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 to those who dont like the idea that chuck hasnt got the intersect and instead the intersect has been uploaded into morgan, i kinda disagree cause in this point morgan has always wanted to be a spy doing the sorta missions chuck has been doing so now he has the chance added on top of that the glasses can possibly be re-used again to upload a copy of the intersect into chuck so they both have the skills, but not that since chuck and sarah have a billion dollars and pretty much are starting out their own PMC business while owning a buymore store it can show the chance on how they will work together developing plans to take down the game master who have controlled their lives within the CIA.


I am really disappointed and frankly quite pissed that Morgan has the intersect in his head. Chuck is the special one like his dad said, "You're Special Son". The whole point of the show is Chuck coming to terms with the intersect and knowing how to use it. Chuck struggled for years years with the intersect and now we're supposed to believe Morgan just puts the glasses on and he is now what Chuck took years to be. BULLSHIT. It's stupid. I would've liked to see CHUCK put the glasses on, then I would've been so excited for the next season. I now wish it all ended after the wedding. Chuck IS the intersect. The intersect IS Chuck. I hope Chuck gets it out of Morgan's head and back in his head on the first episode of season 5. It's just ridicules that anyone other than Chuck could have the intersect in their head. Remember Chuck has had the intersect in his head since he was a kid.


Chuck should have the intersect, he is the special one who can handle the intersect better than anyone else, if they dnt give him back the intersect the show will be ruined


Morgan was likely he wasn't incapacitated/killed by the Intersect. Didn't the Fulcrum's Intersect kill a couple test subjects?


I totally agree with the triple thraet for this episode. It made me have a big smile directly followed by shivers of heart (I try not to use the words 'emotional rollercoaster' as Dr. Cox would not forgive me). While I expected a big wedding scene like with Devon & Ellie, this was just perfect with the rehearsel wedding, both their vows and the flashbacks. It's all you can ask of a finale.
This season may not have been convincing all of the time, faults granted, I believe that many parts are forgotten, for instance Chuck's ass-kicking in the first episode, getting to know his mom, Timothy Dalton as Volkoff, Morgan as a spy, Sarah fighting her way through Thai jungle, Casey's love for Reagan and his hate towards Russians and of course the proposal and finally the wedding. When watching a show like Chuck you shouldn't be aware of every little detail, but start an episode with an open mind and experience whether the developments were to your expectations or not. I appreciate the character development in this show (I agree Chuck was very funny as the clumsy spy), because there is nobody who can disagree that Morgan is the most fabulously bearded man on television (although at first I wanted Chuck to have the intersect back). I think the beard may turn out to be a pleasant surprise...


People who are saying it was horrible, have no creativity. The show is called CHUCK that is correct, and the show is STILL about him. The difference is 1. He leads his team now, which is a nice change of pace 2. he has no intersect which is awesome because now he has to actually use his own skills, and we all know chuck has it in him to be an awesome spy without it. this leaves room for more character development. 3. Morgan now the intersect has comedy, and awesomeness in it, I can already picture ton of funny situations he could get into with his new team.4. the CIA is not backing them up anymore, howevr they are rich, so what changes becasue of that could prove to be interesting


I hope that Chuck would get the intersect back in the very first episode of season 5. Intersect with Morgan is a real bad idea. Its like he will do stupid things and others have to save him taunt him praise him blah blah blah....Show name is Chuck so Chuck should be the one having intersect so that we can see more mature spy stuff.


Honestly, this episode didn't live up to my expectation. However, what more can you do to wrap up a bit scattered season? I think they pulled it off amazingly. Thank God for another season. I can't imagine if this is the series finale. Anyway, I hope Jill Roberts will return next season. Perhaps she's also one of the culprits who set this all up. Maybe Bryce Larkin is still alive, I mean, we didn't see brain matter did we? =) So that means there's a chance that Orion is still alive too. Dream on... I think it sounds appealing that the 5th season would be about learning what really happened when Chuck got the intersect like it has all been planned. Morgan is the intersect? We'll see about that. I love the idea, but I am thinking more of an Indian Lesbian to assume that part. LOL. I mean Lester. Anyway, I am glad that now they aren't no longer working for the CIA because no matter how great they were, they still had to report to Beckman, which is somewhat sickening. But now, they really are the best spies team. Can't wait for the 5th season!


Dammit. I wish they'd remove Kung Fu from Chuck and Morgan. That was the fun of the show, watching Chuck, the everyman, run away from danger.


sorry 4 my errors... I'm using an android phone and autocorrect sucks

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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.