Chuck Season Finale Review: I Know Kung Fu, Too

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Before finding out that Chuck was renewed for a fifth and final season, I was worried that "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger" would live up to its title and leave us all upset when the show was canceled by NBC. Fortunately, we will get 13 more episodes to conclude the series in a way seen fit by creators Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz.

So when "The Cliffhanger" ended the way it did, with Team Bartowski all fired by the CIA, the group as freelance spies, Chuck being told all that has happened to him was an elaborate plan, and Morgan downloading a new intersect, I thanked my lucky stars that it didn't all end like this.

Chuck Wedding Photo

As a season-ending episode it was fantastic, but a series finale? It would have been disappointing. Never to see Morgan show off his kung fu skills, which he so perfectly uttered to the crew in Chuck season two finale fashion, would have been brutal. Now we will get to see our favorite spies go rogue, and they will do it with the help of an intersected Morgan Grimes.

On the other hand, if it all had ended around 8:50 p.m., I probably would have wished it had been axed. Immediately following Chuck and Sarah's wedding, everything was wrapped up quite nicely, and I was satisfied with it ending right then and there. Sarah was saved from the Norseman, the two love birds got their happy day, and the Volkoff story also came to a nice conclusion.

One of my main concerns was that they weren't going to be able finish the Volkoff/Hartley business before the end of the season, but stick a pair of sunglasses on him, and it makes things a lot easier. Having Clyde Decker* swoop in and take Volkoff away did two things: It sped up the "Chuck has to save the man his father ruined" story, and it also created a nice obstacle for Chuck and the gang to overcome in order to save Sarah before the end of the episode.

*Decker was played perfectly by Richard Burgi, who is a household name in the Forcella household because I was a big fan of his roles on past favorites Las Vegas, Harper's Island, Point Pleasant, and his infamous time as Kevin Carroll - aka Alan York - on the first season of 24.

And the fact that Chuck was trying with all his might to save the woman he loved was one of many reasons why "The Cliffhanger" was just a great episode in and of itself. It covered all of the bases of the Chuck Triple Threat, and for the first time managed to make me believe in Vivian Volkoff as a character.

The scene in which she is struggling to figure out who she is and what she should do next as Chuck and Hartley plead with her was very well done. Lauren Cohan played scared - but in desperate need to please her father, and yet also with a new found love of power - extremely well. I'm glad Vivian made the right decision and gave Chuck those 50 or so Russian spies, so she could leave this show on a high note.

That moment when all the Russians came down from the sky was momentous, but it was not as nerve racking as watching Sarah fight for her life in an ice cold tub at the emergency room. The honor for best action of the night was once again held for John Casey after he took care of Decker's men with the old table flip move.  

Speaking of the Colonel: how funny was that Reagan bit?  Here's a question. Who loves Reagan more?  John Casey or Jack Donaghy of 30 Rock? Tough one. While they didn't try too hard to land a bunch of jokes, they didn't have to because Timothy Dalton playing an innocent scientist just episodes after seeing him as the ruthless Alexi Volkoff was comedy gold. Add a bunch of great Morganisms, like the fact that he likes to improvise his spy moves and getting choked up during Chuck and Sarah's ceremony, and it was a very funny episode.

Those flashbacks? Come on! That's why I kind of wish they ended it right there. How are they going to be able to top that from a chills stand point? It must have been much colder in my apartment than normal because the hairs on my arm started to stand up during those Chuck and Sarah moments. It was a very sweet wedding, but the memories of a simpler time, and a not so simpler time, were what made it that much better.

Moving Forward
So where does the final 13 episodes go? It goes wherever Morgan Guillermo Grimes says it to go, thank you very much. Now that he is the intersect, he will lead the way. Are we all on board with the fact that Chuck should have no intersect in the final season? It will just be the perfect way to finish his evolution as a spy. Like Casey said, he's the second best spy that the Colonel ever worked with. He is a great spy now, so he doesn't need the help of the intersect. Morgan still does.

What did you all think of "Chuck Versus The Cliffhanger?" Did it satisfy you as a season finale? Would you have been upset if it was the series finale? And what do you expect to see next season?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (106 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


To be honest, its pretty lame that morgan got the intersect, I meant c'mon it brings the show down. What's the point of chuck being useless the show is called chuck


as a fan from across the pond in england and a late starter on Chuck,i feel every one here agrees that morgan as intersect is a bad idea.after getting seasons 1-4 in about 3 weeks on DVD and non stop viewing,,,,as its contagious! i feel i will be disappointed for season bring back the intersect for chuck...dont spoil a winner.


O my FUCKING god, cmon -.- WTF morgan is the intersect ? ! i dont like this idea at all and if it wont change in the first 10 seasons i wont never watch it again .. i saw the first 2 episodes now and i dont like it at all !!! OmFG what the hell were u guys thinking ?! ?! ?!


morgan sucks as the intersect. short whimpy guy, self centered. i refuse to watch any more episodes. shame though, so far it was a great show. GIVE CHUCK THE DAMN INTERSECT


Everybody hating on the new season are idiots and dumbasses... you'd have to get atleast to episode 4 to know the real story... morgan didn't have the intersect for long and it's not the kind of intersect you expected. Haters are close-minded douches who only whines and complains about change or twist in the plot! DUMBASSES!!!


I was wondering in the final episode of season 4 decker puts the glasses on chuck but didn´t he say that i was a suppressing device bit like the same chuck´s mom used on him and that that guy had to make him feel fear to relieve this so called emotional rock to get the intersect working again wouldnt it be like the same now if it is also a suppressing device and that the intersect is still in chuck´s head instead of completely removed wich would mean he could still get it back. any idea´s ?


I really love the TV show Chuck, it's my favorite, but I really hope that Morgan will lose the intercect and Chuck will get it back, because I don't really like the first two episodes of season five, because it feels like Chuck is never gonna get the intercect back and that is not the tv show I love anymore. I saw that pretty much all the people who left comments here think the same thing that I do, so I really hope our opinion will change something(:
please, PLEASE give the intercect back to Chuck.
all the other seasons were AWESOME(see what i did there?)


i hate morgan. always have. and i hate thet hes the intersect. it doesnt make sense i thought only certain people could have it in their heads. Morgan is not one of those people


Morgan being the intersect even for a bit changes the show TOO D*MN MUCH. Stupid writers like this is why Dark Angel flamed out. I mean making Jessica Alba's touch poisonous to her only love interest. Poof there goes the sexual tension. If they take too long making Chuck back to the intersect I won't watch this final season. They had nice well-defined characters plenty of material to work with. Why change this dynamic so much in final season. I know some juvenile delinquent talentless writers thought it would be fun to have Morgan kung-fu or dance or do these other things... but they are so D*MN out of character it is ridiculous.


I believe the producer is lying through his teeth when he said in an interview the reason they did this was to get back to how the show was in season 1 & 2. This show no longer resembles the show i feel in love with and i will no longer be watching the show.
I believe the last season has turned in to a vehicle to launch the stagnating career of one Joshua Gomez aka "Morgan Grimes", the majority of fans should feel betrayed by such a ploy. I personally feel like i wasted four years with this show and it has lost all re-watch ability. I have refrained from buying the blu-ray releases of season 1-4 hoping for a complete box set at the end of season 5, but after the ending to season 4 and the previews i have seen of season 5 I won't be purchasing any thing related to the show.

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Chuck Season 4 Episode 24 Quotes

That guy might think he's a hard ass, but I'm the intersect.


We're gonna get married and be together, forever. I love you.