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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.

Action
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.  

Comedy
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.

Heart
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?

Review

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.

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I wish Chuck was still the intersect!!!!! I DO NOT want Morgan to be the intersect!! I love this show, but Chuck better get the intersect back soon or I`ll be really upset! It could be neat if Chuck and Morgan BOTH had the intersect, as long as Chuck was better at it, but I don't want just Morgan to have it.

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Yeah, I didn't like the whole Morgan as the new intersect thing, but I have faith in Josh Schwartz to make it interesting. I'm pretty worried about Chuck's safety though; he thinks like a spy, but without the intersect, he's pretty defenseless. Also, I have this weird feeling that Orion is going to make an appearance in the final season. In the first season, he tells Chuck that he's had to die several times. Also, when Decker in the final moments of "Chuck vs. The Cliffhanger" tells Chuck that everything was just part of a plan, Chuck painfully mentions how his father was killed in this "plan". Decker just laughs, and the video transmission ends there. Now, either the American government is totally evil (not very farfetched), or Orion actually isn't dead. Just my two cents.

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Morgan getting the intersect is an outrage!! Like c'mon morgan, it was clearly written it was for chuck underneath the glasses and also, IT'S CHUCKS FREAKING BOX SO LEAVE IT THE HE'LL ALONE U BAFOON!!! I think the writer will change this and chuck get the intersect because:
1: the show is called chuck
2: he is the best user as shown in previous episodes even when the new guys come in
3: he is useless otherwise
But also, they still have the computer data, so he may well join Morgan and come an intersect with him, wouldn't be so bad but mainly, CHUCK SHOULD BE THE ONLY INTERSECT!!!

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Its a really stupid and absurd idea for morgan to have the intersect in his head. I mean the show is named CHUCK and not MORGAN. So mister writer pls have chuck come back with d intersect because thats how its suppose to be. Take for instance smallville no matter how or why clark looses his powers he always ends up getting them back. Think of a suitation where clark has no power. Smallville will have no meaning. So FYI for chuck to be chuck and not morgan, chuck has to get his intersect back and in this season 5. .

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i love Chuck, but the idea of morgan being the intersect seems stupid. Chuck is the intersect, i hated anyone else being a intersect soi hope Morgan gets the intersect out of his head and Chuck once again becomes the intersect. fingers crossed.

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I hate the fact that morgan is the new intersect.he should be reliefed of it in the first episode...
Since,show name is chuck

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I'm a little upset about the Morgan-Intersect thing. I mean, I know that nowhere it's written that only Chuck can be the Intersect, but that's what they implicitly made us understand during the seasons, when after various decisions and attempts to give the Intersect to somebody else, they ended living Chuck the only one because he was the only one who knew what that meant and bla bla bla. I honestly love Chuck, but I can't see how he could be a spy without the Intersect. I mean, psychologically it would be ok because he gained in confidence, in particular in the season 4 finale, but the tecnhical skills? The martial arts, the gymnastic to knock the bad guys down... I don't want him to be clumsy again, freaking out and shouting for help from Sarah, Casey or... Morgan. I loved how Chuck grew up as a spy, finally in the field... The sentence "stay in the car" was funny two-three years ago, but for me it belongs to the past now, like the "analyst" thing. Chuck has to be a real spy. And has to BE the Intersect because for me it's part of him.

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THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!! Chuck cannot stay without the intersect.!! Morgan is a complete IDIOT!!! Worst idea ever!! Not gonna watch it anymore, what was the director thinking????? What an idiot!
Please lets kill this director...

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i think also that morgan getting the intersect was stupid i agree that there is no doubt that chuck will get it back and morgan will probably lose it. i did like how they wrapped the season up tho before that. i think that deckers last speach was kind of forced tho it kinda seemed unatural and heavy handed just for the purpose of a set up for season five i liked how they finaly let ellie in the loop before wrapping up season four it had been so long since everyone else had figured it out i almost forgot she didnt yet. never the less im glad she knows now so that season five doesnt have a lot of drama about keeping anyone in the dark about chuck and it can just focus on chuck kicking ass

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I liked the finale. I think Sarah abd Chuck's bond was vey nicely portrayed. The Volkoff storyline was well-wrapped up. What pissed me was Morgan getting the intersect. I mean Morgan needs to be clumsy and dumb. Hopefully we will see he didnt get the intersect or smthg went wrong - Chuck shud be the one with the intersect

Chuck Season 4 Episode 24 Quotes

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

Chuck

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

Chuck