Chuck ‘Chuck vs Sarah’ & ‘Chuck vs the Goodbye’ review: Don’t freak out

Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) during the final moments of 'Chuck'

“I’m working on a five year plan; just gotta choose a font.”
—Chuck, “Pilot”

It’s twenty minutes past ten, when the final moments of Chuck aired on television and I still find my heart in my throat, my hands shaking, and adrenaline coursing through my veins.

I could pick out every scene of this two hour finale, piece by piece, and tell you what I liked or didn’t like but that would be absolutely moot. But just in case you wanted to know: I loved every single second of it. Every. Single. Second. Everyone, cast and crew and writers, was on their game — and I think that these final two hours were, mostly, perfect. Once again, the penultimate episode was better than the actual finale (I think), depending on what you like, but I think that tonight’s series finale proved yet again that Chris Fedak is actually the best Chuck writer.

He just knows how to blend all of the elements perfectly. That’s not surprising, seeing as it’s his show. But sometimes I feel like he doesn’t get enough credit for his talent, his skill, and his gusto (which is a formal way of saying his b*lls).

That same gusto showed yet again during the final scene of Chuck: Sarah laughing and crying on the beach as Chuck tells her their love story… and then she tells him to kiss her, and they kiss, and they’re on the beach together. Their story is just beginning. It’s not ending, it’s not just continuing, there are still so many stories to tell — and even if we might not get the chance to see it: we know.

Sarah tells Chuck to trust her in the pilot because she knows the Spy World, but now Chuck has asked Sarah to trust him because he can teach her the world she doesn’t know. And it was beautiful.

I can see (and understand) naysayers thinking there wasn’t enough closure (my sister included), but how un-Fedak and un-Chuck is that? Very. And, personally, I think there was enough closure. We could have gotten that usual series ending where everyone is just standing around waiting for it to end already, but that would have been mundane. These last two episodes have me still shaking. That, my friends, is good television — good storytelling.

Sure, it would have been nice to see Chuck and Sarah kiss in their apartment, or in their house with the red door and the white picket fence, or maybe continuing to practice for future kids… but I still imagine all of those things happening. Chuck and Sarah kiss on that beach, and Sarah’s memory comes back but not before she falls in love with him again (not that it would take long), and they move in and start their business, and they begin a family, and Casey comes back and Morgan and Alex are there, and Awesome and Ellie visit for Christmas…

I could go on. But I think you get it.

Chris Fedak doesn’t write endings, he writes prologues… every, single season. And even the original series finale was Chuck and Sarah kissing, finally being together in “Chuck vs the Other Guy.” Yes, it was tragic. But more so, it was heartbreaking, it was heartwarming, it was nerve-wracking, it was hilarious, and it was perfect.

Sarah’s Intersect story allowed us to relive the reasons (and even the moments) we fell in love with this series in the first place. Her ability to believe Chuck, to tell him her feelings (or lack thereof), to want him to kiss her, to break through the memory-wiping and begin to remember, it just proves how much of an epic love story Chuck and Sarah are. Regardless of whether or not she had her memories back, Sarah had been affected by Chuck. Nothing could change that.

Fedak was able to end the series with those words he always wanted to: “Kiss me.”

And Chuck and Sarah aren’t the only ones whose stories continue… Jeffster! takes on Germany, Big Mike gets a Subway shop in the Buy More, Ellie and Awesome save lives, Casey gets the girl, and Morgan and Alex take the next step. But as for Chuck and Sarah, sitting on that beach, having their first kiss, well…

“There were no words, because we knew we’d spend the rest of our lives together.”

Other thoughts:

  • I loved that we had this last season with an Intersectless Chuck, and I think I’ve expressed this in my reviews, but it made the Chuck character much more interesting. In fact, we had several episodes without mention of the Intersect at all, which were the best of this season, proving this show could have thrived without it anyway.
  • All those pilot callbacks. I loved them all. And callbacks to classic Chuck stuff: water fountain, dancing, pathetic Chuck, I could go on.
  • Loved that we now know how Sarah didn’t implode during all these years: she was speaking to herself, in a not-crazy way of course.
  • My heart is still in my throat. Counting down the last seconds and having it still be tied up in a bow (or not!!!!) had me so nervous (and anxious).
  • The music was so perfect, as per usual.
  • This Quinn character really upped the ante, eh? So much for just spending time with these characters until the end.
  • I disagree that Sarah’s growth was just regressed. She didn’t change back to her season one self. She was malleable, she was willing to hear of her love story with Chuck, she talked about her feelings with Chuck, she wanted him to kiss her. And she was beginning to remember: the Wienerlicious, the porn virus, and “Sarah + Chuck.” And even if you think she doesn’t remember, how amazing is it that no matter what, Chuck and Sarah will still find their way to each other? They are meant to be together. How much of an epic love story is that?
  • I keep adding stuff to this post because I’ll never really be done explaining how much I loved this show.
  • What am I going to do with myself now that this show is over?
  • God? How perfect were these two hours really?

Thank you, Chuck. Thank you for five seasons of amazing, heartbreaking, epic, hilarious, dramatic, mysterious, suspenseful, fantastic, gut-wrenching, beautiful television. Thank you to everyone who made Chuck possible. You have absolutely no idea how much you affected my life. Thank you. Goodbye, Chuck. I will miss you dearly.

Image source: TVLine

Tags: | Categories: Recaps
About the author: Michael Collado
Michael Collado
Mike's a television junkie located in Miami, where he spends all of his time watching TV with his best friends couch and cable access.

Posts from around the web:
  • Luciana Boni

    Of course I cried reading this review, but only because I felt each word.

    I’ve been trying to explain how I felt about the finale, but I couldn’t find the words. You kinda found them for me, so thanks…

    This show will be missed. Forever…

    • http://nowhitenoise.com Michael Collado

      I kind of got emotional myself, but not while watching the show or writing this review, it was sort of an hour or so after I finished writing it and I realized: wow, it’s really over. I’m not going to write another review, I’m not going to watch another new episode. And it was really sad for me. I didn’t know how invested I was in this show.

      And I still don’t think I captured how I feel in my review completely in my review. There’s just no words for how I felt about this series or this finale.

      Thank you for your comment; I’m glad I could help explain it to you a little bit.

  • Dee

    Great review and insights on the finale. I know quite of few people wanted a different ending but I agree with everything you said. To me it really was a love letter to the fans. All the big moments Chuck and Sarah had that the fans remember the most were highlighted (“My middle name is Lisa” scene, the kiss on the docks before the before bomb, etc) as were the little ones too (Sarah fixing Chuck’s tie before they dance, which she has done throughout the series). Not to mention all the other callbacks which were all so awesome. I’m definitely going to miss this show!

    • http://nowhitenoise.com Michael Collado

      Yes, I agree with this. The Intersect story allowed us to see the show come full circle — and very importantly, it also shifted a lot of focus away from the spy part of the show into the relationship part of the show, wherein Sarah asks Chuck to trust her navigate the spy world in the beginning of the series, but throughout the series we also saw Chuck help Sarah navigate normalcy. I think the final scene of the series truly highlighted that, explicitly, in a way we’ve never really seen.

      I’m going to miss this show so much.

  • Guest

    Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion both finale episodes were equally filled with sad and funny moments (Jeffster!!!) and they summed up the series very nicely. I liked how the series ended (not your typical ‘and they lived happily ever after’) and I’m certainly going to miss the show, even though it was crappy for more than a season