Chuck Official Site

The Time:
Mondays, 8:00 PM, NBC

The Show:

Bartowski is just an average guy who works at the local Burbank,
California Buy More (think Best Buy) store and lives with his sister,
Ellie and her fiance, Captain Awesome.  Chuck’s life has
stagnated since his best friend Bryce Larkin framed him for cheating,
resulting in his getting kicked out of Stanford.  However,
Chuck’s life changes when Bryce, who’s actually a rogue CIA agent,
chooses Chuck into which to download the only copy of the CIA / NSA
computer database called The Intersect.  Now, until the
government can find a way to get the Intersect out of his head, Chuck
is an unwilling secret agent, able to access the data whenever he sees
or hears something that causes a mnemonic “flash” of the Intersect in
his mind.  Chuck is protected by CIA Agent Sarah Walker, a hot
and lethal CIA agent on whom he has a crush, and NSA Agent John Casey,
of whom he’s constantly afraid.

The Stars:

•  Zachary Levi – Chuck Bartowski
•  Yvonne Strahovski – CIA Agent Sarah Walker
•  Adam Baldwin – NSA Agent John Casey
•  Joshua Gomez – Morgan Grimes
•  Sarah Lancaster – Ellie Bartowski
•  Ryan McPartlin – Captain Awesome
•  Vik Sahay – Lester Patel
•  Mark Christopher Lawrence – Big Mike
•  Julia Ling – Anna Wu
•  Scott Krinsky – Jeff

The Episode: “Chuck vs. the Ring”

Things are finally looking like they’ve come together for Chuck.  He’s finally gotten the Intersect out of his head, Ellie and Awesome are getting married, and most importantly, Chuck, Sarah and Casey have saved Chuck’s father, aka Orion, the inventor of the Intersect.  But the happiness is short-lived as Ted Roark (Chevy Chase), has resurfaced and is threatening to kill Ellie if Chuck doesn’t get him the Intersect cube.  With the wedding bearing down on him, Chuck has to think fast in order to save the day.  Meanwhile, Casey and Sarah are preparing for their new assignments which, in Sarah’s case, means leaving Chuck and reteaming with Bryce, who’s set to become the new human Intersect.  Along the way, we also learn that Bryce and Orion had previously conspired to keep Chuck out of the CIA.  In the end, Chuck is forced to make a fateful decision, with surprising consequences.

The Lowdown:

I’ve brought up on several occasions that Chuck is worthy of renewal.  That certainly hasn’t changed.  This is a highly entertaining and original show, that mixes the best of comedy and spy caper action with a cast that has good chemistry and fun writing.  I truly hope that this wasn’t the last episode.  I really want this show to continue and get the run it deserves. 

That being said, for a season finale, I wasn’t too blown away by this episode, except for the last two minutes of course.  It was a little lighter on the comedy than usual and I expected a full tilt boogie adventure for Ellie and Awesome’s wedding, an occasion that was guaranteed to have Chuck’s two worlds collide.  But the wedding stuff didn’t particularly grab me, and it became a little repetitive when the bad guys kept re-emerging after seemingly being vanquished.  The show has had a better history of having the spy world impinge in a big way on Chuck’s regular life, particularly at the Buy More.  The wedding stuff just sort of came in a little flat for me.  Even the return of Jeffster.  Bruce Boxleitner did have a great line to Awesome though: “Why are you letting Sam Kinison and an Indian lesbian ruin your wedding?”

This episode was a game changer for the show.  It looks like the Buy More portion of the show is being phased out with the departure of Morgan and Anna and Chuck finally quitting.  If the show does come back, I don’t expect that to be immediate as there are a couple of storylines still left unresolved, particularly Big Mike being left as a stock boy.  I knew that this was inevitable if the show continued for any length of time.  And if they do take the show in a new direction, I hope there will be appearances by Lester, Jeff and especially Morgan as they were the comedic backbone of the entire show.

The Chuck and Sarah relationship also is left completely unresolved.  First she’s going to leave him, then she’s not.  Then when Bryce’s fate is revealed to her, there looked like there were still some left over feelings there. Of course she doesn’t get to say what she wanted to say to Chuck before all hell breaks loose again.  I liked the initial goodbye between Chuck and Casey, though.  Their relationship has always been fluid.  One minute Casey respects Chuck and likes him (as much as he’s capable), the next he’s contemplating using him for target practice.  Very glad that Casey wasn’t taken out by his squad member traitor.  The show wouldn’t be the show without him.  There’s also an interesting reveal about Chuck’s father in that he has an older version of the Intersect in his head.

As for the ending, being that Chuck voluntarily downloads the new Intersect into his head, that wasn’t a big surprise.  And if you consistently watch the show, neither was the fact that the new Intersect contains spy training such as combat techniques.  It was the logical next step for the show (if five nights of Leno doesn’t kill it).  And I think it has great possibilities.  Also, considering that the Buy More scenario could possibly be history, I think it’d kick all kinds of ass if Scott Bakula could come on board as a regular for Season 3.  Don’t know of the possibility of that, even if the show survives. 

All I can say is that it’d be a damn shame if this show was canceled.  This isn’t Bionic Woman, Journeyman, My Own Worst Enemy nor Knight Rider, shows that never found their formula nor copied ideas blatantly from other shows.  And it sure as hell isn’t Heroes, which has seemingly managed to alienate its entire fanbase on more than one occasion. Chuck has been solid from the pilot and a true original.  It’s my sincere hope that this isn’t my last review of the show.  Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz have created a great program here, cast perfectly and with greta production value all around. 

SAVE CHUCK.  Are you listening, NBC?

Episode: 7.7 out of 1
Series (to date???): 9.1 out of 10