.

Meanwhile, the nerd herd was trying to figure out how the Omen virus will work its magic. The balance between the Shaw conflict and the release of the Omen virus was much more smoothly handled than many may have thought. Moreso, it was interwoven perfectly. As Chuck said, speaking for the entire nerd herd really, “I’m a much bigger nerd than you thought I was.” Shaw just had to come back for more in order to figure that out. It will be interesting to see what other familiar faces we will see before the series’ end. Nicole Richie was a personal favorite guest star in the series. Who was yours?

Anyway, Chuck being honest with Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) was also quite a heartwarming, full circle moment. The gift that Ellie gave in return was priceless. There truly were too many moments to count this week that will never be forgotten and under appreciated. We notice everything you writers do and are so thankful for all of your hard work, especially in the final season. The dynamic tonight, seeing such superior spies, Chuck and John Casey (Adam Baldwin) in such vulnerable places, what a switch! The unusuals played hero this week. What an emotional ride.

Just as Casey leaving a goodbye message to Alex (Mekenna Melvin) began to bring tears to our eyes, the wheels started turning and hope returned. Had the writers not known that this indeed were the final season, it is unclear just how different this season and this episode in particular would have turned out. Thankfully, there was time to carefully craft the final season and that is why we have been given such a magnificent gift in “Chuck vs. the Santa Suit.” It’s also important to mention that the team just might be returning to the CIA. How fitting. This time, they do need higher ranks. And hopefully, Sarah’s past creeping up to her will not conflict with that. What do you think of the cliffhanger? Overall, this was such a fantastic episode! It is going to be hard to live up to this episode until the series finale airs. What do you think?

This Episode’s Only Fault: Sarah attempting to escape Shaw with her noisy heels on took away from rooting for her to escape. She’s smarter than that and it really does not take very long to slip the heels off and carry them.

Note: The Subway promotion is still going strong. Remember the days of the Save Chuck Subway Campaign? Oh how far we have come! Chuck really is the only series where such product placement is more than welcoming.

Watch Chuck The Final Season Fridays at 8/7c on NBC.

‘Chuck’ Season 5 Episode 6 Review: Chuck vs. the Curse

What a fantastic episode of Chuck this week! This is without a doubt one of the most thrilling episodes of the season so far. A night of cat and mouse, mistaken identity, and reunions made for one heart racing night of television. Dilemmas, dilemmas! There were also some new and familiar faces this week which was quite a treat and put the cherry on top of the comedy, tension, and action in “Chuck vs. the Curse.”

“Babe, what if we’re on a real spy mission?” – Awesome
“Martini!” – Ellie and Awesome

It was wonderful to see General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) again after her absence in quite a few episodes, warning Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) of all things about the CIA hunting them. Beckman and John Casey’s (Adam Baldwin) help along the way was minimal and it would not have been more perfect any other way. Chuck going to save Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) on his own could be seen a mile away and it still did not take anything away from the emotions of the night. How exciting it was to see guest star, Rebecca Romijn back on the small screen and as a spy setting off the virus no less!

“There is no curse. You’re not your father.” – Sara

Robin may not have gotten through Alex (Mekenna Melvin) and a not so slick Morgan (Joshua Gomez), which was one of the first of many heart racing moments last night, but Ellie and Captain Awesome took the cake. By the way, how exciting was it to see Mekenna Melvin again? It’s been too long! Now since we haven’t seen Alex, Ellie, and Awesome in awhile, the excitement was already high. But watching these Ellie & Awesome role play on the one night that the CIA was chasing after the actual spy Bartowski couple… it was the best adventure yet! Forming a plan to dive out of the limo, the laughs were very easy to come by.

But Ellie got her head in the game in time to escape and save Chuck… well, the latter half with the team. Ellie’s relief when Sarah and Casey came to save the day was priceless! But the best part about this episode is that there was no time to get to the Buy More. As much as well all love the Buy More, sometimes what goes on there just creates a distraction from the real fun and action. This week, by not focusing on the Buy More, there was a much better flow to the story and that did not go unnoticed. The writers, cast, and crew delivered a mighty fantastic episode of Chuck, one of the most memorable of the series. That said, with the virus out, we’ve got to see how the nerd herd reacts to the virus. Hilarity is sure to ensue. Chaos as well. Show of comments as to who thought that the virus wouldn’t actually get released. It’s the final episode of the year next week and the action, the comedy, the heart in this episode was enthralling but it looks like we’ll go out with an even bigger bang then! Stay tuned!

Favorite Moment: Sarah acknowledged that Chuck’s family is her family too now and she would not stop until they were safe.

Side Note: While we did miss Gertrude Verbanski (Carrie-Anne Moss) in this week’s episode, it seems that she will be back so stay tuned for more Moss!

Watch Chuck The Final Season Fridays at 8/7c on NBC.